Our Blog

Say Cheese!

November 17th, 2017

We know full well that keeping kids’ mouths happy and healthy can take some nagging. Getting them to visit our Washougal, WA office can be tricky, too. To help you with that, we put together a few ways to make it easier for them:

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1. Walk them through the process. Dental offices do look different. There’s a lot of high-tech machinery and bright lights. One way to help assuage any fears is to explain the step-by-step experience. There are lots of resources at kidshealth.org.

2. Make it fun. Programs like “Sesame Street” have great resources and games for parents to help teach healthy habits. Brush Those Teeth is one of our favorites.

3. Show them this video of Sophia (age 8) going to the dentist. She even brought her teddy bear! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO99lpGCWuQ

Dr. Dave Stinchfield and Dr. Tom Stinchfield can’t wait to help your little one have a great dental experience. It’s also why we’ve implemented the Solea dental laser into our practice. Solea makes many routine procedures virtually pain-free, so your child can get back to smiling!

What happens if I don’t have my wisdom teeth removed?

November 10th, 2017

One of the things Dr. Dave Stinchfield and Dr. Tom Stinchfield and our team at Discovery Dental monitor during your dental appointments is the growth of your wisdom teeth, or third molars. Third molars generally begin to erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Wisdom teeth may require removal for many reasons, including pain, infection, or growth issues. While not all patients need their wisdom tooth removed, problems can develop if removal is not performed.

Overcrowding

Many patients have smaller mouths and jaws, which do not allow room for the third molars to grow in properly. If these teeth do erupt, overcrowding can occur. Your teeth will begin to shift or overlap each other. Wisdom teeth that erupt after orthodontic care is completed can cause the teeth to shift and negate the work performed.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When wisdom teeth are impacted, they are trapped below your gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth can be very painful and may be prone to abscess and infection. The impaction can lead to decay and resorption of healthy teeth.

On occasion, if wisdom teeth are not monitored properly, their growth can shift parallel to the jaw line. They can also shift backward and eventually interfere with the opening and closing of your jaw.

Greater Potential for Decay

Even when wisdom teeth grow in properly, the location can make the teeth harder to care for. This in turn can lead to the growth of more bacteria, and create health issues later in life.

If you do not have your wisdom teeth removed, they will require continued monitoring. Wisdom teeth are just as subject to decay and other problems as the rest of your teeth. Those that appear above the gum surface can often be extracted at a dental office in a fashion similar to any other tooth extraction. Impacted teeth are normally handled by an oral surgeon.

Pain in the back of the jaw and swelling may indicated wisdom teeth that are beginning to rupture or are impacted. A simple set of X-rays will determine the extent and direction of growth. Please do not hesitate to discuss your concerns during your next visit our Washougal, WA office. We will be happy to explain wisdom teeth, and potential removal, as it applies to your specific case.

How Computers Help Dental Implants Look Natural

November 3rd, 2017

Never before have dental implants looked as natural and aesthetically pleasing as they do today. With the help of computer-aided design and computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM), Dr. Dave Stinchfield and Dr. Tom Stinchfield and our team are able to create implants with impeccable fit and finish. Although these technologies have been in use since the 1980s, it's only recently that they became efficient and cost-effective enough to be useful.

Dr. Dave Stinchfield and Dr. Tom Stinchfield can also take digital scans of your teeth, providing a much more in-depth and accurate representation of them when compared to traditional X-rays. This scan can be used to create a physical model of your teeth through the use of 3D printing technology, allowing for the utmost in accuracy when planning your implant treatment.

Since each of our patients are unique, these CAD/CAM technologies offer a highly customized approach to implant dentistry that helps avoid the "one-size-fits-all" ways of the past. The goal is to have an implant look and function as closely as it can to the tooth it's replacing. That’s why these implants are typically milled using ceramic or composite resin — materials chosen due to their durability and resemblance to teeth.

Even the planning of your surgery can be aided and guided by computers. 3D CT scans create a digital representation of your mouth including all significant anatomical markers. This data is imported into planning software which, coupled with CAD/CAM implant technology, is able to 3D print surgical guides that snap into place over a patient's teeth. This means less risk for surgical error and much more accurately placed dental implants.

The main benefits of CAD/CAM dental implants are that they:

  • Are extremely accurate for every patient, down to 50 micrometers
  • Have better long-term results and more natural-looking implants
  • Can be manufactured quickly, the same day in many cases

Of course this is just a quick summary of the benefits, and a computer-modeled implant may not always be the best option. If you have questions about the dental implants or the technologies we use to make them look as natural as possible, feel free to contact our Washougal, WA office.

Quit Smoking to Save Your Smile

October 27th, 2017

You’ve likely heard that smoking increases risk of lung cancer and emphysema. But did you realize that your cigarette habit also has an impact on your smile? Chronic smokers suffer from increased dental problems that make their smiles unsightly. Understanding how smoking affects your oral health may provide the momentum you need to kick the habit for good.

Cosmetic Changes Associated with Smoking

Cigarettes contain more than 600 ingredients that, when lit, create in excess of 4,000 chemicals. Of these chemicals, many are known carcinogens while others have been shown to have serious negative effects on health. The nicotine and tar in tobacco products are absorbed by the enamel of your teeth. The result is yellowed teeth that look unsightly; with heavy smoking, your teeth may eventually turn nearly brown in color.

The chemicals in cigarettes and cigars also cause your teeth to become less clean. Smoking is associated with a build-up of tartar and plaque on the surface of your teeth. Over time, this increases your risk of developing cavities and other oral health problems. Furthermore, pursing your lips while smoking leads to wrinkles around your mouth, which detracts from your smile.

More Serious Dental Conditions

In addition to having unsightly teeth, smoking can cause serious health conditions. Because of the carcinogens in cigarettes, smoking is associated with an increased risk of oral cancer, which can be deadly. Smokers are also more likely to develop gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss. You may experience an increased loss of bone within your jaw, which will cause significant problems later in life.

Treatment for Smoking-Related Oral Health Problems

Dr. Dave Stinchfield and Dr. Tom Stinchfield and our team at Discovery Dental will tell you that the best defense against smoking-related oral health problems is to ditch your nicotine habit. By decreasing the amount of nicotine and other chemicals you consume, you can decrease your risk of oral cancer and gum disease. Remember to mention your smoking habit when you’re at our Washougal, WA office. We frequently treat smokers and can recommend smoking cessation programs to help you quit. Dr. Dave Stinchfield and Dr. Tom Stinchfield can also advise you about whitening treatments and gum disease prevention activities that ensure you’ll have a beautiful smile for years to come.