2015 Blog Posts

Scaling and Root Planning -- April 23, 2015

At Family Dental Care, we actively strive to help our patients maintain optimal oral health and retain their original teeth if possible. By offering scaling and root planing to treat early gum disease, the dentists can restore the health of your gums and save your smile in Port Orchard, WA.

Gum disease occurs when plaque and tartar are allowed to buildup on your teeth, creating a suitable environment for bacteria to thrive. As bacteria collect in your mouth, they will attack your teeth and surrounding gums. In its earliest stages, gum disease is called gingivitis, but if it is left untreated, it will become a much more serious periodontal disease that destroys your gum tissue and leads to tooth loss. If it is not treated, the disease can even cause a loss of bone mass in your jaw.

Scaling and root planing is one of the most effective ways to treat gum disease before it develops into a more serious disease. The procedure allows the dentist to clean between your gums and teeth all the way down to the roots in order to smooth the root structure and remove the tartar that is causing your inflammation. The procedure is incredibly effective and can stop the progression of gum disease before it irreversibly damages your teeth.

If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease or you have red, swollen or bleeding gums, schedule an appointment with our office in by calling 360-874-6846.

The Benefits of Rotary Endodontics -- April 14, 2015

If you’ve had root canal treatment to save an infected tooth, it probably didn’t occur to you to ask what types of tools your dentist used. But if your dentist used the old, manual file for removing the infected tissue, the procedure may have been pretty nerve wracking. Rotary endodontic tools, however, provide a much smoother, more comfortable experience during root canal procedures, which is why Dr. K. Singh chooses to rely on them to treat infected teeth in Port Orchard, WA.

Rotary endodontics allows the dentist to remove the infected pulp in the inner root canal more quickly, more smoothly and with less chance of complications. These electric instruments prove to be superior to the traditional, stainless steel files in a multitude of ways. This is because they are made of nickel titanium, which is much more flexible than stainless steel. Increased flexibility allows the tool to be inserted into the curved root canal without damaging the passageway.

The tools are also much quieter and do not produce a grinding noise like other tools. This helps to soothe patients’ nerves during the procedure. While the manual method can adequately save teeth during root canals, rotary endodontic tools are easier and preferred by both the dentist and his patients.

To schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care, call 360-874-6846.

Crown Lengthening -- April 8, 2015

A dentist’s first goal is always to save your teeth, which means that dental professionals have developed many dental procedures that help prevent tooth extraction. One such procedure is crown lengthening, which we use at Family Dental Care in cases where decay has decimated a tooth to a point where there is not enough tooth structure left upon which to fix a crown.

If a tooth has broken below the gum line or if decay has developed underneath an existing crown or filling, crown lengthening allows a new crown to be placed rather than extracting the tooth.

While called crown lengthening, this common surgical procedure does not actually lengthen the crown. What it does is lower the gum line, and it does this by removing gum tissue, bone or both to expose more of the tooth and provide a foundation for the crown.

The procedure is performed with a local anesthesia to numb the area. When the area is fully numb, Dr. K. Singh will pull the gums away from the teeth and expose the roots and surrounding bone. In some cases, removing a little of the gum tissue will expose enough of the tooth for placing a crown. However, it is more likely that some bone will also have to be removed from around the roots of the teeth. After removing the necessary amount of tissue and bone, the area will be washed and the gums stitched.

Our office works hard to always protect your teeth and to provide the best quality of dental care available.

Metal Free Fillings -- April 2, 2015

At Family Dental Care, Dr. K. Singh offers metal-free fillings to restore teeth to normal function without taking away the beauty of the patient’s smile. Unlike amalgam fillings, metal-free fillings match the color of the patient’s teeth and contain no mercury, making them a safe and attractive way to achieve optimum oral health.

The majority of patients and dentists prefer these fillings to mercury amalgam fillings, for both their look and function. Not only are metal fillings dark and noticeable, the can also contract with cold and expand with heat to cause cracks that will let bacteria into the tooth and eventually require further dental work down the line. Tooth-colored, composite fillings, on the other hand, both look natural and feel natural. You won’t even be able to tell that you have a filling!

Metal-free fillings are made of a strong resin composite material that the dentist bonds directly to the surface of the tooth, allowing Dr. Singh to increase its durability and stability. At our practice, we strive to keep as much of the natural tooth structure as possible to prevent fracture, and metal-free, composite fillings help us do that.

To achieve the healthy and natural smile you desire in Port Orchard, WA, contact our office by calling 360-874-6846.

Tips for a Healthier Smile -- March 25, 2015

Regular exams and cleanings with Dr. K. Singh are only a small part of a good oral hygiene routine. Everyday oral care habits also play a vital role in a healthy smile, and if you want to improve your oral health, here are some simple changes you can make.

1. Brush better. Good technique and proper duration are essential for effective brushing. To maximize your brushing, hold your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle and make sweeping circular motions away from the gums. You should brush for at least two minutes or for the length of a song.

2. Floss. Dr. Singh has probably already told you how important this is. This is because flossing can actually do a better job of removing harmful plaque than brushing, and it only needs to be done once a day. So why aren’t you doing it already? It’s the key to healthier teeth and fresher breath.

3. Chew sugarless gum. Sugarless gum is a great way to keep your smile fresh after a meal. Not only will it improve your breath, but chewing gum increases saliva production to help wash away the acids released by the bacteria in plaque. If the gum has xylitol, it even helps reduce decay-causing bacteria.

4. Replace your toothbrush. How long have you been brushing with your toothbrush? As your toothbrush ages, the bristles will fray and lose their cleaning ability. Extremely frayed bristles can even hurt your gums. Bacteria can also build up in the bristles of toothbrushes, so make sure you are replacing yours ever three to four months.

5. Switch to tap water. Tap water is treated with fluoride, which is a safe and effective technique for lowering tooth decay across the nation. Plus, it’s basically free.

For more ways to keep your smile healthy, turn to Dr. Singh of Family Dental Care in Port Orchard, WA. To schedule an appointment, call 360-874-6846.

Oral Cancer Screenings -- March 17, 2015

In recent years, people without traditional risk factors associated with oral cancer have been experiencing an increase in occurrences, which means that absolutely everyone should be screened for abnormal mouth tissue during their regular dental visit. At our office in Port Orchard, WA, we take oral cancer seriously, and we are dedicated to keeping all of our patients safe with thorough screenings.

While everyone is at risk for oral cancer, certain factors can increase your risk of developing the disease. Lifestyle choices, such as heavy drinking or smoking, can greatly affect the health of tissues in the mouth, so those that partake in these activities. If oral abnormalities are caught early, it will not only expand your treatment options, including less invasive and less radical treatments, but it will also increase your chances of beating oral cancer.

Screening for oral cancer can be done during routine checkups by Dr. K. Singh, who will look for abnormal or suspicious tissue in the mouth. If the dentist thinks it might be cancer, he will order a biopsy.

Oral cancer is a serious issue, and we are all at risk. Make sure to ask about an oral cancer screening during your next appointment. To schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care, call 360-874-6846.

Wisdom Teeth Extractions -- March 10, 2015

Your third and final molars to emerge are your wisdom teeth, which usually come in when you are between 17 and 25 years old. While many people do not experience problems with these new teeth, many others find that theirs must be removed. If your mouth does not have enough room for these molars to come in, a wisdom tooth extraction is necessary, and at our office in Port Orchard, WA, Dr. K. Singh can determine whether a wisdom tooth extraction is the best course of action for you.

Wisdom teeth are usually removed because they become impacted, which means that the tooth does not have enough room to come in straight through the gums and instead emerges at an angle. This can cause pain, damage to the jaw and a more crooked smile. Additionally, the site of impaction can become a bacterial hotspot since impacted wisdom teeth are hard to clean.

Wisdom teeth extractions can range from removing a single tooth to removing all four teeth at once. Dr. Singh will let you know what he thinks is best for you. For the procedure, he will use either a local anesthetic to numb the area or a general anesthetic to sedate you while the teeth are extracted. The tooth will then be accessed through an incision in the gums and wiggled until it is loose enough to be lifted out. If the tooth is too deeply embedded to be removed this way, it will be broken up into pieces before being removed.

Whether you are already feeling pain due to impacted wisdom teeth or have not yet felt them come in, we can determine if your wisdom teeth will cause problems for you. To schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care, call 360-874-6846.

Does Your Tooth Still Hurt After A Root Canal? -- March 4, 2015

If you’re still experiencing pain after a root canal, you may be wondering why. Aren’t root canals meant to take your pain away? There are many reasons why your tooth may still be hurting. It is possible that the base of your tooth root (periapical) is still slightly tender or that your pain is caused by a temporary filling that is a bit too high. In these cases, taking OTC painkillers, preferably ibuprofen, may be all you need to alleviate your pain while your root canal heals.

However, if you’ve had a root canal at our practice in Port Orchard, WA and are still experiencing pain that is severe or persistent, you should call our office immediately. The dentist may need to prescribe you an antibiotic to make sure the infection does not remain, or she may need to perform retreatment.

At your follow-up appointment, Dr. K. Singh will want to know what type of pain you are experiencing. Is your tooth sensitive to hot and cold? Is it the tooth root that is sensitive or the gums that are over the tooth? Is it a constant ache, or does it only hurt when biting? Is there any swelling, drainage or pus? The answers to these questions will give Dr. Singh the information he needs to diagnose your pain.

Root canals don’t always work, and there are many reasons for this, including fractures of the root, convoluted or twisted root structures and failure to protect the root canal after the procedure. If this occurs, you may need further treatment. If the root canal was successful, it should feel normal most of the time.

To schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care, call 360-874-6846.

Bonding -- February 17, 2015

Dental bonding is one of the easiest and most affordable dental procedures used for repairing teeth and enhancing the aesthetics of your smile. By bonding a tooth-colored resin to the patient’s teeth, Dr. K. Singh can correct smiles with unevenly-shaped, chipped or discolored teeth, prevent further enamel erosion and even fill cavities seamlessly and without the need for amalgam. If you’re looking to improve the health and look of your smile in Port Orchard, WA, come to our office!

Unlike other cosmetic dental procedures, bonding can usually be accomplished in a single visit to our office and doesn’t require enamel to be removed as veneers do. Bonding usually only requires light abrasion and an application of adhesive gel, which helps the resin adhere to the teeth. If being used as an alternative to amalgam fillings, tooth decay will also be removed in preparation for the filling. Once your teeth are prepared, Dr. Singh will select the right color resin for your smile and apply the putty-like substance to your tooth or teeth. The resin is then molded and smoothed until it is in the desired shape and then hardened with an LED light. After it has been hardened, the dentist will trim and shape it even further, polishing the resin until it shines like a natural tooth. Altogether, the procedure usually takes between 30 minutes to an hour for each tooth.

If you’re unhappy with your smile but unwilling to go as far as veneers, bonding can be used to improve your teeth effectively, quickly and affordably. To schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care, call 360-874-6846.

Treatment for TMJ Disorders -- February 11, 2015

TMJ is an abbreviation for temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your mandible (lower jaw) to your skull at the temporal bone. While many call disorders associated with this joint, TMJ, those disorders are more appropriately called TMD (temporomandibular disorder), and TMD can have symptoms that range from teeth grinding and headaches to trouble chewing and pain when opening and closing your mouth. TMD is not only an annoying disorder; it is also a destructive one and can cause serious damage to your teeth if left untreated. At our office in Port Orchard, WA, Dr. K. Singh can determine if you suffer from TMD and offer ways to treat the disorder.

The TMJ controls an assortment of jaw functions, including chewing, so if you’re chewing muscles or the joint itself is in pain, it is possible that you have TMD. TMD is often caused by stress, which leads to unconscious clenching and teeth grinding while awake and asleep. The disorder’s symptoms include pain, trouble chewing, lock jaw, headaches or ear pain and a popping or clicking sound when opening your mouth. However, these symptoms may be indicative of other health problems as well, so it is important to see a medical professional for a diagnosis.

Grinding your teeth is an especially worrisome TMD-associated behavior since it can lead to further problems with your mouth. If your teeth grinding is left unaddressed, you will cause serious wear to the enamel of your teeth and expose the dentin, which will make your teeth more sensitive to heat and cold and more susceptible to decay. However, you can work with Dr. Singh to relieve symptoms with mouth guards or night guards.

If you think that you might be suffering from TMD or teeth grinding, schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care by calling 360-874-6846.

Gum Disease -- February 5, 2015

While many people realize that taking care of their teeth is necessary for a good oral hygiene routine, they can often forget or neglect their gums, which are an essential part of maintaining your oral health. To stay in peak condition, your gums require periodontal cleanings and early treatment if disease does develop, and with Dr. K. Singh, patients in Port Orchard, WA can be sure that both their gums and teeth will be well cared for.

Since periodontal disease is responsible for 75 percent of all adult tooth loss cases in the United States, it is vital to check for and treat periodontal issues when they first arise. Periodontal disease develops due to plaque build-up. As it accumulates on teeth, bacteria is able to thrive, collecting around the tooth and attacking the soft tissue. In its early stages, this disease is called gingivitis, and it can cause swollen or tender gums that bleed after regular brushing and flossing. If left untreated, gingivitis can become periodontis, a much more severe gum infection that causes inflammation and damages the soft tissue and bone supporting the tooth. If periodontis is not treated, it can cause tooth loss and even a loss of bone mass in your jaw.

It is important to prevent periodontal health or catch it in its early stages, and Dr. Singh is extremely knowledgeable and experienced with helping patients maintain healthy smiles. He will work closely with you to ensure that you maintain optimal oral health

The state of your gums affects the health of your entire body, and our office works hard to make sure you receive the dental care you need. Call 360-874-6846 to schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care.

Bridges -- January 30, 2015

If you’ve had one tooth or multiple teeth extracted due to damage, decay or disease, it is important to have the resulting gap filled or your remaining teeth can shift out of position and become more susceptible to further decay. However, with dental bridges, you can replace your missing tooth or teeth and prevent this shifting.

Called a bridge because a prosthetic tooth is suspended between two crowns to fill in the missing space, this natural-looking tooth structure is usually made from gold, metal, alloys or porcelain to ensure a strong and durable smile that can last for many years.

The process of creating a bridge usually takes two visits to our office in Port Orchard, WA. During your first visit, Dr. K. Singh will create abutments out of the existing teeth on both sides of your gap. This is where the bridge’s crowns will be attached. After the abutments are in place, a mold is made of your mouth for creating the bridge, which will fit and feel as close to your natural teeth as possible. While you wait for the bridge to be fabricated in the lab, you will receive a temporary device for your convenience. Then, once the permanent device is completed, you will return to our office to have the crowns fixed to the abutments with an adhesive. The pontic between the crowns forms the bridge and replace your missing tooth or teeth.

To schedule an appointment at Family Dental Care, call 360-874-6846.

Inlays and Onlays -- January 20, 2015

Inlays and onlays are two procedures that use the tooth structure as a base for restoration. Often called partial crowns, both inlays and onlays strengthen the tooth while restoring its shape and preventing further damage or decay. At our office in Port Orchard, WA, we use these procedures to repair teeth when decay is too extensive to support a filling but not extensive enough to use a crown.

When there is no damage to the cusps of a tooth, Dr. K. Singh uses an inlay for restoration, bonding it right on top of the tooth structure. Made of porcelain, inlays are both strong and natural-looking, providing an attractive solution for repairing your tooth. Dr. Singh uses onlays when damage is a little more extensive and repairs to the cusp of the tooth are required.

Inlays and onlays can be created at a lab out of porcelain, gold or composite resin. Fabrication normally takes between two to three weeks, and during that time, you will be provided with temporary restorations. Once your permanent restorations are ready, they will be cemented in place.

To ensure that your teeth get the best dental care available, schedule an appointment by calling 360-874-6846.

Bone Grafting -- January 15, 2015

Some patients do not have the proper amount of bone mass in their jaws to allow for the placement of dental implants. However, thanks to recent developments in bone grafting, people who would not have qualified a few years ago are now able to receive dental implants to complete their smiles and protect their oral health. In Port Orchard, WA, our practice strives to help patients achieve their dental goals, and by performing bone grafting procedures, we can help patients receive the dental implants they need.

Bone grafting is a fairly common procedure that is performed by building up the jawbone with bone fragments to accommodate the dental implant. The bone used to graft to the area with too-little mass is usually take from the patient. Many times the bone is taken from another area of the mouth when the drilling takes place. The bone fragments are suctioned from the mouth and used for grafting. However, sometimes cadaver bones are also used. They are harvested by bone banks and are a very safe source.

Whether you need bone grafting or not, if you are looking to receive dental implants, Dr. K. Singh can make it happen. To schedule a consultation at Family Dental Care, call 360-874-6846.

Panorex -- January 7, 2015

At Family Dental Care, we use panoramic digital radiography to provide high-quality care to our patients in Port Orchard, WA and the surrounding areas. Panorex is an X-ray machine that is capable of capturing more of the mouth structure than a traditional, dental X-ray and can, therefore, identify many issues.

To take the X-ray you will sit in a chair with your chin on a small ledge. Once positioned, the machine will rotate 360 degrees around your head, capturing X-rays of your teeth, head, sinuses and bone, which allows Dr. K. Singh to see any potential problems and ensure that everything is functioning properly. The Panorex can also view specific types of structural problems, including infections or asymmetry.

In addition to clearer and more comprehensive images, the Panorex and other digital X-rays also produce up to 90 percent less radiation that traditional dental X-rays. This is because the digital sensor is much more sensitive to radiation than film so less is needed to form an accurate image. While traditional X-rays are considered safe by professionals, those who receive X-rays frequently or who are concerned about radiation will feel more comfortable with digital radiography.

To schedule an appointment with our office, call 360-874-6846.