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Dentist Blog

Posts for: January, 2015

By Sweet Tooth Dental
January 29, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Not long ago, Jane Fonda gave a British interviewer a clue as to how she manages to look so young at her advanced age. During the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, the septuagenarian actress and fitness guru said to a journalist from the London-based Daily Mail, “See these teeth? They cost $55,000. It was teeth or a new car — and I opted for the teeth.”

We think she made the right choice — though she might have overpaid just a tad. Most people don't have that kind of cash to spend on either a car or new teeth. But luckily, you can get either for a lot less — particularly the teeth!

The truth is, at a reasonable cost, cosmetic dentistry really can make you look a lot younger while giving your self-esteem a tremendous boost. It's an investment in both your emotional and oral health as we will never implement a smile makeover without first making sure we've addressed any underlying dental disease. Best of all, it doesn't have to cost anywhere near what you'd pay for the latest-model Jaguar, the price tag of Fonda's smile notwithstanding. Here is a list of the more common cosmetic dental techniques used to enhance a person's smile:

  • Whitening — a peroxide-based bleach is applied directly to the teeth to remove minor staining and discoloration.
  • Bonding — an acrylic material is applied to a tooth, colored and shaped to match the person's other teeth. Primarily used for chipped, broken or decayed teeth.
  • Enamel Shaping — the removal of very tiny amounts of enamel, the tooth's outer layer, for a more pleasing tooth shape.
  • Veneers — a thin shell of custom-designed tooth-colored material, usually porcelain, affixed to the front surface of the teeth.
  • Crowns and Bridgework — a technique that covers heavily damaged teeth or replaces missing teeth by capping them, or using capped teeth to support one or more false teeth.
  • Dental Implants — a small titanium post is surgically implanted in the jawbone to replace the root-part of a missing tooth. A lifelike crown is attached to the implant above the gum line and is the only part of the whole tooth restoration that is visible in the mouth.
  • Gum Contouring — a minor surgical procedure altering the position of the gum tissue to improve the look and regularity of the gum line around the teeth.

If you'd like more information on cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment. To learn more, please read the Dear Doctor magazine articles, “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The impact of a Smile Makeover.”

By Sweet Tooth Dental
January 29, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: CEREC   Same-day  

Getting dental restorations can be a lengthy, time-consuming and uncomfortable process. With Computer Assisted Design/Computer Assisted Milling (CAD/CAM) dentistry, patients can now leave with their final restorations in just a few hours and no second appointment is needed.

Have you ever needed crowns or veneers on your teeth? The process can be a hassle from start to finish. Dental impressions are taken using thick, gooey paste which can make you gag. Multiple appointments over many weeks are required, meaning extra time taken from work or other obligations, especially because the restorations may or may not fit right the first time. Fortunately, with the CAD/CAM digital dentistry and CEREC 3D technology, you can now leave with your final restoration in just a few hours with little to no discomfort.


The CEREC is a computer-aided dental system. Your Kona dentist acquires pictures of your teeth through an intraoral scanner. These pictures are then rendered into a 3D image onto a computer. From there, the dentist can model your restoration on the computer in 15 minutes then carve out your new restoration on ceramic material in approximately 20 minutes. There will be no need for subsequent appointments, ill-fitting temporary teeth, or having to receive anesthetic during multiple visits.


Because the dentist is only taking digital pictures of your teeth, it is much more comfortable than having a traditional impression. These standard impressions are uncomfortable and difficult to remove. Digital impressions simply employ an intra-oral scanner - a wand-like device - resting in your mouth and the dental staff taking a few pictures. The scanning process takes a few minutes and there is no discomfort.


Producing accurate impressions using traditional methods is far from an exact science. As a result, these restorations often do not fit the first or even second time. Digital impressions, like those CEREC takes, are much more accurate because high-quality images are taken of the teeth and then transferred into a 3D model. Digital impressions only have 15-20 microns of error (less than the width than a human hair), meaning your crowns, dentures or veneers are much more likely to fit as soon as they are completed.

The CEREC system creates a comfortable and convenient experience when receiving dental restorations. If the idea of same-day crowns or veneers appeals to you, contact Sweet Tooth Dental, your Kona-area dentist, for a consultation today!


A “perfect storm” of dental disease could be brewing for your teenager undergoing orthodontic treatment. As braces or other appliances complicate hygiene efforts, newly erupted permanent teeth and changing hormone levels could also increase their susceptibility to tooth decay or gum disease.

Here are a few tips for helping your teenager maintain healthy teeth and gums while wearing braces.

Eat a Healthy Diet. Nutrition is a key component in a healthy mouth. Your teenager should eat a diet low in sugar, a key food source for bacteria that cause dental disease, and acidic foods and beverages that cause enamel erosion. Limit between-meal snacks to only a few times a day and drink acidic beverages only at mealtime.

Brush all Tooth and Gum Surfaces. For patients who wear braces, it’s important to thoroughly brush above and below the wire running through the affixed brackets. Holding the brush at a 45-degree angle, brush between the wire and gums all the way around both the upper and lower jaws, then repeat the same technique brushing surfaces below the wire.

Clean Between Teeth. Flossing can be difficult while wearing braces, but plaque removal from between teeth is necessary for healthier teeth and gums. Orthodontic patients can benefit from special flossing tools like floss threaders, small interdental brushes or irrigators that remove plaque with sprayed water under pressure.

Incorporate Fluoride into Your Dental Care. A proven decay-fighter, fluoride strengthens enamel against erosion and infection. In addition to hygiene products and many drinking water systems, we can also supplement fluoride through gels or varnishes applied to the teeth during office visits, as well as prescription toothpastes or rinses with higher levels of fluoride for patients at higher risk of dental disease.

Use an Antibacterial Mouthrinse. Orthodontic patients with gingivitis (gum inflammation) or other bacterial-induced conditions may benefit from over-the-counter or prescribed antibacterial mouthrinses.

Maintaining an orthodontic patient’s teeth and gums can be difficult, but not impossible. A little extra attention — along with regular office cleanings and checkups — will go a long way in preventing dental disease.

If you would like more information on effective oral hygiene while undergoing orthodontic treatment, 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 “Caring for Teeth During Orthodontic Treatment.”