Shenandoah Smiles

"There's Magic in Your Smile!"

243 Neff Ave., Suite N
Harrisonburg, VA 22801

Welcome to Shenandoah Smiles!  
Our Emphasis is on Quality and Personalized Care.

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As we age, some of us will lose our teeth due to disease, injury and even wear, which places unnatural stress on the mouth’s structure and shape. This can result in unwanted changes to your facial appearance, as well as a detrimental effect on your confidence and self-esteem. There are several exciting new options to restore, and even improve the natural beauty of your smile and/or teeth. It is now possible to repair broken or decayed teeth, and actually restore them to their natural beauty and strength. You can change the look of your smile by replacing stained, chipped, missing or worn teeth.
Prosthodontics is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association (ADA). Prosthodontists are dental specialists in the restoration and replacement of teeth. Serving as the "architect" of a dental treatment plan, prosthodontists collaborate with general dentists, specialists and other health professionals to develop solutions for your dental and oral health concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions:


What does comprehensive dentistry mean?

Comprehensive dentistry means looking at the big picture of the mouth, how every filling, crown and bridge comes together to make a whole that is functional as well as beautiful. We are responsible for generating, overseeing and executing a sound treatment plan.

Why is a treatment plan important?

Treatment planning is important to see the end of the road before you start out on the journey. We use models of your mouth mounted on a machine that shows how you bite in order to understand what treatments may be possible. This is done before we touch your teeth in any way or perform any irreversible procedures on your teeth.

When is an implant indicated vs. a bridge?

If the teeth on either side of the space are in good shape and don’t need to be crowned, then an implant is your best choice. If the neighboring teeth have or need a lot of fillings then a bridge may be the best choice.

Why is conservation of tooth structure important?

Preserving tooth is like having money in the bank. Restorations should be chosen which provide the best result while removing the least amount of tooth structure. For example, an inlay or onlay may be used instead of a full crown.

Why may we ask you to see the periodontist?

Periodontal disease is a gradual destruction of the supporting structures of the teeth which include the gums and the bone around teeth. The teeth may become so loose that they are lost. It is caused by the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Excellent brushing and flossing techniques may help to control periodontal disease. We want to build your treatment on a solid foundation.

What are our high standards for patient safety?

Dental waterline maintenance is performed daily to ensure that harmful bacteria are not growing in the tubing of the dental chair. Plastic barriers are changed in between each patient. These cover areas on the dental chair and in the room that are touched during procedures. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent passing germs between patients. Although it costs more, we feel that it worth the investment. All instruments used for a patient are steam sterilized before the next use.

What is a Crown?


When decay is more extensive, a crown (cap) is recommended. The exciting news is that now you can have a crown that gives you the strength, beauty, translucency and feel of a natural tooth.


What are Inlays?


Defective or unsightly "fillings" can be replaced by all-ceramic exciting tooth colored material that is bonded to the tooth for added support. Instead of simply being held in by cement, this bonding process can improve the strength and beauty of your tooth.


What is a Veneer?


If you are not happy with the alignment, color or form of your teeth, you can greatly improve your smile with ceramic veneers. A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain that is bonded to the front of your teeth and becomes part of the tooth. Typically, for optimal esthetics, multiple teeth may need to be veneered.


Is tooth whitening an option for me?


Tooth whitening is a process that lightens discolored enamel and dentin. Studies have shown that proper use of dentist-monitored, whitening systems are an effective way of enhancing your smile. Almost anyone can benefit from tooth whitening. Your prosthodontist can determine if you are a good candidate for home whitening through a thorough oral examination and diagnosis.


What are Complete Dentures?


Complete dentures replace all of the natural teeth in the upper and/or lower jaw, sitting on the soft (gum) tissue of the mouth that covers the bone ridge. Your prosthodontist may use several different procedures to make sure your denture will fit the shape of your mouth, and provide the necessary support for your face. The design of the complete denture and position of the teeth will restore good speech and appearance.


What are Removable Partial Dentures?


Removable partial dentures are used when there are still natural teeth left. The missing teeth are replaced by this type of denture in an effective and esthetic design that uses both the soft tissue ridge and teeth to hold it securely in place. This tooth replacement is removable by the patient, which makes cleaning easier. The new teeth will look natural and are made from plastic or porcelain (ceramic) materials. Because removable partial dentures use teeth and soft tissue for support, you may be given the opportunity to choose a variety of treatment plans. Your prosthodontist will discuss these options after a thorough examination of your teeth, soft tissue (gums and cheeks), and remaining bone and surrounding anatomy. The examination should also include x-rays (radiographs) or impressions to make models of your mouth. After reviewing all the necessary information with your prosthodontist you will be able to make an informed choice.


Will my denture fit securely in my mouth?


There are different methods used to secure the partial denture in your mouth. Metal clasps are the most common and may or may not be visible. The denture can be made to fit the existing shape of your teeth, or it may be necessary to alter your remaining teeth. Your prosthodontist will indicate which design is most appropriate for you.


How do I care for my dentures?


When you receive your new denture your prosthodontist will make sure that it fits properly. However, your treatment is not quite finished as there is always a period of adjustment to become accustomed to your new denture. Your prosthodontist is committed to making you comfortable and is happy to adjust the fit of your dentures. Over time, the gums and bone supporting the denture will shrink causing the denture to become loose. Periodic visits to your prosthodontist are necessary to check the fit of your denture. It may be required that your denture be adjusted and refitted. 


What Are Dental Implants?


Dental Implants are substitute or replacement tooth roots. A tooth consists of a crown and a root. The crown is that part of the tooth which is visible in the mouth. The root is under the gum tissue, surrounded by the bone. The crown is supported by the root portion, which is attached to the bone. Implants are placed into the bone so that a prosthetic crown (the visible part of your tooth) can be firmly attached. State-of-the-art technology in implant dentistry makes it possible to provide replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth.


What are some benefits of dental implants?


Loss of natural teeth can dramatically alter your facial appearance and affect your attitude towards life. Missing teeth can lead to loss of self-esteem and embarrassment. Dental implants can help you regain your natural smile, improving your appearance and self- confidence. They can also increase your comfort by eliminating loose fitting complete and partial dentures. Dental implants acts to stop the deterioration in the jawbone, which occurs when the natural teeth are lost. Overall health is improved with the ability to eat a variety of foods with ease, and self-confidence is renewed with the knowledge that appearance is natural once again.


Am I a candidate for dental implants?


Are you missing one or more teeth? Are you lacking confidence because of your teeth or smile? Do you want natural-looking replacement teeth? Does wearing a denture restrict your ability to eat and smile comfortably? Dental implants can replace missing teeth for people of all ages, young and old. Nearly everyone is a candidate for dental implants, and there are very few medical conditions that would rule out dental implant treatment. As part of your treatment evaluation, your dental team will carefully review your medical and oral health and examine the condition of your teeth and gums, as well as the amount and quality of your jawbone. Specific x-rays and models will help your prosthodontist determine whether you are a dental implant candidate.


How will my implant be placed?

There are two different surgical procedures for dental implant placement. You should discuss with your prosthodontist which one is best for you. With a two step system, the implant is placed in the jawbone below the gum line, which is then sutured over and allowed to heal. After a healing process a second stage is necessary to open the gum so that the tooth can be replaced. With a one step or single-stage system only one surgical procedure is required. At the time of placement the top of the implant is level with the gums and remains visible. After an adequate healing period the tooth replacement phase can proceed without the need for a second surgical procedure. The healing phase ranges from eight weeks to six months depending on each individual’s clinical requirements. In order to make your replacement tooth your prosthodontist will need to make x-rays, impressions, bite registration records and various fittings. As a result of these efforts and years of experience, your replacement tooth will blend beautifully with your existing teeth and function normally.

Contact Us

Please feel free to ask a question or make a comment. See our Links page for more in-depth reading. If you are interested in costs please understand that everyone's needs are unique and we feel it is best to explore your particular situation before quoting fees.
Shenandoah Smiles
Purnima J. Shahani, DDS, MS
243 Neff Ave  Suite N
Harrisonburg, VA  22801
(540) 434-3933