March 7, 2018
Dr Lance Timmerman DMD is a Regence Dentist, a dentist for your entire family. With today’s changing climate, it is important to get the most “bang for your buck” and easy to manage your dental benefits. When seeing a dentist IN network with your insurance, coordinating and managing your benefits can’t be any easier. When Dr Timmerman was OUT of network, things were very complicated. Now that Dr Timmerman has been recruited to the network, everything is much more streamlined.
When choosing a Regence Dentist (sometimes referred to as “Regence Blue Shield”), you don’t have to shop around looking for the best price. Since it won’t cost any more or less when seeing a network provider, you can find a dentist that offers the treatment you seek, or at the location that is convenient. Dr Timmerman is among the most experienced and trained dentists in the NATION, with a Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry, a Diplomate with the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, and a fellowship in the International Congress of Oral Implantology. Less than 2% of the dentists nationwide have this level of training and experience, so he is often asked to lecture and teach OTHER dentists.
Dr Timmerman’s office is very convenient to get to. Tucked behind the Family Fun Center in Tukwila, near the Southcenter Mall (Westfield Shopping Center), Dr Timmerman practically shares a parking lot with Starfire Sports Complex (home of the Seattle Sounders). Right off exit #1 from I-405, you can arrive very quickly from all over the Seattle metropolitan area. Patients come from all over the world to see Dr Timmerman, so you are fortunate that he is so close to you!
Managing costs of dental care can be confusing. Let us help you manage your Regence dental benefits or coordinate our many financing options.
November 13, 2016
For some people, distance is not a barrier to seeking what they feel is the best treatment and dental tourism is the answer. Seattle cosmetic dentist Lance Timmerman DMD helps to make it easy for his out of state or out of country patients to have their treatment with him. From a quick trip to a full on vacation lasting a few weeks, let our 5 star service help!
Since some services are hard to find “the right provider”, many people make the voyage from all over the world to see Dr Timmerman. The more “fastidious” patient can rest easy that the result they seek is usually only TWO visits away! Usually, our international patients make a single EXTENDED trip, but sometimes they choose to do two “brief” trips. To speed up the process and reduce visits to our office, some preliminary work can be done at home. Just because this is a limited and specific procedure, we STILL require full diagnostic work up and records. To streamline the process, x-rays and preliminary impressions can be taken “at home” (in your home country, by your home dentist). This information can be sent to Dr Timmerman in advance to prepare for the case.
The first thing to do is to “arrive”. Most people will fly, so the first step is to choose the closest airport. SeaTac (designated SEA) is a mere 2.5 miles away. Call your travel agent or use a great app like Expedia.
Even MORE convenient is the proximity to a place to sleep. Homewood suites by Hilton is not merely CLOSE, but we actually share a parking lot. Beautiful hotel, walking distance… what more could you ask for? The hotel has its own shuttle service, or we can help arrange for a limo to pick you up.
Our state of the art office is only 12 miles from downtown seattle, and less than an hour for other recreational activities. Here is a list of options:
If your treatment is involved and takes a bit of time, it can be broken up into 1-2 short visits, or a longer visit with some “waiting time” involved. With so much time on your hands, entertainment and distractions may be a welcome diversion. Let us help, with both the treatment AND the things to do.
There are some things that we need:
- Email us x-rays of the teeth. ALL of the teeth. Including a panoramic x-ray
- Impressions of your teeth in PVS (polyvinyl siloxane)
- Bite registration
The above can be done at a local dental office very easily. That office may/should charge a fee for this service.
- Decide on the “style of smile” that you desire (follow the link)
- Documentation that the health of your gums are healthy/stable and no other teeth have pressing issues (nerves of any teeth need root canal therapy? Get it done BEFORE travel here)
- Schedule a skype consultation or email a detailed correspondence of desired goal.
- Decide if you would like US to handle ALL of your travel arrangements, including flights, hotel, and transportation. There will be an additional fee and non refundable.
If you present to us in a manner that is NOT healthy and prevents us to immediately start treatment, we WILL change gears. This normally means that we need to clean your teeth and gums, or whatever treatment is needed to start treatment. This MAY mean that treatment must be rescheduled after healing, or that additional time is needed for the case (instead of 3 hours blocked, we need 5 hours). If treatment changes, the fee may change as well (but may not). Matters like this will be discussed prior to starting treatment so as to avoid any misunderstandings.
May 17, 2016
Dental Implant Restoration Phases
Quite often, the BEST treatment is simply not appropriate RIGHT NOW. This can be due to a busy life, limited funds, fear of “lots of work at once”, and even a combination of these factors. Dental implant restoration phases breaks up treatment over time and can make it more affordable. The fee for dental implant treatment should be considered an INVESTMENT. This kind of treatment is not cheap, but since they last longer than most other dental treatment, it is usually considered cheaper in the long run. Nearly every form of implant treatment will exceed contributions from a dental benefit plan, so I do not encourage basing decisions on information from a dental plan. For whatever reason that YOU decide, it is the right decision for YOU.
Knowing the final goal from the beginning is important. Not only is width and length of implants a factor, but also the LOCATION. The location of implants will vary depending on the type of restoration they support, but can be different when planned. Implants to support a lower locator denture (“snap on“ denture) often are placed at the canine position (22 and 27 in the US). But an all-on-four procedure places the two front implants in the lateral/central area (23/24 and the 25/26 spots) since the other implants emerge from the tissues in the premolar region (20/21 or 28/29) or if enough bone exists, even in molar spots (19 or 30).
One important distinction: TYPE of dental implant. Mini implants are those that are narrower than 3.0 mm. Since they are so thin, they are normally solid and traditional abutments cannot be attached. These implants are normally used with a single intention, from a ball shaped top (secure O rings) to locator interface (snap on attachments), and are not currently approved for supporting crowns or bridges, despite many dentists using mini implants “off label”.
Dental Implants Are Hollow
It may be important to know the geometry of dental implants. Originally they were smooth, hollow cylinders with threads inside so things could be screwed in place after “osseointegration” (bone fusing to implant). This is similar to devices used in home improvement when attaching something to walls (hanging a picture or shelf). The device attaches to the wall, the decoration attaches to the device.
Mini implants are like a nail or wood screw; they are not hollow. This means that by design they rise above the bone, but can complicate things. With implants that allow an abutment to attach, the abutment can correct many problems with angulation or length, so if a mini doesn’t go perfectly, the entire thing must be removed/replaced.
(The take home message is that in most offices, mini implants are very limited. In offices that do NOT view them this way, they are legally correct, but acting off label and is outside Dr Timmerman’s current comfort zone).
Dental Implant Restoration Phases Plan for Future Care
If treatment will be in phases, then implants for the first phase CAN be placed in the lateral/central area. The function won’t be the SAME as if they were where they “should” be, but certainly adequate. To play it safe, the implants can be placed but not — USED until part of the final restoration. This would also be a significant savings due to lower lab fees.
Nearly ALL implant cases start out the same way and have dramatically different outcomes, so some decisions don’t need to be made until further down the process.
A “normal” progression may look something like this:
- All, many, or some teeth in a condition needing removal
- Removal of teeth, grafting of sockets
- Healing dentures placed
- Two implants placed for locator denture
- New denture with locator frame
- Two more implants
- New restoration (Hybrid denture that is screwed in place? Deutsch Removable Bridge?)
- More implants as needed/wanted
- Different restoration as needed/wanted
Sometimes we can overlap. An example is that at the time of extractions, implants may be placed. This saves time, but is not always an option. Or instead of two implants, four are placed. This eliminates the middle stages in the progression example above.
Every Case is Unique
Not every case is the same. Not every condition is the same. Each case is custom designed and usually discussed among colleagues to ensure the best possible outcome. This means that a “free consultation” is normally worth every penny, since most details that are of interest to most patients (Am I a candidate for dental implants? Will my case require extra surgery? How much will this cost?) can NOT be determined without a comprehensive and detailed exam. This requires not JUST the normal x-rays, but also CBCT (cone beam computed tomography) to look at the jaws in 3 dimensions, as well as photographs and sometimes impressions for study models. We DO offer free exams, but they usually lead to an exam, so we encourage simply starting with an exam.
April 5, 2016
Choosing a cosmetic dentist can be tough. Times have become tough. With Photoshop, the internet, and items just about ANYONE could purchase, how can you find the right cosmetic dentist for you? It seems every dentist puts on his stationary “Family and Cosmetic Dentist”. To a degree, this implies that ANY dentist can give you that “red carpet smile”. To be honest, this just isn’t true. They aren’t lying, but the use of the term or the intended meaning is not established.
Quite often, if you asked many dentists what they mean by Cosmetic Dentist, they will say they do white fillings in addition to the mercury ones. Many of these dentists, when asked to give a perfect “Hollywood smile” will decline, or simply put off the patient (or worse yet, they will “try” and do their best, but in the end nobody is happy). They won’t make a referral of any sort, they simply find ways to discourage the patient from moving forward. Some will go so far as to say “what you are asking for just can’t be done…”
This can become very confusing for the consumer. If all dentists are NOT created equal, then how do you go about choosing a cosmetic dentist?
Unfortunately, this means the consumer needs to interview prospective dentists. Most offices will offer a free consultation to answer your questions. You should know that a consultation is NOT an examination. A consult is generally a “chat session” where things are discussed in general terms, perhaps visual aids or models are used to show a process, but it isn’t patient specific. If you are wanting to know what would work in your individual case, a clinical examination would be required, and all necessary diagnostic records would be taken. You should also expect a fee of some sort for this (but it won’t be much and often dental benefits pay most or all of the fee).
Find out from the prospective dentist how many cases they have done (you don’t want to be the first, right?). Find out how unique your specific case is (if you are an odd challenge, can they handle it?). Ask for photos of their own work (dentists can purchase books of beautiful cases that were done by someone else). Ask how they got trained in cosmetics (it is NOT a subject taught in dental school).
But in the end, you need to choose a dentist you can trust. With all the training in the world, fancy photography and cases under their belt, you need to decide if the person with the scary job is someone you trust. That is not an easy or quick decision.
March 14, 2016
It appears that there is confusion on what Snap on Smile IS and what it is used for. It should be stated that it is NOT an alternative to porcelain veneers or composite bonding, but it CAN be part of the process. So how does it work?
A prototype is an early mock up or design of something that will be done “correctly” later. A “rough draft” of sorts. In THIS case, it would be a way to preview how a smile could look without doing anything irreversible. However, if material is simply sitting on TOP of the other teeth, it is not a TRUE representation of the final product. It normally feels bulky or the edges can feel rough to the lips or tongue. Final restorations (porcelain veneers or other longer lasting options) do not feel this way and should not be judged on how a snap on smile feels.
This treatment is simply a tooth coloured device that fits over (maybe even snaps) existing teeth, made from a resin that can LOOK like teeth or a new smile, but is NOT durable enough to function (chew) for very long. This is NOT a long term option (unless only used from time to time, not daily).
One popular use is for social events. Since the material is NOT durable, it is only brought out for social events that do not include eating. This allows all the candid photos for Facebook that a person may desire and may afford some self esteem for certain situations. Over time, the material will break down, so investing over and over again may be necessary.
Some use Snap on Smile for a temporary restoration. Dental implant treatment is a common use, as it takes time for dental implants to heal or fuse to the bone (osseointegration). During this time, Snap on Smile can be used to fill in the spaces where teeth are missing, and when the final restoration is placed the Snap on Smile is then discarded.
Perhaps implying deception is a bit harsh. A quick google search will show that many people did not get what they thought they were getting, so clearly a lack of communication is common. The bottom line is that people need to know what they are getting. In the right situations, Snap on Smileis a great option. The investment, when done with a skilled dentist and a skilled lab, will not be small, but often the fee can be applied (all of it or part of it) towards definitive treatment.