My Blog

Posts for: February, 2020

February 20, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Smile  

Discover the benefits of dental veneers and why so many people are turning to this cosmetic dentistry procedure.

Did you know that as many as 45 percent of Americans believe that a smile is the most attractive feature? Having a beautiful smile certainly goes a long way, and if you have certain imperfections that you feel are holding you back from the smile you deserve then our Lake Oswego, OR, cosmetic dentist Dr. Colin Smith and his team can help.

Dental veneers are thin shells made from porcelain that mimic the look of real tooth enamel. Our Lake Oswego dentist will take measurements of your teeth to ensure that your custom veneers perfectly cover your teeth and offer incredibly natural results. Dental veneers are ideal for adults that are looking to fix these cosmetic flaws,

  • Discolorations and deep stains
  • Chips and minor cracks
  • Overlapping or crowded teeth
  • Minor gaps between teeth
  • Oddly shaped teeth
  • Short and stubby-looking teeth
  • Worn teeth

Are you dealing with any of these issues? If so, then it’s time to talk with our dental team in Lake Oswego, OR, about getting dental veneers.

What makes dental veneers so popular? Along with offering quick and amazing results to transform smiles, many people are turning to dental veneers because,

  • The treatment process is quick and non-invasive: Most people can get their new restorations in just two appointments.
  • Tooth preparation is minimal: Only a small amount of enamel is shaved down from the front of your teeth to make room for these 0.5mm porcelain shells.
  • Veneers look natural: Not only is porcelain incredibly durable, it also looks just like tooth enamel. Porcelain even reflects light in the same way. We work with you to get veneers that give you a naturally whiter smile.

If you are interested in getting dental veneers our Lake Oswego, OR, dentist Dr. Colin Smith and his team can help you get a beautiful smile with the help of this popular cosmetic treatment. Call Lake Oswego Dental at (503) 635-3653 to learn more about veneers and to find out if they are right for you.

February 20, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Discover the tooth replacement that acts just like a real tooth.

Even though dental implants have been around since the 60s it hasn’t been until the last decade or so that more and more people have been turning to our Lake Oswego, OR, dentist Dr. Colin Smith and his team for dental implants. An implant offers an incredibly lifelike tooth replacement that is made from long-lasting and biocompatible materials. Wondering how dental implants work and whether they are right for you? Let’s find out!

How does a dental implant work?

To understand how an implant works it’s first important to understand that this restoration is made up of three different components:

  • An 8-16mm long metal post or screw
  • An abutment (an attachment that connects the implant and false tooth)
  • A replacement tooth (e.g. crown, bridge or dentures)

The metal post is a replacement tooth root, which means that our Lake Oswego, OR, will need to place the dental implant into the jawbone. During the healing process, the implant will fuse together with bone and tissue. From there, an abutment is placed on top of the implant, making it possible to connect the jawbone-fused implant with the replacement tooth or teeth above the gums.

Who can benefit from dental implants?

This tooth replacement option is ideal for just about any healthy individual who is faced with tooth loss. Some of the factors that we look at to determine whether implants are right for you include:

  • Age: Implants are ideal for adults because their jawbones have fully developed so they can easily support an implant. In fact, adults of all ages can receive implants, even seniors!
  • Your health: Health is a major factor to consider before deciding whether you should receive implants. The ideal candidate for implants will be in great general health and also maintain good oral hygiene. We will go through your medical history and examine your smile fully to make sure that you are healthy enough for implants.
  • Dedication to treatment: Before receiving any restorative treatment, our dental team wants to make sure that you are committed to the process. While it can take months to get your implant the benefit is that you will have this artificial tooth the rest of your life. Get the treatment you need now and reap the long-term health benefits.

Interested? Give us a call

Are you dealing with tooth loss? Looking for a dentist in Lake Oswego, OR, that can provide you with dental implants? If so, you’ve come to the right place. The team at Lake Oswego Smiles has placed countless dental implants and can place yours, too. Schedule a consultation by calling (503) 635-3653.

By Lake Oswego Smiles
February 20, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures

Every year many parents learn their “tweenager” or teenager needs their bite corrected, often with specialized orthodontics. Imagine, though, if these families could go back in time to when their child’s poor bite was just developing to stop or slow it from forming.

Time travel may still be science fiction, but the approach suggested isn’t. It’s called interceptive orthodontics, a group of techniques and procedures performed during the early stages of jaw development. The focus is usually on getting abnormal jaw growth back on track, enough so that a poor bite won’t form.

The upper jaw, for example, may be growing too narrow, reducing the amount of available space for tooth eruption. If it isn’t corrected, teeth can erupt out of position. To correct it, an orthodontist places a palatal expander in the roof of the child’s mouth (palate). The appliance applies gentle pressure against the inside of the teeth, which stimulates the jaws to develop wider.

The expander works because of a separation in the bones at the center of the palate, which later fuse around puberty. The pressure applied from the expander keeps this gap slightly open; the body then continues to fill the widening expansion with bone, enough over time to widen the jaw. If you wait until puberty, the gap has already fused, and it would have to be reopened surgically to use this technique. Ideally, then, a palatal expander should be employed at a young age.

Not all interceptive techniques are this extensive—some, like a space maintainer, are quite simple. If a primary (baby) tooth is lost prematurely, teeth next to the empty space tend to drift into it and cause the intended permanent tooth to erupt out of place due to a lack of space. To prevent this an orthodontist places a small wire loop within the space to prevent other teeth from moving into it.

These are but two examples of the many methods for stopping or slowing a developing bite problem. To achieve the best outcome, they need to be well-timed. Be sure, then, to have your child undergo an orthodontic evaluation around age 6. If an interceptive orthodontic approach is needed, it could eliminate the need for more extensive—and expensive—treatment later.

If you would like more information on treatments to get ahead of bite problems, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Lake Oswego Smiles
February 10, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth extractions  

Dentists around the world routinely remove diseased or damaged teeth every day. While some extractions require surgery, many don't: Your family dentist can perform these simple extractions, usually with little complication.

The term simple doesn't necessarily mean easy—as we'll note in a moment, it takes a deft and experienced hand to perform this type of extraction. The term in this case refers more to the type and condition of the tooth: The tooth roots are relatively straight and reside in the bone at an accessible angle. There are otherwise no meaningful impediments to removing it straight out.

The idea of “pulling a tooth” out of the jaw isn't the most accurate way to describe the procedure. A tooth is actually held in place within its bony socket by the periodontal ligament, a tough, elastic tissue between the tooth root and the bone that attaches to both through tiny fibrous extensions. The best method is to first loosen the tooth from the ligament's tiny attachments, for which experienced dentists can develop a certain feel. Once released from the ligament, the tooth will usually come free easily from its socket.

Not all teeth, though, can be removed in this manner. Teeth with multiple roots like back molars, and without a straight trajectory out of the socket, can have a complicated removal. Other dental conditions could also prove problematic for simple extraction, such as brittle roots that might fragment during removal.

For these and other complications, your general dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon for the tooth extraction. But even with the surgical component, these more complicated extractions are relatively minor and routine—millions of wisdom teeth, for example, are removed every year in this manner.

If you have a tooth that needs to be removed due to disease or injury, your dentist will first determine the best way to remove it and will refer you, if necessary, for surgical extraction. And whatever kind of extraction you undergo, the dentist performing it will make sure you remain pain-free during the procedure.

While tooth preservation is usually the best course for long-term dental health, it's sometimes best to remove a tooth. If that should happen, your dentist will make sure it's done with as little discomfort to you as possible.

If you would like more information on dental extraction methods, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Simple Tooth Extraction?