Friday, May 27, 2016

Pre-Medication for Dental Work After Joint Replacement


What is pre-medicating? What do artificial joints have to do with dental treatment? Why is this related to my oral health and not just overall health?
Good questions! Although artificial joints can seem like a far cry from concerns with your dental health, the two are more related than one may think. When it comes to artificial joints, there is an increased risk of infection due to the inorganic material in the body that should be taken into consideration. This is true from the time of placement, but it may also play a role with future medical treatments. It has long been suggested that pre-medicating should be a standard prerequisite to dental and other procedures, but what is pre-medicating and why would it help?

Pre-Medication Before Dental Procedures

Pre-medicating is the act of giving medication prior to a medical or dental procedure, which is done with the intention of staying ahead of potential infection problems. The theory is that bacteria from the mouth can enter the blood stream, and those with artificial joints are already more susceptible to infection. Pre-medication is meant to help mitigate this risk prior to the procedure to keep your overall health in check from start to finish.

Sounds simple – what’s the dilemma?

Your replacement joints may not affect treatments at all! Many question pre-medication as it does not appear to be necessary. In fact, the ADA directly states “In general, for patients with prosthetic joint implants, prophylactic antibiotics are not recommended prior to dental procedures to prevent prosthetic joint infection.” That being said, as is often the case with medical procedures: effective treatment truly is developed on an individual basis. In order to ensure our office meets your personal needs, it is our protocol to ask the medical doctor who placed the artificial joint if they recommend we pre-medicate before dental procedures. In this way, we can be confident you are receiving quality treatment from all your medical providers.

Please be sure to let us know if you have artificial joints, or any out of the ordinary medical circumstances. We will be sure to take them into consideration when it comes to developing your treatment plan. For the most part, your artificial joints will not require special treatment on your end – we can treat you as we would any other patient to keep your smile looking sharp!

2208 North 30th St., Suite 201
TacomaWA 98403

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Deep Cleaning: What it means to you


You’re a good person – you pay your taxes, pick up litter, and make it to the dentist every 6 months. Now you’re being told you may need a deep cleaning…but don’t you clean your teeth every day? And isn’t a deep cleaning what the dentist always does? Not quite, although we know it can sometimes feel that way.
Aregular dental cleaning is what you are accustomed to receiving every 6 months.The intention of this visit to the dentist is to maintain your healthy gums and give your teeth a little extra attention when it comes to matters of plaque and tartar, which can be difficult to remove fully with a toothbrush and floss alone. The odds are that if you are brushing and flossing every day, and taking any other steps recommended by your doctor, a regular dental cleaning is the perfect addition to your regular care that will keep your smile happy and healthy.
Deep cleaning, a necessity?
A deep cleaning, on the other hand, is what becomes necessary when the health of your teeth and gums become jeopardized by gum disease (or ‘periodontitis’). To put it in perspective, your gums are supposed to have tight and healthy seals around your teeth to protect them and keep them firmly in place. A standard part of your regular cleaning is your doctor using a diagnostic tool called a ‘periodontal probe’ to ensure this is the case; the probe is used to measure the depth of the space between your gums and teeth. Typically 1-3mm is considered normal, and there should be very little or no bleeding at all. Upwards of 4mm is a sign that you are developing ‘pockets’, which are a space between the teeth and gums that becomes prime breeding ground for bacteria and tartar buildup. Plaque that is not brushed and flossed away left on the teeth for more than 24 hours can become tartar, which only your dentist can remove. Left unattended, these pockets can deepen and compromise the tooth and the surrounding bone structure. If the dentist uses the probe and measures 4mm or more, and/or there is significant bleeding and signs of inflammation, then a deep cleaning will be scheduled to help you get your smile back on track.
Deep cleaning is not a scary process.
Oftentimes, your dentist will break the cleaning into two separate visits to most effectively treat your mouth, this is especially important if your entire mouth needs attention so that you’ll be numbed in only smaller sections of your mouth each time, making for a completely comfortable process and quick recovery. The most common forms of treatment are ‘scaling’ and ‘root planing’. The process of scaling involves using a professional tool to remove plaque and tartar from both the surface of the teeth, and the pocket area that has been created between your teeth and gums. A scaling instrument, on the other hand, removes plaque and tartar from the surface of the root of your teeth, which is below the gum line and not visible. These tools are the only thing that can removed built up plaque, as even floss cannot reach far into deepened pockets. The good news is they do a wonderful job of cleaning up any tartar that has built up beneath the visible surface.

Periodontitis is a progressive disease, and left unattended can turn into a much more serious problem. Fortunately, the treatment is typically straight forward and as long as you follow the doctor’s aftercare instructions, the bacteria should be reduced to manageable levels and your gums should return to normal and lose any signs of redness. If you are feeling pain or sensitivity in your teeth, have red and/or puffy gums, or are experiencing bleeding during normal brushing and flossing – call us. The sooner periodontitis is identified the easier it is to treat and the less expensive it is for you, if you have any concerns about your oral health just remember that a professional evaluation is never harmful andmay offer you some great information.

2208 North 30th St., Suite 201
TacomaWA 98403

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Dangers of Crunchy Munchies


Easter means many things to different families everywhere, but one thing that remains consistent is the appearance of candy! Whether it’s hidden in eggs or just passed around, it comes at a nice nearly halfway mark in the year from Halloween. Sweets make for some excellent treats, and there is no reason not to indulge (in moderation of course)! However, all candies are not created equal, and it may be worth knowing which ones you can have relatively guilt free, and which could spell trouble for your wonderful smile.

When it comes to Easter indulgences, chocolate may make it onto the nice list – we know, this is great news to many of you. The less forgiving candies are the ones that make that all-too-familiar CRUNCH! Hard candies, like lollipops or jolly ranchers, can be an awfully tempting treat to bite. But best case scenario is they can pack hard-to-reach pieces of sugar into your gums that end up sitting there, as saliva can have a difficult time breaking them down. Worst case scenario, that crunch sound may be coming from a broken tooth, and sending you straight from your Sunday activities into our office. 

We do love seeing our patients, but not at the expense of their healthy smile! It happens more often than you think, and it’s not just because of the sugar – even some who are prone to absentmindedly crunching on ice have discovered the dangers of biting down on crunchy munchies when they find a piece of their tooth broken off. Your teeth are durable for normal eating and chewing, but anything that causes too much stress can run the risk of chipping or breaking one of your pearly whites. Before you try to impress your friends with breaking that jaw breaker in half, remember that it’s earned that name for a pretty good reason.

Even if you resist that satisfying crunch, there are still a few other points of concern for hard candies that you don’t run into with other options (like chocolate!). Hard candies that you suck on tend to spend a concentrated period of time in a single location, which over-exposes particular areas of your mouth to sugar and lead to a very concentrated build-up of acid, which can be a quick way to damage the enamel. Consider this next time you find yourself unwrapping that tootsie pop or after-meal mint, and perhaps enjoy a stick of gum instead. It’s not often that the solution for a sweet treat is yet another sweet treat, but you’re in luck because this time it is! After enjoying your holiday treats, consider enjoying a piece of sugar-free gum – the increased saliva productions while chewing can actually help dislodge and break down the remaining sugar in your mouth.

Overall, we don’t want to take the enjoyment out of candy-filled holidays – enjoy your time with your friends and family, and definitely don’t be afraid to pop open that plastic egg and see what treats hide inside. If you do find yourself going crazy for the crunchy candies, we hope you chew safely…and if things go wrong, you always have your friends at our office to set things straight (:

2208 North 30th St., Suite 201
TacomaWA 98403

Friday, February 19, 2016

Dental Health and Pregnancy



Pregnancy changes a lot about the female body, which is no surprise considering all the physical and hormonal effects that take place over the course of those 9 months. All that considered, the profound connection between pregnancy and dental health can still be a shock to many.

As an example, the rapid surge in hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can alter the manner in which gum tissue reacts to plaque. Plaque buildup affects everybody, so it’s always important to make sure your teeth are being cleaned thoroughly. However, ‘pregnancy gingivitis’ is a condition that affects the vast majority of mothers-to-be and should be carefully monitored. Prevention is always more useful than treatment, and for that reason we encourage a diet high in Vitamin C and B12 – don’t forget, baby’s teeth are developing too so it’s important to have a diet that’s nutritious for your teeth and theirs! Be sure to brush twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss each evening as well.

In addition to ‘pregnancy gingivitis’, pregnant women are also at risk for ‘pregnancy tumors’. These tumors are inflamed, but non-cancerous, growths that may develop when the gums become swollen and irritated. Usually the tumors will resolve themselves post-birth, but if you find one and it’s uncomfortable or painful, don’t hesitate to call our office so we can help you proceed with the right treatment for you.


In general, if you are either currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should always let your dentist know immediately in order to best proceed to minimize the risk of pregnancy-related complications. If needed, most procedures can be performed during pregnancy, particularly if you are in pain or have any concerns. However, we do not recommend any elective procedures until after the baby’s birth in order to minimize health risks to you or the child. Pregnancy does come with health concerns to be monitored, but as was the case before you received the news about your bundle of joy, consistent and thorough cleaning is always your best bet. Above all else, relax and enjoy this special time!

Nicoloe M. Ancich
2208 North 30th St. 

Tacoma, WA 98403

Monday, February 8, 2016

ZOOM! Professional Whitening System




It’s an unfortunate reality that the best things in life stain teeth – whether your personal vice is soda, teas, wine, coffee, cigarettes, or one of many other staining culprits, you may find your teeth in serious need of a pick-me-up. Although dentistry’s main focus is often the health of your smile, we all know the aesthetics of your smile can be incredibly important as well. Not only can it simply hurt your confidence, stained teeth can be especially problematic in professional settings or other special events. Regardless of your reason for looking into teeth whitening, Dr.Ancich’s office is equipped and trained with Zoom Whitening technology, which can bring you the results you need at white-speed.







                Zoom Whitening is an incredible system designed to cut the time between where your teeth are now, and where you would like them to be. Offered only in professional dental practices, Zoom Whitening is exponentially more efficient than any products that can be purchased at the store. Above, you can see two case studies straight out of Dr. Ancich’s office – both of these patients achieved their amazing results in just four sessions that were only 15 minutes each – only one hour of Zoom Whitening use can have this incredible effect on your smile. The difference in the ‘before’ versus the ‘after’ photos is truly amazing, and can only be accomplished with the help of a dental professional. It may have taken months or years for the stains to build up, but we can offer you the chance to undo the damage in mere minutes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Effects of Osteoporosis on your Oral Health



Osteoporosis isn’t a new discovery, or a disease unheard of by many. That being said, many people don’t realize how closely tied to your oral health it can actually be.
In short, osteoporosis is caused by an insufficient consumption of calcium and vitamin D. It affects the bones, making them less dense and thus more likely to break. Osteoporosis is directly tied to your long-term dental health as this weakening of the bones may heavily compromise the jaw bone.  A weakened jawbone can have a host of detrimental consequences for your teeth, including increased tooth mobility, or complete tooth loss.
The best cure for the degradation of the jawbone is avoiding it all together with a balanced diet high in vitamin D and calcium, and getting a sufficient amount of exercise. Barring that, be sure to attend your dental appointments regularly so that way the structure and health of your mouth can be monitored, and any problems that may develop are addressed immediately and not permitted to deteriorate.
As it is, due to hormone imbalances and changes over life, women are most at risk to developing osteoporosis, but it can absolutely develop in either gender depending on a host of lifestyle variables, not limited to diet and exercise.
Symptoms to pay attention to that may be indicative of osteoporosis affecting the jaw include: pain and/or swelling in the gums or jaw, as well as infection; injured gums not healing in a timely fashion; teeth that become loose for no reason or after only minor strain; numbness or discomfort in the jaw; or at worst, exposed bone. If you experience any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate contacting your dentist to prevent exacerbating the issue.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fast Food During The Holidays


During the hectic holiday season, fast food is an easy go-to.  We already know that sweets and sugary desserts are not good for our teeth or our waistlines. However, even the savory fast foods can wreak havoc on our teeth!
Some problems that may arise are:
 - Acid erosion
 - Staining
 - Decay
Refined carbohydrates such as in white based pizza sauces and pastas, contain simple sugars that are able to quickly dissolve, causing acid that attacks tooth enamel.
Heavily pigmented foods such as certain spices and sauces within Chinese and Indian foods, as well as tomato based sauces, contain properties that can easily stain your teeth.  It has been suggested that if you are going to be eating any of these foods, that you begin your meal with a green vegetable such as spinach or broccoli.  Green veggies form a protective film on the surface of your teeth that creates a less porous surface for staining foods to be able to adhere to.  Therefore, your teeth have a slight barrier to stop those yummy sauces and spices from staining your teeth!
Starchy and fried foods (probably the worst items to consume health-wise) also stick to your teeth very easily.  These foods are highly processed with lots of preservatives, none of which are good for your teeth.
Even when you think you are reaching for a healthy pre-made sandwich; take a look at the ingredients contained within it.  Some contain hidden sugars and calories, as well as an overload of salt.  High amounts of salt, sugar and calories not only cause harm to your tooth surfaces and enamel, they can also contribute to high blood pressure or even a stroke!  So the next time you reach for what you think may be the "smart option" take a little peak at the ingredients, especially those contained in the spreads or sauces.  If there are high amounts of sugar or salt, you may want to consider a different option.
Large amounts of meat or tough-to-chew foods also need to be consumed in moderation.  Even though the protein is good for you, when you over-indulge in chewy and tough meats, you can negatively impact your jaw joints or even cause misalignment of your jaw as well as headaches, and tooth aches.  While you eat these types of foods, try to distribute them equally on the chewing surfaces within your mouth, alternating which side you are chewing on.
The convenience of fast foods is great!  It's always nice to be able to quickly grab something to satisfy your appetite.  Perhaps after reading this, we can all be a little bit more mindful when we go to grab a quick bite.  Take a couple extra minutes to choose what you are going to eat.  A well balanced diet is a healthy diet.  If you are going to consume fatty and sugar-filled foods, do so in moderation.  Consider more healthful choices like fresh veggies and lean meats with a side of water!  Then when you get to your sweet treat, it won't be so detrimental to your teeth!  So remember; always, always brush your teeth twice a day, be sure to regularly floss and schedule regular dental check-ups!  Bon app├ętit!


Nicoloe M. Ancich
2208 North 30th St. 
Tacoma, WA 98403