Three Reasons You May Need Root Canal Treatment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cosmetic Dentistry Myths and Facts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Can Dentures Improve Your Health?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Dental Implants Surgery: Tips to a Successful Recovery

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

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

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

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The Scoop on Laser Dentistry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Consider Dental Implants to Work With Your Dentures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Porcelain Veneers: What to Expect

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

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

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

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

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

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Cosmetic Dentistry Solutions for a Whiter Smile

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

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

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

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

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

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Vitamins and Minerals that Keep Teeth Healthy

Vitamins and Minerals that Keep Teeth Healthy

As we age, our teeth and gums change. Proper care of your teeth as well as eating a good diet can keep your smile beautiful and strong. Certain vitamins and minerals also help promote optimal oral health.

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Cosmetic Dentistry Not Just for Women

Cosmetic Dentistry Not Just for Women

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

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