Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy October 31st! Healthy benefits of sweets, and teeth!

Bellevue dentist Dr. Chien

October 31st is finally here!  Many kids and families celebrate harvest on this day, and it usually involves lots of sweets and sugars!  Believe it or not, your family dentist may actually be in favor of kids and adults eating sweets.  Below are some guidelines to follow from a dental perspective:

  • If possible, avoid hard whole sugar candies.  People usually like to leave these candies long term in the mouth, as the sugars from these candies can promote caries and cavities.  The bacteria in the oral cavity metabolize the sugars, resulting in a release of lactic acid that can cause dental decay.  A good alternative is to look for sugar free hard candies if possible.
  • Chocolate is good for you! JAMA and ADA studies have shown that cocoa has excellent health benefits for the cardiovascular system, and for your teeth and oral health.  Chocolate, which is derived from cocoa beans, contain antioxidants polyphenols, flavonoids, and tannins.  Polyphenols actually inhibit bacteria effects, which can decrease bad breath and lower risk of tooth decay.  Flavonoids have been shown to decrease rate of tooth decay.  And tannins have been shown to prevent bacteria from adhering onto teeth.  Dark chocolate is best, and try to choose chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa for optimal health and dental benefits.  
  • Chewing gum can help lower risk of cavities by promoting salivary flow.  With a healthy and excess flow of saliva, it helps "wash" teeth of plaque and sugars.   Watch out for gums that contain large amounts of sugars.  Sugarless gum is a good alternative to consider.
October 31st is a great time for adults and kids alike. Be safe everyone, and feel free to ask your family dentist if you have any questions on sugars and oral health.

From your local family Bellevue dentist,
Dr. Peter Chien
(425) 614-1600

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Natural Looking Porcelain Crowns

Bellevue Dentist | Porcelain Crowns | Porcelain Veneers

Have you ever thought what makes porcelain dental crowns so natural looking and strong?

One type of porcelain crown is made from lithium disilicate, a ceramic restorative material that garners excellent esthetics.  With a flexural strength of 360-400 MPa, it has excellent strength and is suitable for anterior crowns where esthetics is desired, as the outside layer is veneered (or layered) to achieve optimal shade, value, chroma, and brightness.  One example is IPS e.max, where the crowns can be pressed or milled from an intra-oral digital scanning device, and then milled (fabricated) from an in-house lab milling machine.

For posterior teeth, a single layer monolithic lithium disilicate may be optimal as this uniform layer gives porcelain crowns outstanding strength.  Its flexural strength is near 1,000 MPa, and its compressive strength makes it as strong as gold and natural teeth.  This makes allows these crowns to be highly resistant to chipping and fracture, and its strength makes it a solid choice for even those who have bruxism (night time grinding) and severe Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) and TMJ issues.

If you have any questions regarding porcelain crowns, consult with your family dentist to see if they are suitable.

From your family Bellevue dentist,
Dr. Peter Chien
(425) 614-1600

Monday, October 14, 2013

Dental Sealants for Kids!

Bellevue Dentist Dental Teeth Sealants

Now that school is up and running again, parents may have heard their children's school nurse mention dental sealants.  So what are they?  Sealants are a protective plastic coating dentists place on posterior teeth (back teeth).  Posterior dentition, especially molars and premolars, have deep occlusal grooves, pits, and fissures.  These deep grooves are usually very fine and thin, they can be difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene.  The toothbrush's thickness is usually greater than that of the teeth's grooves, so bacteria and plaque have a high tendency to remain trapped inside the tooth.  The result is an increased likelihood of developing tooth decay.

Your dentist will first make sure the tooth's grooves are clean with a high powered flush and cleansing material.  After the tooth is properly cleaned of debris, the tooth properly dried and isolated, the sealant is flowed onto the tooth.  The sealant is then light cured and hardened, thereby protecting the grooves from potential decay (cavities).

Sealants can be a viable preventive treatment for kids and adults alike.  Dental sealants are not permanent and can wear away (ie. fall off) over time, but it's a great cost effective and simple method to help ward of cavities.

Your family dentist should be able to help you decide if dental sealants are suitable for you and your children's needs.

From your family Bellevue dentist,

Dr. Peter Chien
(425) 614-1600

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Single Tooth Whitening


Do you have a single "dark colored" tooth?  Have you ever thought about getting it whiter so it blends in with the adjacent teeth?

Sometimes a single tooth can be discolored if it previously had root canal treatment.  If so, one option is to have that single tooth internally bleached.  How does it work?  Also called "walking bleach technique" your dentist may place either a high concentration of 35% hydrogen peroxide, carbamide perioxide, or sodium perborate.  The solution is left internally within the tooth for a few days, and the tooth is then re-evaluated for shade.  This internal bleaching is then repeated again if necessary.

This single tooth non-vital tooth whitening method is fairly noninvasive, and can be a conservative option compared to a veneer or crown.  Talk to your dentist to see if this "walking bleach technique" is right for you.

From your family Bellevue dentist,
Dr. Peter Chien
(425) 614-1600