Access to Dental Care

The American Dental Association and your ADA member Bellevue dentist and your ADA member Bellevue Dentist have been working together to improve access to the dental care and support policies that improve the overall oral health our country and especially within the parameters of the Seattle and Bellevue areas.

Assistance programs vary among the different states, so you may want to contact Seattle — King County Dental Society here in the Washington State to find out about the programs in this area.

An alternative for lower—cost dental care is to go to the clinic at the University of Washington Dental School or one of the low income clinics in your area. The dental fees in school as well as clinics are usually reduced and may require only partial payment for professional services that cover the cost incurred for materials and equipment. The Seattle — King County Dental Society here in Washington State can inform you of the low cost clinics in your area.

The ADA Council on Access, Prevention and Interprofessional Relations (CAPIR) advises you to inform your Seattle dentist or your Bellevue Dentist about any special financial conditions or concerns that you have. As a result, your dentist may offer you some suggestions on the best way to proceed.

Adolescent Oral Health

Practicing good nutrition and oral hygiene habits at home are particularly imperative during the teenage years and can save visits to your Seattle or your Bellevue Dentist. Proper nutrition, brushing, and flossing are vital to the maintenance of a healthy smile during these formative years. Regular dental visits, flouride treatments, and dental sealants are particularly important for good oral health and minimizing cavities. (Quality Dentistry in the US)

Adults are not the only patients who experience cavities and periodontal disease; both can also be a threat to teens. Recent studies confirm that bleeding gums were most common among adolescents and that 75% of patients in the13 to 17 year age-range had gums that bled. Because regular dental visits, flouride treatments, and dental sealants that minimize cavities, the average number of cavities in teenagers has droped from 7 in the late 1970’s to 2.5 in the mid 1990′s.(Helping You to Cut Down on Cavities)

Registered dental hygienists as well as your Seattle Dentist or your Premiere Bellevue Dentist recommend the following oral hygiene guidelines:

  • Brush thoroughly, immediately after meals when possible, and floss your teeth daily. Because demanding schedules and activities tend to encourage snacking, choosing a healthy and nutritious diet will aid you in the maintenance and preservation of your teeth.
  • People who wear custom—made appliances, or braces, should pay extra attention to the spaces between the teeth and archwires and maintain them in a clean state by using floss threaders. There are orthodontic toothbrushes that are specially designed to help clean teeth and braces.
  • People who take part in contact sports my want to have a Seattle Dentist or a Bellevue Dentist custom—make a mouthguard during a dental visit. Mouthguards help provide protection against dental injuries.

Adult Dental Healthcare

We cater to the entire family. Special touches for adults include movie glasses, warm towels, Dental Spa atmosphere, luxurious reception area with fireplace, and operatories that look out over Kelsey Creek where salmon can be seen in Fall months. We help with all your dental needs including but not limited to all porcelain veneers, all porcelain crowns, dental implants, laser surgery, cosmetic orthodontia, gum sculpturing, and treatment of periodontal disease which is the most frequent reason for adult tooth loss. Many Americans experience some form of periodontal disease, and this should checked regularly by your Seattle Dentist or your Bellevue Dentist.

Early detection of peridontal disease and cavities can prevent extensive and expensive subsequent treatment. Regular, Seattle Dentist or Bellevue Dentist visits, every six months or more frequently as recommended by your dentist if you have periodontal disease will help maintain the overall integrity of your teeth and gums. In addition, it will help prevent tooth loss due to gum problems. Regular dental appointments are essential to prevent the early stages of periodontal disease, which often does not have any pain associated with it.

On-Site Dental Labs

The majority of dentists send their lab work to off–site laboratories both locally, in–state, out–of–state, and in some cases to foreign countries. Most Dentists believe that there are definite advantages to having a dental lab and porcelain artist on–site. However, most dentists cannot afford the luxury of a dental lab and porcelain artist “on—site”. At Brookside Dental, we are very fortunate to have anon–site porcelain artist, who does custom shades and contours as the patient relaxes in our comfortable Seattle Dental Spa.

The function of the laboratory technician is extremely important. After an impression is taken by the dentist, it is the technician who actually constructs the porcelain veneers, the porcelain crowns, the bridges and the cosmetic orthodontia appliances. Most dental offices send their lab work to an off–site laboratories, but at Brookside Dental we feel we have an extraordinary advantage over other dental offices with our on–site porcelain artist.

Your Seattle Dentists and Bellevue Dentists have the ability to discuss all aspects of your cosmetic dental work when they have an on–site lab technician or porcelain artist. When our Brookside Dental dentists are doing porcelain veneers for a patient, they can show our on–site porcelain artist what the final result should look like. At Brookside Dental, we often bring our on–site technician into the treatment room to confer with the patient and answer their technical questions. This is quite different from a dentist sending their work to a technician at an off–site lab, out–of–state or out of the country. Off site laboratories do not usually allow your Seattle Dentists or your Bellevue Dentists to make alterations at the time of veneer or crown seating. Sometimes, crucial details are overlooked or lost in phone or written translation with the off site lab. Our on–site porcelain artist gives us at Brookside Dental a much faster turn-around time than any off site laboratory can do. Our close working relationship between our Brookside Dental dentists and our porcelain artist has a very noticeable and direct influence on the quality of dental work that is delivered to our patients, giving us the highest quality cosmetic dental lab work. With our on–site porcelain artist, we get laboratory work that perfect in every respect and meets our extremely high quality standards.

Air Abrasion

Air abrasion is a technology that can eliminate the use of anesthetic injections and the dental drilling in some cases. It is basically a very small, precise sand–etcher that uses harmless aluminum oxide particles, which are propelled against the tooth, thus removing dental decay. The idea for air abrasion is not new, but only recently has the technology been used regularly for certain dental procedures. Since the idea of no needle or drill may seem fantastic to many patients, why doesn′t every Seattle Dentist or Bellevue Dentist use air abrasion exclusively.

Air abrasion only can be used effectively with some dental procedures, such as the removal of small areas of decay, the preparation of teeth for dental sealants, and the removal of stains from the surface of teeth. Air abrasion also can be used to prepare teeth for the placement of some non–metal, tooth colored fillings, but generally is not used with silver amalgam dental filling materials. Air abrasion can be used with crown and build–up preparations on the teeth for better adhesion of the final crown placement. The dentists at Brookside Dental use air abrasion tooth etching for better bonding of cosmetic Porcelain Veneers and cosmetic tooth–colored fillings. Brookside Dentists also use this technique in the cosmetic replacement of old silver amalgam fillings, because the air abrasion etching safely and completely removes any dark amalgam stains on the teeth without any loss of tooth structure. Air abrasion is not appropriate for many procedures that are preformed in your Seattle Dental of Bellevue Dental office, such as treatment of the gums, or for removal of soft decay that may be located in large, deep cavities.

The major advantages of air abrasion for treating cavities are the conservative nature of the procedure, little or no discomfort during the procedure, and not having to use anesthetic. The sound of air abrasion is much more quiet than that of the dental drill. However, a powdery residue of aluminum oxide particles is generated during the treatment, which normally are removed with suction and controlled through the use of a rubber dam barrier during the etching procedure. Patients usually do not consider this residue to be a nuisance.

Your Seattle Dentists and your Bellevue Dentists find that air abrasion is very helpful when used with those procedures mentioned previously in some apprehensive patients and in children for certain procedures such as sealant application. Obviously air abrasion can be a useful addition to any dental office setting for use with patients that have any fear or anxiety about needles, drills, or pain. Air abrasion is one more technique that your Brookside Dentists use in the appropriate situations to create patient comfort.

Abscessed Tooth or Teeth

An abscessed tooth or abscessed teeth arise from protracted medical or dental neglect. Patients usually become aware of this condition when they have considerable pain in the tooth or teeth and the pain may be associated with swelling of the tissues around the infected tooth or teeth. Often the pain is associated with eating pressure, hot or cold. In some cases, the abscessed tooth may have undergone such extensive damage that it can′t be saved. However, your Brookside Dentists will always attempt to save the tooth by referring you to a dental specialist known as an endodontist

We will test the tooth in question as well as those teeth adjacent to the suspect tooth for various types of sensitivity. Then we will take picture of the infected area with a small x-ray known as a PA. The periapical abscess is the most common type of abscessed tooth observed by your Seattle Dentist or your Bellevue Dentist. This occurs when the pulp chamber develops an infection and a forms a pocket of pus (germs and blood cells) or abscess at the root tip. Abscesses such as these are usually caused by tooth decay that has been neglected and left untreated and for those reasons has become extensive. Accidental damage to the tooth’s nerve also can cause an abscess. Teeth with periapical abscesses can be saved by root canal therapy, if the damage to the tooth is not too extensive.

A less common type of tooth abscess is the lateral abscess, which arises from an infection that is located outside the tooth. This type of infection is usually a due to periodontal disease and treatment of the gums may be required to save the tooth or teeth. Treatment of the gums may require the assistance of a dentist specialist called a periodontist.

Your Brookside Dental Cosmetic Dentists recommend the maintenance of good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing twice daily, rinsing the mouth with an oral rinse, and regular visits to your Seattle Dentist or your Bellevue Dentist, to help prevent any type of tooth abscess from developing. Your Brookside Cosmetic Dentist and their endodontal associates will give you the best professional help available should an abscess develop.

Allergies to Latex

Latex allergies are a potential concern to your Seattle Dentists and your Bellevue Dentists, their staffs and their patients. Natural rubber latex, derived from a milky substance from rubber trees, is a common ingredient in a multitude of consumer products, as well as being an ingredient in many medical and dental supplies, such as tape, gloves, dressings, and syringes.

The majority of people do not have any adverse reactions to latex products. However, there are some people that develop a hypersensitivity allergic response to it. More precisely, people become sensitized to the proteins contained in natural rubber latex. In some cases, as with any allergen, this hypersensitivity can lead to extremely severe allergic reactions.

As with all allergens, an allergy to latex can develop following exposure to the proteins of the natural rubber latex products. In those individuals capable of developing a latex allergy, specific antibodies are produced in certain cells of their immune system. These specific antibodies react to the proteins found in latex. Only a one time exposure to any potential allergen is needed to sensitize an individual prior to eliciting an allergic response in a receptive person to that specific allergen. However, repeated exposures to an allergen can cause sensitivity when only one exposure might not. For this reason, many health care workers are concerned about the possibility of developing severe allergic reactions to latex, since they are constantly exposed to a wide variety of products containing latex in the health care field. Moreover, the chances of this may be amplified by the fact that the powder inside of latex gloves can absorb the latex proteins from the gloves and enhance the possibility of an increased number of exposures since it can adhere to the skin. Of specific concern to dentists and their associates are when gloves are removed, the proteins and on the hands and in the powder can become airborne, and come into contact with the eyes, mouth, or nose. Additionally, air–bourn allergens can be inhaled causing potential respiratory problems.

The symptoms of latex exposure to a latex–sensitive individual include redness of the skin, itching, hives and nasal congestion. Severe latex reactions, as with any allergen, can lead to anaphylaxis, which is characterized by a drop in blood pressure, swelling of the throat, tongue, eye–lids and nose, difficulty with breathing, and, in some cases, loss of consciousness. If not treated, allergic reactions can be life threatening. You should seek emergency medical treatment if an anaphylactic reaction is even suspected. You should also consult with an experience specialist in the field of allergies.

Although, it is possible for anyone to become allergic to latex, it should be emphasized that very few people actually do – even though millions are exposed to latex in some form or another on a daily basis. Some people are known to have an increased risk of developing an allergy to latex, as is the case with any potential allergen.

If you experience what you believe to be an allergic reaction to latex, you should avoid contact with latex products and talk to your medical doctor so you can work together to try and determine the cause. Your physician can also advise you on the best approach for managing a latex allergy. Until that is done, avoid contact with all latex products.

When you go in for a dental check–up and cleaning, notify your Seattle Dentist office staff or your Bellevue Dentist office staff so that they can make note of it in your medical history and can take appropriate precautions during your visit. Please note that this article is only for general information and is not in any way meant to take the place of or to be substituted for advice or treatment by a medical doctor or allergy specialist.

Amalgam Fillings

The dark metallic amalgam fillings in teeth are often referred to as silver fillings by patients. Many patients want their silver fillings replaced with non–metal, tooth–colored materials to improve the appearance of their smile. It is important for patients to know that there is always some risk when an existing filling is removed that may necessitate unexpected and more complex procedures for the tooth.

Dental amalgam contains a combination of metals, including mercury bound to silver, copper, and tin. This material has been used for dental fillings for over 100 years. Recently, the use of amalgam fillings has been a subject of controversy, because a large portion of amalgam is composed of mercury to make the material fluid for use in cavities. It is important to understand, however, that the mercury used in amalgam has never been proven to be dangerous because it is chemically bound to other metals. For mercury to disassociate from the other metals in this chemically bound state requires full strength acid, which normally is not present in the mouth. Its long safety record notwithstanding, numerous other tooth–colored dental materials can be used in place of amalgam. Although there are some situations when amalgam should be removed and replaced, we only recommend it be done for aesthetic reasons or if the patient has an allergy to amalgam.

Even though amalgam has several advantages – it is relatively low–cost, safe, and has stood the test of time – it does have a number of disadvantages. Amalgam tends to discolor the teeth, making them darker, particularly when it is necessary to use larger quantities. For aesthetic reasons, it cannot be used in anterior teeth. Quite honestly, amalgam is not aesthetically pleasing even in the lower posterior teeth which are exposed to view much of the time when talking. Patients should be informed of the possible discoloration that can occur to their teeth, particularly when the amalgam fillings are located in the more anterior and readily visible parts of the mouth. A major drawback to amalgam fillings is that preparation for the filling requires back–cutting the tooth much like a pyramid so that when the metal hardens it will have good retention. This retention back–cutting is required, because the metal does not actually bond to the tooth structure – it simply fills the cavity space and sits next to the normal tooth structure. Much more of the natural tooth structure needs to be drilled and removed by your Seattle Dentists or your Bellevue Dentists than is required when using the newer composite resin (tooth–colored) materials. Additionally, amalgam simply doesn′t look natural. Amalgam can make teeth more susceptible to fracture because:

  1. it does not strengthen the tooth as composite resin does, because composite resin actually bonds with the tooth structure
  2. the back–cut areas of the tooth are thin, weak areas, which fracture easily
  3. the amalgam metal expands and contracts with heat and cold in your mouth, aiding fractures
  4. the metal movement puts stress at the thinnest part of the good tooth structure, where the back cut is deepest
  5. the unbonded area between tooth and amalgam allows moisture and bacteria to enter and cause decay, aiding fractures

Often amalgam fillings are replaced by one of your Seattle Dentists or Bellevue Dentists simply to improve the tooth′s aesthetic appearance. There are some circumstances under which removal of an amalgam filling is desirable for other than aesthetic appearance to maintain the structural integrity of the tooth. It is not desirable generally to replace a large amalgam filling with amalgam again when it has caused a tooth cusp to fracture off. This type of situation usually requires removal of all the amalgam and any decay present and placement of a crown or partial crown to protect the tooth. Your Seattle Dentist or Bellevue Dentist should discuss your options for dental filling materials when treating your teeth. Even though contemporary tooth–colored dental materials have many advantages, the higher cost of materials and labor related to tooth–colored fillings may preclude them as an option for some people. At Brookside Dental we use composite resin tooth–colored material for fillings in both anterior and posterior teeth. We feel that the tooth–colored material is aesthetically pleasing in appearance, that it bonds into the normal tooth structure, that cavity preparation for it does not require back cuts which retains the maximum amount of normal tooth structure, and that it does not expand or contract with hot and cold food and drinks in the mouth. Your Brookside Dental dentists think that from their patients′ perspective, both the long term health of the tooth and the person are enhanced by use of composite filling materials.

Dentistry′s ancient links

In a high—tech world with remarkable devices such as MRI′s and lasers available, it is interesting to learn the fundamentals for diagnosing patients dates back to the Greeks, thousands of years ago.

Hippocrates was one of the most outstanding and influential of the ancient physicians. He helped establish how dentists and medical doctors approach their patients today, through his systemic method to diagnosis and treatment.

When a doctor or dentist is trying to determine whether a condition is in need of treatment, the first steps are asking “Does disease currently exist?” and “Will disease eventually occur if treatment is not given?” If the doctor or dentist can answer yes to either of these critical questions, the condition is found to require treatment. This methodology is how the physicians of ancient Greece contributed to our understanding of diagnosis and treatment of disease.

A prime example of this is when a dentist must consider the need to remove wisdom teeth surgically. This has been a topic of some debate in the dental community recently. Many Seattle dentists and oral surgeons believe that wisdom teeth that are impacted, that is covered with gum and/or bone, should be extracted when the mouth doesn’t have enough space for them. It is more desirable to carry out this procedure when patients are young, because it is considered less dangerous at this time. This is because younger people usually heal faster and are not as likely to have other health problems that can complicate surgery or recovery. Other Seattle dentists feel that impacted wisdom teeth really only need to be removed if the patient is experiencing pain, an infection is present, the dentist finds a tumor or cyst, or the impacted wisdom tooth is damaging or may damage neighboring teeth or other areas of the mouth. This is an example of when it is helpful to employ the insight of the ancient Greeks. When impacted wisdom teeth are not causing problems and I don′t identify any potential problems, I often suggest that we observe them periodically. I prefer this conservative approach, especially because wisdom teeth removal does have some degree of risk, as with any such procedure, from the anesthesia as well as the procedure itself. It is always important to weigh the risks against benefits.

Anesthesia in Dentistry

Seattle Dentist or Bellevue Dentist visits can usually be more relaxing and comfortable through the use of one of the several medications that are available. Some of these medications will actually put you to sleep during dental treatment, while others merely help you relax. There are a number of factors the patient should discuss with their Seattle Dentist or Bellevue Dentist when deciding which drugs to use during their treatment. These factors include:

  1. your general health, age and sex
  2. the type and duration of dental procedure to be performed
  3. any history of allergies that you may have
  4. your general level of anxiety regarding dental visits

Cooperation between you and your dentist can help the two of you to decide on the best approach to make your visit to the Seattle Dentist or Bellevue Dentist more enjoyable. At Brookside Dental the dentists do not use nitrous oxide (gas) because it has been implicated in certain problems among young women. Since the staff at Brookside Dental and that of most dental offices contains some young women as well as many young women as patients, we feel that it is a safer environment at our dental office without any nitrous oxide in the air. There are adequate medications that your dentist can prescribe instead of nitrous oxide. In fact, for long dental procedures over 1.5 hours we find that movies are the best relaxant for our patients.

Answers to Common Dental Questions, Part 1

Below is a list of questions we are frequently asked via the internet, and our answers.

Question: There are so many varieties of toothpaste available now. Which one should I use?

Answer: This is an excellent question, but I would like to point out at this time that the frequency of brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits are much more vital to your oral health than which type of toothpaste you use. That said, you should choose the kind of toothpaste you use, based on your own personal tooth and gum condition. Because he or she knows the condition of your teeth and gums, your own dentist is probably the best person to answer this question. I usually suggest Colgate Total since it has been found to be helpful in reducing gingivitis and cavities.

Question:Do whitening toothpastes actually work?

Answer: Whitening toothpastes that you can purchase over the counter have only been found to whiten teeth by two shades, at most. This is in profound contrast to a tooth whitening system you have created by your Dentist in Seattle which can whiten teeth from about 12 to 15 shades.

Question: Is it safe for children under the age of 7 to use mouthwash?

Answer: The routine use of mouthwash is not usually recommended unless directed by your Seattle dentist. If some kind of mouthwash is recommended for a child, its use needs be supervised.

Question: Is it OK to get your teeth cleaned when you are pregnant? Someone told me that you shouldn′t.

Answer: The hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy can often make the gums more vulnerable to irritation and inflammation. It is recommended that you have your regular dental check-ups and your teeth cleaned professionally at least twice during your pregnancy. It is generally suggested that x-rays be avoided during pregnancy, when possible, but if they are needed, dental x-rays can be taken without danger to your baby.

Question: Listerine mouthwash hurts my gums when I use it. Does this mean that there is something wrong with my mouth?

Answer: Some people do report discomfort when rinsing with Listerine. I usually advise that Listerine be diluted with water to at most half of its normal concentration. That usually makes it more tolerable and solves the problem. I would still recommend a visit with your dentist to assess your teeth and gums.

Question: My dentist told me that I need braces. Should I get a second opinion? Are there some alternatives?

Answer: If your dentist in Seattle recommends braces, you should see an orthodontist for his or her opinion. There are some alternatives to traditional braces if your teeth need to be straightened. A new alternative is customized mouthguards. These are clear acrylic and made through cooperation of your dentist and a high tech lab, and work by moving the teeth to straighten them. Porcelain veneers can also make teeth appear straight without need for braces.

Question: Is it OK for me to smoke in the days following the removal of my wisdom teeth removal?

Answer: The risk of complications can be increased by smoking after dental extractions. These complications include increased bleeding and increased possibility of infection of the extraction socket, also known as dry socket. Smoking in the 24 hours after your procedure is ill-advised, but if you cannot stop for at least that long, try to inhale lightly and direct the smoke away from the regions where the procedure was carried out.

Antibiotics and dental treatment

The American Heart Association (AHA) mandates that dentist administer antibiotics to patients after most dental procedures. This is because a dangerous and possibly fatal heart infection called subacute bacterial endocarditis (SBE) can develop from bacteria that travel through the blood stream from the mouth during dental treatment. Patients who have had SBE in the past, have artificial heart valves, or have congenital heart defects are considered to be at high risk for SBE. Those with injured heart valves from diseases such as rheumatic heart disease, and those who have mitral valve prolapse with regurgitation are considered to be at moderate risk for SBE. Some of the symptoms of SBE include fatigue, fever, and shortness of breath. If left untreated, the condition is frequently fatal. The AHA mandates antibiotics because they theorize that taking antibiotics before and after undergoing a dental procedure can eliminate the bacteria before it can spread to the heart of susceptible patients.

Some people misinterpret the action of antibiotics as being akin to vitamins – but it is important to know that they are very different. The use of antibiotics can lead to allergic reactions as well as producing bacterial resistance – making many antibiotics ineffective for potential infections in the future. Some research has indicated that more people at risk for SBE got sick and/or died from the antibiotics taken prior to dental treatment than from SBE itself after undergoing dental treatment without antibiotics.

The AHA recommended distribution of antibiotics before and after a dental procedure has been put in question lately. The AHA recently changed their advice, reducing both the quantity of antibiotics necessary as well as the how many dental procedures for which it is required. Now patients in jeopardy for developing SBE are only required take antibiotics prior to their treatment. It is now recommended that adults take 2 grams of amoxicillin one hour before a dental procedure. Adults that have allergies to penicillin (or penicillin derivatives) should alternatively take 600 milligrams of clindamycin. Erythromycin is no longer recommended. It used to be considered and alternative for amoxicillin, but produced upset stomachs and diarrhea in many patients.

Antibiotics are still a prerequisite for Seattle cosmetic dentist treatment in which bleeding is anticipated. These procedures include Seattle cosmetic dentists performed periodontal treatment, placement of dental implants, extractions, dental cleanings, and placement of orthodontic bands. Procedures in which antibiotics are not required include moderate root canal treatment, dental fillings, teeth polishing, placement of crowns or caps on teeth, the majority of anesthetic injections, stitch removal, taking of impressions, taking of x–rays, and fluoride treatments.

Patients vulnerable to SBE can decrease their probability of developing this infection by visiting their Seattle dentist twice a year and carrying out excellent oral hygiene, brushing at least twice a day and flossing every day. Your dentist may also advocate rinsing with an antiseptic mouth rinse before undergoing a procedure if you do not have good oral hygiene and/or are considered to be at high risk for SBE.

Antibiotics and artificial joints

There are a number of ways that the need for artificial joints can be brought about, including chronic ailments that are common to older people, such as severe arthritis. Trauma or fractures that will not heal can also lead to artificial joints. Artificial joint placement has doubled in the past 10 years. It has been recommended for years that Seattle dentists prescribe antibiotics, to patients before and after undergoing dental procedures in order to avoid infection of their prosthetic joint(s). The use of antibiotics prior to dental procedures on their patients with artificial joints has also been strongly encouraged by orthopedic surgeons. These recommendations are made because of the possibility that bacteria from the mouth can enter the bloodstream, known as bacteremia, during dental a procedure and cause an infection of the joint after surgery.

There is not much research to support the regular use of antibiotics before dental procedures on patients with artificial joints. Indeed, of the few known cases of possible dental infection of artificial joints, careful assessment of them shows that the bacteria found to be infecting those joints, staphylococci and beta-hemolytic streptococci, are seldom released into the bloodstream during dental treatment. Other findings from those studies also bring into question the idea that dental treatment was the source of those artificial joint infections. Actually, the American Dental Association’s Council on Dental Therapeutics and The American Academy of Oral Medicine have issue reports demonstrating a lack of evidence for the routine administration of antibiotics before dental procedures on patients with artificial joints. The ADA’s council only advocates administration of antibiotics before dental procedures for high-risk patients. This is because some studies by orthopedic surgeons do suggest that antibiotics be considered for patients that are considered high risk for artificial joint infection. These patients include those who are undergoing steroid therapy, have previously had to have an artificial joint replaced, have previously experienced artificial joint infections, have an unstable artificial joint, have severe rheumatoid arthritis, or take medications or have diseases that suppress their immune systems.

Studies have indicated that a patient’s dental health is a more significant factor in the potential infection of a prosthetic joint than the taking of antibiotics before dental treatment. People who have gum disease, inadequate dental hygiene, or other untreated dental infections put themselves at risk of artificial joint infection.

In these cases, the simply brushing their teeth or eating can cause the release of bacteria into the bloodstream. This is why people who have had prosthetic joint surgery must have their dental infections treated, in addition to maintaining good dental hygiene and undergoing regular dental examinations.

Whether are not to use antibiotics should be considered thoroughly. Seattle Dentists and physicians must be very careful about administering antibiotics because of the possible side effects, potentially dangerous allergic reactions, and the appearance of drug resistant bacteria,

There are some safeguards that Seattle dentists should take when treating artificial joint replacement patients who are considered high-risk. Possible precautions include having those patients rinse with an antiseptic mouth rinse before particular procedures. The dentist should also confer with the patient’s orthopedic surgeon and work out the proper use of antibiotics. If they determine that they are needed, Clindamycin or Cephalexin are usually preferred in these instances.


With the many advances made by Bellevue dentists many patients find that their anxiety about their visit with the dentist was unnecessary. Diagnosis and treatment are constantly getting more advanced as well as more comfortable for the patient.

If you are someone who experiences dental anxiety, it is best inform your Seattle dentist and the dental staff of this. With this information in hand, your dentist can better adapt the treatment to your needs.

It is also helpful to try to schedule your dental visit when you will be less likely to be hurried or stressed. For some patients, this can mean an early-morning or a Saturday appointment.

If part of your anxiety stems from the sound of the drill, some patients find it helpful to take a portable audio player with headphones so you can listen to something else. During the actual visit to the Bellevue dentist some patients find it helpful to try visualize themselves somewhere they find relaxing, like on a warm tranquil beach.

These techniques actually help many patients who have dental anxiety. If you are someone who experiences anxiety before a dental visit, give one or more of these techniques a try!

Are your teeth hopeless?

Patients who have not visited the dentist for a very long time sometimes believe that their dental condition is hopeless. They may be experiencing an assortment of dental conditions, and these might be compounded by dental fears or financial limitations.

Many patients actually overestimate the seriousness of their dental troubles. Some problems can seem overwhelming, particularly if a patient is experiencing more than one at the same time, but treatment could be fairly simple and require only 1 or 2 visits. But obviously there are patients who have multiple dental problems that will require comprehensive dental care.

If you are worried about your teeth, your first step should be to visit a dentist for a comprehensive evaluation. The Bellevue dentist should inform you of what treatment is necessary, as well as different treatment options, possible discomfort, an estimated number of appointments, probable result of the treatment, and the treatment fee. If you carry dental insurance, you can also send your treatment proposal to the insurance company for an estimate of how much of your treatment they will cover. You should think about getting a second opinion if you are not comfortable with the Seatle dentist or the staff.

Generally, infected teeth and the gums are treated first, followed by cavities and teeth that require crowns and bridges. Partial dentures are usually treated after that. Surgery for dental implants can frequently be done in the first round of treatment because several months are often needed for them to heal before they can be used to replace teeth. Appropriate planning and progression of treatment is one of the most significant parts of dental care.

Sometimes the required treatment may be extensive and outside the financial scope of the patient. In these cases, the patients should think about requesting treatment from a local dental school or dental residency program that is hospital-based. These programs usually have substantially lower costs for treatment than a Seattle dentist who has a private practice, but one disadvantage is that it can take much longer for treatment to be completed.

Dental procedures can be very expensive, and therefore should be prevented when possible. The best way to avoid such costly dental procedures is to maintain healthy gums and teeth.

In severe cases of tooth decay or gum disease, dental work may be needed to correct emergency problems. For this reason, many county hospitals offer free dental work to patients who are on governmental support programs. Most dental schools that are in leading universities also offer discounted, sometimes even free, dental work for patients.

Generally, dental work by you’re Seattle cosmetic dentist is not included in common dental care packages of insurance plans. Insurance plans typically cover regular dental visits and yearly x-ray examinations. In many cases, additional dental work, like root canals or regenerative procedures by your Seattle dentists, will have to be evaluated by the company before reimbursements will be approved.

The best free dental work should occur in your very own home. Healthy habits should be instilled in children as early as possible to ensure strong, healthy teeth.

Aspirin is a potent drug

With some procedures by your Seattle dentist that are likely to cause bleeding, the use of aspirin should be avoided for at least one week before the procedure.

Aspirin is a drug that is often forgotten when filling out the medical history form for your dentist. This is most likely because over-the-counter medications like aspirin are so prevalent that the many people do not perceive them as very potent or as affecting them in ways important to mention on medical forms. Most patients immediately think about prescription medications when asked if they are taking any medications. People are less inclined to consider the aspirin they picked up at the grocery store.

Nevertheless, aspirin is a potent drug that is used for a multitude of conditions. Its principal functions are to reduce pain, swelling, and/or fever. It is frequently used to relieve the pain associated with toothache or headache, decrease the risk of a second heart attack, ease the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and other medical uses. In spite of its obvious importance, it should be remembered that aspirin can increase bleeding. This is why it is critical that any doctor who is performing a surgical procedure be informed if you have aspirin in your system. This includes your dentist. Dental procedures that are anticipated to cause bleeding include extractions, gum surgery, deep cleanings under the gum-line, and biopsies. Daily aspirin use can cause extreme and extended bleeding during, as well as after, procedures such as these. One should also remember that when aspirin is taken in combination with other blood thinners it can increase bleeding even more than aspirin alone.

With some procedures by your Seattle dentist that are likely to cause bleeding, the use of aspirin should be avoided for at least one week before the procedure.

You should consult your family doctor (or specialist) and your dentist before altering your aspirin intake. And you should definitely include any over-the-counter drugs you are currently taking on any medical history form, including aspirin and aspirin containing compounds.

Atkins diet hidden dental benefit

“The Atkins diet is very low in carbohydrates, so many of the foods and beverages that promote tooth decay are not permitted.”

Because of its controversial approach and many reported successes, the Atkins diet has garnered a great deal publicity. Numerous conventional diets advocate low fat foods but do not limit carbohydrates. The Atkins diet does exactly the opposite, permitting high protein and high fat foods, but severely restricting carbohydrates. Preliminary research has suggested that the Atkins diet is very successful for weight loss, helps lower cholesterol, and raises HDL, or good, cholesterol. An unseen advantage of the Atkins diet is that it also aids in dental health.

Cavities are an infection caused by bacteria that live in the mouth. The bacteria are located in a film that constantly forms on and around the teeth. This film is called plaque. These bacteria digest carbohydrates, producing acid. This acid subsequently starts to dissolve the outer coating of the teeth, known as enamel, thus forming a cavity. The Atkins diet is low in carbohydrates, and thus restricts many of the foods and beverages that promote tooth decay. This diet does not permit sugar, bread, pasta, soda that contains sugar, most fruits, candy, or many other foods containing carbohydrates. Foods that are high in fat or protein do not cause tooth decay, and particular foods that are allowed by the diet, such as cheese and nuts, may in fact help prevent cavities.

Even people who do not want or need to go on the Atkins diet should think about limiting foods and beverages that contain carbohydrates, particularly any that are high in sugar, as a way to help avoid cavities. But it is important to keep in mind that this will not make you immune to all dental problems.

The simplest method for preventing cavities so you don’t have to go to a Seattle dentist, gum disease, and other dental problems is to maintain good oral hygiene. You can do this by brushing your teeth at least twice a day with toothpaste that contains fluoride, particularly after eating and before bed. You should also floss at least once a day to remove plaque that forms between your teeth and cannot be reached by brushing alone. You should also see your dentist at least every six months for professional cleanings and dental examinations. And Atkins diet might be included as a practice that helps maintain good oral hygiene.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby Bottle Syndrome, also known as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay or Nursing Bottle Mouth, is a dental condition in infants and children characterized by the swift decay of many or all of the baby teeth.

The upper front teeth are the teeth most frequently involved. This is because they are usually some of the first teeth to erupt from the gums and consequently have the longest exposure to the sugars found in the bottle. The lower front teeth are affected less frequently because they tend to be protected by the tongue when children and infants suck on bottle nipples.

Baby Bottle Syndrome starts when are exposed to liquids containing sugars for long recurrent periods. When babies fall asleep with bottles (or a breast) their mouths, liquid tends to pool between and around the front teeth. While they sleep, the natural bacteria that inhabits babies mouths converts the sugars to acid which in turn goes on to cause tooth decay.

This condition often goes unnoticed until serous damage has already occurred. To catch this condition early, parents should perform oral checks to identify early indications of the disease. Some signs that you child may be developing Baby Bottle Syndrome include: brown spots along the gum line, a sudden preference for soft foods, or signs that your child is uncomfortable when eating hard, sweet, or cold foods or drinks.

By the time parents become aware of tooth decay, it may be too late, making pulp therapy, crowns, or even extraction of the decayed teeth required. This can lead to long term disorders, including speech impediments, potential psychological damage, crowded or crooked teeth, and overall poor oral health.

By learning how to protect you child’s teeth, you can help prevent this from occurring. Some practices that will help achieve this include: daily cleansing of your child’s teeth, providing your child water for thirst, weaning your child off of the bottle by at least 1 year of age, not allowing your child to fall asleep with a bottle filled with anything besides water, providing your child with the fluoride required to prevent tooth decay, and regular dental visits as soon as their first tooth erupts.

The majority of children start with teeth that are strong and healthy. With your help, your child’s teeth can stay strong and healthy. Remember that your baby is completely dependent upon you, and the decisions you make will have a lasting effect on your child’s oral health.

Ask your Seattle dentist for more information for providing good oral hygiene for your child’s teeth.

Baby Teeth

Contrary to what some people believe, primary teeth, also known as “baby teeth, are every bit as important as permanent adult teeth. The primary teeth normally begin to emerge six months and 1 year of age, and perform several vital functions. They make it possible for children chew and they help them speak. In addition, they help hold room in the mouth for the permanent teeth that are developing under the gums. It is recommended by the ADA that a child be examined by a Seattle dentist within six months of the emergence of the first tooth and no later than the first birthday. In addition inspecting for tooth decay and other possible problems and assessing any adverse habits (like thumbsucking), the dentist can show you how to properly clean your child’s teeth.


Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, can be as major source of embarrassment. It has a multitude of possible causes, discussed below.

A good deal of bad breath is caused by a sulfur compound that is produced by bacteria. Bacteria that is dead or in the process of dying release this compound giving breath a disagreeable odor. This can occur anywhere in the mouth, but the back of the tongue is particularly vulnerable. This is because the tongue’s surface is very rough, allowing plaque and food debris to accumulate. The tongue should therefore be cleaned regularly.

Some people experience periodontitis because of bacterial accumulation in regions that are not easily cleansed, such as deep pockets around teeth.

Other reasons for bad breath that do not originate in the mouth are: infections (especially of the sinuses or lungs), diabetes, kidney failure, liver malfunction, metabolic disorders, and fasting (when the body is denied fuel in the form of food, fat and protein are broken down, producing waste products that give off a foul odor). If you continue to experience bad breath after your oral health problems have been addressed, you should see a doctor to rule out other possible origins.

Treatment for halitosis begins with a full oral examination, including a health history, and your dentist may conduct an “odor-meter”. This test measures the sulfur gases and thus the extent of the halitosis problem. Any periodontal disease and cavities should be treated, oral infections should be eradicated, and impacted teeth may need to be extracted.

Good oral hygiene should be emphasized. Patients should be instructed in cleaning the teeth as well as the tongue. Some mouthrinses and toothpastes may help with the management of bad breath. Be sure to inquire with one of your Seattle dentists whether such a product would be helpful to you.

Those who suffer from bad breath sufferers should seek treatment and feel encouraged that there is a possible solution to their problem.

Halitosis, sign of a serious problem?

Aside from being a major source of embarrassment, halitosis, also known as bad breath, can be an indication of a more serious problem. There are a number of possible sources for bad breath, including some foods, dry mouth, tobacco or alcohol use, or a more serious health condition.

Pungent foods, such as onions and garlic, can cause bad breath. Some products temporarily mask these types of odors. These products include gums, mints, and mouthwashes. A better solution is to eliminate bad breath, rather than cover it, by brushing and flossing regularly and rinsing well with water.

Another frequent cause of bad breath is dry mouth says a dentist in Seattle. This occurs most frequently in the morning, and is caused by a saliva deficiency in the mouth. Saliva is required to cleanse the mouth and help eliminate particles that cause odor. This is why dieters, who eat less often, sometimes experience dry mouth, which can then lead to bad breath.

Tobacco and alcohol are also leading causes of bad breath. Aside from staining the teeth, tobacco causes plaque and tartar buildup, and leaves an unpleasant breath odor. Similarly, alcohol use can lead to bad breath as it is absorbed by the body. Alcohol also causes xerostomia, more commonly known as dry mouth, which was discussed above.

In some cases, bad breath can be an indication of a health problem says a dentist in Seattle. Gum infections, tooth decay, and other dental problems can lead to bad breath. Bad breath can also be and indication of problems such as sinus infections or ulcers. More frequently, though, bad breath is caused by plaque and/or tartar buildup on the gums and teeth. The good news is that this can be eliminated by brushing, flossing, and rinsing.

Bad Breath Cures

Because most people are subject to bad breath at one time or another, there are many cures for bad breath – ranging from conventional to the extreme.

Common remedies include gums, mints, and mouthwashes, all of which guarantee fresh breath, but really just mask odor rather than eliminating the source. Chewing gum can sometimes alleviate a dry mouth, another source of bad breath, but does not alleviate bad breath caused by eating pungent foods.

Foods with strong odors cause bad breath because they are absorbed into the bloodstream once they are digested. From there it is expelled by the lungs into the mouth. This is why mints and gums are unable to cure bad breath. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing the mouth with water are actually more effective. The bad breath that is caused by foods is finally eliminated when the food is passed completely from the body.

Other remedies for bad breath attempt to attack the problem at its source. Based on the idea that bad breath begins internally, some think that chewing herbs will eliminate bad breath. Tools such as tongue scrapers are used to scrape bacteria off the tongue – a frequent cause of bad breath. Practicing good oral hygiene – brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing your teeth once a day, and regular visits with your Seattle dentist – is the best way to eliminate and prevent bad breath as well as tooth decay.

Bad Gums and Calcium

It is fairly common knowledge that calcium is a mineral vital to our diets – mostly because it helps keep our bones strong. Only 1 percent of the calcium in our bodies circulates in our blood streams. This calcium is necessary for various cellular activities, including blood-clotting and muscle contractions. Ninety-nine percent of the calcium in our bodies is stored in our bones, including our teeth.

Calcium is well-known for its role in preventing the damaging effects of osteoporosis. What is not as well known is that it may also aid in limiting bone loss around the tooth roots that can be caused by periodontal, or gum, disease.

Periodontal disease is caused by plaque. This bacterial film forms constantly on our teeth and gums. Gum disease can eventually lead to bad breath, swollen bleeding gums, and loose teeth – some so loose that they fall out. There are a multitude of factors that can increase the risk and severity of gum disease. These include malnutrition, heredity, habits such as smoking or drinking alcohol, immune system problems, any medical conditions or treatments that reduce saliva, poor oral hygiene, and stress. These factors for gum disease are fairly well known, but low calcium intake should also be considered a possible contributor to gum disease.

One study found that woman with a low intake of dietary calcium intake, defined as 2-499 mg/day, had a 54% increased risk of developing gum disease. Those who ingested what was considered a moderate calcium intake, defined as 500-799 mg/day, had only a 27% increased risk. Conversely, men with a low calcium intake did not exhibit any change in the severity of gum disease.

The best ways to avoid gum disease are diligent brushing and flossing, and regular visits to your Seattle dentist. Additionally, women should eat a diet sufficient in calcium. Some excellent sources of calcium are milk and other dairy products, nuts and grains, dark green vegetables, beans, salmon, and sardines.

Dentists don’t scold

A common reason cited by patients for avoiding their Seattle dentist is the fear that they will be scolded for their oral hygiene. Patients typically develop this fear from a past experience with a dentist who did just that. These dentists go on the ill-advised theory that they can help their patients by insulting them – jarring them into better oral hygiene. Luckily, most dentists do not subscribe to this philosophy and realize that reprimanding their patients tends to do exactly the opposite – driving these patients away or causing them to have resentment towards their Seattle Dentist or worse, dentistry in general. It is important for the dentist to remember that these people came to them seeking dental treatment for their problems, and this should be encouraged.

There seem to be 3 general categories of dental patients. Some do not care about maintaining their teeth in a health condition – they just show up to have teeth removed when they are in pain. The other side of the spectrum is the patients who want to keep their teeth (as well as the rest of their mouth) as healthy as possible. In the middle lay the people who don’t know much about the advances in dentistry, but become motivated to improve their teeth after being educated by their Seattle dentist. A good dentist should attempt to understand each patient’s level of understanding and expectations. The dentist should improve their overall dental health, and further educate the patient on how to avoid future dental conditions. These responsibilities can only be carried out by the dentist through good communication with the patient.

Anyone who is embarrassed about the condition of your mouth and/or teeth should feel comfort knowing that the majority of dentists do not scold their patients. That may have been a common practice a long time ago, but is not widely accepted today. If, despite knowing this, a patient is still concerned about how a dentist will react upon looking in their mouth, it is good to remember that your dentist has probably seen everything from black teeth to a complete lack of teeth, and your teeth won’t shock the dentist at all. If, by some chance, your dentist does insult you, you should just find a new Seattle dentist. Take heart in knowing that there are an abundance of good dentists out there who are concerned with helping their patients.

Dental Insurance-2

Many insurance companies and employers offer dental care plans. This is because many now realize that dental care is extremely important and influences overall health.

Dental plans that are offered by insurance companies and employers usually cover routine check-ups by your Seattle dentist – twice a year. Such dental plans also cover annual x-rays examination, and may include coverage for regular cleanings.

Some healthcare providers offer what is known as a dental savings plan. With this type of plan, a certain amount of money is allocated for dental care, and is set-aside, tax-free, to be used for dental work.

If this type of plan is not in effect, the Seattle dentist is required to file a report with the insurance provider, and the treatment must be approved before a patient can be reimbursed for the procedure. As always, the best oral hygiene plan is to prevent unnecessary dental work by maintaining good oral hygiene.

Holiday Candy

Most people enjoy treats such as cookies and candies during the holidays. Despite the fact that they treats contribute to tooth decay, it is still possible to enjoy them. Brushing the teeth right after eating them is an excellent way to avoid decay. People with crowns and bridges should avoid sticky treats which can actually pull off these dental devices.

Cavities are an infection caused by the bacteria that naturally reside in our mouths. Despite the fact that a variety of bacteria exist in our mouths, only some are considered by Seattle dentists to cause cavities. These bacteria digest carbohydrates and subsequently produce acid. It is this acid that dissolves the hard enamel coating of our teeth. Each and every time your teeth are exposed to these foods generates an attack of acid on the teeth found to last for about twenty minutes! Some Seattle dentists encourage their patients to steer clear of foods that contain large amounts of sugar in order to prevent cavities. This is obviously good advice that most patients will no follow. A more realistic standpoint is to try to avoid sugary foods, but when you can’t, make sure to brush soon afterwards.

An additional problem with some types of candy, mentioned above, is its propensity for sticking to certain types of dental devices like crowns and bridges. In addition to promoting dental decay, some kinds of candy can actually pull off crowns and bridges. These candies include jelly beans, bubble gum, caramels, gummy bears, and other extremely sticky candies. Many people do not realize the double threat of these types of candies, leading to an increase in the number of loose or pulled out bridges and crowns in the months surrounding Halloween and Christmas – holidays often associated with candy.

Bleeding Gums -2

Bleeding Gums should be considered a very serious problem. They are a symptom of the early stage of gum disease, along with swelling and tenderness. As soon as bleeding gums are noticed, immediate action should be taken to restore healthy gums.

Luckily, bleeding gums are an indication of gingivitis, the mildest form of gum disease. This bleeding occurs when improper oral hygiene leads to plaque and tartar build-up at the base of the teeth. Gingivitis is reversible when detected early. On the other hand, if gingivitis is left untreated, it can worsen. What started as bleeding gums can become a gum infection or worse, an abscessed tooth. Your Seattle dentist should be consulted right away for diagnosis and treatment.

Bleeding gums can be prevented with good oral hygiene, paying particular attention to the gum area. In addition to brushing, flossing is vital in the removal of any calculus that has built up.

Blood thinners and dental procedures

Anticoagulants, more commonly known as blood thinners, are used for variety medical reasons. They are mainly used in prevention of stroke, heart attack, thrombosis and embolism. Three such anticoagulants that are used commonly are aspirin, Coumadin, and Ticlid. Both aspirin and Ticlid function by obstructing the function of platelets – cells the body uses after injury to stop bleeding. Coumadin functions by interfering with production of clotting factors.

Seattle dentists must constantly be concerned with the possibility of bleeding after certain procedures, even those with which it is expected. We also must think about which drugs we can safely administer for the management of discomfort or to prevent infection. Pain killers and certain antibiotics can have adverse consequences when taken with anticoagulants. It is therefore crucial that you let your dentist know about any medications you are taking. In some cases, your Seattle dentist may need to confer with your physician to determine whether or not you need to stop taking anticoagulants prior to dental treatment

Oral piercings

Because the popularity of oral body piercing has been increasing, it is important for dentists and others to know more about this practice, including possible complications that can arise.

Popular sites for oral piercing include the tongue, the uvula, the lips, the cheeks and just about any combination of these sites. The tongue is the most common site. It is usually pierced in the center, towards the tip, but many other possibilities exist.

There are many reasons that people want to have an oral piercing. These include: aesthetic reasons, enhanced sexual feeling, pain sensation, and self-esteem issues.

Oral piercing if often carried out by practitioners who are not licensed and have not undergone any training. Some even carry out oral piercing themselves or with the aid of a friend. This is not always wise, as normal standards for control of infection should always be followed. These include sterile instruments, disposable gloves, and sterilized jewelry. The jewelry must be removable, and it is recommended that it be composed of 14-karat gold, niobium, or surgical steel.

To carry out the procedure, a needle of approximately the same dimensions as the jewelry that is to be inserted into the tongue is covered in a plastic sheath. This covered needle is then used to puncture the tongue, usually without local anesthetic. The practitioner then removes the needle, leaving in the plastic sheath in place so that a temporary device can be inserted. The temporary is supposed to be longer than the permanent device to accommodate the swelling of the tongue that will occur. This is important, because If swelling causes the device to become imbedded in the tongue, it will need to be surgically removed. This temporary device is usually removed in about three to six weeks, and replaced with a permanent piece of jewelry. This must be worn constantly, or the piercing can close.

There are many symptoms that can occur with an oral piercing including swelling, pain, infection (either from use of non-sterile jewelry, or from the large amount of bacteria that resides in the mouth), increased saliva, and redness. Some complications include prolonged bleeding from punctured blood vessels, transmission of diseases, metal allergies, loss of taste, blocking of the airway due to swelling or the jewelry itself, numbness of the tongue, irritation to other tissues in the mouth, difficulty speaking, swallowing, or chewing, loss of tongue mobility, difficulty with dental and other oral examinations, and difficulty getting oral or skull x-rays. It is important to be aware of potential complications and constantly monitor for possible infection. If complications arise, one should return to where the piercing was done or see a health professional.

There are some steps people should take to care for their oral piercings in the first weeks after they are carried out. Because of the pain and swelling, it may be difficult to speak during the first few days. This may be relieved by refraining from speech as much as possible. It is also suggested that the mouth be rinsed with an antiseptic mouthwash or warm salt water. Avoid alcohol, smoking, and spicy foods. Tissues may heal more quickly in people who take vitamin supplements. It is a good idea to avoid French kissing and oral sex in the first weeks after the piercing to lessen the risk of getting an infection.

Once the piercing site has finished healing, the jewelry can be briefly removed so that it can be thoroughly cleaned. You should also cleanse around the area after every mean with a toothbrush and rinse thoroughly. Care should be taken during strenuous or contact sports.

Some individuals develop a habit of biting on the oral jewelry. This can sometimes be avoided by inserted a shorter bar. It may be recommended that a night guard be worn when sleeping so as to protect the teeth, or that the jewelry be removed completely.

Bottled water and cavities

Many people prefer to drink bottled water rather than tap water because of its taste and purity. Bottled water usually undergoes some form of purification, including sedimentation, filtration, treatment with activated carbon, chlorination, and other methods of purification.

Fluoride, found to help reduce oral decay, is added to many toothpastes, certain mouth rinses, and most tap water supplies. Fluoride becomes incorporated into our teeth as they develop, making them more resistant to cavities. Once our teeth are formed, it can stop the development of early cavities, possibly helping to prevent the necessity for corrective dental treatment.

For over 50 years, the American Dental Association has endorsed the fluoridation of water supplies in addition to the use of fluoride-containing dental products as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay. The Environmental Protection Agency has found that the acceptable concentration of fluoride in water supplies is 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million. Levels higher than this can lead to fluorosis, a chalky white discoloration of the teeth.

It is important to remember that the majority bottled waters do not have fluoride added – any that do will usually mention it on the label. In some people, drinking bottled water can therefore increase the risk of cavities due to the lack of fluoride. It is recommended that patients use fluoridated toothpaste and mouth rinse, and possibly a fluoride supplement, if your Seattle dentist observes an increase in cavities associated with a switch to drinking bottled water.


Braces are corrective dental and orthopedic devices that straighten teeth and/or align the lips and jaws. An orthodontist is a Seattle dentist who specializes in the treatment of what is called dental “malocclusion” or a “bad bite”. After they complete college and four years of dental school, they are required to complete an additional two or three year program to become an orthodontist.

Orthodontic problems can make some people more susceptible to other dental troubles in a number of ways. Teeth that are crooked can make the cleaning more difficult, which can result in an increase in cavities and/or gum disease. A protruding upper jaw can result in front teeth that are more vulnerable to injury. Both of these orthodontic problems may contribute to TMJ, or jaw-joint, problems in addition to being considered unappealing cosmetically.

Corrections made with braces are accomplished by a sequence of intricate biomechanical adjustments. Brackets are actually attached to the surfaces of the teeth. These brackets are then attached to these brackets, connecting them to one another. This wire slowly and safely moves the teeth by exerting constant pressure on them. Treatment usually lasts about 18 to 24 months. Braces are less visible these days than they were in the past, but adolescents are frequently insecure about what some call a “tin grin”. When making the braces less visible is important, braces exist that have clear brackets instead of metal. Another option to get braces that are made to fit on the inside surface of the teeth. These are usually more uncomfortable than conventional braces, and can take longer to achieve the same results. After braces are removed, the orthodontist will usually make a retainer to help the teeth stay as straight.

Some major worries for parents are whether or not their child needs braces and when to take their child for their first visit to the orthodontist. Your Seattle dentist can help you answer these important questions during your child’s normal dental visit. It is recommended that the majority of children get braces when they are between the ages of 11 and 13. It is around this age that most or all of the baby teeth have been lost. Even though this is the most common age range for braces, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that parents have an orthodontist evaluate their children’s teeth by the age of seven. At this age, treatment often involves orthopedic appliances for proper jaw development.

It is extremely important that children with braces keep their teeth as clean as possible – and parents should help remind them of this. Food and plaque can become trapped in braces and increase the risk of decay, unattractive white-spots, and gingivitis. Children with braces should also steer clear of hard or sticky food that can damage their braces. Be sure to follow an instructions given by the orthodontist (regarding elastics, head-gear, etc.), as well as seeing your family Seattle dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups.

Tooth replacement

Bridges are not the only way to replace teeth; dental implants are another source of artificial teeth, and they have some advantages. They look natural and feel very secure. They can be used to fasten full or partial dentures. Despite these advantages, they are not an option for everyone. Surgery is required to attach implants, so patients have got to be in good overall health with healthy gums, have sufficient bone to support the implant, and be meticulous about their oral hygiene and regular dental visits. If you are interested in getting implants from one of your Seattle dentists, a comprehensive evaluation by your dentist can determine whether or not you would be a good candidate.


Some people believe that a few missing teeth are not big deal and has no effect on them. This is not usually the case. People who are missing one or more teeth often notice a difference when chewing and speaking. The good news is that there are options for restoring your smile. One of these options is a bridge. Bridges assist in maintaining the shape of your face, and help alleviate stress in the bite by replacing missing teeth.

A bridge, also called a fixed partial denture, uses artificial teeth to replace missing teeth – “bridging” the gap caused by missing teeth. The restoration can be constructed from alloys, gold, porcelain, or a blend of these materials. Your Seattle Dentist bonds them to your surrounding teeth for support. A removable bridge can be taken out by the patient for cleaning, while a fixed bridge can only be taken out by a dentist. One type of fixed bridge is an implant bridge, in which the artificial teeth are attached either to the jaw or under the gums.

Not matter what king of bridge your dentist advises, it is only as good as its foundation, making it extremely important that patients with bridges keep their remaining teeth as healthy as possible.

Bulimia – Dental Consequences

Bulimia is an eating disorder in which a person will habitually binge on food and then purge. The purging can be carried out in a number of ways: by intentionally inducing vomiting, using laxatives, fasting, using diuretics, or doing vigorous exercise to counter the bingeing. Females are victims of bulimia much more commonly than are males.

There are a number of medical complications that arise from bulimia. Some of these complications are the result of vomit, which contains acid and causes ulcers or ruptures to the esophagus. Other complications arise from diuretic or laxative abuse. Overuse of either can lead to dependence on them for normal elimination, or imbalances in fluids or electrolytes.

There can also be dental complications from bulimia. These are the result of contact with the acid in the vomit encountered during purging. The stomach acid eats away at the surfaces of the teeth. This damage to the enamel makes the teeth extremely vulnerable to cavities and infection. Frequent vomiting can also lead to swollen salivary glands.

The best thing someone with bulimia can do for their teeth, and for themselves, is to try to get this disorder under control to help prevent dental and medical problems. The first step is usually admitting that the problem exists so that treatment can be sought. Once the patient decides to seek some sort of treatment, a good place to start is with the family doctor. He or she can help determine the appropriate course of action, whether it be a psychiatrist, psychologist, group counseling, support groups, or some combination of these.

Some Seattle dentists have patients they believe have bulimia brush with concentrated fluoride gels after repairing the damaged teeth. It is important that patients with bulimia maintain their oral hygiene as well as possible, and have their dentist carefully monitor the condition of their mouths. In some cases, fluoride trays may be worn at night.

Dentures – self repairs

Patients should not try to make repairs or adjustments to their own dentures, even if they seem minor. Serious damage can be caused to the dentures or to the health of the patient. Serious irritation or sores can be caused by improperly fitted dentures.

If any damage at all occurs to your dentures, you should see your Seattle cosmetic dentist as soon as possible. The necessary repairs or adjustments can usually be done very quickly and reliably. Repairs made by someone without proper training can result in further damage to the dentures and complications in the mouth.

Cancer Treatment

About one third of all Americans diagnosed with cancer may develop oral complications from their cancer treatment. Many people who go through cancer treatment are not aware that a thorough dental exam is an important part of maintaining their overall health.

Radiation therapy of the head and/or neck region can lead to complications, including hypersensitive teeth, dry mouth, oral lesions, rapid tooth decay, and trouble swallowing. The oral cavity can also be greatly affected by chemotherapy.

Your dentist in Seattle and oncologist should work together to help you minimize the risk of developing such problems. Unless recommended otherwise, you should still brush your teeth twice a day during treatment, albeit carefully and gently. Your dentist may also recommend a mouthrinse and/or frequent applications of fluoride. If you begin to experience dry mouth, your dentist may suggest artificial saliva, also known as saliva replacement.

Contact your Dentists in Seattle and/or physicican if you believe you have a mouth infection of any kind, since such infections can have severe implications.

Canker sore vs. cold sore?

Many people fail to distinguish the difference between canker sores and cold sores. Canker sores are located inside the mouth, while cold sores generally occur outside the mouth. A canker sore is actually a small ulcer. Canker sores usually have a white or gray base and a red border. They are quite common and frequently recur.

A cold sore, also known as herpes simplex or a fever blister, is actually clusters of painful, fluid-filled blisters. They frequently erupt around the lips, but can sometimes be found under the nose or under the chin. Cold sores are typically caused by herpes virus type I and are extremely contagious.

It usually takes about a week or two for canker sores to heal. It sometimes help reduce irritation to rinse with antimicrobial mouthrinses. Some topical anesthetics can also help. It usually takes about a week for a cold sore to heal. Topical anesthetics can also provide temporary relief for this condition. Prescription antiviral drugs may help decrease these types of viral infections. If you experience either type of sore, you can also consult your Seattle dentist or physician for advice.

Cavities through time

Not surprisingly, fossilized remains reveal that dental cavities have plagued people for thousands of years. The surprising fact is that the incidence of cavities has been increasing for the last four centuries in industrialized nations. It is believed that this is due to a diet composed of highly processed foods that contain a great deal of sugar. In spite of a recent drop in the cavity rate due to widespread use of fluoride, they continue to be a difficulty for us now.

Cavities are an infection caused by the bacteria that naturally reside in our mouths. Despite the fact that a variety of bacteria exist in our mouths, only some are considered by Seattle dentists to cause cavities. These bacteria digest carbohydrates and subsequently produce acid. It is this acid that dissolves the hard enamel coating of our teeth. Each and every time your teeth are exposed to these foods generates an attack of acid on the teeth found to last for about twenty minutes! Some Seattle dentists encourage their patients to steer clear of foods that contain large amounts of sugar in order to prevent cavities. This is obviously good advice that most patients will no follow. A more realistic standpoint is to try to avoid sugary foods, but when you can’t, make sure to brush soon afterwards.

There two primary ways that cavities attack the teeth. The first is through the pits and fissures of the molars and premolars. These are the grooves found on the top biting surfaces of these back teeth and these recesses, with thinner enamel, can trap food and plaque to develop a cavity. The cavity initiates from a small spot and spreads to attack the dentin that lies under the enamel. By contrast, the second course of attack is from a smooth surface. These smooth surfaces are on the front or back of teeth, or between them. In this type of cavity, the acid has to attack through the entire width of the enamel. Converse to the localized initiation point found with the first type of cavity, the area of attack with this type of cavity is usually wide, and converges as it penetrates the deeper layers of the tooth.

Regardless of which type of cavity a patient has, it will require repair with a filling. If the cavity is permitted to development without treatment, the nerve inside the tooth can eventually become infected, and the tooth will then need a root canal or extraction.

Cavity treatment

Dental cavities have been treated for centuries. Despite this long history, it was not until 1875 that an organized approach to their treatment was first described by Dr. G.V. Black. The methods he described are still in use, mainly for the placement of silver, known as amalgam, fillings. Dr. Black promoted removal of the decayed portion of the tooth, and extending the tooth preparation to comprise grooves and other surfaces. This helps provide the tooth with some defense from further decay.

There are two basic steps to repairing a cavity: removal of the decayed and damaged part of the tooth, and reconstruction the missing tooth structure with a filling material. Your Seattle dentist typically starts the procedure by injecting a local anesthetic, then isolating the tooth from the rest of the mouth. The decay is usually removed by either a high-speed dental drill or an air abrasion wand is needed to remove the decay and prepare the tooth for the filling. At this point, a liner is often used to decrease sensitivity. If the filling is particularly deep, a base may also be used. The primary function of the base is to insulate the tooth from temperature changes. The next step is to fill the tooth. There are a number of materials available to fill the tooth, including resin, porcelain, silver (also known as amalgam), and gold. Whichever one of these materials is chose is layered over the liner or base to finish the process of reconstructing the tooth.

After your Seattle cosmetic dentists have filled a tooth, it can be sensitive for a day or so. As a general rule, the deeper the cavity is, the longer the sensitivity will be, particularly to cold foods and beverages. Most fillings feel fine by two weeks after the procedure. If sensitivity lasts longer than two weeks, it may be a sign that there is a space under the filling. Extended irritation can also be an indication that the tooth has an infected pulp, requiring root canal therapy. In other cases, the filling can be built up too high, necessitating a second appointment to shear down the filling to a comfortable level.

Cell phones at the dental office

Despite the fact that cell phones, pagers, and similar devices have enhanced communication overall, they can have some unwanted effects as well. One technology related problem that has become more prevalent is the frequent interruptions to daily activities.

The majority of patients recognize that they should turn off their cell phones and pagers when going into a Seattle dentist’s office to receive dental care. There are, however, some patients who continue to conduct business or deal with personal issues during dental treatment. This distracts both the patient and dentist, disrupting treatment. Your dentist needs to be able to focus and needs to be able to communicate openly with the patient in order to perform dentistry effectively.

There are admittedly some situations that are exceptions and require that a cell phone or pager should be kept on, but in most cases people should be able to leave these devices off for the short time it usually takes to conduct a dental visit. Those with pressing matters should leave their cell phones and pagers at the front desk of their Seattle dentists office, with the office manager or receptionist. They can then help direct urgent matters to the patient through the clinical staff, minimizing disruptions and allowing the dentist to offer the best treatment possible for their patients

Chemotherapy and the Mouth

Most simply, cancer is an uncontrollable growth of cells. This growth of cells can harm the body by damaging healthy tissue that it contacts, or by spreading throughout the body. Chemotherapy attacks cancer by killing these rapidly dividing cells, but other cells that rapidly divide are usually effected also. Healthy ells that are typically harmed by chemotherapy include platelets, white blood cells, and the inside lining of our cheeks. Because of these and other side effects, patients that are undergoing chemotherapy should be monitored carefully during dental treatment. Platelets help stop bleeding, so if the platelet count is too low, the dentist may have difficulty stopping bleeding after even minor dental procedures. White blood cells help fight infection, so if the white blood cell count is low, the patient may need antibiotics prior to dental treatment. Some patients with a very low white blood cell count may actually need to be treated in a hospital for a dental infection.

There are a few conditions that patients undergoing chemotherapy sometimes develop. These include cold sores and canker sores in and around the mouth, thrush, gingivitis, and ulcerations on the inner surface of the cheeks. Antifungal medications are usually prescribed to treat thrush. Mild mouth soreness can sometimes be relieved by rinsing with a mixture of baking soda and water (2 tsp. of baking soda in 1 quart of water) every two hours or so or by letting ice chips melt in the mouth. More acute discomfort can be sometimes be alleviated by a mixture of Maalox, Benadryl, and Dyclone prescribed by your Seattle dentists or by your oncologist. A prescription antibiotic mouthwash, (like Peridex) is also a good idea. If you are undergoing chemotherapy, you should increase the frequency with which you brush your teeth to three times a day, use a very soft toothbrush so as not to injure any part of your mouth, floss frequently, and rinse at least twice a day with antibiotic mouthwash.

Good nutrition is also vital when battling cancer. Mouth discomfort can make eating difficult, so cancer patients may need to use dietary supplements to keep up good nutrition. Patients who are undergoing chemotherapy should confirm that their dentist has experience dealing with the dental conditions that can accompany this confers with the oncologist to provide safe and effective dental treatment.

Chewing Gum to prevent cavities

Foods that contain sugar and other carbohydrates can promote cavities by supplying fuel to the bacteria that normally reside in our mouths. Because of this, many Seattle dentists advise against candy, chewing gum, and other sweets to reduce the likelihood of getting tooth decay. Chewing gum can be especially destructive because many varieties have sugar and because it can stick to caps, fillings, and other dental work, loosening these devices to loosen or come off. But this is not the case with all types of gum. Chewing gum that does not contain sugar and that is non-stick does not contribute to these conditions; in fact it can be advantageous. It helps encourage saliva production, thus helping prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Recent studies have also shown that chewing gum with xylitol can be even more beneficial. Xylitol is a sugar substitute that is comparable in sweetness to sugar, and is naturally occurring in some fruits.

Some people are more prone to cavities than others, and need more preventative measures than the regular recommended oral hygiene routine. In such cases, the Seattle dentist may recommend rinsing with a fluoridated mouth rinse after brushing, high potency fluoride gels, or a potent, antiseptic mouth rinse containing chlorhexidine (CHX). Chewing gum that contains Xylitol has been shown to prevent the growth of the bacteria Streptococcus Mutans (one of the main bacteria found to be responsible for causing cavities) when used in conjunction with antiseptic mouth rinses that contain CHX. So next time you feel like reaching for a piece of candy, grab some gum sweetened with xylitol!

Child Oral Health

Most parents who worry about their children’s teeth are primarily concerned with cavities, but this is not the only dental problem children can experience. Children can also suffer from things like gingivitis and periodontal disease. The best method for preventing these conditions in your children’s mouths is to teach them good oral health habits as early as possible and to take them to your Seattle dentist regularly.

There are a few more tips recommended by oral hygienists for caring for your children’s teeth. You can care for your baby’s mouth even before their teeth erupt, by cleansing the gums with a wet washcloth after each feeding. This removes food (or drink) and stimulates the gums. After the teeth do erupt, you can gently brush them with a small soft toothbrush. Some parents are afraid to use toothpaste at this early age, but a pea-sized amount will help prevent tooth decay. You can start to instruct your child on how to correctly brush his or her teeth around the age of 2 or 3. Keep in mind that this is more to instill good oral hygiene habits than to let them clean their own teeth. Most children are not ready to fully take over their own oral hygiene until around the age of 8, and parents should help out until then. Children should have their first dental check-up around 1 year of age. These visits can be made more comfortable for your child by allowing them to discuss their anxiety prior to the visit. If the water your child drinks, whether it is from the tap or bottled, does not contain fluoride, discuss this with your Seattle dentists to see if a supplement is recommended. You can also discuss the possibility of applying sealants to the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth to protect them.


Patients who go to the dentist can also have general health problems. Possibly the most serious is heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in the US. Those who have high levels of cholesterol increase their risk of heart disease. We hear so many statistics about cholesterol that most people don’t realize that it is actually vital to human life.

Cholesterol is found in many foods, as well as being located in your bloodstream and in all cells of your body. It is a steroid that is vital for the development and maintenance of cell membranes, for the formation of some hormones and bile salts, and other significant functions.

What is surprising to most people is that our bodies produce all the cholesterol we need. When you have your cholesterol level measured during a blood test, it is circulating cholesterol that is being measured. Most of this is produced by your own body – only about 15% of your blood cholesterol comes from your diet. Cholesterol found in the diet comes from dairy products, seafood, meat, fish, and poultry. Your blood cholesterol level can be increased by eating a diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol. An elevated cholesterol level has been linked with atherosclerosis. This is a build-up of plaques that can eventually constrict or completely block the blood vessels. If the arteries around the heart become obstructed, it can result in a heart attack. Another difficulty that can result from a blocked artery occurs when the blockage develops rough edges. The plaques can then break off and pass through the bloodstream, possibly blocking blood vessels somewhere else in the body. A blood vessel blockage in the brain can result in a stroke.

There are a number of ways to try to keep cholesterol levels under control, beginning with a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat, regular exercise, and no smoking. It is also important to limit stress and have your doctor check your cholesterol levels regularly. It is important to always keep in mind that although cholesterol is essential for life, too much can be very harmful.

Be sure to inform your Seattle dentist of any medical problems and any medications you are taking.

Choosing a Dental Office

First and foremost, it is important to choose a dental office in which you feel comfortable. Your dentist’s staff should include a registered dental hygienist -specialists who specialize in preventing periodontal disease and tooth decay.

You should also look for a dental office that is “prevention-oriented,” and a dentist that is open to your questions.

Once you find a dentists in Seattle and dental office that are a good fit for you, you should always try to get the most out of your visits. Ask any questions you may have, and try to learn anything you can from your dentist and hygienist. They can teach you more effective brushing and flossing practices, and help you choose the best dental products for your needs. At least your initial dental visit should include your comprehensive medical and dental history. You should be informed about the results of the examination and the any suggested treatment and associated.

Avoiding infection in the Dental Office

Despite the low risk of contracting an infectious disease from a routine dental visit, your dental office should adhere to the safety standards endorsed by the CDC and OSHA. These include thorough washing of the hands prior to and following each patient contact, the use of protective clothing such as gloves and masks, replacement of gloves between patients, heat sterilization of all instruments (except those that are disposable) between patients, disinfection of all surfaces and equipment between patients, disposal of all needles, syringes, and other sharp instruments in designated containers, and disposal of all infectious waste in leak-proof container that are clearly identified in accordance all applicable regulations.

Infection control procedures are frequently posted in Seattle dentist offices. If they are not and you are interested in seeing them, feel free to ask about it.

Cigarette Smoking and oral health

As has been well publicized and documented, smoking has been linked with a number of harmful side-effects. Lung cancer and emphysema are the two conditions most people think of first when they think about the consequences of smoking, but there are many other problems that have also been linked to smoking. Some of these side-effects are of particular concern to dentists because they occur in the mouth, including an increased chance of oral cancer, cavities, and gum disease. It has also been suggested that smoking may increase the chance of giving birth to a child with cleft lip or palate.

There are many irritants found in cigarette smoke, and many of them have been found to dry out the mouth and decrease blood flow to the jaws, both of which can have a harmful impact on dental health. Saliva is vital for fighting cavities and gum disease because it helps wash away food debris and plaque, in addition to helping neutralize acid. Therefore, a decrease in saliva can encourage both cavities and gum disease. Diminished blood flow to the jaws restricts nutrients and protective white blood cells, and can therefore be a factor in possible tooth loss from gum disease.

Smoking during pregnancy has long been associated with premature babies, as well as babies with low birth weight. Recent studies have also linked smoking during pregnancy with development of cleft lip and/or palate. Both cleft lip and cleft palate can lead to difficulty with swallowing, speaking, and breathing. It can also cause children to experience recurrent ear infections, and produce facial and dental deformities.

Smoking is extremely dangerous and can bring about severe dental and general health conditions. People who smoke should think about quitting, and can always ask their medical doctor, dentist, or other health care provider for help. This type of request is welcomed! There are also quite a few helpful websites that offer to support smokers.

Clindamycin for dental infections

Even thought antibiotics are not necessary as frequently as they once were in dentistry, there are still times when they are required. When they are used, they are rarely utilized as the principal therapy; they play more of a supporting role, while the infection is treated primarily by surgery.

Penicillin is typically the drug prescribed first by your dentist Seattle. If a patient is allergic to Penicillin, or has persistent dental infections, the next drug advised is usually an alternative antibiotic called Clindamycin.

Clindamycin very successful at fighting dental infections because it is almost completely absorbed and is take up by the soft tissues and bone, where dental infections are located.

Clindamycin is very effective in and well tolerated by most patients. Nevertheless, it does have potential side effects. Clindamycin can occasionally cause a dangerous condition called pseudomembranous colitis, but this condition can arise from just about any antibiotic. Because of this possible side effect, anyone taking Clindamycin should cease taking it at the first sign of diarrhea. It should not be prescribed to anyone who has ever experienced gastrointestinal disease, before conferring with the patient’s family doctor or specialist.

Care should always be taken by any Seattle dentist when prescribing antibiotics. Patients should be informed of any possible side effects and monitored closely. But rest assured that research and use have shown that sensible use of Clindamycin is usually not dangerous and can be extremely successful in treating dental infections.

Composite bonding

The appearance of teeth can be greatly improved by composite bonding. With the popularity of cosmetic dentistry rising every day, the field has developed leaps and bounds in recent years. Different types of composite bonding exist, in addition to many other procedures and treatments.

The type of treatment that your Seattle cosmetic dentist recommends depends on a multitude of factors. If the primary concern is that a patient’s teeth are discolored, they should consider laser tooth whitening or dental bonding. If the teeth are stained and have damage or gaps, dental bonding or veneers may be suggested. Dental bonding is generally recommended for teeth that are less damaged than those that require veneers, but it is acceptable for anyone to get veneers.

Composite bonding and veneers are the solutions most frequently recommended for teeth that are severely damaged. Dental bonding is carried out rather easily without the need for anesthesia. It requires the placement of resin on the surface of the teeth. To apply the resin, the Seattle dentist must first apply phosphoric acid to the surface of the teeth to wear down the surface enamel. This readies the surface of the tooth, making it more capable of retaining the resin.

The Seattle dentist then applies the composite resin on the front surface of the teeth that need to be repaired. High intensity light is then used to harden the resin. Finally, the teeth are shaped and polished to look as natural as is possible. The application of veneers is quite comparable, but uses layers of porcelain ceramic, and the teeth need to be ground down quite a bit more to accommodate the porcelain. Both methods are excellent, and most patients are quite pleased with the results of whichever method they choose.

When will dentures need to be replaced?

Over time, dentures will need to be rebased by one of your Seattle dentists, relined, or remade by your dentist due to normal wear. The dentist uses the existing denture teeth and refits the denture base or makes a new denture base to rebase or reline a denture. If dentures show significant signs of wear, they should be replaced. A mouth naturally changes with age, causing the dentures to become loose.jaws can align differently due to bone and gum ridges receding or shrinking. Shrinking ridges can cause dentures to fit less securely. Loose dentures can cause health problems, including sores and infections. Chewing becomes more difficult and your facial features may change to t a loose denture. Before problems are caused, it is important to replace worn or poorly fitting dentures.

Are baby teeth important?

My four year old needs fillings? Why don’t we just let them fall out, or pull them if they bother him?

Seems logical. Why put the youngster through the trouble of having his teeth filled if the adult teeth will come in to replace the bad baby teeth later? There are many reasons why baby teeth should be filled and repaired until they fall out naturally. The first reason is that your child needs his baby teeth to eat comfortably. If an untreated cavity in a baby tooth becomes infected and has to be pulled, your child may have to wait as long as eight years until the adult tooth replaces it. During the time the baby tooth is prematurely missing, the other teeth will shift and grow into the wrong areas and the adult teeth will usually come in crooked. By losing these “natural” growing braces, your child may need “artificial” braces from the orthodontist later.

Finally, untreated cavities that cause teeth to be infected will cause your child much more pain than having the tooth filled. To help avoid any preventable dental problems, introduce your child to a Seattle dentist who is good with children by age two.

Specialists are needed when

Most people want to know when a Seattle dentist should refer a patient to a specialist, the answer is, when the required procedure goes beyond the dentists skill.
A frustrating thing about health care, either medicine or dentistry, is when is when a specialist is needed. For a lot of us, that means going to a new office, interacting with an unfamiliar staff, and of course, a new doctor. People sometimes wonder why they’re own doctor could not treat them, and how serious they’re condition is. These doubts, along with the unfamiliar environment of the specialist’s office, might increase the anxiety and stress that is experienced with an office visit. To help lower these concerns, I will give you some information about what kinds of procedures are likely to be referred from a general dentist to a dental specialist.

Before I get into the specifics about what procedures should be referred to a dental specialist, we need to define what the dental specialties are, and what makes them different from general dentistry. To become a dentist, you generally need to complete four years of college and four years of dental school. If you want to specialize, you need to complete an additional two to six more years. Here’s the breakdown of the main dental specialties: Oral Surgery (3-4 years after dental school, an MD degree can be obtained in a 6-year program): treatment involving the removal of teeth and jaw surgery, Periodontics (2-3 years): treatment of gum disease, Prosthedontics (2 years): rebuilding and replacing teeth, Pediatric Dentistry (2 years): dental treatment of children, Orthodontics (2-3 years): straightening teeth with braces, and Endodontics (2 years): root canal therapy and the surgery associated with saving teeth. All of these dental specialties can be a useful resource for you and your family dentist.

What most people want to know is “what procedures should my family dentist refer to a specialist?” and the short answer is “whatever procedures he or she can not do, or feels that a specialist can do significantly better.” The most common procedures that a general dentist refers to a specialist include, extraction of impacted wisdom teeth and other complex dental extractions, most biopsies and other jaw surgeries, surgical placement of dental implants, almost all orthodontics (braces), complex root canal procedures often on the back teeth (molars), including apicoectomy (surgical removal of the root tip), most gum surgeries, complicated dental rehabilitations (especially involving dental implants), dental treatment of phobic children or those with physical and/or mental handicaps, and other difficult dental treatments.

The degree to which a general dentist will refer to a specialist varies widely from dentist to dentist. Some general dentists, myself included, perform the vast majority of treatment needed by their patients. In contrast, other dentists refer a high percentage of their difficult procedures to dental specialists, electing to do only routine treatment. The main reason for this disparity has to do with the training and experience of the general Seattle dentist. In some cases Seattle Dentists that have had hospital or other residencies, and have taken a lot of hours of education are likely to perform procedures that are referred to by specialists. The recent trend is for the general Seattle Dentist to do more advanced procedures giving their patient’s dental requirements “under a single roof. Even so, in a few cases, the specialists is the best person to treat a hard dental problem

Will I speak differently with dentures?

“Practice me be required to pronounce certain words” says a Seattle dentist. Repeating troublesome and reading out loud words will help. If your dentures “click” while you’re talking, speak more slowly.

You may find that your dentures occasionally slip when you laugh, cough or smile. To reposition your dentures, gently bite down and swallow. Consult your Seattle Dentist if problems persist in speaking.

Why do dentists use sedation?

People have their own reasons for using sedation. One of the most common is due to fear/anxiety. Many people avoid going to the dentist because of their fear. Some have never been and some have had horrible experiences as a child or adult. That fear is very difficult to overcome. Sedation, for some, is the only way they will have their dental needs treated by their Seattle dentist.

Other patients are not necessarily afraid, but they have extensive needs. Under an average dental setting, numerous appointments (5-10) may be needed to complete their treatment. This could take months – even years to complete everything. Many people are very busy with work and family obligations. It is difficult to arrange multiple appointments, so sedation is chosen. With sedation, treatment can usually be completed in one visit.

…and almost 23 million are willing to go to the dentist more frequently if general anesthesia and conscious sedation were more readily available. (Journal of the American Dental Association, Cover story: Assessing the Need for Anesthesia and Sedation in the General Population, vol. 129, Feb. 1998).

Will dentures change my appearance?

Little change in appearance will be noticeable because the dentures are made to closely resemble your natural teeth. The look of your smile may even be improved by dentures and help fill out the appearance of your profile and face.

Why does the pulp need to be removed?

Pain and swelling can result if the infected pulp in not removed. Certain byproducts of the infection can injure your jawbones. Without treatment from your Seattle cosmetic dentist, your tooth may have to be removed

Sometimes, less is more for your child.

Question: I have scheduled my 5-year-old son for his very first dental appointment. Is there anything I can do to help prepare her for the visit?

Answer: The adage “less is more” applies well to this situation. Parents usually think it is their duty to inform the children as much as possible about a dental or medical office visit. This, regrettably, is unwise when dealing with children. Keep in mind that fear is a learned response. If you tell your child that you are afraid, or even offhandedly say something like “I’m glad it’s your turn to go”, this will create anxiety for your child. Similarly, if you mention needles and drilling, your child may need a sedative just to get him or her into the waiting room!

Tell your kid that the Seattle dentist is a person who makes sure your all your teeth are okay, and counts how many teeth you have. That will suffice for most children seven and under. Older children can sometimes be given more information, but they will rarely need it due to their own past experiences at A Seattle dentist.

A lot of dentists have had training in child psychology in dental school. Some have additional knowledge gained from residencies or continuing education courses. A general dentist that has experience with kids can usually treat them without a problem. A pediatric dentist, a specialist who treats children and adolescents, may be a better choice for some kids.

Can I eat with my dentures?

Practice is needed. Soft foods cut into small pieces is good to start with. To prevent dentures form tipping, chew slowly and evenly with both sides of your mouth. Add other foods until you return to your normal diet as you become accustomed to chewing. Continue to chew food using both sides of the mouth at the same time. Use extra caution with sharp-edged bones or shells and hot or hard foods.

When your doctor should call a Seattle dentist.

The reason that a Seattle dentist was not contacted is because the majority of medical doctors have little expertise in the dental field. Medical doctors are often not educated in medical school about dental treatment or diagnosis.

A patient came to my office for what she thought was a TMJ (jaw-joint) issue. My patient complained that her pain was “mysterious” and would spontaneously occur every day or so. The pain was both debilitating and intense and radiating to the whole right side of her face. My Patient had been to her family doctor, who suggested to her that she was having a TMJ (jaw joint) problem, but also suggested that she not go to the dentist for a “mouth splint that was high priced”. Rather, his opinion was that she purchase herself one at a sporting goods store. She followed her doctor’s suggestion, but the store bought appliance gave her no relief from her pain. She then went back to her doctor, who sent her to an ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT physician). The ENT specialist thought my patient had a sinus infection and gave her various medications, including antibiotics, narcotic painkillers and decongestants. Not a one these therapies worked, however, she was scheduled for a CAT scan by the specialist. Fortunately for my patient, a friend of hers recommended that she see a dentist a few days before the CAT scan was scheduled. She agreed reluctantly.

When she came into my office, she was distraught. She had missed work due to the pain and medications she was taking, and her situation had not improved. When I evaluated her, I discovered that an infected tooth was the cause of all of her symptoms. All of her symptom ceased after I did a root canal on the infected tooth. Her appointment for the CAT scan was cancelled, and she is now back at work.

I suspect that many of you reading this are surprised about what happened with her. Her experience illustrates the importance why and when your family. In her case, her doctors were doing everything they could to help her, but simply did not know that a dental infection can cause all of the symptoms that she was experiencing. Medical doctors and patients should be aware that any pain or swelling in the mouth, face, a dental infection or other dental problem can cause head, neck, ear, or sinus.

Risk factors for Oral Cancer:

Developing oral cancer is a higher concern for you if:

  • You use tobacco products on a regular basis
  • If you are an excessive alcohol drinker
  • On a regular basis exposed to sunlight
  • Have bad habits such as cheek chewing or biting
  • Have ill-fitting dentures in your mouth

It is imperative that you learn how to examine yourself for signs of oral cancer and to have regular check-ups to increase the chances of your Seattle dentist discovering the condition before it progresses.

Some of the warning Signs of Oral Cancer are:

  • Sores on your face, neck, or mouth that take longer than 14 days to heal
  • Swellings, lumps or bumps on your lips, gums or other places inside the mouth
  • Patches of red or black in your mouth
  • Repeated bleeding from the mouth
  • Losses of feeling, or pain in the area of the face, neck or mouth

To perform the oral cancer examination on your self, just follow these steps.

Feel or look at:

1. Neck and head

Look at your neck and face in the mirror. Generally, the right and left sides of the face have the same shape. Look for any lumps, bumps, or swellings that are only on one side of your face

2. Face

Look at the skin on your face. Do you notice any size or color changes, sores, moles, or growths?

3. Neck

Press along the sides and front of your neck. Do you feel any sore spots or lumps?

4. Lips

Pull your bottom lip down and look inside your mouth for any imperfections color changes. Next, use your forefinger and thumb to feel the lip for lumps, bumps, or changes in texture. Repeat this on your top lip

5. Cheeks

Use your fingers to pull out your cheek so you can get a good look inside. Look for white, red, or dark patches. Put your index finger on the inside of your cheek and your thumb on the outside. Gently squeeze and roll your cheek between your fingers to check for any lumps or areas of tenderness. Repeat this on the other cheek

6. Roof of your Mouth

Tilts your head back and open your mouth as wide as you can to see it there are any lumps or if the color is different than usual is. Run your finger on the roof of your mouth to feel for lumps

7. Floor of the tongue and mouth

Stick out your tongue and look at the surface for texture and color. Carefully pull your tongue forward to look at one side first and then the other. Look for any swellings or color variations. Examine the underside of your tongue by placing the tip of the tongue on the roof of your mouth.

Look at the bottom of your mouth and the underside of your tongue for color changes that are very different from what is normal. Gently press your finger along the underside of your tongue to feel for any swellings or lumps

If you find anything unusual, particularly anything that does not heal or go away in 14 days or that has recently changed, discuss it with your dentist or physician.

Xerostomia: dryness of the mouth from lack of saliva due to the improper function of mouth glands

Something’s responsible Xerostomia:

An everlasting feeling decreased saliva flow or dry mouth can be caused by:

Biological aging – does not cause it, but is a contributing factor

Systemic diseases such as;

– Rheumatoid conditions (example: Sjogren’s Syndrome)

– Dysfunctional immune system (example: AIDS)

– Hormonal disorders (example: Diabetes)

– Neuralgic disorders (example: Parkinson’s disease)

Lowered chewing ability- resulting in a liquid diet and soft food choice, which tend to decrease the natural flow of saliva in your mouth

Salivary glands removed by surgery

Dry mouth may occur due to:

Therapy with radiation – radiation may result in damage to the salivary glands.

Medications or drugs – more than 400 drugs can cause dry mouth. The most common medications are:

– Decongestants

– Diuretics

– Antihypertensives

– Antidepressants

– Antihistamines

Symptoms and Signs

If you experience mouth dryness, here are some common symptoms and signs.

Sensation of burning of the tongue

Eating difficulty

Speech difficulty

Difficulty wearing dentures

Thirsty often

Dry lips, and dryness at the corners of the mouth

Impaired taste

What’s The Big Deal if I Have a Dry Mouth?

Having a decreased saliva flow has some very serious consequences.

Heavy plaque and food accumulations tend to occur with dry mouth (xerostomia). This may lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Saliva is the human body’s self-cleansing mechanism. It helps remove food, debris, and plaque from the tooth surfaces, which helps protect against oral diseases.

Saliva also protects against cavities. It neutralizes acids and cleanses the tooth surfaces, and in this way, protects the tooth surface from tooth decay. People who have (xerostomia) are very susceptible to cavities, especially on the roots of their teeth.

How to control (xerostomia)

Frequently sip water

Keep fluids by your bed at night

Chew sugarless gum

Avoid tobacco, alcohol and foods high in sugar

Adjust the air humidity in your home

Use a saliva substitute – this is a commercial product which attempts to “wet” the mouth like saliva does; it can be found in most pharmacies

Establish a good plaque control program – since heavy plaque accumulations occur with oral dryness

Use fluoride – toothpaste, rinses, or gels

Xerostomia can result in oral discomfort and may serious consequences noticed by your dentist. If you feel you have this symptom, please see your oral health professional.