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Overall Health and Dental Health - Seeing a Dentist in Seattle

May 5th, 2008

I have been a dentist in the greater Seattle, WA area for many years. My services range from cosmetic dentistry, to smile enhancement, basic dentistry, and even single visit dental restorations through CEREC technology. Some of my patients will visit me only once, assuming that getting dental care once every 10 years is all that is necessary to achieve good oral health. Unfortunately, there are many other factors necessary to achieving a healthy smile. Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins C and D, for instance, will help your smile improve, while also aiding in your overall health. An article written by the Leader Post points to the scientific findings stating "Mouth the key to good overall health."

"I think that people are finally recognizing that you can't really take your teeth aside, put them over there, and think this is not really related to what's happening to my body,'' says Luke Shwart, president of the Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry. "It's an integral part of your body."

What do you think? Does your overall health relate to your dental health? This Seattle dentist thinks so.

Options for a beautiful smile!

April 28th, 2008

There are many options available that allow you to create that beautiful smile that you not only dreamed of but the smile you deserve with cosmetic dentistry!

Some of the basic cosmetic options include fillings that look just like your natural tooth or composite fillings. Strengthening and improving the shape of a tooth can come from crowns that are normally made of porcelain, metal or a mix of both. Bonding is also a conservative way of repairing slight chips, discolorations, and crooked teeth.

If you have missing teeth it is very important to replace them. Dental implants are made of steel and porcelain and will look just like your natural tooth. You can also consider a bridge that make the teeth look natural yet it is extremely important that the existing teeth

One option is veneers are custom fitted that enhance the shape, and shade of your teeth, which require the placement of dental veneers requires the “shaping” or “prepping” of all teeth being fitted with the custom-designed shells.

At our office, Southcenter Dental located in Tukwila Washington serving South Seattle, SeaTac, Kent, Burien and surrounding areas. Call us today for a consultation to restore your smile. We look forward to working with you!

Phone: 206.973.8211

Your Seattle, Washington Dentist

April 7th, 2008

Care for Your Smile

Care for Your Smile
Amanda - Actual Patient

Preventative Dentistry

Preventative dentistry relies on good oral hygiene and regular dental care; and it is important throughout your life, whatever your age. By practicing good oral hygiene at home and visiting the doctor regularly, you will help prevent dental problems and save time and money. In the process, you can save your teeth and gums.

Fighting Plaque

By fighting plaque you can keep your teeth for a lifetime. Today, in fact, older adults are keeping their natural teeth longer because of scientific developments and an emphasis on preventative dentistry.

Good oral hygiene requires an understanding of plaque. Plaque is a sticky, colorless layer of bacteria. When you eat carbohydrates (foods made of sugar or starch) you feed this plaque, which in turn produces acids that attack tooth enamel, cause cavities, and develop a hard substance called calculus (tartar). Uninterrupted, the acid attacks can result in tooth decay and gum disease (also known as periodontal disease). If left untreated, gum disease can cause loss of teeth and bone.

At any age, you can begin the fight with plaque and keep your teeth and gums healthy. It's really quite easy. Simply:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to remove food particles and plaque from the tooth surfaces. While you're at it, brush the top surface of your tongue to eliminate bad breath and bacteria buildup.
  2. Clean between your teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner. Decay-causing bacteria can linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can't reach. Flossing removes plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
  3. Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. If a snack is needed, nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or a piece of fruit should be chosen.
  4. Schedule regular checkups. Visit the doctor regularly (every 6 months) for professional cleanings and oral exams.
  5. Ask the doctor about dental sealants, a protective plastic coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
  6. Wear mouth protection such as a mouthguard when you play contact sports or extreme sports.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Tooth decay (a cavity) can develop on any surface of any tooth. Because cavities grow, they are much easier and less expensive to treat when they are small. A decaying tooth may not hurt, so you could have a cavity and not realize it. The dentist checks for tooth decay at your regular check-ups and will periodically use x-rays to check for decay between teeth. The dentist treats tooth decay by cleaning out the cavity and placing a restoration (filling) in the tooth. By following the strategies listed above, you can prevent tooth decay.

How to Brush Your Teeth

» View step-by-step instructions for brushing your teeth
You should replace your toothbrush every three or four months — or sooner if the bristles become frayed. A worn toothbrush will not do a good job of cleaning your teeth. Children's toothbrushes often need replacing more frequently than adults because they can wear out sooner.

How to Floss Your Teeth

» View step-by-step instructions for flossing your teeth
People who have difficulty handling dental floss may prefer to use another kind of interdental cleaner. These aids include special brushes, picks, and sticks. If you use interdental cleaners, ask the doctor about how to use them properly to avoid injuring your gums.

Veneers and Teeth Whitening in Tukwila, WA - Your Seattle Cosmetic Dentist

February 21st, 2008

Enhance Your Smile in Seattle, Washington! Serving the Greater King County, WA area with expert dental care has been my career for many years. I create beautiful smiles through cosmetic, general, and restorative dentistry. Teeth Whitening and Veneers are two of many dental treatments available to you at Southcenter dental (in Tukwila, WA) to help enhance your smile. Here is more information about these two dental techniques and how Southcenter Dental can better your smile!

Veneers

Veneers There's no reason to put up with gaps in your teeth or with teeth that are stained, discolored, badly shaped, chipped, or crooked. Today, a veneer placed on top of your teeth can correct nature's mistake or the results of an injury and help you have a beautiful smile. Veneers are a highly popular solution among dental patients because of their life-like tooth appearance.

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials (such as porcelain) designed to cover the front side of your teeth. To prepare for veneers, your doctor will create a unique model of your teeth. This model is sent to the dental technician to create your veneers. Before placing your new veneer, your doctor will remove a small amount of your tooth to make room for the veneer.

When placed, you'll be pleased to see that veneers look like your natural teeth and even resist staining. Though veneers are stain resistant, your doctor may recommend that you avoid coffee, tea, red wine, and tobacco to maintain the beauty of your veneer.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening Everybody loves a bright white smile, and there are a variety of products and procedures available to help you improve the look of yours.

Many people are satisfied with the sparkle they get from brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing once a day, and regular cleanings at the dentist's office. However, if you decide you would like to go beyond regular care to make your smile look brighter, you should investigate other options.

Finding the Best Treatment for You

Schedule a visit with your dentist to learn whether whitening procedures would be effective for you. Whiteners do not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellowish teeth will probably bleach well, brownish teeth may bleach less well, and grayish teeth may not bleach well at all. Likewise, whitening may not enhance your smile if you have had tooth-colored fillings or crowns. The whitener will not affect the color of these materials and they will stand out in your newly whitened smile. In these cases, you do have other options such as porcelain veneers.

Tooth Whitening Treatments

- Professional teeth whitening with your doctor
- At-home whitening system
- Whitening toothpaste

When selecting a whitener or any dental product, be sure to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance — your assurance that a product has met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness.


Professional Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening by your doctor is your best choice when you need immediate whitening results. This procedure is called chair-side bleaching and may require more than one office visit. Each visit may take from sixty to ninety minutes.

During chair-side bleaching, the dentist will apply either a protective gel to your gums or a rubber shield to protect the oral soft tissues. A bleaching agent is then applied to the teeth, and a special light may be used to enhance the action of the agent.


At-Home Whitening System

There are several types of products available for use at home, which can either be dispensed by your doctor or purchased over the counter. They are generally teeth whitening trays (mouthguards), strips, or paint-on products.

Teeth Whitening Trays

These products contain peroxide(s), which actually bleach the tooth enamel. Carbamide peroxide is the bleaching agent and comes in several different concentrations (10%, 16%, and 22%). Peroxide-containing whiteners typically come in a gel and are placed in a mouthguard. Usage regimens vary. Some products are used twice a day for 2 weeks, and others are intended for overnight use for 1-2 weeks. If you obtain the bleaching solution from your doctor's office, they can make a custom-fitted mouthguard for you that will fit your teeth precisely. Currently, only dentist-dispensed, home-use, 10% carbamide peroxide tray-applied gels carry the ADA Seal.

Teeth Whitening Strips

Teeth whitening strips are thin, flexible plastic (polyethylene) strips with a thin film of hydrogen peroxide bleaching on one side. Whitening strip kits come with two types of strips: strips for the upper teeth and strips for the lower teeth. The bleaching agent is applied by placing the strips across your teeth and gently pressing the strips into place to insure contact with all your teeth. Teeth whitening strips are typically worn for 30 minutes a day, twice a day. The duration of treatment will vary.

Paint-On Teeth Whitening

Paint-on teeth whitening allows you to apply a bleaching agent directly to your teeth without an appliance or strip. You simply "paint" the whitener onto the surface of clean, dry teeth and wait about 30 minutes while the paint turns to a dry film. To remove this film, you simply brush your teeth with a toothbrush. Paint-on whitening products require twice-daily applications to be effective. The duration of treatment will vary. An advantage in this process is that you can selectively paint individual teeth. Teeth whitening can have minor side-effects and you should speak with your doctor if these become bothersome. For example, teeth can become sensitive during the period when you are using the bleaching solution. In most cases, this sensitivity is temporary and should lessen once the treatment is finished. Some people also experience soft tissue irritation. If you have concerns, you should discuss them with the doctor.


Whitening Toothpaste

All toothpastes help remove surface stain from your teeth through the action of mild abrasives. "Whitening" toothpastes in the ADA Seal of Acceptance program have special chemical or polishing agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Unlike bleaches, these ADA Accepted products do not alter the intrinsic color of teeth.

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