• Posted on February 6, 2020 1:06 pm
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
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    Dental filling

    Did you know that though dental fillings are usually recommended for filling cavities in the teeth, there are several kinds of procedures that use dental fillings? Examples of these procedures include repairing teeth damaged by grinding (bruxism) and replacing parts of a broken tooth.   In addition to various procedures, there are different kinds of dental filling options available, each with their own unique benefits. Tooth fillings used today come in porcelain, gold, glass, tooth-colored composite material, and silver amalgam (a composite of mercury, silver, and other metals).    What type of filling works best for you? The most preferred dental fillings are amalgams and composites, though the type of filling that gets used depends on the budget, insurance, aesthetic choices, and strength. Here is more information on different kinds of fillings and their special advantages:   Amalgam Fillings:  Amalgam is one of the oldest fillings used in dentistry and is a mix of many metallic elements. Amalgam fillings are strong, making them ideal for filling cavities in molars (which are responsible for helping you chew). While amalgam fillings are noticeable when one smiles or laughs, they are the least expensive dental filling.   Composite Fillings: Also known as ‘filled resins’, composite fillings are a mix of glass and quartz. They are quite durable and can be also used to assist with chewing. Composite fillings can be designed to match the color of the individual’s teeth.   Metals: Metal dental fillings include gold or silver amalgams. Silver is more affordable compared to Gold, but Gold fillings are favored by most people for their eye-catching and astonishing quality.   Ceramic: Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain. While they are as expensive as gold fillings, they bear a great resemblance to actual teeth and are better protected against stains.    Glass Ionomer: This filling is a mix of acrylic and glass. They are less durable compared to other filling options for every five years they need to be replaced. However, when this filling is implemented it releases fluoride to help protect teeth.   How are they inserted into your teeth? After the type of filling is chosen, the dentist will proceed to insert them. Here is a brief summary of the implementation process: First, the dentist will numb the area with a local anesthetic   Second, a drill or laser will be used to remove the decay in the area   Next, the dentist will check if all the decay has been removed and will prepare the area   Lastly, the dentist will put the filling in the area, proceeding to finish and polish it   How do I take care of my dental fillings? Once the procedure is complete, you may experience some sensitivity and pain. This is normal and the pain will subside eventually. Still, remember to maintain good oral care by following these important pointers:   Dental fillings will last longer if handled by a professional   Resist grinding your teeth to avoid wear and tear   Use enamel shield toothpaste to protect against future tooth damage   Discontinue chewing if you have damaged teeth, as this can make it more complicated and expensive to repair   A cavity filling may dislodge from the tooth it is attached to, creating an opening for bacteria to breed and grow   Anytime a cavity filling breaks, moves, cracks, or falls off, visit your dentist immediately to replace the filling and to prevent infection of the unprotected tooth   Remember to consult with your dentist! Taking care of your oral health and maintaining good dental hygiene is an investment in your overall health.  Remember to talk to your dental care professional about any concerns you may have regarding dental fillings. If you are experiencing any oral health problems or dental issues, seek professional help and contact your dentist. For more information about dental fillings and dental procedures, consult our team of dental professionals at the Tacoma Dental Group.   A dentist will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions. If you are concerned about your oral health or thinking of getting a regular dental check-up done, consult with the Tacoma Dental Group for a personalized experience, specific to your dental needs. Preserve your natural smile by receiving the best dental care from the Tacoma Dental Group! You can also visit our website https://tacomadentalgroup.com/

    Dental care
  • Posted on December 26, 2019 8:11 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
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    Dental health is a significant part of the overall health of your body. Every day, your mouth encounters foreign particles coming inside your mouth through food and water. These particles may include bacteria, as well as allergens, which might cause infections or allergy in different parts of the mouth and regions surrounding them. Moreover, cavities, plaque, and tartar formation are common dental problems due to imperfect cleaning of the mouth. Regular dental check-ups are needed and recommended every six months. Some people might skip dental check-ups due to monetary factors. But this may prove to be dangerous to your dental health in the long run. Here are a few points that will explain the importance and benefits of regular dental check-ups: Early detection of dental problems: Even though you use the best toothbrushes and flossers, they miss cleaning some smaller areas in the mouth. This results in gradual building up of plaque, which further solidifies and turns into tartar, which is too hard to be removed without the help of professionals. But if you get your oral health check-up done regularly, your dentist will detect the onset of plaque formation. Thus, you can get your teeth cleaned by professionals before the plaque becomes a problem for you. Another major dental concern is cavities. You should not neglect the fact that cavities may be building up and worsening in your mouth. It’s essential to visit your dentist regularly to check for cavities. If they build-up, cavities eat up the tooth pulp causing further infections in the gums and oral cavity. Regular dental cleaning: Proper dental scaling of teeth is necessary to ensure that you do not develop dental problems. You have brushes to clean your teeth, but dentists have special instruments and chemicals that clean your mouth thoroughly eliminating germs, plaque or tartar behind. You should get dental cleaning done every six months when you go for your regular check-ups. Examination of gums: When the tarter reaches the region where teeth and gums meet, it starts eroding the gums. Gums are the sole support that holds the teeth in the mouth. The teeth lose their support if the gums erode, and eventually, infection can spread in the entire mouth, causing bleeding, ulcers, and severe pain. Over time, gum disease becomes more problematic and needs surgery for removal. But if you visit your dentist regularly, they can detect early stage gum disease and prevent its spread through cleaning or medication. Oral cancer detection: Oral cancer is asymptomatic in its earlier stage. You cannot recognize its signs and symptoms. But your dentist is trained to recognize the signs of the onset of oral cancer. If diagnosed early, oral cancer can be cured using medications. But if it spreads in the mouth, there is no option to treat it except surgery and painful chemotherapy. If the dentist observes a hint of oral cancer during the regular dental check-ups, he/she can detect and help diagnose it. If diagnosed with oral cancer, you can receive treatment in the early stage. Keeping a watch on dental damage due to bad habits: Many people have bad habits like chewing ice, biting nails, eating hard or sticky sweets, clenching the jawbones, smoking, brushing teeth with a hard brush, and drinking wine & coffee regularly. These habits may sometimes cause damage to the teeth and gums. Dentists also check to see if your mouth has undergone damage due to bad habits and can provide the appropriate dental treatment. Checking the dental cavity for internal damage or infection: Regular dental check-up occurs in two phases. The first phase includes external check-ups by the dentist using the magnifying lenses and other equipment, and the second phase includes an internal check-up of the dental cavity with the help of the X-rays detection technique. The X-ray of your dental cavity clearly shows the internal damages in your dental cavity, specifically those inside your teeth and under your gums. They also cover the jawbones. Thus, regular dental check-ups will let you know about any internal damage, which further helps you to remove the damage with suitable treatment. Moreover, it also checks for the damaged filling in your teeth, which is then treated by the dentist. Preventive dental care: Dentists conduct preventive care which includes treatments like tartar and plaque removal, scaling of teeth, antibiotic prophylaxis (for some patients), removing the cavities and filling the gaps, cleaning the gums and entire oral cavity, etc. The dentist knows the time when your dental cavity needs this treatment if you are visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups. This treatment prevents you from any dental problems for a longer time. Thus, there are many benefits to regular dental check-ups. Moreover proper care of teeth will give you white, clean, and brighter teeth. This enhances your looks and increases your self-esteem. Never skip your regular dental check-ups, and avoid dental problems! If you are concerned about your oral health or thinking of getting a regular dental check-up done, consult with the Tacoma Dental Group for a personalized experience, specific to your dental needs. Preserve your natural smile by selecting the best dental solutions. For more information about impacted wisdom teeth and the problems, consult our team of professionals. You can also visit our website https://tacomadentalgroup.com/

    Dental care, Dental Implants, Healthy Foods
  • Posted on November 13, 2019 5:05 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
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    There have always been conflicting opinions about wisdom teeth. While dentists suggest having to take them out, there are some people who believe that it really isn’t necessary. After all, they don’t cause you harm! Unfortunately, dental pain is something we all dread. A very common reason to visit the dentist is to treat the “Wisdom Teeth” and the pain and fear of dealing with the wisdom teeth. Let's remember that even with the best of dental hygiene, wisdom tooth problems such as swelling and infection are unavoidable. To define what wisdom teeth are, here is a simple explanation: “The "wisdom teeth", or third molars, are the last of the permanent teeth to erupt furthest back in each quadrant of the mouth. This tends to occur at the age of 18-25 years ways the teeth. By the time wisdom teeth erupt, there may not be enough space in the jaw for this process to occur normally. The result is impaction, where the tooth emerges at an abnormal angle. “ Here is what needs to be understood Just because your wisdom teeth cause no pain or harm doesn’t mean they are fine. Your teeth could be stuck or impacted.  Impacted wisdom teeth could mean your mouth is too small to make room for them to grow or the teeth could be growing at an angle obstructing and thus damaging other teeth. The other serious complications that could arise out of this are extensive tooth decay, infection, gum disease and more. This is when removal is needed. When should I get them out? An X-ray will show when the extra molars are causing damage to surrounding teeth, eventually leading to pain. Sometimes, the X-Ray can show other conditions as a result of wisdom teeth. Some of them are listed here:  Cysts around the new teeth. This could lead to a damaged jaw and damaged nerves Untreated problems with wisdom teeth can lead to sinus pain Sometimes, tissue around the area can swell leading to inflamed gums Cavities caused due to bacteria growing in the teeth spaces Impacted wisdom teeth usually happen with crowding of other teeth  Regular dental check-ups are essential for complete dental hygiene. Sometimes, the wisdom teeth do not show any signs of damage or infection, thus regular check-ups ensure these problems are tackled at the earliest.  While some people do not experience any symptoms, some do experience mild to severe pain. So if you're experiencing any pain in your jaw, talk to your dentist. They will be able to assess your wisdom teeth. In most cases, an X-ray will help them understand the problem, rule out major concerns or maybe refer you to a specialist if needed.  For impacted wisdom teeth, the dentist will look at the shape of your mouth and the position of your teeth to make a decision. The age of the patient plays a role too. What are the risks? As with any surgery, there are some risks associated with the procedure. Some minor swelling, bruising, bleeding, and pain is to be expected, and this usually lasts no more than one week. They are just wisdom teeth, so should you have them removed? Sometimes, people simply dread any surgical procedure. So, if you are still not ready to part with your molars, the best thing you can do is schedule an appointment with an expert in the field. An open conversation about your dental health with the dentist is a great way to address concerns and fears.  You can ask your dentist to explain what he sees with your teeth. Also, if the requirement for wisdom teeth removal isn’t immediate, you can wait several months to see if things change before making your decision. But if you have pain or notice swelling or a bad odour near your back teeth, it may be time for a second look. To conclude, remember, dental hygiene plays an important role in the quality of life. Seek professional help and contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. “Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.” A visit to the dentist at least twice a year is crucial to your overall oral health, for cleanings and check-ups and general treatment. If you’re experiencing any dental issues, make an appointment with your dentist. They can look at the health of your teeth and check for potential problems. A professional dental care expert will clean your teeth and do a thorough examination. They may use dental instruments to check for sensitivity, and they might also order an X-ray on your teeth to rule out concerns such as impacted wisdom teeth or cavities. A dentist will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions.   If you are concerned about your oral health or thinking of getting a regular dental check-up done, consult with the Tacoma Dental Group for a personalized experience, specific to your dental needs. Preserve your natural smile by selecting the best dental solutions. For more information about impacted wisdom teeth and the problems, consult our team of professionals. You can also visit our website https://tacomadentalgroup.com/  

    Dental care, oral health
  • Posted on October 9, 2019 11:28 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
    No comments

    Regular care and maintenance of oral hygiene goes a long way for the quality of life… Maintaining oral hygiene isn’t only about having a beautiful smile. Healthy dental habits go a long way in ensuring the overall health and well-being of a person. It gives people social confidence and is also a great indicator of one’s general health. Please must remember that bacteria from the mouth can cause infection in other parts of the body. Dental disease is highly preventable and the risks of ignoring dental health are many. Some of them are cardiovascular diseases, stroke, periodontal disease and other bacterial and inflammatory conditions. While experts say that these conditions are completely avoidable, one must take proper care to ensure healthy oral hygiene. This means one must try and follow what is mentioned in the list below: Completely eliminating tobacco smoking/chewing is essential to dental health, which also prevents oral and other cancers Minimize or limit alcohol consumption as the risk factors associated with this are far and many. They include oral and other cancers, cardiovascular disease, liver cirrhosis and trauma Improper hygiene causes bad breath and bacterial infections Stress and trauma are other factors one needs to keep under control for a healthy dental life Diet – A well-balanced diet is essential to maintaining good dental health. Sodas, sugar, highly fatty foods are not advised, but daily intake of fresh vegetables, fruits, greens and calcium-rich products is essential Good dental hygiene such as daily brushing and flossing keeps bacteria under control Did you know that bacteria from the mouth can actually affect the digestive and respiratory tracts leading to disease and infection?  Oral health is an indicator of overall health. Poor dental health may lead to the following health conditions: Endocarditis: A condition when bacteria from the mouth lines the heart chambers  Cardiovascular disease: Research suggests that heart disease, clogged arteries and stroke may be linked to inflammation and infections that oral bacteria can cause. Pregnancy and birth complications as a result of Periodontitis is another cause for concern Pneumonia is yet another life-threatening condition that is caused by bacteria in the mouth spreading into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases While improper dental care can lead to a host of problems, it is also important to note that there are few underlying conditions that impact dental health. Conditions that affect oral health: Diabetes: Diabetics are at an increased risk for gum infections as blood sugar levels directly impact gum health. Also, since the resistance is considerably low, there are higher chances of infection. However, regular periodontal care can improve diabetes control. HIV/AIDS: Mucosal lesions are most common amongst people who have HIV/AIDS. Osteoporosis: This bone-weakening disease is linked with periodontal bone loss and tooth loss. Certain drugs used to treat osteoporosis carry a small risk of damage to the bones of the jaw. Alzheimer's disease: Worsening oral health is seen as Alzheimer's disease progresses. How can I protect my oral health? To protect your oral health, practice good oral hygiene daily. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush using fluoride toothpaste Floss daily Use mouthwash to remove food particles left after brushing and flossing Eat a healthy diet and limit food with added sugars Replace your toothbrush every three months or sooner —  if bristles are splayed or worn Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings Avoid the use of tobacco and tobacco products. Remember, dental hygiene plays an important role in the quality of life. Seek professional help and contact your dentist as soon as an oral health problem arises. “Taking care of your oral health is an investment in your overall health.” A visit to the dentist at least twice a year is crucial to your overall oral health, for cleanings, check-ups and general treatment. If you’re experiencing any dental issues, make an appointment with your dentist. They can look at the health of your teeth and check for potential problems. A professional dental care expert will clean your teeth and do a thorough examination. They may use dental instruments to check for sensitivity, and they might also order an X-ray on your teeth to rule out causes like cavities. A dentist will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions.  If you are concerned about your oral health or thinking of getting a regular dental check-up done, consult with the Tacoma Dental Group for a personalized experience, specific to your dental needs. Preserve your natural smile by selecting the best dental solutions. For more information about enamel wear and sensitivity problems, consult our team of professionals. You can also visit our website: https://tacomadentalgroup.com/

    Dental care
  • Posted on September 9, 2019 5:27 am
    Dr. Ron Lo DDS
    No comments

    The stinging pain or discomfort one experiences after having something really cold or a hot drink is probably a sign of tooth sensitivity. While it is not uncommon among people, there are very few who recognize this and take proper measures. To define and understand tooth sensitivity better, here is a simple gist “Tooth sensitivity is a common problem that affects millions of people. Basically, tooth sensitivity involves experiencing pain or discomfort to your teeth from sweets, cold air, hot drinks, cold drinks or ice cream. It also causes discomfort from brushing and flossing.” Sensitive teeth can be extremely painful, as teeth respond to certain stimuli, such as hot or cold temperatures. There are a number of reasons why some people experience this discomfort but most cases of tooth sensitivity are a result of poor dental hygiene. Let us have a quick look at some of the symptoms of sensitive teeth In most cases, people with sensitive teeth experience pain as a response to certain triggers. While the symptoms may seem temporary, they could be mild or intense pain at any given point. More so, the effect of the pain is felt in the roots of the affected teeth. Here are some triggers or external stimuli that may cause pain: Pain while having hot foods, hot drinks and/or cold foods and beverages Exposure to chilled air Discomfort while consuming sweet foods and drinks Highly acidic content foods and beverages When cold water is used to rinse the mouth Pain during brushing or flossing teeth Sensitivity while using alcohol-based mouth rinses Tooth sensitivity localized to one tooth Pain when biting down or chewing What causes sensitive teeth? Sometimes, people with sensitive teeth have thinner enamel than others, making their teeth awfully sensitive to extreme temperatures. When the enamel, which is the protective outer layer, is worn out or thinned this could put the individual through the discomfort. The enamel wears out due to the following reasons: When one brushes their teeth too hard The use of a hard toothbrush Grinding your teeth at night Regular intake of acidic foods and beverages Another condition that leads to tooth sensitivity is Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), wherein acid from the stomach and esophagus comes up causing the wear down of teeth and enamel overtime Gum recession is yet another cause that can leave sections of the tooth exposed and unprotected Tooth decay, broken teeth, chipped teeth can most likely end up with sensitivity in a specific tooth or region in the mouth instead of most of the teeth Dental work like fillings, crowns, or teeth bleaching may also lead to temporary tooth sensitivity How is tooth sensitivity treated? For mild sensitivity, over-the-counter dental treatments include using toothpaste specifically made for sensitive teeth. Using an alcohol-free mouth rinse, softer toothbrushes and brushing more gently can also help. Furthermore, maintaining good oral hygiene can to a very large extent help in reducing or preventing tooth cavities, sensitivity and other oral health problems. Few simple ways to maintain good oral hygiene: Dental care should begin as soon as a child’s first tooth appears, usually around six months Brush twice a day and floss daily Rinse after meals Don’t smoke or use smokeless tobacco Maintain a healthy diet of grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products Another very important tip is using the right technique while brushing - Brush with a soft-bristled brush for 2 minutes, twice a day. Place your brush at a 45-degree angle to your gums and move back and forth in short strokes. Don’t brush too hard or too frequently—you can cause gum recession and experience sensitivity.” Remember, tooth sensitivity is not just painful but could affect oral health in the long run. If none of the over the counter remedies work it is best to seek professional help. A visit to the dentist at least twice a year is crucial to your overall oral health, for cleanings and checkups and general treatment. If you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity, make an appointment with your dentist. They can look at the health of your teeth and check for potential problems like cavities, loose fillings, or recessed gums causing the sensitivity. A professional dental care expert will clean your teeth and do a thorough examination. They may use dental instruments to check for sensitivity, and they might also order an X-ray on your teeth to rule out causes like cavities. A dentist will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solutions. Doing so is especially helpful if you have a history of dental issues, such as teeth sensitivity or frequent cavities. If you are concerned about your oral health or thinking of getting a regular dental check-up done, consult with the Tacoma Dental Group for a personalized experience, specific to your dental needs. Preserve your natural smile by selecting the best dental solutions. For more information about enamel wear and sensitivity problems, consult our team of professionals. You can also visit our website https://tacomadentalgroup.com/

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