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Posts for: January, 2020

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
January 27, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: dental crowns  

Dental crowns from your dentist in Kirkland, Washington can help your smile.

If you need a stronger smile, consider dental crowns to help you achieve it. In fact, dental crowns provide overall protection, to keep your teeth from breaking. You can enjoy the foods you love without worrying about damaging your smile. Dr. Bernard S. Pak at Kirkland Smiles Dental Center in Kirkland, Washington offers dental crowns to help your smile.

Damaging your smile is easier than you think. Eating hard foods can take a toll on your teeth. Grinding and clenching can cause chipping and fractures. Even normal aging plays a part in diminishing the strength of your smile.

The good news is, dental crowns provide unsurpassed protection because they cover the entire visible surfaces of your teeth above the gumline. When you bite down on a dental crown, the biting stress is spread out over the entire surface of your tooth, protecting it from breaking.

Today’s dental crown materials provide the strength you need, and they also provide the beauty you want. You can choose from:

Full porcelain crowns, which are the most cosmetically beautiful choice; porcelain reflects light, like natural tooth enamel, so these crowns are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth. Porcelain also resists stains, so a full porcelain crown will stay beautiful for years. Full porcelain crowns are the optimum choice for front teeth and teeth that are visible when you smile.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, also known as PFM crowns, which provide cosmetic beauty and increased strength because of the metal underlay; these are an excellent choice for any area of your smile because they provide increased strength for chewing and biting.

If you need a stronger, more beautiful smile, don’t wait! Find out more about how dental crowns can help your smile by calling Dr. Bernard S. Pak at Kirkland Smiles Dental Center in Kirkland, Washington today.

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
January 24, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: invisalign  

How Invisalign from your dentist in Kirkland, Washington can give you an outstanding smile.

Are you embarrassed by a crooked smile? Perhaps your teeth are rotated or crowded. Maybe your bite is out of alignment, causing jaw pain and other problems. Whether it’s jaw alignment or tooth positioning, Invisalign can help. Dr. Bernard S. Pak at Kirkland Smiles Dental Center in Kirkland, Washington offers Invisalign treatment to give you a straighter smile.

So, why should you choose Invisalign? Invisalign has revolutionized orthodontic treatment. Consider these important benefits:

  • Invisalign is the most discreet orthodontic treatment available because the system uses clear plastic trays, called aligners, which are virtually invisible to people around you.
  • Invisalign is comfortable because the smooth plastic aligners have no sharp parts to irritate or injure your cheeks, lips, tongue, or gums.
  • Invisalign treatment delivers quick results because the treatment is completed in an average of nine to fifteen months.
  • Invisalign is easy to maintain because you can remove the aligners to brush and floss your teeth and to enjoy the foods you love.

It’s true Invisalign offers many benefits, and it also offers the strength to correct problems like these:

  • Overbite or underbite
  • Crossbite or open bite
  • Tooth rotation or tooth overlap
  • Gaps or spaces between teeth

To begin your Invisalign treatment, you receive your first set of aligners and wear them for two weeks. Then you move on to a new set of aligners, which you wear for another two weeks. You continue progressing to a new set of aligners every two weeks as your teeth gradually move into the correct position. You will visit Dr. Pak every four to six weeks so he can monitor your progress until your treatment is complete.

You and your smile deserve to enjoy the benefits of Invisalign. To find out more about this amazing way to achieve an outstanding smile, call Dr. Bernard S. Pak at Kirkland Smiles Dental Center in Kirkland, Washington today.

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
January 24, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: smile makeover  

When you’re posting a profile photo on LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media sites, which shot is likely to make the best impression in terms of “likeability,” “competence” and “influence”? One in which you’re smiling and showing some teeth, for starters, according to, a crowdsourcing website that helps people evaluate their head shots. If something about your teeth is holding you back from parting your lips when you smile for the camera, here are some tried-and-true options for doing something about it!

Picture-Perfect Color, Shape and Alignment

Improving the color of your teeth may be as easy as getting regular professional cleanings, which are necessary for removal of calculus — dark-yellow hardened buildup of bacterial plaque — and can polish out superficial staining caused by certain beverages and foods.

Actually changing the color of your teeth entails whitening/bleaching. Professional whitening achieves the fastest results because it uses the highest concentration of peroxide solution and custom-fitted trays. In-home whitening kits take longer to work but are less expensive. Results last anywhere from six months to two years.

For permanent whitening results, consider veneers or crowns. In addition to changing tooth color, they can also alter tooth shape, hide wear and even minimize gaps between teeth. Veneers are affixed to the front of teeth, while crowns cover the entire tooth.

Teeth that are chipped, cracked or have noticeable areas of decay, can be restored with bonding, in which a composite resin material is applied that is colored to match your natural teeth.

You can straighten misaligned teeth and no one even has to know you’re doing it. Barely visible and entirely invisible orthodontic appliances include clear braces, lingual braces (attached to the tongue-facing side of teeth) and clear aligners, which are removable for tooth brushing/flossing, cleaning the appliance, eating, and special occasions.

If you would like more information about enhancing your smile, 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 “Beautiful Smiles by Design.”

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
January 14, 2020
Category: Oral Health

With only a few teeth now showing in your baby’s mouth, you might think it’s too early to schedule their first dental visit. But you should, and here’s why: tooth decay.

Although adults are more likely to contend with dental disease, the exception for children is tooth decay. One kind of decay, early childhood caries (ECC), can wreak havoc in children’s primary teeth. While your child may or may not be at high risk for ECC, it’s better to err on the side of caution and begin regular checkups by their first birthday.

Since primary teeth eventually give way for permanent teeth, it may not seem that important to protect them from decay. But despite their short lifespan primary teeth can have a long-term effect on dental health for one primary reason: They’re placeholders for the permanent teeth that will eventually replace them.

If they’re lost prematurely to decay, nearby teeth can drift into the resulting open space. This can crowd out the intended permanent tooth, which may then erupt out of place (or not at all, remaining impacted within the gums). Protecting primary teeth from decay—or treating them if they do become infected—reduces this risk to the permanent teeth.

Besides regular cleanings, dentists can do other things to protect your child’s teeth from decay. Applying a high strength fluoride solution to teeth can help strengthen enamel against acid attack, the precursor to decay. Sealants on the biting surfaces of teeth deprive bacterial plaque of nooks and crannies to hide, especially in back molars and pre-molars.

You can also help prevent decay in your child’s primary teeth by starting a brushing regimen as soon as teeth start appearing. Also, limit sugar intake by restricting sugary foods to mealtime and not sending a child to bed with a sugary liquid-filled bottle (including juices or breast milk). And avoid possible transfers of oral bacteria from your mouth to theirs by not drinking from the same cup or placing any object in your mouth that might go in theirs.

Tooth decay can have long-term consequences on your child’s dental health. But by working together with your dentist you can help ensure this damaging disease doesn’t damage their teeth.

If you would like more information on tooth decay in primary teeth, 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 “Do Babies Get Tooth Decay?

By Kirkland Smiles Dental Care
January 04, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: osteoporosis  

Osteoporosis is a major health condition affecting millions of people, mostly women over 50. The disease weakens bone strength to the point that a minor fall or even coughing can result in broken bones. And, in an effort to treat it, some patients might find themselves at higher risk of complications during invasive dental procedures.

Over the years a number of drugs have been used to slow the disease’s progression and help the bone resist fracturing. Two of the most common kinds are bisphosphonates (Fosamax™) and RANKL inhibitors (Prolia™). They work by eliminating certain bone cells called osteoclasts, which normally break down and eliminate older bone cells to make way for newer cells created by osteoblasts.

By reducing the osteoclast cells, older bone cells live longer, which can reduce the weakening of the bone short-term. But these older cells, which normally wouldn’t survive as long, tend to become brittle and fragile after a few years of taking these drugs.

This may even cause the bone itself to begin dying, a relatively rare condition called osteonecrosis. Besides the femur in the leg, the bone most susceptible to osteonecrosis is the jawbone. This could create complications during oral procedures like jaw surgery or tooth extractions.

For this reason, doctors recommend reevaluating the need for these types of medications after 3-5 years. Dentists further recommend, in conjunction with the physician treating osteoporosis, that a patient take a “drug holiday” from either of these two medications for several months before and after any planned oral surgery or invasive dental procedure.

If you have osteoporosis, you may also want to consider alternatives to bisphosphonates and RANKL inhibitors. New drugs like raloxifene (which may also decrease the risk of breast cancer) and teriparatide work differently than the two more common drugs and may avoid their side effects. Taking supplements of Vitamin D and calcium may also improve bone health. If your physician still recommends bisphosphonates, you might discuss newer versions of the drugs that pose less risk of osteonecrosis.

Managing osteoporosis is often a balancing act between alleviating symptoms of the disease and protecting other aspects of your health. Finding that balance may help you avoid future problems, especially to your dental health.

If you would like more information on osteoporosis and dental care, 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 “Osteoporosis Drugs & Dental Treatment.”