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Blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn

I’m sorry I haven’t been very active in blogging on my website.  I’ve been spending more time on Facebook and LinkedIn for posting content there.  I like posting and linking to other articles about general health too in addition to some interesting dental information I run across so please check out my social media pages.

Please like our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/drtonykim/

I’m also posting some content on LinkedIn too so here’s my page there: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tonykimdds/

Mahalo!

Tony Kim DDS

 

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Serious Health Consequences of Gum Disease

I just read an article that linked periodontal disease in postmenopausal women to an increased chance of developing breast cancer than those without gum disease.  This is another huge discovery linking gum disease to many serious health problems.  I’d like to write a quick blog on the health conditions that are known to have links with gum disease.

Heart Disease

The massive increase in inflammation in the body from periodontal disease may be the main factor linking it with heart disease.  And gum disease can make existing heart problems worse.  More surgeons are now making sure their patients have healthy or stable gum disease status before they operate on them.

Stoke

More people who have had strokes had more oral infections from gum disease.  Again, there are studies that strongly suggest there is a close link with these problems.  If you’re in a high stroke risk category make sure you treat gum disease aggressively.

Diabetes

Diabetic patients are much more likely to develop periodontal disease which then can strongly increase blood sugar and increase diabetic complications.  So, if you have diabetes just be aware that you’re very likely to get gum disease if you don’t aggressively try to control it.  And if you do end up with gum disease, your diabetes will be much more difficult to control.

Osteoporosis

If you have osteoporosis, because of the weakening of the density of the jawbone, you may be at a higher risk of developing gum disease.  Which can then turn to eventual bone loss.  So please make sure that if you have osteoporosis that you really focus on gum health.

Respiratory Disease

Research has also linked the bacteria that grow in our mouth can be aspirated into the lungs and cause respiratory disease such as pneumonia.

Cancers

Research has shown that men with gum disease had a 49% higher chance to develop kidney cancer, 54% higher risk of pancreatic cancer and 30% increase in developing blood cancers.  And as mentioned above certain women may have a 36% increased chance of developing breast cancer.

 

There are plenty more conditions that gum disease can be related to that are less serious than these listed above but the main point is that gum disease is a very serious problem and should be aggressively treated and regular home care should be emphasized to prevent it.  Make sure you’re using good tooth brushing techniques and brushing for at least 2 minutes focusing on the gums too.  Electric toothbrushes like the Sonicare can really help too.  And regular dental checkups and cleanings are also critical to help detect and prevent gum disease.  Getting your gums measured once a year is a good idea.

If you already have gum disease, look at my link to Periodontal Disease to look at some possible treatments.  If you have early stages of gingivitis or even early periodontitis make sure you take it very seriously and take the steps to stop the disease process.  Your body will thank you!

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Facebook Page and Yelp Dentist

Hello, I noticed it’s been awhile since my last blog.  Just want to let everybody know that I do most of my ‘blogging’ on Facebook now.  Here’s the link to my Facebook Page.  I’ll still post blogs about products or trends that I’d like to talk about and some important discoveries, but for general thoughts or quick ideas I’ll be using Facebook more often.  If you like my Facebook posts please Like my page.

I’ve been also noticing that many people are finding me on Yelp.  I’m blessed and fortunate to have many fantastic clients who have taken their precious time to leave me some wonderful reviews.  I read each one personally and consider a written review on any social media site as a great way to thank me and the staff.  Here’s a link to my Yelp Page.

Thanks again for your time and support, it’s greatly appreciated and just know that your reviews are read by many other people looking to find help for their dental and health concerns!  Mahalo!

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Review of Dr. Tung’s Ionic Toothbrush

Hello, and thanks for reading my first official product review blog post.  I was given a Dr. Tung’s Ionic Toothbrush to try among other Dr. Tung’s products.  With the toothbrush came a double blind study done by some professors at Marquette University Dental School.  I’ve never heard of an ionic toothbrush so this was certainly an interesting product for me to try.

Here’s the study for those of you who like reading this stuff:

Ionic Clinicals

First, the toothbrush itself looks very similar to other designs out there except there is a metal band across the middle of the handle.  The bristles are very soft which is what I recommend for my clients because harder bristles can wear down the enamel over time.  There are two sets of bristles, a larger more dense group and a less dense but longer set of bristles in between.  Other than that, the toothbrush is a standard size and weight.

However, the outside appearance hides the fact that this toothbrush changes the polarity of the teeth through a small electric charge generated by a 3V lithium watch battery in the handle.  Once the toothbrush is activated by touching the metal portion of the toothbrush, ions flow from the battery to the teeth changing the charge from a negative to a positive charge.  Why is this important?  Teeth are normally negatively charged and plaque is positively charged.  That’s one of the reasons why plaque loves sticking to teeth.  So if the tooth becomes positively charged, it will help repel the plaque since positive repels positive and negative repels negative (think of playing with magnets when you were little and how the would stick or repel each other depending on how you held them).  The toothbrush is negatively charged so it will also attract the positively charged plaque too.  Sorry about the science lesson here but I just wanted to let you know that the science behind it sounds legitimate.  I wanted to know though if I felt any difference using this toothbrush myself.

So, I’ve used this toothbrush exclusively for a week now brushing twice a day.  But before I go over my experience with the Ionic Brush I’d like to tell you my normal brushing habits.  I’m normally an electric toothbrush user and am pleased with the cleaning action of my current toothbrush.  I brush twice a day, once in the morning after breakfast and once before bed for approximately two and a half minutes every session.  My electric toothbrush does a good job of removing plaque but I notice the decline of plaque removal as the bristles wear out.  And I must admit, on occasion I still notice tiny sections of plaque on my teeth sometimes after using my electric brush.  That’s to be expected, that’s one of the reasons why I recommend cleanings at least every six months which help remove those missed spots of plaque which turn into tartar or hardened calculus.

After my first brushing with the Ionic Toothbrush, I immediately noticed my teeth felt very clean and plaque free.  However, I think I brushed for over two and half minutes (my normal brushing time) because I wanted to be extra thorough.  Since I’ve been an electric brush user for years now, I had to make sure I had the proper brushing technique down since I’ve been “out of practice” for awhile.  But as my routine switched to normal, I still noticed that my teeth felt extra clean after every brushing session.  And after a week’s use, I can confidently say that I do notice a difference in plaque removal.  So I’m very confident that the positive results from the study are accurate.

I did have my hand tire from trying to brush with my thumb resting right on the metal band.  It’s not my normal grip on a toothbrush and until I switched grips and had my palm touch the band, it was straining on my thumb.  The instructions did say that any part of the hand could touch the metal band but for some reason I kept wanting to put my thumb there.  Once I changed my grip and had my palm touch the metal everything is fine now.  I guess I should have went against my natural instinct and just adapted my grip from the beginning.  The toothbrush is more expensive than your standard manual toothbrush but I feel with the higher plaque removal, it’s a fantastic toothbrush choice for those who want maximum plaque removal.  I give this product my 100% recommendation, you can visit www.drtungs.com to get more information on the product and to see where you can purchase one.  These shortcomings I mention are very minor compared to the benefits received, after all brushing your teeth is done to remove plaque so why not use a tool that’s superior in that job?

On a final note, I don’t get paid anything for this endorsement, it’s just a product given to me to test and this review is my honest unbiased opinion.

 

 

 

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Oil Pulling

I’ve been approached quite a few times this past year about oil pulling.  This technique is based off an Ayurvedic remedy for oral diseases in which you rinse your mouth for 20 minutes with oil and then spit it out.  A quick internet search will show supporters touting oil pulling to healing all sorts of conditions and critics attack it saying there is not much research to support any claims.  I’ve found a few articles written by researchers in India and some research done in Germany too.  I’m sure there will be more papers coming out soon since this is a popular topic now.  Part of my job is to look for alternatives for my clientele who don’t want to use traditional medicines due to toxicity concerns so of course oil pulling is of great interest to me.  It’s becoming a more accepted technique in holistic dentistry.

The research out there does show there is a significant effect on reducing bacteria involved in plaque formation and a reduced level of gingivitis.  It’s not a powerful as a current chlorohexidine based rinse but it is still shown to be effective.  The oil used in this study was coconut oil.  So if somebody is looking for a natural way to reduce their plaque levels and gingivitis, then I would wholeheartedly recommend oil pulling for them in addition to brushing and flossing.  Especially if you are prone to getting decay, even with proper home care.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18408265

I saw information in which a toxicologist found no toxins in the oil spit out after an oil pulling session but this researcher did find it reduced oral candida albicans.  He wrote that people with dentures who were suffering from candida infections in the mouth got rid of their infections using olive oil during oil pulling.  I couldn’t find any other literature on this but if you’re suffering from candida infections in the mouth and you don’t want to use traditional drugs then it’s definitely worth a shot.  I’ve not had the chance to see results in my own patients with this technique but it would be interesting to see one.  So I can’t comment on the other health benefits of oil pulling but preventing dental disease does have great effects on whole body health.

This reminds of of a patient I saw once who just came in from India to study at a local univeristy.  His visit to me was his first dental visit ever (he was 40 years old) and I was afraid of what I was going to find while he was getting his xrays done.  When I saw his xrays I was completely shocked.  I saw a few areas of hardened calculus but his bone levels looked good and I did not see any decay.  My clinical exam also found no cavities although he had staining all over his mouth, he drank coffee and tea multiple times a day and had never had a dental cleaning.  I asked him what he did for homecare and he mentioned oil pulling.  I dismissed it at that time because this was before oil pulling was a hot topic and I had no idea what he was talking about.  I would never go on record to say oil pulling will stop all cavities and gum disease but I do believe it is a powerful adjunct to regular traditional home care.

I’ve tried oil pulling myself, I will admit it’s a difficult thing to do at first.  To swish oil around the mouth for 20 minutes is no easy feat and I found my jaw muscles tiring after awhile.  And since I’ve not had a cavity in over 30 years I stopped since I’m not prone to decay anyways.  But for those who are always getting decay no matter what you do, I’d recommend it.  Here’s a link to another blog I’ve written on preventing cavities:

How to Avoid Getting Cavities

If you’re interested in biological dentistry service such as safe mercury filling removal, bacterial DNA testing for gum disease patients, biocompatibility testing for dental materials, laser gum disease treatment, and other services then contact me through the contact us page.  I’d love to hear from you and we offer complimentary dental consultations for those interested.

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Yale Paper Shows Higher Incidence of Neurological Disorders in Dentists

Dental amalgams are 50% mercury by weight and release mercury vapor continuously.  Chewing food, drinking hot liquids, clenching an grinding all increase the release of vapor.  Removing an amalgam will release the most vapor due to the high heat and friction generated by the handpiece.  Dentists are the most exposed to the vapor because many of them are removing amalgam every day without any safety precautions.  Not many dentists will dispute any of these statements.  The question that comes up is how much harm (if any) comes from this exposure?  Mercury is one of the most toxic naturally occurring elements in the world.  We know what mercury does to people in very high doses, it’s affects the brain and nervous system.  A study was completed by Yale University and a paper was released in 2012 which looked at the health of dentists.  Not surprisingly, dentists showed significantly higher incidences of mental and nervous system disorders.  The paper also dicusses how some more recent studies which suggest the safety of amalgam in children are flawed.  Here is a copy of the study if you’re interested in reading it:

Duplinsky 2012: The Health Status of Dentists Exposed to Mercury from Silver Amalgam Tooth Restorations

If occupational mercury exposure can effect dentists in a negative way then it’s not a stretch to say it can affect patients who have them too, especially in people who are sensitive to mercury or already have neurological conditions.  There is still debate on the safety of amalgams with both sides showing their research to support their claims.  Neither side will probably change their stance until more information comes out.  Luckily people have a choice to believe whatever they’d like to on this topic and there is evidence on both sides to support whatever you’d like to believe.  Because both sides can agree that there is a lot of mercury vapor release when amalgams are removed, it would make sense that safety equipment is used during removal to protect both patients and dental staff.  Dr. Tony Kim at his Honolulu biological dental office uses the IAOMT protocol to safely remove amalgams.  He uses a top of the line mercury vacuum from IQ Air to minimize exposure, you can read more about these units:

IQ Air Dental Air Purifiers

Dr. Kim has two units running in the office, one for use during removal and the other for use 24/7 to help purify the air in the office.  If you have any questions or would like a consultation on amalgams and safe removal, please contact the office for a complimentary consultation.  If you use the Contact Us tab then we’ll contact you either by email or phone whichever you prefer.

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How to Avoid Getting Cavities

Most people know that eating lots of sugary foods and not brushing your teeth will increase somebody’s chance of getting cavities.  Before we go into some strategies of how to avoid cavities, let’s go over briefly how they form.  When we eat or drink something with sugars a layer of biofilm (plaque) forms over the teeth and are filled with bacteria that produce acids.  These acids weaken the tooth and if not repaired by minerals in saliva then a cavity can form.  So there is shifting emphasis on lowering the acid attacks in the mouth versus focusing only on brushing, flossing and fluoride.  Here are some things to consider if you are struggling to stay cavity free.

1) Brushing and flossing after every meal will clean off the biofilm and greatly reduce the risk of damage.  If you can’t brush and floss after every meal then at least twice daily.  The best time to brush in the morning will be after eating breakfast.  That way, you’re mouth will be basically free from acids until lunch.  And in the evening brush and floss right before bed.  If you have a snack after you brush at night, brush again!  You don’t want the plaque to damage your teeth all night long!

2) Use an electric toothbrush.  A good electric toothbrush spins or vibrates at high frequencies which can cleanse hard to reach areas more effectively then manual brushing.  They also have timers built in so you can brush the recommended two minutes each time.  There is a big price range between models and I know that it could be a big expense.  But dental work can get expensive and the best treatment is no treatment at all.  Consider a good toothbrush an investment in your oral health.

3) Mouth rinses and toothpastes can help lower the amount of cavity causing bacteria temporarily.  Fluoride is present in many toothpastes and rinses which can help strengthen teeth.  Of course I understand that some have problems with the potential toxicity of fluoride but since the discussion is how to reduce cavities fluoride is one way to help.  Some of the chemical antibacterial additives are also potentially dangerous.  Triclosan was supposed to be a fantastic antibacterial added to some toothpastes but now there are studies showing it’s endocrine disruptive effects amongst other health concerns.  If you forgo fluoride toothpastes, try to get one with xylitol (birch tree source is supposed to be the best – non-GMO).  Essential oils have antibacterial properties and are relatively safe.  Fine baking soda/powder can help neutralize acids and are present in some natural toothpastes.  There are many more herbal toothpastes which can be found in Google.

4) Regular visits to the dentist is certainly important.  Plaque can harden and accumulate over time which can lead to weakening of tooth structure and early demineralized (weakened) tooth can be strengthened at the office.  Without visiting a dentist it would be nearly impossible to locate and treat those areas on your own.  Early detection of cavities gives you more options on how the treat them and will usually require more minimally invasive methods.  Things like lasers, air abrasion systems, ozone gas treatment, remineralization techniques are several different methods a dentist can use to treat early cavities.  But if you don’t visit the dentist regularly then these early cavities can turn into larger ones which may require crowns, root canals, or even extractions.

5) Avoiding frequent sugary snacks throughout the day.  Every time you eat something with fermentable carbohydates (almost everything we eat!) there is a sharp increase in acid produced by bacteria.  Saliva helps buffer the acid attack but if you have snacks frequently throughout the day, the constant attack from acid will eventually overcome the strength of enamel and cause permanent damage.  I understand that from a metabolism standpoint frequent small meals is a good thing so make sure you brush or at least rinse after every meal or snack.  A sugar free mint or gum can really help produce more saliva.  Xylitol is a natural sugar alternative which is diabetic safe and has research supporting anti cavity effects.  Some other artificial sweeteners may be harmful for you so be careful on long term use of the artificial sweeteners.  So if you must snack, have a xylitol mint or candy after if you can’t brush.

6) If you suffer from dry mouth, you are missing the benefits of saliva buffering the acid attacks from eating.  So people suffering from dry mouth from health conditions, medications or mouth breathing should make sure they are frequently sipping water or using sugar free mints throughout the day.  You can always ask your doctor if there are any medications available which do not cause dry mouth.  Visit your dentist if you suffer from dry mouth and need some help with options.  I’ve seen some lozenges (xylimelts) that stick in your mouth overnight and can help stimulate saliva flow.  If you can not get the saliva glands producing enough (radiation treatments can destroy salivary glands) then dental made trays can help.  See below for more information on them.

7) If you’re doing great homecare and visit the dentist at recommended intervals but still getting cavities, you may be suffering from acid reflux.  Frequent vomiting is another source of excessive acid attacks.  If you have frequent heartburn and/or chest pain after eating or when lying down, it could be a symptom of reflux.  Strange bitter tastes or frequent sore throats can be other signs.  If you think you may be suffering from reflux you should definitely go see your doctor.  There are traditional and alternative methods of treating reflux but the best thing is to get professional help and get it under control.  Otherwise, you’ll have an extremely difficult time keeping your teeth healthy.  Sometimes acid erosion won’t lead to cavities but can still eat away the enamel and severely damage the teeth.  If you think you are suffering from acid reflux then make sure you get checked.  I’ve seen reports that chronic reflux can be risk factor for esophageal cancer.

8) Avoid sodas!  Almost all sodas have sugar and even the sugar free versions can contain acids.  If you have many acid producing bacteria in your mouth, having sodas is like throwing gasoline onto a fire.  Fruit juices often have added sugar which also makes them potentially harmful.  One way to minimize the effects of these drinks is to use a straw.  Best best would be to stick with water since most of us aren’t drinking enough daily water anyways and unsweetened teas are also safe although they can stain teeth.  As mentioned before, if you do have sodas then either rinse your mouth after or have a xylitol candy after.

9) Oil pulling is something that’s getting more popular in the US.  Swishing with coconut or sesame oil for 20 minutes a day is the standard recommendation but there are some studies that show it’s effectiveness.  There are even some oil pulling rinses on the market now that you can find online or at health food stores.  There could be other health benefits too so if you’re suffering from frequent cavities I’d certainly explore this option.  I’ve seen some patients with pretty incredible results from oil pulling in terms of dental health.

10) Your dentist can make custom trays so that you can use special gels for a few hours every evening to help strengthen teeth.  These are basically teeth whitening trays so instead of using whitening agents, you can substitute xylitol based gels.  Of course you can use fluoride gels too but it would be hard not to ingest some if you’re wearing trays for extended periods of time.  Carifree makes a nice gel that you can use inside trays.

11) Remineralization techniques can help strengthen the areas weakened by acid.  There is a product called Icon that can treat early cavities between teeth without drilling.  Some dentists will use in office fluoride treatments.  For those very susceptible to cavities I like using ozone trays with calcium phosphate remineralization.  There are several methods so ask your dentist about what preventive techniques they can offer.

12) Chronic use of strong pain medications will very likely lead to very damaged teeth.  These medications usually cause extreme dry mouth and block out any sensitivity or pain associated with cavities.  So as teeth start to rot and decay, the pain meds block out most sensation.  So it’s very common to see teeth with extreme damage requiring extractions and dentures.  If you have extreme pain requiring heavy dosages of pain meds for long periods of time, then make sure you visit your dentist frequently.  Use as many methods listed above as you can to slow down decay.  And explore other alternatives such as acupuncture, regular chiropractic care, yoga, meditation and any other technique that may help reduce the amount of pain medications necessary.  And pain med can lead to clenching and grinding which further damages the teeth.

13) If you clench and grind your teeth, go to your dentist to find ways to protect your teeth.  Chronic clenching and grinding of teeth lead to damage in the enamel which can make your teeth more susceptible to getting cavities and can cause older fillings/crowns to fail prematurely.  A nightguard can help protect the teeth but sometimes orthodontics or splint therapies can help.  By improving the bite to proper function, sometimes clenching and grinding disappear or decreases.  Clenching and grinding can lead to premature gum recession which exposes a much weaker area of the tooth called cementum.  These areas are also much more susceptible to decay and often called root decay.  it’s difficult to fix root decay long term and again, the best treatment is prevention.

14) CPAP use can really cause dry mouth for obvious reasons.  If you find that you can stop cavities from forming and you use a CPAP, use the humidifier and adjust the settings to raise the moisture.  If you are an open mouth breather with the cpap, then maybe a chin strap can help keep the mouth closed.  And maybe the use of xylimelts can help stimulate saliva while you sleep.  It can also be helpful to keep a bottle of water next to your bed in case you wake up and your mouth is dry.  Also, make sure your mask is not leaking, that can cause the dry mouth also.

Many people have several high risk factors which will increase the chance of cavities.  If so, all one can do is try to minimize the effect of each risk factor by looking at alternative treatments of each factor.  It’s tough to tackle this problem by yourself so make sure you get help from your dentist and doctors.  At Dr. Tony Kim’s Honolulu holistic dental office, we try to focus on safer ways to help with cavities.  Contact us through the website or call us for a free consultation.

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Finding the Right Dental Implant Dentist

So you finally made the decision to replace some missing teeth with dental implants. If you’re current dentist does not place dental implants then what should you do? You can always go to a specialist that your general dentist may refer you. There is a good chance that you’ll get some good results. But if you’re replacing a tooth in the front or if you know that your situation is complex then it may require some more complex treatments. Dental implant options vary widely in complexity and some solutions require more training and equipment.

Here is a list of things I’d recommend you look at:

  1. To maximize the chance of superior results you should make sure your dentist has advanced training in dental implants. There are weekend courses that try to train dentists to begin their dental implant career but I’d be careful if your dentist has limited training. We all need to start somewhere and there are some cases that may be more suitable for beginning implantologists but if you want best results, more experience usually helps. Periodontists and oral surgeons usually have training in their dental schools and have more experience because other general dentists usually refer their dental implant surgery cases to them. However, there is a growing number of general dentists who have advanced training. In fact, many of the pioneers of dental implant surgeries were general dentists.
  2. Make sure the dentist has experience in the type of procedure that you’ll need. For example, if you’re missing all your teeth and are looking for a dentist to replace the entire arch with some dental implants, find one who is experienced in that procedure. As mentioned before, dental implantology is a very large field with very different techniques for different solutions.
  3. Some before and after photos of cases involving dental implants could be very helpful to see how nicely the doctors cases turned out. Sometimes there can be success in the dental implant surgical phase but if the final teeth on top of the implants look horrible, that can still be considered a cosmetic failure.
  4. If you’re looking for the best possible results then you want an implant dentist who will be working with superior dental labs. There is a huge range of quality in dental labs. Just like any other field, there are poor dental technicians, good ones, and then a few true artists. To get results that closest match your implant to your natural teeth requires proper planning from start to finish. An excellent lab is a critical part of getting you the best results.
  5. Be careful of the budget dental implant prices. Successful dental implants requires planning. Especially in the more difficult cases where planning is critical to success. Dentists advertising the lowest prices may not be spending the time to review scans closely, collaborating with the lab and/or specialists involved, and may be using inferior labs. There is a wide range of prices of dental implants. The major implant companies most often will have the special equipment and training available for difficult cases. They will also be around in business for many years. There are hundreds of implant companies now and many may not be around in 10 years. If you have a problem later but the implant manufacturer is out of business then you may be in a very difficult situation then. I’ve seen it happen when patients come in with implants from bankrupt companies.
  6. Make sure the dentist is using special scans. If the dentist is using a panographic xray then using special markers during the scan is ideal. It helps the dentist measure the distortion between the xray and the real life bone. This is especially important when the nerves are involved, a mistake here can lead to permanent numbness or even worse permanent pain! A cone beam CT scan (CBCT) is another useful scan with much less radiation than medical CT scans and minimal distortion. These scans can clearly show the positions of all the major landmarks and can make 3D preplanning of your case possible.

I’ve attached a video about choosing the right implant dentist for your review:

If you would like a free consultation on dental implants at our Honolulu office then contact Dr. Kim. He has many years of additional implant training as well as cosmetic dentistry training to help maximize beautiful and long lasting results.

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Finding the Right Cosmetic Dentist

The search for the right cosmetic dentist for you can be a tough search.  There are many different factors to look at and it’s tough to try to judge somebody’s skills or training from just a website or advertisement.  I’ve tried to think of things that may separate those dentists who have a passion for cosmetic dentistry versus those who do it on the side.

Here are a few things I’d recommend looking for when searching for the best cosmetic dentist for you.

1) Training and qualifications are important in cosmetic dentistry.  There are many techniques and procedures that are unique to cosmetics and proper training in these methods can make the difference between a mediocre result and a fantastic one.  Don’t be afraid to ask about these items, an accomplished cosmetic dentist will be able to describe their special training and accomplishments.  See if the dentist is a member of cosmetic dental groups.  Because these associations and academies can be expensive to join and maintain memberships in, a financial commitment on the dentists part in joining these groups shows some dedication to this field.

2) Before and after photos can showcase the dentist’s work.  The photos should be of actual patients treated by the dentist.  While there are good cosmetic dentists out there that don’t have photographs, it’s tough to judge their work from a patient’s perspective.  If smile photos are available, it’s a good way to look at cases that might have similar problems you’re trying to fix.  Photography can be an important part of diagnosing and treating cosmetic cases so pictures of patients shows that the dentist is using the proper aids to help them diagnose and treat a cosmetic case.

3) A chance to sit down for a consultation before making any commitments is very important.  You should be given the opportunity to meet the dentist and to ask questions.  It’s very important that you feel comfortable with the dentist who may be treating you.  Because it can be such an important investment, you should be confident in the dentists abilities and trust their treatment plan for you.  A face to face meeting is one of the keys to making sure you’re at the right office.

4) The dental lab is a critical part of the cosmetic dental team.  The labs create the porcelain veneers and crowns that will be cemented to the teeth.  As you might imagine, there are many different levels of skills, technologies, and dedication that can go into the creation of the restorations.  Some dental labs use dental artists who spend extra time and materials to make more lifelike restorations.  Some technicians use microscopes when creating their work for extra precision for the best fit.  So good lab technicians can help make lifelike veneers versus standard labs which may make restorations that look “fake”.  Usually, the higher quality labs will charge more because of the additional time and expertise involved.  If a dentist is offering very low pricing on cosmetics then either they are making very little profit or they are using lower cost labs.

5) Advanced training in occlusion along with cosmetic dentistry can be helpful in designing cosmetic cases for better functionality which in turn can lead to longer lasting restorations.  Of course, overeating hard foods like nuts, hard candies, and ice can sometimes break natural teeth and therefore veneers and crowns too.  But if a chewing system is not designed with a few guiding principles, it could setup early failure.  Look for additional training in occlusion if you’re looking at a big makeover.  The best courses in occlusion usually take a few years to complete outside of dental school.

6) Look at review websites such as Yelp or Google.  You can see if there are mostly happy and satisfied clients or if there are many unhappy and upset clients.  Although I would not rely only on social media websites, they can be a useful tool in helping you find the best cosmetic dentist for your needs.

So I think these items will help you in your quest to find the best cosmetic dentist for you.

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Welcome

Welcome to the Dental Day Spa of Hawaii Specialty Group! We just had a couple of awesome patient experiences. One client had a smile makeover and told us that she found herself smiling a lot more and found herself to be more social than usual at a dinner party. She mentioned how happy that made her feel. We also just saw a person who flew in from another island. He had some poor experiences with dentistry which made him avoid getting treatment he needed to be healthy and to have a smile that matched his handsome face. By discussing what he wanted and how we could help him, he really felt at ease and got started with his treatment the same day! We were able to do procedures which started him on the road to health. He mentioned how comfortable he was here and that how this felt like ohana to him. He can’t wait to finish the rest of his treatment and we’ll maximize the times when he flies in. And we had another client who has a very strong gag reflex. She knew this and this fear really made it difficult for us to get started with some treatment. However, using a team approach to make her comfortable, she was able to finish the impression without even gagging! She was very happy and we’re proud of her for overcoming the challenges. I also had a patient who has large tori (bony bumps in the mouth near the tongue) who’s always had painful impressions because the trays would hit the tori and cause tremendous pain. I custom trimmed a few trays to avoid these tori and she was able to get her first set of pain free impressions ever!

When we see happy patients who appreciate the individualized care that we give each person, it really motivates us and reminds us why we love our jobs. If you know that you need some serious dental work but are just too afraid to get started, give us a call to schedule a complimentary consultation. No pressure, no gimmicks, we’ll give you the time to sit down to talk about your needs, goals and if we can help you achieve those. If you’re self conscious because you don’t really like your smile, stop by and see what your options are. Improving your smile can be a truly life changing event, we’ve seen it happen time and time again. And if you have special needs and problems you’ve experienced at other offices, stop by to see if we can help you overcome some of the challenges. We look forward serving you!

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