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Posts for: March, 2017

By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
March 20, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers   cosmetic dentistry  

You've probably noticed that practically everyone in Hollywood has a beautiful, bright smile. It might surprise you to learn that you can veneersachieve the exact same smile as the stars right in your hometown of Mill Creek, WA. Dr. Chad Slocum and Dr. Sara Lundgaard of Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry have the training and technology necessary to create your own camera-ready smile with veneers. We have the information you need here:

What are veneers?

Veneers are a revolutionary way to improve the appearance of your teeth. Each veneer is custom-made to attach directly onto the front of a tooth through a bonding process, covering up any and all cosmetic defects. They are approximately half the width of a dime and are expertly shaped and painted to be realistic and flawless.

Why are veneers used?

Some people have just one small cosmetic dental flaw, such as discoloration from coffee drinking or a minor chip, that can be fixed with a whitening treatment or an application of bonding. However, a lot of patients your Mill Creek dentist sees are dealing with a combination of misshapen teeth, whitening-resistant stains, gaps, overlaps, or breakage. Rather than having all these problems fixed individually, veneers correct them all with one restoration.

What are veneers made from?

Quality veneers from your Mill Creek dentist can be made from one of two materials: porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain is a ceramic that is noted for its strength and realistic appearance to natural tooth enamel. Porcelain veneers typically last between one and two decades before replacement is needed. Composite resin is typically less expensive than porcelain and yields realistic results as well, but its plastic-and-glass structure is not as durable. Composite veneers are therefore more apt to stain and chip and will need maintenance within approximately five years.

If you'd like to learn more about veneers from your Mill Creek, WA, dentists, Dr. Chad Slocum and Dr. Sara Lundgaard, contact Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry to set up a consultation today!


By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
March 17, 2017
Category: Oral Health
LifeIsSometimesaGrindforBrookeShields

Ever since childhood, when her career as a model and actress took off, Brooke Shields has enjoyed worldwide recognition — through advertisements for designer jeans, appearances on The Muppet Show, and starring roles in big-screen films. But not long ago, that familiar face was spotted in an unusual place: wearing a nasal anesthesia mask at the dentist's office. In fact, Shields posted the photo to her own Instagram account, with the caption “More dental surgery! I grind my teeth!” And judging by the number of comments the post received, she's far from alone.

In fact, researchers estimate that around one in ten adults have dental issues that stem from teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism. (Many children also grind their teeth, but it rarely causes serious problems, and is often outgrown.) About half of the people who are teeth grinders report problems like persistent headaches, jaw tenderness and sore teeth. Bruxism may also result in excessive tooth wear, and may damage dental work like crowns and bridges; in severe cases, loosened or fractured teeth have been reported.

Researchers have been studying teeth grinding for many years; their findings seem to indicate that it has no single cause. However, there are a number of factors that play a significant role in this condition. One is the anatomy of the jaw itself, and the effect of worn or misaligned teeth on the bite. Another factor relates to changes in brain activity that occur during the sleep cycle. In fact, nocturnal (nighttime) bruxism is now classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. Still other factors, such as the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and a high level of stress or anxiety, can make an individual more likely to experience bruxism.

What can be done for people whose teeth grinding is causing problems? Since this condition may have many causes, a number of different treatments are available. Successful management of bruxism often begins by striving to eliminate the factors that may cause problems — for example, making lifestyle changes to improve your health, creating a soothing nighttime environment, and trying stress-reduction techniques; these may include anything from warm baths and soft music at bedtime, to meditation and mindfulness exercises.

Several dental treatments are also available, including a custom-made occlusal guard (night guard) that can keep your teeth from being damaged by grinding. In some cases, a bite adjustment may also be recommended: In this procedure, a small amount of enamel is removed from a tooth to change the way it contacts the opposite tooth, thereby lessening the biting force on it. More invasive techniques (such as surgery) are rarely needed.

A little tooth grinding once in a while can be a normal response to stress; in fact, becoming aware of the condition is often the first step to controlling it. But if you begin to notice issues that could stem from bruxism — or if the loud grinding sounds cause problems for your sleeping partner — it may be time to contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more about bruxism in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stress and Tooth Habits.”


By Penny Creek Family and Implant Dentistry
March 02, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: porcelain veneers  
AvoidPermanentToothAlterationwithNo-PrepVeneers

Porcelain veneers have become a popular way to transform a smile. They're ideal for stained, chipped or slightly misaligned teeth. But although they don't need as much tooth preparation as crowns or other bridgework, the traditional veneer still requires some permanent tooth alteration.

Now, there's an alternative: no-prep veneers. With this option we can avoid any tooth structure removal or keep it to a minimum. And it may not even require local anesthesia while applying them.

Veneers are as their name implies: a wafer-thin layer of tooth-colored porcelain that's bonded to the outside of a tooth, much like siding on a house. Although the traditional veneer is usually no more than a millimeter in width, they can still add an unnatural bulky look and feel to a tooth. To compensate, we remove portions of the enamel. A tooth permanently altered this way will henceforth require some form of restoration.

No-prep veneers are much thinner; they also don't extend under the gum line like traditional veneers. At the most the new veneers may only require us to perform some minor reshaping of the enamel, but not to the extent of traditional veneers. And because your tooth isn't permanently altered, we could presumably remove the veneer and return the tooth to its natural state and appearance (although removing the bonding might not be that easy).

There are some situations where some tooth alteration may still be necessary, like oversized or forward-jutting teeth. A bad bite (malocclusion) may require orthodontic treatment first — which in some cases could be an alternative treatment to veneers altogether.

To find out if you're a candidate for no-prep veneers, visit us for a complete examination. From there we can discuss your options and whether we can transform your smile with little change to your teeth.

If you would like more information on cosmetic solutions like porcelain veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.