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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
December 24, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
MileyCyrussLittleSecretStraighteningHerSmileWithLingualBraces

Miley Cyrus's rise to fame began when she was cast in the Disney series Hannah Montana. She played the title character, Hannah Montana, a famous singing star hiding her true identity, ordinary girl, Miley Stewart. In her real life at the time, Miley Cyrus had her own little secret—she was undergoing orthodontic treatment to straighten her smile.

Like many teenagers (as well as many adults), Cyrus's dental bite wasn't in proper alignment. She could have gone the traditional way by straightening her smile with braces fixed to the front of her teeth. It's an effective treatment, but the metallic hardware can overwhelm a person's appearance.

With her various roles in the public spotlight, Cyrus and her family wanted an effective but out-of-sight method for moving her teeth. They chose a relatively new one called lingual braces. Unlike traditional braces, the hardware for lingual braces is fixed on the back of the teeth (or the tongue side, hence the term “lingual”).

Lingual braces can correct any bite problem labial (“lip”) braces can, just through different mechanics of movement. Its main appeal is that the hardware is hidden behind the teeth, so only you and your orthodontist need know you're wearing braces.

There is also less risk of damage to the mouth or the braces themselves if you're in a sport or profession where you're at high risk for facial blows. And unlike patients with traditional braces, you'll have an unobstructed view of your progress over the course of treatment.

Lingual braces do tend to cost more than traditional braces. Some patients also have difficulty at first with speaking and tongue comfort, though most grow accustomed to the braces within a couple of weeks. Because lingual braces are relatively new, there's been a limited number of orthodontists offering it.

But lingual braces are just one of the ways to straighten teeth. Modern dentistry offers several ways to give you your dream smile. If you have dental problems or would like to improve the look of your smile, please contact us or schedule a consultation, and we can discuss your options. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Lingual Braces” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
November 14, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
JanetJacksonEvenpopstarsgetinsecureabouttheirsmiles

Multi-platinum recording artist Janet Jackson has long been known for her dazzling smile. And yet, Jackson admitted to InStyle Magazine that her trademark smile was once a major source of insecurity. The entertainer said, “To me, I looked like the Joker!” It was only after age 30 that the pop icon came to accept her unique look.

Jackson is not alone. A study commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists found that more than one third of U.S. adults are dissatisfied with their smile. But there’s good news—modern dentistry can correct many flaws that can keep you from loving your smile, whether you’re unhappy with the color, size, or shape of your teeth. Here are some popular treatments:

Professional teeth whitening: Sometimes a professional teeth whitening will give you the boost you need. In-office whitening can dramatically brighten your smile in just one visit.

Tooth-colored fillings: If you have silver-colored fillings on teeth that show when you smile, consider replacing them with unnoticeable tooth-colored fillings.

Dental bonding: If you have chipped, cracked, or misshapen teeth, cosmetic bonding may be the fix you’re looking for. In this procedure, tooth colored material is applied to the tooth’s surface, sculpted into the desired shape, hardened with a special light, and polished for a smooth finish.

Porcelain veneers: Dental veneers provide a natural-looking, long-lasting solution to many dental problems. These very thin shells fit over your teeth, essentially replacing your tooth enamel to give you the smile you desire.

Replacement teeth: Is a missing tooth affecting your self-confidence? There are several options for replacing missing teeth, from a removable partial denture to a traditional fixed bridge to a state-of-the-art implant-supported replacement tooth. Removable partial dentures are an inexpensive way to replace one or more missing teeth, but they are less stable than non-removable options. Dental bridges, as the name implies, span the gap where a tooth is missing by attaching an artificial tooth to the teeth on either side of the space. In this procedure, the teeth on both sides of the gap must be filed down in order to support the bridgework. Dental implants, considered the gold standard in tooth replacement technology, anchor long-lasting, lifelike replacements that function like natural teeth.

After coming to embrace her smile, Jackson asserted, “Beautiful comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors." If you don’t feel that your smile expresses the beauty you have inside, call our office to schedule a consultation. It’s possible to love your smile. We can help.

For more information, read Dear Doctor magazine article “How Your Dentist Can Help You Look Younger.”

By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
November 07, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

You're tired of your current dentures and want something more stable and easily cared for. All-on-4 dental implants may be for you. Penny all on 4 denturesCreek Family & Implant Dentistry in Mill Creek, Drs. Chad Slocum and Dr. Sara Lundgaard offer these state-of-the-art tooth replacements. Learn more here.

Frequently asked questions about All-on-4 dental implants

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are today's most versatile and successful tooth replacement option. Made from biocompatible titanium, implant screws reside in the jaw bone and accept single-tooth replacements, or in the case of All-on-4, a full denture. At Penny Creek Family & Implant Dentistry in Mill Creek, Dr. Slocum and Dr. Lundgaard offer All-on-4 dental implants as a very successful way to a long-lasting, high-functional, and attractive smile.

How can they help me?

Dental implants actually improve bone quality. Through something called osseointegration, the bone in your jaw adheres to the titanium implant, forming a practically inseparable bond. In the case of All-on-4 tooth replacement, the dentist places four implants in strategic locations in the alveolar arch. These implants firmly anchor your new acrylic teeth.

Is the treatment complex?

Yes and no is the best answer to that question. From your perspective, the treatment will be comfortable, and you'll get to enjoy your new smile right away. From your dentist's perspective, it takes expertise and experience to do the evaluation and placement process correctly. A complete oral examination and three-dimensional imaging tells your dentist if implants are right for you. If they are, you'll undergo an in-office oral surgery to place the implants in the bone. Most patients do well with local anesthetic to control discomfort.

Does osseointegration take a long time?

Complete integration of your implants with your jaw bone typically takes several months, says Authority Dental. However, because osseointegration starts as soon as your implants are placed, your smile will become functional much sooner. Your dentist will give you instructions on the care of your All-on-4 smile, on your diet and more.

How long will my All-on-4 smile last?

Most All-on-4 procedures are very successful, and patients enjoy the benefits of an attractive, resilient smile for years.

Arrange a consultation

These revolutionary teeth could be yours! Why not call Penny Creek Family & Implant Dentistry in Mill Creek, WA, for a consultation? Dr. Slocum or Dr. Lundgaard will answer all your questions and get you on the path to a great smile. Phone us at (425) 337-7300.

By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
November 04, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crown  
3ThingsYouNeedtoKnowBeforeGettingaCrownRestoration

You may think all crowns are alike—but there can be a world of difference between one crown and another. Getting the crown your dentist recommends and one that's satisfactory to you will depend on a number of factors, including what you'll ultimately have to pay.

Here are 3 things you need to know about crowns before undergoing a crown restoration.

Different materials. Although porcelain is the most life-like material used, earlier types of this glass-based material weren't strong enough to withstand biting forces, especially in back teeth. Years ago, all-metal crowns were most often used until the development of a hybrid porcelain crown with an inner metal substructure for strength. In recent years stronger all-porcelain crowns have risen in popularity. The material type that works best often depends on the tooth to be crowned—all-porcelain may work for a visible front incisor, but a porcelain-metal hybrid might be needed for a back molar.

Level of artistry. While new computer manufacturing systems allow dentists to produce patient crowns in-office, most still require the services and skills of a dental lab technician. The cost difference between crowns usually occurs at this juncture: the more life-like and customized the crown, the more artistry and time required by a technician to produce it. This can increase the cost of the crown.

Limited choices. While you and your dentist want your crown choice to be as individualized and life-like as possible, your dental insurance may limit your options. Many policies only provide benefits for the most basic crown restoration—enough to regain functionality and have an acceptable, but not always the most aesthetic, appearance. To get a higher quality of crown you may have to supplement what your policy and deductible will cover.

Deciding which crown is best will depend on where it will be needed, the level of attractiveness you desire and your insurance and financial comfort level. And your dentist can certainly help guide you to a crown choice that's right for you.

If you would like more information on restorative crown choices, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Dental Crowns.”

By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
October 15, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  
HeresWhatYouNeedtoKnowAboutTeethWhitening

Getting a smile upgrade doesn’t necessarily require extensive dental work. You might be able to change your appearance for the better with teeth whitening.

This technique employs a bleaching solution that brightens dull enamel, the outermost layer of teeth. It isn’t a permanent fix, but if cared for properly your brighter smile could last two years or more.

Here’s what you need to know about this proven smile brightener.

Know your options. Enamel whitening is usually obtained in one of three ways: a dentist performing the procedure in-office; at home using custom trays created by a dentist; or at home with an over-the-counter whitening product. The in-office option is the most expensive—but since dentists use a stronger bleaching solution, your brighter tint may last longer and dentists can control the degree of whiteness better.

Know your preferences. That last point is important if you’re looking for a particular look. Teeth whitening can give you a dazzling “Hollywood” smile or one that’s a bit more subtle. It all depends on your lifestyle and personal preferences. Because of their advanced techniques and equipment, you may have better chances getting the look you want from your dentist rather than by doing it yourself.

Know your limitations. This type of teeth whitening won’t work if the staining originates within the teeth—for that you’ll need an invasive procedure only a dentist can perform. You’ll also want to be careful with any whitening if you have dental work like crowns, veneers or fillings: the bleaching solution won’t alter these materials’ color, which could make them stand out beside whitened natural teeth. And if you have diseased teeth and gums, those need to be treated first before any cosmetic procedures like whitening.

Teeth whitening is a great way to take years off a smile. Even if you plan to whiten your teeth at home see your dentist first for a complete examination and helpful tips on products and techniques.

If you would like more information on teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Important Teeth Whitening Question…Answered!

By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
September 30, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental crowns  

Our Mill Creek, WA, dentists Dr. Chad Slocum and Dr. Sara Lundgaard have preserved countless damaged teeth thanks to dental crowns, dental-crownsa versatile restoration that looks just like the crown of a natural tooth. If you are dealing with a weak or injured tooth then you too could benefit from getting a dental crown.

 

How does a dental crown work?

The purpose of a crown is to preserve and strengthen the natural structure of a damaged tooth. Once the custom restoration is placed it’s designed to encapsulate the tooth above the gum line.

In order for a crown to fit over the tooth, our Mill Creek, WA, general dentist will need to take impressions of your mouth to get the right measurements from which to craft your crown. These measurements are sent to an outside dental lab that will create your crown from a durable tooth-colored material such as ceramic or porcelain so that it looks just like a real tooth. A crown won’t stand out or look different from the rest of your natural smile.

 

When are dental crowns used?

A crown serves a rather important role in restoring a smile. They are placed over weak, broken or otherwise damaged teeth to support them and to preserve as much of the natural structure of the tooth that’s left after the damage. Not only does it improve the overall shape and look of the tooth but it also protects it from further damage. Teeth that are severely decayed, as well as cracked, fractured, misshapen or root canal-treated teeth may require a dental crown.

While the main purpose of a crown is to restore a damaged tooth it can improve a severely stained or oddly shaped tooth that also affects your smile’s appearance.

Do you have questions about getting a dental crown in Mill Creek, WA? If so, we are happy to answer any of your questions and help you decide the best restorative dentistry to preserve your smile. Call Penny Creek Family & Implant Dentistry today at (425) 337-7300.