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Posts for: March, 2015

By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
March 24, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

If you follow the hit TV reality show Amazing Race, you know that professional-hockey-playing brothers Bates and Anthony Battaglia won the $1 million prize in the latest globe-spanning competition. You may also have witnessed Anthony removing his false front teeth from time to time — like when he had to dive for pearls in Bora Bora. Since he plans to resume his sports career, Anthony wears a partial denture to fill the gap in his classic “hockey mouth.” He has said that when he finally hangs up his skates, he will use some of his Amazing Race prize money to get new, permanent teeth. When it's time to get that new smile, Anthony, like many people, will have to choose between two good options for permanent tooth replacement.

The preferred option for most people is dental implants. In this system, tiny titanium posts substitute for the root part of your missing tooth (or teeth). These are placed beneath your gum line in a minor surgical procedure we perform right here at the dental office. The amazing thing about dental implants is that they actually fuse to your jawbone, allowing your replacement teeth to last a lifetime.

The titanium implant itself is not visible in the mouth; the part of an implant tooth that you see is the lifelike crown. Virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth, the crown is attached to the implant above the gum line. Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even all your teeth. You don't necessarily need one implant for every tooth because implants can support bridgework or even a complete set of prosthetic teeth.

The second-best option is a natural-tooth fixed bridge. In this system, we use healthy natural teeth on either side of the empty space left by a missing tooth (or teeth) as supports for one or more of the prosthetic teeth that will fill the gap. The downside is that in order to turn these healthy teeth into supports (which are referred to in dentistry as “abutments”), we need to remove some enamel and then cap them. This procedure can leave those teeth more prone to decay than they were before. But with regular dental exams and good oral hygiene on your part, bridgework can last many years.

Which system is right for you? That's a question we would be happy to help you determine... even if you haven't won a large jackpot or gone pearl diving in Bora Bora. If you've been looking forward to the day when you can have permanent replacement teeth, why wait? Contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. We will help you find your ideal solution to the problem of missing teeth! For more information, please see the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants vs. Bridgework” and “Dental Implants: Your Third Set of Teeth.”

By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
March 09, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

Do you have a smile full of stained or discolored, misshapen or crooked, bent or misaligned teeth that make every smile a chore?

Correcting your teeth may be as easy as investing in veneers, which are thin pieces of porcelain cemented to the front of your teethVeneers to correct their color and shape. At Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry, we expertly apply your custom veneers in three simple stages.

First Step: Diagnosis and Treatment Planning

This first step typically lasts no more than two hours. Your enamel will be lightly and expertly worn away to accommodate the thickness of the veneers before a mold is made from your teeth. It is from this mold that your specialized veneers will be created at the lab.

Second Step: Veneer Bonding Procedure

This step also lasts no more than two hours. Using water or glycerine, your dental surgeon will smooth out your teeth before placing your veneers over your remaining enamel. After being perfectly adjusted to fit all of your smile's idiosyncrasies, your veneers are bonded to the outer surface of your teeth

Finally, cement is squeezed between your veneers and your underlying natural enamel, and a laser hardens the connection.

Third Step: Personal Maintenance

Over the two
weeks after your veneers have been placed, you should remember to brush your teeth at least twice each day and floss at least once daily. After this period, you'll come in for a follow-up appointment so your dentist can make sure your veneers have fully restored your smile!

For more information on veneers and how they can rejuvenate your teeth right here in Mill Creek, WA, give one of the trusted dental associates at Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry a call today at (425) 337-7300.

By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
March 09, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

Daily personal care is essential for optimal oral health. Brushing and flossing in particular keep bacteria and acid, the main causes of dental disease, at manageable levels. But to gain the most benefit from your personal care, you need to perform these tasks effectively with the proper techniques and equipment.

For most people brushing begins with a soft-bristled, multi-tufted toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste that helps strengthen enamel. You should hold the brush at a slight angle and brush with a gentle motion to remove plaque, the main cause of gum disease and tooth decay — if you’re too aggressive by brushing too hard or too long, you could damage the gums. You should brush no more than twice a day for two minutes, and at least thirty minutes to an hour after eating to allow saliva time to neutralize any remaining acid and help restore minerals to enamel.

Although some people find flossing difficult to perform, it remains an important component of daily care. Flossing once a day removes plaque from between teeth where a brush can’t reach. If you need help with your technique using string floss, we’ll be glad to provide instruction at your next visit. If you have bridges, braces or other dental restorations or appliances that make string flossing difficult, you might consider other options like floss threaders or a water flosser.

There are also dietary and lifestyle choices you can make to enhance your daily care: limit sugary or acidic foods to mealtime and avoid between meal snacks to reduce bacteria and acid in the mouth; drink water to keep your mouth moist, which will inhibit plaque buildup; and stop tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption and chewing habits like clenching or biting on hard objects. Above all, be sure to visit us at least twice a year for cleanings and checkups, or when you notice abnormalities like bleeding gums, pain or sores.

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy can be done, but it requires a daily care commitment. Performing these hygiene habits in an effective manner will help preserve your teeth for a lifetime.

If you would like more information on effective oral care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.