Are You a Good Candidate for Dentures?

If you have lost all of your teeth or just a few, you are probably a good candidate for dentures. Dentures, also known as removable prosthodontics, are used for the dental restoration or replacement of missing or broken teeth. You may want to consider dentures if any of the following apply to your situation:

  • You have very few remaining teeth and they are in poor condition.
  • You have suffered bone loss in your mouth so severe it precludes you from considering dental implants.
  • You have advanced gum disease that has resulted in the loss of multiple teeth.
  • You have lost many teeth, and your remaining teeth are suffering from decay and receding gums.
  • You are committed to practicing excellent oral hygiene in order to take good care of your dentures.

You may not be a good candidate for dentures if any of the following apply:

  • You are a young patient whose jawbone has not fully developed.
  • You grind or clench your teeth.
  • You have a sensitive gag reflex.
  • You are a smoker.

If you feel you are a good candidate for dentures, your dentist will evaluate the health of your teeth and gums and determine if full or partial dentures are the best choice for you. There are many factors to consider when having dentures placed, and your dental professional can help you make a decision that fits your needs and lifestyle. If you wish to regain oral functionality and improve your smile, dentures may be your answer to once again enjoying a full set of beautiful, natural looking teeth.

Our dental office is located in Federal Way

What’s a Dental Emergency?

It may be obvious when you’re in a situation that requires immediate treatment by a dentist. Perhaps you’re in immense pain, or you’ve had a tooth knocked out or bleeding that won’t stop. Examples like this make it easy to decide you need help right away, but sometimes it’s not as clear. What are some other problems that may require emergency dental treatment?

Cracked teeth

A cracked or fractured tooth is serious, and often means that the tooth has been damaged both on the inside and the outside. Many times the tooth can’t be saved. If your tooth is broken, schedule an emergency appointment immediately. Remember, a cracked tooth is different than a chipped tooth, which is not as serious. You can usually wait to see your dentist at the next available opportunity for a chipped tooth.

Lost fillings

Some lost fillings require immediate care to avoid worse issues. Fillings protect your tooth’s root from exposure, so if the filling falls out your root can be uncovered and cause intense pain. There is also increased risk for damage to your tooth’s structure, so seeing your dentist as soon as possible is suggested.

Lost crown

If your crown falls out, call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. Until you can see the dentist, try putting the crown back in place using an over-the-counter dental adhesive. Do not use any products like Super Glue. If the crown won’t stay in place, make sure you take it to your appointment with you so that it can be re-cemented correctly.

Abscess

If you have a painful swelling on your gum that resembles a pimple, it might be a serious condition called an abscess. It can damage gum tissue and teeth, as well as spread serious infection to your body. See your dentist immediately for proper treatment.

If you need a dentist in Federal Way contact us today

Helping Kids Overcome the Fear of Dentists

It’s not uncommon for children to be afraid of going to the dentist. Let’s face it, many adults don’t like visiting the dentist either. However adults mainly don’t want to take the time or don’t want to hear the news that they aren’t taking good care of their teeth. It’s different with kids though, who often have a real fear of the dentist, equipment, and the unknown situation. If your child is one of those who experiences anxiety at the mention of the dentist, here are some things you can do to help ease those fears.

Use visual aids:
It is helpful for some children to watch a video or read a book that will help them become more familiar and comfortable with going to the dentist. Your local library or the internet both likely offer resources for this purpose, and bookstores have books and DVDs for purchase. These visual aids help kids know what to expect in visiting the dentist, and what their role is in the process.

Visit the office:
Take your child to the dentist’s office prior to your appointment so they can observe the office, meet the staff, and see the area and tools used for examinations. The staff may even give your child an explanation of the tools that dentists use for checkups. Your dentist wants children to feel comfortable and confident in getting dental treatment, so most offices do their best to help your child adjust.

Explain the importance:
Even though fear sometimes overtakes logic, it’s still important to explain to your child the reasons for seeing the dentist. Help them understand the benefits of checkups, and the oral health consequences that may occur by not caring for their teeth and getting regular checkups.

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

Veneers Can Make Your Smile Stand Out

Tooth stains, chips, cracks, and discolorations can keep you from letting others see your teeth. If you are self-conscious about your smile, then dental veneers may be the answer for you. Veneers can correct a variety of imperfections and give you a natural, beautiful smile.

What are dental veneers?:
Made from tooth-colored porcelain, veneers are attached to the front of your natural teeth. They feel just like the rest of your teeth, and are durable and do not irritate your gums. Since porcelain is resistant to stains, you’re able to eat and drink as you wish. Good oral hygiene helps keep veneers and your natural teeth strong and healthy.

What are the benefits of getting veneers?:
There’s a reason that veneers are one of the most popular options in cosmetic dentistry. They provide a solution to many problems and can dramatically improve the appearance of your smile. Veneers are the answer for tough stains or discolorations that can’t be repaired by teeth whitening. They can also make your teeth look straight and even. Veneers provide an answer for chipped or broken teeth too.

Are there any disadvantages?:
The main thing to remember is that your original tooth might need to be reshaped to a smaller size and shape to allow the new, thin coating of the veneer to be placed over it. The coating will make your tooth look like a normal, perfectly shaped tooth. However, if the veneer is ever removed, it would need to be replaced to keep your smile looking nice. Dental veneers are a life-long solution to creating your best smile.

Our dental office is located in Federal Way

Should You Choose Crowns or Veneers?

If you have damaged or decayed teeth you may be considering options to restore both the look and function of your smile. Crowns and veneers are both utilized by cosmetic dentists to accomplish these goals. Which should you choose? Both crowns and veneers have pros and cons, and some distinct differences.

A crown is a cap that is placed over the tooth to reinforce the tooth and restore its original size and shape. Crowns are bonded into place and cover the entire tooth that is visible above the gum line. Crowns are most often used when the tooth has serious problems with structural integrity, often caused by decay. Cracked, broken, or worn down teeth also get crowns. Crowns modify how the tooth looks, and can help restore a more perfect smile. Crowns can be made of stainless steel, resin, porcelain, ceramic and other metals.

Veneers are similar to crowns in that they are used to restore the appearance of a tooth. Veneers utilize a thin shell of either porcelain or composite material that is placed over the tooth to protect it from damage and correct its appearance. Veneers require the structure of the tooth surface to be altered to bond it to the tooth.

Veneers are most commonly used to restore the outward appearance of a tooth, while crowns are typically used for structural repair. If your goal is simply to change the appearance of your teeth, veneers may be the best option. If you have extensive tooth decay or trauma, a crown might be the best choice. Consult with your dental professional to find out if a crown or veneers would be most appropriate for your specific dental issues.

Our dental office is located in Federal Way

Get a Dazzling Smile with Veneers

Veneers are a terrific option to create a dazzling smile. These shells fit right over your real teeth to hide a variety of cosmetic problems. Veneers are typically made of porcelain, giving you a natural and long-lasting smile.

How are they applied?:
Once you and your dentist decide that veneers are right for you, a small amount of your tooth enamel will be removed so that they fit correctly. An impression of your teeth will be made and sent to a dental lab for the veneers to be custom made. When they are ready, you will return to your dentist to have the veneers attached to your teeth with a special adhesive.

What are the benefits?:
It is hard for others to tell you have veneers because they look very natural. They are shaped just for your smile, and you select the color. Veneers resist stains from things like coffee, red wine, and tobacco use. Veneers are also a great choice because they fit right over your own teeth, without requiring more extensive procedures.

Are there disadvantages?:
Some patients experience increased tooth sensitivity after getting veneers due to the minor enamel removal. Also, veneers are permanent and the process cannot be reversed. Another thing to keep in mind is carefully choosing your veneer color, so that your smile isn’t overly white or unnatural.

Are veneers right for everyone?:
Veneers are great for hiding chips, cracks, gaps, or uneven teeth. They are whiten teeth that haven’t responded well to other methods. Veneers may not work for patients with weak teeth from decay, large fillings, or fractures. Patients who grind their teeth or clench their jaws may also be poor candidates because consistent wear can crack or chip the veneers.

What about maintenance?:
Veneers last ten years or more with good care. Practicing proper dental hygiene is important to avoid decay of your teeth under the veneers. Avoid nail biting or chewing on hard items like ice or pencils, which may break the thin veneers. Normal brushing and flossing is acceptable, and regular dental checkups are important in maintaining good oral health.

If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today

Dental Veneers: An Instant Smile Upgrade

If you’re looking for an instant smile upgrade, dental veneers might be your answer. These thin customized shells made of porcelain or resin are used to cover numerous kinds of teeth imperfections. They are bonded to the fronts of your teeth to give you a beautiful smile. Why do people choose dental veneers for their smiles? The list of benefits is long!

Natural look:
Veneers reflect light in the same way as real teeth, making them look very realistic. Their thin width allow them to blend into your smile.

Color:
Veneers are custom-made to match the exact shade of white that you desire. You and your dentist can work together to match your natural tooth shade, or to choose a brighter color that whitens your smile.

Durability:
Veneers can last for ten years or longer with proper care. Once bonded onto your teeth, they are quite strong if you avoid doing things like biting into hard foods.

Versatility:
Dental veneers hide nearly every cosmetic tooth flaw that you might have. Discolorations, chips, cracks, gaps, misalignment and more can all be covered. Veneers can even give your teeth a new shape and size if desired.

Functionality:
Veneers can strengthen teeth that are cracked, fractured or chipped. This can improve your teeth’s function at the same time as transforming their appearance.

Stain resistance:
Porcelain and resin both resist stains so that you can expect your veneers to remain the same color as when you got them. However, it’s smart to avoid consuming items that are known staining culprits.

Speed:
It may take a week or longer to create your personalized veneers in a dental lab, but the actual process of applying them takes only about an hour.

Ease on teeth:
Very little of your natural tooth must be removed in order to place veneers. The nerves of your teeth should remain unaffected, decreasing the risk of sensitivity.

Recovery:
You can return to your normal routine as soon as your veneers have been placed, as there is no period of recovery or adjustment needed.

Maintenance:
Veneers do not require any kind of special maintenance. You can just continue with your normal brushing and flossing routines.

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

Professional Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure that dentists perform today. It can have a dramatic effect on your smile at a smaller cost than other cosmetic procedures. You can whiten your teeth yourself using at-home techniques, but often professional whitening with your dentist’s help achieves the fastest and most effective results. Let’s examine the whitening options provided by most dentists to help you evaluate what might work for you.

Whitening at your dentist’s office:
The dentist applies a whitening product to your teeth containing higher percentages of hydrogen peroxide than what is available in at-home kits. Heat or light may be used also. This technique produces quick, uniform results, but it does sometimes cause temporary gum irritation or tooth sensitivity. This method is expensive, ranging between $500 to $1,200.

Home whitening supervised by your dentist:
A customized mouthpiece will be created by your dentist for you to fill at home with whitening gel, which contains a lower strength of hydrogen peroxide then the in-office gel. You wear the mouthpiece at home for several hours each day, and your dentist supervises the whitening with regular checkups. This method is convenient and less expensive at $300 to $500, but it produces slower results than in-office methods.

Repeating the process:
Whichever type of teeth whitening technique you might choose, remember that it isn’t a permanent repair to your teeth. You will need to repeat the process every year or two. The length of time between treatments will increase if you don’t smoke and avoid foods that are known to stain your teeth, such as coffee and red wine.


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

Cosmetic dentist in Federal Way

Top Reasons to see a Cosmetic Dentist

A special area of dentistry has been formed that focuses on making your smile as flawless and appealing as possible. Cosmetic dentistry corrects imperfections that cause people to feel insecure and unhappy with their smiles. If you are one of those people, maybe it’s time to see a cosmetic dentist to give you back your smile and confidence. Here are some of the most common reasons for visiting a cosmetic dentist.

One of the biggest complaints that people have about their smile is the color of their teeth. Stains can cause your teeth to become yellow or brown with time, making your smile unattractive and embarrassing. Cosmetic dentists offer teeth whitening techniques that brighten your teeth, and can restore your pearly whites in just one appointment.

Gaps in your smile from missing teeth not only look awkward, they also make chewing and speaking more difficult. A cosmetic dentist can replace your missing teeth with dental implants, bridges, or dentures. Implants have become increasingly popular because they provide a permanent, comfortable, and natural-looking solution for missing teeth.

Cosmetic dentists can solve a variety of other imperfections that make you unhappy with your smile. Veneers improve the shape and color of your teeth by covering the fronts of your teeth with thin shells. Dental fillings and root canals resolve problems often linked to tooth decay. Crowns are used to cover an unhealthy tooth and restore its strength, shape, size, and appearance. They also may be used in conjunction with dental bridges to correct gaps in your smile.

There is no reason to go through life ashamed of your teeth. Make an appointment with a cosmetic dentist to see how your smile can be improved to get the bright, beautiful smile you desire.

Contact us today to schedule your cosmetic dentistry consultation in our Federal Way dental office.

cosmetic dentist in Federal Way

What You Should Know About Porcelain Veneers

If you are unhappy with your smile, porcelain veneers are a cosmetic dentistry option that can provide you with flawless teeth. Veneers are a very popular way to improve your appearance without a major, invasive procedure. Here are some things you should know about porcelain veneers if you are considering them as a solution for an imperfect smile.

Difference between veneers and crowns
The purpose of veneers is to restore your smile, and your original teeth are not removed or altered. However, a large part of the original tooth structure is removed with crowns in the process of building a new tooth. If you’re seeking a minimally invasive option, veneers may be your answer.

Natural appearance
Veneers are customized just for you, so your smile can be personalized to meet your desires. Your teeth will look natural and healthy. Porcelain is translucent and provides a realistic look to your smile. Also, stains do not stick to porcelain and even if there is any small staining, it can be easily polished off during a dental cleaning.

Permanent solution
Veneers are a permanent tooth restoration, so make sure you are happy with the color and shape before they are placed using dental cement. Alterations cannot be made once the veneers are in place.

Requires healthy teeth
A thorough examination by your dentist is required to determine if veneers are right for you. Some oral conditions do not work well with veneers, so your dentist will make sure your teeth and mouth are healthy enough to work successfully with veneers.

Cosmetic Dentist in Federal Way

root canal treatment

The Truth About Root Canal Therapy

Most people would rather do anything than have a root canal. Unfortunately, this procedure receives a bad rap. A root canal is generally performed to clean out an infected tooth and prevent future problems. Usually, patients feel better after root canal therapy.

Knowing the truth about root canals may help you feel less apprehensive if your dentist recommends this procedure.

  • A root canal hurts.
    Actually, the pain you feel is caused by the swelling and pressure in your tooth. When a tooth sustains severe trauma, the pulp, or soft nerve center, may die. During a root canal, your dentist will remove the damaged tissue, disinfect the tooth, and seal off the inside. Most people only experience mild soreness afterwards, if they feel any discomfort at all.
  • Root canal therapy takes many appointments.
    Although this timing depends on the severity of the case, most root canals are completed in one to two appointments. Once your dentist finishes the root canal, you will probably need at least one more visit for restoration of the tooth, usually with an inlay, onlay, or crown.
  • I only need a root canal if my tooth hurts.
    Pain often lets you know you have a problem with a tooth, but if your tooth root dies you may have no symptoms. The dentist can perform tests to determine the health of a tooth, including temperature and percussion testing.
  • The root canal won’t last.
    Once the tooth is cleaned and sealed, you should have no further problems with the tooth. Sometimes the restoration of the tooth fails, which can causes the tooth to crack or break. This usually occurs if you wait too long to have a crown or adequate filling placed.

We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

teeth whitening dentist

Learn about All Your Teeth Whitening Options

A beautifully white smile is often perceived as a sign of youth and vitality, but over time it can gradually fade. Eating certain foods or drinking dark-colored beverages, taking particular medications and simply aging can all take its toll on your teeth. It’s hardly surprising that tooth whitening has become one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures in recent years. Professional teeth whitening is safe and effective and can quickly rejuvenate your smile. If you’re thinking about whitening your teeth, there are several options to choose from which include:

In-Office Whitening
In-office teeth whitening is hugely popular, as you can literally book a lunch time appointment and leave with a dazzling white smile. Surface stains can quickly be eliminated, and teeth can be brightened by up to eight shades in just an hour. This option is the most expensive, and you don’t have much control over the final results. Your dentist in Federal Way will activate the bleaching gel with a special light so the final result should be a stunning white smile.

Custom-Made Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits
Not everyone wants to whiten their teeth so quickly, and custom-made whitening trays enable you to safely bleach teeth in a more controlled manner. Your Federal Way cosmetic dentist will take impressions of your teeth that are used to fabricate custom-made whitening trays. You’ll be shown how to use these trays, and should wear them for as long as directed. Most people will begin to notice real results within a few days, but they generally need to be used for two or three weeks to achieve optimum effects.

Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Kits
Over-the-counter whitening kits come in the form of trays and whitening strips and can cost between $20 and $50 so it’s tempting to think they will save you money. However the bleaching gels contained in these kits are not as strong as those available to your dentist. In addition, there’s the possibility these kits could irritate your gums as ill-fitting whitening trays can allow the gel to leak out.

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

Dental office checkup

Signs You Need to Schedule a Dental Visit

As a rule, healthy adults should plan on dental checkups every six months. These appointments allow the dentist to examine your mouth and monitor your oral health status. Sometimes, you may need to make an extra trip to the dentist. Contact your provider right away if you notice any of the following:

Bleeding gums
Though most people wouldn’t ignore a cut on their arms or legs, many individuals disregard pink in the sink as no big deal. Often, bleeding gums are an initial indication of gum disease. If diagnosed early, long-term damage from gum disease can be avoided. Without treatment, you can face pain, gum recession and eventually tooth loss.

Tooth pain

Enamel erosion, cavities, and TMJ dysfunction can all contribute to tooth pain, so let your dentist perform an exam to determine if you have an underlying issue. No matter the cause, you shouldn’t suffer needlessly, so don’t put off visiting the dentist.

Changes in your mouth

Oral cancer kills more people than cervical, kidney, testicular, brain, or liver cancer. Because it is often found in later stages, 43 percent of patients will die within five years. If you notice a sore that won’t heal, white patches, or swollen areas in your mouth, call your dentist for an appointment.

Persistent bad breath
While everyone experiences days where they need a breath mint, chronic halitosis often signifies a deeper issue. Dry mouth, certain medications, gum disease, and poor dental hygiene can all cause persistent bad breath. Your dentist can help identify the cause of halitosis and offer solutions to address the problem.

If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today

 

Dental health and pregnancy

Caring for Your Dental Health during Pregnancy

When you are having a baby, you have a lot of your mind. Most expectant moms have to worry about doctor’s appointments, prenatal vitamins, morning sickness, and picking out names. It’s important to take good care of yourself during this special time. One area that may fall by the wayside is oral health.

Though you may not think it’s a priority, your dental health can impact your pregnancy. Because hormone levels are so high during pregnancy, you may be more susceptible to problems with gum disease. Studies have shown that untreated gum disease can contribute to pre-term births and low-birth weight babies.

Protect your wellbeing and your unborn child by:

  • Eat a balanced diet. Include foods that are rich in calcium, which will keep your dentition strong and help with your baby’s developing teeth.
  • Take time to brush and floss teeth daily. This kind of home routine may help prevent bleeding gums, which often flare up during pregnancy.
  • Watch the snacks. You may need to eat more frequently, but try to choose healthy options like fruits, veggies, and whole grains so that you are less likely to develop cavities.
  • See your dentist for a checkup. After the first trimester, make an appointment for a cleaning and exam. Though you won’t want to schedule X-rays or repairs during pregnancy, routine dental care is important and shouldn’t be avoided.
  • If an emergency situation does occur, contact your dentist right away. Remind the office that you are pregnant so that they can take precautions to ensure the safety of you and your baby.

General dentist in Federal Way

Cosmetic Dentistry Not Just for Women

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. Often, advertising for cosmetic dentistry focuses on women. Photos in magazines and on Web sites show attractive females with gorgeous smiles. Although these campaigns often target women, men can benefit from cosmetic dentistry too.

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Cosmetic Dentistry Myths and Facts

Cosmetic dentistry has become one of the most popular ways to improve not only your smile but also your self-confidence. However, many myths exist regarding cosmetic dental procedures. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile, there is no need to let these common cosmetic dentistry myths deter you from seeking the beautiful smile you desire:

Stains on your teeth are permanent. In fact, tooth enamel can become stained by a multitude of factors. Unsightly stains caused by food, drinks, tobacco products or some medications can be removed or considerably lightened through professional teeth whitening.

Fillings and caps are ugly and unnatural in appearance. In fact, current technologies in cosmetic dentistry utilize porcelain materials that can be matched to the shade of your existing tooth enamel.

Dentures are a hassle and only for old people. In fact, today’s dental implants and implant supported dentures are easy to maintain and provide the function and look of your natural teeth.

Dental bridges are painful. In fact, advanced fitting techniques ensure that bridges are more comfortable than ever.

Jagged, crooked teeth take years to correct. In fact, with porcelain veneers, uneven and unsightly teeth can become smooth and even in as little as two office visits.

Braces are only for teenagers. In fact, teeth can be successfully straightened at any age.

Braces are unattractive, cumbersome and will make your mouth look like a train track. In fact, with advancements in clear braces such as Invisalign, braces can be almost invisible and often can even be removed during mealtimes or when playing sports.

A qualified cosmetic dentist can accomplish many things to correct your smile. Don’t let dated myths keep you from achieving the smile of your dreams. Consult with Federal Way cosmetic dentist Dr. Wallen and get the facts about how cosmetic dentistry can improve your smile so you can face the world with more confidence.

Can Dentures Improve Your Health?

dentures3Dentures often get a bad rap. However, they play a vital role in the overall health of people who are missing teeth. Advances in dental technology mean that today’s dentures look more natural and function better than ever before. Not only do dentures improve your appearance, but they also have many positive effects on your overall health including:

Dentures help preserve remaining natural teeth. By making contact with adjacent teeth, dentures help keep those teeth from drifting into the gaps created by missing teeth. Natural teeth that shift into those spaces can cause bite problems, pain, and other disorders.

Dentures aid with proper digestion by restoring chewing function. Partially chewed food resulting from missing teeth causes poor digestion. Wearing properly fitted dentures allows you to chew food into smaller pieces, making it easier to digest and allowing for the absorption of key nutrients.

Dentures help prevent your facial muscles from sinking in, which causes your cheeks and lips to lose their support. By filling out your face and improving the look of your face, dentures not only improve your physical health but also your mental health.

Missing teeth immediately causes disturbed speech. While speaking with dentures may take some initial adjustment, dentures will ultimately improve your speech. Becoming comfortable talking with dentures generally takes just a few days before you can resume normal speech.

If you are missing some or all of your teeth, talk to your dentist about the options for full or partial dentures. With dentures, you can improve both your general health and restore a beautiful smile.

 

If you live in the Federal Way, WA area and you need dentures, contact our office today.

Dental Implants Surgery: Tips to a Successful Recovery

dentures

Dental implant surgery enjoys a 95% success rate. However, it is crucial for you to follow your dental professional’s post-surgery recommendations to ensure your implant placement will not fall into the 5% category of failures. Suggested care instructions immediately after dental implant surgery include:

  • For 24 hours after surgery avoid warm or hot beverages and foods, and do not rinse liquid over the surgical area.
  • Avoid touching the surgical area with your fingers or tongue.
  • Apply an ice pack to your face to minimize the swelling that occurs in the first few days.
  • Bite down on a damp gauze pad or tea bag to control bleeding. Excessive bleeding or bleeding that lasts longer than a couple of days should be reported to your dental professional.
  • Avoid aspirin or aspirin compounds that can cause additional bleeding.
  • Maintain a soft diet for several months after surgery to give the implant time to heal.
  • Finish any antibiotics prescribed by your doctor.
  • If your surgeon did not prescribe pain relievers, use non-aspirin based over-the-counter pain relievers to treat any pain you may experience.
  • Do not drink from straws.
  • Avoid smoking as it increases the possibility of infection and slows the healing process.
  • Limit exercise and physical activity for a few days after surgery.
  • Brush and floss the rest of your teeth normally. Avoid brushing the surgical area, but you should rinse it with a small amount of water. Your dental professional may recommend a special mouth rinse.
  • Patients who wear dentures should not resume their use until advised by their surgeon or dentist.

If you experience any unusual complications or signs of infection, contact the dentists at Advanced Dental Artistry in Federal Way, WA immediately. By following these recommendations and in cooperation with your dentist or oral surgeon, you will help to guarantee a successful dental implant procedure.

The Scoop on Laser Dentistry

laserdentistry

A safe, painless way to remove cavities, repair gums, and whiten teeth, dental lasers are an effective method of dental treatment. An acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission, lasers allow patients to spend less time at the dentist office and enjoy a more pleasant dental experience. Some lasers are easily visible, like the red laser in a classroom pointer, but others vibrate at levels beyond the human range of vision.

How does a laser work?
Set to a specific wavelength, the laser focuses a beam of light on a targeted area. With a laser, your dentist can remove a cavity, activate bleaching gel, or contour the gum line.

Does laser dentistry hurt?
Because lasers do not vibrate or produce heat, patients don’t typically experience pain. Since the device targets specific areas of tissue, the environment is immediately sterilized and bleeding is minimal.

What is the difference between a soft tissue and hard tissue laser?
Your dentist will use a hard tissue laser for procedures involving bone, whereas a soft tissue laser can reshape gums and remove areas of tissue.

Are lasers safe?
All dental lasers have FDA approval. As well, lasers offer reduced risk of injury to teeth and gums because of their precision. Generally, patients have a faster recovery time and less risk of infection with laser dentistry than with traditional procedures.

Is laser dentistry okay for my child?
Definitely. The heat, vibration and pressure of a dental drill often scare kids. Laser dentistry lessens any discomfort and improves their time in the dental chair.

We use the latest dental laser technology at our Federal Way, WA dental office.

Consider Dental Implants to Work With Your Dentures

shutterstock_100424281Dental patients who have worn dentures for years know that they have their drawbacks. On one hand, dentures can be an excellent choice for patients who are edentulous, helping to restore their smiles and to enjoy foods again. Unfortunately, dentures can shift or click when you talk or eat, leading to embarrassment and self-consciousness. Over time, the bones that hold the dentures change shape, leading to poor fit, discomfort and even mouth sores.

If you’re able to relate to some of these problems, it might be time to talk to your prosthodontist about dental implants. An exciting new development for dentures is the combination of dental implants with standard dentures. Because dental implants are placed directly into your jawbone, the implants firmly anchor the dentures in a way that adhesive materials and simple suction cannot. In fact, it’s so stable that they can feel like natural teeth!

When dental implants are utilized in conjunction with dentures, they are known as hybrid dentures. These dentures enable their wearers to enjoy a wider variety of crisp, healthy foods that standard dentures can’t chew very well. This staves off health issues related to poor nutrition and digestive difficulties related to incomplete mastication.

The stability offered by dental implants with dentures means that the body of the denture itself can be smaller. It often frees the upper palate, leaving it open to the taste and texture of foods that was previously blocked by the old-style denture. It feels better to your tongue and it feels better to eat.

The dental implants also help stimulate the bones of the jaw, helping the patient maintain strong bones, preserving the shape of the mouth and face and avoiding shrinkage.

If you wear dentures and are curious about how dental implants could be employed to improve your denture experience, talk to Federal Way, WA dental implant dentist today. You might be surprised at how much more you enjoy your dentures when you include dental implants.

Porcelain Veneers: What to Expect

smile-4Once you and your dentist have made the decision to beautify your smile with porcelain veneers, you may be wondering what to expect next. Simply put, the process to place porcelain veneers involves two steps to complete.

As you were determining if veneers were in your future, your dentist probably explained that the placement of veneers requires altering the structure of your natural teeth. Shaving a layer of the surface of your teeth off to accommodate the porcelain veneer is the first step. The amount of enamel that is removed is about the same thickness of the veneer, usually one millimeter or less. Discuss with your dentist if you would be more comfortable with a local anesthetic during this part of the procedure.

Once your tooth structure has been altered, your dentist will make a mold of your teeth to be sent to a dental laboratory to aid in the fitting of the custom fit veneers. The construction of your veneers normally takes one to two weeks. Your dentist will fit you with temporary veneers during the period that the lab is finishing your permanent veneers.

When the permanent veneers are complete, your dentist will remove the temporary veneers and proceed with the second phase of the process. Your new veneers will be checked for correct fit and color, and any necessary adjustments will be made. Finally, the veneer is permanently adhered to the teeth with a strong bonding adhesive.

Finally, you will return to your dentist after a few weeks to check the fit of your new veneers, as well as to check the other parts of your mouth to make sure they are adjusting well. With your new porcelain veneers successfully in place, you can enjoy years with a beautiful smile.

Cosmetic Dentistry Solutions for a Whiter Smile

holiday_promo01Many factors affect the color of your teeth. Initially, we are all born with varying shades of teeth. Over time, the color of your teeth can change to due to many factors. Discoloration of your teeth can happen from tobacco use, eating or drinking pigment-rich foods and beverages, trauma to the tooth, and even excessive fluoride use. If you are tired of suffering from dark or dingy teeth, cosmetic dentistry offers many options to brighten your smile:

Professional teeth whitening is the most popular choice for treating surface stains. In-office whitening can successfully lighten your teeth as much as ten shades in as little as one office visit.

Dental veneers utilize a thin porcelain or composite shell that is adhered directly to the surface of teeth to cover stains that are otherwise resistant to whitening. Veneers are often used to improve the appearance of teeth that have darkened internally due to trauma or some kinds of medication.

Composite bonding is an option that uses tooth-colored composite material to cover a discolored tooth and make it match existing teeth. Bonding is a good option for single teeth that have been damaged in some way, causing discoloration.

Thanks to advances in cosmetic dentistry, it is no longer necessary to live with a stained or unattractive smile. With proper care, all of these teeth whitening options can last for many years. If you are unhappy with the color of your smile, talk to Federal Way cosmetic dentist Dr. Wallen about the best options for brightening your dull and dreary smile.

Three Reasons You May Need Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is an excellent option available to save a severely compromised tooth from extraction. During root canal therapy, the infected pulp of the tooth is removed. Your dental professional then thoroughly cleans and disinfects the tooth before filling and sealing it. Finally, the tooth is restored with a crown or filling.

There are several reasons root canal treatment may be necessary, including:

Decay that has invaded the pulp of the tooth. The pulp, or soft center of the tooth, is made up of sensitive nerves and blood vessels. Severe infection of the pulp can ultimately cause the loss of the tooth if not treated properly.

An abscessed tooth caused by an infection between the tooth and gum. The infection originates in the inner chamber of the tooth causing the inability to rid the tooth of infection. This infection spreads from the chamber and exits through the tooth’s apex creating a pus-filled abscess.

Injury to a tooth caused by a blow or fall. Trauma to the tooth can cause inflammation of the pulp chamber, causing infection that can lead to the death of the nerves and blood vessel in the tooth.

Ignoring any of these problems can result in severe infection accompanied by extreme pain and loss of the functionality of your tooth. Root canal treatment eliminates the infection and preserves the natural tooth. The benefits of root canal therapy include restoring normal biting function, protecting the other teeth from strain or wear, and maintaining the appearance of the natural tooth. Root canal treatment plays an important part in saving your tooth and allowing it to continue functioning like your other teeth.