Posts for: February, 2019
Who wouldn't want a great looking, healthy smile? However, many people suffer from poor self-images because their smiles lack that WOW factor in alignment, color and tooth shape. At Dental Perfections in Kapolei, Hawaii and serving the Kapolei and Ewa Beach areas your cosmetic dentist, Dr. Kern Agader, can provide the boost your smile requires to help you feel and look your best. His menu of aesthetic services can be customized to fit your particular needs, and he values your input in the makeover process.
Rejuvenating your smile
It begins with a consultation with your cosmetic dentist serving the Kapolei and Ewa Beach areas. He'll ensure your mouth is free of health problems, such as decay or periodontal disease; having established that, Dr. Agader will develop ways to make your smile bright, straight and even.
This is where your input comes in. Think about how you want your smile to change. Most teens and adults know what bothers them about their smiles, but be sure to verbalize those problems when you speak with your dentist. Be specific about tooth color, shape, arrangement, defects such as cracks, gaps and pits, and whatever else you feel is a persistent problem.
Together, you and Dr. Agader will put together a treatment plan. It will fit your lifestyle, budget, and best of all, the results you desire. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry says that highly skilled dentists, such as Dr. Agader, have the tools and techniques to makeover any smile and to optimize its health, too.
Cosmetic treatments at Dental Perfections
Professional teeth whitening Better than retail products such as strips and rinses, professional whitening at Dental Perfections removes years of organic stains embedded in tooth enamel. Available as an in-office or an at-home treatment, teeth whitening brightens enamel by as much as eight shades, and because it's supervised by your dentist, you know your teeth and gums will be safe from sensitivity issues.
Composite resin bonding Using a tooth-colored material made of glass and acrylic, Dr. Agader repairs chips, cracks, gaps and other defects which mar healthy teeth. Applied in layers, shaped, cured and polished, this resin is durable and natural looking. Defects truly do disappear, and the process is quick, too.
Tooth-colored fillings Rather than amalgam fillings, your dentist can utilize composite resin to restore decayed teeth. Bonded with a special dental light, composite resin fillings are seamless, naturally-colored and durable. They require less enamel removal than their metal counterparts, too.
Porcelain crowns These tooth-shaped jackets of fine ceramic cover and support teeth marred by decay, injury and more. They boost smile aesthetics with their perfect color and sheen, and they avoid needless extractions, protect after root canal therapy and restore dental implants.
Porcelain veneers Thin, tooth-colored and resilient, veneers disguise flawed teeth, beautifying shape, shade, spacing and more. Bonded permanently on the front of selected teeth, laminates also add strength.
Your unique smile
Make it beautiful, and feel good about yourself. Talk to the experts in smile design at Dental Perfections in Kapolei, Hawaii and serving the Kapolei and Ewa Beach areas. Call for a consultation: (808) 674-8895.
Canker sores, known medically as aphthous ulcers, are fairly common among people. Lasting for about a week or so, these mouth sores are usually more irritating than painful. But about a quarter of the population, especially women, frequently suffer from an acute form that doesn't often respond well to over-the-counter remedies.
A typical canker sore is usually round with a yellow-gray center ringed by a reddened "halo." They can be preceded by tingling or painful sensations at the site a few hours or so before breaking out. Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS) is the more severe form of canker sore, often with outbreaks of multiple painful sores. While the more common sore is usually less than a centimeter in diameter, RAS sores are often much larger.
Canker sores often arise during periods of stress or anxiety, and seem to be connected with eating certain acidic foods like tomato sauce, citrus fruits or spicy dishes. RAS also seems to be related to underlying systemic conditions like vitamin deficiencies, anemia or digestive disorders. Besides managing diet and stress, people with regular canker sores and milder cases of RAS can often find relief with non-prescription numbing agents often found in stores and pharmacies.
For more severe RAS, though, you may need the help of your dentist or physician with treatments like prescription steroids or other medications that come in gel or rinse form or through injections. The goal of any treatment approach is to decrease pain severity and shorten healing times after an outbreak.
While most mouth sores, including RAS, aren't dangerous to your health, you should still take any sore seriously. You should especially seek medical evaluation if a sore doesn't heal after a couple of weeks, if they seem to come more frequently and are more severe, or if you don't seem to ever be without a sore in your mouth. These could indicate a serious underlying problem that needs to be addressed.
One thing's for sure: there are ways to ease your suffering if you have frequent bouts with regular canker sores or even RAS. Talk to your dentist about ways to minimize your discomfort from these irritating mouth sores.
If you would like more information on aphthous ulcers or canker sores, 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 “Mouth Sores.”
Finally — your braces are off! A look in the mirror reveals a straighter, more attractive smile. Unfortunately, it may also show something not so attractive — tiny, chalky spots on your teeth.
These “white spot lesions” are created by acid remaining too long in contact with the enamel, causing it to lose minerals at those places. The acid comes from plaque (a thin film of bacteria and food particles) that brushing and flossing fail to remove. Snacking on foods and beverages with added sugar or high acid content may also make it worse.
Besides their unattractiveness, these spots can lead to tooth decay — so it’s important to try to prevent it. Limiting sugar-added snacks and acidic beverages to mealtimes will help, but the main key to preventing lesions is more thorough brushing and flossing.
Because of the braces, this can take longer to do than if you weren’t wearing them. It’s also more difficult maneuvering your toothbrush or floss around the orthodontic hardware. You can improve thoroughness and access by using a powered brush or one specially designed for use with braces. And, a water flosser that removes plaque between teeth with a pulsating spray of water is an effective alternative to string floss.
Even if (despite your best efforts) some lesions form, we can still treat them. Resuming normal hygiene practices after braces may take care of it — if not, we can strengthen the affected areas of the enamel with pastes, gels, or other topical fluoride applications. We can also use a technique called caries infiltration that injects tooth-colored resin (often used for cosmetic dentistry) beneath the white spot to harden it, and leave it more translucent in resemblance of normal enamel. If these fail to produce satisfactory results, we can use cosmetic bonding that permanently covers the tooth with resin or veneers.
It’s best, though, if you can prevent the lesions while you’re wearing braces. Besides daily hygiene, be sure to keep up regular dental visits for teeth cleaning. Your efforts will go a long way toward keeping your newly aligned teeth bright and blemish-free.
If you would like more information on dental care and hygiene while wearing braces, 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 “White Spots on Teeth during Orthodontic Treatment.”
It's no secret that many of Hollywood's brightest stars didn't start out with perfectly aligned, pearly-white teeth. And these days, plenty of celebs are willing to share their stories, showing how dentists help those megawatt smiles shine. In a recent interview with W magazine, Emma Stone, the stunning 28-year-old star of critically-acclaimed films like La La Land and Birdman, explained how orthodontic appliances helped her overcome problems caused by a harmful habit: persistent thumb sucking in childhood.
“I sucked my thumb until I was 11 years old,” she admitted, mischievously adding “It's still so soothing to do it.” Although it may have been comforting, the habit spelled trouble for her bite. “The roof of my mouth is so high-pitched that I had this huge overbite,” she said. “I got this gate when I was in second grade… I had braces, and then they put a gate.”
While her technical terminology isn't quite accurate, Stone is referring to a type of appliance worn in the mouth which dentists call a “tongue crib” or “thumb/finger appliance.” The purpose of these devices is to stop children from engaging in “parafunctional habits” — that is, behaviors like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, which are unrelated to the normal function of the mouth and can cause serious bite problems. (Other parafunctional habits include nail biting, pencil chewing and teeth grinding.)
When kids develop the habit of regularly pushing the tongue against the front teeth (tongue thrusting) or sucking on an object placed inside the mouth (thumb sucking), the behavior can cause the front teeth to be pushed out of alignment. When the top teeth move forward, the condition is commonly referred to as an overbite. In some cases a more serious situation called an “open bite” may develop, which can be difficult to correct. Here, the top and bottom front teeth do not meet or overlap when the mouth is closed; instead, a vertical gap is left in between.
Orthodontic appliances are often recommended to stop harmful oral habits from causing further misalignment. Most appliances are designed with a block (or gate) that prevents the tongue or finger from pushing on the teeth; this is what the actress mentioned. Normally, when the appliance is worn for a period of months it can be expected to modify the child's behavior. Once the habit has been broken, other appliances like traditional braces or clear aligners can be used to bring the teeth into better alignment.
But in Stone's case, things didn't go so smoothly. “I'd take the gate down and suck my thumb underneath the mouth appliance,” she admitted, “because I was totally ignoring the rule to not suck your thumb while you're trying to straighten out your teeth.” That rule-breaking ended up costing the aspiring star lots of time: she spent a total of 7 years wearing braces.
Fortunately, things worked out for the best for Emma Stone: She now has a brilliant smile and a stellar career — plus a shiny new Golden Globe award! Does your child have a thumb sucking problem or another harmful oral habit? For more information about how to correct it, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Thumb Sucking Affects the Bite.”