During a yearly dental exam, there are several things that will take place. The dental hygienist will come in and do an intake where she gathers information and takes notes that the doctor will need during the exam. X-rays will be taken if they are needed. The hygienist will clean the teeth, review oral hygiene instructions, and prepare a fluoride treatment. The dentist will come in and talk to the patient about any concerns they may have and then thoroughly examine the mouth. The exam will cover all the hard and soft tissues like the teeth, jaw, tongue and gums. The dentist will go over any strong points or weak areas that may be found and schedule an additional appointment if one is needed to correct dental caries/cavities or any dental deficiencies.
Individuals who have dentures should still be seen by their regular dentist at least once a year. The yearly dental exam does more than just check a person’s teeth. It also provides valuable information when it comes to the general health of the body. Gums that are pink and healthy-looking can indicate good circulation and breathing patterns. Gums that are dull and gray may indicate poor circulation and possible neurological disease. If a person’s gums bleed, it may indicate some type of periodontal disease that can disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in the mouth and throw off the body’s ability to digest food properly.
Cosmetic procedures include veneers, teeth whitening systems, certain types of teeth straightening systems, and corrective procedures that are not vital for the health of the individual. Cosmetic procedures are usually the procedures that insurance providers won’t cover. A person’s health does not rely on the procedure. In most cases, cosmetic procedures are only performed to improve a person’s looks or give them a more natural smile.
Because most cosmetic dentistry procedures are not performed for a justifiable health reason, they are generally not covered by insurance. In cases where a person’s face and teeth have been severely damaged due to an accident, injury, or illness, some insurance companies may make an exception, especially if the person can receive some type of health benefit from the procedure. Most dentists will check with their insurance providers to make sure the procedure is covered by insurance before moving forward with it. Certain restorative procedures are covered by insurance as well.
Restorative dentistry is the term given to restorative measures that are used to restore proper form and function to the mouth after a traumatic accident or illness. Individuals who have a cleft lip, for example, may require several surgeries to create a palate and align the teeth in an attempt to create a way for them to eat and chew their food, just like any other person. This may involve manufacturing false teeth or creating a bridge that can be put in place to prevent the rest of the teeth from shifting during the healing process. Traumatic damage can be caused by many different things and restorative treatment options can help restore a person’s smile and self-esteem.
A crown is basically a cap that is placed over what is left of a tooth. In most cases, a crown is used to fill an opening between teeth where a tooth has been severely damaged, broken, or lost. Temporary crowns may be made of almost any material, but more than likely they will be manufactured using a composite resin. Permanent crowns are normally made of a high grade, dental porcelain that is designed to last for several years without cracking, chipping, staining or breaking. Crowns normally take the same shape and color of the teeth they are replacing in the mouth.
Temporary crowns are often made up of composite resin, simply because they will only be needed for a short period of time. Ceramic and porcelain are the two most common materials that are used in the manufacture of crowns. Porcelain is by far the strongest and most durable of the glass style crowns. It is very difficult to chip or stain and will withstand several years of constant wear and tear. Gold is also used in the manufacture of crowns. Gold is extremely durable, will not break, chip or stain. The main problem when it comes to gold crowns is the cost. Gold crowns can be very costly depending on where and how they are made. Gold crowns are also much more noticeable because of their color.
In most cases, crowns are intended to be permanent. When they are designed to attach to a metal post that has been implanted in the jaw, the goal is to add the crown and create a barrier that holds the surrounding teeth in place. If a person has lost a tooth or teeth, the ones that are left behind tend to shift. This causes other teeth to drift out of alignment and can result in the alignment of the jaw also being thrown off. When crowns are put in place, the normal structure of the jaw is restored and there is less risk of the teeth being damaged or chipped from not lining up correctly as a person chews or speaks.
A dental implant is a small metal or titanium rod that is screwed into the jaw bone and then capped with a crown. The dental implant is used to replace a tooth or teeth that have been lost due to damage or decay. Dental implants prevent teeth on either side of an opening from shifting away from other teeth that are nearby. When implants are used, they act as a barrier that the other teeth can butt up against, holding them in place and maintaining the mouth’s original alignment. Dental implants are often put in as soon as the root of the other tooth is removed to ensure the other teeth remain in place.
The metal post that is implanted into the jaw is set directly into the bone. This allows the bone to grow around it, holding it firmly in place. Dental implants are designed to be permanent because of how they are anchored deeply into the jaw bone. Once the jaw has grown around the post it is extremely difficult to remove and may cause damage to the bone if an attempt is made to extract it. Dental implants are used in situations where permanency is the expected result. When implants are used to replace one or two teeth, it is easy to use implants to replace the rest of the teeth to create an entire denture that snaps into place over the existing posts.
Many people are choosing the implant method over conventional dentures. Part of the reason for this is that the fit of the denture will never change. They no longer rely on the suction between the gum and the denture. When implants are put in place, the denture snaps firmly to the implant and will remain in place until they are removed. Dentures made with implants create a solid seal that prevents food and other debris from working down underneath the plate and causing discomfort. Implants are also ideal for use with partial plates. When implants are used, there is no need for anchor wires that wrap around neighboring teeth.
Veneers are small pieces of dental grade ceramic or porcelain that are designed to be placed over the top of the tooth to create a new surface. Veneers are often used to close gaps between teeth, improve discolorations, create a smile or line of teeth that has uniformly sized teeth and correct any abnormalities that may cause a person’s smile to be slightly off. In order to bond the veneer to the teeth, the dentist must file away the enamel to create a surface that is suitable for bonding. The bonding material does not adhere well to a smooth surface so the enamel is removed, exposing the rougher material below it.
Because implanting veneers calls for the removal of the delicate enamel that covers the surface of the tooth, veneers are designed to be permanently bonded to the tooth. If something happens that the veneer is damaged in any way, the dentist must remove the veneer without breaking the tooth or causing any damage to the teeth that are in the general area. Veneers are made of a high-grade porcelain and will look and feel just like regular teeth for many years. Porcelain is extremely hard to damage and can last for years once they have been properly bonded to the surface of the tooth.
The majority of veneers are made of a very high grade of porcelain. Porcelain is the strongest, most reliable material used in the creation of replacement teeth and appliances. While porcelain is the most common, ceramic comes in a close second. Although it is not quite as durable, ceramic can last for several years and still remain looking its best. Ceramic tends to chip and discolor easier than porcelain but will withstand almost as much pressure as the porcelain veneers. Composite materials can be used to make temporary veneers if need be, but they are not as strong as porcelain and must be replaced in a short period of time.
Dentures should be considered if a person’s teeth have become so decayed or damaged that they are having a detrimental impact on their overall health. It has been proven that if a person is not healthy, their mouth will be the first to show signs of disease. Individuals who have gum disease, often have a receding gum line that can eventually result in the roots of their teeth showing. When this occurs, the gum has worn away to the point that the tissue no longer sports the teeth and may eventually begin to cause problems. When teeth start to become loose due to the deterioration of the gums, having the teeth pulled and dentures put in their place is often a sound idea.
Dentures are fitted in one of two ways. Each dentist is different and has their own personal choice. In some cases, the teeth are measured and both the upper and lower plates are created. When the teeth are ready to be used, the dentist will go in and pull the teeth and immediately put the denture in place so the gums will be able to heal around it. Another way to fit a set of dentures is to pull all of the teeth and then create a denture and put it in place after the gum tissue has healed. Either way, the gums and the dentures are form-fitted. Individuals who wear dentures should visit the dentist once a year to ensure they are still fitting properly and not sliding around.
A partial is a removable denture that is designed to only replace a small section of the teeth. Partials normally contain five to seven teeth, give or take one or two. Partials are designed in such a way that they snap into place between the teeth on either side of the opening. Unlike dental implants, a partial is held in place by wire anchors that wrap around the teeth that rest on both sides of where it is placed in the mouth. Partials can be removed and cleaned just like conventional dentures. They are manufactured from the same materials and will act just like regular teeth while the partial is in place.
The number of trays used in a series will depend on how much movement is required to reach the desired alignment. A series of trays can contain anywhere from 10 to 40 trays. Each tray is worn for 10 to 14 days. Once each tray has been worn for the allotted amount of time, it is put away and the next tray is ready to be used. If for some reason, an unforeseen circumstance arises, the patient can use the same tray for a slightly longer period of time if need be. The trays are easy to clean and can be taken out or put back in as needed.
A computer generated program simulates what a person’s mouth looks like when the treatment begins as well as what it will look like when the treatment is completed. The dentist will use the computer program to create a series of trays that will be used consecutively to move the teeth a little more with each progression. As the trays continue to be used, the teeth will move a little more each time until they have reached the desired goal. A retainer may need to be worn for several weeks to ensure that the teeth will not begin to shift back to their prior position. There are cases where one series of trays is not enough. A second series is created that may contain another set of trays. In most cases, when a second set of trays is needed, the number of trays decreases slightly.
While the Invisalign® system works well when it comes to moving teeth that are modestly out of alignment, there are situations where a more extensive system is needed. Individuals who have teeth that require extensive movement, and in some cases, jaw modification, the tray system will not produce the type of results that are needed to effectively restore the person’s smile or realign their teeth. Individuals who have problems with their jaw alignment may also be passed over for this type of system. In order to use the tray system, the main structure of the jaw and mouth should be somewhat normal. If not, it may take several series of trays to correct the problem. Conventional braces may be able to move the teeth much faster and with much less discomfort.
Teeth whitening systems are generally considered to be safe when used according to directions. Because teeth whitening systems can sometimes be abrasive, it is extremely important to use them only according to the dentist’s orders or the instructions within the kit. If the instructions are not followed, the risk of damage to the delicate enamel of the tooth dramatically increases. Dentists often recommend making an appointment at the office and allowing them to professionally whiten the teeth instead of using a kit that may destroy the enamel or cause an adverse reaction with the gums.
A computer generated program simulates what a person’s mouth looks like when the treatment begins as well as what it will look like when the treatment is completed. The dentist will use the computer program to create a series of trays that will be used consecutively to move the teeth a little more with each progression. As the trays continue to be used, the teeth will move a little more each time until they have reached the desired goal. A retainer may need to be worn for several weeks to ensure that the teeth will not begin to shift back to their prior position. There are cases where one series of trays is not enough. A second series is created that may contain another set of trays. In most cases, when a second set of trays is needed, the number of trays decreases slightly.Dr. Michelle Ahn prefers Zoom! whitening for her patients. The two main ways to whiten teeth are either in office Zoom! whitening treatment or an at home kit using custom trays and bleaching gels. Our experience here at Ahn Dental Specialists has been that patients are more successful with in office Zoom! whitening treatment rather than attempting bleaching at home. Results are instant when whitening is completed in office whereas at home treatment may take several weeks. Also, patients who have sensitive teeth cannot complete the several weeks of at home bleaching due to daily sensitivity, thus they prefer the one time in office Zoom! treatment. We have had patients do at home whitening who were not happy with the results due to the time, sensitivity, and effort involved. They then tried in office Zoom! whitening and finally achieved the results they were looking for. This is why it is my recommendation to do an in office whitening first and then continue doing touch-up whitenings at home. Our office supplies patients with custom made whitening trays to take home after they complete Zoom!
Dentists recommend whitening your teeth no more than two times a year. Any more than that can damage the delicate enamel that covers the teeth. Once the enamel has been damaged, it cannot be repaired or replaced. Whitening toothpaste can be used a few times a week, but it is important to use one that does not contain harsh abrasives. The American Dental Association recommends using a whitening toothpaste just a few times a week while using a fluoride toothpaste on the other days. Always make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly and floss as normal, no matter what type of toothpaste you use.
Root canal procedures aren’t difficult, but they can be lengthy. Many patients who suffer from anxiety may have trouble sitting quietly for long periods of time while the dentist performs the procedure. Sedation dentistry offers patients an opportunity to be fully relaxed, but still awake during a procedure. Mild sedation is used to keep them calm and it allows the dentist the time they need to complete the procedure without rushing or fearing the patient will become nervous. During a sedation procedure, the patient has the option of being asleep or semi-conscious. While they are still awake and can interact with the dentist, their anxiety level is low and they are fully relaxed and at ease.
Root canals are performed to remove the root of a tooth that has become infected or abscessed. During a root canal procedure, the top of the tooth is removed to provide the dentist access to the root. Once the root is fully exposed, the doctor removes it, creating a small canal. The canal is filled with a composite substance that hardens to support the structure of the tooth and keep it intact. Once the canal has been filled, the dentist will attach a temporary or permanent crown to protect the tooth. If a temporary crown is put in place, a permanent one will be created and attached at a later date.
During a root canal, the entire root of the tooth is removed. It does not grow back, nor can it be replaced. Over time, however, the crown or other aspects of the tooth may become compromised causing a need for a second root canal. The dentist may choose to perform another root canal, or they have the option to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental implant. The basic effect of the root canal is permanent because once it is in place it can only be repaired. If a tooth is severely damaged after a root canal has been performed, there may be no way to repair it. When this occurs, extraction is the most common option. It is left up to the person to decide whether an implant will be used.
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, normally begin to erupt between the ages of 17 and 21. Some people may notice them trying to come in after the age of 21, but their late arrival may be because the structure of the mouth has slowed their progression. The size of the mouth and the teeth are different for every individual. Many people have more than enough room for their wisdom teeth to grow in naturally. Others have much less space at the back of their mouth. This can be due to the size of their teeth or the length of their jaw bone. Wisdom teeth are normally larger than the rest of the teeth in the mouth and may grow in at an angle if there is not enough room for them to move freely into place.
If the entire surface of the wisdom tooth is able to erupt through the surface of the gum, then surgery is not needed to remove it. The dentist will measure the area to determine if there is enough room for the tooth to fit comfortably into its space without disrupting the tooth next to it, the dentist will allow it to remain in place to protect the structure and integrity of the mouth. If space is limited and the doctor can still get a firm grip on the tooth, he may be able to pull it without cutting the tissues. This allows room for the other teeth in the area to rest comfortably in their original position or forcing them to be bunched together.
When a tooth is impacted, it means it is coming in at an angle or sideways and is pushing against the back of the tooth next to it. It is often due to being forced out of its original location. When this occurs, there is no way for the dentist to grip the tooth and pull it. In this situation, surgery is required to remove both the crown of the tooth and the roots that extend back or downward into the jaw bone. Because of the tooth’s size, the dentist may have to break it into smaller sections in order to remove it safely. This allows them to remove all pieces of the tooth, even those that are located near the jaw bone.
Sedation dentistry involves the use of sedatives or anesthesia to relax a patient before a dental procedure is performed. Patients who have moderate to severe anxiety can benefit from sedation dentistry because it allows them to remain calm for longer periods of time, giving the dentist the time he needs to complete more complex procedures. There are several types of sedation that can be used. Mild sedation can be received through oral medications. For patients who have higher levels of anxiety, intravenous forms of anesthesia can be used to put the patient in a semi-conscious state or allow them to sleep through the procedure.
Once a dentist gets to know the patient, he can determine whether or not they will benefit from sedation. Small children and adults who have severe anxiety are the most common choices. Individuals who have moderate anxiety are also considered for sedation dentistry. Many times, the determining factor is the length of time the procedure will take. A person with mild to moderate anxiety or a panic disorder may not need to be sedated if the procedure can be completed in a short period of time. If the doctor believes that patient will have any type of anxiety during the procedure, they will recommend the patient try sedation to see if it helps them remain relaxed during the procedure.
Sedation is recommended for any patient who has anxiety or panic issues that arise from fear or being forced to remain in one position for long periods of time. Many people are fearful of the sights, sounds, and smells associated with the dentist’s office. Fear can cause them to become anxious or panicky when they are placed in the dentist’s chair. Individuals who cannot sit still for long periods of time may also require sedation to keep them from moving throughout the procedure. Various levels of sedation can be used to help keep the patient calm and relaxed throughout the dental procedure. The doctor will evaluate each patient to determine how much sedation will be needed for each procedure.
Dentists have several ways of treating sleep apnea and restoring healthy sleep patterns. Treatment may involve a CPAP, an oral appliance, or surgical intervention. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. It maintains a positive flow of air into the nose as a person sleeps. The positive airflow creates pressure that forces a person to keep breathing. CPAP requires patients to wear a mask which often times is cumbersome and hinders a patient’s ability to sleep. Thus an alternative treatment would be the use of an oral appliance. An oral appliance is worn only during sleep and fits like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer. It supports the jaw in a forward position to help maintain an open upper airway. Some of the advantages of an oral appliance are comfort, ease of usage and wear, it is quiet, and it is easy to maintain and clean. There have also been technological advances that use a subcutaneous implant that sends signals to the lungs to maintain a steady breathing pattern. Medical professionals who deal with patients who suffer from sleep apnea recommend losing weight as a way of releasing pressure on the diaphragm and allowing a more natural breathing pattern.
Awaken your eyes to a new you! Plastic and cosmetic surgery is no longer about looking artificial or “plastic.” Awaken Aesthetic’s philosophy is to help achieve your goals and your desired look while making sure you still look like your natural self. We do this by taking the time to listen to our patients, engage in a very open and honest dialogue about all the options we can offer, and provide the best care possible at every step. From the entire family at Awaken Aesthetics, we thank you for your time and hope to get to know you soon.
Ahn Dental Specialists takes children and teen patients! Dr. Michelle Ahn strives to create an atmosphere where everyone is welcome. Before becoming a Prosthodontist Dr. Ahn worked at a Pediatric Dental Clinic for several years. Thus, she is well experienced in treating and handling children in various situations.
Children should start seeing a dentist once they have multiple teeth. It’s good to familiarize younger patients with the dentist and the overall atmosphere. After all, going to the dentist shouldn’t be a bad experience.
Oral hygiene is a journey. Dr. Michelle Ahn believes that a healthy mouth is a foundation to a healthy life. Patients are encouraged to visit at least every six months for a cleaning and examination. Homecare, which typically consists of brushing and flossing, does not remove all the buildup that is created over time. Depending on the patient’s situation, the dentist and hygienist will recommend which type of cleaning you will need. The typical process is a thorough cleaning of the teeth, a polish, and then fluoride application. The hygienist will discuss your homecare process and habits and give instructions on how to improve areas that may require extra attention. If there are any areas of concern the hygienist will point those out to Dr. Michelle Ahn during the examination.
This is the most basic dental cleaning. The dental hygienist will clean the patients teeth and around the gum line. This cleaning does not go sub-gingival (below the gum). This cleaning will help remove buildup that leads to cavities and staining. After the teeth are scaled (cleaned), the dental hygienist will polish the teeth, give a fluoride treatment, and discuss home care and advise on areas that need more attention and how to improve.
This is the most basic dental cleaning for children and pediatrics. The dental hygienist will clean the patients teeth and around the gum line. This cleaning does not go sub gingival (below the gum). This cleaning will help remove buildup that leads to cavities and staining. After the teeth are scaled (cleaned), the dental hygienist will polish the teeth, give a fluoride treatment, and discuss home care and advise on areas that need more attention and how to improve.
This dental cleaning is required for patients that are diagnosed with gum/periodontal disease. This procedure requires multiple visits due to the thoroughness that is required. The dental hygienist will clean above and below the gum line to remove any trace of tarter and buildup. Once a patient goes through this process it’s extremely important to monitor them back to a healthy state. The patient will then on continue receiving periodontal care known as Periodontal Maintenance.
Patients should visit the dentist every six months at a minimum. There are too many health related issues that can arise out of poor dental hygiene and other dental related issues. It’s best to be preventative than reactive.
CEREC® offers convenient, faster and more comfortable care to provide a range of high quality same day restorations including ceramic crowns, inlays and onlays.
In just one appointment you can have a naturally beautiful restoration to enhance the beauty and function of your smile. With CEREC there is no need for multiple office visits, messy dental impressions, a temporary crown, or waiting weeks for your dental work to come back from the laboratory. Your new restoration is designed and customized to the exact specifications of your smile all in the very same day!
CEREC is an advanced method of care, which allows for the preparation and placement of same day ceramic restorations. Offering the utmost in terms of quality and convenience, this high-tech system utilizes CAD/CAM technology, or computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing to make every step of the restoration process more patient-friendly and precise. Using an ergonomically designed intraoral scanning wand in place of a conventional dental impression, the dentist is able to capture detailed 3D images of the prepared tooth and surrounding dentition. These images are then integrated by an advanced computer software program to produce an accurate model and plan a precise fitting, functional, and cosmetically pleasing restoration. As soon the restoration is designed and approved by the dentist, the information is sent wirelessly to a chairside milling machine where a ceramic restoration is fabricated as the patient waits.
A CEREC single visit crown offers much more than a convenient approach to getting a dental crown. It is a high quality, naturally beautiful, extremely durable and long-lasting dental restoration!
The iTero® Intraoral Scanner enables both dentists and orthodontic specialists to obtain detailed 3D digital impressions of a patient’s teeth and occlusion to deliver the most precise, efficient, and comfortable care. A guided scanning process using an ergonomically designed wand captures and integrates multiple intraoral images from every angle to generate highly accurate 3D impressions. The iTero Intraoral Scanner provides a far more pleasant office experience for the patient than the conventional methods of taking dental impressions. Compatible with multiple digital systems, the iTero Intraoral Scanner allows for the seamless and efficient generation of dental models for the custom fabrication of dental prostheses such as crowns as well as orthodontic aligners. With the iTero Intraoral Scanner, the practitioner consistently obtains more precise information for more predictable results and better outcomes of care.
Among the many significant advances in modern dentistry has been the development of dental laser technology. Today, dental lasers are being increasingly used to treat tooth decay, periodontal disease, perform biopsies or for the removal of oral lesions, to cure restorative (filling) materials, as well to activate in-office teeth whitening systems.
Dental lasers combine laser energy with water and air to safely cut and shape targeted areas of soft or hard tissues in the mouth. Laser energy precisely cuts through tooth structure by exciting the water molecules in the tooth. It operates without direct contact to the tooth and without heat, vibration, or pressure thereby minimizing the discomfort of the procedure and the need for dental anesthesia. In addition, dental lasers can reduce anxiety for patients fearful of dental work, minimize post-operative bleeding and swelling, and preserve healthy tooth structure during the removal of decay.