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Posts for: February, 2015

By Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
February 27, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics  
AnEarlyOrthodonticEvaluationMayAlerttoDevelopingBiteProblems

Lately, you’ve noticed your young child’s primary teeth don’t appear to be coming in straight. Is it a problem?

The answer to that question is best answered by an early orthodontic evaluation performed by an orthodontist. It’s advisable for a child as young as 7 to undergo such an exam.

While a child’s primary teeth have a short life span of a few years, that doesn’t make them less important than the permanent teeth that replace them. In fact, they’re extremely influential for permanent tooth development — each one serves as a guide for its replacement to erupt in a proper position. A future malocclusion (bad bite) that becomes more apparent later in life would have been well underway years before.

Orthodontists have the training and expertise to spot these emerging problems in their early stages. Early detection can reduce the extent — and costliness — of future orthodontic treatment by introducing preventative or interceptive measures — even while there’s still a mix of primary and permanent teeth in the mouth. For example, a child wearing a simple type of retainer that influences the development of the bite could minimize or even correct a growing malocclusion.

You can also take advantage of opportunities to discover potential orthodontic problems early through a general or pediatric dentist. By having regular dental cleanings and checkups, the dentist might observe early bite development that should be reviewed by an orthodontist. If not, it’s still a good idea to undergo an orthodontic evaluation no later than age 7.

Given the stage of jaw and facial structure development, waiting until puberty to focus on orthodontic problems may be too late for some problems — and much more expensive than if caught and treated earlier. Getting ahead of these issues earlier in your child’s dental development will help ensure they’ll have a healthy bite throughout their life.

If you would like more information on early orthodontic monitoring, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Early Orthodontic Evaluation” and “Preventative & Cost Saving Orthodontics.”


By Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
February 12, 2015
Category: Oral Health
HowtoImpressSupermodelBarRefaeli

Let's say you happen to be sitting on a plane next to supermodel Bar Refaeli, who was recently voted #1 on Maxim magazine's Hot 100 list. You're a little nervous, but you want to make a good impression. What's the first thing she's going to look at? Your expensive suit? Your sculpted torso? How about — your smile!

“Teeth are the first thing I look at,” explained the glamorous cover girl in a Maxim interview. “A nice smile with beautiful teeth is the most attractive thing.”

We wholeheartedly agree. But, of course, not everyone is lucky enough to be born with a perfect set of teeth. What to do then?

“Let's just say that with today's orthodontists, I don't understand why people wouldn't fix them,” Refaeli stated. Need we say more?

The Israeli supermodel, who has appeared in several Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues, knows what she's talking about. Refaeli started modeling as a young child, but had to put her career on hold for a few years while she got braces. When they came off, at age 11, she began her steady climb to the top of the modeling business.

Plenty of aspiring actors and models — as well as regular folks — get braces as children. But if you're serious about improving your smile, it's never too late to have orthodontic treatment. For adults, there are many options available in addition to the standard metal appliances.

Colorless ceramic braces offer a less noticeable way to correct misaligned teeth. Made of high-tech materials that resist staining, their translucent appearance blends so well with the look of your natural teeth that it can be hard to tell you're wearing them.

Clear aligners are an alternative to braces that are worn 20-22 hours per day. They consist of a series of precision-made, transparent “trays” that gradually straighten your teeth over a period of time. Best of all, you can remove them for special occasions — like meeting a supermodel.

Which type of orthodontic treatment is best for you? Why not come in for a consultation and find out! Working together, we can evaluate your situation and develop an effective, individualized treatment plan that fits your lifestyle.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”


By Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
February 03, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns   Bridges  

Do you want to restore your smile? Do the options seem overwhelming and you are not sure which way to go? Stephanie Wong, D.M.D in Honolulu wants to help you make the best decisions possible when it comes to restoring your smile.

Two options that can be considered when restoring your smile are a crown or a bridge, but how do you know which is best for you? CrownsHere are some important facts to know about both options.

Crowns

A crown is also called a cap. A crown fully covers a damaged tooth to the gum line. You may need a crown when the tooth has become weak, fractured, discolored, or is misshapen. A crown can be used when the tooth can be saved. A crown can be made of a variety of materials, including: porcelain, ceramic, gold, or other metal alloys. A crown placed on a tooth will strengthen the tooth and improve its appearance.

When you have a crown placed, Dr. Wong will reduce the tooth down to leave behind the healthy part of the tooth. Next, she will take an impression of the tooth so the crown can be made to blend in with your natural teeth. While the permanent crown is being made, you will be given a temporary crown to wear. Once the permanent crown is ready, your temporary crown will be removed and the permanent crown will be cemented onto your tooth.

Bridges

A bridge may be recommended when your damaged tooth is beyond repair or when you are missing one or more teeth. When you have a missing tooth or teeth, the remaining teeth in your mouth begin to shift which will result in a poor bite alignment. The missing teeth can also result in gum disease and TMJ disorders.

When you have a missing tooth, the teeth on either side of the gap will be reduced down so crowns can be placed on them and the replacement tooth or teeth will be attached in between. Unlike dentures, bridges are permanently fixed in your mouth. Bridges are made out of the same materials as crowns.

Both crowns and bridges can last a lifetime with proper care. Brush and floss your teeth regularly and continue to see your dentist for regular check-ups.

Choosing a crown or a bridge will largely depend on your unique needs. Dr. Wong will fully examine your mouth and discuss with you the best options for restoring your smile. In Honolulu, call her today at (808) 732-3072!




Stephanie Wong

Dr. Stephanie Wong is unlike any other dentist you've ever been to.  The reason she became a dentist was her yearning to help and heal her patients.  Her goal was to "Create Life Changing Experiences".  She is also well regarded...

Read more about Stephanie Wong

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