1626 Olympic Hwy N Shelton, WA 98584

Our commitment to your safety

Greetings from Shelton Dental Excellence

Dear Patient:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

• Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

• We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.

• You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect. 

• Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

• We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 360-426-4712 or visit our website at www.sheltondental.com.  

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.


Shelton Dental Excellence

Posted on Wednesday May 13, 2020 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

Straight talk about crooked teeth!

Improving your smile with Invisalign.

Straight talk about crooked teeth!

Do you ever wish for straighter teeth but don’t want all those metal braces? Are your teeth sensitive, chipping, hard to keep clean? These are just some of the problems that can occur with abnormal tooth/teeth alignment.

Misaligned teeth can lead to premature wear, gum disease, tooth loss, and buildup of bacteria associated with bigger problems, including heart disease!

With crowded teeth, it’s hard to remove plaque and bacteria. This can lead to inflamed gums, soft tissue damage, receding gums, pockets between teeth and gums, bone loss and maybe tooth loss. Early signs of gum disease are red gums, bleeding when brushing or flossing, and bad breath.

The good news is that you can correct your misalignment with Invisalign. It is a clear tray that you wear so it is more comfortable than traditional metal and bracket braces.

When your teeth are straightened, the health benefits are clear. It is easier to brush and floss around properly straightened teeth, and you are less likely to have pockets between gums and teeth that trap bacteria. Straighter teeth can help reduce risk of tooth chipping, breaking, and wear which can require expensive procedures to repair.

Give us a call at 360-426-4712 to see if you are a good candidate for Invisalign? The doctors at Shelton Dental Excellence are trained to help you get started on your journey toward properly aligned teeth and better overall health.

Posted on Tuesday April 14, 2020 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

COVID-19, Coronavirus Shelton Dental Excellence Response

Dear Patients,

We want to take a brief moment to provide you with information regarding what we have always been doing and will continue to do here at Shelton Dental Excellence.  We hold health and safety as top priority!

Here are some things we have always been doing and will continue to do, year round at the practice:

We sanitize and sterilize after each patient appointment. 

All staff are required to wash hands, use new disposable gloves, and disposable new masks with each patient. 

Provide hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility.

Employ cleaning staff that deep clean regularly.

Provide hand washing stations in all operatories and restrooms.

Use hospital, professional grade sanitizing cleaners for sanitizing and sterilizing our equipment and facilities.

Our team have always emphasized and practiced proper sanitation and sterilization techniques.

According to the WA Department of Health, you can still go to your regularly scheduled dental appointment. “Yes, if you do not have any symptoms, and you have not had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the best thing for your health is to keep up with your regularly scheduled check-ups—medical, mental health, and dental.”

We trust you have received plenty of additional information from reliable sources for more specifics on the coronavirus and staying healthy during this time.  We encourage reference to reliable sources such as World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 FAQs or the Centers for Disease Control’s Coronavirus page.

We thank you for your continued trust in us for meeting your oral and overall health.

We are wishing everyone good health and well being ALWAYS!

Posted on Wednesday March 11, 2020 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

How do you brush?

How do you brush?

Having a health mouth leads to health body and happier life.

Brushing and Flossing

To keep your teeth and gums healthy, it’s essential to brush at least twice and floss at least once a day. When brushing, it is important to take your time and spend at least two minutes brushing. You should be brushing after every meal to minimize plaque buildup. Doing so helps to prevent oral health diseases, such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Quality over quantity. It is important to correctly brush ones teeth. Follow the steps below as a guide.

Step 1: Hold the toothbrush at a 45 degree angle with the soft bristles facing towards your teeth. Massage the gums and teeth using a gentle, up and down, circular motion. The key is to be gentle.
Step 2: Make sure you clean all the tooth’s surfaces, including the chewing surface, and on the sides.
Step 3: Take your time and make sure you brush for a minimum of 2-3 minutes.
Step 4: Change up your brushing pattern from time to time. This will ensure you don’t miss the same spots.
Step 5: Choose a soft bristled toothbrush that can fit comfortably in your mouth. Your toothbrush should be replaced every 3 months to keep the bristles fresh.

How to floss properly

Step 1: Wind up some floss approximately the length from your shoulder to your finger. Wrap the floss around your index or middle fingers, leaving roughly a couple inches of space between your hands.
Step 2: Holding it tightly, slide the floss between your teeth using a sawing motion. Scrape under your gumline by curving the floss into a C shape.
Step 3: Floss both sides of the tooth and don’t forget to floss your last molars as well. Make sure you use a new section of the floss so it stays clean.
Step 4: Floss before you brush – It’s more effective this way.

Bottom line is brushing quality is better than brushing quantity. Sonicare or Oral B electric toothbrushes can help achieve this easily too since sometimes manual brushing can be challenging.
Keep in mind, though, that cleaning your teeth is what you do at home and it is important. But regular dental visits is imperative to prevent any future painful problems.
We, the dentist and team at Shelton Dental Excellence, are happy to help guide you to a better oral health. Give us a call today at 360-426-4712!

Posted on Friday January 24, 2020 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

What is a root canal?

What is a root canal?

Most people have heard horror stories of someone getting a painful root canal treatment. Hopefully by understanding what a root canal is, you will be more at ease if you ever need to have this treatment done.

First, what is inside your tooth? 
Inside teeth is a soft material called pulp that contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue. If this pulp becomes infected, it can cause extreme toothache. In some cases, that infection might require root canal therapy.

What is a root canal? Nerves enter at the tip of the tooth’s roots and run through the center of the tooth in small, thin root canals, which join up in the pulp chamber. Injury or trauma to a tooth may cause the pulp to become inflamed or infected; eventually, the pulp may die. Damaged or dead pulp leads to increased blood flow and cellular activity, creating pressure inside the tooth that cannot be relieved. This may result in pain when biting down or chewing with the affected tooth, or when consuming hot or cold drinks. Without treatment, the infection may spread, the bone around the tooth may degenerate. Sometimes infection can lead to more severe medical issues.

What is root canal therapy?

Root canal therapy is a procedure to remove damaged or dead pulp. After the pulp chamber and root canal are cleaned out and reshaped, the canal is filled with a rubber-like substance called gutta percha to prevent recontamination, and the tooth is permanently sealed. Treatment usually involves one to three appointments. After cleaning and reshaping, the tooth is sealed with a temporary crown, leave it open to drain or fill the canals, depending on the tooth’s condition. A topical medication also may be applied in the area to fight bacteria. Finally, the area is permanently sealed and a crown is placed over the tooth to reinforce its structure and improve its appearance.

How will I feel after treatment?
Tissue inflammation in the area may cause some discomfort. This usually can be controlled with over-the-counter pain relievers. Aftercare includes maintaining regular visits with your dentist, brushing and flossing your teeth and avoiding chewing hard foods with the treated tooth. Sometimes it may take several weeks for the symptom to dissipate.

Are there any potential complications?
On rare occasions, new infections may occur. This happens for a variety of reasons, including an undetected crack in the root of the tooth, a defective restoration or the breakdown of an inner sealing material. In these cases, additional follow-up and treatment may be necessary.

Are there any alternatives to root canal therapy?
The only alternative to root canal therapy is extraction of the infected tooth. This can eventually cause the surrounding teeth to move, which may result in a bad bite that ultimately requires an implant or bridge. It’s always best to keep your original tooth if possible, and root canal therapy allows you to do so.

If you or someone you know has a painful tooth, don’t delay in seeking treatment. Usually anesthetic works better if you are not already symptomatic. Do not hesitate to give us a call today at 360-426-4712. We, Shelton Dental Excellence, are here to help you!

Posted on Friday January 24, 2020 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

Dental Emergency!

Dental Emergency!

Dental emergency can occur unexpectedly. If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, it’s important to call your dentist right away. Below, we have listed some common dental emergency and tips on how to take care of the problem.

Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to ease the pain. However, never put the pill directly on the aching tooth. You can also apply an ice pack to the sore area. Never delay seeing a dental professional if you have swelling as this can be life threatening.

Chipped/Broken teeth
A broken or chipped tooth can be painful and/or unsightly. But it can usually be saved. Contact your dentist and let them know what happened.

Knocked out tooth

If a tooth is knocked out, it should be put back in place quickly (within 10 minutes), chances are good it can take root again. However, after 2 hours, the chances decrease dramatically. If the tooth looks clean, try putting it back in the socket. However, if that’s not possible, put the tooth in a container of cold milk and contact your dentist immediately to have it replaced.

Tongue or lip that’s been badly bitten
If the lip is swollen, apply an ice pack to reduce the swelling. If your tongue is bleeding, press down on the bleeding part to stop it. If bleeding persists, visit your emergency room immediately.

Object stuck between teeth
Use dental floss to gently remove the stuck object. Never use a sharp object to poke between your teeth. If you are unable to remove the object, contact your dentist.

Lost filling
If you lose a filling, apply a piece of chewed, softened sugarless gum to the tooth where the filling was lost and contact your dentist right away. Chances are that if a filling breaks off, it is most likely due to decay so don’t delay in getting the tooth treated.

Your well being is our number one priority and we will do everything possible to ensure you receive appropriate treatment.

If you’re experiencing a dental emergency, contact us at Shelton Dental Excellence for Emergency Dental Care in Shelton today at (360) 426-4712.

Posted on Friday January 24, 2020 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

Why do I have dry mouth?

Why do I have dry mouth?!

Xerostomia, more commonly known as dry mouth, is a condition related to the salivary glands. These glands help keep the mouth moist, which in turn prevents cavities and other oral health problems. When the salivary glands do not work properly, the amount of saliva in the mouth decreases, resulting in xerostomia.

Occasional dry mouth is not harmful. However if you often find that your mouth is dry, it could be a sign of certain diseases and conditions.

Often dry mouth is caused by medications, such as blood pressure, antidepressants, painkillers, diuretics, and antihistamines. There are more than 400 medications that can contribute to this condition. Other times, disease such as diabetes, lupus, Alzheimer’s disease can increase chances of dry mouth. Stress, anxiety, depression, nutritional deficiencies and dysfunction of the immune system can lead to xerostomia too.

How important is saliva?

Saliva is a natural defense for teeth and is vital to everyday processes such as tasting, swallowing, speaking and digesting. Without it, teeth are vulnerable to tooth decay and bacterial, fungal and viral infections. Human saliva is composed mostly of water, but also includes electrolytes, mucus, antibacterial compounds and various enzymes. It also helps neutralize harmful acids and provide enzymes to help digest food.

What are the signs and symptoms of dry mouth?

• Increased need to sip or drink fluids when swallowing
• Difficulty speaking
• Difficulty swallowing
• Burning sensation or soreness in the mouth
• Inability to eat certain foods
• Diminished or altered sense of taste

How can my dentist help me with dry mouth?

If you have any of the symptoms of dry mouth, it’s important to contact your dentist so that he or she can properly evaluate and diagnose the condition. A variety of methods are available to help patients manage dry mouth. Your dentist may recommend using saliva substitutes and over-the-counter mouthwashes, gels and sprays. Of course, your dentist also will recommend brushing and flossing twice a day, chewing sugarless gum, drinking plenty of water and maintaining regular dental visits. For more information, give our dentists a call at Shelton Dental Excellence.

Posted on Friday January 24, 2020 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

Acid reflux and melting teeth.

Acid reflux and melting teeth.

Have you ever tasted acid in your mouth? It is common to experience occasional gastroesophageal reflux, also known as heartburn. But if it is a chronic symptom, then you may be experiencing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition affects about 20 percent of the population.

What is acid reflux and what signs will I see?

Acid, which is produced in the stomach to aid in digestion, is normally kept in the stomach. However when muscles of the lower esophagus relaxes, then the acid can flow upward to the esophagus and even the mouth. Signs and symptoms of GERD can include heartburn, regurgitation, sore throat, erosion of tooth enamel, tooth sensitivity, bad breath, to name a few. If you are experiencing these symptoms more than twice a week, then it could be an indicator of a chronic condition.

How does GERD affect my oral health?

Constant acid can damage esophagus and increase risk of esophageal cancer. Overtime, the acid can erode tooth enamel. With more acidic environment in the mouth, you would be more prone to tooth sensitivity, decay, and discoloration. Overtime, the acid can “melt” your teeth which we call erosion.

How can I protect my teeth against acid reflux?

For oral care, it is imperative to practice good oral hygiene. This not only includes brushing twice a day for two minutes but also visiting your dentist regularly. If you have sensitivity, then a sensitive toothpaste is recommended. Dissolving baking soda in water and swish the water and rinsing can help neutralize the acid. Fluoride treatment for your teeth can help strengthen the enamel too.

If you suspect that you have GERD, please see your medical doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. It is also important to visit your dentist regularly for check up. We at Shelton Dental Excellence are here to help you. Give us a call today at 360-426-4712!

Posted on Friday January 24, 2020 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.

Do you want your teeth to go to pot?

You may wonder why is your dental provider talking about pot? It’s not news that marijuana is now legal in the state of Washington. My concern isn’t the issue of ethics, legality or right to use marijuana. I’m worried that many people don’t realize the risks of the use of marijuana, as it relates to their health. As a concerned dentist for your oral health, I feel a need to talk about an association of periodontal disease to the use of marijuana.

Periodontal disease (an inflammatory infection in your gums and bone) is a silent disease. Sometimes, you might feel some achiness, but otherwise, this gum disease does not manifest itself until you develop an abscess. At that point, it may be too late to save your tooth or teeth.

What you may not know is periodontal disease is associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, low birth weight babies, early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s, ED, smoking and more. Your mouth is the gateway to your body.

Posted on Friday November 1, 2019 by Mary Huang, D.D.S.