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Posts for: July, 2015

By Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
July 30, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

Teeth WhiteningRevive a dull, stained smile with professional in-office whitening in Honolulu, HI.

Over time, it’s natural for our pearly whites to become a little less vibrant. From the foods that we eat to the natural effects of aging, there is a myriad of reasons why your teeth aren’t as white as they used to be. Luckily, your Honolulu, HI dentist Dr. Stephanie Wong can effectively remove surface stains with professional teeth whitening. Find out how in-office whitening can make all the difference for your smile.

Tell me about professional teeth whitening

When you come in to see your Honolulu dentist for in-office whitening expect to get a visibly brighter smile in under one hour. That’s right, no other whitening systems offer the same bleaching strength as the whitening gels we use while also protecting sensitive gums and tissues from irritation. The whole process takes about 45 minutes to complete and you could get a smile that is up to 10 shades whiter in just one session.

Professional teeth whitening is ideal for those who have a yellowing, stained smile due to eating certain foods and drinks, smoking cigarettes and or even just getting older. Those with surface stains will get the most drastic whitening results. Professional teeth whitening is designed to brighten the first eight front teeth, also known as the “aesthetic zone”. These are the teeth that you notice when you smile.

We will apply the bleaching gel to your teeth and then shine a laser on your teeth to activate it. The gel will remain on your smile for about 15 minutes, after which it will be removed and a fresh layer will be applied and reactivated. Each whitening session involves three, 15-minute gel applications.

What is the difference between in-office whitening and commercial products?

The major difference between whitening from your Honolulu dentist versus at-home whitening products is the speed of your results. If you need to get a brighter smile and can’t wait weeks for the results, then we highly recommend coming into our office for whitening treatment. Furthermore, the results you get with professional whitening are significantly better than any commercial product you get at your local drugstore. This has to do with the strength of the bleaching agent we use. No other gel is as strong on surface stains and discolorations.

Ready to wipe away those dental stains and say hello to a gloriously vibrant smile? Then it’s high time you considered getting teeth whitening from your Honolulu family dentist Dr. Wong. Call us today to schedule your first whitening appointment.

By Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
July 21, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Unlike the natural tooth it replaces, a dental implant is impervious to decay. But don’t think that means you can relax your oral hygiene habits — even though the implant itself can’t be infected, the surrounding gum tissues and bone can. And if they’re not properly cared for you might eventually lose the implant.

In fact, implants may be more susceptible to problems from impacted food that becomes wedged between the gums and teeth than their natural counterparts. Natural teeth are connected to the jaw by way of a resilient, elastic tissue known as the periodontal ligament: the ligament resides in the space between the tooth root and the bone and attaches to both through tiny fibers. The bone and ligament are protected by an attachment of gum tissue that covers all of the surrounding bone and attaches to the root surface. The outer gum tissue surface is covered by a protein called keratin that makes it resistant to wear.

On the other hand, these periodontal ligament fibers don’t exist when implants are present as the implant is fastened directly to the bone. Because it doesn’t have this ligament attachment, and the gum tissues around can’t attach to the implant as with natural teeth, it may be more vulnerable to bacteria or trauma caused by food impaction. So, cleaning and caring for dental implants is just as important, if not more so than with natural teeth.

If the gums around an implant become infected and inflamed it could lead to peri-implantitis, a condition that can destroy the bone attachment between the implant and the bone. In other words, the loss of bone support can weaken the integration of the implant with the bone. As more and more attachment is lost, the implant can loosen and eventually be lost.

The best way to avoid this is with consistent daily hygiene and regular dental checkups. And, if you notice any signs of swelling or redness of the gums around an implant, contact us as soon as possible. The sooner we begin treatment to alleviate the infection, the less danger there will be of losing your implant.

If you would like more information on how to care for dental implants and other restorations, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Infections around Implants.”

By Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
July 06, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

It might seem that supermodels have a fairly easy life — except for the fact that they are expected to look perfect whenever they’re in front of a camera. Sometimes that’s easy — but other times, it can be pretty difficult. Just ask Chrissy Teigen: Recently, she was in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a restaurant scene for the TV travel series The Getaway, when some temporary restorations (bonding) on her teeth ended up in her food.

As she recounted in an interview, “I was… like, ‘Oh my god, is my tooth going to fall out on camera?’ This is going to be horrible.” Yet despite the mishap, Teigen managed to finish the scene — and to keep looking flawless. What caused her dental dilemma? “I had chipped my front tooth so I had temporaries in,” she explained. “I’m a grinder. I grind like crazy at night time. I had temporary teeth in that I actually ground off on the flight to Thailand.”

Like stress, teeth grinding is a problem that can affect anyone, supermodel or not. In fact, the two conditions are often related. Sometimes, the habit of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) occurs during the day, when you’re trying to cope with a stressful situation. Other times, it can occur at night — even while you’re asleep, so you retain no memory of it in the morning. Either way, it’s a behavior that can seriously damage your teeth.

When teeth are constantly subjected to the extreme forces produced by clenching and grinding, their hard outer covering (enamel) can quickly start to wear away. In time, teeth can become chipped, worn down — even loose! Any dental work on those teeth, such as fillings, bonded areas and crowns, may also be damaged, start to crumble or fall out. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold because of the lack of sufficient enamel. Bruxism can also result in headaches and jaw pain, due in part to the stress placed on muscles of the jaw and face.

You may not be aware of your own teeth-grinding behavior — but if you notice these symptoms, you might have a grinding problem. Likewise, after your routine dental exam, we may alert you to the possibility that you’re a “bruxer.” So what can you do about teeth clenching and grinding?

We can suggest a number of treatments, ranging from lifestyle changes to dental appliances or procedures. Becoming aware of the behavior is a good first step; in some cases, that may be all that’s needed to start controlling the habit. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress — meditation, relaxation, a warm bath and a soothing environment — may also help. If nighttime grinding keeps occurring, an “occlusal guard” (nightguard) may be recommended. This comfortable device is worn in the mouth at night, to protect teeth from damage. If a minor bite problem exists, it can sometimes be remedied with a simple procedure; in more complex situations, orthodontic work might be recommended.

Teeth grinding at night can damage your smile — but you don’t have to take it lying down! If you have questions about bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”

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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