Sound Implant & Periodontics

History of Wisdom Teeth

Most people need their wisdom teeth removed, so why do we have them in the first place? Here’s a quick history lesson of wisdom teeth and the important role they once played!

Wisdom teeth were once an extremely valuable asset to our ancestors. When a typical diet consisted of chewy plants and uncooked meat, third molars (wisdom teeth), which fit easily into our ancestors’ larger jaws, were absolutely necessary. Wisdom teeth were the evolutionary answer to the need for chewing power to combat excessive wear.

Today, our diets are not as rough as those of our ancestors. With modern marvels like forks, spoons, and knives, as well as softer food, the need for wisdom teeth is virtually nonexistent. And yet, on average, about 65% of the human population is born with wisdom teeth which usually erupt between the ages 17 and 25.

Although wisdom teeth were incredibly advantageous for our ancestors, they pose a bit of a problem for the modern mouth. Humans have evolved to have smaller jaws, and so wisdom teeth are often either too big for the jaw or the jaws themselves are just too small. Either way, third molars crowd the mouth. Because of this lack of space, molars often grow sideways, only partially emerging from the gums, or actually get trapped inside the gums and jawbone.

These impacted wisdom teeth can be chronically contaminated with bacteria associated with infection, tooth decay, inflammation, and gum disease. And because they’re so far back in the mouth or trapped underneath gums, it’s difficult and sometimes impossible to keep them clean. Even when wisdom teeth come in fully, they are so far back in the mouth that it’s just too easy for food to get trapped, leading to plaque, cavities, and gum disease.

Although wisdom teeth were very important to our ancestors, nowadays, they pose a serious problem to oral health. Are you worried that your child may need wisdom teeth removal? Call our office at Tacoma Office Phone Number 253-564-1000 & 253-565-4700 to find out more.

After Care: Dental Implants

 

Are you considering dental implants but are worried about the recovery time?
Don’t worry, we’re here to give you the facts!

The recovery time following dental implant surgery tends to vary but is usually based on the amount of teeth being implanted, whether or not a bone graft was needed and how well the individual manages his or her recovery. The science and technology behind dental implants have improved drastically over the last few years, improving post-surgery pain and comfort for patients.

Recovery Time
Typically, you will have the fastest recovery time if you had a standard, single dental implant placed with no bone grafting. With a simple procedure like this one, there is very little discomfort or pain after the surgery. Mild bruising and soreness can occur, but this can typically be managed with over the counter pain relievers. In more severe implant cases, such as those where multiple teeth are implanted or severe bone grafts are needed in order to accomplish the implant, the recovery time tends to be longer and the discomfort can be more intense.

Post-Op
It is important to keep your mouth clean after surgery, which can be done by rinsing your mouth gently with saltwater beginning the day after surgery. You may begin brushing your teeth the night after the surgery, but make sure to be extremely gentle around the surgery area as to not disrupt the healing process. Remember that in the week following your surgery, there should be no smoking and no sucking through a straw, as this can seriously inhibit your healing process. Stick to a diet primarily consisting of soft foods for the first 7-10 days following your surgery before beginning to return to your normal diet.

As you can see, the recovery process after receiving a dental implant is fairly predictable and comfortable. It is important to follow the instructions that we give you, and always remember that if you have any questions or concerns regarding a procedure or following your surgery, you can always give us a call.

How to Take Care of Your Dental Implant

Cleaning and taking care of your implant is just as important as cleaning your natural teeth. Here are some things you should know about caring for your implant.

Your implant and your natural teeth are similar because they both rely on healthy tissue for support! Just like with real teeth, plaque buildup can be harmful. It’s important to remove that plaque because it can develop into an infection. If the infection isn’t properly treated, it can result in a loss of bone around the implant which could progress to the loss of the implant itself.

It’s important to get your teeth cleaned on a regular basis so your dental hygienist can get biofilm off your teeth and keep your teeth infection-free. As always, you should be brushing your teeth and flossing twice a day.

Dental implants are the closest thing you can get to real and natural teeth. They don’t require any special products or treatment, just a simple brush and floss will do the job! If they are properly cared for, they can last a lifetime, avoiding any further dental work down the road.

With a dental implant, you can still enjoy all your favorite foods. It will not loosen or fall out if you are chewing something hard.

Overall, dental implants are meant to make life better and easier! You don’t have to go out of your way to take care of them – a simple brush and floss will ensure that they improve your overall quality of life for many years to come.

If you think a dental implant may be right for you, call Sound Surgical Arts at 253-564-1000 & 253-565-4700 to schedule a consultation!

Flossing: Absolutely Necessary!

Yes, You Still Have to Floss. No, the dance move “flossing” does not count. The AP recently released an article making the claim that “there’s little proof that flossing works”. Their review cited a series of studies that found flossing does little or nothing to improve oral health. Here’s the problem: the studies were flawed. The AP concluded that floss does little for oral health, but it’s important to note that the evidence they cited was very weak at best. In fact, they said so themselves.

As acknowledged by the AP, many of these studies were extremely short. “Some lasted only two weeks, far too brief for a cavity or dental disease to develop” (Associated Press). They also say that “One tested 25 people after only a single use of floss” (Associated Press).

Of course, the evidence is unreliable. You don’t simply develop gum disease because you forgot to floss yesterday. Cavities and gum disease do not happen overnight. Gum disease is preventable by maintain great oral health habits for a long period of time. Lets put it this way: If a study claims drinking milk does nothing for bone health, but draws conclusions after only three glasses of milk, is it a reliable study?

The fact of the matter is floss removes gunk from teeth. You can see it. Gunk feeds bacteria which leads to plaque, cavities, poor gum health, and eventually gum disease. Floss has the ability to reach the food particles that your brush can’t get to. Using a sawing motion instead of moving up and around the teeth to clean the cracks. Positive results come from correct use and it’s critical that people learn to use a tool properly before discarding it as useless.

That’s just what floss is: a tool. Just like your toothbrush, it is designed to keep your mouth clean, and therefore keep your body safe from infection. Both your toothbrush and floss are designed to do what the other can’t, and both successfully remove bacteria from your mouth. Just like proper brushing technique, it is important that you know how to use floss properly, so that you can reap the long-term health benefits of good oral hygiene.

Oral hygiene is a long-term process and requires long term observations to make worthwhile conclusions. In the meantime, it’s obvious that you should continue to do everything you can to protect your well-being, and floss is one of many tools that can help you do that. If you would like a refresher on the best, most efficient techniques for floss use feel free to call our office today

Wisdom Teeth Aftercare

Having your impacted wisdom teeth removed is a serious surgical procedure, and post-operative care is extremely important! Read on for instructions on how to care for your sore mouth, and how to minimize unnecessary pain and complications.

Immediately Following Surgery:
Keep a firm, yet gentle, bite on the gauze packs that have been placed in your mouth to keep them in place. You can remove them after an hour if the bleeding is controlled. If the surgical area continues to bleed, place new gauze for another 30 to 45 minutes.

Do Not:
• Rinse vigorously
• Probe the area
• Smoke (hopefully you don’t!!)
• Participate in strenuous activities

You Can:
• Brush gently (but not the area)
• Begin saltwater rinses 24 hours after surgery (mix 1 tbs of salt with 1 cup of water).
• Make sure to swish gently. These rinses should be done 2-3 times a day, especially after eating.

Enjoy some down-time! Keep activity level to a minimum! Enjoy a day of couch or bed-rest, as being active could result in increased bleeding. Avoid exercise for 3-4 days, and when you do begin exercising again, keep in mind your caloric intake has been reduced so you may feel weaker. There are also some diet restrictions to keep in mind!

Eat nourishing food that takes little effort.
Avoid:
• Extremely hot foods
• Straws (for the first few days)
• Chewing (until tongue sensation has returned)
• Smaller foods that can become stuck in the socket area
• Skipping meals—while eating may seem like a lot of work, you need your nourishment to be able to heal and feel better!

Swelling is a completely normal occurrence. Keep in mind, swelling will usually be at it’s worst in the 2-3 days after surgery. You can minimize swelling by applying a cold compress (covered with a towel) firmly to the cheek next to the surgical area. Apply the pack with 20 minutes on, and 20 minutes off for the first 24-48 hours.

Since no two mouths are alike, do not take advice from friends (even well-intended advice could cause a healing set-back). The advice given to you from your doctor and team are tailored to fit your needs. Please call us if you have any questions or concerns about your recovery. Happy healing!

When Should You Consider Dental Implants?

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Dental implants typically consist of three components: the post, the abutment, and the restoration. The post is a screw which is inserted into the bone. The abutment is attached to the post and the restoration is placed on top, giving the finished product a beautiful, realistic look.

Dental implants are an effective way to replace missing or damaged teeth, but when is getting a dental implant the best option for you? There are a few circumstances where receiving an implant might be the best option for improving your smile.

To restore and preserve your appearance
One of the main functions of dental implants is to restore a smile back to its original glory. They are built to last a lifetime, and last much longer than dental bridges. If you are looking for a permanent solution to damaged or missing teeth, dental implants are your best option.

To protect and preserve a healthy jawbone
Missing spaces in your smile can lead your jawbone to deterioration. Dental implants are the only option which will protect and save your natural bone. Waiting to get a dental implant can continue to increase the chances of your jawbone not being able to support dental implants in the future.

To stop your teeth from shifting
Losing a tooth can cause the surrounding teeth to shift and look unnatural. These teeth can become crowded or can be shifted unevenly. This can cause your teeth to become harder to clean and can also cause your face to sag and appear sunken.

These are just a few of the instances in which you should consider getting dental implants. Dental implants are one of the most useful and successful restoration options available today. For more information on how we can restore your smile with dental implants, contact our practice today at Tacoma Office Phone Number 253-564-1000 & 253-565-4700!

Stay Happier with Healthier Gums

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Keeping your gums healthy is vital to ensuring that your mouth stays happy and healthy too! To ensure this, what are some ways to make sure your gums stay healthy and keep your smile shining bright for years to come!?

Floss, Floss, Floss
Flossing is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can take to fight against gum disease. Keep your gums healthy by flossing once a day to clean those areas in between your teeth which may be hard for your toothbrush to reach.

Brush and Rinse
Brushing twice a day is the most common method of keeping your mouth fresh and clean. It is also a good idea to rinse your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash twice a day too! It is a great way to make an extra step in protecting your gums.

Use the Right Toothpaste
Choosing the right toothpaste is important for keeping your gums healthy. Make sure to grab a toothpaste that contains fluoride in order to get the best results when brushing. Fluoride helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel and reverse signs of tooth decay. Want to make sure you could get even better results? Grab a toothpaste backed by experts at the ADA!

Regular Dentist Checkups
Visiting your dentist twice a year is extremely important in ensuring that your teeth remain healthy and clean! Your dentist will be able to see early symptoms of gum disease, and will be able to get rid of tartar and plaque that may be stuck to your teeth. These bi-annual Check-ups will ensure that your teeth are in tip-top shape.

These four steps can help you significantly improve the health of your gums and reduce your risk of gum disease. If you have any more questions about how to keep your gums healthy, or how to prevent gum disease, give Sound Surgical Arts a call at Tacoma Office Phone Number 253-564-1000 & 253-565-4700 today!

3 Tips to Keep Your Gums Healthy and Happy

3tipsforhappygumsKeeping your gums healthy is vital to ensuring that your mouth stays clean and your teeth stay intact and in pristine condition. Incorporating a few simple steps into your daily oral hygiene routine will keep your teeth and gums healthy, happy and your smile shining bright for years to come.

Floss Like a Boss
Flossing is one of the easiest and most effective steps you can take to fight against gum disease and keep your gums healthy. Flossing once to twice a day helps to clean the hard to reach areas in-between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach.

Keep ‘em Clean
Brushing twice a day is the most commonly preached method of keeping your mouth clean and cavities at bay. Be sure to brush with a fluoride based toothpaste to help to give you the best results when brushing. Next time you are shopping for toothpaste, look for the ADA seal of acceptance in order to ensure your toothpaste is backed by experts!

It is also beneficial to rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash twice a day in order to protect your gums. Rinsing with mouthwash is a great way to finish off thoroughly cleaning your mouth, because it reaches areas that your toothbrush and floss can’t reach.

Stay Regular
Visiting your dentist twice a year is extremely important in preventing oral diseases and guaranteeing that your teeth stay in tip top shape.
Your dentist will perform a thorough cleaning and will show you the proper way to brush and floss if you need a bit of help!

These three steps can help you significantly improve the health of your gums and reduce your risk of developing gum disease. If you have any questions about how to keep your gums healthy and happy, give our office a call, today!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Good Dental Hygiene

os and Don’ts of Good Dental Hygiene

Dental Hygiene is important. Those who practice good oral habits reap the benefits, while the latter… not so much. Most of us have a great deal of control over whether or not we keep our teeth as we age. Those who don’t follow a proper routine, end up losing their teeth, thus requiring the need of tooth replacement (such as dentures, dental implants, etc.). If you want to achieve an optimal level of oral hygiene, all you have to do is follow these do’s and don’ts!

Do…
• Brush your teeth twice a day! Use a soft-bristled brush with a fluoride tooth paste and be sure to brush all surfaces of the teeth, even the hard to reach places.

• Floss your teeth every day! Floss removes food trapped between your teeth and the film of bacteria that forms before it turns into plaque.

• Visit your dentist every 6 months! Regular visits allow your dentist to discover early signs of cavities and gum disease.

• Eat a mouth healthy diet! Indulge yourself in foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and of course, water!

Don’t…

• Forget to replace your toothbrush! Tooth brushes should be replaced every 3 month—or after you recover from being sick. If you have an electric toothbrush, replace the head rather than purchasing a whole new one.

• Brush too soon after eating! Brushing immediately after eating acidic food can cause tiny particles of enamel to be brushed away. To be safe, wait at least 1 hour.

• Go overboard with bleaching! Over-bleaching your teeth can make them very sensitive to hot and cold foods, thus causing a variety of other problems.

• Ignore pain or abnormalities! Toothaches can be a sign of a more serious dental issue. See your dentist as soon as you discover changes in your dental health.

• Consume lots of soft drinks and sugary foods! These foods are highly acidic, which wears away your enamel overtime. Frequent consumption of sugary substances allow plaque to grow more rapidly—thus the likelihood of cavities will increase substantially.

When it comes to your dental hygiene—you have the option between keeping your teeth or not. By starting to practice these dental do’s and don’ts, you will be on the right track to a long-lasting smile. Give us a call today Tacoma Office Phone Number 253-564-1000 & 253-565-4700!

Why You Should Choose Laser Therapy to Treat Gum Disease

Periodontal or gum disease is an infection of the supporting tissues and bone that hold your teeth in place. The condition mainly affects adults in their 30s and 40s, and is usually caused by poor oral hygiene, smoking, chronic illnesses or genetic susceptibility. Believe it or not, half of Americans have periodontal (gum) disease, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. While mild gum disease can be corrected with proper oral hygiene, like brushing and flossing, severe periodontal disease normally requires more extensive treatment.

However, a new laser-technology, called PerioLase, offers a superior alternative to treating gum disease. According to the American Dental Association, many clinicians choose lasers over traditional treatment because they prefer non-surgical management of periodontal disease. In fact, laser treatment can have your gums healthy again within only a couple of visits. This method utilizes PerioLase technology.

Advantages of PerioLase treatment include:

1.No Incisions – With the use of PerioLase technology, your periodontist will be able to avoid cutting into your gums, which also removes the need for sutures, thus allows a faster recovery.

2. Less discomfort – Most patients find PerioLase to be far less painful – during and after the procedure – than your typical surgery. The procedure is so non-invasive that it only requires local anesthetics (numbing), as opposed to the general anesthetics (sleeping) associated with surgery.

3. Shorter procedure – PerioLase usually takes two, 2-hour visits to complete in addition to two follow-up appointments. Conversely, surgery generally requires four, 1-hour sessions along with subsequent visits for suture removal and additional check-ins.

4. Better results – Studies have shown that periodontal laser treatment creates longer-lasting results. In fact, 98 percent of patients remain stable at least five years after the procedure.

5. Few diet restrictions – A dentist may recommend a soft diet for a couple of days following PerioLase, but in most cases, patients feel comfortable enough to eat anything immediately after the procedure.

6. Short recovery time – Recovery from gum surgery can take anywhere between 2-4 weeks, and often includes considerable swelling and pain. PerioLase’s recovery time is less than 24 hours. Many patients report that they’re able to return to work immediately following the procedure.

7. Safe for all patients – PerioLase treatment is safe for all patients, including those with health concerns such as diabetes, HIV, hemophilia, or those taking medications such as aspirin or Plavix.

The American Dental Association is optimistic about the role of PerioLase technology in the field of dentistry. This treatment is also no more expensive than traditional procedures and is covered by most dental insurance plans. Give us a call to learn more about laser therapy for gum disease management at! Tacoma Office Phone Number 253-564-1000 & 253-565-4700