Category Archives: Blog

Brush Maintenance

Do you know how to take care of your brush? Some people make the mistake of simply placing this important tool aside in their bathroom cupboards every day, not sparing a thought to its maintenance. If this describes your general practice, consider the following tips to make sure that you continue to get the best out of your toothbrush:

  • Change Your Brush Regularly: The general rule is that you replace your toothbrush every three months. However, some variables may influence this, like if you brush too hard or if you have a gum disease. If the bristles begin to just out at odd angles, they are no longer strong enough to effectively remove plaque. Consider buying a brush with a color-change indicator.
  • Store Your Brush Upright: By standing your brush upright in a glass, you can allow it to air dry after brushing. This prevents the build-up of bacteria. Further, make sure that your brush isn’t stored so close to another person’s that the two can cross-contaminate.
  • Shield Your Brush: When your toilet is flushed, it sends up a light spray of water that can land on your brush if you store it too close.
  • Periodically Clean Your Brush: Occasionally dipping the bristles of your brush in hot water or an antibacterial mouthwash is a good way to kill off any bacteria that may be gathering therein. However, never wash your brush in the dishwasher or zap it in the microwave, as these will damage the delicate bristles.

Talk to our West Seattle dentist for more toothbrush-related tips.

Should I Use Tartar Control Toothpaste?

You have many options when you go to buy your toothpaste. When you browse through the dental care aisle, one of the terms you’re probably going to see a lot of is “tartar control”. But what does this mean, exactly, and how do you know whether or not this is the right choice for you and your family?

The purpose of a tartar control toothpaste is to give you superior protection against the development of tartar on your teeth. This is accomplished with the inclusion of chemical compounds, like pyrophosphates and zinc citrate, which are very effective in discouraging tartar buildup. Some tartar control toothpastes also feature antibiotics that help to control your oral bacteria.

Tartar control toothpaste can, indeed, be a good option. The important thing to remember is that it is only effective for preventing the development of new tartar, and it will not help you to remove tartar that is already on your teeth. You can only safely remove this tartar with the help of a professional dentist. Consult our West Seattle dentist to schedule a regular cleaning.

Anesthesia and Sedation in West Seattle

Different Ways to Block Pain

The choice of the right type of anesthesia and sedation for you will depend on several factors. Your dentist and you will agree on the particular treatment procedure you need, your level of apprehension will have to be considered, as well as history of allergies and your overall health.

Sedation methods come in various forms and strengths. One form is via inhalation, such as nitrous oxide gas, while there are also oral drugs and injectable sedatives. They can provide mild to moderate or deep sedation depending on the dental treatment employed. Sedatives can be administered before or during a procedure. You are actually conscious with mild or moderate sedation and can respond but maybe not speak.

Together with an anesthetic to block the pain, you are just more relaxed, more comfortable, and your recovery would be quick and easy. But if your treatment is complex and lengthy, deep sedation would be necessary.

Local anesthesia comes in injectable form. It aims to numb the area the dentist is going to work on by blocking the pain signals of the nerves therein. Sometimes, you might even request for topical anesthesia, which is an ointment applied to the area so you don’t feel the pain where the needle is to be injected. You are fully awake and able to respond under local anesthetics. On the other hand, there are situations that might merit using general anesthesia where there is total absence of consciousness during a procedure.

Painless Dentistry by West Seattle Dentist

First Impressions Dental in West Seattle offers different forms of sedation and anesthesia for pain numbing in our various dental procedures. Our methods are safe and effective and performed by certified and qualified practitioners. While we strive to achieve excellent treatment outcomes, we do this with our patients’ overall comfort and well-being in a stress-free environment.

West Seattle Dentist: Natural Color is Better

White versus Silver Fillings

The popularity of tooth-colored filling materials is due to the public’s demand for aesthetically acceptable restorations that are metal-free, hence safer. They are not limited to frontal teeth use only as even the molars can be restored using them. Tooth-like materials, such as composite resins and porcelain, have been proven safe and predictable as validated by scientific data. They bond exceedingly well with tooth enamel and dentin, hence, strengthening tooth integrity further. This is a case of modern dentistry mimicking nature.

On the other hand, there is amalgam, a metal mix of mercury, silver, tin and copper used in dentistry in over 150 years. Mercury in amalgam fillings is not toxic. It changes its character when combined with other materials. It is the only element proved to bind the mixture together so that it becomes easily manipulated by the dentist to fill in a tooth cavity. Mercury in amalgam released in the mouth when you eat is so negligible, you’d probably get more mercury in your food and water. And so, is that the reason why some dentists still use amalgam?

Amalgam, sometimes called silver fillings, has withstood the test of time with a proven track record of safety, durability, and affordability. While a dentist finds it easy to work with amalgam, due to its quick binding with tooth structure, he has to create sufficient space on the tooth, large enough (to include healthy enamel and dentin) with undercuts provided so that amalgam will hold. That’s relatively easy for him with modern tools.

Using composites is quite different. It requires a dentist’s skills and experience, and more time, to place the white fillings diligently and carefully to avoid gaps and future leaks. It also saves tooth structure for there’s no need to enlarge space where the composite is to be placed. All in all, it makes a great filling material with the color of real teeth.

White Fillings with West Seattle Dentistry

Look no further than your West Seattle dentist for white or tooth-colored fillings. They are safer, looking natural as real healthy teeth, and as sturdy and durable as amalgam fillings in the hands of an expert.

Cosmetic Dentistry by West Seattle Dentist

Cosmetic Dentistry: solid and lasting

As you age and acquire certain habits that leave their mark on your oral structures, you think of your dentist and make a mental note that you ought to visit soon. While facial treatments or a new haircut every now and then is part of your routine, why shouldn’t cosmetic work done on your teeth be a more solid and lasting recourse? It can cost more than a visit to the beauty salon but the effects are incomparable if it can totally transform your face, your smile and overall self-esteem for the better. What cosmetic options are available anyway at the dentist’s office?

The most popular cosmetic procedure is teeth whitening; great for mature teeth, discolored teeth from foods and drinks that stain, and even smoker’s teeth. Your dentist can do an in-office whitening or design customized trays for home use that fit your arches and contain some whitening solution. Bonding is another procedure that treats chipped, broken, cracked or stained teeth, or even if you have extra spaces between teeth. Tooth-colored materials, usually composite resins, are applied to those breaks, including cavities, to restore normal tooth surface. Enamel shaping and contouring is another option that changes the shape, length, or position of teeth that may be crooked, overlapped, or chipped. Bonding is usually combined with this procedure.

Veneers are also popular options. These ultra-thin porcelain shells are permanently bonded to the front teeth that have discolored, are chipped or worn, poorly shaped or slightly crooked. They’re also great for spaces in-between teeth. If not veneers, crowns are good alternatives for the same type of problems, especially for the back teeth. They completely cover the teeth, restoring the shape and appearance. They’re also used for implants, bridges, and after root canal treatment.

Before deciding which cosmetic procedure is best for you, know the benefits and risks of the process.

Safe and Expert Cosmetic Dentistry in West Seattle

Find out at First Impressions Dental which treatment works best for you. Our West Seattle dentist will help you decide how to remake your smile with our complete line of cosmetic procedures.