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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

CatchRootResorptionEarlyforBestChancesofSavingYourTooth

As your dental provider, we're always alert for signs of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, the two leading causes of tooth loss. But we're also watching for less common conditions that could be just as devastating.

Root resorption falls into this latter category: it occurs when a tooth's root structure begins to break down and dissolve (or resorb).  It's a normal process in primary ("baby") teeth to allow them to loosen and give way when permanent teeth are ready to erupt.

It's not normal, though, for permanent teeth. Something internally or—more commonly—externally causes the root structure to break down. External resorption usually occurs at the neck-like or cervical area of a tooth around the gum line. Known as external cervical resorption (ECR), it can first appear as small, pinkish spots on the enamel. These spots contain abnormal cells that cause the actual damage to the root.

We don't fully understand how root resorption occurs, but we have identified certain factors that favor its development. For example, it may develop if a person has experienced too much force against the teeth during orthodontic treatment. Injury to the periodontal ligaments, teeth-grinding habits or some dental procedures like internal bleaching may also contribute to later root resorption.

Early diagnosis is a major part of effective treatment for root resorption. Because it's usually painless and easily overlooked, resorption is often too difficult to detect in its early stages without x-rays—a good reason for regular dental exams. Beginning spots or lesions are usually small enough to surgically remove the tissue cells causing the damage and then filled with a tooth-colored filling material. If it has advanced further, we may also need to perform a root canal treatment.

At some point, the damage from root resorption can be too great, in which case it might be best to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental implant or similar restoration. That's why catching root resorption early through regular dental exams can give you the edge for saving your tooth.

If you would like more information on diagnosing and treating root resorption, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Root Resorption: An Unusual Phenomenon.”

By Todd G. Yoshino DDS
March 27, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Healthy TeethDissatisfied with the appearance of your smile? Are chips, gaps or dark stains detracting from how you look and feel? At the dental practice of Dr. Todd Yoshino, your dentist in Federal Way, WA, you can change all that with porcelain veneers, tooth-shaped shells of premium grade porcelain. Veneers camouflage many kinds of defects, beautifying, and reinforcing weak enamel. You can reshape your smile!

See Dr. Yoshino first

This Federal Way dentist excels in cosmetic dental services. He recommends veneers to patients with healthy teeth which just need a boost in color, texture, shape, or size. Perhaps you cracked a tooth or two in a fall. Maybe tobacco stains have darkened your front teeth, or did Nature give you uneven or strangely shaped teeth?

Whatever the case, an oral examination, X-rays and discussion with Dr. Yoshino will tell if porcelain veneers are the right choice. Veneers represent an investment in time, money, and choice-yes, choice. You need to inform your dentist of the changes you'd like to see. He'll tell you what's possible and advisable. Then, you can proceed with your plan. Dr. Yosino may even give you a preview of your final smile. (You'll be amazed at the change.)

The veneer treatment

Your porcelain veneers require two to three visits to the dental office. Here are the steps involved:

  1. Oral impressions Using these, a master ceramist will fabricate each veneer from thin, translucent porcelain.
  2. Enamel resurfacing The dentist removes a small portion of tooth enamel so the veneers fit correctly.
  3. Wearing of temporary veneers These resin laminates will protect your tooth as you wait for your permanent veneers.
  4. Placement and bonding of the new veneers Dr. Yoshino will check the fit carefully and then apply a strong, tooth-colored cement, curing it with a UV light.

You may experience slight dental or gingival sensitivity during the subsequent few days, but overall, you'll adjust to your reshaped smile rapidly. Brush and floss carefully, and see Dr. Yoshino about any problems or concerns you have. Of course, keep your routine dental visits, too.

Veneers last upwards of ten years and are highly resistant to stains, says the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. So, anticipate having a great smile for a long, long time.

Veneers make a big difference

More and more people have determined to improve their smiles and their personal outlooks with porcelain veneers. Will you be the next happy patient? See Dr. Yoshino for a cosmetic dentistry consultation. He'll give you all the details. Phone us for an appointment in Federal Way, WA, (253) 815-0441.

YourAgeDoesntHavetoKeepYoufromaStraighterSmile

Bite problems are quite common—as many as 75% of adults may have some form of orthodontic issue. Unfortunately, there's also something else just as common: that many people believe they're too old to correct it.

This belief is a myth—while there are factors that could prevent orthodontic treatment, age isn't necessarily one of them. If your teeth, gums and bone are sound and you're in reasonably good general health, you most likely can have a bite problem corrected even beyond middle age.

Why worry about it, though, if you've lived this long with misaligned teeth? For one thing, straightening teeth with braces or clear aligners can boost your dental health. Teeth that are in normal alignment are easier to keep clean of disease-causing bacterial plaque. You'll also find it easier to chew than if your bite is out of line.

A more attractive, straighter smile can also impact your social and professional life. Having a smile you're not embarrassed to show can boost your self-confidence and image. Research on people who've undergone orthodontic treatment in adulthood have found improvements in social connection and even expanded career opportunities.

Orthodontic treatment can make a difference with your health and life, no matter your age. But while the number of years you've lived won't necessarily make a difference, what those years have brought could rule it out.

If, for example, you've lost significant bone structure due to diseases like periodontal (gum) disease, your teeth may not be able to sustain the new position created by braces or aligners without a form of permanent fixation. If you have systemic conditions like severe cardiovascular disease, bleeding problems, leukemia or uncontrolled diabetes, orthodontic treatment could worsen those conditions. And certain prescription drugs may pose similar problems as well.

That's why you'll need to undergo a thorough dental exam, as well as provide a complete medical history to your orthodontist. If nothing prevents you from treatment, though, you may be able to regain a new smile, better health and a new confidence in life.

If you would like more information on adult orthodontics, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”

By Todd G. Yoshino DDS
February 28, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: porcelain veneers  
ChangeYourSmilefortheBetterwithPorcelainVeneers

Are you tired of those stained, chipped, slightly crooked or—in a word—unattractive teeth? We have an effective solution for you: cover them with life-like porcelain veneers.

As the name implies, a veneer is a thin layer of dental porcelain custom-made to match your tooth’s shape and color and permanently bonded to the outside enamel. With its translucent, light-reflective quality similar to tooth enamel, dental porcelain looks completely natural. Veneers are well suited for minor to moderate imperfections, and can even be used to correct slight gaps between teeth.

We begin the process by performing a comprehensive dental exam to begin planning the exact shape and color of your new veneers. We can now do much of this planning with computer imaging, which may also give you the chance to see how your veneers will look on you after treatment.

We often will also need to prepare the teeth to accommodate the veneers when we bond them. Although the alterations shouldn’t be anywhere near as extensive as with a porcelain crown, we will still often need to remove some of the enamel layer so the veneer won’t look bulky. Even though we’ll remove as little as possible, if needed it will still permanently alter your teeth—so they’ll require some form of restoration from then on.

Once we’ve prepared the teeth, it’s then time to create the veneers. This is typically done by a dental laboratory technician through a manual process that may take several weeks. Increasingly, though, equipped dental offices are now able to generate their veneers in-house with computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacture (CAD/CAM) milling technology.

Once the veneers are ready, they’re bonded securely to the teeth with a detailed process that helps ensure they’ll endure biting and chewing forces for a long time. Still, you’ll need to avoid biting into hard objects or using your teeth for such things as cracking nuts. If you have a clenching or grinding habit, we may also recommend you wear a night guard to prevent excessive forces against not just your veneers but your teeth as well.

By taking good care of them, your new veneers can give you many years of service. Most of all, they can transform your embarrassing appearance into a smile you’re proud to show.

If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Veneers.”

By Todd G. Yoshino DDS
February 04, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

A great smile compliments the real you by expressing your personality and showing people who you are. Unfortunately, dental defects can sometimes stop you from wanting to show your teeth off. However, cosmetic dentistry services can change all of that. Your Federal Way dentist, Dr. Todd Yoshino, loves to make people smile with confidence. As such, he offers many aesthetic treatments to recreate damaged smiles. Learn more here.

 

What is cosmetic dentistry?

Cosmetic dental services build on the foundation of healthy teeth and gums. They cover, rebuild, remove stains, realign crooked teeth, and more. Applied singly or in combination as a complete smile makeover, aesthetic treatments from Dr. Yoshino's Federal Way office are sure ways to make it so your smile is brimming with good health and confidence.

Cosmetic dentists have specialized training in state-of-the-art dental techniques. Combined with premier materials, these techniques render artistic results that are truly individualized.

At the heart of any makeover—whether simple or complex—is the dentist/patient consultation. During this dental, you will tell Dr. Yoshino what you would like to improve, and then be presented with realistic ideas on how to arrive at these goals. A finalized treatment plan works toward those goals step by step.

 

Offered cosmetic services

One of the most popular cosmetic services available is professional teeth whitening. Delivered either during one in-office visit or more gradually at home via custom-made acrylic trays, concentrated peroxide gel powers out stains from tobacco, dark drinks, dark foods, and some prescription drugs. It's an economical, fast, and supervised way to brighten dull tooth enamel for an immediate impact.

Another popular service is composite resin bonding. Using a tooth-colored blend of glass particles and plastic, Dr. Yoshino adds structure and shape to teeth flawed by cracks, chips, uneven length, small gaps, and more. Cured and polished, composite resin is durable and natural-looking.

Composite resin bonding often is combined with porcelain veneers. Veneers, or dental laminates, disguise the front side of teeth which have larger defects, such as substantial chips, intractable stains, or odd positioning (tooth rotation). Often called "instant orthodontics," customized veneers strengthen tooth enamel, too. They are a less invasive alternative to dental crowns.

Finally, for people desiring straighter, healthier smiles with less hassle than traditional braces, Dr. Yoshino offers Invisalign clear aligners. Made of smooth, biocompatible acrylic, these snug aligners reposition teeth discreetly and quickly for the best cosmetic and oral health benefits possible.

 

Interested? Call us today!

For more information what cosmetic dentistry can do for you, contact Dr. Yoshino's office at (253) 815-0441.