Dr. Han uses the finest materials in creating custom crowns for cosmetic and restorative purposes. For teeth that are damaged or sufficiently decayed, he always chooses natural-looking, tooth-colored crowns. Dental crowns can also be used for purely aesthetic reasons — to change the shape or appearance of the teeth. Whatever the situation, Dr. Han has the experience and knowledge to produce superior results. As a teacher of other cosmetic dentists, he knows the ins and outs of this procedure and has the ability to prove each patient with beautiful results.
When a tooth is cracked, decayed, or damaged, a dental crown may need to be fitted onto the tooth. A dental crown is a permanent covering that fits over the original tooth. Dental crowns can be made of porcelain, gold and other metals, acrylic resin, or an amalgam (a mix) of these materials. Porcelain crowns typically have the most realistic appearance, although they tend to be less durable than other materials. Dental crowns can whiten, reshape, and realign existing teeth, adding to a bright, healthy smile.
Preparing the Tooth and Crown
During your first visit, the dentist will numb the tooth to be crowned and remove the decay in or around it. The tooth is then re sculpted to provide an easy fit for the dental crown. This is a painless procedure that is performed in the dentist’s chair.
An impression of your teeth is then taken and sent to the dental lab where permanent, custom-made dental crowns are created (this usually takes one to two weeks). During this interim period, temporary dental crowns made of an acrylic resin are fitted onto the teeth.
Applying the Crown
On your next visit, the dentist removes the temporary dental crown and fits the permanent dental crown onto the tooth. He or she makes sure the dental crown has the proper look and fit and then cements the crown into place.
Maintaining Your New Crown
The proper dental hygiene for normal teeth should be applied to any new dental crown. Daily brushing and flossing will help to keep the teeth, gums, and crown free from the bacteria that can cause gum disease. Chewing on hard foods such as ice or pistachios should be avoided because over time the can cause dental crowns to crack or break. Given proper care, crowns can last several decades and may last a lifetime.
A missing tooth can mar even the most beautiful smile; Dr. Han can restore beauty to your smile. Cosmetic dental bridges are made of natural, tooth-colored materials. In the gifted hands of Dr. Han, they can seamlessly replace a tooth lost by disease or injury.
A dental bridge is a device used to fill the space where a tooth has falled out or been removed. A typical dental bridge consists of a pontic (a filler tooth) that is attached to two surrounding abutments (dental crowns). Once complete, this dental bridge structure is bonded into the mouth. Without the use of a dental bridge, spaces in the mouth from missing teeth can cause multiple teeth to shift, leading to occlusion (biting) and/or jaw problems and spur periodontal disease. Dental bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.
Dental Bridge Process
Dental bridges usually require two trips to the dentist’s office. During the initial visit, the surrounding teeth are number with a local anesthetic. The dentist prepares the surrounding teeth by cleaning the plaque or decay that remains and reducing them so that the dental crowns can be fitted. The dentist makes a mold of the teeth and sends it off to a dental lab, where the customized impression is prepared. The customized mold takes one to two weeks to return to the office. In the interim, patients are fitted with a temporary dental brined constructed of acrylic resin. When the patient returns to the dental office, the dentist removes the temporary dental bridge and replaces it with the permanent one. The dentist then adjusts the dental bridge for the proper bite and fit, and the dental bridge is permanently bonded into the mouth.
One of an elite, specially trained group of cosmetic dentists to offer dental implants, Dr. Han is pleased to provide his with one of the most exciting procedures available in cosmetic and implant dentistry today.
For individuals who wish to replace missing teeth, dental implants may be an effective long-term solution. Dental implants provide greater structural support and last longer than either dental bridges or dentures. Dental implants serve as the artificial root to which new teeth are bonded. They are typically constructed of titanium, a strong and safe material that effectively attaches to bone. The procedure to insert dental implants typically involve three steps: the implant insertion stage, osseointegration (the period of healing for the jawbone), and the attachment of the restoration or new tooth.
Types of Dental Implants
In implant dentistry, the most popular form of dental implant is the root implant. This type of dental implant is very effective and mirrors the size and shape of a patient’s natural tooth. Many times, this implant will be as strong structurally as the original tooth’s root. Once the dentist applies the local anesthesia, he or she makes an incision in the gum in order to gain access to the jawbone. The bone is then prepared, and the dental implant is inserted into the jawbone with care and precision. Finally, the dentist stitches the gums and, if necessary, prescribes an appropriate medication. During the osseointegration step, which lasts anywhere from three to eight months, the jawbone firmly attaches itself to the dental implant. Once osseointegration is complete the patient returns to the dental office, where the dental implant is fitted with the new tooth.
Another form of implant dentistry is the plate for implant. This dental implant is ideal in situations where the jawbone is not wide enough to properly support a root implant. The plate form dental implant is long and thin, unlike the root implant, and anchors into thin jawbones. The insertion process is the same as for a root implant, but in certain cases, plate dental implants are immediately fitted with the restoration without waiting for the osseointegration period.
The last type of dental implant used for implant dentistry is the subperiosteal implant. These dental implants are utilized when the jawbone has receded to the point where it no longer supports a permanent implant. These implants are placed on top of the bone and embedded in the gums, but not in the jawbone as with the other types of dental implants. The dentist applies a local anesthesia, and makes a mold of the mouth and jawbone. From this impression, a dental lab constructs implants to custom fit the patient’s jaw. On the second visit to the dentist, the dentist exposes the jawbone and inserts the dental implant on top of it. Over the next month the gums grow up and around the implant. This same type of implant can sometimes be performed in a single procedure with the use of an initial CT scan of the gum line and jawbone.
Dental Implant Risks
As with any cosmetic surgery, complications from implant dentistry are rare but can include infection, slight damage to the nerves, and mile discomfort. Although very unlikely, infection of the gums or jawbone is a possibility but can be treated through antibiotics or another medication. Surgery to the upper or lower jawbone can result in mild nerve damage. Nerve damage typically subsides in several weeks but can persist for longer periods of time. As the jawbone heals, patients may experience some discomfort, which can be tempered through medication. Discomfort should subside within seven to ten days.
Dental Implant Maintenance
Although patients should always practice proper dental hygiene, this is especially true once a dental implant has been put into place. When teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, bacteria can attack sensitive areas, causing the gums to swell and the jawbone to gradually recede. Enough recession of the jawbone can weaken dental implants and eventually necessitate their removal. Patients should visit their dentists’ offices at least twice a year in order to ensure the health of their teeth and dental implants. Following an implant dentistry operation, smoking should be avoided, as it impairs the ability of the gum and jawbone to heal. Given the proper care, dental implants should last 25 years or longer.
Periodontal disease is diagnosed by your dentist or dental hygienist during a periodontal examination. This type of exam should always be part of your regular dental check-up.
A periodontal probe (small dental instrument) is gently used to measure the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and the gums. The depth of a healthy sulcus measures three millimeters or less and does not bleed. The periodontal probe helps indicate if pockets are deeper than three millimeters. As periodontal disease progresses, the pockets usually get deeper.
Your dentist or hygienist will use pocket depths, amount of bleeding, inflammation, tooth mobility, etc., to make a diagnosis that will fall into a category below:
Gingivitis is the first stage of periodontal disease. Plaque and it’s toxin by-products irritate the gums, making them tender, inflamed, and likely to bleed.
Plaque hardens into calculus (tartar). As calculus and plaque continue to build up, the gums begin to recede from the teeth. Deeper pockets form between the gums and teeth and become filled with bacteria and pus. The gums become very irritated, inflamed, and bleed easily. Slight to moderate bone loss may be present.
The teeth lose more support as the gums, bone, and periodontal ligament continue to be destroyed. Unless treated, the affected teeth will become very loose and may be lost. Generalized moderate to severe bone loss may be present.
Periodontal treatment methods depend upon the type and severity of the disease. Your dentist and dental hygienist will evaluate for periodontal disease and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Periodontal disease progresses as the sulcus (pocket or space) between the tooth and gums gets filled with bacteria, plaque, and tartar, causing irritation to the surrounding tissues. When these irritants remain in the pocket space, they can cause damage to the gums and eventually, the bone that supports the teeth!
If the disease is caught in the early stages of gingivitis, and no damage has been done, one to two regular cleanings will be recommended. You will also be given instructions on improving your daily oral hygiene habits and having regular dental cleanings.
If the disease has progressed to more advanced stages, a special periodontal cleaning called scaling and root planing (deep cleaning) will be recommended. It is usually done one half of the mouth at a time while the area is numb. In this procedure, tartar, plaque, and toxins are removed from above and below the gum line (scaling)and rough spots on root surfaces are made smooth (planing). This procedure helps gum tissue to deal and pockets to shrink. Medications, special medicated mouth rinses, and an electric tooth brush may be recommended to help control infection and healing.
If the pockets do not heal after scaling and root planing, periodontal surgery may be needed to reduce pocket depths, making teeth easier to clean. Your dentist may also recommend that you see a Periodontist (specialist of the gums and supporting bone).
It only takes twenty four hours for plaque that is not removed from your teeth to turn into calculus (tartar)! Daily home cleaning helps control plaque and tartar formation, but those hard to reach areas will always need special attention.
Once your periodontal treatment has been completed, your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend that you have regular maintenance cleanings (periodontal cleanings), usually four times a year. At these cleaning appointments, the pocket depths will be carefully checked to ensure that they are healthy. Plaque and calculus that is difficult for you to remove on a daily basis will be removed from above and below the gum line.
In addition to you periodontal cleaning and evaluation, your appointment will usually include:
- Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
- Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
- Examination of tooth decay: Check all tooth surfaces for decay.
- Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheek tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
- Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed. (Electric toothbrushes, special periodontal brushes, fluorides, rinses, etc.)
Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
Good oral hygiene practices and periodontal cleanings are essential in maintaining dental health and keeping periodontal disease under control!
Bad Breath Treatment
Ever have the feeling that people have avoided talking to you face to face or that they have backed away when you began a conversation? If either of these has happened to you, then maybe it is not you that is offending, but, your breath.
Halitosis (also known as bad breath) can affect anyone at anytime. It is estimated that at one time or another between 50% and 60% of the population suffer from halitosis. The bad news is – it’s offensive to most people. The good news is – now, more than ever, there are ways to prevent it.
What causes bad breath? Most of the time, halitosis originates in the mouth. It is caused by oral bacteria breaking down stubborn food debris. This process creates by products called volatile sulfur compounds (VCS’s), which emit a smell similar to rotten eggs. The type of bacteria that initiates this process needs an environment that is free of oxygen, so they usually inhabit areas that are difficult to reach, such as the pockets around teeth and the fissures of the tongue. In some circumstances, the odor may be caused by a systemic condition such as diabetes, or a problem in the sinuses, pharynx, lungs, or stomach. Therefore the first step in solving bad breath problems is to undergo a medical examination to ensure that there aren’t any systemic problems contributing to the condition. Other factors such as: tobacco, alcohol, alcohol containing mouth rinses; foods like garlic, onions, and spicy food; hunger, and dry mouth can cause halitosis, but are secondary to the main culprit – oral bacteria.
What can be done? If it is clear that bacteria are the culprits, methods to reduce them are the first line of defense. If periodontal disease or tooth decay is present, the types of bacteria that cause bad breath increase. Be sure to visit your dentist for a complete check up that includes a periodontal examination. Keeping your mouth as clean as possible, helps eliminate bacteria. In fact, it is valuable to consider this cleaning process as “full–mouth disinfection,” focusing on all areas where bacteria may reside. This “disinfection” includes thorough brushing, proper use of dental gloss, mouth rinse, and cleaning the tongue.
TMJ/TMD (Tempro-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction)
TMJ dysfunction, sometimes labeled TMD, is a disharmony between the way the jaw joint works in its most unstrained position and the way the teeth occlude during those movements. We all have two TMJ’s and they are very complicated joints. In fact they are the most complicated joint in the human body. Because everyone refers to a problem with the joint, TMJ, then we will also refer to TMJ as a problem in this informational section. TMJ disorders can be caused by many things. Examples of some of these causes are automobile accidents, which create a side or rear impact, causing the jaw direct trauma or the jaw being opened beyond normal limits as with whip lash. Additionally, TMJ problems can be caused by grinding excessively or bruxism, clenching, or having dental procedures that create imbalance in the bite. This can cause serious TMJ problems if left untreated.
Most TMJ problems (not all) are usually just annoying enough or just painful enough that the patient will seek help before it becomes a debilitating disorder. However, if you are reading this then you are interested enough that you may have a problem or someone you know has a problem. Most TMJ problems have symptoms such as pain in a joint or both joints when chewing, clicking (on one or both sides; with or without pain), crepitating (crackling sound) when opening or closing, inability to fully open, or deviation of the jaw to one side when you open. First determine the cause; this is imperative for successful treatment. The treatments for TMJ problems can be simple or very extensive and expensive. This is the reason you shouldn’t wait if you feel you have a problem.
The primary problem in most TMJ cases is the position of the joint when the teeth are together. Even if your teeth are balance correctly, if the joint is being stressed when you are biting, then the TMJ problem will only continue to get worse over time. The two TMJ joints (left and right) need to be in a stress free position when you are biting of functioning normally. If the joints are swollen because of trauma from clenching, grinding, or from blunt trauma from an accident, then the bite will not be balanced. Continued trauma will exist until the trauma and swelling can be controlled.
The most common form of treatment for TMJ problems is an occlusal guard. These appliances are given different names for different problems but they look nearly the same and only small changes in their functioning make them different. Some other names are night guard, NTI, bruxism appliance, splint, etc. Most appliances fit on the uppers jaw, however there are some that fit on the lower jaw. The best part of any TMJ treatment is that the appliance cannot harm you in any way. It prevents your teeth from coming together or balances your bite and prevents more chronic trauma to the TMJ joints. Very often the teeth and bite will need to be balanced as your joints reduce their swelling. This can be simple and take one appointment or complicated taking several appointments until the dynamics of function stabilizes and the joints return to normal with no swelling or inflammation.
If you haveTMJ, pain in the joints, clicking, popping when you open/close, or an inability to chew effectively, because you can’t open correctly, then please have an exam and determine the cause of your problem. Your treatment may be very simple and the results could give you far greater comfort then you now have. Please give us a call.
Tooth whitening can brighten up your entire face, and it is a procedure that is constantly in demand. Dr. Han takes the time to make sure your results look natural while ensuring your comfort and safety throughout your tooth whitening treatment. The results Dr. Han offers are more dramatic and lasting than other methods of teeth whitening.
Regardless of how well you care for your teeth, it is inevitable that, over time, some yellowing or discoloration will occur. This gradual change can be caused by aging, substances that stain your teeth (such as coffee and tobacco), excessive fluoride, or the deterioration of a tooth’s nerve. A tooth whitening treatment can be performed wither as an at-home, dentist-supervised process, or in the dentist’s chair. While neither of these methods stops future discoloration, these tooth whitening treatments bring about whiter teeth and help create a brighter smile.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
The most popular method of tooth whitening is the at-home, dentist-supervised option. During your visit to the dentist for tooth whitening, he or she takes a mild of your teeth and creates a comfortable, customized mouth tray. The mouth tray holds a mild solution whose main ingredient is carbamide peroxide, a substance that reacts with water to release a non-toxic bleaching element (hydrogen peroxide). The mouth tray is placed inside the mouth and sits only against the teeth, thereby avoiding contact with the gums. Patients can choose either to wear the mouth tray throughout the night or for stretches that last from two to four hours. When the mouth tray is worn throughout the night, the tooth whitening treatment lasts one to two weeks. Patients with more sensitive teeth may opt for the latter approach, which lasts three to five weeks.
Teeth Whitening Concerns
When using at-home teeth whitening treatment, patients’ may feel a heightened, but temporary, sensitivity. The gums may also feel more sensitive or burn slightly. Not all people experience the quality of whiteness they had hoped for on their first tooth whitening treatment, and they may require a “touch-up” treatment. Teeth whitening treatments begin to fade in one to four years. It should be noted that tooth whitening treatments have no effect on the artificial materials used for bonds, porcelain veneers, or crowned (capped) teeth.
With his mastery of aesthetics, cosmetic dentist, Dr. Han, can use porcelain veneers, also known as dental veneers, to make almost any smile flawless. Even crooked teeth can be straightened with porcelain veneers with an incredible cosmetic dentistry technique known as “instant orthodontics.” It takes skill and experience to create outstanding result, and Dr. Han has both.
Porcelain veneers, or dental veneers, are thin shells that are laid onto the teeth and bonded to the surface. Although they can be made of different materials, porcelain is frequently used because of its durability and realistic appearance. Porcelain veneers are a more conservative alternative to dental crowns sine they require less removal of the tooth’s original surface. With porcelain veneers in place, cosmetic dentistry patients can expect straighter, whiter, and more even teeth.
Porcelain Veneer Procedure
During the initial visit, the patient and dentist discuss the process of placing porcelain veneers and the options available (e.g. types and shades of veneers). On your next visit, the dentist removes a very small layer of each tooth’s outer enamel. A local anesthesia may be used but is typically not necessary. The dentist makes a mold of the teeth and then sends it to a dental lab where they create customized dental veneers for the teeth. The lab prepares the porcelain veneers in roughly seven to ten days. Suring this time, the teeth have a slightly different appearance because of the removal of the other layer of enamel. Some patients choose to have temporary restorations placed on their teeth, but this step is usually not necessary. Once the porcelain veneers have returned from the lab, the patient makes a final dentist visit. The dentist applies the veneer to the tooth using a bonding material. When exposed to light, this bonding material dries and hardens.
Following the Porcelain Veneers Procedure
Cosmetic dentistry patients may experience some sensitivity in the teeth, especially when contacting hot or cold substances. This sensitivity should lessen within two weeks. If you grind or clench your teeth whole you sleep, your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard that will protect your teeth. Porcelain veneers are quite strong and can withstand considerable force when a patient bites down, but they may fracture or break if twisted. Patients should therefore avoid hard or sharp foods such as ice or pistachios that may cause undue stress. Dental veneers should be cared for in much the same way as normal teeth; this includes daily brushing, flossing, and periodic check-ups with a dentist. Given proper care, porcelain veneers can preserve a smile for decades.