The Scoop on Laser Dentistry

laserdentistry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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