Considerations for a Smile Makeover

The process of improving your appearance through oral changes is called a smile makeover. A wide variety of cosmetic procedures can be performed so that you’ll be happier and more confident about your smile. There are many factors that a cosmetic dentist considers when helping you decide upon your ideal smile. Since it is a completely customized process, your dentist will ask your goals and provide recommendations based on your personal characteristics.

Alignment and spacing

Gapped, crooked, or overcrowded teeth can be aligned and straightened, often through dental veneers or orthodontics. Options for braces have expanded to include less visible approaches such as Invisalign.

Tooth color

Discolored teeth can be the sign of age or habits like consuming dark foods or smoking. Bright, white teeth suggest a more youthful look that can improve your whole appearance. This can be achieved in a smile makeover through professional teeth whitening or dental veneers. Your cosmetic dentist will help you choose the shade that best complements the color and tone of your face and hair, helping you achieve the right balance. You might also choose to have silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored composite so that they are no longer noticeable in your smile.

Tooth length

Aging can cause your teeth to wear down and become shorter, giving you a gummy smile that tends to make you look older than you are. A smile makeover can offer lengthening and reshaping of your teeth through bonding or veneers. Another option is having your gum line modified with laser dentistry so that your teeth appear longer. Altering the length of your teeth to accent your face more appropriately can be a big improvement to your features.

Missing teeth

Gaps in your smile due to missing teeth affects the appearance and function of your mouth, also creating greater risk for tooth decay and tooth shifting. Some smile makeover choices for restoring missing teeth are dental implants, partial dentures, or bridges.

Facial features

The entire shape and look of your face can be improved with certain smile makeover techniques. Examples are oral maxillofacial surgery or orthodontics. Your cosmetic dentist can make suggestions and sometimes even create computer images to show you possible outcomes.

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

cosmetic dentist

Trends in Cosmetic Dentistry

Dentistry today does not just include treatments for tooth and gum problems or diseases. The trend in dentistry has expanded to include a wide range of treatments and procedures with the purpose of improving your appearance. The purpose of cosmetic dentistry is to give you the most appealing smile possible so that you can be happy with your look and have an improved self-esteem. Here are some trends in cosmetic dentistry explained.

Bonding
Mild to severely damaged teeth can be treated with dental bonding. A tooth-colored material is applied to the fractured or chipped surface of your tooth and then bonded with a special light. The restoration provides a renewed look to your tooth so that others can’t even tell it was ever damaged.

Teeth whitening
A bright white smile gives of a great impression of oral health and beauty. Stains from age, foods, drinks, and habits like smoking all play a role in making your smile dull and unattractive. Cosmetic dentists offer teeth whitening procedures that can turn your smile around in just an hour.

Veneers
Another way to easily improve your smile is dental veneers. These thin shells usually made of porcelain are permanently adhered to the fronts of your teeth, giving you a bright and flawless smile for many years to come.

Contouring
Instead of having lengthy orthodontic treatment to correct crooked teeth or uneven spacing, contouring is an option to improve your look. Also called tooth reshaping, this procedure is additionally used to correct irregularly shaped teeth and alter issues like overly pointy teeth. During contouring, small amounts of tooth enamel are removed in order to change the tooth’s shape, length, or surface.

Implants and dentures
To replace missing teeth, dental implants are dentures are both options depending on the patient and the specific situation. Many people prefer implants because they are a permanent and secure solution.

Cosmetic dentist in Federal Way

cosmetic dentistry

Types of “No-Prep” Veneers

Porcelain veneers have become a popular option in the past few years for dental patients who wish to brighten and repair their smile. While traditional porcelain veneers offer a lifelike quality and excellent durability, their placement usually requires the removal of some of the tooth surface enamel, which is an irreversible procedure.

A promising solution for patients who wish to avoid altering the tooth structure are no-prep or minimally invasive veneers. No-prep veneers offer the same advantages of traditional veneers but eliminate or reduce the need to grind, cut, or file down the teeth.

Lumineers are one of the most popular of the “no-prep” variety of veneers. Lumineers use an extremely thin veneer that is placed on the front side of your teeth. The placement of Lumineers does not require the modification of the natural tooth structure or the use of temporary veneers. Lumineers produce beautiful smiles for patients who prefer to not physically alter their teeth.

DURAthin veneers are similar to Lumineers in that they require no modification of the tooth structure or filing of the enamel. DURAthin veneers utilize very thin customized porcelain shells that match the shape and color of your teeth. These shells are roughly the width of a contact lens and are bonded to the front of your teeth. Because of their size and shape, DURAthin veneers are an ideal choice for correcting minor cosmetic dental issues.

Vivaneers are among the thinnest veneers available, making them easy to apply in as little as one office visit. Because they require no preparation to your natural tooth, there is no need for shots, drilling or anesthesia. If you are unhappy with the results, Vivaneers are easily reversible.

To find out if these or other “no-prep” veneer options would be a solution for improving your smile, schedule a consultation with a Federal Way cosmetic dentist Dr. Wallen .

Oral Surgery: Removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars and the last adult teeth to erupt into the mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, two on the bottom and two on top. Many people do not have enough room for these molars to emerge completely, causing them to become impacted in the gum. Impacted wisdom teeth are difficult to clean, making them more susceptible to decay and disease. Other dental problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth include pain, damage to surrounding teeth, and bite alignment issues. For these reasons, your dentist may recommend having the impacted teeth removed to prevent future problems.

Surgery to extract an impacted wisdom tooth or set of wisdom teeth is usually an outpatient procedure done in your dentist or oral surgeon’s office. If the tooth or surrounding area are deemed to have an infection prior to the procedure, surgery will be delayed, and your dental professional will likely prescribe antibiotics to help heal the area.

On the day of surgery, local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area where the extracted tooth will be removed. Depending on the severity of your case, your dentist or oral surgeon may also utilize a general anesthetic.

Once the anesthesia has taken effect, an incision will be made to open up the gum and any bone blocking the tooth will be removed. Your dentist or surgeon will then separate the tissue connecting the bone to the tooth and extract the tooth. Some teeth are too large to remove in one piece, in which case your surgeon will cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. Finally, the incision is closed with stitches and packed with gauze to help alleviate bleeding.

Long-term complications from impacted wisdom tooth surgery are rare. To ensure a successful recovery from this or any oral surgery, be sure to follow all aftercare instructions provided by your dentist or oral surgeon.


We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

The Cons of Over-the-Counter Home Teeth Whitening Kits

Everyone wants to have a whiter, healthy smile. Home teeth whitening has become an extremely popular means to achieve those pearlier whites in the past couple of decades.  In many cases, over-the-counter whitening kits are effective and safe. However, there are some disadvantages and risks to using over-the-counter home whitening kits:

  • Off-brand whitening kits often contain dangerous concentrations of bleach or peroxide. This can cause erosion of the tooth enamel, and irritation to the sensitive gums and soft tissues of the mouth.
  • Because many kits contain trays that do not adhere properly to your teeth, gums can become irritated and chemicals can leak out and be ingested causing stomach problems.
  • Poorly fitted trays and varying concentrations of chemicals from lower quality kits may also result in unwanted discoloration of teeth or uneven results.
  • Exposure to excessively harsh chemicals in off-brand kits can also cause gum shrinkage and oral infections.

When considering at-home whitening, it is best to stick to name brand kits to ensure the quality and safety of the treatment. Many popular brands of kits are both safe and efficient when used as directed. In any case, you should not consider at-home whitening if any of the following apply:

  • You have deep, untreated cavities.
  • You are pregnant.
  • You suffer from gum disease.

The safest and most effective method for whitening your teeth is to have treatment by a dental professional, either in-office or with professional take-home trays. A qualified dentist can whiten your teeth up to ten shades in as little as one office visit. Consult with your dentist before pursuing any type of whitening treatment to ensure you will achieve the whiter smile you desire in the safest and quickest manner possible.

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

dentures

How Dental Implants Changed Dentures Forever

If you’ve been wearing dentures for a while, you may have some complaints. They might fit poorly and shift or click when you talk or eat. Poor fit can lead to discomfort and sores in the mouth that worsen over time, or they can collect food underneath them, leading to bad breath.

If this sounds familiar to you, there might be alternatives for you. One of the newest developments in dentures is the pairing of standard dentures with dental implants. The dental implants are placed directly into your jawbone, providing the kind of stability only previously offered by natural teeth. Dentures fixed in the mouth with dental implants become something new: hybrid dentures.

Dentures that utilize dental implants as their anchors are very stable. They enable denture wearers to enjoy foods previously denied them, such as crisp, healthy foods or chewy cuts of meat. Eliminating the food restrictions present for many denture wearers allows them to eat a wider variety of foods, helping to reduce the risk of poor nutrition and the poor health associated with it, including digestion difficulties.

Because of this increased stability, the denture itself can be made smaller. A standard denture covers the roof of the mouth completely, inhibiting the taste and texture of foods. A denture designed around dental implants, however, has an open roof and facilitates a greater enjoyment of foods of all kinds, as well as a more natural feel for your tongue.

Dental implants also stimulate bone by mimicking natural tooth roots. This stimulation allows the bone to continue to be strong and alive, whereas the bones of the face can begin to shrink once a tooth has been extracted. This bone shrinkage leads directly to poor denture fit. Dental implants used with dentures avoid this issue.

If you are a denture wearer and you’d like to see some changes in how your dentures fit, talk to your dentist to see how using dental implants can improve your denture experience.

If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today

Teaching Kids Good Dental Habits

Your teeth and gums are physical assets that you want to keep healthy your whole life, and the best way to do that is to take care of them. Proper dental care needs to begin at a young age so that good habits are established for life. It is a parent’s role to teach children proper hygiene, and to ensure they get professional treatment. Here are some ways that you can help your child learn good dental habits.

Supervise brushing:
Parents should watch children brush their teeth, especially for ages seven and under, to ensure the appropriate amount of toothpaste is used and that none is swallowed. Have your child brush for about two minutes, and make sure all areas of the teeth and gums are cleaned. Provide tips and help as needed.

Establish good eating habits:
Teach your child that diet impacts oral health. Some foods worsen plaque buildup and introduce damaging acid into the mouth, leading to increased tooth decay and higher risk for cavities and gum disease. Certain foods and drinks are also known to stain teeth, or cause bad breath.

Promote water consumption:
Drinking water not only is good for your overall health, it’s also helpful to your mouth. Encourage your child to drink water after eating, especially if it’s not possible to brush teeth right away. Also, fluoridated water is proven to help fight cavities.

Visit the dentist:
Begin taking your child to the dentist around age one, so that the child gets good dental care and learns that dental visits aren’t scary. Have a positive attitude about checkups, and consider taking your child to a pediatric dentist who specializes in children’s oral health.

Be a role model:
As the saying goes, practice what you preach. Set a good example of brushing at least twice daily, flossing every day, limiting your intake of staining foods and drinks, and visiting your dentist regularly.

If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today

Benefits of Hybrid Dentures

Have you lost all or most of your teeth due to damage, disease or decay and don’t find traditional removable dentures an attractive option? Implant-supported hybrid dentures are an alternative to traditional dentures that provide a secure and stable prosthetic replacement for missing teeth by combining the benefits of a fixed replacement with the advantages of a removable denture. Hybrid dentures are an especially viable option for patients who have lost a large amount of jawbone due to missing teeth. Some of the benefits of hybrid dentures include:

  • Hybrid dentures save your natural roots and preserves bone while reducing bone resorption and deterioration.
  • Hybrid dentures help to control facial contour changes caused by missing teeth.
  • Hybrid dentures function more naturally, allowing you to chew food better and speak more clearly.
  • With hybrid dentures, there is no need for messy denture creams and adhesives, eliminating much of the embarrassment associated with loose dentures.
  • Hybrid dentures eliminate the slippage, clacking and loss of taste associated with traditional dentures.

If you would like fixed teeth to replace teeth that you have lost but are not ready or a candidate for multiple individual implants for each missing tooth, hybrid dentures could be your solution. Hybrid dentures require only a few dental implants to secure the new teeth in place, allowing for quicker recovery time and increased comfort.

If you are seeking an alternative to traditional dentures to replace your missing teeth, talk with your dental professional to determine if you are a good candidate for hybrid dentures. With hybrid dentures, you can successfully restore the look, feel, and function of your natural teeth.

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

Kids Dentistry

Some people have the wrong idea that taking their children to the dentist isn’t that important, and that it’s really a healthcare choice for adulthood. Young teeth are vulnerable to bacteria that lead to cavities and gum disease, so teaching your kids how to practice good dental hygiene is a must. However, it’s just as important to get into the habit of taking your kids for regular checkups at the dentist.

Does it matter which dentist we choose?:
Sometimes the hardest part about the whole process is talking your child into seeing a dentist. Many kids are afraid of the dentist, even if it’s just the idea of an unknown experience. Then once they go to the dentist and see all the unfamiliar and sometimes noisy equipment, you can be in for an uphill battle. That’s why it’s important to choose a dentist who is experienced in treating kids and equipped for their unique needs. Select a dental office that strives to make kids comfortable and helps them through the process. You may even want to consider a pediatric dentist, who specializes only in treating kids.

What can we expect at a checkup?:
The goal of a dental visit is to clean and protect your child’s teeth, and to prevent and treat diseases or other problems. The dentist will start with an examination and X-rays if needed, in order to get a better view of your child’s oral health. The appointment will also include a teeth cleaning, which provides a much more thorough and deep cleaning than your child is able to perform at home. If there are any problems diagnosed, treatment procedures will be discussed and you can decide with the dentist how to proceed.

If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today

Types of Professional Teeth Whitening

By far, the best way to brighten and whiten your smile is through an in-office treatment performed by your dentist. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the whitening gel used by your dentist is much higher than that which can be obtained over-the-counter by you in a drugstore. Lasers or special lights are employed by many dentists to achieve the best results.

With the rise in popularity of in-office teeth whitening, some specialty brands have emerged that offer different methods and ingredient strengths to address even the most stubborn stains.

  • BriteSmile also uses whitening gel and a blue light, but their gel has a concentration of 15 percent hydrogen peroxide and a nearly neutral pH level, a mix that is easier on sensitive gum tissue.
  • Lumbrite employs a custom light, known as the Sapphire Plasma Arc Curing and Whitening Light. This light has no destructive UV rays, although the gel is so strong it can work without the light. Lumbrite also has a desensitizing agent in its gel to reduce problems with sensitivity.
  • GLO Science Professional has a specialized mouthpiece that employs Guided Light Optics (GLO) that works in tangent with a whitening gel, delivering light and heat to the tooth surfaces. The mouthpiece prevents oxygen from leaving the treatment area, giving optimal whitening results.
  • Philips Zoom! is one of the most popular and well-known of the teeth whitening brands available at the dentist’s office. Their whitening gel uses a 25 percent concentration of peroxide which is stimulated by a proprietary blue light to achieve maximum whitening and is said to provide a more sparkling look to your enamel.
  • Opalescence uses one of the most powerful gels available, utilizing a 40 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide as well as potassium nitrate to reduce gum and tooth sensitivity after treatment. It also contains fluoride which strengthens the tooth enamel and reduces decay.

Talk to your dentist today to determine which of these or any other professional whitening methods is best for you and your teeth whitening needs.


We look forward to seeing you in our Federal Way dental office

dentistry

What Your Teeth Say About Your Health

Your body is a little bit like a puzzle. It gives you clues to help you figure out what’s going on within your body. Did you know your mouth can give you hints about things that may be happening elsewhere in your body? Here’s a list of some of the signs your mouth can give you to pay attention to certain other aspects of your health.

Worn teeth and headache
If your teeth are showing extensive wear, you may be grinding your teeth. This would be even a stronger possibility if you’re also experiencing regular headaches, which can be caused by the muscle tension related to teeth grinding. This condition also indicates that you are likely under too much stress, and that you are unconsciously coping with it by grinding your teeth.

Gums covering teeth
If your gums begin to grow over your teeth and you are on medication, it may mean that your medication is at fault. Some medicines can cause your gums to overgrow, and the dosage needs to be adjusted.

Mouth sores
An open sore in your mouth that doesn’t go away in a couple of weeks can be an indicator of oral cancer. Numbness and unexplained bleeding in your mouth are other signs. Smokers and people over age 60 are at the most risk, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect others too. See your dentist to make sure all is okay.

Cracked teeth
If your teeth begin to crack or wear extensively, you may have gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD). It’s a digestive disease that allows stomach acid to flow back into your food pipe and mouth. This acid can cause your teeth to deteriorate. Additional signs of GERD are acid reflux, heartburn, and dry mouth.

Unclean dentures
If you wear dentures, make sure you remove and clean them regularly. Inhaling food debris from your dentures that makes its way to your lungs can lead to pneum

Understanding the Limitations of Teeth Whitening

Whitening your teeth to improve your smile is a popular cosmetic treatment, but you should understand that it does have some limitations to consider. If products are used correctly or if you seek the professional help from a qualified dentist, you can usually achieve a bright and appealing smile. Here are some things to think about when it comes to teeth whitening.

Methods:
You should not expect over-the-counter methods to whiten your teeth more than a couple of shades. The whitening ingredients available in products at your drugstore are not as strong as those used at your dentist’s office. Consistent and correct use of over-the-counter options can help whiten your teeth, but it may not be as much as some patients hope will occur. On the other hand, professional methods can produce dramatic and quick improvements to the color of your teeth.

Habits:
Certain habits contribute to stains on your teeth and if you don’t limit or stop activities prone to discoloring teeth, your newly whitened teeth may become discolored again. Foods like berries and curry, drinks such as coffee and red wine, and habits like smoking will all likely negatively affect your tooth color.

Restorations:
Bridges, crowns, and laminates might not respond in the same way to whitening agents as your natural teeth do. Ask your dentist about how your restorations might react to teeth whitening.

Side effects:
Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of whitening procedures, causing some patients to be unable to handle some methods of treatment. Gum sensitivity is another potential problem, but usually dissipates soon after the whitening procedure. Weakening of a restoration may also occur during whitening treatment, sometimes making it necessary to replace them.

Expectations:
Teeth whitening must be occasionally repeated if you want your bright smile to remain for a lifetime. The effects do not last indefinitely, because aging and activities can stain your teeth. Excessive bleaching may damage your teeth though, so be sure to discuss your whitening treatment with your dentist.

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

Enjoy Food Again With Hybrid Dentures

If you are currently a denture wearer, you know that dentures can be problematic when it comes to eating a wide variety of foods, especially those foods with a very crunchy or chewy texture. Dentures can click or move when you are eating, or food debris can collect underneath, leading to poor fit and irritation of the soft palate and gums. Over time, if your dentures aren’t properly cleaned, this can lead to an odor in the dentures that causes bad breath for the wearer.

Issues with stability and retention of standard dentures mean that many wearers have food restrictions, including healthful and fresh foods they previously enjoyed with their healthy natural teeth. Some of the most nutritious foods available are problematic for denture wearers, making chewing difficult. Because so much of the digestion process begins in the mouth with the mastication of food, poorly chewed food can cause digestion difficulties and eventually be a factor in overall poor health.

Standard dentures can also affect the enjoyment of eating the foods that are allowed. They can be bulky, especially on the roof of the mouth, taking away a large part of savoring the texture and flavor of foods.

Hybrid dentures address all of these issues. They are crafted so that the roof of the mouth remains completely open and uncovered. Texture and flavor are enhanced over typical dentures. Hybrid dentures are affixed firmly with four or more dental implants functioning as anchors. These denture anchors are extremely secure and stable, giving the wearer the confidence to eat, drink, and speak.

Talk to your dentist today to see if hybrid dentures can improve your life. Experience the positive effects of hybrid dentures as your put your best smile forward with confidence that it looks and functions virtually identically to your natural teeth and gums.

Our dental office is located in Federal Way

General dentistry Federal Way

Flossing: A Tool for Better Health

Cleaning between your teeth and along your gums with dental floss is just as important as using your toothbrush. Although many people complain about flossing or completely avoid doing it, there should be no excuse for neglecting this part of your dental hygiene routine.

Flossing your teeth allows you to get rid of food particles and plaque that is caught between your teeth. It is able to reach areas that your toothbrush can’t. Therefore, flossing plays a key role in preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.

You should floss your teeth at least once every day, using a gentle touch so you don’t damage your gums. You can use waxed or unwaxed dental floss, depending upon your preference and which one works best for you. Interdental cleaning aids like picks and sticks may also be carefully used, as well as floss holders. These tools are especially helpful for those with arthritis and vision problems.

Another item that may help remove trapped food debris is a water spray tool called an oral irrigator, although it shouldn’t replace flossing. The same is true for mouthwash, which may be used to help rinse away germs and temporarily freshen breath. You can add these items to your hygiene routine, but giving up flossing should not be an option. Using dental floss is the very best way to attack food particles and plaque so that you have the greatest chance for a healthy mouth.

Dr. Wallen is a family and cosmetic dentist in Federal Way

cosmetic dentist

Types of Dental Veneers

If stains, gaps, or chips in your teeth have limited your smile potential, dental veneers can revive your vibrant appearance. Porcelain veneers will hide imperfections and create a flawless smile. Designed to mimic the translucency of tooth enamel, porcelain veneers produce beautiful, natural-looking results.

Custom Porcelain Veneers
Handcrafted to change the size, shape, or color of your teeth, traditional dental veneers are customized to fit your mouth. Your dentist will actually sit down with you to review your options and discuss style that you like. Using this information and impressions of your teeth, the doctor will design an individualized plan for your smile transformation. With traditional veneers, patients can attain the gorgeous smiles they desire in two to three visits.

Minimal-Prep Veneers
For a smile makeover with little or no enamel removal, consider minimal-prep veneers like Lumineers from Cerinate. Made from ultra thin layers of porcelain, these restorations can effectively renew your smile. Minimal-prep veneers can close space between teeth as well as create a more uniform appearance. Placement of minimal-prep veneers usually takes just one appointment.

Snap-On Smile
While updating their smiles, many people are selecting Snap-On Smile until their transformation is complete. Made of acrylic material, the Snap-On Smile fits over your teeth and generates a temporary fix until your restorations are complete. People often choose Snap-On Smile for weddings, graduations, or to try out possible changes before making permanent decisions.

Is a Family Dentist Right for Your Kids?

Proper dental care is vitally important for every member of your family. Children should begin visiting a dentist as soon as their first tooth erupts, which in most cases is by their first birthday. Your family dentist is trained to take care of both adult and pediatric dental needs. An experienced family dentist can offer a wide array of dental care services to the children in your family.

A family dentist can perform routine pediatric oral exams and twice yearly professional cleanings, as well as other preventative care such as treatment with fluoride and protective sealants. In the unfortunate case your child should suffer trauma to a tooth, your family dentist is available to treat a loose, broken, or knocked-out tooth. Your dentist can diagnose and treat gum disease, tooth decay and cavities as well as identify and treat misaligned or crooked teeth and jaw or bite problems.

Your family dental practice may also offer a variety of kid-friendly amenities to make visits to the dentist less stressful. Game rooms, televisions with kid videos, and treasure box treats are just a few of the things that might be available to help your child feel at ease.

As your child ages, there will be no need to switch dentists because your family dentist can treat your child from infancy to adulthood. Having the same dentist for your entire family makes life easier when it comes time to schedule routine examinations. Often you can schedule several family members at the same time. Your family dentist will be familiar with your entire family’s dental history, which is a major benefit of taking everyone to the same dentist.

When the time comes to choose a dentist for your children, you can feel confident your family dentist will provide a lifetime of excellent dental care.

Our dental office is located in Federal Way

Explaining Root Canal Treatment

A toothache can make everything seem terrible. Your mouth hurts, your head aches, you can’t eat what you want, you can’t sleep comfortably – in general, you feel awful! Your tooth pain may be a result of decay that has caused an infection in your tooth pulp, calling for root canal therapy.

What does that mean exactly? When the inside of your tooth or the pulp becomes infected, it causes the tooth to deteriorate and cause pain and sensitivity. Action is needed to eliminate the infection and protect the tooth from worse damage. Root canal treatment is the best solution because the damaged pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and restored.

To accomplish a root canal procedure, your dentist will drill a small hole in your tooth to access the pulp and expertly remove it. Once the area is cleaned and disinfected, your tooth will be filled with a special material and sealed for protection. Finally, a dental crown is usually placed on top to complete the root canal procedure. You are left with a fully repaired and protected tooth.

What benefits does root canal treatment provide?

  • Pain is eliminated with the repair of your tooth and removal of infection.
  • Your ability to chew and bite foods will return to normal.
  • You will no longer experience tooth sensitivity to hot or cold items.
  • The damaged tooth will be restored so that it looks natural in your smile.
  • Your other teeth won’t have excessive wear to make up for the damaged tooth.

With the advances in dentistry making root canal therapy faster and less painful, your procedure may be completed in as little as one trip to the dentist. Once the process is complete, you can expect your fully restored tooth to last as long as the rest of your teeth.


If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today

Dental implant

How Dental Implants Can Preserve Bone

Preserving the bone in your jaw and face is of utmost importance to your cosmetic dentist, and as such, treatments that preserve bone are preferred over those that lead to bone shrinkage, known as resorption.

Dental implants preserve bone by mimicking the tooth’s natural roots, stimulating and preserving the bone. As part of the healing process following surgical placement, the jawbone fuses directly to the implant. Most often made of titanium, dental implants provide a very stable foundation for a replacement tooth. This foundation is so stable that it can serve as an anchor point for dental bridgework and will feel, look, and function as your natural tooth would.

The process of implant to bone fusion is known as “osseointegration.” Fusion is primarily dependent upon the quality of bone surrounding the implant, and can be achieved in three to nine months following dental implant treatment. Excessive smoking or drinking can stunt the healing process and lead to complications.

Because bone resorption is prevented with dental implants, your facial structure will not collapse and your facial shape will not change. Missing teeth that are replaced by implants avoid other problems commonly associated with tooth loss, including other teeth shifting into the open spaces created by the missing teeth, and functional problems with the jaw joints and bite alignment.

Once a tooth is extracted or falls out, a great deal of the bone in the area will shrink, or resorb over the coming year. Shrinkage occurs in a horizontal as well as vertical dimension. Most resorption occurs within the first two to three months following tooth loss. When a cosmetic dentist replaces that tooth immediately with a titanium dental implant, the bone fuses around the implant, significantly reducing bone shrinkage.

Dental implants are the only restorative treatment that preserves and maintains bone. Dentures and partial dentures can accelerate the process of bone shrinkage as a result of pressure on the underlying mouth structures as you talk or eat.

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

root canal treatment

What is Endodontics?

Endodontics is a dental term often linked to a more common dental procedure you’ve probably already heard of called root canal treatment. Endodontics focuses on the pulp of your tooth, which holds nerves and blood vessels supplying nutrients and oxygen to your tooth. When the pulp is infected or injured, endodontic treatment may be performed to save the tooth.

During endodontic treatment, the hollow part inside your tooth is cleaned, disinfected, and filled. It is often the best way to save a tooth that has been damaged by decay, trauma, or other causes. Common symptoms that endodontic treatment is necessary include pain, tooth sensitivity, or exposure of the pulp due to tooth fracture.

After examining your tooth and X-ray results, your dentist will recommend the kind of endodontic treatment you need based on how seriously the pulp is impacted. One type is called vital pulp therapy, which has a goal of preserving and protecting your tooth’s pulp. This procedure involves removing only the pulp from the crown of your tooth and not from the root. It is only advised when there is no swelling or abscess present, and the tooth is secure.

Another type of endodontic treatment is non-vital pulp therapy, which is known as root canal treatment. It is performed when there is no chance of saving the pulp of your tooth. The whole pulp will be removed from inside your tooth, and the canals will be cleaned and filled with a special material. Then a stainless steel crown will be placed on the tooth.

Sometimes endodontic treatment is not recommended, and the tooth needs to be extracted instead. This choice depends on factors such as tooth location, age of the tooth, extent of damage, and the patient’s overall health. Your dentist will be able to advise you on the best treatment for your condition.

We look forward to seeing you in our Federal Way dental office

 

Wisdom teeth dentist in Federal Way

Wisdom Teeth Q / A

Also called third molars, wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to erupt. Usually, people get their wisdom teeth in during their late teens and early 20s. Although some individuals have no trouble with their wisdom teeth, many people end up having these teeth removed because they may become impacted and create dental health issues. Learn more about wisdom teeth with this Q and A:

Do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?
If your wisdom teeth aren’t causing problems, you can leave them alone. Typically, wisdom teeth are crooked or impacted, which can generate problems with the surrounding teeth. Also, wisdom teeth can be harder to keep clean, so the risk of decay on these teeth is higher.

When should I have these teeth taken out?
For optimal results, most dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal for patients when they are between 16 and 22 years old. The formation of the roots isn’t complete, so you have fewer complications.

Are there any risks?
As with any surgery, you can have issues arise, but the biggest concerns are nerve damage and dry sockets. Older patients have a greater chance of nerve damage because the root has more fully developed. Dry sockets occur when the post-surgery blood clots dislodge.

Does my age matter?
Some adults don’t experience any symptoms until they are in their 30s, 40s, or 50s. You can have these teeth extracted at any point, but when you get older, surgery is more difficult and the recovery takes longer. If you have trouble with your wisdom teeth, contact your dentist right away for a complete exam.

Federal Way dental office for wisdom teeth – practiceName

food and teeth

What Your Diet Means to Your Mouth

What you eat and drink can affect your oral health. A balanced diet will boost your body’s natural immune system, helping to lower your risks for oral problems. There are also certain foods and drinks that you should avoid in order to pave the way for healthy gums and strong teeth. Read on to learn how to ensure that your smile is safe and strong.

Cut down on snacks
Try to limit snacking between meals. The more often you eat, the more bacteria is stimulated and more acid is created. It is especially harmful to snack on sweet or starchy foods, which can harm your teeth and gums more quickly.

Limit sugar
Avoid foods and drinks that are high in sugar. It can stick to your teeth and if not removed promptly and thoroughly, can lead to tooth decay.

Watch what you drink
Drink plenty of water, and avoid sodas and fruit juices. Both of these can be sugary and acidic, which can harm your tooth enamel and cause decay.

Maintain a healthy diet
Try to eat a balanced diet consisting of the five major food groups. A well-balanced diet provides the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your teeth and gums need. Fresh vegetables and fruits, and foods rich in calcium, are good choices for your oral health.

Practice good oral hygiene
Contact our Federal Way dental office to learn about good dental hygiene techniques that will help you prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and see your dentist for regular checkups.

If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today

dental implants

Choosing a Professional for Your Dental Implants in Federal Way

Restoring missing teeth with dental implants is the latest and greatest technique to give you your smile back. It offers many benefits such as comfort, aesthetics, security, and easy maintenance. If you are missing any teeth and would like to learn more about getting dental implants, you need to find a qualified and experienced dental professional for the job. Here are some tips on doing so.

Training
Dentists or oral surgeons who perform dental implants should have training specifically in the procedure. Look for a professional with credentials like a dentistry degree from a reputable university, participation in continuing education programs, and membership in dental organizations.

Reviews
Look online for reviews of the dentist and practice, and be sure to ask friends and family for recommendations. Word of mouth is often the best way to find a healthcare professional.

Examples of work
Ask to see before-and-after pictures of dental implants performed by the dentist. Request to see cases similar to yours.

Technology
A quality dental office should have the latest advancements in technology and equipment so that you will receive the most up-to-date care. Look for equipment like digital X-rays, chair side screens, and dental lasers. Also inquire about sedation or anesthesia methods available in the office.

Convenience
The location of the office should factor into your decision as you choose a professional to perform your dental implant procedure, as well as the office hours and staff. You should feel confident in the care you’ll receive, and feel comfortable asking questions and receiving treatment. Implant treatment requires multiple visits, so choose a dentist who you don’t mind establishing a relationship with over time.

We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

Dental Implants: A Tooth Replacement Miracle

The days are gone when your only option for replacing missing teeth in your smile was getting dentures. Dental implants are the newest and most advanced method of restoring missing teeth, and this type of restoration accomplishes the task with natural-looking and comfortable results.

Dental implants actually replace the missing roots of a tooth that is gone. It is a very specialized procedure which requires the skill and experience of a qualified dentist or oral surgeon. The implant post, usually made of titanium, is surgically placed into a healthy jawbone. You can’t see the post after it is inserted, and then time is allowed for the post to properly fuse with the bone in a process called osseointegration. Once the area has fully healed, an artificial tooth or crown is placed on top. This completes the restoration so that it looks, feels and functions like a real tooth.

The dental implant process does not damage any adjacent teeth, and others likely won’t even be able to tell you had the procedure. Your smile is fully restored, and the tooth is strong and durable. Implants are typically lifelong solutions with good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. They avoid some of the common complaints associated with other restoration methods, such as slipping in your mouth or having to alter your diet. After the initial implant placement, there is no mouth discomfort or irritation. Also, there is no special maintenance required with implants; normal brushing and flossing do the trick.

Another important advantage of implants is that the resorption or deterioration of bone and gum tissue in the area of your missing tooth does not occur. This prevents the side effect of premature aging which may occur when teeth are missing. Also, dental implants are not at risk for infection.

Dental implants have proven to be a very safe, reliable and effective way to restore your mouth to its complete and finest. Many patients consider implants to be the miracle solution for missing teeth.

If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today

Dental Veneers and Discolored Teeth

There are a number of reasons people choose to get dental veneers, which are able to hide all kinds of tooth problems. These thin porcelain shells are bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth and can transform an embarrassing smile into one to fill you with pride. One of the most common reasons that many patients opt for veneers is to hide discolored teeth.

No matter what the cause for it, teeth can lose their bright white shine over time. It can be from consuming foods and drinks that tend to stain teeth, such as red wine, coffee, berries, sodas, and other culprits. Or it can be side effects from medications, including the antibiotic tetracycline which can cause severe tooth discoloration if taken during a child’s formative years. Poor oral hygiene can also contribute to yellowed teeth, as well as tobacco use. Aging in general tends to discolor teeth too.

If your teeth show the effects of staining or yellowing, and you’d like to get that healthy youthful glow back, porcelain veneers are a good option. They provide a unique advantage of never staining, so they look like new the entire time you have them. With proper care, your veneers should last for decades or even a lifetime. That means a bright, white smile that won’t deteriorate!

Another great benefit about veneers is that they provide an instant improvement to your smile. As soon as they are placed, your smile will be transformed. If you have concerns about what they will look like, many dentists are able to use computerized photo imaging technology to give you an accurate idea of what to expect. This may alleviate any hesitations about veneers being the right solution to hide your discolored teeth. Ask your dentist today about the possibility of getting veneers to improve your smile.

If you need a dentist in Federal Way contact us today

Dental implants Federal Way

Complete Your Smile with Dental Implants

Did you know that 69 percent of adults have lost at least one tooth? Missing teeth don’t just damage your smile. They can limit your diet, inhibit your speech, and compromise your oral health. Studies show that when one tooth is loss, 20 percent of adjacent teeth may be lost in the next several years if you don’t replace the missing tooth. Dental implants offer patients a solid, attractive way to restore their smiles.

Constructed from biocompatible titanium, dental implants are permanent replacements for lost teeth. With implants, you can replace one or more missing teeth. One implant is surgically positioned in the gum line for each empty socket. Usually, your mouth will need three to six month to recover. During this time, the bone will fuse to the posts, creating a solid foundation for the dental crowns your dentist will place on the implants.


Dental implants offer several benefits, including

Attractiveness
Designed to look and feel like natural teeth, dental implants are the closest prosthetic to nature. Your implants will blend in with remaining teeth, giving you a full, attractive smile.

Convenience
Because implants aren’t removable, you don’t have to hassle with the messy adhesives or worry about the embarrassing slippage associated with dentures. After implant therapy, patients can smile confidently and enjoy active lifestyles.

Reliability
With proper care, implants will last for years. Treat your dental implants like your original teeth. Brush twice daily, floss frequently, and schedule routine checkups so that your smile will stay healthy and strong.

Creating beautiful smiles with dental implants at practiceName in Federal Way