Invisalign Can Help Create Your Perfect Smile

Could orthodontic treatment be the solution for your dental health or cosmetic concerns?

ThinkstockPhotos-101839034 Many patients know that it could but do not want to experience the embarrassment or inconvenience of metal braces. For those who need mild to moderate orthodontic treatment to address their concerns or problems, Invisalign may be the perfect solution.

Located in Charlotte, Dr. Richard Van Gurp is an Invisalign provider and often recommends this as a cosmetic or restorative dental treatment option. Invisalign can gently and gradually straighten teeth that are crooked or misaligned, correcting problems such as cross bite, over bite and underbite.

How Does Invisalign Work?

Available for teens and adults, Invisalign uses a series of clear retainers that are custom made by Dr. Van Gurp from molds of your teeth and designed to move teeth into the desired position over a period of about a year. The aligners are custom designed using special CAD/CAM software that enables Dr. Van Gurp to plan your treatment and create predictable results.

Patients can enjoy several key benefits:

  • removable retainers allow easy brushing and flossing
  • smooth, plastic material is comfortable and does not irritate soft tissues
  • they are invisible and no one has to know you are wearing braces

Crooked teeth can go beyond being a cosmetic concern- they can have an impact on oral health. It is often difficult to effectively clean between teeth that are misaligned, increasing the chances of decay and tooth cavities or gum disease. They may also affect a patient’s bite, leading to temporomandibular joint issues, or TMJ, as pressure is placed in the wrong places to accommodate an imbalanced bite.

If you have teeth that are crooked, or have concerns about your bite, schedule a consultation with Dr. Van Gurp. He will perform a thorough exam and discuss the best options for restoring and maintaining your dental health for the long run.

Posted in: cosmetic dentist charlotte, invisalign charlotte

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

This month take a moment to assess you oral cancer risk and make sure you have a routine dental appointment scheduled with Dr. Richard Van Gurp, which includes an oral cancer screening.

Oral cancer continues to be a growing health risk for several reasons: the increasing prevalence of the HPV-16 virus and lagging rates of screening despite the fact that an oral cancer screening is both inexpensive and painless. Located in Charlotte, NC, Dr. Richard Van Gurp performs an oral cancer screening as part of preventive dental care to look for the early warning signs of oral cancer. To enhance the traditional visual screening, Dr. Van Gurp has incorporated Vizilite technology into his dental practice. Vizilite enables him to spot abnormal cells that may indicate a cancerous lesion and should be addressed.ThinkstockPhotos-151338885

The Oral Cancer Foundation expects that over 45,000 new diagnoses will occur this year, an increase over 2014 numbers and a continuation in rising oral cancer rates. Understanding the possible signs of oral cancer can lead to an early diagnosis, but in many cases they can go unnoticed until a thorough examination by Dr. Van Gurp reveals subtle changes in the soft tissues of the mouth which can signal possible cancerous growth.

Common signs of oral cancer

  • Sore or red/white patch in the mouth that does not heal
  • Persistent hoarseness
  • Lump in the back of the mouth or neck area
  • Difficulty swallowing

Spotting oral cancer in the early stages is extremely important because late stage disease is often very difficult to treat and cure. The survival rate for oral cancer has been hovering around 50% largely due to the high percentage of late stage cases because of the overall lack of screening.

Be a part of the solution- and reduce your risk of being diagnosed with a late stage disease. Be sure to visit Dr. Van Gurp in Charlotte, NC twice a year for preventive dental care and a screening for the signs of oral cancer. Dr. Van Gurp can also discuss the risk factors associated with oral cancer with you if you have concerns based on your health history or lifestyle habits.

Oral cancer risk factors

  • Smoking or tobacco use
  • Race and ethnicity: more prevalent among the black population
  • Exposure to HPV virus through lifestyle habits

Oral cancer screening is just another great reason to be sure that you visit our Charlotte, NC dentist office twice a year. Preventive dental care not only supports a good quality of life, but may be life saving!

Posted in: oral cancer awareness, oral cancer screening

How CEREC Technology Can Help at Your Next Dental Visit

Technology has transformed modern dentistry, enabling dentists like Dr. Richard Van Gurp to help patients keep their natural teeth longer, repair damaged gums without surgery and provide restorations that look and function like natural teeth!

dv1617008In addition, technology has improved diagnosis with digital imagery that can help to detect decay, abnormal tissue and other dental problems with a high degree of accuracy. This allows Charlotte, North Carolina dentist Dr. Van Gurp to provide dentistry that is more comfortable and lasts longer. The patient experience has been greatly enhanced through technology in the dentist office.

One of the most revolutionary types of dental technology used by Dr. Van Gurp is CEREC. This is a CAD/CAM software program that designs and fabricates quality porcelain dental restorations in his Charlotte office- while you wait!

Dr. Van Gurp can create dental crowns, inlays and inlays to repair damaged or decayed teeth during a single visit. Porcelain veneers can also be created in office using CEREC technology. There are many benefits to the patient when CEREC is used for a dental restoration:

  • High quality, custom fit restorations
  • Digital- NO need for messy impressions
  • Restorations are aesthetically pleasing and color matched to your natural smile
  • One office visit saves time AND money

With the use of CEREC, Dr. Van Gurp can provide restorative dentistry that will help patients keep their natural teeth strong and functional for as long as possible. The convenience of same day dentistry makes it easier for today’s busy patients to address dental problems faster and avoid larger issues when they go untreated.

If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, make an appointment with Dr. Van Gurp in Charlotte, NC and learn more about how technology has made a visit to the dentist a more pleasant experience!

Posted in: restorative dentist charlotte

Why I don’t multitask

From the desk of Charlotte dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp:dr-richard-van-gurp-1

Chances are that while you are reading this article, you are also performing another task. Perhaps you are watching television or making dinner. You’re trying to save time by doing more than one thing at once.

We call this multi-tasking but in reality we really can’t do two things at once and give each task our complete focus. What we are actually doing is “task-switching” and it is not as efficient as you might think. In fact, research shows there are some problems associated with task-switching.

It actually takes more time to complete a task if you are task-switching than if you do them one at a time. If time is not an issue for you, then I guess that’s not a problem. But research shows that you will tend to make more errors when you switch than if you do one task at a time. And if the tasks are complex, then these time and error penalties increase.

For some things that we do, task switching may not really matter. Like I said, if you are cooking dinner while reading this article, perhaps you will add not enough or a little too much of an ingredient or maybe forget an ingredient all together. While it may affect the final taste of the dish it certainly isn’t life threatening. On the other hand, you may focus less on this article and get little from it.

The downside of task-switching is why I would tell my children that they cannot do homework and watch television at the same time. It’s why state law forbids texting and driving.

Personally, knowing the downside of task-switching is why at the very foundation of my dental practice, I treat just one patient at time. I believe my patients expect me to give them my undivided attention in a non-hurried environment. My goal is to give each patient my best dentistry each and every time, whether it be a routine dental visit or a complex restorative procedure.

Face it, dentistry done well is meticulous and it requires focus. And, dentistry done well looks better, feels better and lasts longer. So in my office, instead of multi-tasking or task switching, “single tasking” is the norm. My patients expect this and they deserve it.

Posted in: family dentist charlotte

Chew Away Tooth Decay!

Do you find yourself constantly chewing minty gum throughout the day due to boredom or just shear habit? Well, gum addicts, this is one habit not to stress over; clinical studies supported by the American Dental Association have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals can help fend off tooth decay.155326361

Choosing the correct chewing gum is crucial for reaping these benefits, Charlotte North Carolina dentist Dr. Van Gurp and his staff would like to offer some insight on this hot topic.

Chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva, which has a number of positive effects on your oral health. Saliva washes away residual food debris, neutralizes the acidity of certain foods and beverages, and coats the mouth with disease-fighting substances. Saliva also carries calcium and phosphate, which are vitally important for strengthening tooth enamel.

Remember, always look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval when selecting your new favorite sugarless gum. Without the ADA seal, you cannot be sure that the gum is truly sugarless and it could end up causing cavities rather than preventing them. Truly sugarless gum contains non-cavity causing sweeteners such as xylitol, sorbitol, or mannitol rather than true sugar.

Chewing sugarless gum is not a substitute for good oral hygiene practices; it is purely a supplementary method for preventing tooth decay. The ADA still recommends flossing regularly and brushing twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste.

If you have any questions regarding sugarless gum or need help finding an ADA-approved toothpaste, please feel free to discuss it with Dr. Van Gurp during your next visit!

Speaking of your next visit; have you scheduled your check up for the new year?  Contact us today and make appointments for the whole family.  Dr. Van Gurp provides general, cosmetic, and restorative services for all your dental needs.

Posted in: charlotte dentist, cosmetic dentist charlotte, family dentist charlotte, general dentist charlotte

Top Dentist 2014 awarded to Dr. Van Gurp.

Congratulations to Dr. Richard Van Gurp who was recently recognized by his fellow dentists as one of Charlotte’s Top Dentists for 2014. The recognition was featured in a recent issue of Charlotte Magazine.

Top Dentist 2014 photo 2Dentists and specialists in the Charlotte area were asked to take into consideration the following: years of experience, continuing education, manner with patients, use of new techniques and technologies, and, of course, physical results.

Dr. Van Gurp has been providing family, cosmetic and restorative dentistry to his Charlotte area patients for over 25 years. As both a practitioner and educator in the field of dentistry, Dr. Van Gurp devotes hours each year to continuing education in order to offer the latest in dental techniques and treatment. Dr. Van Gurp treats patients like family, taking the time to get to know them and understand their personal concerns and goals as a partner in their health care.

Well done Dr. Van Gurp!!

Posted in: news and events, Uncategorized

Transform your smile with innovative laser technology

Healthy and symmetrical gums are an integral part of an aesthetic smile; they should act to complement a person’s smile rather than distract from it. Even the beauty of straight, white teeth can be diminished with gums that extend past the normal margins, leading to feelings of self-consciousness in children and adults alike. In the past, these “gummy smiles” were corrected with painful surgery that involved an extensive healing process. Currently, Charlotte, N.C. dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp is revolutionizing this procedure with non-invasive laser technology. Dr. Van Gurp is at the forefront of this procedure and is one of few dentists in the area to offer this new alternative to traditional gum contouring.



Laser gum contouring is virtually painless and can be completed as quickly as one visit. In order to eliminate any pain or discomfort, a patient seeking a gum contouring procedure will have his or her mouth numbed with a local anesthetic prior to the beginning of the surgery. Once the area is anesthetized, the patient’s gums will be gently sculpted with a diode laser that cauterizes while it cuts, reducing the opportunity for infection.


Following a gum contouring procedure, you may experience tender gums for up to one week, though discomfort is minimal and will not interfere with daily activities such as speaking or eating. Dr. Van Gurp is specially trained to perform gum lifting treatment and therefore, the risks of this procedure are very low.

Laser gum contouring is an easy, relatively inexpensive way to transform your smile. If you feel that your smile could be widened and your self confidence improved through laser gum contouring, please speak with Dr. Van Gurp about this procedure during your next visit!

Posted in: laser dentist charlotte, laser gum surgery

HSA dollars can be used for dental services that will keep you smiling!

Many patients do not realize that their HSA dollars can be used for dental expenses that are considered part of maintaining the health of the teeth and gums. This includes not only routine preventive dental care, but also restorative, periodontal and orthodontic services deemed necessary for long term oral health.

HSA dollars cannot be spent on elective cosmetic dentistry, but can be used for tooth bonding or corrective cosmetic dentistry to address tooth damage or a dental problem.

495780253Charlotte dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp understands the financial concerns that many patients, and potential patients, have when it comes to dental care and he and his experienced staff will work with them to maximize benefits available or create a financing plan that suits their budget. In many cases where there are complex dental problems, treatment can be strategically staged to accommodate budget concerns while restoring oral health for the long run. In this way, patients can plan for dental expenses and efficiently use their HSA funds to coordinate care.

Dr. Van Gurp emphasizes the important role that good oral health plays in overall physical well being- and daily quality of life! Poor dental health, often a result of neglect, can have a direct effect on the development or severity of many health concerns such as heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Routine dental care goes a long way toward preventing the onset of tooth decay and gum disease- the two most common dental health concerns that can also lead to larger problems if untreated. Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss in adult patients.

If you have been avoiding the dentist due to concerns over cost of dental care, come in for a visit with Dr. Van Gurp and learn more about both the benefits of a healthy smile and the payment options available.

Posted in: HSA expenses

Dr. Van Gurp awarded Dawson Scholar status.

Restorative dentistry today offers patients treatment options that can help them maintain a beautiful, functional smile for a lifetime. We understand more today than ever before about the importance of lifelong dental health for a better quality of life and its role in supporting overall well being.

Charlotte restorative dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp is an alumnus of the prestigious Dawson Academy and has recently been awarded “Scholar” status as a testament to his dedication to continued learning in the field of dentistry to provide his patients with the benefits of complete dentistry.

Dr. VanGurp receiving his award from Dr. Scott Finlay, DDS and Kim Daxon

Dr. VanGurp receiving his award from Dr. Scott Finlay, DDS and Kim Daxon

Choosing the right dentist can be a daunting task. Not all dentists are the same. So how do you choose? The foundation of Dr. Richard Van Gurp’s dental practice has been built on ethics, trust, technical excellence and community service.

What is a Dawson Dentist?

The Dawson Academy is an organization of higher learning founded by world-renowned dentist, Dr. Peter Dawson. Dr. Dawson is considered to be one of the most influential and prominent dentists and teachers in the history of the dental profession. His concept of “complete care dentistry” not only focuses on ethical treatment of patients, but how to truly achieve long term dental health through dentistry that lasts.

As a Dawson Dentist with Scholar status, Dr. Richard Van Gurp has reached a very high level of expertise in providing “complete care dentistry” for his patients. In fact, there are less than a handful of dentists with this status in all of North Carolina. You can learn more about this honor by visiting

Accolades are fine, but what does that mean for you? As a patient of Dr. Richard Van Gurp, you can be assured that you will receive the highest quality of dental care, whether that care involves simple prevention and maintenance or treating complicated dental problems such as cosmetic or bite issues, or concerns with TMJ. Above all, you will find Dr. Van Gurp and his staff to be of the highest ethical standards. Dr. Van Gurp’s patients have included dentists and others in the dental profession, which speaks to the standard of care he strives to provide for all of his patients.

Posted in: dawson dentist, news and events, Uncategorized

Why Choose Dr. VanGurp? Let our patients tell you..

Choosing a dentist can often be challenging, especially if you have complex dental problems that need to be addressed. While many people will consider location and insurance benefits when looking for the right dentist, education, experience and credentials should be an important part of the decision. At some point in their lives, many patients either need or desire a restorative or cosmetic dental procedure and the choice of dentist may have a direct affect on long term results.

Charlotte dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp has over 25 years of experience and has devoted countless hours to continuing education in his field in order to be accepted into some of the most prestigious dental associations and to provide his patients with high quality dentistry and comfortable, lasting results. Dr. Van Gurp believes it is important to address underlying dental problems and ensure that there is balance in the bite to prevent additional problems from developing down the road.Charlotte Dentist Dr. Richard Van Gurp

A member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), Dr. Van Gurp is committed to learning about the latest technologies and techniques and incorporating them into his Charlotte Dentist office.

The testimonials of his patients say it best…

“Cosmetic dentistry has been an investment in me with rewards that go far beyond the cost. Dr. Van Gurp is an artist in the field of cosmetic dentistry. With state of the art equipment and the latest technology, my smile is something that makes me proud. No detail was overlooked and the level of personal attention he gave me was great! Dr. Van Gurp is a kind and compassionate man who cares about you as an individual. The staff shares his commitment and professionalism, giving one hundred percent to every patient.”

Beth S.

“From the time I entered your office to when I finished my treatment, the health and look of my teeth made a 180 degree turn for the better. Not only did you and your staff nurse my teeth and gums back to health, but you gave me an awesome smile that makes me proud. It was worth it driving from Georgia to come to your office. Dr. Van Gurp, I can’t thank you enough!”

Jimmy R.

“Having been retired for several years, I am amazed at the technological advances that have taken place in dentistry. Your willingness to stay current in the profession and embrace these positive changes sets you apart as a leader in the profession and gives you the opportunity to provide your patients, including myself, with the best dentistry available.”

William P., DDS (Dentist)

Your smile is part of who you are and is often what people may remember most about you! Dr. Van Gurp will be a partner in your dental care and help you maintain or enhance your natural smile.

Posted in: charlotte dentist, patient testimonials

Top Dentist 2014