My Blog

Posts for: October, 2012

By Penny Creek Family & Implant Dentistry
October 29, 2012
Category: Dental Procedures

When asked about her dazzling white smile, Cat Cora, the first female iron chef on the hit television series Iron Chef America, freely admits to maintaining the brightness of her smile with professional whitening sessions.

“With what I do, whitening your teeth is like getting your hair done, your nails done and everything else you have to do to be on television,” Cat recently told Dear Doctor magazine. However, she does have her limits. “I want my teeth to be white and healthy looking — but not stark white or looking like they could glow in the dark,” she said with a laugh.

Cat's perceptions and experiences with tooth whitening may accurately describe Hollywood, but through the power of media, celebrities and their respective fan bases, having attractive white teeth has become a goal for most people. This is because white teeth are subconsciously associated with youth and virility.

Here in the dental office, we can use professional-strength “power bleaching” to whiten teeth several shades in a single visit. To prevent irritation to the area surrounding the teeth being treated, we isolate the gums and skin of the mouth with a protective gel or a rubber barrier known as a dental dam. After the whitening solution is placed on the teeth, the process may be supplemented by heat or a light source to activate or enhance peroxide release.

For bleaching teeth at home, our office can make custom-fitted bleaching trays that you fill with a gel form of carbamide peroxide. Sometimes this whitening gel can cause a temporary tooth sensitivity to hot and cold, but this normally lasts for no more than four days after you stop bleaching your teeth.

To learn more about tooth whitening, you can continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teeth Whitening.” Or you can contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination and discuss what treatment options will be best for you. And to read the entire interview with Cat Cora, please see the article “Cat Cora.”

By Penny Creek Family & Implant Dentistry
October 26, 2012
Category: Dental Procedures

If you've ever looked through a magazine and viewed the perfectly aligned white smiles of celebrities and models, you may be already familiar with the look of porcelain veneers. To achieve a picture-perfect smile, many Hollywood stars choose porcelain veneers (thin-layers of porcelain) that are bonded to the front of teeth allowing for the alteration of tooth position, shape, size and color. By fixing imperfections, as well as whitening them, veneers offer celebrities a perfect smile that, when maintained properly, can last for several decades.

Evaluation: If porcelain veneers sound appealing, our office can help you decide if you're a good candidate for them. We will ensure you have sufficient tooth structure, that your teeth are in more or less a normal position, and that symmetrical gum contours are present, allowing for proper “framing” of the teeth, necessary for a beautiful smile.

The Process: Once it's been determined that you're a good candidate for veneers, our office will begin a smile analysis using computer imaging to digitally replicate your smile and then fabricate a mock-up smile made of tooth-colored wax. We will work with you to determine the right color and shade for your veneers. You can choose the brightest, whitest “Hollywood smile” or opt for a more natural color and enhanced look.

Next Steps: After your initial appointment, it typically takes the laboratory one week to fabricate your porcelain veneers. The insertion of your veneers can be done with or without a local anesthetic. We will place the veneers on your teeth with a light-sensitive resin, which sets with the use of a white light, effectively bonding them to your teeth. While you may initially experience some tooth sensitivity to hot or cold, this will disappear after a few days. Maintaining your perfect smile requires simple brushing and flossing techniques and routine check ups.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss any questions you may have regarding porcelain veneers. Read more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Smile Design, Enhanced by Porcelain Veneers.”

By Penny Creek Family & Implant Dentistry
October 26, 2012
Category: Veneers
Tags: veneers   cosmetic dentistry  

Single Unit Dental Veneers at

Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry

Dental veneers at Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry are a wonderful way to restore crooked, stained, malformed, damaged or badly worn teeth.  Mill Creek dentists Dr. Chad Slocum and Dr. Sara Lundgaard enjoy providing this wonderful service to the people of Snohomish County.

So what exactly are dental veneers?

Porcelain dental veneers at Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry are wafer-thin porcelain lamintates or shells.  They are “cemented” to the front surface of teeth to improve their cosmetic appearance.  Veneers can be placed on a single tooth or multiple teeth depending on the patients’ needs and goals to achieve a very esthetic smile.

Patient Before Single Tooth Veneer at Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry



The above patient has an old composite restoration on the lateral incisor which has turned dark over time.  The patient is unhappy with the tooth size, shape and gingival (gum) contour.

Mill Creek Dentist Dr. Chad Slocum treatment planned a single unit porcelain veneer to restore the tooth to its natural color and shape.  Dr. Slocum treatment planned diode laser contouring of the gum tissue to re-establish the proper gingival height and contours.

See the result below!!

Patient After Single Unit Veneer at Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry


Single Unit Porcelain Veneer was performed by Mill Creek Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Chad Slocum DDS.  Dr. Slocum can be reached at Penny Creek Family & Implant Dentistry Mill Creek, WA for more information regarding porcelain veneers.

What treatments or problems are veneers used for?

There are a wide variety of reasons why patients opt for treatment with dental veneers:

Stained teeth – badly stained teeth that cannot be improved by teeth whitening can be greatly improved by dental veneers.  These are often intrinsic stains from too much Fluoride or antibiotics during tooth development.

Damaged teeth – Teeth that have become badly worn through excessive grinding or by carbonated drinks, as well as those that have been chipped or broken, can benefit from veneers.  A single damaged tooth can easily be repaired with a porcelain veneer that has the same characteristics and color as you natural teeth.

Gaps – spaces or (diastemas) between your teeth can easily be closed using dental veneers, giving you a more uniform-looking smile.

Crooked teeth – Veneers are not the ideal treatment for crooked teeth, and from the point of view of preserving your natural teeth structure, orthodontics or Invisalign braces is the best solution.  Drs. Slocum and Lundgaard will provide a referral to an orthodontist if they feel braces would help provide the most conservative dentistry to achieve a beautiful esthetic smile at Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry.

So which are better: composite veneers or porcelain veneers?

The most popular type of veneers is porcelain, which offers a stronger, more durable and superior esthetics when compared to composite veneeers.  Composite veneers are also more prone to staining and do not last as long as porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers also offer a more natural looking, translucent appearance. Composite veneers are much cheaper than porcelain veneers in general, but considering that they do not last as long and need replacing more often, they could end up costing more in the long run. Composite work is ideal for small chips, as this treatment preserves more of your natural tooth structure.

What is the procedure of having dental veneers fitted?

1. The first part of any dental procedure is the initial consultation and examination with Dr. Chad Slocum or Dr. Sara Lundgaard, so they can get a feel for what you want and understand your needs and concerns. Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry will then explain the treatment procedure to you, and give you an accurate guide to the likely costs of your treatment.

2. Before your veneers are designed at Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry, Mill Creek Dentists Dr. Chad Slocum DDS or Dr. Sara Lundgaard will need to reshape and prepare the front surfaces of your teeth so that they can accommodate the veneers. The first stage is to numb the teeth and gums with a local anesthetic so that you do not feel anything during the preparation procedure.

3. Using a special tool called a burr (a dental drill or file), a tiny part of the front surface of your teeth will be shaved off. The amount removed should be equivalent to the thickness of the veneer that will sit over the top of the tooth.

4. Next Dr. Chad Slocum DDS or Dr. Sara Lundgaard DDS will take an impression or mould (copy) of your teeth.  A special dental “putty” is placed in a tray and that tray is then placed onto your teeth so that it takes an imprint of your teeth (similar to how you would leave a footprint in sand).

5. This “impression” or mould of your teeth is then sent to a dental laboratory. The laboratory uses the impression to cast an accurate model of your teeth, which is used as a guide to fabricate your new veneers. This process can take between one and three weeks.

6. While you’re waiting for your porcelain veneers to be fabricated, Mill Creek Dentists Dr. Chad Slocum DDS or Dr. Sara Lundgaard DDS will place temporary veneers over the prepared teeth.

7. On your second appointment, Dr. Chad Slocum DDS or Dr. Sara Lundgaard will bond the porcelain veneers to your teeth with a resin cement.