Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
September 16, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures

Mike Tyson made a splash when he faced off against sharks during the Discovery Channel's Shark Week 2020. But there's bigger news for fans of the former undisputed world heavyweight champion: After a 15-year absence, he will enter the ring again for two exhibition matches in the Fall. However, it's not just Tyson's boxing action that made news during his 20-year career. His teeth have also gotten their fair share of press.

Tyson used to be known for two distinctive gold-capped teeth in the front left side of his mouth. He made headlines when he lost one of the shiny caps—not from a blow by a fellow pugilist but from being headbutted by his pet tiger as Tyson leaned in for a kiss. Tyson's teeth again garnered attention when he had his recognizable gold caps replaced with tooth-colored restorations. But the world champion may be best known, dentally at least, for his trademark tooth gap, or “diastema” in dentist-speak. Several years ago, he had the gap closed in a dental makeover, but he soon regretted the move. After all, the gap was a signature look for him, so he had it put back in.

That's one thing about cosmetic dentistry: With today's advanced technology and techniques, you can choose a dental makeover to suit your individual taste and personality.

An obvious example is teeth whitening. This common cosmetic treatment is not a one-size-fits-all option. You can choose whether you want eye-catching Hollywood white or a more natural shade.

If your teeth have chips or other small imperfections, bonding may be the solution for you. In dental bonding, tooth-colored material is placed on your tooth in layers and then hardened with a special light. The material is matched to your other teeth so the repaired tooth fits right in. This procedure can usually be done in just one office visit.

For moderate flaws or severe discoloration, porcelain veneers can dramatically improve your appearance. These thin, tooth-colored shells cover the front surface of the tooth—the side that shows when you smile. Veneers are custom-crafted for the ideal individualized look.

Dental crowns can restore single teeth or replace missing teeth as part of a dental bridge. Again, they are manufactured to your specifications. With restorations like crowns and veneers, the smallest detail can be replicated to fit in with your natural teeth—even down to the ridges on the tooth's surface.

And if, like Mike Tyson, you have a gap between your teeth that makes your smile unique, there's no reason to give that up if you opt for a smile makeover. Whether you would like a small cosmetic enhancement or are looking for a more dramatic transformation, we can work with you to devise a treatment plan that is right for you.

If you would like more information about smile-enhancing dental treatments, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry: A Time for Change.”

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
August 16, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Invisalign  

Invisalign is an exciting alternative to traditional braces for straightening your smile. What makes Invisalign so unique is the use of removable, clear aligner trays to move the teeth. There are no brackets or wires. In Honolulu, HI, Invisalign treatment is available at Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic & Restorative Dentistry. Dr. Ken Yasuhara can help you achieve the straight smile you’ve always wanted.

How Invisalign Straightens Teeth

Invisalign is an innovative orthodontic treatment for straightening crooked teeth and correcting spacing issues, such as teeth that overlap or small gaps between teeth. Additionally, Invisalign can correct minor alignment problems with the bite. Severe orthodontic issues, such as major bite misalignment, are best treated with traditional braces. The highly skilled dentist at our office in Honolulu, HI, can determine if Invisalign is an option for you.

With Invisalign, custom aligner trays are worn over the teeth in place of the brackets, bands and wires associated with traditional braces. Like braces, though, the aligner trays move the teeth by gently exerting pressure on them. Over time, this gentle pressure nudges the teeth in the desired direction.

Treatment involves multiple sets of custom aligner trays. A set includes two separate trays, one for the top teeth and one for the bottom. Each set is worn for approximately two weeks and is then replaced with the next set. The teeth straighten out more and move closer to their final position with each subsequent set of trays.

Advantages of Invisalign

Invisalign is an effective method for straightening teeth among both teens and adults. It also has many advantages when it comes to straightening your teeth. Benefits of this exciting treatment option include:

Comfort: Many patients find the aligner trays to be more comfortable than traditional braces since there are no hard components to irritate the mouth. The trays are made from a soft, flexible plastic. Further, the trays are custom-made for each individual patient for a perfect fit.

Extremely Discreet: Invisalign’s aligners are made from a clear material so they are practically invisible to others.

Removable: The trays can be removed temporarily for up to two hours each day without compromising treatment.

Greater Dietary Choices: Since the aligner trays can be taken out when eating, it is possible to enjoy a greater variety of foods during treatment. Being able to remove the aligners prevents food from getting stuck in them and protects the trays from being damaged by hard or sticky foods.

Improved Oral Hygiene: Brushing and flossing the teeth during treatment is easy since the aligner trays can be taken out to perform your oral hygiene routine.

Teeth-Grinding Protection: Invisalign’s aligner trays provide protection against the wear and tear of teeth grinding for patients who grind their teeth when sleeping.

Achieve the smile you’ve always wanted when you straighten your teeth with Invisalign. Dr. Yasuhara can determine if you are a candidate for this exciting treatment option. For Invisalign in Honolulu, HI, call Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic & Restorative Dentistry at (808) 947-8900.

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
August 13, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: CEREC   Same-Day Crowns  

Dental crowns strengthen, protect and restore damaged teeth. They can also improve the appearance of teeth with cosmetic imperfections. In the past, it took several weeks for a custom dental crown to be made. New advancements in dental technology now make it possible to improve your smile in just one day. In Honolulu, HI, CEREC same-day crowns are available at Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic & Restorative Dentistry, where Dr. Ken Yasuhara can restore function and beauty to your smile.

CEREC Technology

A crown is a hollow cover or cap that is placed over a damaged tooth to give it a strong new exterior. The crown also restores biting and chewing functions, while protecting the tooth from additional damage. Once the crown is cemented in place, the natural tooth will be completely concealed inside.

CEREC technology makes it possible to restore function and beauty to your smile in just one office visit. There is no need to wait several weeks for an off-site dental lab to create the restorations, as is the case with traditional dental crowns.

This advanced dental technology utilizes computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) to create custom crowns right in the dentist’s office. The CAD program generates a digital 3D model of your teeth that is used by CAM technology to fabricate custom crowns in a milling machine in just minutes. The new crowns can be placed immediately so you can enjoy your new smile right away.

CEREC same-day crowns are made from tooth-colored ceramic so your new crowns will look completely natural and blend in with the rest of your smile. At our aesthetic and restorative dentistry office in Honolulu, HI, CEREC technology is used to strengthen, restore and enhance your smile quickly.

Advantages of CEREC Same-Day Crowns

Both CEREC same-day crowns and traditional dental crowns help strengthen, protect and restore damaged teeth, as well as improve their appearance. However, CEREC technology has several unique advantages.

A primary advantage of CEREC same-day crowns is that you can enjoy your new tooth restorations immediately. Traditional dental crowns take several weeks since they are fabricated by a separate dental lab. You’ll need to return to the dentist’s office on a separate date to have the crowns placed. CEREC same-day crowns are made in the dentist’s office so they can be designed and placed in a single visit.

Another benefit of CEREC same-day crowns is that a digital model of the teeth is generated by the CAD program so there is no need to create a physical impression of the teeth. Making a physical mold can be messy, as well as physically uncomfortable for some patients as it can trigger the gag reflex. CEREC eliminates these problems.

There are so many benefits to choosing CEREC same-day crowns. For CEREC in Honolulu, HI, schedule a free consultation with Dr. Yasuhara by calling Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic & Restorative Dentistry at (808) 947-8900.

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
August 07, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures

Dorit Kemsley isn't shy. Best known to fans as an outspoken and sometimes outrageous cast member of the reality show Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Kemsley is never reticent about “mixing it up” with fellow castmates or their significant others. Recently, though, she confessed to something that left her less than confident: her smile.

Kemsley has been self-conscious about her smile because her teeth looked noticeably short, worn down from an unconscious habit of grinding her teeth. Although teeth grinding is more common among children (who normally grow out of it by adolescence), it can persist into adulthood, usually from difficulties managing high stress (a likely component in the fashion designer/reality show star's busy life).

Stress-induced teeth grinding can occur during waking hours or, more likely, during deep sleep. The accumulating, long-term effects from the habit can lead not only to worn teeth but to weakened gum support, a high risk of tooth fracture or jaw pain and dysfunction.

So, how do you know if you grind your teeth, especially if it's only happening at night? Typical signs include sore jaws after awaking from sleep, increased tooth pain or sensitivity or, like Kemsley, a noticeable difference in your tooth length. Your family or sleeping partner may also complain about the “skin-crawling” noise you make during the night.

There are ways to lessen the effects of teeth grinding. The first step is to have us verify the underlying cause for the habit. If it's tension from stress, then you might reduce the habit's occurrences by learning better stress management or relaxation techniques through individual counseling, group support or biofeedback therapy. We can also fit you with a mouth guard to wear at night or through the day that reduces the force generated during teeth grinding.

And if you've already experienced accelerated tooth wear like Kemsley with a resultant “small teeth” smile, you might pursue the same solution as the RHOBH star: dental veneers. These thin, life-like wafers of porcelain are custom-made to mask imperfections like chips, staining, slight tooth gaps and, yes, worn teeth.

Veneers are often less expensive and invasive than other cosmetic techniques, yet they can have a transformative effect, as Kemsley's Instagram followers have seen. In conjunction with other dental treatments needed to repair any underlying damage caused by a grinding habit, veneers are an effective fix for the smile you present to the world.

If you suspect you may have a grinding habit, see us for a complete examination. From there, we'll help you protect your teeth and your smile.

If you would like more information on teeth grinding habits and their effects, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teeth Grinding.”

By Ken Yasuhara, DDS - Aesthetic and Restorative Dentistry
July 18, 2021
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

If you're looking for a cosmetic enhancement with a “light” touch, you can't beat dental veneers. These custom-made wafers of dental porcelain are bonded to the front of teeth to mask chips, heavy staining or gaps, revitalizing your smile.

But with traditional veneers, a minimal impact doesn't mean no impact at all. Although they're quite thin—often a millimeter or less—they can still look bulky when bonded to unprepared teeth. Dentists usually remove a small amount of surface enamel to help them appear more natural.

The alteration itself is painless, and only the bare minimum of enamel is removed. Even so, the alteration is permanent—the tooth will require a veneer or other form of restoration from then on. But a new kind of veneer may make it possible to avoid any enamel removal, or much less. These no-prep or minimal-prep veneers are even thinner, between 0.3 and 0.5 millimeters.

With these ultra-thin veneers, your dentist may only perform a little minor enamel re-shaping, particularly the sides of the teeth, to ensure a good fit. As thin as they are—akin to that of a contact lens—no-prep veneers can be bonded to the teeth surface without the need for fitting them under the gum line.

No-prep veneers are ideal for people with smaller than normal teeth, or that appear smaller due to other facial features. This also includes teeth that have worn down from age or teeth grinding, or those that are misshapen in some way. They also work well with people who have a narrow smile where less teeth than normal are visible in the “smile zone.”

They can also be used with patients who have oversized or prominent teeth, but it may still require some enamel removal. The only qualification for anyone receiving ultrathin veneers is that their enamel is in reasonably good health.

Because there's little to no alteration of the teeth, no-prep veneers can be reversed. Removing them, though, is no easy task, so you'll still need to think long-term before obtaining one. All in all, though, no-prep veneers in the right setting can still transform your smile without much permanent change to your teeth.

If you would like more information on no-prep veneers, 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 “No-Prep Porcelain Veneers.”