2015 Blog Posts
Bone Grafting -- April 21, 2015
Some patients do not have the proper amount of bone mass in their jaws to allow for the placement of dental implants. However, thanks to recent developments in bone grafting, people who would not have qualified a few years ago are now able to receive dental implants to complete their smiles and protect their oral health. In Covington, WA, our practice strives to help patients achieve their dental goals, and by performing bone grafting procedures, we can help patients receive the dental implants they need.
Bone grafting is a fairly common procedure that is performed by building up the jawbone with bone fragments to accommodate the dental implant. The bone used to graft to the area with too-little mass is usually take from the patient. Many times the bone is taken from another area of the mouth when the drilling takes place. The bone fragments are suctioned from the mouth and used for grafting. However, sometimes cadaver bones are also used. They are harvested by bone banks and are a very safe source.
Whether you need bone grafting or not, if you are looking to receive dental implants, Dr. K. Singh can make it happen. To schedule a consultation at Family Dental Care, call (253) 239-3699.
Does Your Tooth Still Hurt After A Root Canal? -- April 7, 2015
If you’re still experiencing pain after a root canal, you may be wondering why. Aren’t root canals meant to take your pain away? There are many reasons why your tooth may still be hurting. It is possible that the base of your tooth root (periapical) is still slightly tender or that your pain is caused by a temporary filling that is a bit too high. In these cases, taking OTC painkillers, preferably ibuprofen, may be all you need to alleviate your pain while your root canal heals.
However, if you’ve had a root canal at our practice in Covington, WA and are still experiencing pain that is severe or persistent, you should call our office immediately. The dentist may need to prescribe you an antibiotic to make sure the infection does not remain, or she may need to perform retreatment.
At your follow-up appointment, Dr. K. Singh will want to know what type of pain you are experiencing. Is your tooth sensitive to hot and cold? Is it the tooth root that is sensitive or the gums that are over the tooth? Is it a constant ache, or does it only hurt when biting? Is there any swelling, drainage or pus? The answers to these questions will give Dr. Singh the information he needs to diagnose your pain.
Root canals don’t always work, and there are many reasons for this, including fractures of the root, convoluted or twisted root structures and failure to protect the root canal after the procedure. If this occurs, you may need further treatment. If the root canal was successful, it should feel normal most of the time.
To schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care, call (253) 239-3699.
Why Water Is Your Teeth's Best Friend -- April 2, 2015
If you’re one of those people who don’t drink enough water, then you should know that the clear, tasteless liquid is actually essential for achieving good health. This is because your body is between 60 to 65 percent water, and the liquid is used for a variety of bodily functions. Your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate your joints, and staying hydrated helps it function better as a whole. In addition to these benefits, water is also an important player in your oral health. Many dentists even consider water to be teeth’s best friend.
One of the many benefits that drinking water can provide our mouths is that it can help prevent bad breath. In fact, one of the most common causes of bad breath is dehydration. When there is not enough saliva in your mouth, bacteria is provided a suitable environment in which to thrive, and this can cause bad odors. By drinking water, you can cut down on these smelly bacteria.
However, bacteria in the mouth do more than smell. The bacteria that cause bad breath are also the cause of cavities and gum disease, so drinking water can help keep your mouth healthy in addition to less smelly. Water provides a great way to keep your teeth clean between brushings since it is able to wash away foods and liquids that can damage your teeth. While it is not a replacement for brushing and flossing altogether, drinking water with your meal or afterward can help wash away the acid and particles that erode your enamel and attract bacteria.
Seeing a dentist is also a vital part of a good oral hygiene routine, and in Covington, WA, Dr. K. Singh has the skill and experience to provide the care you need for optimal oral health. Call (253) 239-3699 to schedule an appointment.
Rotary Endodontics -- March 18, 2015
If you’ve had root canal treatment to save an infected tooth, it probably didn’t occur to you to ask what types of tools your dentist used. But if your dentist used the old, manual file for removing the infected tissue, the procedure may have been pretty nerve wracking. Rotary endodontic tools, on the other hand, provide a much smoother, more comfortable experience during root canal procedures, which is why Dr. K. Singh chooses to rely on them to treat infected teeth in Covington, WA.
Rotary endodontics allows the dentist to remove the infected pulp in the inner root canal more quickly, more smoothly and with less chance of complications. These electric instruments prove to be superior to the traditional, stainless steel files in a multitude of ways since they are made of nickel titanium, which is much more flexible than stainless steel. Increased flexibility allows the tool to be inserted into the curved root canal without damaging the passageway.
The tools are also much quieter and do not produce a grinding noise like the other tools. This helps to soothe patients’ nerves during the procedure. While the manual method can adequately save teeth during root canals, rotary endodontic tools are easier and preferred by both the dentist and his patients.
To schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care, call (253) 239-3699
Crown Lengthening -- March 10, 2015
A dentist’s first goal is always to save your teeth, which means that dental professionals have developed many dental procedures that help prevent tooth extraction. One such procedure is crown lengthening, which we use at Family Dental Care in cases where decay has decimated a tooth to a point where there is not enough tooth structure left upon which to fix a crown.
If a tooth has broken below the gum line or if decay has developed underneath an existing crown or filling, crown lengthening allows a new crown to be placed rather than extracting the tooth.
While called crown lengthening, this common surgical procedure does not actually lengthen the crown. What it does is lower the gum line, and it does this by removing gum tissue, bone or both to expose more of the tooth and provide a foundation for the crown.
The procedure is performed with a local anesthesia to numb the area. When the area is fully numb, Dr. K. Singh will pull the gums away from the teeth and expose the roots and surrounding bone. In some cases, removing a little of the gum tissue will expose enough of the tooth for placing a crown. However, it is more likely that some bone will also have to be removed from around the roots of the teeth. After removing the necessary amount of tissue and bone, the area will be washed and the gums stitched.
Our office works hard to always protect your teeth and to provide the best quality of dental care available. To schedule an appointment at our practice in Covington, WA, call (253) 239-3699.
Oral Cancer Screenings -- March 4, 2015
Being screened for oral cancer is an important part of maintaining your oral health and should be a regular part of your oral hygiene routine. At our practice in Covington, WA, we take oral cancer seriously and are dedicated to keeping our patients safe with thorough screenings.
While everyone is at risk for oral cancer, certain factors can increase your risk in developing the disease. Lifestyle choices, such as heavy drinking or smoking, can greatly affect the health of tissues in the mouth, so it is especially important for you to receive regular screenings if you partake in these activities. If oral abnormalities are caught early, it will not only expand your treatment options, including less invasive and less radical treatments, but it will also increase your chances of beating the cancer.
Screening for oral cancer can be done during routine checkups by Dr. K. Singh, who will look for abnormal tissue in your mouth. If the dentist finds abnormal tissue, he will order a biopsy to determine if the tissue is cancerous or not.
Oral cancer is a serious issue, and at our practice, we strive to protect all our patients. To schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care, call (253) 239-3699.
Sealants -- February 26, 2015
Although brushing and flossing are effective cleaning techniques for removing food particles and plaque from the smooth surfaces of our teeth, sometimes these methods are ineffective at thoroughly cleaning the nooks and crannies in our premolars and molars. Because molars are the hardest to clean and the teeth most used in the chewing process, they are the most susceptible to cavities and decay. This is why we recommend sealants soon after molars emerge when children are between the ages of 6 and 14.
Dental sealants are a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surfaces of the molars to prevent cavities and tooth decay. The sealant is applied by Dr. K. Singh, who first roughens the surface of the molar with acid and then paints on the sealant. The sealant bonds into the depressions and grooves of the teeth, hardening and forming a shield over the enamel to protect it for approximately 10 years.
Sealants are normally applied to children’s molars because their teeth are especially susceptible to cavities. However, sometimes they are applied to adult molars if they have hard-to-clean grooves that are causing cavities.
To schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care in Covington, WA, call (253) 239-3699.
Teeth Whitening -- February 10, 2015
Keeping your teeth white can be a lot harder than you might think. Even with diligent brushing, flossing and dental cleanings, teeth can still lose their gleam. This is because your teeth are constantly in contact with the acid in food and drinks, which can cause them to become dull and stained despite proper oral care. However, surface staining is reversible, and teeth whitening services from our office in Covington, WA can help you restore the luster to your smile and help you achieve the megawatt smile you desire.
Teeth whitening services are becoming more and more popular, and as the demand for whiter teeth increases, patients are realizing that over-the-counter techniques just aren’t as effective as options offered by their dentist. Dr. K. Singh offers the take-home tray system, an effective teeth whitening method that can give patients exceptional smiles in only a few sessions.
When providing these services, Dr. Singh starts by taking an impression of your teeth for crafting the custom whitening trays—trays that you will be able to use again and again. After the trays have been completed, you can apply the gentle, whitening gel to the trays and wear them for a short period of time, usually around 40 to 60 minutes. After you have completed a few sessions spaced out over a couple of days, you should see your smile whiten by four to eight shades!
Whitening your teeth is an easy and dramatic way to improve the look of your smile. Call (253) 239-3699 to schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care.
Scaling and Root Planning -- February 4, 2015
At Family Dental Care, we actively strive to help our patients maintain optimal oral health and retain their original teeth if possible. By offering scaling and root planing to treat early gum disease, Dr. K. Singh can restore the health of your gums and save your smile in Covington, WA.
Gum disease occurs when plaque and tartar are allowed to buildup on your teeth, creating a suitable environment for bacteria to thrive. As bacteria collect in your mouth, they will attack your teeth and surrounding gums. In its earliest stages, gum disease is called gingivitis, but if it is left untreated, it will become a much more serious periodontal disease that destroys your gum tissue and leads to tooth loss. If it is not treated, the disease can even cause a loss of bone mass in your jaw.
Scaling and root planing is one of the most effective ways to treat gum disease before it develops into a more serious disease. The procedure allows the dentist to clean between your gums and teeth all the way down to the roots in order to smooth the root structure and remove the tartar that is causing your inflammation. The procedure is incredibly effective and can stop the progression of gum disease before it irreversibly damages your teeth.
If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease or you have red, swollen or bleeding gums, schedule an appointment with our office in by calling (253) 239-3699.
Panorex -- January 29, 2015
At Family Dental Care, we use panoramic digital radiography to provide high-quality care to our patients in Covington, WA and the surrounding areas. Panorex is an X-ray machine that is capable of capturing more of the mouth structure than a traditional, dental X-ray and can, therefore, identify many issues.
To take the X-ray you will sit in a chair with your chin on a small ledge. Once positioned, the machine will rotate 360 degrees around your head, capturing X-rays of your teeth, head, sinuses and bone, which allows Dr. K. Singh to see any potential problems and ensure that everything is functioning properly. The Panorex can also view specific types of structural problems, including infections or asymmetry.
In addition to clearer and more comprehensive images, the Panorex and other digital X-rays also produce up to 90 percent less radiation that traditional dental X-rays. This is because the digital sensor is much more sensitive to radiation than film so less is needed to form an accurate image. While traditional X-rays are considered safe by professionals, those who receive X-rays frequently or who are concerned about radiation will feel more comfortable with digital radiography.
To schedule an appointment with our office, call (253) 239-3699.
Veneers -- January 23, 2015
If you’re unhappy with the way your smile looks, you don’t have to live with it. Veneers are an effective method for reshaping and redesigning your smile in Covington, WA. Whether your teeth have gaps, persistent stains, cracks, chips or other issues, these thin, porcelain or ceramic shells can cover the existing tooth structure in your mouth to give you a smile you will be proud to show off.
Having veneers placed usually only takes two to three visits to our office. During the first visit, you will discuss the shape and look of the smile you want to accomplish with Dr. K. Singh. Then the dentist will prepare your teeth for the upcoming veneers.
Once the enamel has been prepared, an impression will be taken of your mouth so that the veneers can be fabricated to fit over your existing teeth. Once they are completed, the veneers are bonded to your teeth to create an attractive smile that both looks good and feels natural. With proper home care and the help of Dr. Singh, you can enjoy your new smile for 5 to 10 years before the veneers should be replaced.
To schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care and see how we can transform your smile, call (253) 239-3699.
Dental Bonding -- January 15, 2015
Of all the cosmetic and restorative procedures we offer at our office in Covington, WA, bonding is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to enhance your smile. Called bonding because tooth-colored resin is bonded to your teeth, the procedure is used to repair teeth that are discolored, unevenly shaped or chipped. At our office we can even use bonding as an attractive alternative to amalgam fillings.
Bonding is achieved by applying incredibly strong resin to the tooth in need of restoration. The procedure can usually be accomplished in one visit and allows you to keep most of your tooth’s enamel, which makes bonding preferable to veneers in many cosmetic cases. Once the right color resin has been chosen for your smile, Dr. K. Singh will apply an adhesive gel to your tooth or teeth to help the resin adhere. The putty-like resin is then applied to your tooth and molded and smoothed until it is in the proper shape. After it is hardened with an LED light, Dr. Singh will trim and shape it even more and then polish it until shines like a tooth. Altogether, the procedure usually takes between 30 minutes to an hour for one tooth.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions -- January 7, 2015
Your third and final molars to emerge are your wisdom teeth, which usually come in when you are between 17 and 25 years old. While many people do not experience problems with these new teeth, many others find that theirs must be removed. If your mouth does not have enough room for these molars to come in, a wisdom tooth extraction is necessary, and at our office in Covington, WA, Dr. K. Singh can determine whether a wisdom tooth extraction is the best course of action for you.
Wisdom teeth are usually removed because they become impacted, which means that the tooth does not have enough room to come in straight through the gums and instead emerges at an angle. This can cause pain, damage to the jaw and a more crooked smile. Additionally, the site of impaction can become a bacterial hotspot since impacted wisdom teeth are hard to clean.
Wisdom teeth extractions can range from removing a single tooth to removing all four teeth at once. Dr. Singh will let you know what she thinks is best for you. For the procedure, he will use either a local anesthetic to numb the area or a general anesthetic to sedate you while the teeth are extracted. The tooth will then be accessed through an incision in the gums and wiggled until it is loose enough to be lifted out. If the tooth is too deeply embedded to be removed this way, it will be broken up into pieces before being removed.
Whether you are already feeling pain due to impacted wisdom teeth or have not yet felt them come in, we can determine if your wisdom teeth will cause problems for you. To schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care, call (253) 239-3699.
Intraoral Camera -- January 2, 2015
Dental technology has greatly improved the diagnosis of dental issues over the years, making early treatment of decay, infection and disease possible. With advancements such as intraoral cameras, dentists can view patients’ teeth more easily and more accurately. This helps them diagnose dental issues earlier and treat them with less invasive methods. At our office in Covington, WA, our patients’ oral health is important to us, so we use intraoral cameras and other top-of-the-line technology to keep them smiling.
The intraoral camera is an effective tool for viewing patients’ teeth and mouth from different angles, allowing Dr. K. Singh to see the mouth from a variety of angles—many of which weren’t even available as little as a couple years ago. The camera is connected to a monitor that lets the dentist see the structures of his patient’s teeth more closely and with better accuracy than traditional methods. These digital images also allow the patient and insurance companies to see what the doctor has seen, which lets you understand your oral health better and gain procedure acceptance from your insurance company more easily. In addition, by using digital intraoral cameras and digital X-rays instead of traditional dental X-rays, your dentist can limit your exposure to radiation.
To schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care, call (253) 239-3699.