Dental X-Rays Are Safer Than You Think | Issaquah Dentist

a dentist cleaning a woman's teeth to show the importance of regular visits

Having our X-rays taken at the dentist is considered standard procedure. Yet, there are reasonable reservations individuals may have about the risks associated with inviting x-rays into their lives. Here are some things you should know about dental x-rays.

Overview

X-rays are an important tool for every specialty within dentistry. They are generally considered to be a safe, effective means for dentists to understand your unique oral structure and health. Dentists will take four different types of x-rays; bitewing, occlusal, panoramic and periodical. Each of these focus on a different aspect of your teeth and bite.

The bitewing will show how well your teeth align and may also show cavity development. Occlusal x-rays capture all your teeth in a single image and can help detect abnormalities in the anatomy of your mouth or palate. Panoramic images let dentists check your wisdom teeth, jaw and any implants you may have. Periodical images show the entire tooth from root to crown.

Purpose

The purpose of a radiograph, or x-ray, is to analyze oral health. They capture what is happening on the interior if your teeth and gums. Images allow dentists and orthodontists to evaluate positioning, decay and impact of the teeth. Whenever you enter a new practice without existing or current imagery your dentist will take them for your file with their practice.

They are also used to track the progression of growing teeth in children and the progress of any treatment you may undergo.

For more information about caring for your veneers, call Dr. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Frank S. Sciabica proudly serves patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

How to Care for Your Porcelain Veneers | Issaquah Dentist

Woman smiling with a dental mirror to reflect her beautiful smile

Porcelain veneers are one of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures people seek for their smiles. The longevity of your veneers can vary depending on how they are cared for. To get the most out of your veneers, here are some best practices for maintaining them for years to come.

Avoid Unnecessary Force- Nail biting, chewing ice, and forceful brushing can break or dislodge a veneer; they can also be the reason your dentist recommended veneers to begin with. It’s important to make an effort to avoid these habits for the longevity of your veneers.

Good Oral Hygiene- Maintaining good oral hygiene such as regular brushing, flossing, and incorporating a mouthwash is great for your natural teeth and veneers. Veneers are placed along the gemlike to retain the appearance of being natural, so it’s important to keep your oral hygiene up to avoid a receding gemlike that may expose the veneer.

Limit Staining- Porcelain is a material that resists stains, but the dental cement used to keep them in place unfortunately is not. Coffee, tobacco, wine and any other food and beverage that may stain your teeth will stain the cement over time. Eventually, if not properly cared for along the way, the cement will become discolored and look odd against your veneers – or even start to make your veneers look discolored by association.

Stop Clenching and Grinding- This bad habit is a great way to chip or break your veneers over time. Bruxism, or the grinding of teeth at night, can be avoided by incorporating a night guard when you sleep. Reducing stress or finding alternative means to clenching your teeth will also go a long way in maintaining your new pearly whites.

Of course, you will be informed of all of these tips as you continue through the process, but in case you need a refresher, feel free to refer to this page, or give us a call.

For more information about caring for your veneers, call Dr. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Frank S. Sciabica proudly serves patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

Intraoral Cameras Improve Your Smile | Issaquah Dentist

Technology has advanced to the point that our own eyes are not always the best for probing your mouth. And thus, for those deep, precise examinations of every nook and cranny inside of your mouth, we break out the intraoral camera.

With Great Power Comes Great Resolution

One of the major reasons why we use these cameras is because they are adroit at maneuvering inside of your mouth and revealing what they see, far better than our own fingers, tiny mirror, and eyeballs. With an intraoral camera, we can check for a suspected fracture and see exactly how deep it runs down the tooth, and immediately begin preparing our treatment plan.

Rather than press around uncomfortably on diseased or injured gums, we can just point the camera in the direction and see exactly where the disease is, what stage it is at, and anything that may not have been apparent during the routine exam. This saves you time, comfort and allows us to focus our attention on providing care, when before we would still have to spend more time diagnosing the root of the issue.

Lastly, it helps provide comprehensive care, by allowing us to see places we might normally not check on first pass, detect issues too small to be easily seen with the naked eye, and provide an easier way to document and keep records of discoveries during your care, for this and future visits…

All in all, intraoral cameras are a marvelous piece of technology that has revolutionized and streamlined oral care, allowing us to see patients and treat them more efficiently during every visit.

For more information about intraoral cameras, call Dr. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Frank S. Sciabica proudly serves patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

Which Sports Are Known for the Most Dental Damage? | Issaquah Dentist

It’s common knowledge that cheerleaders and gymnasts are at highest risk for back injuries, and boxers and football players are high risk for brain injuries. But which sports are infamous for dental injuries, and lead to the horrifying statistic that 5 million teeth are popped out each year? Let’s take a look…

Dental injuries in sports are normally preventable with the right gear, but some damage can slip through. There are several sports that put you at higher risk of toothaches and jaw injuries, some which may seem surprising.

Sports with balls in play top the list, with football, basketball, tennis, and baseball on the list. It makes sense, in any game where high speed objects flying at your face, occasionally one will connect and leave the victim with a nasty welt at best and spitting out teeth at worst.

Other high-speed objects to avoid include pucks, gloves, and even bare fists, for the respective sports of hockey, boxing, and martial arts. These tend to be moving faster, and thus extra care should be taken to avoid them!

It’s not just violent, contact-oriented sports, either. Falls and collisions can occur that impact teeth if you are a marathon runner, jogger, skater, or cyclist. Dental trauma can even be caused by no-contact sports: for example, the tooth grinding stress of winning a game of chess (which the International Olympic Committee recognizes as a sport), planning out a fantasy football league, or solo activities like squash and swimming can lead to lost or damaged teeth.

If you have experienced dental trauma while exercising or participating in sports, don’t panic! In some cases, the teeth can be reimplanted and put back without lingering issue. In other cases, you’ll have a smile with character that serves as a warning for other sportsmen to follow.

In either case, the best contact sport is contacting us, so we can help you form a sporting solution to your dental needs!

For more information about dental sports injuries, call Dr. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Frank S. Sciabica proudly serves patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

Which Nutrients Do Healthy Teeth Need? | Issaquah Dentist

There are many things that you have to do to keep your teeth healthy. You must brush your teeth and it helps if you brushed them when you wake and when you go to sleep. Flossing after brushing helps to ferret out food particles stuck between your teeth.

Your teeth also require a lot of nutrients to stay their healthiest. Do you eat the right kinds of foods to give your teeth the kinds of nutrients that they need? Your teeth need nutrients just as much as they need a strict oral hygiene schedule. Here are some nutrients that your teeth need to be their healthiest:

Vitamin D. Your body requires Vitamin D to allow calcium to be properly absorbed into your bones and teeth. Vitamin D makes bones and teeth strong. If you have a Vitamin D deficiency, then your body will actually strip the calcium from your bones and teeth. You can get Vitamin D from direct sunlight, orange juice, eggs, dairy products, fatty fish, mushrooms, and Vitamin D fortified cereal.

Calcium. Calcium and Vitamin D work together to make your bones healthy. However, your teeth really need Calcium to remain strong. You can acquire your calcium needs from dairy products, fatty fish, and leafy green vegetables.

Potassium. Potassium contributes to make the enamel of your teeth both dense and strong. There are a variety of potassium-rich foods like bananas, fish, beef, pork, soybeans and lentils, and dairy products.

Take a supplement. Taking a daily supplement can also help you get the nutrients that you need to keep your teeth healthy. Always stick to your oral hygiene regimens. Also remember that your teeth need nutrients to keep them strong. For more information, make sure to call our office.

For more information about tooth-friendly nutrients, call Dr. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Frank S. Sciabica proudly serves patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

What We Look for During Dental Exams | Issaquah Dentist

Most people take their trip to the dentist for granted. They go in with the hope that they will hear they have no cavities, a new toothbrush and an appointment to return in 6 months. They don’t really pay attention to what we are doing, but it’s not a bad thing to learn about if you want to improve your oral health.

While most people think that the most important work we do is during the actual exam, the work we do before that is just as important. We start out by looking at the history we have for our patients, including any issues that could signal potential problems with oral health. We also want to look at the x-rays and notes from previous exams to see if there are any changes that signal a potential issue.

During the exam we are looking for more than changes. We look for signs of any bacterial growth that could lead to plaque buildup, the positioning of your teeth and gums, and gaps and pockets that may cause a problem. We look for any discoloration of the teeth or spots on the teeth that are signs of tooth decay. We are looking for the same signs that a patient can look for at home that the health of their teeth and gums are at risk.

We also rely on x-rays to look at the structure of the teeth and gums to spot problems before they become a bigger issue. Our goal is to make sure we can treat any issues as easily as possible to prevent problems before they occur. During an office visit, we will do this and then give you the treatments and tools needed for optimal oral health.

For more information about dental examinations, call Dr. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Frank S. Sciabica proudly serves patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

Depression Affects Your Smile’s Health | Issaquah Dentist

In recent years, scientific research has discovered a close link between your oral health and your overall health. There are many conditions we can identify during a visual examination of your oral cavity, even if you don’t know you suffer from them.

This includes mental health problems such as depression. Recent studies suggest that depression conclude depression is closely related to poor oral health.

When someone is depressed, they lose interest in everyday activities, and in many cases, the person stops taking care of themselves, including neglecting his or her oral health in general. Not brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing at least once per day can be extremely detrimental to your mouth and set the stage for serious dental conditions in the future.

When you struggle with depression or other emotional condition your teeth will also suffer. Some signs of depression that will show in your teeth are:

General dental neglect. If you stop brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, you may have more cavities than usual, and your gums may be tender or swollen without the stimulation from brushing.

Periodontal disease. There is a close connection between depression and periodontal disease. Depression can affect your oral health through the salivary glands. When the production of saliva is restricted, you can have dry mouth which results in a higher risk for tooth decay.

Oral pain. Many people who have recurrent pain from conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) also suffer from depression. There is a clear connection between pain and depression, according to scientific studies.

Keeping your regular checkups will let us identify any potential problems that may develop in the future. If you struggle with depression, your teeth may show it at different levels.

For more information about the effects of depression on your smile, call Dr. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Frank S. Sciabica proudly serves patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

Why Drinking Water Is Important to Your Oral Health | Issaquah Dentist

Water is vital to many of your body’s natural functions. Without water, you’ll become dehydrated and begin to suffer from a number of different illnesses.

Water is also very important for your oral health. Without clean water, you’ll begin to experience a number of different issues with your teeth and gums.

In the U.S. and many other countries, the city drinking water includes fluoride. This helps to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Without clean drinking water, your teeth will be exposed to a number of bacteria. These bacteria will attach themselves to your teeth and begin to eat away at the enamel there, especially if you don’t brush your teeth regularly. They can also lead to gum disease.

In areas without clean drinking water, it’s also common to find manganese and other elements in the water. Continued exposure to high levels of some of these elements, especially those that are highly acidic, can cause damage to your teeth and gums.

Water also helps keep your mouth clean by washing away some of the bacteria and food particles that have become stuck in your teeth. While it’s no substitution for brushing or flossing, drinking plenty of water will help your mouth clean, especially if the water is clean.

For most people, access to clean, fresh water isn’t a problem. However, those who live in rural areas may get their water from wells rather than from a city water system. This water likely doesn’t include fluoride, so it doesn’t help keep your teeth strong. It’s possible that the water may also have some extra trace minerals or elements that cause some tooth issues.

For more information about drinking water, call Dr. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Frank S. Sciabica proudly serves patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

Bottled Water: Are You Sure It’s Good for You? | Issaquah Dentist

Bottled water is more popular than ever for a variety of reasons. Some people simply don’t have access to clean drinking water, but for others, claims of fresh spring water have them opting for bottled versions over the water in their own tap.

The big problem with the switch to bottled water is a lack of fluoride, and the consequences could be detrimental to your teeth.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural mineral that has been established as a way to prevent decay. Research is so supportive of this claim that most communities have added it to their public drinking water. Fluoride is especially important for children, as it is easily absorbed into the enamel. Once the teeth are fully developed, fluoride makes the structure resistant to decay.

Are People Getting Less Fluoride?

Researchers believe that as more consumers drink bottled water, fewer ingest the amount of fluoride needed to prevent cavities. The American Dental Association states that if bottled water is your primary source of drinking water, you are likely missing out on the important decay-prevention of fluoride. In fact, this concern was discussed at the World Dental Congress, which identified it as a possible reason tooth decay is on the rise among children.

Are There Other Ways to Get Fluoride?

If you tend to drink bottled water more often than tap water, it is important that you get fluoride in other ways. Some bottled waters include fluoride, and most commercial toothpastes contain fluoride. You might also want to ask your dentist or doctor about fluoride supplements.

In addition to getting enough fluoride, visiting your dentist regularly is an important step to maintain strong, healthy teeth. Regardless of whether you drink tap or bottled water, we can get a better idea about the health of your mouth. Give us a call today to set up your next dental cleaning and check-up.

For more information about bottled water, call Dr. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Frank S. Sciabica proudly serves patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.

Scrubbing Your Teeth with Snacks | Issaquah Dentist

Keeping our teeth clean and healthy is important, not only to our dental health, but also our overall health. But this doesn’t mean you need to constantly brush your teeth. While brushing after each meal would be advantageous, not all of us have a toothbrush available at all times. Fortunately, there are loads of snacks you can nosh on that will do a good job in between brushings.

Carrots are full of fiber and help keep teeth clean by scrubbing the plaque off as you eat. Due to the fact that they’re not a juicy vegetable, they stimulate saliva production. This naturally cleans your teeth by rinsing your mouth as you eat. Additionally, carrots are full of B vitamins, which are essential in fighting gingivitis.

Leafy greens are high in fiber and low in calories, so not only are they good for your body, but they’re also great for your teeth. Kale and spinach contain calcium, which helps strengthen your teeth and B vitamins, which like we mentioned with carrots, help fight gingivitis! The fiber in both kale and spinach help scrub away plaque and food debris as you eat them.

You’ve heard the old saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away‘, well it also keeps the plaque at bay! Not only does the fiber in an apple help clean your teeth, but they also fight bad breath. They scrub away plaque and debris and the acidity of an apple helps kill the bad bacteria that encourages bad breath.

Keep choosing healthy snacks and you’ll keep the plaque away, making your overall oral health even better. Give our office a call today to schedule your next exam, we look forward to hearing from you soon!

For more information about snacks that brighten our smiles, call Dr. Sciabica in Issaquah, WA at 425-392-3900 or visit www.issaquahdentists.com.

Dr. Frank S. Sciabica proudly serves patients from Issaquah and all surrounding areas.