dental cleaning

What’s the Connection between Oral Health and Overall Health?

Most people know that keeping your mouth clean is the best way to have an attractive and healthy smile. However not so many will be aware of the benefits to general health. Having healthy teeth and gums helps protect your overall health.

What Is Oral Health?
Oral health is concerned with the condition of any of the structures in your mouth, including your teeth, gums, tongue and all your oral tissues.

How Is Oral Health Related to Overall Health?
When your teeth and gums are healthy then it’s much easier to eat a varied and nutritionally sound diet. Choosing foods that are good for your teeth, for example those that are low in sugar, will also benefit your general health. Having a nice smile helps boost self-esteem, and good oral health decreases the risk of bad breath. It’s also much easier to speak clearly when you have all your teeth.

Which Oral and General Health Conditions Are Linked?
Oral health has been connected to a number of different general health issues. Clinical studies have found links between gum disease and diabetes. For example, uncontrolled diabetes can increase the amount of glucose in the saliva, increasing the risk of gum disease. Conversely gum disease causes bleeding gums that allow bacteria in the mouth to enter into the bloodstream where it’s thought they can create new sites of inflammation, making it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. In addition diabetics find it more difficult to heal. Gum disease has also been linked to heart disease, and people with unhealthy gums could be at increased risk of developing heart issues.

How Can I Achieve Good Oral Health?
It’s important to visit your family dentist in Federal Way as often as recommended. Book professional tooth cleanings at the same time as this will reduce bacteria in the mouth, helping to keep your gums healthy and strong. People with diabetes or other medical conditions that compromise their immune system may need to visit their Federal Way general dentist more frequently.

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

root canal treatment

Symptoms That Indicate You Might Need a Root Canal Procedure

If you have tooth pain or another issue, you might wonder what a visit to the dentist may reveal. You may need a root canal procedure. In order to properly evaluate your issue and to confirm the need for a procedure, a dentist will examine several factors. These typically include the symptoms you are experiencing, the signs observed, and any additional testing required to confirm an initial theory.

You may have noticed:

  • You experience average to severe pain that lingers, during or immediately after drinking hot liquids or food, or very cold liquids or foods.
  • You have pain, swelling, or sensitivity when biting or chewing on a certain tooth.
  • Your tooth pain disrupts your life, preventing you from sleeping through the night or conducting your daily business without taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • You have a “bubble” on your gum, similar to a pimple. When irritated, it may release blood or pus that can smell or taste bad.
  • You have pain that radiates out from one tooth to other areas of your head or jaw. For example, a tooth pain can lead to a pain behind the eye like a headache or to the ear, resulting in earache symptoms.
  • You have a discolored tooth that is darker than the surrounding teeth. A grey tooth can indicate a “dead” tooth.
  • You have a broken or cracked tooth with obvious signs of damage or decay.


Your dentist may have noticed:

  • A tooth problem revealed by x-rays
  • A recurring or persistent gum pimple (also called “fistulous tracts”)
  • A tooth that has changed color


Additional testing:

  • X-ray examination – if x-rays did not reveal the problem, they can provide an extremely clear picture of tooth health
  • Percussion testing – a gentle tapping on the teeth to evaluate pain response
  • Thermal testing – a careful application of a hot or cold stimulus to evaluate sensitivity

Sometimes, teeth needing to undergo a root canal procedure have no symptoms discernible to the patient. It is important to visit your dentist regularly to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment needed to maintain life-long oral health.

If you need root canal treatment in the Federal Way area, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

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

kids dentist

Baby Teeth Basics

Babies obviously can’t take care of themselves, so parents have to handle all aspects of their care. Don’t forget their oral health! Parents need to lay the groundwork for lifelong good dental habits and healthy smiles for their children. Here are some answers to common questions about baby teeth.

Do baby teeth matter?
Primary, or baby, teeth are important. They help children chew naturally and speak clearly. They provide the place for adult teeth to grown in properly later.

Should I brush my baby’s teeth?
You should brush your baby’s teeth without toothpaste, using a small amount of water instead. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush at bedtime to remove plaque and bacteria from your baby’s teeth and gums.

When can I start using toothpaste?
Fluoride toothpaste can be implemented after age two, when a child can be trusted not to swallow the toothpaste. Only use a small amount of toothpaste, and watch the child carefully to ensure proper brushing and spitting out the toothpaste.

When should I take my child to the dentist?
Experts recommend taking your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears, or by their first birthday. Your child should be taken for dental visits every six months, or more often if your dentist has concerns.

Do I need a certain type of dentist for my child?
You may choose a pediatric dentist who has been trained specifically to treat children. Their goal is to teach children about oral hygiene and the importance of taking care of their teeth, as well as provide a comfortable experience in visiting the dentist. However, you may also choose a regular dentist to take care of your child’s oral health. It is up to you to decide which kind of dentist is right for your family.

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

Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes and Oral Health

If you have diabetes, this condition can impact your overall wellbeing, including your oral health. An estimated 24 million Americans have diabetes, and many may not realize the affect it has on your teeth and gums. The link between diabetes and oral health has to do with blood sugar levels.

Regulating blood sugar is an important component of diabetes management. If your blood sugar is out of whack, you can have problems. Uncontrolled diabetes hinders white blood cells, which help fight off bacterial infections in the mouth. Research has shown that keeping blood sugar levels steady can lowers the chances of major complications of with the eyes, heart, and nerves. Apparently, watching these levels also helps avoid oral health problems as well.

People with diabetes have an increased risk for:

Dry Mouth – When your blood sugar is not regulated, it can decrease saliva production, which can lead to dry mouth.

Inflammation and Gum disease – With diabetes, patients face impairing of white blood cells and thickening of the blood vessels, reducing the flow of nutrients and the removal of waste in the mouth. These factors compromise the body’s ability to fight infection, so the risk for gum disease increases.

Poor healing in the mouth – If you don’t have the diabetes under control, healing throughout the body take longer, including with any dental procedures.

Thrush – A fungal infection of the mouth and tongue, thrush can occur in diabetics if their sugar levels are inconsistent because this fungus is very receptive to the high glucose levels in the saliva.

Patients with diabetes can keep their mouths healthy by following good home health care, scheduling dental visits every six months, and keeping your dentist informed about the status of your diabetes. Make sure to give your dentist contact information for your primary physician so that they can coordinate your complete health care.

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

 

Vaping and teeth

Smokeless Tobacco Does Not Mean It’s Harmless

Everyone knows that tobacco is harmful to your health, but many people believe that smokeless tobacco doesn’t fall into the same category. Just because it’s smokeless doesn’t mean it’s harmless. It’s dangerous for your overall health, but also for your oral health. Here are some possible oral health outcomes of using smokeless tobacco.

Tooth decay
Smokeless tobacco contains sugar, which combines with the plaque on your teeth to damage your tooth enamel and cause decay.

Receding gums
Placing chewing tobacco in your mouth at the same spot over and over can permanently damage your gums. It can also harm your bone structure. Your irritated gums may pull away from your teeth, expose your tooth roots, and leave your teeth painful and susceptible to decay. Receding gums sometimes also loosen your teeth and cause them to eventually fall out.

Tooth discoloration
Smokeless tobacco stains your teeth, causing embarrassing yellow and brown discoloration. It is extremely difficult to remove with normal brushing, and even professional teeth whitening may not completely remove these stubborn stains.

Bad breath
Your breath will suffer from tobacco products of any kind. Don’t be fooled into thinking that mint-flavored smokeless tobacco hides the problem.

Tooth abrasion
Smokeless tobacco can be gritty and scratch your teeth, wearing down the enamel. Loss of tooth enamel increases sensitivity and may require treatment.

Cancer
The consistent placement of tobacco inside your gums and the irritating juices accompanying it can cause a pre-cancerous condition called leukoplakia. All smokeless tobacco contains cancer-causing agents, which subject users to higher cancer risk in the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus, and pharynx.

We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

emergency dentistry in Federal Way

When Emergency Dental Care is Needed

As much as you hope it doesn’t happen, dental emergencies can sneak up on you. Some clinics offer emergency dental care to provide quick, effective, and safe treatment. It’s important to know what kinds of dental problems require urgent care, as opposed to those that can wait until you can get a regular appointment with your dentist. Here are some common types of emergencies that warrant immediate treatment.

Severe toothache
A painful toothache that won’t go away should not be ignored. These can occur suddenly, be confined to a single area, cause pain when eating, and also involve your gums. Symptoms like these may indicate an abscess, which can also lead to facial swelling. Sometimes your airway can even become blocked. A severe toothache requires immediate relief, and therefore is considered a dental emergency.

Excessive bleeding
If you have oral bleeding from something like losing a tooth and you can’t get it under control, you need to see an emergency dentist. Normally when a tooth falls out, the bleeding will stop after a few minutes. If the blood won’t clot for some reason, or if there was severe trauma, excessive bleeding can occur. A dentist can help stop the bleeding by applying pressure, using a hemostatic agent, or even using stitches.

Fractured teeth
Infection may occur when a tooth is fractured, especially if the break goes deep into a permanent tooth, so immediate care is necessary. An emergency dentist will apply dentine padding to the affected area, so that you can visit your own dentist the next day for further treatment.

Surgery complications
If you have had oral surgery and the pain is more severe or lingering than your dentist anticipated, you should seek treatment immediately to make sure complications like a dry socket or jaw fracture hasn’t occurred.

If you have a dental emergency, contact our Federal Way dentists office.

Emergency dentist 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.

 

Emergency dentist in Federal Way – practiceName

dental tidbits

Interesting Dental Tidbits

You may know all about basic dental care. Most people can tell you about the importance of brushing twice a day and flossing regularly. If you asked friends and family, they could probably list the virtues of eating whole grains, lean meats, and green vegetables to keep teeth and gums healthy. The majority of individuals, though, probably don’t know these fun facts:

  • Approximately 33 percent of people squeeze their toothpaste from the middle.
  • As early as 700 BC, people carved false teeth out of animal bones.
  • During ancient times, the barber cut your hair, gave you a shave, and extracted injured teeth.
  • Each year, Americans fork out more money on hair care and lottery tickets than they do on their dental health.
  • In 1994, a West Virginia inmate scaled a wall and escaped prison using a rope made from dental floss.
  • Modern toothpaste was first manufacture by the Colgate Company.
  • People brushed their teeth with twigs or their fingers before toothbrushes were invented.
  • Poor individuals sold their teeth to the wealthy during the 18th century and these people used them as replacement teeth.
  • Surprisingly, cows don’t have upper teeth.
  • The Mexican version of the Tooth Fairy, called the Tooth Mouse, takes the lost tooth and leaves behind a small gift.
  • To win the 1986 National Spelling Bee, the top contestant correctly spelled odontalgia, another word for toothache.
  • When asked, 73 percent of Americans said they would rather grocery shop than floss their teeth.

Our dental office is located 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.