What is Peri-Implantitis and How Do You Avoid It?

The Perils of Peri-implantitis and Its Prevention

Peri-implantitis is an inflammatory condition that affects the gums (soft tissue) as well as the bone (hard tissue) surrounding the dental implant. It can potentially be destructive. Know more about it and how you and your dentist can prevent or manage it.

What peri-implantitis is is an inflammation around the dental implant. The most common culprit is the buildup of decay-causing tartar at the implant site, which usually is the result of poor oral hygiene. Tartar emits toxins that carry bacteria and cause irritation and then infection of the gums and the bone that supports the implant. If left unattended, the condition can ultimately result in gum destruction and loss of bone. Hence, at the onset, regular and proper brushing and flossing are key to prevention of this inflammation.

You can tell if your implant is in danger of peri-implantation. These signs and symptoms may be present: Pain at the implant site, swelling, tenderness, or redness of the gums, bleeding or pus discharge which may produce a foul odor, development of a pocket around the crown that may cause tooth movement. Once the anchor of the implant to the bone is lost, the implant can become loose or may fall out.

A risk factor, as mentioned earlier, is poor oral hygiene or a lack of an implant maintenance therapy. It may also be that the patient is unable to easily access the implant while brushing or flossing, or is not comfortable cleaning the area of the implant. One other risk factor is an excess of or a residual of cement. Cement is used to retain the implant in the bone tissue, and cement has a potentially rough surface that bacteria can lodge. This is possible with cement-retained implants. The alternative here is the screw-retained implant.

Other risk factors for peri-implantitis are diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Another risk factor is genetics.

If peri-implantitis is discovered early, before there is bone loss, the condition can be arrested and cured. That is why regular dentist visits are important. Not all patients with implants have the same degree of inflammation, besides an existing medical condition such as diabetes or pregnancy. If a patient is more prone to caries, it would be a good preventive measure to have regular plaque removal. Depending on the severity, treatment for peri-implantitis can range from non-surgical to surgical. So do not delay keeping your dentist appointments.

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Helping Prevent Peri-implantitis in Federal Way

When you decide to have your dental implants at West Campus Dental, here in Federal Way, we will be your partners in prevention of peri-implantitis. See us for more helpful information.


Dentist’s Advice: How To Care For Your Dental Implants

Keys To Implant Treatment Success

Now that you have new dental implants – you have covered the cost, made aware of the after effects, immediate post-care, and are just about ready to flash your new smile, the work is only half accomplished. Knowing how to care for your implants is the other crucial part of this wonderful experience. Anticipating that you would want to know about implant care, here are the most common questions you might ask and your dentist’s expert advice.

How can I keep my dental implants healthy?

Your dentist will provide you advice and instructions. It is essential that you stay faithful to the recommendations because this is a critical stage in the healing. The practice of proper oral hygiene – brushing and flossing – hastens the healing and prevents gum infection. Use a soft bristle nylon toothbrush and a mild, low-abrasive toothpaste with care under and around the implant crown. Floss with an implant-specific floss. Do not use products with intense flavors or scents as they can cause some discomfort. Do not use tobacco products or consume alcohol; these will impede the healing process remarkably.

While dental implants have a high rate of success, a small number of cases may develop peri-implantitis. It’s an infection of the soft tissues surrounding the implant. It arises from inadequate oral hygiene that leads to a build-up of plaque.

Are there appropriate cleaning aids to care for implants?

Your dentist and hygienist will personalize their recommendations. They will tell you about specific types of cleaning aids, such as, soft, tapered bristle toothbrush to use under the gumline, and interdental brushes to clean effectively between teeth, besides dental floss. The metal part of the implant can easily be scratched and that can attract bacteria that may infect the gums. So avoid cleaning aids that have metal in them, or are sharp and hard.

How can I be sure I am taking care of my implants adequately?

The procedure can take 6 – 12 weeks to completely heal for a single tooth. Others may take longer. Hence, it is necessary to meet your dental appointments after the procedure, like every 2 to 3 months or so, depending on your circumstances, to ensure you are doing their recommendations correctly. If there’s any oral issue concerning your implants – like bleeding, sensitivity, or implant movement – inform your dentist right away.

You play an important role in the success of your own restoration. Do stay motivated in the care of your implant. Following your dentist’s instructions is part of the treatment success and can ensure longevity of your implant.

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More Helpful Implant Care Tips in Federal Way

Here at West Campus Dental Center, rest assured that we are with our dental implant patients in their journey to healing and success. See your Federal Way dentist now for more information.


The Amazing Benefits of Dental Implants

A Better Alternative for Missing Teeth

Dental implants are popular alternatives today to replace missing teeth. Before implants became technologically advanced, dentists and patients used to opt for a removable denture or a fixed bridge. Though these may have their own minor drawbacks, such as removing them for cleaning, potential to come loose, and the requirement for an adjacent and trimmed down anchor, they are still favored under certain circumstances. Dental implants proved to have no such impediments.

Aside from not needing removal every time you have to clean your appliance, dental implants also do not need neighboring teeth support, hence, there is no need to cut down adjacent teeth. A dental implant is firmly anchored into the jaw bone and can stand and function on its own.

Here are some of the amazing benefits of dental implants:

Dental implants improve appearance.

They look like your natural teeth in color and in shape, and are not noticeable as not your real teeth. Implants maintain the shape of your face by preventing facial sagging and premature aging such as will happen with a person with missing teeth. Furthermore, wearing implants prevents bone loss and, in fact, encourages bone growth as the implant integrates with the jaw bone.

Dental implants are comfortable to wear and are convenient.

As they are securely integrated into the jaw bone, implants do not just come loose. You can enjoy your food choices without worry. They are convenient too, because you do not need to take them off while sleeping or for cleaning. They are easy to care for, just like the rest of your natural teeth.

Dental implants enhance self-esteem.

Your speech is natural and not impeded, unlike if you wear dentures. Also, while eating, you don’t have to worry about food getting trapped as can happen with dentures. Furthermore, you will feel more confident and your smile more natural.

Dental implants are more cost-effective than other missing tooth treatments.

Compared to dentures and fixed bridges, implants may cost more. However, in the long run, they are so strong and sturdy, they can last longer than the other two. In fact, if well-cared for, implants may last a lifetime, and may never have to be repaired or replaced periodically.

Dental implants enhance mouth health.

Implants do not decay so there is no worry about cavities forming. They also support adjacent teeth, preventing shifting. They preserve and stimulate natural bone, hence, prevents bone deterioration. Lastly, implants maintain gum health.

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Enhancing Oral Health with Dental Implants in Federal Way

Ready to replace your missing teeth with implants? See us at West Campus Dental Center for a more engaging experience with dental implants. See your Federal Way dentist.


Questions Patients Ask About Root Canal Treatment

Understanding The Basics of Root Canal Procedure

Root canal treatment, or simply root canal, is a common service offered in many dental clinics. If you have not experienced it, and you may one day find yourself needing it, you will undoubtedly have many questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked queries about root canal.

What is root canal treatment?

It is a procedure by which infection at the pulp of a tooth is removed and treated, restoring that tooth’s normal health and function without entirely extracting it. It is also known as an endodontic treatment. Many are done everyday by both endodontists and general dentists as the means of treating infected teeth.

Why do dentists resort to root canal?

This is one procedure to treat a damaged or diseased tooth. It relieves pain, eliminates the infection so that it does not have to spread to the neighboring teeth. It saves the tooth so that normal function returns without losing the affected, natural tooth, hence, your mouth’s normal appearance is maintained. Root canal treatment enables the tooth to survive even without a deceased pulp.

What situations qualify me as a candidate for a root canal?

You might have these signs and symptoms: severe pain in the tooth and the gums that support it, especially while biting on it, swollen, tender, or darkened gums, deep tooth decay with or without a dental filling, a tooth that has a crack or a chip, and tooth sensitivity even if the stimulus is removed.

How is the root canal done?

Generally, your dentist will remove the inflamed or infected pulp, and will carefully clean the inside of the pulp chamber, disinfect it, then fill it up with a filling material, and seal it.

Does root canal treatment hurt?

No. It is generally painless because anesthesia will be administered. However, the area may feel a bit sore or numb after the procedure. There can also be some mild discomfort in the area that may last a few hours. However, you can go back to your usual routine even after the procedure, but it is better not to eat yet or bite into the area until the numbness subsides.

What determines the cost of a root canal?

It depends on the complexity of the problem, where the tooth is located (back teeth are more difficult), and the number of teeth involved. Most dental insurance policies provide coverage.

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Safe and Painless Root Canal Treatments in Federal Way

Come to West Campus Dental for your root canal treatment in Federal Way Rest assured we provide safe, effective, and painless procedures for your peace of mind and improved oral health.


Understanding The Amazing Benefits of Teeth Bonding

Useful Applications

Tooth bonding is a popular and simple cosmetic procedure that makes use of a bonding material the dentist directly fuses to the natural but defective tooth, improving its color and shape. It has several applications, but overall enhances the beauty and confidence of a smile. Learn more about it.

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, teeth bonding is most beneficial for the repair of chipped teeth. That is because the natural tooth color of the bonding materials used blend well with the natural neighboring teeth. The materials used for bonding are composite resin and porcelain, which are fused to the defective tooth or teeth, molded and sculpted and attached over an adhesive gel. It is afterwards hardened by ultraviolet light and then polished. It makes for a strong structure that can last over 10 years.

Aside from correcting cracks and chipped areas, tooth bonding has other useful applications. It is also used to close gaps in teeth, as a filling material after a cavity has been removed, to cover up stains or discolored teeth, and also for improving silver amalgam fillings that have become unsightly. And then, tooth bonding can also improve the tooth size, such as a shorter tooth can be made longer to improve its alignment with the rest of the teeth.

The procedure is safe.

It doesn’t usually require anesthesia, unless cavity filling is involved. It is cost-effective, an affordable option considered less expensive than other cosmetic procedures, like crowns and veneers. It is typically an easy and fast procedure, taking between 30 minutes to an hour. However, some sittings may take longer depending on the extent of the procedure. There is no need for multiple visits to the dentist as well.

Are there risks associated with tooth bonding?

Yes, though the risks are not major ones and can also happen to other cosmetic procedures. Though durable, composite resin is not as strong as your natural teeth. It can also chip or break, though not as often compared to crowns or veneers. So take care not to bite on ice or your nails, do not chew on hard objects like pencils, or on foods like candy. Likewise, be careful about discoloration, as resin is not as stain-resistant as other materials. Avoid drinking too much coffee and avoid smoking, too.

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Enhancing Smiles with Tooth Bonding in Federal Way

Experience one of our popular services at West Campus Dental – teeth bonding. Let us bring those smiles back with our affordable and safe teeth bonding procedure in Federal Way.


Conventional Replacements for Missing Teeth

Different Types and Benefits 

If you have missing teeth, you might consider opting for dentures or implants, both of which have their own benefits. This article explains dentures and why they are still a preferable mode of treatment for missing teeth.  

Dentures

Dentures are among the oldest treatments for missing teeth. Sometimes they are also referred to as false teeth, but they also have a natural look to them. They can be permanent or removable, though most dentures are of the removable type.

Dentures are composed of the crown or crowns which resemble the missing teeth, and they are usually made of acrylic. The crowns sit on a plate or a base which, in turn, resembles your natural gums. The denture should fit exactly in the mouth; they stick to your gums via natural suction or via adhesive. You should wear them during the day, and remove them for cleaning at night and during sleep. 

There are several types of dentures. Complete or full dentures are those that replace all of your teeth; they may be for both upper and lower jaws, or one of them. Partial dentures are those that replace the missing teeth and yet are attached to the existing teeth. Flexible dentures are composed of a softer and flexible base, unlike the traditional ones. They are also the most comfortable to wear. 

What are the benefits of dentures? 

Dentures may not require surgery unless it is necessary to extract for a more stable appliance and aesthetically pleasing appearance. Flexible dentures are stain and odor-resistant, and do not require adhesives to stick to the gums.  They are cost effective and comparatively more affordable than dental implants. Dentures can help fill out the appearance of your face and profile, restoring your smile and confidence. 

Dentures may make your gums sore and uncomfortable when they are just new. Over time your mouth will adjust to the appliance. It is still essential to practise good oral hygiene and keep your dental appointments.

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When you have issues about missing teeth, be sure to consult with us at West Campus Dental Center. We are your friendly, state-of-the-art dental facility in Federal Way.


How Do Missing Teeth Affect Oral Health?

The Consequences

Some people with missing teeth do not mind at all the lack of one or two teeth in their mouth, especially if the gap or gaps are not noticeable at all. Such is the case if the vacancies are towards the back of the mouth. Nonetheless, wherever there are missing teeth potential problems may arise.

Your teeth work together to support daily routines like speaking, eating, chewing, and even smiling. Gaps in between teeth can impact these functions in mild, moderate, or severe degrees. Mild cases, over time, can have severe consequences. It can affect the quality of life and overall health.

Aesthetics

The first issue you deal with when you have missing teeth is aesthetics. Gaps do not look becoming on your smile, which you may tend to minimize or hide. It may affect your self-confidence and how you deal with others. These can be the emotional consequences.

Chewing Food

You might find it difficult or uncomfortable chewing your food. If there’s a missing tooth or two on one side of your arch, you tend to favor biting or chewing food on the other side. This puts an unbalanced pressure on the side most used and can lead to premature wear and tear of the teeth, gums, including the jaw and facial muscles. You might also eat at a slower pace than before. Also, you may find yourself avoiding certain foods that you used to enjoy as eating them gives you discomfort.

Possible Issues Long-term

Missing teeth can alter your bite over time. Did you know that a tooth can drift, gradually shifting towards the gap nearest to it? Due to the chewing forces you daily apply on your teeth, the drifting tooth wants to compensate for the loss. Later, a gap will slowly develop on its other side, followed by other teeth. The situation can affect bite, cause crooked teeth, sensitivity, grinding, and difficulty chewing.

Missing teeth can also change the shape of your face, causing you to appear much older than you really are. This is due to the bone underneath the missing tooth to eventually shrink and weaken. This may lead to your mouth appearing to shift as the part of the bone in that area is no longer stimulated.

Consider replacement options available for missing teeth which are effective and lasting for years.

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Considering Your Options In Federal Way

When you are missing a tooth or two, consider your options with us at West Campus Dental. Talk to your Federal Way dentist and have the replacement right away to avoid the ill effects of missing teeth on oral health.


Three Options To Have For Missing Teeth

The Pros and The Cons

Many people have experienced missing teeth at different times in their lifetime for a number of reasons, like tooth decay, gum disease, an injury or trauma, and at times, a genetic condition. Whatever the cause, you would be looking at replacing the tooth or teeth to restore aesthetics and function. There are three options to choose from and pros and cons for each.

Removable partial denture

This intends to replace some number of your teeth, like multiple teeth located along the same arch. This appliance consists of replacement crowns attached to a pink-colored, plastic base. To hold the base in place, the neighboring natural teeth are used as anchors; sometimes clasps are used.

Pros and Cons

These dentures look and feel natural. The colors of the base and the crowns match that of your gums and natural teeth. They are a less expensive option (ranging from $1500 – $3000 depending on location and may be covered by insurance. If you happen to lose or break them, they are easy to repair or replace. Since they are removable, they can be easily cleaned and you can rest your gums without them before you sleep. On the other hand, some may find them uncomfortable at first and may take some getting used to. Also, constantly handling them can make them prone to damage.

Fixed dental bridge

This is for replacing one or more teeth in the same area. It’s called a bridge because it bridges a gap where there used to be a tooth using an artificial tooth or crown. The crown is attached to the neighboring teeth and bonded with dental cement. It’s also an option for those who do not want a dental implant.

Pros and Cons

Fixed dental bridges are more affordable than dental implants, ranging from $3000 -$5000 for a single bridge, depending on location and materials used; also may be covered by insurance. They look and feel like natural teeth also. They don’t look noticeable if they are exactly of the same color as your natural teeth. When it comes to disadvantages, they tend to be difficult to clean, especially under the bridge where tooth decay can start. They can alter existing teeth, causing gradual damage over time if they are poorly fitted.

Dental implant

It is needed to replace a tooth or even several teeth in different locations. A titanium metal post is implanted surgically into the gap extending to the jaw bone, then a replacement tooth is mounted on the implant. It’s a permanent replacement.

Pros and cons

Its most notable advantage is its close resemblance to natural teeth and its sturdiness and durability, lasting decades or an entire lifetime with proper care. It also does not alter adjacent teeth, leaving them intact. What may be disadvantages are: the cost (ranging from $3000 – $6000 per implant) is higher than the previous two options, plus there may be deductibles and copays even with insurance, the involvement of surgery, and the long healing process (6-9 months).

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Find Your Best Options in Federal Way

When you’re ready to consider replacing your missing teeth, come see us at West Campus Dental Center. Let your Federal Way dentist see which option suits your situation best.


Recognizing Dental Implant Failure

Signs of Dental Implant Failure

While dental implants are options that are sturdy and lasting, there are times and for some reasons they can fail. There are warning signs that will tell you that you may be headed towards a dental implant failure. These signs can either appear early, like just after the procedure or some 3 to 4 months later, or on the other hand, many years later.

One early warning sign is if you feel pain, gum swelling, and discomfort that do not subside after a week. While these symptoms are to be expected as consequences of surgery, they should not linger for too long and severe enough to affect your daily routine. Pain may be present particularly when biting or chewing. You must let your dentist know right away.

You might be experiencing loss of taste, a tingling sensation, and some swelling. These may be allergic reactions to titanium alloy which is present in some implants. See your dentist right away if this is the case and you would need a replacement that does not contain titanium.

Another early sign is when you’ve observed some micromovements of the implant. This means the implant lacks stability and is inserted into the jawbone in spite of little or insufficient bone mass for support. Being so, the implant will not integrate well with bone. Well inserted implants into healthy jawbone do not move as the procedure is meant to keep them securely in place.

Signs of peri-implantitis like redness, leeding, swelling gums, receding gums, and pus may appear around the implant. It’s an infection that if caught early without considerable bone loss can still be reversed. Risk factors for an infection include smoking, poor oral hygiene, and the presence of an autoimmune disease.

Some long-term complications of dental implants include nerve or tissue damage presenting as numbness or tingling sensation in the gums, tongue or lips. This is a consequence of placing the implant very near a nerve. Another reaction, though uncommon, is foreign body rejection, where the body rejects the implant. Site pain, swelling, fever, and chills are symptoms. A complication arises when an upper jaw implant protrudes into the sinus cavity. Another is a subsequent trauma or injury to the face in the area of the implant may lead to its loosening.

Whether your signs and symptoms are of the early or late stage in dental implant failure, see your dentist or oral surgeon as soon as you can for consequent treatment and guidance.

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Helping You Advance To Implant Success in Federal Way

If you decide to have your dental implant at West Campus Dental in Federal Way, rest assured we will guide you through your journey towards implant success.


Factors That Can Lead To Dental Implant Failure

Factors for Dental Implant Failure

It’s true that dental implants can last a lifetime, but there are times when certain factors play a role that can lead to failure. It should be good to know what these are so that we can avoid them to the best of our ability, and prolong the life and usefulness of implants. Here are some common factors to blame.

There was insufficient bone mass to sustain the implant. This should have been ascertained before the procedure, like via x-rays. If bone is proved to be insufficient, bone grafting or sinus lifting would have been done prior. Bone loss can also plague the implant post-surgery. For example, you may have osteoporosis, periodontitis, and other medical conditions.

There was negligence in care and maintenance of the implant. Neglect of proper oral hygiene as brushing and flossing can impact the surrounding structures and the implant itself. Though the implant is metal and the crown used is artificial, food debris, bacteria, and acid can build up and still attack the gumline. Peri-implantitis is that progressive infection that affects implants.

You are smoking. How does smoking cause implant failure? Studies have shown that overall implant failure rates are higher in smokers than nonsmokers (11% vs 5%). That’s because nicotine affects blood flow to the implant area, affecting integration of bone to the implant, thereby including healing.

You are a teeth grinder. Teeth grinding puts unnecessary pressure on teeth surfaces and can lead to cracking of the replacement crown, loosening of the abutment screw, and ultimately, implant fracture. The repeated, nightly clenching or grinding of teeth causes movements, however small, of the implant. Especially during the healing process, the movements interfere with the proper osseointegration.

Your age can also impact implant success. Older adults have slower healing processes. They also may have underlying medical issues, like diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, congestive heart failure, bleeding disorders, and a compromised immune system.

You have taken treatments and medicines that may influence implant failure, like blood-thinning drugs (aspirin), immunosuppressive drugs, or radiation treatments.

You have unfortunately gone to an inexperienced surgeon. How does inexperience affect implant failure. It could be any one of these: poorly designed implants, improper placement of the implant, tissue trauma during implant placement, or attaching a crown before an implant is stable.

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Helping You Advance To Implant Success in Federal Way

If you decide to have your dental implant at West Campus Dental, rest assured we will guide you through your journey towards implant success. That’s only here in Federal Way.