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Posts for: March, 2016

By Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
March 25, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns   Bridges  

Missing teeth do more than just upset the balance of your smile. Sagging facial muscles due to bone atrophy cause premature aging crowns and bridgesand potential issues with self-esteem. Crowns and bridges can help you repair your smile to prevent tooth loss and replace already missing teeth. Learn more about these dental restorations with help from your Honolulu, HI dentist, Dr. Stephanie Wong.

What are crowns and bridges? 
Crowns and bridges are dental restorations usually made from porcelain. A dental laboratory customizes crowns and bridges specifically for you based on a mold of your teeth. Crowns are a cap-like structure which fits over the tooth to stabilize and strengthen it. A bridge is made up of 3 prosthetic teeth in a row, with crowns on the outer two teeth. The crowns anchor the bridge into place using the healthy teeth surrounding the gap to replace the missing tooth.

When are crowns and bridges needed? 
A crown helps strengthen a weakened tooth. Some situations where crowns are necessary include:

  • to stabilize a broken tooth
  • to strengthen a tooth with a large filling
  • to give new life to a worn tooth
  • to improve the appearance of a misshaped or heavily stained tooth
  • to cover a dental implant

Those with a gap surrounded by healthy teeth benefit from a bridge. The teeth on both sides of the gap must be strong enough to support the restoration.

Are crowns or bridges right for me? 
Anyone considering a crown or bridge should be in good general dental health and maintain an excellent at-home oral care routine. Brushing twice a day and flossing once keeps your natural teeth and dental restorations alike healthy and clean. Additionally, seeing your Honolulu dentist at least twice a year for an examination and cleaning allows them to find and treat any problems early and prevents tooth decay and gum disease.

For more information on crowns and bridges, please contact Dr. Stephanie Wong, your Honolulu, HI dentist. Call (808) 732-3072 to speak with an associate about scheduling your appointment today!


By Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
March 25, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   bonding  
ARoyalFix

So you’re tearing up the dance floor at a friend’s wedding, when all of a sudden one of your pals lands an accidental blow to your face — chipping out part of your front tooth, which lands right on the floorboards! Meanwhile, your wife (who is nine months pregnant) is expecting you home in one piece, and you may have to pose for a picture with the baby at any moment. What will you do now?

Take a tip from Prince William of England. According to the British tabloid The Daily Mail, the future king found himself in just this situation in 2013. His solution: Pay a late-night visit to a discreet dentist and get it fixed up — then stay calm and carry on!

Actually, dental emergencies of this type are fairly common. While nobody at the palace is saying exactly what was done for the damaged tooth, there are several ways to remedy this dental dilemma.

If the broken part is relatively small, chances are the tooth can be repaired by bonding with composite resin. In this process, tooth-colored material is used to replace the damaged, chipped or discolored region. Composite resin is a super-strong mixture of plastic and glass components that not only looks quite natural, but bonds tightly to the natural tooth structure. Best of all, the bonding procedure can usually be accomplished in just one visit to the dental office — there’s no lab work involved. And while it won’t last forever, a bonded tooth should hold up well for at least several years with only routine dental care.

If a larger piece of the tooth is broken off and recovered, it is sometimes possible to reattach it via bonding. However, for more serious damage — like a severely fractured or broken tooth — a crown (cap) may be required. In this restoration process, the entire visible portion of the tooth may be capped with a sturdy covering made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to a gold metal alloy.

A crown restoration is more involved than bonding. It begins with making a 3-D model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors. From this model, a tooth replica will be fabricated by a skilled technician; it will match the existing teeth closely and fit into the bite perfectly. Next, the damaged tooth will be prepared, and the crown will be securely attached to it. Crown restorations are strong, lifelike and permanent.

Was the future king “crowned” — or was his tooth bonded? We may never know for sure. But it’s good to know that even if we’ll never be royals, we still have several options for fixing a damaged tooth. If you would like more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Crowns and Bridgework.”


By Dr. Stephanie ML Wong, DMD, Inc.
March 10, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
CosmeticGumSurgeryCanHelpRestoreLostTissuesAroundTeeth

Your gums can take a lot — they’re resilient and they endure a variety of abrasive foods over a lifetime. But resilience isn’t the same as invulnerability: your gums can be weakened by periodontal (gum) disease or by over-aggressive brushing that causes them to shrink away (recede) from the teeth they protect.

Unfortunately, it’s not a rare problem — millions suffer from some degree of gum recession, caused mainly by gum disease. This aggressive infection arises from bacteria in dental plaque, a thin film that builds up on tooth surfaces due to inadequate oral hygiene. Fortunately, gum disease can be effectively treated in its early stages by removing plaque above and below the gum line. Diseased gums will quickly rebound to their normal health.

Unfortunately, though, heavily recessed gums from advanced stages of gum disease (as well as those who’ve inherited thinner gum tissues and are more susceptible to recession) may not come back fully without help. This can affect the health and survival of affected teeth, as well as your appearance.

Plastic periodontal surgery can help restore these lost tissues. There are a number of procedures that can be used depending on the exact nature of the recession, and most involve some form of tissue grafting. A specimen of donated gum tissue (either from another portion of the patient’s gums or a thoroughly cleansed and properly processed donation from another person) is surgically attached to the gums at the recession site.

The graft can be completely freed from the harvest area or in some cases a part of it remains attached to receive blood supply while the rest is grafted to the site. These procedures, especially the latter, require meticulous skill and sophisticated microsurgical techniques to make an effective attachment. If the tooth root is involved, it must be thoroughly prepared beforehand through polishing and decontamination to ensure the new graft will take. The graft is sutured in place and sometimes covered with a moldable dressing for protection.

As the area heals, the tissues begin to grow around the graft, restoring better coverage for the tooth. Coupled with comprehensive gum disease treatment, this form of plastic surgery can restore new health to teeth and a transformed smile.

If you would like more information on treating gum recession with plastic surgery, 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 “Periodontal Plastic Surgery.”




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...

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