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Dr. Stuart Rich, DDS, PS Auburn, Washington

1348 8th Street NE
Auburn, WA 98002
 

Phone: (253) 245-3597

Email: info@stuartrichdds.com

Website: www.SleepSolutionsNW.com

Website: www.StuartRichDDS.com

 

Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design 6/1983
La Sierra College, Riverside, CA

Doctor of Dental Surgery degree 5/1987
Loma Linda University School of Dentistry
Loma Linda, CA

Private Practice, employed by Stuart Rich, DDS, PS 9/1987 – present
9 years in the Silicon Valley of California and 17+ years in Auburn, WA

Dr. Rich has held various positions, including Publications Chair and board member of the Santa  Clara County Dental Society while in California. He currently writes a column on dental topics periodically for our local newspaper, the Auburn Reporter. He is a member of the ADA, WSDA, SKKDS, ACSDD and the AADSM. He is also a member of Omicron Kappa Upsilon, an honorary dental organization that offers membership to only a small percentage of graduating dentists each year.

Dr. Rich attends many hours of advanced continuing education each year on a number of topics including Sleep Medicine, Sedation Dentistry, Endodontics, Cosmetic Dentistry and Sleep Apnea treatment alternatives to the CPAP.

Dr. Rich has been honored with repeated consecutive selection at a TOP Dentist in the Seattle area, based upon an annual survey of his specialist colleague peers. Readers of the Auburn Reporter newspaper have also repeatedly voted his practice, Simply Smiles, as “Best of Auburn” for several years in a row. The internet dentist rating site www.DoctorOogle.com also lists Dr. Rich as the most highly rated dentist in Auburn, and his practice has almost 400 positive online reviews left by patients over many years, more than any other dentist in the Seattle area.

Dr. Rich is active in the Auburn Rotary club, and has held several club positions over the years. He served as the club President during the 2011-2012 club year.

Dr. Rich has been happily married for over 25 years and counting, and is the proud dad of two amazing teenage sons. In his spare time he enjoys the fine arts, reading, writing and spending time with his camera recording the beauty of the Northwest. 

Tuesday
May192015

Advantages of Sonic Toothbrushes, Dentist Dr. Stuart Rich, Auburn, Washington

 

Cleaning teeth daily and effectively is an indispensable part of dental health. One option to do the job is the powered toothbrush: Sonicare and other similar devices are advertised every day. In this report, Dr. Stuart Rich explains why powered tooth brushing is a good idea and what other cleaning is required.

 

Dr. Rich points out that, according to research, a sonic brush will outperform a manual brush in virtually every case. It is possible for someone to do a good job with a manual brush, assuming that a person has the dexterity and takes the time required to brush thoroughly. Unfortunately, that’s not usually how it works. Most people, Dr. Rich says, don’t have or take the time needed, so they spend about thirty seconds with the toothbrush and toothpaste. The mouth feels clean.

The trouble is that, at that point, there will still be a lot of food and plaque left in the teeth. Adding to the problem, a lot of people don’t floss regularly, if at all. The big difference a powered brush like the Sonicare makes is that its bristles are oscillating at 30,000 times per minute. With that amount of activity, the brush will affect the bacterial cell walls of things it is not even touching. A manual brush won’t do that.

Of course, even a very good brush like this will not replace flossing. The space between the teeth is not reachable by the brush. About 40% of a tooth’s surface is not reachable by anything other than dental floss.

Dr. Stuart H. Rich, DDS, practices dentistry with Simply Smiles of Auburn, Washington. Dr. Stuart Rich has been rated Top Dentist for the 5th year in a row, including 2014, by a survey of dental specialists, published annually in Seattle Metropolitan magazine. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.

Tuesday
May192015

Dental Appliance Exercises, Dentist Dr. Stuart Rich, Auburn, Washington

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can be treated with oral appliances that hold a patient’s jaw slightly forward during sleep so as to keep the airway open. In the morning, a patient’s bite will feel a bit off. Dr. Stuart Rich explains the problem and how patients can cope with it in this report.

 

Dr. Rich says that a jaw that has been held forward all night to keep a patient’s airway open will not mesh quite the way it ought to first thing in the morning. This feeling of misalignment is not (or should not be) a permanent problem. The important thing is for a patient who wears an oral appliance to do some exercises as soon as the appliance is removed each morning.

The exercises are pretty simple, Dr. Rich explains. Think of Rodin’s famous statue of The Thinker, with his hand on his chin. Think of three points: the chin and the joints on each side of the jaw. What a patient needs to do is push up and back on the jaw, in the direction of the ear canal. The trick is to hold the pressure, clench for a couple of seconds, and release. A set of 15 to 20 repetitions tends to get the joint back into the right spot. For many people, that’s all that is required.

As Dr. Rich explains it, the jaw is under traction at night, and it gently pulls some fluid into the joint space. The exercises gently push the fluid back out. Patients who don’t do the exercises may experience changes in their bite—about 20% of all patients treated with appliances, according to national statistics, will have minor bite changes. “Major bite changes are actually pretty rare.”

Dentists are concerned that each patient should have a perfect bite—“perhaps irrationally so,” Dr. Rich suggests. Bite changes for most people are minor, and dentists shouldn’t be overly concerned about those small changes. “Being able to breathe trumps the perfect bite.” Untreated sleep apnea can cause heart attacks or strokes; a bad bite won’t.

Dr. Rich says that there are two more exercises he teaches his patients. One of them involves an AM aligner, an insert made of a patient’s bite before therapy begins. After the chin cupping exercise, Dr. Rich suggests that a patient insert the AM aligner before getting into the shower and proceed with clenching while taking the morning shower. This continues the same process the chin cupping begins, only for a longer period of time, helping to push out fluid from the jaw joint. For patients who still feel some misalignment, Dr. Rich suggests chewing a piece of sugarless gum while getting dressed and ready for the day. Patients who do all three of these will have their bite 95% of the way back to normal by the time they get on with their day.

Dr. Stuart H. Rich, DDS, practices dentistry with Simply Smiles of Auburn, Washington. Dr. Stuart Rich has been rated Top Dentist for the 5th year in a row, including 2014, by a survey of dental specialists, published annually in Seattle Metropolitan magazine. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.

Tuesday
May192015

Easy to Maintain Dental Appliances, Dentist Dr. Stuart Rich, Auburn, Washington

 

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious health problem. OSA can be treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, but it can also be treated with dental sleep apnea therapy appliances. In this report, Dr. Stuart Rich explains how to care for and clean a dental sleep apnea appliance.

 

Dr. Rich says that maintaining a dental appliance is a much easier task than maintaining a CPAP machine. Dental appliances are a great choice for people who are unwilling or unable to wear a CPAP machine, and Dr. Rich says that he makes quite a few of the appliances each month.

The machines require a lot of maintenance, including disinfecting the hoses, cleaning the filters, and other maintenance tasks. On the other hand, a dental appliance is easy to maintain. All a user has to do each morning is clean the appliance with soap and warm water, using a toothbrush, and then put the appliance away. Twice each week, the appliance should be disinfected using a tablet in warm water and a soak. And that, explains Dr. Rich, is the entire process.

Dr. Rich adds that, once each year, he wants to see a patient using a dental appliance to check on things. He will check a patient’s bite and check the appliance to make sure that it is not damaged or worn out and that it is still working properly. Also, the appliance will get an ultrasonic cleaning “to get it super clean.”

One last important tip for dental appliance users: Keep your appliance away from your pets, “dogs, cats, ferrets, whatever.” Dr. Rich says that animals are attracted by the smell of these appliances and will turn them into expensive chew toys if given the chance.

Dr. Stuart H. Rich, DDS, practices dentistry with Simply Smiles of Auburn, Washington. Dr. Stuart Rich has been rated Top Dentist for the 5th year in a row, including 2014, by a survey of dental specialists, published annually in Seattle Metropolitan magazine. Sleep Better TV is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.

Tuesday
Nov042014

Gum Disease, With Dr. Stuart Rich, Auburn, Washington

Gum disease, or periodontitis, is inflammation of the gum tissue and 30% of U.S. adults have some form of gum disease, labelling it is a public health issue by the CDC.  Gum disease can lead to tooth loss, which, to dentist Dr. Stuart Rich, is a big deal, especially with the recent connection of gum disease and heart disease.  

Dr. Stuart RichGingivitis is the earliest stage of periodontitis and the only stage that is completely reversible, according to Dr. Rich.  It can be handled by good oral care, with brushing and flossing teeth.  Gingivitis starts with the lack of adequate home care and if that's allowed to continue, it gets worse where the bacteria gives off acid and it migrates down below the gum line.  It attaches to the roots like barnacles at which point, it's not reversible, just treatable by doing a root cleanse. 

While most people believe it's the bacteria that gets into the bone causing gum disease, Dr. Rich says it's your own body's immune system turning on itself and sends in the inflammatory cells because of the bacteria and as such, it's your body's system actually destroying the bone.  Your body interprets that tooth just as it would an infected splinter.

Dr. Rich recommends an electric toothbrush, as they're more effective, along with daily flossing and antibacterial rinses.  When the plaque gets into the root, only a dental hygienist can remove that plaque with some special instruments under an anesthetic.  After, your body recognizes the tooth as something it wants to keep and so the inflammation goes down and the inflammatory process that is destroying the bone stops.  

Gum disease is a chronic condition similar to diabetes and heart disease, as it's not something that's cured, rather managed through regular maintenance.  A patient with gum disease will have to commit to regular maintenance visits, usually every three months so that their immune system won't develop any sensitivity to the bacteria.  The process will start over again unless that cycle is interrupted, Dr. Rich says.

 

Dr. Stuart Rich is a dentist with Sleep Solutions Northwest in Auburn, Washington.  He is a leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV, providing online, sleep disorder breathing video content and is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.

Tuesday
Nov042014

Dental Black Triangles, With Dr. Stuart Rich, Auburn, Washington

Dental black triangles, or open gingival embrasures, which are small black triangles at the gum line on someone who's had some gum recession.  According to Auburn, Washington-based dentist, Dr. Stuart Rich, the most common cause of this is gum disease.  The bone and gum tissue drop down chronically from the disease process and spaces open up.  It can also be caused by gum surgery or orthodontics.

Dr. Stuart RichIn a recent survey Dr. Rich read, black triangles were just behind a front cavity or black crown margin, so he believes people are concerned about them.  Aside from a cosmetic issue, black triangles provide more surface area for plaque to attach so if you're not careful about cleaning that off, it becomes a vicious cycle, with the bacteria causing more gum disease, which would worsen the black triangle.  

Conservative bonding and veneers, all the way up to full coverage crowns on these teeth are considered options for black triangles.  Dr. Rich prefers doing bonding in these situations, as he feels it's a win for the patient and is conservative, as none of these procedures are covered by insurance.  He says you want that balance between conservatism, longevity and cost effectiveness.  

While all dentists are taught bonding, Dr. Rich says it's a highly artistic process requiring some very precise eye-hand coordination and magnification.  He considers his art background his "secret weapon" when approaching bonding cases and he finds some commercial-made products work well also.  

Dr. Stuart Rich is a dentist with Sleep Solutions Northwest in Auburn, Washington.  He is a leading sleep expert with Sleep Better TV, providing online, sleep disorder breathing video content and is a featured network of Sequence Media Group.