Welcome to the FAQs Page of Chasen Smiles in Monroe, WA

If I brush and floss every day, should I still be concerned about gum disease?

Daily brushing and flossing is absolutely essential to your ongoing dental health. It prevents bad breath and the buildup of plaque and bacteria. However, brushing and flossing alone are often not enough to prevent gum disease. Plaque can still attach between teeth and below the gum line, where brushing and flossing can’t reach. Using special tools and products, our professional hygienist removes plaque and tartar from areas not visible to the naked eye. Everyone should visit a general dentist, like Dr. Irene Chasen, least twice a year for professional cleanings and exams. Together, you and our team at Chasen Smiles can prevent gum disease and keep your teeth and gums healthy and strong.

What are scaling and root planing?

Sometimes referred to as a "deep cleaning," scaling and root planing is the most common and most conservative form of treatment for periodontal disease. If Dr. Irene Chasen detects bone loss around your teeth, scaling and root planing are necessary to rid pockets of calculus, plaque, and bacteria.

  • Scaling - the removal of calculus (tartar) and plaque that attach to tooth surfaces.
  • Root Planing - the smoothing of irregular surfaces on the root surface to prevent bacteria from reattaching.

When gum disease is in its earliest stages, scaling and root planing may be all that's needed to control the condition. In many cases, the procedure can be completed in one visit, though for advanced periodontitis, the hygienist at our beautiful Monroe, WA office may work in quadrants. If periodontal pockets are not cleaned, the result can be more bone loss and eventually, tooth extraction.

How can I prevent tooth decay?

Tooth decay is caused by certain types of bacteria that produce acid, destroying the tooth's enamel. Many different types of bacteria normally live in the human mouth. They build up on the teeth in a sticky film called plaque. Plaque bacteria convert sugar in food into acids. The best way to prevent cavities is by brushing and flossing daily and limiting sugary and starchy foods. You can also use antibacterial mouth rinses to reduce the levels of bacteria that cause cavities. Chewing gum that contains xylitol helps to decrease bacterial growth, and fluoride strengthens teeth. At Chasen Smiles in Monroe, WA, we can evaluate your risk of tooth decay and cavities and then suggest appropriate fluoride treatments. Regular general dentistry appointments to see Dr. Irene Chasen for cleanings and checkups will greatly reduce your risk of tooth decay.

Is fluoride safe?

Fluoride is safe and effective when used properly. It helps protect teeth by acting as a barrier against the acids found in the mouth. Topical fluoride products include toothpaste, mouth rinses, and professionally applied fluoride treatments. Both children and adults can receive fluoride treatments from Dr. Irene Chasen at our Monroe, WA family dentistry practice. Fluoride applied to the outside of the teeth helps to speed remineralization. While fluoride treatments are in the mouth for only a short time, fluoride levels in the mouth remain higher for several hours afterward.

Fluoride supplements are also available by prescription. They usually are reserved for children who live in areas where the water supply does not contain enough fluoride. Children who need supplements receive them from ages 6 months to 16 years.

I want straighter teeth without wearing braces. What are my options?

Patients are often unaware that they can have straighter, brighter smiles without years of orthodontic treatment. At Chasen Smiles in Monroe, Washington, we offer the latest cosmetic dental solutions for adults wanting improved smiles without braces or other invasive therapies. Porcelain veneers, also called “instant orthodontics” are thin, porcelain sheaths bonded to the surface of teeth. These restorations allow Dr. Chasen to change the size, shape, and color of your teeth in just two visits.

Do you offer alternative to metal crowns and fillings?

Absolutely! Monroe dentist Dr. Irene Chasen offers all-porcelain crowns and tooth-colored fillings for patients who would like to maintain a natural-looking smile. White fillings and crowns are excellent alternatives to traditional metal or amalgam restorations. They contain no mercury and they’re shaded to precisely match your tooth’s natural color.

How can I change the color of my teeth?

Teeth whitening products can whiten your teeth and remove stains and discoloration. Whitening or bleaching is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look.

Why should I replace missing teeth?

Many people wonder if replacing a tooth, especially a back tooth, is really worth the effort. After all, if nobody else can see it, then what's the motivation? There are several reasons to replace missing teeth, even if they're well hidden.

  • Increased self-confidence. No more hiding gaps in your smile!
  • Improved jaw health. When teeth fall out, the jaw bone begins to deteriorate, contributing to a "shrunken" facial appearance. A dental implant can remedy this issue.
  • Healthier diet. Missing teeth will limit the foods you can eat, often resulting in poor nutrition.
  • A comfortable bite. Lack of teeth affects how your jaw comes together, or your "bite." An unbalanced bite can result in TMJ dysfunction, headaches, and chronic tooth wear.
  • Articulate speech. Whistling and lisping are common speech disorders that can result from missing teeth.

Are dental implants right for me?

Dental implants are an ideal tooth-replacement solution for many patients. The implants replace missing tooth roots and provide a sound anchor for the new tooth or teeth. In addition to replacing single teeth, implants can be used to secure a bridge, or partial. Because adequate bone density is required for placement, Dr. Irene Chasen will take X-rays and examine your oral and medical status to determine if dental implants are right for you.

How do I schedule an appointment at Chasen Smiles?

Scheduling an appointment is easy! You can fill out our appointment request form, or you can call us directly at 360-794-5788. (View our office hours.) Dr. Irene Chasen welcomes new patients of all ages to her Monroe, Washington dental practice. We serve the general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry needs of families in Monroe, Snohomish, Sultan, and all surrounding areas.