Teeth whitening dentist

Teeth Whitening and Teeth Bleaching: What’s the Difference?

Having a bright, beautiful, white smile is something we all desire. It signals health and prosperity and leaves the best possible first impression a person can make. There are a host of products at the drug store that label themselves “whitening.” Whitening toothpastes, whitening mouth rinses, whitening strips, gels and creams all line the shelves, promising a “new you!” Your dentist, however, offers something labeled as “bleaching.” So what’s the difference? Which should you choose?

Your natural tooth is made up of two specific layers: enamel and dentin. The enamel layer is on the outside of the tooth. It’s the white part we see when someone smiles. It’s hard and heavily mineralized and can appear like porcelain. The dentin is the inner layer. It’s yellow in color and supports the enamel on the outside. Over time, your enamel naturally wears away and the yellow dentin color can begin to show through.

The term “whitening” is applied to any product that helps restore teeth to a natural color by removing debris and stains from a natural tooth’s surface. Any substance that restores the surface of a tooth’s enamel is a whitening product. Many whitening products contain a mild abrasive that removes leftover discoloration and food particles, leaving the enamel of the tooth smooth and white. Teeth whitening products combat stains caused by ageing and the discoloration left by many foods, or by smoking.

The FDA permits the term “bleaching” only for products that can whiten a tooth beyond their initial, natural color. Bleaching products contain active ingredients such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide is activated so that it releases oxygen molecules that enter the tooth enamel and break down stains in a way that whitening products cannot. This activation can occur immediately, in the case of some in-office bleaching products, like laser whitening, or it can take several hours, as it can with custom take-home bleaching trays.

If you are considering brightening your smile, talk to Federal Way teeth whitening dentist Dr. Wallen to see what product is best suited to your smile needs!

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

Kids’ Ages and their Dental Care

Teaching your kids good dental habits and making sure they get dental care are some of the most important things you can do for them. Guidelines for helping your child improve their oral health depend upon their ages. Here are some oral health tips for various stages of childhood.

Infants (up to 2 years):
It’s never too early to begin oral care! Clean your baby’s gums with a damp cloth after feedings to remove bacteria. Once the first tooth erupts, use a soft toothbrush for babies to gently brush the teeth and gums. Use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste and brush at least twice a day. Around the first birthday, begin taking your child to the dentist for regular checkups.

Preschoolers (2-4 years):
This age group has the highest incidence of tooth decay, because most preschoolers love sugary foods but may not love brushing their teeth. Brush your child’s teeth yourself until they are old enough to do it well, but continue supervising the process to make sure all areas are clean. Consider flavored or character fluoride toothpastes if it encourages your child to brush. Also, limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes.

Young elementary (5-7 years):
As more and more teeth grow in, your child needs to brush carefully with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure all areas of your child’s mouth are being reached, and help your child use dental floss to clean between teeth and gums. Continue helping your child make healthy diet choices.

Older kids (over 8 years):
Most children should be able to brush on their own by age 8, but performing spot checks is a good idea to make sure they are doing a good job. Teach your child to brush after meals, especially when eating sugary or sticky foods, and emphasize the importance of flossing every day. Continue taking your child for regular dental checkups every six months, which will help create a life-long habit of good oral care.

If you need a dentist in Federal Way contact us today

Boost Your Teeth Whitening Results

There is no quicker or easier way to dramatically improve the look of your smile than professional teeth whitening. Your dentist probably offers several whitening options and can advise you about the most appropriate type of whitening treatment to ensure your brightest, whitest smile. No matter which whitening treatment you and your dentist decide will be best, there are several tips you can follow to help you achieve the ideal result:

  • Have any existing dental problems treated prior to whitening to avoid side effects or complications.
  • Schedule a professional teeth cleaning prior to your whitening appointment to remove buildup of plaque or tartar you cannot remove with home cleaning, and provide the best surface for the whitening treatment.
  • Begin brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste several weeks before whitening to limit the sensitivity that can sometimes result from whitening agents.
  • If you are extremely prone to dental sensitivity, check with your dentist about taking a painkilling medication before your whitening appointment.
  • Consult with your dental office to determine how much time you should allow for your whitening appointment.
  • Refrain from eating or drinking anything except water for at least one hour after the completion of your whitening treatment, and avoid ingesting foods and beverages that contain stain-causing agents for no less than 24 hours.
  • Make sure to attend any follow-up appointments with your dentist.
  • Maintain excellent home oral care habits to extend the life of your whitening procedure.

By following these tips, you can boost the results of your professional teeth whitening treatment and face the world with beautiful, bright smile!


Our dental office is located in Federal Way

root canal treatment

Causes of Post-Root Canal Therapy Pain

The goal of root canal therapy is to relieve pain, not cause it. The pain you experience before a root canal is the result of damage to the tissues in the tooth. Root canal therapy removes that damaged tissue, therefore relieving the discomfort you feel. If you are still experiencing tooth pain after undergoing a root canal procedure, it could be an indication of a problem with the treatment.

While mild discomfort is to be expected during the root canal healing process, if the pain continues or becomes more severe, it is likely an indication of a problem. There are several reasons for tooth pain after root canal treatment:

  • The tooth has an extra canal that was not cleaned and filled, meaning there is an extra physical root.
  • The tooth has a small, tight accessory canal that is difficult to locate on x-rays or hard to access with the necessary tools.
  • The tooth is fractured due to the damage and weakened state caused by the original decay and the access cavity that is created to begin the root canal treatment.
  • The root canal has become reinfected.
  • The small files used by your dentist to clean out the pulp of the tooth sometimes break, resulting in a failed root canal treatment.

In the days immediately following root canal therapy, it is normal to experience some tenderness of the tooth or surrounding gum. This discomfort should be easily managed with over-the-counter painkillers and should subside in a few days. If the pain does not ease in a few days or becomes more severe, contact your dental professional immediately to access your symptoms and determine if you are having root canal complications.

We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

Improving Smiles with Veneers

If you’ve tried teeth whitening products or other methods to improve the look of your smile but still aren’t satisfied, maybe it’s time to consider the more permanent solution of dental veneers. These provide a painless and simple way to transform your smile without the hassles that some other solutions involve.

What are veneers?:
These very thin shells are usually made from porcelain or composite materials, and they fit right onto the surface of the fronts of your teeth to improve their appearance. They hide imperfections so that no one can even tell what your natural teeth underneath might look like.

What are the benefits?:
In addition to making your smile look nicer, veneers also may be used to fill in gaps between your teeth. They can repair chips in your teeth or decayed areas. Veneers can even correct crooked teeth because they may be used to align your smile in a more appealing way.

Which type should I choose?:
Porcelain veneers are the most popular choice because of its durability and natural appearance. Veneers made of composite are often less expensive, but tend to stain easier and require replacement sooner. Composite veneers may be a good choice for small tooth chip repairs, but for overall improvement porcelain is often the preferred material.

What’s the process for getting veneers?:
After your initial consultation with your dentist, your next appointment will involve gently altering the shape and surface of your teeth if necessary to prepare them for veneers. Then a mold will be made of your mouth so that custom veneers can be created. You’ll be fitted for temporary veneers while your permanent ones are made, which usually takes a few weeks. When they are ready, your veneers will be placed using special glue and then trimmed to fit exactly. Your new smile is now complete!

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

Reasons to Consider Dentures

Most of the time, the idea of dentures brings to mind elderly people who are missing a mouthful of teeth. The truth is that dentures are not just for old folks, but for people of all ages who have lost teeth for some reason. Gum disease, tooth decay, and trauma from an accident are all common reasons for tooth loss. There is no need to suffer through life with gaps in your smile, when you can opt for dentures to restore both appearance and function.

The main reasons that many people consider getting dentures include:

  • Eating – your teeth help you to chew and eat food. Dentures serve the same purpose, allowing you to eat a normal diet without having to stick only to soft foods or liquids.
  • Speaking – when the gaps in your smile have been filled, your ability to speak more clearly and easily is improved.
  • Smiling – replacing missing teeth gives you back your self-confidence to smile and laugh again. You will be proud of your new smile and be willing to display it more often. Also, your cheeks will have a fuller look and your appearance may look younger.

When you get dentures, expect that it may take some time to get used to them. They may feel strange at first, and you should be patient while you learn to talk and eat with them. Time will help you adjust to the dentures, but if discomfort lingers you should visit your dentist to make sure the fit is correct and no adjustments are necessary.

If you need a dentist in Federal Way contact us today

What Alternatives Do I have to a Root Canal Treatment?

If you suspect you have an infected tooth, you might wonder if root canal treatment might be in your future. Do you have another option? Yes! One such alternative has been in existence for decades, but has only recently come to be more effective due to advancements in materials. This process is called pulp capping.

Pulp capping can help patients whose root infections have not yet reached the tooth’s nerve. Root infections begin when bacteria enters the pulp of the tooth through a crack or a large cavity. In a standard root canal procedure, the pulp and nerve of the tooth is hollowed out, cleaned and sealed, typically with a crown restoration.

With pulp capping, the nerve is preserved and the tooth is often repaired with a filling instead of a crown. Pulp capping allows the dentist to clean and protect the pulp, defending it from infection with medicine. With a successful pulp cap, the dentin of the tooth begins to regrow over the pulp cap. Advancements in the sealants used during these types of procedures has allowed for a greater percentage of success.

If you have a toothache, it’s important to see your dentist immediately. Pulp capping has a narrow window in which it can be performed. If your tooth is too infected, the pulp and nerve of your tooth may already be infected, and it’s too late for pulp capping to be effective.

A pulp cap is a far less invasive procedure than a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction, and there is less recovery time and tooth sensitivity following the treatment.

If you suspect you may have a tooth in trouble, talk to your dentist now. You might be able to save yourself a root canal treatment.


Our dental office is located in Federal Way

Your Upcoming Cosmetic Dentistry Treatment

Cosmetic dentistry offers many types of procedures, from porcelain veneers to teeth whitening or bleaching. Whether you are doing something more involved, like a restorative dental bridge and crown treatment, or something more straightforward, such as veneers, you should know what lies in store for you as you pursue your smile goals.

You should begin by talking to your cosmetic dentist. This is the time for you to be honest with your dentist about any changes you’d like to see in your smile. Don’t be embarrassed to discuss your true feelings; your cosmetic dentist is here to help you achieve your dream smile. If you are healthy overall, virtually nothing can stand in the way of you and your ideal look if you are in the hands of a skilled cosmetic dentist.

If you are getting your teeth whitened or are receiving veneers, you will need to clean your teeth beforehand. Removing the plaque and bacteria from the surface of the tooth is extremely important toward achieving even whitening results. Veneers that trap bacteria beneath them are perfect environments for infection. Having a thorough cleaning ensures that your veneers will be properly bonded to the tooth surface and you can enjoy your new look with confidence.

Many cosmetic dentistry therapies are achieved through some kind of oral surgery. In order to have the best possible experience, follow all of the instructions given to you by your surgeon. Make arrangements for someone to take you home following surgery, as you will not be able to drive safely. Have your medications ready and begin taking them as soon as recommended. Eat only foods recommended by your surgeon as your mouth heals.

Braces also require a full check-up and thorough cleaning. After the braces are applied or following any adjustments, your mouth may be sore. Have ibuprofen on hand to help with the swelling and specialized orthodontic wax to protect your sensitive soft tissues.

Talk to your cosmetic dentist about your procedure to see what recommendations are best for you and your treatment.

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

cosmetic dentistry

How Do You Define the Perfect Smile?

Movie stars and celebrities often have stunningly beautiful smiles that immediately catch your eye. In recent years cosmetic dentistry has become far more popular, and many people want to emulate the smiles of famous people to help boost their self-confidence and self-esteem.

Your dentist in Federal Way can transform a perfectly ordinary smile into something spectacular, often using a combination of techniques. A smile makeover can involve teeth whitening, tooth colored fillings and porcelain veneers, and a skilled and experienced cosmetic dentist will restore damaged teeth, rebuilding a smile. Patients can invest as much or as little as they wish in updating their teeth.

When deciding on a smile makeover, it can help to define your idea of a perfect smile. Think about particular characteristics of your teeth you would like to change, for example teeth that are crooked or which have spaces in between them. Could your teeth look a little whiter?

Popular cosmetic dentistry treatments can include:

  • Dental implants to replace missing teeth
  • Invisalign clear braces to discreetly straighten teeth
  • Porcelain crowns and fillings to replace old restorations
  • Porcelain veneers to create a uniformly stunning smile

Deciding how you’d like to improve your smile will give you a good starting point for treatment. You can discuss your goals during your initial meeting with your cosmetic dentist in Federal Way, and they can describe possible treatment options. Many people collect photographs of smiles they admire, and this can be helpful for your dentist to compile your treatment plan. Just remember everyone’s smile is unique, and treatment will be customized to fit in with your facial features, skin tone, gender and age.

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

An Overview of Root Canal Treatment

Sometimes a tooth is so severely damaged that the only way to save it is with root canal treatment. There is no reason to turn and run if your dentist advises this procedure. The treatment has advanced to the point that it’s often compared to getting a filling. There are certain steps that will be performed as part of nearly every root canal procedure.

Preparation

X-rays may be taken as part of the diagnosis process or to determine the extent of damage. Once the dentist is ready to begin treatment, a local anesthetic will be used to numb the area throughout the procedure.

Pulp removal

A rubber dam will be placed around the tooth to separate the area from the rest of the mouth, and to keep it dry from saliva. The tooth will be opened, often using a small dental drill, to gain access to the pulp inside the tooth. The damaged pulp will be removed, and if there is an abscess it will be drained.

Cleaning and filling

After the pulp is eliminated, the dentist will thoroughly clean the area. The root canal will be widened if needed to create an adequate space for the filling. Depending on the extent of the damage, this step of the process can take up to several hours to complete or it can be spread over more than one visit. A temporary filling is sometimes used to seal the area between visits. If infection is present, the dentist may prescribe antibiotics.

Sealing

The temporary filling will be removed and the permanent filling placed to fully seal the tooth and prevent future infection. If the tooth has been filled at the root, the risk of breaking is higher so a crown may be recommended for protection.

Crown placement

Crowns help prevent further damage or fracturing. If needed, the tooth will be reduced somewhat to allow space for the crown. It will be held in place securely with dental cement.

Recovery

After root canal treatment, the tooth should survive for many years. The procedure may be repeated if re-infection occurs.


We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

Dental Problems Treated by Oral Surgery

Your family, general, or pediatric dentist or orthodontist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for some dental treatments that require oral surgery. An oral surgeon is a specialist who has graduated from an accredited dental school and also completed additional education and residency related to surgical procedures needed to treat various oral diseases and conditions. An oral surgeon is trained in treating the following conditions:

  • Removal of diseased or impacted teeth
  • Placement of dental implants
  • Treatment of facial trauma involving gums, jaws, nasal cavities, cheekbones, eye sockets, and forehead
  • Evaluation of pathologic conditions such as cysts and tumors of the mouth and face or acute infections of the oral cavity, salivary glands, neck, and jaws
  • Treatment of facial pain including those caused by temporomandibular (TMJ) problems
  • Cosmetic or reconstructive surgery to correct jaw, facial bone, and facial soft tissue problems
  • Corrective jaw surgery
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate repair
  • Surgical treatment for sleep apnea

There are many different techniques that oral surgeons use to accomplish your treatment goals. The choice of techniques may vary between surgeons and should be discussed between you and your surgeon prior to the procedure.

Many oral surgery procedures can be completed in an outpatient setting. Often you are only in the office for a few hours and can return to your regular routine in a matter of days. A good oral surgeon will be able to perform these procedures with little chance of complications, and will be able to provide you with the information you need to understand the recovery process. Your oral surgeon will often collaborate with other specialists, such as an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist, to achieve your ultimate treatment goals.


If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today

dentures

How Dentures Can Improve Your Smile

If you have been living with a mouth full of badly decayed teeth, infected gums or painful tooth infections, your dentist may have talked to you about how dentures can transform your smile. While no one wants to extract all of his or her teeth and have no remaining natural teeth, if your teeth have been a source of pain and embarrassment to you for years, having a beautiful new set of dentures could sincerely change your life.

Dentures are very natural-appearing replacements for an entire mouth of missing natural teeth and gum tissue. Dentures are removable and can be cleaned thoroughly each day, unlike examples like dental crowns or dental bridges that are permanently affixed to your mouth.

Badly decayed teeth and other oral issues can lead to chronic pain that spreads from the mouth to other areas of the face, head and neck. This pain can disrupt your life, leaving you irritable and moody, causing you to isolate yourself. Pain medications can lead you to feel groggy or off-balance, affecting your interactions with others in a negative manner. Once those teeth are removed and any underlying infection is addressed, you will be shocked at how much better you feel. The absence of this once-ongoing pain will feel as though you are free of a great burden you hadn’t realized you were carrying.

Years of poor oral health might have left you unwilling to smile broadly, or to be uncomfortable in public speaking, laughing or eating and drinking. You may avoid friends and family and you might choose not to form new relationships easily. Once your damaged teeth have been removed and you have been fitted for dentures, you will be amazed at the “new you.” The bright, perfect white smile that greets you in the mirror may look like a movie star’s smile, but in fact, it’s your smile. With your new dentures, you can feel confident as you move through life.

We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

Root Canal Therapy Myths

Have you been told that you may need a root canal treatment? Are you worried because of things you’ve heard in the media about how “awful” a root canal is? Don’t worry about what you’ve heard; endodontic therapy isn’t at all what you’d think. Let’s debunk some myths!

  • Myth #1: Root canal treatment is very painful. This isn’t true! In fact, a root canal treatment is performed specifically to relieve a patient’s pain, not to cause more. After a root canal treatment, you might feel some tenderness, but the pain you felt when the damaged tissue and infection was still inside the tooth will be completely gone. Once the swelling from the procedure has gone down, you will be able to use your new tooth exactly the way you could use your natural tooth when it was completely healthy.
  • Myth #2: Root canal therapy or other endodontic work can lead to disease elsewhere in the body. Another falsehood! Root canal treatments don’t spread disease to the rest of the body, rather, they remove infected tissue and bacteria from the body, preventing the affected tooth from becoming re-infected.
  • Myth #3: Extraction is better than root canal treatment. Extraction is not preferred to root canal treatment! Whenever possible, it’s preferred to keep your natural tooth. Your natural tooth’s roots stimulate and preserve the bone of your jaw, as well as providing adequate support to the surrounding teeth. Dental implants or dental bridges can be problematic, both in function and in dietary restrictions. In fact, an extraction can lead to several prolonged appointments to perform replacement procedures, treatments that are far more involved than a root canal treatment.

Endodontic treatment is an extremely common dental procedure that can provide durable, long-lasting restorations that will function as your natural tooth did. If you believe you may need a root canal treatment, talk to your endodontist or dentist today to see how this successfully proven treatment can help you and your smile needs.


Our dental office is located in Federal Way

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

 

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

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

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

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

Teeth Whitening: Quit Living with a Discolored Smile

You’re not the only one if you feel like your smile has become dull and yellowed. This happens to nearly everyone, and it is the most common complaint that people have about the look of their smiles. There is no reason to live with a discolored smile. Teeth whitening is available to restore your pearly whites.

There are a number of reasons that your smile has changed over the years. Aging causes tooth enamel to thin and allow the yellow-tinged dentin layer to show through. Dark-colored foods and drinks stain teeth, some medications produce the side effect of darkening teeth, and tobacco use creates difficult stains. Teeth may also change color due to mouth trauma.

Whatever the culprit is for your diminished smile, teeth whitening is a simple way to restore it. Whitening products contain bleaching agents that break up stains so that the color is less concentrated and your teeth look brighter. However, teeth whitening does not work in all situations. It does not affect restorations like veneers, fillings or crowns. Whitening is also not usually effective on stains resulting from injury or medications. Yellow teeth are the most likely to respond to teeth whitening, while brown or gray tones might be less improved.

There are numerous options for teeth whitening. Home products are available at your local drugstore like whitening toothpastes, gels, pens, strips and more. These methods focus on removing surface stains from your teeth. At-home bleaching kits are another option, typically obtained from your dentist, that involve filling a mouth tray with a special bleaching solution and wearing the trays for a time period like overnight. These kits are stronger than over-the-counter methods, but not as strong as professional whitening performed in a dental office. It is accomplished in about an hour in the dental chair using a concentrated bleaching agent and special lighting or laser to enhance the process, and provides the most dramatic results.

Consult your dentist for advice on the best whitening methods to use on your teeth. Every patient is different and certain methods may be more effective or comfortable for various people.

If you need a dentist in Federal Way contact us today

Veneers: The Secret is Out!

For people who don’t feel confident about showing their teeth when smiling, dental veneers provide a great way to restore self-esteem and quickly create beautiful smiles. No longer only for the rich and famous, the secret of transforming smiles with veneers is out for everyone to enjoy the benefits.

Veneers are thin shells that go over the front surfaces of your teeth to hide imperfections. They are customized just for you so that they look very natural and appealing. Veneers cover problems like stained, chipped, crooked, or misshapen teeth. The most common materials that veneers are made from are composite or porcelain. Here are the details about each of these types of veneers.

Composite

  • Has an opaque finish, but it’s difficult to match the color of your existing tooth enamel color
  • Lifespan is usually two years or less
  • Susceptible to staining because of its porous characteristics
  • Requires careful and consistent maintenance to keep them looking good as long as possible
  • Typically lower in cost than other types of veneers

Porcelain

  • Has an opaque finish that appears natural and coordinates well with the color and texture of existing teeth
  • Lifespan is usually from five to ten years
  • Does not stain
  • Requires good dental hygiene for the best results

Whichever type of dental veneers you might select, chances are good that you will be glad you chose to restore your smile in this way. People won’t even realize that underneath the veneers you have crooked, discolored, uneven, or chipped teeth. Your secret will be safe, thanks to the technology of dental veneers.

We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

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

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

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

Who Can Benefit from Dental Veneers?

One of the most popular treatments in cosmetic dentistry is veneers. These thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin are bonded to the fronts of your teeth to hide the flaws of your real teeth. They look natural, resist stains, and are a durable way to restore smiles. Veneers offer a solution for patients with a variety of dental problems.

Fractured teeth:
Teeth that are broken or chipped can be hidden behind veneers, fully restoring your smile.

Discolored teeth:
Stained or yellowed teeth may result from a number of things. Some discoloration such as from foods or age can be improved with teeth whitening treatments. However, stains resulting from things like drugs, large resin fillings, or too much fluoride may not respond to whitening methods. Veneers provide the ability to choose the shade of white you like and get your bright smile back.

Small teeth:
Sometimes teeth are just too small for a person’s facial features. It is difficult for orthodontists to close gaps between teeth that are too small, and gum recession is also often an issue with small teeth. Veneers can take care of both of these problems.

Worn teeth:
When the edges of teeth become worn, it can make you look older than you actually are. Veneers can lengthen teeth that are shortened with wear so that your smile looks brand new.

Crooked teeth:
Misaligned and crooked teeth can be hidden under dental veneers. This gives your smile a uniform and appealing look.

Cosmetic issues:
Veneers can be provided simply for cosmetic purposes to change the shape and appearance of your teeth. You and your cosmetic dentist can design the veneers together so that your teeth might look more curved, flatter, bigger, or longer as you choose.

If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today

Transforming Your Smile with Dental Veneers

When your appearance gets you down because you are embarrassed about flaws in your smile, dental veneers can turn your life around. The process is simple and in only a couple of visits to your dentist, you’ll have a brand new beautiful smile.

Getting dental veneers is painless. Your dentist just takes impressions of your natural teeth and then the mold is used to create veneers just for you in a dental lab. The thin shells, usually made of porcelain or composite resin, are bonded onto the fronts of your teeth to hide all kinds of imperfections.

There are many reasons that patients consider veneers to transform their smile. Here are some common ones:

  • Stains – severely discolored and stained teeth sometimes do not respond to teeth whitening treatment, or the results just aren’t dramatic enough to make you happy with your smile. The shade of dental veneers is chosen by you and your dentist, so you can achieve the exact color you’d like.
  • Chips – teeth that are chipped or cracked are easily hidden under veneers. The damaged portion of the tooth is supplemented so that it looks brand new, and the hard coating supplied by the veneers protects the weakened tooth from further damage.
  • Misalignment – if braces or other orthodontia didn’t work for you or if you want to avoid the sometimes lengthy and embarrassing process, veneers make your smile appear straight and perfect. Uneven or crooked teeth can cause low self-esteem, but veneers will make you proud to smile.
  • Gaps – extra spaces between your teeth can also be upsetting, especially large gaps that might even call for invasive procedures like dental implants. Your dentist may be able to cover awkward gaps with veneers to give you an even smile without any pain or prolonged recovery time.

Veneers aren’t for every dental problem, but many of them can be addressed with this easy and quick solution. Ask your dentist if they are right for you.


If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today