Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
June 18, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: partial denture  
AnAffordableRPDCouldbetheAnswertoYourMissingTeethProblems

You would love to replace your missing teeth with dental implants. And for good reason — they're the best way to restore life-like, functional teeth. But there's one problem — implants and fixed bridgework (the next, best option) are financially out of your reach.

There's another viable option, though, that might fit your budget — removable partial dentures (RPDs). Similar to full dentures, RPDs replace only the missing teeth in a dental arch. And they're much less expensive than implants or bridgework.

RPDs are custom made to fit an individual patient and their particular missing teeth locations. Their frameworks are usually made of vitallium, a strong but lightweight metal alloy. With vitallium, the frame can be made thin enough not to be noticeable but still conduct sensation.

A pink resin or plastic that mimics gum tissue covers the frame, to which we attach prosthetic (false) teeth made of porcelain, glass-filled resin or plastic to precisely match the missing teeth locations. The RPD is held in place with small metal clasps that fit around remaining natural teeth.

RPDs are designed to minimize movement and avoid undue pressure on the gum ridges, which could accelerate underlying bone loss. In certain situations, though, the location of some missing teeth could complicate matters. If you're missing a tooth in the back where the appliance coverage ends, the RPD may not be as stable.

The solution, ironically, could be a dental implant placed strategically at the end of the RPD, where it connects securely with the appliance. You would only need one or two implants, which won't dramatically increase costs.

One thing to remember with an RPD: they tend to accumulate bacterial plaque, the trigger for both tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. That's why it's important to practice daily effective hygiene by cleaning the RPD and your remaining teeth and gums, as well as taking the RPD out at night.

A well-maintained RPD could last for many years. With this appliance you can still have functional teeth and a winning smile, even without implants.

If you would like more information on removable dentures, 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 “Removable Partial Dentures: Still a Viable Tooth-Replacement Alternative.”

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
May 29, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
JanetJacksonEvenpopstarsgetinsecureabouttheirsmiles

Multi-platinum recording artist Janet Jackson has long been known for her dazzling smile. And yet, Jackson admitted to InStyle Magazine that her trademark smile was once a major source of insecurity. The entertainer said, “To me, I looked like the Joker!” It was only after age 30 that the pop icon came to accept her unique look.

Jackson is not alone. A study commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists found that more than one third of U.S. adults are dissatisfied with their smile. But there’s good news—modern dentistry can correct many flaws that can keep you from loving your smile, whether you’re unhappy with the color, size, or shape of your teeth. Here are some popular treatments:

Professional teeth whitening: Sometimes a professional teeth whitening will give you the boost you need. In-office whitening can dramatically brighten your smile in just one visit.

Tooth-colored fillings: If you have silver-colored fillings on teeth that show when you smile, consider replacing them with unnoticeable tooth-colored fillings.

Dental bonding: If you have chipped, cracked, or misshapen teeth, cosmetic bonding may be the fix you’re looking for. In this procedure, tooth colored material is applied to the tooth’s surface, sculpted into the desired shape, hardened with a special light, and polished for a smooth finish.

Porcelain veneers: Dental veneers provide a natural-looking, long-lasting solution to many dental problems. These very thin shells fit over your teeth, essentially replacing your tooth enamel to give you the smile you desire.

Replacement teeth: Is a missing tooth affecting your self-confidence? There are several options for replacing missing teeth, from a removable partial denture to a traditional fixed bridge to a state-of-the-art implant-supported replacement tooth. Removable partial dentures are an inexpensive way to replace one or more missing teeth, but they are less stable than non-removable options. Dental bridges, as the name implies, span the gap where a tooth is missing by attaching an artificial tooth to the teeth on either side of the space. In this procedure, the teeth on both sides of the gap must be filed down in order to support the bridgework. Dental implants, considered the gold standard in tooth replacement technology, anchor long-lasting, lifelike replacements that function like natural teeth.

After coming to embrace her smile, Jackson asserted, “Beautiful comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors." If you don’t feel that your smile expresses the beauty you have inside, call our office to schedule a consultation. It’s possible to love your smile. We can help.

For more information, read Dear Doctor magazine article “How Your Dentist Can Help You Look Younger.”

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
May 06, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental implants are a long-lasting option for replacing missing or extracted teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth or dental implantsmany, depending on each patient’s needs. Dental implants are placed in the jaw bone for a secure hold so patients lacking sufficient bone are not good candidates for dental implants. A dentist can determine if you have enough bone for placing a dental implant. Dr. Ken Yasuhara is your dentist for dental implants in Honolulu.

Dental Implant Parts

Dental implants are comprised of three main parts. The portion of a dental implant that is placed in the jaw bone looks like a small screw and is referred to as the implant. This piece is usually made of titanium, which is a strong, durable, and hypoallergenic metal. The implant functions like the root portion of a natural tooth by holding an artificial tooth in place.

Another main part of a dental implant is the implant crown, which is the artificial tooth. The implant crown looks just like a natural tooth and is custom made for the most natural look and best fit possible. The third part of a dental implant is the abutment, which connects the implant and crown together. The abutment is screwed onto the implant and the crown is attached to the abutment. The implant crown is the only portion of a dental implant that is visible once all parts have been put in place.

Procedure for Placing Dental Implants

The metal implant portion of a dental implant is placed into the jaw bone through a minor surgical procedure that usually only requires local anesthesia. After the metal implant is placed in the bone, the area is given time to heal before placing the implant crown. As the surgical site heals, another process known as osseointegration naturally begins. Osseointegration refers to the natural process of the metal implant and bone fusing together over time. Within a few weeks, the crown can be placed over the implant permanently.

To be a candidate for dental implants, patients must have enough bone in the jaw area to support the placement of a dental implant. Bone in the jaw area naturally begins deteriorating when teeth are missing so if teeth have been missing for an extended period of time there is not always enough bone left to support a dental implant. Your dentist in Honolulu can determine if you have enough bone by reviewing an x-ray image of your jaw bone.

Dental implants are a durable long-lasting option for restoring your smile, whether you are missing one tooth or multiple teeth. For dental implants in Honolulu, HI, schedule an appointment with Dr. Yasuhara by calling (808) 947-8900.

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS
March 06, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  

Do you have any dental crowns? Did the process take a long time? Good news! Today's dental crowns are beautiful and durable, and you crowncan receive one in a single visit with Dr. Ken Yasuhara in Honolulu. Thanks to fully customized CEREC same-day crowns, your damaged tooth can be restored perfectly and quickly.

 

What is a porcelain crown?

A crown covers a tooth which is misshapen, decayed, infected, or has a large filling (and therefore, weakened tooth enamel). Resembling your natural tooth, this quality ceramic jacket protects the healthy part of your tooth, preserving it from extraction.

Your dental crowns will last for several years as long as you keep up proper oral hygiene habits and maintain a schedule of regular professional cleanings at our Honolulu office.

 

About CEREC same-day crowns

CEREC means Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. Made right in Dr. Yasuhura's office, your realistic crown moves through planning, design, construction, and placement in one to two hours. Your dentist takes digital impressions and designs your crown using CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing) software. It renders an amazing restoration.

A chairside milling machine substitutes the role of an outside ceramist. Instead of waiting a week or more for a restoration, you can now have it bonded over your prepared tooth in just one dental visit. Accuracy and realism are hallmarks of CEREC crowns.

 

Other advantages of CEREC crowns

Amazingly, your CEREC crown will fit over your tooth with less enamel reduction than traditional crowns require, leaving more of your natural tooth in place. Also, isn't it great that you won't have to endure gooey oral impressions or an awkward-looking temporary crown?

 

Find out more

Restore your tooth with the finest crown modern dentistry offers. Explore CEREC same-day crowns with Dr. Ken Yasuhura. For a consultation, please call our Honolulu office at (808) 947-8900.

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
February 28, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: local anesthesia  
LocalAnesthesiaTakesthePainOutofMostDentalWork

Long ago dental work could be painful and stressful—often for both patient and practitioner. Thankfully, that time is long past: today, most procedures are painless in large part due to local anesthesia.

Local anesthetics are numbing substances applied to specific areas of the body like the teeth and gums to temporarily block pain during a procedure. And because they only affect a localized area of the body, you remain conscious and alert throughout the procedure.

To achieve the level of numbing necessary for dental work, we often need to deaden the gums using a needle to deliver the anesthetic. But then this poses a secondary pain concern—the needle stick itself.

Again, topical anesthesia comes to the rescue in the form of a swab, patch or spray applying an anesthetic directly to the top layer of the gums at the injection site. This numbs the area and prevents you from feeling the needle stick. It's highly probable, therefore, that from start to finish you won't feel any discomfort during your dental work except perhaps for a little pressure.

Local anesthesia truly is a game changer for dental care—and not just for the patient. A dentist who's concerned about their patient's comfort level may work hurriedly to complete a procedure. But if their patient is relaxed, the dentist can work calmly and methodically. The result is better, more focused care.

For all its improvements in the patient experience, though, there has been one consistent complaint—the numbness that often lingers for a while after the procedure is over. But there have been advances in recent years that have helped reduce this irritation: new anesthetic agents (even some that can reverse the anesthetic effect) and fine-tuned dosages can help keep residual numbing to a minimum.

Not all procedures like routine teeth cleanings or enamel shaping require anesthesia. But when it's appropriate, local anesthesia can make your next dental visit much more pleasant.

If you would like more information on how anesthesia benefits your dental care, 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 “Local Anesthesia for Pain-Free Dentistry.”