Cosmetic Dentistry Options to Whiten Your Smile

A variety of factors can cause your teeth to become dark and dingy. Smoking or chewing tobacco, drinking wine, coffee or tea, eating pigment intense foods, too much fluoride, or trauma to the tooth can all cause your teeth to discolor and lose their shine. The good news is cosmetic dentistry offers several options to return your teeth to their natural whiteness:

  • Professional teeth whitening can be completed in as little as one office visit and can lighten your teeth as much as ten shades. This type of whitening mainly treats surface stains and can last several years with careful maintenance.
  • Dental veneers are a better option for teeth with internal stains that are resistant to professional whitening. The placement of veneers involves roughing up the surface of the tooth and then applying an extremely thin porcelain or composite veneer that bonds to the surface of the tooth. With care, dental veneers can last as long as ten years.
  • For individual teeth that have changed color due to damage or trauma, composite bonding is an excellent option. This procedure involves the use of a tooth-colored bonding material to cover the surface of the tooth and match it to the color of the surrounding teeth.

If you suffer from a dark or discolored smile and want to restore it to bright and white, cosmetic dentistry may be the answer to your concerns. Schedule a consultation with a qualified cosmetic dentist to find out which treatments would best suit your needs and allow you to once again face the world with a beautiful, white smile.

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

Is Your Smile Aging You?

The first impression you make on the world often starts with your smile. Dingy, dull, crooked or chipped teeth create the appearance of an “old” smile, making you look older than your actual years. Restoring your smile’s youthful look is an easy way to subtract years from the image you portray to the world. Thanks to advances in modern cosmetic dentistry, your smile can appear as young as you feel.

As tooth enamel thins with age, teeth lose their shine and appear darker. Thin enamel also causes teeth to weaken, making them easier to chip and causing wear and shifting. Cosmetic dentistry offers many procedures and treatments to address these problems and help return your smile to a younger, more vibrant state. Just a few options you may want to consider include:

  • Professional teeth whitening to improve the color of teeth that have been darkened by stains or discolored from age.
  • Porcelain veneers and bonding to correct gaps, chips, and teeth with uneven lengths. Veneers can also reshape teeth, restoring the youthful appearance created by longer teeth. Veneers can also be used to build up your back teeth to support the cheekbones, replacing the fullness lost with aging and giving your face the appearance of a “lift”.
  • Orthodontia with either clear or traditional braces corrects the misalignment caused by teeth that shift as you age.

If your desire is to look as youthful as you feel, cosmetic dentistry may be a perfect solution to address the problems of an aging smile. Many procedures can be completed in as little as one office visit, with little to no recovery time. Consult with a qualified cosmetic dentist to find out how you can achieve a younger, more perfect smile.

If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today

Trading Your Dentures in for Dental Implants

After suffering tooth loss for any reason, it’s important to restore your mouth’s function and appearance with restoration options through your dentist. In the past, many patients have gotten dentures for this purpose. Dental implants provide a newer and very popular option. If you already have dentures but aren’t completely satisfied with them, is it possible to change to dental implants instead?

The answer is yes! Of course, you need to consult your dentist to make sure that you are a good candidate for implants. There are a number of reasons that denture wearers might decide that implants are a better solution to their tooth replacement needs. Some patients find dentures to be uncomfortable because they don’t stay in place securely or they irritate the gums. Some find a more permanent remedy to be more appealing than dentures, and implants do provide a long-lasting solution to tooth loss. If patients with dentures don’t like them and aren’t wearing them consistently, they aren’t achieving the goal of restoration.

There are some additional complications that can occur with dentures, making implants more appealing. Trouble speaking and eating is a hazard if the dentures slip, as well as jawbone loss and increased wrinkles. Some patients even alter their diets due to problems eating certain foods. The increased dental hygiene regimen also bothers some patients who are unwilling to do the extra tasks required.

If you dislike your dentures, consider making the switch to dental implants. It might restore your self-confidence as well as your mouth’s function and appearance.

Our dental office is located in Federal Way

Choosing the Right Dentures

No matter how much you want to preserve your real teeth, it’s not uncommon for people to lose teeth. It may occur with age, decay, gum disease, or injury. If this happens to you, there’s no reason to go through life missing teeth in your smile. It’s better to quickly see your dentist for replacement teeth, so that you avoid shifting of your remaining teeth, speech problems, or saggy facial muscles. One solution that your dentist will likely offer to restore your smile is dentures. Here are some tips to help you select the right dentures for you.

Dentist

An important step in the process of getting dentures is making sure you have a qualified and experienced dentist treating you. Most dentists provide dentures as part of their services, or you may choose to go to a prosthodontist. This type of specialist focuses on restorative dentistry. No matter who you choose, make sure that you are confident you will get dentures that meet your specific goals and needs.

Type of dentures

There are several types of dentures available, each with their own attributes. These are the main kinds:

  • Full dentures – an acrylic appliance that replaces all of the teeth in your upper jaw. These are functional and replicate your real teeth, and are usually comfortable when fitted correctly.
  • Partial dentures – these replace one or two missing teeth using a dental arch. Partial dentures are made of acrylic, metal, plastic, or a combination of these materials. These are attached with a clip that holds them in place in your mouth.
  • Permanent dentures – these dentures are permanently attached and require almost no maintenance. They are the costliest of the types of dentures.

Color

Dentures are available in various shades of white so that you can select the color that is most natural for you. Be careful about choosing the brightest white color, which may look unnatural compared to the color of your real teeth. Your dentist will help you find a neutral color that looks best with your smile and complexion.

Our dental office is located in Federal Way

Rules for the First Days of Wearing Dentures

Once you’ve received dentures to restore missing teeth, it will take some time to get accustomed to them. There’s no reason to be alarmed or frightened about wearing dentures, because most patients go through the same adjustment period. If you’re aware of the potential issues and how to react to them, the process will be easier for you. Here are some rules to follow as you begin wearing dentures.

Don’t try to fix them yourself.

Even though dentures are customized just for you, that doesn’t mean they always fit perfectly right away. There might be some molding defects or other minor flaws that cause the dentures not to fit exactly right or rub sores on your gums. If this happens, don’t try to correct the problem yourself. Take your dentures back to your dentist to explain what’s bothering you, and give your dentist a chance to properly and safely adjust them without damaging the dentures.

Watch your diet.

Similar to getting braces at first, you’ll want to stick to eating soft foods for the first few days of denture wear. Avoid foods that are sticky or hard to chew. Focus on chewing with your back teeth instead of the front part of your dentures, and cut your food into small bites.

Soak your dentures.

Soaking your dentures in a solution recommended by your dentist can help keep them hydrated. This will avoid dryness, which causes friction between your dentures and gums and can lead to mouth sores.

You’re going to unintentionally bite yourself.

It’s part of wearing dentures at first; you’ll probably bite the insides of your cheeks. It’s a natural part of adjusting to the appliance in your mouth, and it will subside as you get used to wearing them. Gargling with a fluoride rinse or other mouthwash provided by your dentist may provide relief.

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

dentures

Dentures: Frequently Asked Questions

Dentures have improved dramatically over the past several years. Whether it’s your first set of dentures or your fifth set, you probably have questions. Below are some commonly asked questions and answers about dentures:

  • Will dentures change how I look? Today’s dentures are personalized to your mouth, making their appearance more natural than ever. Dentures also support your cheeks and lips, making you look years younger.
  • Will dentures change how I feel? After a period of adjustment, dentures should make you feel more confident than ever.
  • Will dentures alter my speech? While speaking may be difficult initially, with practice, your speech should quickly return to normal. Practicing reading and counting out loud will help to speed up the adjustment.
  • Will dentures affect how I eat? Eating may take some practice, and you should start with a soft food diet while you adjust to the differences between eating with your natural teeth and dentures. Take small bites and try to chew on both sides of your mouth at the same time. Avoid hard, crunchy or chewy foods that can damage your dentures.
  • How do I care for my dentures? Clean dentures daily, brushing immediately after every meal if possible. Use a soft brush and gentle cleanser, taking care to avoid hard abrasives. Be careful when they are out of your mouth not to drop them or clean them on hard surfaces.
  • Once I have dentures, will I still need to see the dentist? Regular dental examinations and professional denture cleanings are vital to maintaining your oral health. Have your dentist periodically check the fit of your dentures to ensure they are comfortable and last for as long as possible.
  • When will I need to replace my dentures? With care, dentures typically last 5-10 years. Because your mouth continues to change shape as you age and denture teeth wear down, you should have them checked yearly to avoid any significant problems.

Consult with your dental professional about any additional questions or concerns you may have about your future with dentures and your potential for a bright, new smile.

We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

Warning Signs Dentures May be in Your Future

You may expect you won’t need dentures because you take good care of your teeth. However, dentures are more prevalent than you may think. The number of adults in the United States needing dentures is expected to increase from 33 million in 1991 to 37 million in 2020. If you are wondering how likely you are to keep your teeth, here are some warning signs that may indicate dentures are in your future.

  • You don’t visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups and routine cleaning. Gum disease and tooth decay are the leading causes of tooth loss; therefore, it is critical to be proactive with dental care to prevent problems that could cause the need for extraction.
  • You have gums that are swollen, tender, red, or bleeding which are indications of periodontal disease. Left untreated, gum disease is the primary cause of adult tooth loss.
  • Your teeth have become loose, are shifting, or have developed wider gaps between them that can indicate bone loss from gum disease.
  • You have severe tooth pain that could be a sign that decay has progressed and is attacking the nerve at the center of the tooth. Once tooth decay has advanced, it is more likely your tooth will need to be removed.
  • You are already missing several of your teeth. If you are missing more than two teeth, it is important to replace them with some sort of prosthesis to keep pressure off of your remaining teeth.
  • It is difficult for you to eat hard candy or chewy foods, which may indicate a cracked tooth, cavities, or gum disease.
  • If you suffer from recurring stomach aches or indigestion, it may be a sign of dental problems. When you can’t chew properly, you end up swallowing larger pieces of food which is hard on your digestion.

Tooth loss does not happen overnight. With proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, you may be able to avoid or delay the need for dentures in your future.

If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today

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

Getting Dentures: What to Expect

With an estimated 49 million adults in the United States wearing dentures, there are lots of lessons learned about wearing them. Virtually everyone will say that it took a little adjustment time before they were comfortable and confident with their new teeth. It can help to know what to expect with wearing dentures at first.

Your dentures may feel very strange the first day you get them. They can seem too big for your mouth, and as though your lips are out of place. These strange sensations will disappear with time. You may also notice more saliva than usual in your mouth. This is a natural response of your mouth as it grows accustomed to the appliance.

A liquid diet is recommended by many dentists for the first couple of days after getting dentures. Then you may begin eating soft foods, like cooked vegetables, eggs, and fish. Take small bites and chew slowly. Avoid biting into foods with your front teeth.

Mouth soreness from your dentures should go away after a few days. If it lasts longer than a week, call your dentist to ask if you should be seen. You may experience minor mouth sores for the first couple of weeks that you wear dentures. This is normal as you give your mouth time to adjust. If the sores are severe, call your dentist.

Dentists recommend that you remove your dentures for a minimum of eight hours each day to give your gums a rest. Most patients do this at night while sleeping. Your dentist will provide instructions about how to care for your dentures and where to store them when not wearing them. Be sure to follow the instructions for care to ensure that your dentures last as long as possible.

We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

Emergency Dental Care

Having an accident that involves your teeth can be one of the scariest types of trauma. It’s not only painful, but brings to mind images of a broken or gapped smile. Unfortunately, reports suggest that over half a million people seek treatment in the emergency room each year for dental related issues. Many emergency rooms are not equipped or trained to handle dental problems, so sometimes all you can do is wait to see your dentist.

Since it’s impossible to know exactly when an accident will happen, it’s a good idea to be prepared with items helpful in a dental emergency. Suggested items to include in a dental emergency kit are gauze, Q-tips, salt packets, a small container, over-the-counter pain medication, and sugarless gum. Also include the phone number for your dentist.

If your mouth is damaged in an accident, first rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Follow the directions on the label to take pain medication if necessary. If inner parts of your tooth like the nerves or dentin have been damaged, try covering the area with sugarless gum to protect it until you can get professional treatment.

Sometimes oral injuries can be handled at home until your dentist is available, but more serious situations require seeking care immediately from an emergency dental facility. Some symptoms that usually suggest immediate treatment include facial swelling that is accompanied by a toothache, or uncontrollable bleeding.

If your tooth is knocked out, find it and rinse it with water. Gently try to replace it in the socket. If it can’t be reinserted, place it in a small container with milk or slightly salty water. Ideally, you need to see your dentist within the first couple of hours in order to restore a dislodged tooth.

Following this advice for emergency dental care will help you handle the situation more calmly and know what to do if it happens to you or someone you are with.

If you need a dentist in Federal Way contact us today

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

Common Services Offered by General Dentists

Common Services Offered by General Dentists

General dentistry offers exactly what the name implies: dental care related to the general maintenance of good oral health. The ideal way to look at dentistry is preventative, which means focusing on good oral hygiene and functionality before problems can take hold. Finding a qualified and skilled general dentist who you visit every six months for checkups is the best way to prevent serious dental issues and help you maintain excellent oral health.

A trip to the general dentist for you or any of your family members, no matter their age, is a smart way to keep your smile looking and feeling great. Your general dentist will help create the perfect dental plan that depends on your personal oral health and needs. A typical dental visit includes thorough examination, X-rays or other diagnostic tests, professional teeth cleaning, and any treatments that might be needed for your condition. If a certain treatment isn’t available through your general dentist, it’s likely that you’ll receive a referral to a reputable specialist to complete the work.

Every dentist is unique, so you’ll need to inquire about the specific treatments available at your dentist’s practice. Some common services that many general dentists provide include:

  • Dental sealants
  • Fluoride treatments
  • Professional cleanings
  • Gum scaling or recontouring
  • Fillings
  • Bonding
  • Root canal therapy
  • Crowns and bridges
  • Dental implants
  • Dentures
  • Veneers
  • Orthodontics

In addition to dental treatments, your general dentist will evaluate your at-home hygiene routine and make suggestions for improvement. You will learn proper brushing and flossing techniques, as well as learn about any additional products or practices that might improve your oral health. Your general dentist wants you and your family to have the best smiles and oral health possible, and will help you achieve that goal.

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

What is a Dental Emergency?

Sometimes an injury or tooth pain can occur suddenly, and immediate dental care may be required. It’s not always obvious when a problem needs emergency care, but some dental emergencies do need to be treated quickly to avoid infections or permanent damage. Here’s a guide to situations that are usually considered dental emergencies.

  • Cracked or broken tooth – contact your dentist immediately. Rinse your mouth with water and hold a cold compress to the affected area until you can get to your dentist’s office.
  • Excessive bleeding with lip or tongue bite – clean the area and use a cold compress. Go to the emergency room if the bleeding is severe or won’t stop.
  • Jaw injury – if you think you may have broken your jaw, apply a cold pack and immediately to your dentist’s office or the emergency room.
  • Knocked out tooth –rinse the root of the lost tooth if it’s dirty. Do not scrub or removed any tissue left on the tooth. Try reinserting the tooth into its socket, but if that isn’t successful, see your dentist right away. Placing the lost tooth in milk may help preserve the tooth until you can get professional help.
  • Loose tooth – see your dentist immediately if one of your teeth is loosened. Take over-the-counter pain reliever if needed, and apply a cold compress.
  • Lost crown or filling – place the crown or filling in a safe place and contact your dentist. To decrease sensitivity, you may apply clove oil and dental cement available at your drugstore, but only if you’ve gotten approval from your dentist.
  • Severe or sudden toothache – rinse your mouth with warm water and gently floss around the tooth. Contact your dentist if your toothache persists.
  • Swelling – painful swelling in your mouth may indicate an abscess, which is an infected area of pus that can become serious. See your dentist as soon as possible, and try rinsing your mouth with saltwater in the meantime.

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Problems with your mouth or teeth can occur suddenly. You might be injured playing a sport, eating, or even just while doing a seemingly harmless activity. You should know what types of dental problems are considered emergencies, and what to do while waiting to see your dentist. Quick action can make a big difference in saving a tooth, or limiting damage to your mouth or face.

What is considered an emergency?

Not every dental problem must be treated as an emergency, but some do require professional treatment as soon as possible. This includes a broken or knocked out tooth, lost crowns and fillings, severe toothache, infection, and injuries to the soft tissues of your mouth.

What should I do?

See your dentist as soon as possible to treat the problem and prevent further damage. Here are some steps to take if you experience any of the following common dental emergencies:

  • Severe toothache – rinse your mouth with warm water and floss to remove trapped food.
  • Swelling – apply a cold compress on the outside of the swollen area. Do not place any painkiller or aspirin against your gums, because it can burn your gum tissue.
  • Chipped or broken tooth – if possible, save the piece that has broken off. Rinse both the piece and your mouth with warm water. If it is bleeding, hold gauze on the area. Apply a cold compress to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • Lost filling – apply dental cement from your drugstore to fill the hollow area until you can see your dentist. Or, try placing a bit of sugarless gum into the area.
  • Lost crown –try to replace the crown on your tooth and hold it in place temporarily with dental cement, denture adhesive, or toothpaste.
  • Abscess – infections in your mouth can become abscessed, which is a serious condition. Rinse with warm salt water and see your dentist immediately.
  • Soft tissue injuries – treat damage to your gums, cheeks, tongue and lips by rinsing with warm salty water. Hold gauze to the specific area to control bleeding, and hold a cold pack to the external area.

If you need a dentist in Federal Way contact us today

Making Dental Hygiene Fun for Kids

In many households, the bedtime routine is no fun. One of the trickiest parts for some parents is getting their kids to brush their teeth. However, it’s not a part of your child’s routine that should be skipped. To help make taking care of their teeth fun for children, here are some ideas for parents.

Toothbrushes

Provide your kids with fun toothbrushes! By choosing a brush decorated with their favorite character or color, your children will think of their toothbrush more like a toy than a dental tool. Consider getting more than one toothbrush, so each night they can choose the one they want to “play” with at the time.

Toothpaste

Children are picky about their toothpaste flavors just like their foods. Select toothpaste that you know your kids will like. Some of the flavor options include bubble gum and fruits, as well as the standby mint.

Floss

If they start flossing at a young age, your kids will likely view it as part of their oral hygiene routine all of their life. Try using some of the fun flossing tools on the market today, because they may help get your child interested in flossing. There are many colors and shapes to choose from, so keep trying until you find one that motivates your child.

Rewards

Enticing your children with rewards is often an easy way to encourage them to perform a task without arguing. Consider making a rewards chart and giving them a sticker each time they brush and floss. By the end of a week filled with good dental hygiene, a special reward will await them!

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

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

Common Kids Dental Emergencies

Kids will be kids, and emergencies happen that can affect the mouth. To avoid long-term damage, extensive pain, or unsightly results, it’s important to know what to do in a dental emergency. Let’s learn what you should do when your child has one of the following common oral problems.

Severe toothache:
Look for food stuck between the teeth, and if so try to dislodge it with floss. Clean the affected tooth and rinse the mouth well with warm water. Swollen gums may indicate an infection, which requires a dental visit. Facial swelling can be relieved with cold compresses, but if it accompanies severe pain you should take your child to the dentist or emergency room. Try giving over-the-counter pain reliever, but don’t place the medication directly on the gum or tooth.

Chipped tooth:
If your child chips a tooth, contact your dentist immediately. Fast action can help save the tooth, reduce the risk of infection, and prevent extensive procedures. Have your child rinse with cold water. If you can find the tooth fragment, take it to the dentist in case it can be bonded back in place.

Knocked out tooth:
The first thing to do is locate the missing tooth. Hold it by the crown instead of the root, and rinse it gently. Try replacing the tooth back in the socket, and have your child bite a piece of gauze or cloth to hold it in place until you get to the dentist. If you can’t insert it, place it in a cup of cold milk to take with you. Time is important in saving a displaced tooth, so see your child’s dentist immediately.

Cut lip, tongue, or cheek:
Ensure your child’s teeth are undamaged, and apply firm pressure with a moist washcloth or teabag to the bleeding area. If it doesn’t stop in fifteen minutes, call your child’s dentist or head to the emergency room. If the tongue is bleeding, there’s not much you can do except wait to see if it stops bleeding on its own within fifteen minutes. If not, visit the dentist or emergency room.

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

Signs You May Need Root Canal Treatment

Having tooth pain or problems can be one of the most uncomfortable experiences possible. It is hard to ignore because it makes your whole quality of life worse. When infection or decay reaches the inner parts of your tooth, it can cause many miserable symptoms. Often the key is getting root canal treatment to save your tooth and alleviate your symptoms. Here are some warning signs that indicate you might need this type of treatment.

Severe pain:
Although not always present, severe pain sometimes occurs with a tooth that needs root canal therapy. It may be sharp, intense pain or a dull ache that won’t subside. If you experience tooth pain that is severe or lasts for several days, see your dentist for an evaluation. If root canal treatment is necessary, any pain you may have will likely disappear after a successful procedure.

Sensitivity to hot or cold:
Discomfort when consuming hot or cold items is another sign of a problem. Mild sensitivity is usually not a big deal, but actual pain when your tooth hits these temperatures may mean the tooth is in an advanced stage of trouble.

Gum tenderness or inflammation:
Swelling or tenderness is often associated with infection, although it doesn’t always mean infection is present. Your dentist can determine the seriousness of the issues and whether root canal treatment is advised. Watch for tenderness, swelling, or even a lump in the affected area.

Darkened tooth:
Discoloration is a sign that the nerves of a tooth are damaged. The tooth may become gray, black or dark yellow. Tooth discoloration is also related to trauma, damaged fillings or severe decay, so visiting your dentist for a checkup is recommended.

Gum boils:
If lesions similar to a pimple form in the gum tissues, it is called a gum boil. It is usually an accumulation of pus, which can be linked to infection. The boil may be larger or smaller at certain times, depending on the activity of the infection in your mouth. It will feel tender and can cause swelling in the area, and you may notice a bad taste in your mouth.

If you have symptoms such as these, see your dentist to learn if root canal treatment is the solution.


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

Oral Surgery FAQ

If you or a loved one is scheduled to have or has recently had oral surgery, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are some of the most common questions:

  • One of my stitches came out after my surgery, should I be worried? Losing a stitch isn’t a problem. In the majority of cases, stitches are put in place during surgery to assist in clot formation and bleeding control. If you have undergone a bone-graft procedure, however, contact your surgeon because you may need to be seen immediately.
  • What can I eat after surgery? Immediately following surgery, eat only soft foods of tepid temperature. Avoid very hot or very cold foods. Eat nothing that is crunchy or chewy so you won’t damage the surgical site.
  • I am having a lot of pain following my procedure, what should I do? If you have been prescribed pain medication, take it as recommended. If no prescription was given, use over-the-counter medicines containing natural anti-inflammatory properties such as ibuprofen. Stay hydrated by drinking room temperature water and get plenty of rest.
  • I had a tooth extracted, how can I tell if I have a dry socket? Dry socket is the result of the loss of the blood clot present in the extraction site. Smoking, using a straw, poor oral hygiene or failure to rest properly following the extraction procedure can lead to this condition. Typically dry socket will present within one week of extraction and is treated with sterile wash and pain-relieving, medicated gauze.
  • I had a procedure this morning and am still bleeding. Is that normal? Bleeding following extractions or other surgical procedures is common. If you are bleeding more than normal, bite down on some sterile gauze or a damp teabag for twenty or thirty minutes. Don’t keep removing the gauze to look for blood; that can make the bleeding worse. Call your surgeon if you feel your bleeding is excessive.

Your oral surgeon can answer these questions and more. Don’t hesitate to call the surgeon’s office to get the peace of mind you require to heal comfortably following your procedure.

We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

Facial Injuries and Oral Surgery

There are a number of reasons that dentists or oral surgeons recommend surgery, but facial injuries are probably the most unexpected and alarming cause. Maxillofacial injury, or facial trauma, refers to any injury to the mouth, jaw, and face. Most of these injuries result from sports, car accidents, job accidents, violence, or an accident at home. Let’s learn about oral surgery resulting from facial trauma.

Broken bones are a common type of serious facial injury. Fractures can occur in the upper or lower jaw, cheekbones, palate, and eye sockets. Injuries in these locations may affect vision and the ability to eat, talk, and breathe. Hospitalization is often required for treatment, which is similar to that for fractures in other parts of the body. The bones must be lined up and held in place to allow time to heal them in the correct position. Because casts are not possible in facial injuries, the surgeon may use wires, screws, or plates to treat fractures. Sometimes healing takes as long as six weeks or more.

Even though some facial injuries are worse than others, all of them should be taken seriously. They affect an important area of the body, so it is recommended to seek treatment from an oral surgeon to make sure you receive optimum care. Even if stitches are all that’s required, it’s best to have them performed by an oral surgeon who can place them exactly as needed to produce the best results.

It’s no surprise that the best solution for facial injuries is to prevent them in the first place. Oral surgeons suggest consistent use of mouth guards, seat belts, and masks and helmets as required. Improvements have been made to safety gear to make these items more comfortable and efficient, so there should be no excuses for not using them to protect yourself and avoid injuries that can lead to oral surgery.


We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

Treating Gum Disease with Oral Surgery

Gum disease is a serious problem. You should treat it as soon as possible following the recommendations of your dentist. Also known as periodontal disease, it has several treatments, depending on the severity of the issue.

Your first course of action is to completely revamp your oral hygiene habits. Daily flossing and brushing following meals are essential habits to develop. You must have a clean mouth before you go to bed. If you smoke, you should stop. Your mouth’s health depends on it.

If you haven’t been keeping up with your professional checkups and cleanings, you need to start again. Long-term gum health is greatly impacted by the plaque, tartar, food debris and bacteria left on teeth. Hardened calculus, or calcified plaque, can be removed using a process called scaling. This process may require local anesthesia.

Your progress will be evaluated by your dentist to see if your gum tissue is recovering. With enough progress and response to treatment, your gum disease treatment may not progress beyond these initial steps; however, for more severe cases of gum disease, you may require oral surgery.

Surgical procedures are available that can regenerate and repair the soft gum tissue in the mouth, as well as hard tissues such as bone or teeth. Your oral surgeon will want to reduce or completely eliminate gum pockets, or open areas beneath the gum line, improving and renewing gum to tooth attachment. Normal oral functions and aesthetic appearances are aimed to be restored.

There are many sedation dentistry options available to patients treating their gum disease with oral surgery. These include local anesthesia and IV or conscious oral sedation. Talk to your oral surgeon to see what’s appropriate for your specific needs.

Don’t wait to treat your gum disease. Do what you need to do to ensure a lifetime of better oral hygiene and gum health.


Our dental office is located in Federal Way

Choosing a General Dentist

Choosing a General Dentist

Don’t put off choosing a general dentist until an emergency forces you to seek care from any dentist you can find. A better choice is to select the right dentist for you and your family who meets all your needs and to get established with regular checkups and consistent care. When searching for a general dentist, here are some guidelines to help you through the process.

Services:
Ask what procedures and treatments that the dentist offers. Make sure that the services you’re interested in are provided and that the dentist has experience in performing them. Typical services available through many general dentists include professional cleanings, X-rays, fillings, bonding, root canal treatment, teeth whitening, veneers, dental implants, and more.

Qualifications:
Check to see that the dentist has the proper education and training to be practicing, as well as a valid license. Look for a dentist who pursues continuing education in order to maintain the latest and most efficient skills.

Location:
You are more likely to keep your appointments if the dental office is located near your home or work. This makes stopping in for checkups easier with less impacts on your busy schedule.

Comfort:
Personal comfort is one of the most important aspects of your dental visits. Not only should the office environment be comfortable and appealing, your interactions with the dentist and staff should also make you feel at ease. Look for professionals who listen to what you have to say and address all of your concerns. Nerves are a common part of dental visits for many people, so find a dentist who makes you feel relaxed and more likely to return for care.

Policies:
Ask questions about various policies of the dental office such as hours, emergency care, financial responsibilities, insurance plans, and any other policies that might affect you.

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

Types of Dental Crown and Bridge Materials Available

Types of Dental Crown and Bridge Materials Available

Restorative dentistry has made incredible advancements in the technology of restorative dental materials, and there are more options than ever today for your dental crown or dental bridge. Zirconium and porcelain have proven to provide lasting strength and durability, exhibiting the most natural cosmetic dental restorations available today. Each tooth in each mouth is different, however, and in some cases, resin composite or metal alloy might be the choice recommended for you.

Metals are a common choice for dental crowns and dental bridges. Gold or palladium alloys, as well as chromium or nickel (base-metal) alloys can be excellent choices. Metal alloy crowns show the least “wear down” over years of use. They almost never chip, break or wear down opposing teeth. The primary complaint about metal alloy materials is that their color is metallic and thereby unnatural. They will not blend with the surrounding teeth, and as such, they are chosen more for back molars where they won’t draw attention.

Dental composite/resin materials are a popular choice that can be made to blend with the surrounding teeth, but they’ve been shown to wear down over time and are more prone to fractures and breaking than other materials.

Porcelain can be fused to metal to form a natural-appearing crown or bridge, and because of their appearance, are a good choice for front or back teeth. Over time, however, discoloration can appear along the gum line as the porcelain wears away, leaving a dark, unsightly line. The porcelain can be fused to zirconium, however, which eliminates the dark line and is a good cosmetic choice for front teeth.

Crowns and bridges can also be made from all-porcelain or all-ceramic materials. These materials are the best choice for natural-looking teeth of the types of dental crown and dental bridge materials available in restorative dentistry today. Because they contain no metal, they are excellent choices for patients with metal allergies. They tend to be weaker and less durable than materials containing metals, however.

Talk to your cosmetic dentist today with any questions you have regarding what type of dental crown or bridge material is best for your smile needs.

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

Are Dental Implants Worth It?

Some patients wonder if dental implants are the best choice for their missing teeth. The time and effort dental implants take can be off-putting to some patients. If you’re wondering if dental implants are really worth it, there are many factors for you to consider.

Dental implant treatment takes a relatively long period of time to complete as well as to completely heal when compared to other tooth replacement options, such as a bridge. The planning process is far more involved than in other missing tooth replacement plans. The materials utilized with dental implants take more time to create in a dental lab and require greater skill and attention than other lab-created tooth replacements.

Dental implants are much stronger than other tooth replacement options, and will last years or even decades longer. When compared to a dental bridge which lasts an average of 14 years, a dental implant can last up to 30 years.

Sometimes, if insufficient bone is present to provide the necessary support for the implant, bone from elsewhere in the body might be grafted onto the existing bone. A dental implant must heal completely before any pressure is put on the new artificial tooth roots. This can take up to three months. After this time, the tooth portion of the dental implant is applied.

Dental implants are the strongest, best choice for a patient with a missing tooth. They rarely fracture and never decay. As opposed to a dental bridge that necessitates the removal of some of your natural tooth structure, a dental implant preserves adjacent teeth and allows patients the most natural, ideal choice for tooth replacement.

Dental implant candidates who are willing to be patient and plan for the future can experience the benefits these restorations have to offer. Talk to your dentist if you want to explore your options for replacing one or more missing teeth.

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

Benefits of Dental Implants

Are you missing one or more teeth? Dental implants are among the best possible solutions for patients missing teeth. Dental bridges and dentures can fill the gaps left by acute decay or gingivitis, but dental implants have many advantages over these other techniques.

Dental implants are typically made of titanium and serve as an artificial root for a missing tooth. They are fused directly to the jawbone and become an excellent foundation for replacement teeth. They are the best possible substitute for a natural tooth that a dentist can provide.

Dental implant therapy has several benefits, among them:

  • Dental implants are very convenient. Bridges necessitate cleaning carefully under and surrounding the bridged tooth, and dentures need to be removed and specially cleaned and can utilize messy adhesives to affix them to your mouth. Dental implants are cleaned exactly as you would clean your natural tooth. Brush and floss normally. There is no slippage or cleaning beneath or between the replacement tooth, which is permanently attached to the gum via the dental implant, which fuses to the bone in a process known as ossification.
  • Dental implants look better than other replacement teeth. They are intended to appear and function as your natural tooth would.
  • Because they’re fused to your bone, they are more secure than dentures or bridges that can slip in the oral cavity, causing pain, muddled speech and problems eating or drinking. Dental implants are incapable of slippage, leaving you to lead your life with confidence and security.
  • Dental implants preserve bone by stimulating the bone in your jaw, something necessary for the health of the bone. Without this stimulation, the bone can begin to shrink.
  • Dental implants are very durable and can last for decades, if not for a lifetime, when cared for properly.
  • Because dental implants don’t require any alterations to the surrounding teeth, those natural teeth are able to remain intact, lending to your overall good oral health.

We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area