Dental Implants: Why They Are Better

Statistics show that losing natural teeth is still a common occurrence in oral health today. You might be surprised to know that it is estimated that 70% of Americans have lost at least one tooth by middle age. That’s why dentistry has worked hard to come up with an ideal solution as a permanent, comfortable, and attractive way to restore smiles. Dental implants are the answer.

Getting a dental implant consists of having a metal rod, usually made of titanium, surgically inserted into the jaw bone. Once the area has healed from surgery, a crown is typically placed on top to complete the restoration. This procedure results in a very secure and comfortable new tooth that shouldn’t cause problems again.

There’s a long history of other types of tooth replacement options, such as dentures and bridges. Why are dental implants considered to be the preferred choice today?

Appearance – the crown that is placed on top of an implant is aesthetically pleasing, giving you a natural smile.
Tooth preparation – no preparation or reduction to neighboring teeth is necessary with dental implants. The natural tooth structure of existing teeth is preserved.
Comfort – similar to your natural teeth, implants go into your jaw bone. This offers the same comfort and security as real teeth.
Durability – implants are made to last forever. With good care, you can expect them to last the rest of your life.
Diet – there are no dietary restrictions with implants. With dentures and bridges, you might miss out on some foods that could loosen or break your appliance. Implants allow you to eat whatever you’d like.
Maintenance – cleaning implants is the same as cleaning natural teeth. Brushing and flossing is performed normally, and no soaking or external care of appliances is required because the restoration is permanently installed in your mouth.

If you’re looking for a long-term and durable solution for missing teeth, ask your dentist about implants. The success rate is high, and the convenience and comfort can rarely be beaten by other alternatives.

Schedule your appointment at our Federal Way dental office

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

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

Whitening Your Teeth at Home

If you have to think twice about smiling because you’re embarrassed about your yellowed teeth, then it’s time to do something about it. You might consider having your teeth professionally whitened for quick and effective results, but first you may want to try whitening your smile at home with these natural methods.

Hydrogen peroxide:
Most teeth whitening products you find on store shelves contain hydrogen peroxide. The liquid creates bubbles on your tooth enamel that helps remove stains. The higher the concentration of peroxide and the longer you leave it on, the whiter your teeth will become. However, be careful because too much contact can lead to tooth sensitivity. Some people enhance the whitening properties of hydrogen peroxide by mixing it with baking soda to form a paste to put on the teeth.

Strawberries:
Regularly using strawberries on your teeth can whiten them. Just cut them in half and rub them on your teeth, allowing the juice to penetrate. After a while of using this technique, you should notice your teeth becoming brighter.

Lemon or orange peels:
Rubbing the peels of lemons or oranges against your teeth and leaving the residue on for a few minutes can whiten your smile. Be sure to rinse your mouth afterwards. Don’t leave the peel extracts on your teeth for too long because the acidic content may eventually harm your tooth enamel.

Apple cider vinegar:
Stubborn stains like those from coffee or smoking can be especially hard to eliminate. Rubbing apple cider vinegar on your teeth is one way to combat persistent stains. Apply it for no more than ten minutes and then rinse your mouth, because you don’t want to damage your tooth enamel. It take one to two months of consistent daily use to achieve a whiter smile.

Brush immediately:
The most well-known way to maintain a white smile is to brush your teeth after every meal, as well as after drinking a dark colored beverage. This helps get rid of stains and prevent new ones from forming.


We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

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

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

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

Make Your Smile Over with Dental Veneers

Porcelain dental veneers are among the most popular for making over your smile. Dental veneers can achieve dramatic and stunning results, not only in the aesthetic appearance of your smile, but also in the way you feel about yourself. Years of self-conscious behavior related to smile insecurities will begin to fall away, leaving you smiling, talking and eating in public with confidence.
Dental veneers are typically used on the most visible of your teeth, the front teeth. A very small amount of the natural tooth is ground away to make room for the veneers – so they will not appear “puffy.” A dental lab will then fabricate custom veneers from molds, using special techniques to craft the most realistic veneers in the desired tooth shade. Once these veneers are placed, they are designed to look as though they are natural, beautiful, white teeth, resulting in your best, most vibrant and confident smile.

Porcelain veneers are a relatively simple and risk-free way to correct chipped, gapped, crooked or stained teeth. Short teeth can be lengthened, and “gummy” smiles can be corrected. Some patients have suffered for years in embarrassment or discomfort with dental issues they thought would require major dental work to correct. Many times, these issues can be corrected quickly and easily with porcelain dental veneers.

If you are considering a smile makeover, it’s important to look around. Because cosmetic dentistry isn’t a legally separate specialty of dentistry, many dentists call themselves cosmetic dentists without fully appreciating the level of artistry and passion for beauty necessary to create a beautiful new smile design.

Ask any dentist for photographs of before and after patient results done personally by that dentist. Talk to your friends to see if someone has a personal recommendation. You might be surprised at how many people you think just have gorgeous natural smiles actually have had a smile makeover and now utilize dental veneers.

Don’t wait to start experiencing the benefits of dental veneers and a smile makeover. Talk to your cosmetic dentist today to see what options are available to you to meet your own smile goals.


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

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

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

Erasing Flaws with Dental Veneers

Cosmetic problems with your teeth can make it embarrassing to show your smile. Thanks to dental veneers, you can erase flaws and create a brand new look that will make you want to show off your pearly whites instead of hiding them.

Veneers are very thin shells that are usually made of porcelain. They are custom-made to fit right on top of the fronts of your teeth. The veneers are securely bonded in place so that you can feel confident and comfortable with your smile. The porcelain is matched to the same color as your natural teeth, or a few shades brighter if you’d like to whiten your smile. This material reflects light in the same way that real teeth do, so that others can’t even tell the veneers are there. Porcelain is also very durable, and will not stain like real teeth.

Dental veneers hide many different kinds of problems with your teeth. Some of the most common reasons that people choose to recreate their smiles with veneers include:

  • Teeth damaged from injury or decay, including chips and cracks
  • Unsightly gaps between teeth
  • Stains or discoloration that isn’t corrected with teeth whitening
  • Misshapen teeth that do not match the rest of your smile

Veneers are a quick and painless solution. Your natural teeth will be slightly prepared so that the veneers attach properly, but the process is not uncomfortable. Once your veneers are placed, you can expect them to last years without needing to replace them. Maintenance involves routine brushing and flossing just as you would normally, and keeping regular checkups with your dentist.

If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today

Simple Ways to Protect Kids’ Teeth

Kids don’t always play it safe or make the best decisions when it comes to protecting their teeth. Tooth decay and mouth injuries are just a couple of things parents must worry about for their kids, whether it’s the elementary school or college years. Here are some simple ways that parents can teach their kids to protect their teeth.

Limit sports and energy drinks.
Sports and energy drinks are both heavily marketed toward today’s youth. It is true that sports drinks help replace electrolytes during exercise, but many people drink them too much or outside the exercise realm. Experts have deemed sports drinks to be unnecessary in the lunchroom or as a snack on the playground. The high acid levels in these drinks can erode tooth enamel, with energy drinks determined to cause twice as much damage. It is recommended to save sports drinks for very strenuous activities, and instead stick with water for hydration and refreshment without the negative effects.

Insist upon mouthguards.
Parents should provide mouthguards for kids in nearly any sport, even if it isn’t considered mandatory by the school or team. Mouthguards can prevent chips, fractures, or knockouts of teeth, as well as protect the soft tissues of the mouth. According to research estimates, 3 million teeth were knocked out in youth sports in 2011. Dentists suggest that athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to sustain oral injury. Inexpensive basic mouthguards or the boil-and-bite variety are available at sporting goods stores, or customized mouthguards can be purchased through your dentist.

Say no to oral piercings.
Although it applies primarily to teenagers and older, the Academy of General Dentistry advises against oral piercing for active people. Those with piercings should remove them before participating in sports, because puncture wounds can lead to infections related to increased blood flow and breathing rates during exercise. If your child is considering and oral piercing, make sure you discuss the risks and need for removal during physical activity.

Our dental office is located in Federal Way

When Are Removable Prosthodontics Recommended?

If your teeth are badly damaged from decay or facial trauma, or if you have several missing teeth, your dentist may recommend removable prosthodontics to solve your dental problems. Periodontitis (advanced gum disease), bone loss or serious tooth decay can leave you as a poor candidate for restorative options such as dental crowns, dental bridges or dental implants. Removable prosthodontics can restore your smile so that it looks and functions as it should and can restore your confidence as you eat, smile and laugh.

Just hearing the word “dentures” might give you pause, reminding you of your older relatives, but achievements in dental restorative therapies enable your dentist to craft a removable prosthodontic for you that will not only look, but will feel like your natural smile.

Removable prosthodontics include:

  • Partial dentures correct gaps when only a few of your natural teeth are missing. A partial denture may be the best choice if your remaining teeth aren’t strong enough to support a dental bridge.
  • Overdentures provide restorations when one or more of your natural teeth are in place in an arch – typically two teeth for a bottom overdenture and four teeth for an upper overdenture.
  • Immediate dentures are put in place following an extraction, allowing the bone and gums to recover following an extraction procedure. They prevent the adjacent teeth from collapsing upon the empty space and affecting your bite.
  • Complete dentures are for edentulous patients (patients with no teeth at all) and are designed to replace all of the teeth in one or both arches of your mouth, restoring your smile and your ability to eat and speak clearly.

Because of advancements in materials and techniques, many dentures can be mistaken for natural teeth. Only you – and your prosthodontist – will know your secret. Talk to your prosthodontist today to see what removable prosthodontics can do for you. Don’t wait to begin enjoying your life with your new, healthy smile.

If you need a dentist in Federal Way contact us today

The Basics of Kids Dental Care

Many children aren’t excited about seeing the dentist, either as a result of comments others have made or the idea of an unknown experience. Dental visits are necessary for everyone though, beginning around the child’s first birthday. Here are some basics to know about your child’s dental care.

What happens at the first appointment?:
When your child sees the dentist for the first time, the dentist will look for tooth decay and determine your child’s risk for it. You will be shown how to properly clean your child’s teeth. Also, your dentist will explain the risks of habits that may affect your child’s teeth, such as thumb sucking or sugary drinks.

How often should my child see the dentist?:
You should continue to take your child to visit the dentist every six months, or in some cases more often if your child’s risks are high for tooth decay. Regular checkups can reduce your child’s risk for cavities because plaque will be removed and fluoride will be applied to strengthen the teeth. Also, potential dental issues may be caught early to avoid problems in the future.

What if further treatment is recommended?:
Even though your child might not have permanent teeth yet, dental work may be required on baby teeth too. Cavities can be painful and should be filled. Also, healthy baby teeth help your child properly chew, speak, and develop permanent teeth.

How can I help my child feel more comfortable?:
It is important to help your child’s dentist visits go smoothly so that lifelong habits of regular checkups without fear can be developed. You might consider choosing a pediatric dentist who specializes in children’s oral health and is trained to help kids through the dental visit. Discuss an upcoming dentist appointment with your child, and explain what to expect during the visit. If possible, take your child by the dentist’s office before your first appointment to see what it’s like. During the checkup, remain near your child to increase feelings of security and comfort.

If you live in the Federal Way area contact us today

Oral Surgery Frequently Asked Questions

If oral surgery is in your future, you might be worried about what’s to come. The way to relieve that worry is to talk to your oral surgeon. Your oral surgeon has the experience and knowledge necessary to guide you through whatever concerns or questions you may have. Here is a guide to some of those questions and answers:

How will I handle pain following surgery?

  • In many cases, you will have been prescribed narcotic pain relievers. If you are taking narcotics, take them only as recommended and do not mix them with over-the-counter pain relievers or alcohol. Driving while on narcotics is dangerous and can have serious consequences for you personally and for others. If you weren’t prescribed any medication, use anti-inflammatory analgesics such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.

What will happen to my stitches in the days following surgery?

  • Some stitches will be designed to dissolve over time and will not need to be removed. Others will not come out on their own and will need to be removed at a subsequent appointment. In many cases, losing a single stitch or two in the days following surgery isn’t serious; however, for bone-graft treatments, it is problematic and you should contact your surgeon immediately.

Can I eat normally after surgery?

  • Immediately after surgery when you’re still experiencing any mouth or tongue numbness, don’t eat anything. You could mistake the soft tissues of your mouth for food and do serious damage to your mouth without realizing it. After your numbness subsides, consume soft foods of tepid temperatures for several days to allow for healing. Talk to your surgeon to learn when you can resume normal eating patterns as dictated by your particular surgery.

What other tips do you have?

  • Stay hydrated and rest as much as possible to facilitate complete and quick healing. Call your surgeon if you have excessive bleeding or pain that doesn’t lessen with time. Be aware of signs of infection (swelling, redness, odorous or sour discharge) at the surgical site and seek professional care when needed.

Our dental office is located in Federal Way

Dental Implants: A Reason to Smile

Dental implants have become the standard of care recommended by dentists for replacing missing or damaged teeth. Compared to other solutions, many patients are finding that dental implants give them a reason to smile.

Realism:
Dental implants provide a new tooth and root that looks, fits, functions, and feel like a natural tooth. Implants avoid the potential problems associated with some alternatives, such as trouble eating, speaking or laughing.

Durability:
Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care, making them outlast most of their counterparts which have a lifespan of up to 10 years.

Natural:
Patients are able to retain their natural face shape. Missing teeth can make a person’s face look sunken and saggy, but implants allow you to maintain your proper face shape and smile.

Protective:
Missing teeth may cause jaw bone deterioration or loss, but implants preserve and stimulate the natural bone. The jaw is able to maintain its strength and firmness, protecting your bone structure. Also, neighboring teeth are not affected by dental implants. Healthy adjacent teeth are not damaged and stay exactly where they should be.

Health:
Cavities can’t take hold in a dental implant and crown. Proper hygiene and regular checkups should continue to ensure your mouth is healthy, but that particular tooth will not decay.

Confidence:
Dental implants erase the patient’s embarrassment about their smile and give them the confidence to enjoy life again. No more worries about a big space in the smile, and no concerns that the restoration will loosen or fall out like may happen with dentures.

Convenience:
There are no hassles for the patient to alter their diet because implants allow natural biting and chewing. Favorite foods can still be enjoyed with this restoration.

Our dental office is located in Federal Way

teeth whitening dentist

Teeth Whitening Trends

Nobody is happy with yellow or brown teeth. Ugly stains from smoking or consuming foods and drinks prone to discoloring your teeth can make you a good candidate for teeth whitening. There are many techniques available to restore your bright smile. The main two categories of teeth whitening are either at-home kits or professional treatment in a dental office. Let’s learn about these to see which you’d like to use to brighten your smile.

At-home teeth whitening
There are a variety of products you can try yourself to whiten your teeth. These treatments usually take a few weeks of use before your teeth are noticeably whiter. Also remember that most of these products cannot achieve as high of a level of whiteness as those performed professionally.

  • Kits – whitening kits contain a tooth mold and gel to place inside the mold. You wear the filled mold for about 30 minutes for 2-3 weeks.
  • Strips – thin whitening strips are coated with peroxide gel, and then you apply the strips directly to your teeth for 30 minutes for 14 days. Results become evident in a few days and last about four months.
  • Toothpaste – brushing with whitening toothpaste must be done consistently and you must be patient because reaching the desired outcome usually takes a couple of months.

Professional teeth whitening
Treatments done by a dentist are the fastest and most effective way to regain your pearly whites.

  • Laser whitening – the dentist coats your teeth with a hydrogen peroxide solution and then shines a laser light on them. This oxidizes the stains and gives them a whiter appearance.
  • Porcelain veneers – if your teeth are severely stained and other whitening techniques haven’t done the trick, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers. These shells permanently cover your teeth and provide a beautiful smile.

Teeth Whitening dentist in Federal Way

Wisdom teeth dentist

Wisdom Teeth: Should They Stay or Should They Go?

Wisdom teeth, your third set of molars, are named that because they are the final teeth to erupt. They usually come in between ages 17 to 25, and are located in the very back of your mouth on the top and bottom. Your dentist will examine you to find out if your wisdom teeth are properly positioned and healthy. If they aren’t, your dentist will recommend removal.

How do you know wisdom teeth should be removed?
Some of the signs there is a problem with your wisdom teeth include pain, infection, cysts, gum disease, damage to nearby teeth, and tooth decay. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your dentist for an examination.

What are impacted wisdom teeth?
Sometimes your teeth just don’t have room to grow in properly. They can erupt at angles within your jaw, sometimes even horizontally. If wisdom teeth aren’t able to erupt normally they can become trapped, or impacted, inside your jaw. Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth are pain, infection, and swelling. When teeth are impacted, they can lead to serious problems. Many dentists want to avoid impacted teeth and therefore remove your wisdom teeth before they erupt or grow too big.

Are there less obvious reasons to remove wisdom teeth?
It’s not always clear when these teeth way in the back of your mouth are causing problems, or might in the future. Many dentists remove them in teens or young adults so they don’t cause problems later, or become too firmly planted in the jaw. Also, sometimes wisdom teeth are removed as part of orthodontic, periodontal, or restorative treatment plans.

What happens if I don’t have them removed?
Some dentists prefer to wait and see what happens with time to your wisdom teeth. Make sure you continue to have these teeth monitored, because the risk of problems doesn’t go away with age. Removing wisdom teeth isn’t always necessary, because if there’s room in your mouth and they come in properly, they work just like any other teeth. The key is to watch them to make sure problems don’t arise in the future.

Dental office for wisdom teeth removal

Make Your Big Day Special With Teeth Whitening

While life can be full of moments that are wonderful, there are days that just naturally stand out: your wedding, your graduation, a very special anniversary or birthday, or a big job interview you’ve always wanted. Many of these events are photographed, and when you look back at those photos in years to come, you naturally want to look your very best. Will you look back on your photos and wonder, could my teeth have looked better? The answer could be yes if your teeth aren’t the best and the brightest they can be.

Teeth are covered in enamel, a strong white coating on top of the internal structures of your tooth. As we age, enamel naturally wears away. Because it cannot be replaced naturally, the enamel thins, and the yellow layer of dentin beneath is exposed. This leads to smiles that are discolored and yellowed, appearing dingy and dim.

The foods we eat affect the brightness of our teeth, and some can begin to stain long-term. Beets, blueberries and blackberries can leave stains, as can tea, coffee, dark soda and red wine. Even soy sauce and balsamic vinegar can discolor your smile. If you have any crown, bridges or veneers, those structures aren’t affected by long-term stains, and can begin to stand out in unattractive contrast to your natural, darkening teeth.

Begin the process for your important day by scheduling an appointment with your dentist. Have your teeth examined and cleaned, and learn what teeth whitening procedures would best benefit your particular smile needs. Don’t wait until the last minute, as some whitening procedures take time to reach optimal effects. Some whitening methods increase the sensitivity of your teeth or surrounding gums. Planning ahead can allow your teeth some time to recover prior to your special event.

After your professional teeth whitening, you’ll be surprised at your self-confidence. Your mood will improve as you face those around you with your best and brightest smile, and everyone you meet will sense it. Love the photos you’ll be taking for years to come, and talk to your dentist today.


We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

Dental Implant FAQ

Dental implants are artificial teeth that mimic your natural tooth roots and are placed directly into your jawbone to provide optimal support for dental crowns, bridges and removable prosthodontics such as dentures. If you are considering dental implant therapy, please use the following guide to answer some of your questions.

  • Am I a candidate for dental implant treatment? Dental implants can be used in healthy patients whose jawbones have completed growing and who have sufficient quality and quantity of jawbone to have a healthy implantation.
  • Is dental implant treatment safe? Dentists agree that in healthy patients who are good candidates for the procedure, dental implants are low-risk.
  • Will I be in a lot of pain during dental implant surgery? Dental implant surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure in your dentist’s office under local anesthesia.
  • Does it take a long time to undergo the procedure? Treatment can generally be performed in under an hour, depending on the number of implants required.
  • Is recovery painful? Healing from dental implant surgery is typically quick and easy for most healthy people. Any lingering pain can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • When will I get my new teeth? Implants must fuse to the bone in a process called ossification, a process that can take up to six months. In most cases, temporary teeth will be in place during this time period.
  • How do I care for my dental implants? You will take care of your implants in the same way you would care for your natural teeth. Brush twice a day or after meals, especially before bedtime. Floss daily and continue to maintain regular dental appointments for checkups and preventative care.
  • How long do dental implants last? Dental implants can last for twenty or thirty years if you care for them properly.

Our dental office is located in Federal Way

Dental cleaning

Breaking Down Dental Visits

If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you may not recall the process for a regular checkup. These visits are an important part of your oral health care. If you are in good dental health, your dentist will probably suggest twice-yearly visits. Individuals with gum disease or other oral health concerns may need to schedule more frequent appointments. Feel free to ask your dentist questions or raise concerns at the visit.

Your dental checkup will usually include:

• Full Health History
Because oral health affects your overall wellness, your dentist will want to have a complete picture of your whole situation. A member of the dental team will ask you questions and gather relevant details about your present status. Make sure to provide helpful information like current medications and any pressing issues.

• X-Rays
Typically, your dentist will take X-rays about once a year. These images provide a clear view of your teeth and gums. Often, X-rays will identify problems, like impacted teeth, cysts, abscesses, or decay between teeth that might otherwise go undiagnosed.

• Complete Evaluation
During your checkup, the dentist will perform a periodontal assessment, bite analysis, and tooth-by-tooth inspection. If the dentist discovers a problem, your provider will make treatment recommendations to address the issue and restore your oral health.

• Thorough Cleaning
If everything checks out, the hygienist will typically remove plaque and tartar build-up from your teeth. At this time, the hygienist may also polish and floss teeth to refresh your smile.

We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

 

Root Canal Therapy: FAQ’s

If the prospect of a root canal procedure has you running for the hills, you may want to consider reading over this list of frequently asked questions before you end up cowering in a corner:

  • What is root canal therapy? Root canal treatment is performed when decay or trauma has damaged a tooth causing it to die. A dentist or endodontist performs a procedure to remove the diseased or damaged pulp from the tooth and then refills the tooth cavity.
  • Is root canal therapy painful? In reality, root canal treatment is intended to relieve pain, not cause it. Because the procedures are very similar, you should experience no more discomfort than having a cavity filled.
  • What happens after root canal therapy? Your tooth may be slightly sensitive for a few days, but over-the-counter pain relievers are usually sufficient to relieve any pain you may experience. In order for your tooth to return to full functionality, a crown or other restoration will need to be placed after the root canal therapy is performed.
  • What if I opt not to choose root canal therapy? Untreated damage or infection in your tooth can travel through the roots and lead to an abscess or larger infection.
  • Is there an alternative to root canal therapy? You could relieve the pain and infection by having your tooth removed. However, this can cause problems such as bone loss, migration of teeth, and bite problems.

In the case of a severely damaged or decayed tooth, the ideal solution is to save your natural tooth through root canal therapy and restoration. Contrary to popular belief, a root canal procedure is no more uncomfortable than having a filling placed in a cavity, and can have enormous benefits to your long-term oral health. Consult with your dental professional to get answers to any other questions or concerns you may have regarding root canal therapy so you can alleviate your fears and return to your healthy smile.


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

Corrective Jaw Surgery

Oral surgery to correct problems with the jaw is known as orthognathic surgery. Jaw issues can result from birth defects, changes due to growth, or injury or trauma to the face. While orthodontics can correct bite problems when only the teeth are involved, oral surgery may be required when repositioning of the jaw is necessary to correct the issue. If you suffer from any of the following concerns, orthognathic surgery may be a consideration:

  • Difficulty chewing, biting or swallowing
  • Problems with opening and closing your mouth, or with speaking
  • Persistent jaw or temporomandibular joint pain
  • Clenching or grinding of teeth causing excessive wear to the teeth
  • Inability to make the lips meet without straining
  • Un-proportional facial appearance or protruding jaw
  • Malocclusion, open, or incorrect bite
  • Recessive lower jaw and chin
  • Habitual mouth breathing
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Facial injury or trauma

Most jaw surgeries are performed completely in the mouth, so no facial scars are visible. The oral surgeon makes cuts in the jawbone and then moves them to the correct position. Once the jaw is correctly aligned, screws and bone plates are placed to secure the jaw into the new position. Sometimes it may be necessary to add extra bone to the jaw from your hip, leg, or rib.

Orthognathic surgery is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon usually in a hospital setting. Recovery time from jaw surgery takes three to six weeks. Your general or family dentist should be able to refer you to a skilled oral surgeon for a consultation and examination to determine a treatment plan. Jaw surgery can improve not only your facial appearance, but also chewing, speaking and breathing functions.

We treat patients from Federal Way and the surrounding area

Dental team

The Roles of Dental Hygienists and Dental Assistant

When you visit the dentist, you often see other professionals in the office. Usually, the dentist will have a hygienist and a dental assistant as part of the team. While their roles aren’t the same as the dentist’s job, these individuals do play an important part in your dental care. Understanding what the hygienist and dental assistant do can make you feel more comfortable at your dental appointments.

The Dental Assistant
To become a dental assistant, an individual usually completes course work through a community college or technical school. This training will provide hands-on experience before the dental assistant works in an actual dental practice. A dental assistant can serve many functions, including assisting the dentist during treatment, taking impressions, sterilizing instruments, and making temporary crowns for patients. Dental assistants also welcome patients and help them feel comfortable in the dental office.

The Dental Hygienist
At a minimum, a dental hygienist must earn an associate’s degree, though many hygienists choose to obtain four-year degrees. Additionally, hygienists must be licensed in the states where they practice. The dental hygienist is generally responsible for taking patient x-rays, performing an initial periodontal assessment, and cleaning your teeth. During your appointment, the hygienist will also offer tips on home hygiene to help you maximize your oral car routine. A dental hygienist may also perform deep cleanings for gum disease, apply fluoride, remove sutures, and administer local anesthetic.