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Halloween: Before and After

October 28th, 2013

Happy Halloween! I'm definitely not one of those dentists who will tell you to never eat candy. Have fun, keep it reasonable, and consider brushing twice on Thursday night so you're not haunted by cavities like Jack O'Lantern* here  :-O

Cavities, while frightening, don't happen mysteriously over night from eating a lot of sugar. Prolonged and routine exposure to sugar feeds bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria produce acid that rots (demineralizes) your teeth over time and even entrench themselves further by building up a sticky film to live in - plaque. Plaque calcifies or hardens into tartar over time, making a fortress for those bacteria!

It's deviously simple, what these bacteria do. YOU feed THEM every time you eat, especially when you eat simple sugars. And if you let them live unhindered in the nooks and crannies of your mouth, tooth decay is the predictable outcome.

Common sense steps for those worried about tooth decay include 2-3 times daily brushing (ideally with a fluoride toothpaste, but the most important thing is breaking up the bioflim), once daily flossing, and limiting frequency of snacking.

With snacking, as far as your teeth are concerned, more important than the amount of sugar you ingest is how often sugar is washing over colonies of hungry bacteria. The same Coca-Cola sipped every 10 minutes all day long is MUCH more destructive to your teeth than drinking the entire can all in one sitting (consider not doing that either, though, if you are worried about your health).

If you'd like to know more, give us a call: 360-459-1600. We'd love to have a personal discussion and provide you with a thorough dental screening (usually covered by insurance or just $19 including x-rays for new patients).

*yes this is/was my pumpkin this year!

Invisalign: Closing the Gap

October 23rd, 2013

Just finished up treatment with an amazing patient, using Invisalign to close up a large diastema (gap) between his front two teeth. He graciously allowed me to post his full face before and after photos. We think he's the greatest but sadly for us we'll only get to see him every six months from now on because he has a super healthy mouth!

InvisAlign is a computer-guided orthodontic system using a series of plastic trays that are clear and removable to guide teeth into a new position. I happily refer many orthodontic cases to a specialty trained orthodontist (big fan of Dr. Alexander over by St. Petes), but I love to discuss treatment options with patients, clear/prepare their mouths for orthodontic treatment (hierarchy of needs, gotta take care of that decay first!), and we do also do a number of cases at our office with fantastic results at a significant savings!

Any questions, give us a call: (360) 459-1600.

The Mission Fundraiser Show!

October 22nd, 2013

MC Skip, Dr. Venn Peterson, and myself after "Not Another Toothache Blues"

Thanks to everybody who came out for the 2013 Olympia Union Gospel Mission fundraiser extravaganza! I loved being a part of it again this year and getting to know some of the other awesome dentists in our community even better, including Drs. Bath, Psaltis, Kern, Winters, Peterson, and Russell. Great group, great show! We raised $44,759 for the Mission's free dental clinic (thanks in no small part to some generous matching donors).

Click here to see a video of the acoustic number that Dr. Peterson and I did together, a rewrite of Jim Croce's "Workin' at the Carwash Blues" that we called "Not Another Toothache Blues".

Also scroll down for more pictures and to see the song's witty and meaningful lyrics (that some genius must have written! :)

Thanks to Charlene Welsh for sending me the video and photos!

"Taking Care of Patients" ...with hardware drills, oh my!


"Run Around Sue" ...that Dr. Winters has a heckuva voice!


"Cavities" done to the tune of "Lemon Tree" ...I am too young to know this song.

Lyrics for "Not Another Toothache Blues"

Well I had first heard bout the Union Gospel Mission As I waited out the rain in this door Tried to find me a comfortable position But nothing seemed to help anymore He wouldn't listen to the fact that I was a genius I said man, stop that crying on your shoes But I got them steadily depressin', low down mind messin' Not another toothache blues Well I should be sitting in an air-conditioned Office in a dental chair Talking some cash to the secretaries sayin' Here now doctor it's this one over here Instead I'm stuck here holding my jaw with a rag And dying from this pain in my tooth Cause I got them steadily depressin', low down mind messin' Not another toothache blues You know a man of your dire need must consult with a dental physician But till I get myself straight I guess I'll just have to pray That they can get you in down at the Mission Well all I can do is shake my head That you might not believe it's true There's people in this city who'll give you more than pity Helping you is what they can do I ain't no high roller, please help me with my molar In any way that you can or you choose With them steadily depressin', low down mind messin' Not another toothache blues

Odontoplasty: Tooth Recontouring

October 10th, 2013

Above: Before picture showing heavy stain buildup on rough surfaces and a chipped tooth.

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Below: After picture showing teeth smoothed with microabrasion and the edges recontoured ("odontoplasty"). This took 10 minutes with no numbing!

If you've ever checked out my Facebook page, you know I've taken lots of great odontoplasty photos! This is something I do for people all the time at no cost, especially if I'm already set up to do something else.

Recontouring teeth can make such a huge impact, no numbing is needed, and it takes about 10-15 minutes tops! The biggest complaint I get is a little water on the face (don't you hate when it runs into your ears?) and "why didn't I get this done sooner?!"

In the Before and After above, I also removed all of that stain and then some with a little microabrasion. The patchy white tones in these teeth are caused by "fluorosis", which stems from too much fluoride in drinking water when these teeth were devoloping (usually seen in well water or when added by drops, not in the quantities seen in municipal water supplies). This caused a little mottling in addition to the color variation, which made the surfaces rough and attract an inordinate amount of stain. Microabrasion not only easily removed the stain and smoothed the surface, the patchy tones evened out a little as well.

Any patient of mine with any recontouring needs or desires, just ask and I will do what I can for you too!

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