Category: Blog

Fluoride is Also for Adults | Bellevue Dentist

The Adult Side of Fluoride Benefits

We’ve known always about fluoride’s benefits. Fluoride is the agent that strengthens young developing teeth by fighting decay-causing bacteria and, hence, is mainly for children’s benefit. New research, however, uncovered that topical application of fluoride can fight tooth decay in people of all ages – from children to adults.

If your drinking water is fluoridated, then brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste is sufficient for most adults with healthy teeth. However, some people with certain conditions may be at increased risk of tooth decay, so additional fluoride treatment can be beneficial.

These adults should have fluoride treatments: Those who suffer from Dry Mouth Syndrome, a condition caused by certain diseases, certain medications (such as allergy medications, antihistamines, antianxiety drugs, and high blood pressure drugs), and those who’ve had head and neck radiation. Their dry mouths, resulting from lack of saliva, make them prone to tooth decay.

Those who have gingivitis and its more severe form, periodontitis, carry the increased risk of attracting bacteria to exposed root surfaces leading to tooth decay. In periodontitis, gums tend to recede and expose the gum line or may create pockets for lodging of bacteria. These situations need fluoride treatments to decrease the chances of attacks and decay.

Those who wear crowns, bridges, or braces create small hiding places where food debris can lodge and form cavities. The appliances also make it harder to keep teeth always clean even with brushing. These adults need regular fluoride exposures.

Fluoride forms are available as fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinses. While over-the-counter products have weaker fluoride content, a dentist’s prescription can get you a stronger one. You can also apply fluoride to the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish. Your dentist should know just what form is suitable to your needs and just how strong it needs to be for you.

Fluoride for Everyone in Bellevue

Ask your Bellevue dentist about fluoride treatments if you have these conditions – dry mouth, gum disease or are wearing crowns and other dental appliances. You might be just a another regular guy without these setbacks, but you can still benefit from fluoride experience.

The Drill Versus the Laser in Bellevue

Traditional and Technology: To Each Its Own

Tooth decay is the most prevalent health hazard in the world today, affecting all age ranges without regard for socio-demographic barriers. As such, it should translate to as many dental visits and treatments provided by the concerned health providers.

Unfortunately, majority of affected people do not readily seek dental treatment at first instance or go for regular check-ups, or be at least compliant to instructions. And, hence, the prevalence of the condition.

Perhaps one reason for the lapses is a painful or unsettling experience with the dental drill, a very common phobia. The purpose of this electronic device is to remove decay from affected teeth; when in use it makes a high-pitch noise and patients feel its vibrations as well. Nonetheless, drills are still the most inexpensive way to remove tooth decay and many dentists consider them essential to their armamentarium.

The dental laser has been considered as alternative to the drill. FDA-approved and ADA-endorsed with seal of approval, the laser is accepted as a safe technology. Using amplified light as the form of energy, the laser can cut through teeth and tissue. The light is adjusted at different wavelengths for different applications, such as when removing tooth decay, as whitening enhancement, when cutting bone, or detecting cavities. In practice, most dentists use lasers only for tooth decay, lesion removal, and gum problems like for reshaping and re-contouring gum tissue.

What are the advantages of dental lasers? No pain is associated with lasers, in fact, no anesthesia is necessary. Target areas are pinpointed excluding surrounding areas. They don’t cause vibrations, while bleaching and swelling are greatly reduced, hence, more comfortable for patients.

However, laser dentistry is not for all dental situations, such as very large cavities, cavities with previous fillings, and is not used for shaping or polishing fillings.

In Pursuit of Patient Safety and Comfort in Bellevue

Over at Overlake Dental, we do a lot of laser dentistry where indicated. In the hands of our expert professional, lasers are precise and safe instruments. Consult with us about lasers and its many applications, not just with tooth decay.

Do Wide Gaps Bring On Tooth Decay?

Teeth Gap

teeth-gapAre any of your teeth further apart than your others? Some people are concerned that having a wide gap between your teeth might make them more susceptible to tooth decay and similar problems. If this is a concern for you, our Bellevue dentist office has everything you need to know.

The good news is that a wide gap between two teeth does not make it more likely that you will experience tooth decay. In fact, since it is easier to clean between two teeth that are a little further apart than normal, you may actually be less likely to get a cavity on the side of your tooth. It is when two teeth are particularly close together that you may have a problem, as it can be difficult to get floss in far enough to properly clean between your teeth.

Your real concern should be about the strength of your teeth. When some of your teeth have wider gaps between them than others, at least some of your teeth are probably crooked. This means that your bite is weaker, and you may be in need of braces or similar corrective dental work.

Call our Bellevue dentist, Dr. Lee, if you have any questions or want a consultation for further professional dental advice.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

Understanding X-Rays

xraysX-rays are one of the most important diagnostic tools at any dentist’s office. Getting your regular x-rays is the only way to be sure that you don’t have any tooth decay that needs to be taken care of.

But, considering the dangers of radiation, are x-rays a worthwhile risk? This is a common concern, so Overlake Dental in Bellevue wants our patients have the important facts they need to feel safe during their normal dental appointments.

“X-rays, also known as radiographs, are an essential part of any dental care treatment plan. They are diagnostic, but they can also be preventative, by helping a dentist diagnose potential oral care issues in a patient’s mouth before they become a major problem. An x-ray is a type of energy that passes through soft tissues and is absorbed by dense tissue. Teeth and bone are very dense, so they absorb X-rays, while X-rays pass more easily through gums and cheeks.

X-rays are divided into two main categories, intraoral and extraoral. Intraoral is an X-ray that is taken inside the mouth. An extraoral X-ray is taken outside of the mouth.

Intraoral X-rays are the most common type of radiograph taken in dentistry. They give a high level of detail of the tooth, bone and supporting tissues of the mouth.”

Colgate

The first thing to realize is that the amount of radiation you are subjected to with modern dental x-ray machines is exceptionally minimal. Advances in x-ray technology allow us to get an effective image of your teeth quickly and efficiently.

Machines operating at a higher speed let us capture a picture with a very short exposure period, and more limited x-ray beams focus the radiation only on where it is needed. Along with the advances in dental technology, you also enjoy the protection lead-lined aprons.

In short, the small amount of radiation that you are exposed to is easily worth the benefits you get from an occasional dental x-ray.

Protecting Your Gums with Perio-Protect in Bellevue

Why Many Dentists and Patients Love Perio-Protect

Gingivitis is a mild to moderate gum infection that if left untreated or poorly managed will lead to its severe form – periodontitis. The condition becomes generally difficult to treat, but can still be managed with surgical and non-surgical means. Surgery is invasive and requires anesthesia and sedation, and antibiotic cover, such as when dentists do bone grafts and bone surgery, soft tissue grafts, and the combination flap surgery/pocket reduction surgery.

The purpose of these procedures is to restore the support tissues destroyed by the disease in its advanced stage. It requires on-going maintenance in as frequent as 6 weeks or so. Controlling the growth and spread of bacteria is the main aim of non-surgical interventions for periodontitis, such as regular teeth cleaning and the deeper approach of scaling and root planing. These procedures also require regular maintenance, typically repeated every 3 months.

Though both surgical and non-surgical means are helpful, chronic periodontal disease continue to plague 47% of adult Americans. If these means are effective, how come periodontitis is still a growing concern? Perhaps our approaches are not as efficient. Comes in a treatment regimen that is more a home-care approach supplementing other treatment plans: the Perio Tray® by Perio Protect. It is a customized tray that is worn by the patient aimed at delivering medication deep into the gums to fight infection.

It’s a daily application of 10 to 15 minutes, at the start is applied 2 to 3 times a day, long enough and frequent enough to fight bacterial communities, preventing them from growing and spreading. The Perio Tray is your at-home bacteria management tool. It is a more comfortable healing experience, suppressing the stubborn symptoms of gum disease without the sensitive or painful side effects of repetitive scaling or even surgery. Daily applications allow the gums to heal.

The Perio Tray has special internal seals that keep the medication from seeping into the mouth. There is pressure within the seal that forces the medicine deep into the tooth pockets. Actually, the tray is an exact replica of your mouth using your own measurements, a comfortable fit. The impression made by your dentist is sent to the lab for fabrication and ready to use when finished.

Perio-Protect by Bellevue Dentist

If you think you might be a good candidate for Perio Protect, set up an appointment with Dr. Lee. Experience the protection of the Perio-Tray and save your gums from the ravages of periodontitis.