Kopiko Plaza 75-5660 Kopiko St., #B2 Kailua Kona, HI 96740(808) 329-0889

Dentist Blog

Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Sweet Tooth Dental
March 15, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

1How teeth whitening from your Kailua Kona, Hawaii, dentist can enhance your smile

Have you thought about professional teeth whitening? Did you know it’s one of the most popular and effective ways to enhance your smile? Dr. Garrett Oka at Sweet Tooth Dental in Kailua Kona, HI, offers teeth whitening treatments to give you the brilliant white smile you deserve.

There are many excellent reasons to choose teeth whitening. Consider that a professional teeth whitening treatment is:

  • Quick; the in-office process takes only about an hour.
  • Long lasting; your amazing results can last up to 5 years.
  • Effective; you can whiten your teeth up to 8 shades whiter with professional teeth whitening.
  • Safe; professional teeth whitening products are rigorously tested and approved by the American Dental Association.

You should choose teeth whitening if your teeth are stained from coffee, tea, or tobacco products. Professional teeth whitening can turn a stained smile into a brilliant, beautiful smile. You should also choose professional teeth whitening if your smile is turning yellow and dull from aging. Teeth whitening can turn an aging smile into a young, vibrant smile you will be proud to show off.

At your Kailua Kona, HI, dentist, you can choose from two effective teeth whitening methods:

  • The in-office treatment is the quickest way to a brighter smile. In-office whitening takes only about an hour and is a great choice if you have a special event coming up.
  • The take-home treatment comes in the form of a kit. It contains everything you need to whiten and brighten your smile at your own pace, in the convenience of your home.

For more detailed information about professional teeth whitening treatments, please visit the Teeth Whitening page on Dr. Oka’s website at https://www.sweettoothdental.net/teeth-whitening.html

You don’t need to put up with a smile that is dull and uninteresting. Brighten it up with a professional teeth whitening treatment with Dr. Oka at Sweet Tooth Dental in Kailua Kona, HI. Call (808) 329-0889 today to get started on a whiter, brighter smile!

By Sweet Tooth Dental
February 27, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: braces   retainers  
KeepYourNewSmileAfterOrthodonticswithaRetainer

After months of wearing braces, the big day has arrived — they’re finally off! Your teeth have been realigned and your smile is dazzling. You’re finished with orthodontic treatment, right?

Not quite — because if you want to keep your new smile you have one more treatment phase to go — wearing a retainer. Without this phase there’s a distinct possibility you could lose all the time, effort and expense of braces because your teeth could revert to their previous position.

To understand why, we have to consider how teeth can move in the first place. Although it may seem like your teeth are rigidly fastened to the jawbone, they’re actually held in place by the periodontal ligament, a strong, elastic gum tissue that lies between the teeth and the bone. Tiny fibers from the ligament attach to the teeth on one side and to the bone in a similar manner on the other side.

When pressure is applied to the tooth as happens with braces, the bone around the side of the tooth in the direction of the force will begin to dissolve (resorb), allowing the tooth to move in that direction. New bone will then build up on the other side to stabilize the tooth. Once the pressure is removed (when we take the braces off), there’s a tendency for the teeth, bone and gums to “remember” the old position and try to revert back.

The answer is a removable mouth appliance known as a retainer. Custom-designed to fit the teeth’s new position, the retainer helps hold the teeth in place until the bone completely sets around them. In the beginning, you may need to wear the retainer around the clock and then later only at night while you sleep. While you may only need to wear it for a few months (especially if you’re an adolescent or young adult) some patients may need to wear some form of retainer indefinitely. Your orthodontist will advise you how long depending on your individual situation.

While retainers may seem like an inconvenience, they’re extremely important for keeping or “retaining” the teeth in their new and better position. Following through on this important phase of treatment will help ensure you’ll keep your new smile for a long time to come.

If you would like more information on retainers, 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 “Why Orthodontic Retainers?

By Sweet Tooth Dental
February 07, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
LadyGagaWasntBornThisWay

Sometimes, looking at old pictures can really bring memories back to life. Just ask Stefani Germanotta—the pop diva better known as Lady Gaga. In one scene from the recent documentary Five Foot Two, as family members sort through headshots from her teen years, her father proclaims: "Here, this proves she had braces!"

"If I had kept that gap, then I would have even more problems with Madonna," Lady Gaga replies, referencing an ongoing feud between the two musical celebrities.

The photos of Gaga's teenage smile reveal that the singer of hits like "Born This Way" once had a noticeable gap (which dentists call a diastema) between her front teeth. This condition is common in children, but often becomes less conspicuous with age. It isn't necessarily a problem: Lots of well-known people have extra space in their smiles, including ex-football player and TV host Michael Strahan, actress Anna Paquin…and fellow pop superstar Madonna. It hasn't hurt any of their careers.

Yet others would prefer a smile without the gap. Fortunately, diastema in children is generally not difficult to fix. One of the easiest ways to do so is with traditional braces or clear aligners. These orthodontic appliances, usually worn for a period of months, can actually move the teeth into positions that look more pleasing in the smile and function better in the bite. For many people, orthodontic treatment is a part of their emergence from adolescence into adulthood.

Braces and aligners, along with other specialized orthodontic appliances, can also remedy many bite problems besides diastema. They can correct misaligned teeth and spacing irregularities, fix overbites and underbites, and take care of numerous other types of malocclusions (bite problems).

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that kids get screened for orthodontic problems at age 7. Even if an issue is found, most won't get treatment at this age—but in some instances, it's possible that early intervention can save a great deal of time, money and effort later. For example, while the jaw is still developing, its growth can be guided with special appliances that can make future orthodontic treatment go quicker and easier.

Yet orthodontics isn't just for children—adults can wear braces too! As long as teeth and gums are healthy, there's no upper age limit on orthodontic treatment. Instead of traditional silver braces, many adults choose tooth-colored braces or clear aligners to complement their more professional appearance.

So if your child is at the age where screening is recommended—or if you're unhappy with your own smile—ask us whether orthodontics could help. But if you get into a rivalry with Madonna…you're on your own.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Orthodontics For The Older Adult.”

By Sweet Tooth Dental
January 18, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental ImplantsDental implants are a surefire way to restore your smile, rejuvenate your appearance, and renew the way you feel about your look. However, understanding how the implant process works and just what it can do for you is crucial in making the decision to undergo this procedure. Learn more about more about dental implants by reading below, and contact Dr. Garrett Oka at Sweet Tooth Dental in Kailua Kona, HI, if you are interested in undergoing treatment!

 

The Long-Term Benefits of Dental Implants
A missing tooth causes the bone below it to degrade during a process called bone atrophy, a problem that is prevented by dental implants. Additionally, implants fill in your gaps to boost your self-esteem and confidence to help you feel great about the way you look. Thanks to their design and materials, implants are permanent and non-removable, allowing you to go about your daily life and oral care plan just as you would with natural teeth.

 

A Quick History of Dental Implants
Dentists began using modern dental implants in the 1970s. However, evidence of this powerful dental procedure has been traced back thousands of years. Bone, animal teeth, and even stone have all been used in various ancient societies to replace missing teeth. By the 1800s, prosthetic teeth made from gold were implanted into fresh extraction sites, paving the way for the modern implant styles we see today. Dentists tested various materials in the 1960s, developing the titanium implant used now.

 

What is a dental implant?

  • Fixture: A dental implant’s foundation lies in its fixture, a small, titanium post that your dentist surgically implants into the jawbone beneath your missing tooth.
  • Abutment: The abutment connects the prosthetic tooth to hold it in place on its fixture.
  • Prosthetic: Made from porcelain, a prosthetic tooth is customized by a dental laboratory for each individual patient. It looks just like natural teeth and will fit seamlessly into your smile.

 

Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
A good candidate for dental implants is in good oral and general health and able to, in some cases, undergo anesthesia to complete their implant procedure. They should also have sufficient bone volume in the area of the implant and a strong at-home oral care routine to keep their teeth and implants healthy and free from teeth decay and gum disease.

 

Interested in implants? Call out Kailua Kona office today!
Dental implants can benefit many patients in a variety of situations. For more information about this wonderful treatment, please contact Sweet Tooth Dental in Kailua Kona, HI, at (808) 329-0889.

By Sweet Tooth Dental
January 18, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
3WaysOrthodonticTechniquesCouldPreventaPoorBite

While orthodontists can effectively correct most poor bites (malocclusions), some can be quite complex requiring much time and expense. But there's good news—we often don't have to wait on a malocclusion to fully develop if we catch it in time. Thanks to interceptive orthodontics, we may be able to intervene much earlier and eliminate or reduce the degree of difficulty with treatment.

Interceptive orthodontics is a group of techniques and devices used in early childhood to help deter a possible malocclusion. Here are 3 ways this approach could make a difference in your child's bite development.

Guiding jaw growth. On a normal-sized upper jaw, the permanent teeth usually have ample room to erupt. Not so with a smaller jaw: incoming teeth become crowded and may erupt out of alignment or too close to each other. Orthodontists often use a device called a palatal expander to aid an under-sized jaw in its development. The device fits along the roof of the mouth between the teeth and applies gradual outward pressure on them. This encourages the jaw to widen as it grows, thus providing more room for erupting teeth to come in properly and decrease the chances of obstructive sleep apnea in the future.

Reshaping and repositioning jaw bones. An overbite can occur when the jaws aren't properly aligned, often due to poor muscle and bone development. This is where devices like the Herbst appliance are useful. Its hinge mechanism encourages the lower jaw to grow further forward. The jaws can thus develop in a more normal way, minimizing the development of a malocclusion.

Maintaining space. Primary ("baby") teeth are important for dental development because they help guide future permanent teeth to erupt properly; they also keep nearby teeth from drifting into the intended space. But when a primary tooth is lost prematurely due to disease or trauma, the space can become vulnerable to this kind of "drift." With a simple mechanism called a space maintainer we can hold open the space created by a prematurely lost primary tooth until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt.

These and other techniques can help stop bad bites from developing in young children, minimizing or even eliminating the need for future orthodontic treatment. That means a healthier mouth for your child and less impact on your wallet.

If you would like more information on interceptive orthodontics, 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 “Interceptive Orthodontics: Timely Intervention can make Treatment Easier.”



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