Regular check ups
Getting into a routine of regular check ups is the best way to keep teeth strong and healthy for your whole life. When you visit, Dr Bong will give your mouth a careful inspection by testing for weaknesses and looking for recent changes in your dental health. Visiting your dentist every 6 months is the best way to maintain strong teeth and prevent repairs.
Even healthy teeth need a more intensive clean every now and then. Dr. Kwoo and our hygiene team occasionally use a deep cleaning program to remove the toughest of plaque and tartar without disturbing the natural balance of your teeth. Cleaning also helps to remove any build-ups that could become a problem in the future.
Getting decay isn’t the end of the world. Most can be removed and filled easily, well before any lasting damage begins. Fillings are also helpful for repairing cracked or damaged teeth. All fillings are tooth coloured for unnoticeable restoration.
It’s a busy time in your mouth when you’re young. From when kids get their first set, lose them and grow a whole other lot, your dentist becomes as important as the family doctor.
Dr Bong knows it’s key to make these first visits to the dentist fun, it sets the scene for a lifetime of regular check ups and healthy teeth.
In every instance Dr Bong will try to repair a damaged or painful tooth before it needs to be taken out. Sometimes however, removing the tooth is the best way to restore your overall mouth health. Gentle anaesthetic and a considerate process means you’ll be on the mend in no time.
Root Canal Treatment
Nothing is as good as a natural tooth! And sometimes your natural tooth may need root canal (endodontic) treatment for it to remain a healthy part of your mouth.
Most patients report that having root canal treatment today is as unremarkable as having a cavity filled.
If you've been told you need root canal treatment, you can find the answers to your questions below.
Who performs endodontic treatment?
All dentists, including your general dentist, receive basic training in endodontic treatment in dental school. General dentists sometimes refer patients needing specialized endodontic treatment to endodontists.
Why would I need an endodontic procedure?
Endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected. The inflammation or infection can have a variety of causes: deep decay, repeated dental procedures on the tooth, or a crack or chip in the tooth. In addition, an injury to a tooth may cause pulp damage even if the tooth has no visible chips or cracks. If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to an abscess.
Can all teeth be treated endodontically?
Most teeth can be treated. Occasionally, a tooth can’t be saved because the root canals are not accessible, the root is severely fractured, the tooth doesn’t have adequate bone support, or the tooth cannot be restored. However, advances in endodontics are making it possible to save teeth that even a few years ago would have been lost. When endodontic treatment is not effective, endodontic surgery may be able to save the tooth.
Emergency Steps for Saving a Knocked-Out Tooth
More than 5 million teeth are knocked out every year. Both adults and children are at risk.
With proper emergency action, a tooth that has been entirely knocked out of its socket often can be successfully replanted and last for years. Because of this, it is important to be prepared and know what to do if this happens to you or someone with you. The key is to act quickly, yet calmly, and follow these simple steps:
1. Pick up tooth by the crown (the chewing surface) not the root.
Locate the tooth immediately; do not leave it at the site of the accident. The tooth should be handled carefully—touch only the crown—to minimize injury to the root.
2. If dirty, gently rise the tooth in milk or saliva.
If dirty, gently rise the tooth in milk or saliva. Use water as a last resort only.
· Do not use soap or chemicals.
· Do not scrub the tooth.
· Do not dry the tooth.
· Do not wrap it in a tissue or cloth.
3. Reposition tooth in socket immediately, if possible.
The sooner the tooth is replaced, the greater the likelihood it will survive. To reinsert, carefully push the tooth into the socket with fingers, or position above the socket and close mouth slowly. Hold the tooth in place with fingers or by gently biting down on it.
4. Keep tooth moist at all times.
The tooth must not be left outside the mouth to dry. If it cannot be replaced in the socket, put it in one of the following:
· Emergency tooth preservation kit
· Mouth (next to cheek)
If none of these is practical, use water (with a pinch of salt, if possible).
5. See the nearest available dentist within 30 minutes.
Bring the tooth to a dentist as soon as possible—ideally, within 30 minutes. However, it is possible to save the tooth even if it has been outside the mouth for an hour or more.
Crowns and bridges
There are lots of ways to repair a damaged tooth. Crowns fit neatly over your tooth and are shaped just like the original; you’ll feel like nothing has changed in your mouth. Bridges are another clever invention. Attached to the adjacent tooth, they repair in a similar way as a crown but use the strength of a healthy tooth to mend the damaged one.
Bone and gum grafts
Gum grafting takes a strong piece of tissue and places it over a weaker one. It’s a way of repairing where your gums need it most. Bone graft works on the same principle – it repairs in a way that anticipates and prevents future difficulties.
Dentures today are a sophisticated affair. Strong, aesthetically youthful and more comfortable than ever, they fit into your life without interrupting it. Dr Bong will guide you to find the best options for fixed or removable dentures.
Making sure your top and bottom set of teeth fit together neatly is important to achieving mouth health for your teeth, jaw, muscles and joints. An unhealthy bite can lead to pain in the muscles, joints, and teeth. It can cause teeth to continually chip and fracture. The front teeth can wear down, and become short and unsightly.
What is cosmetic dentistry?
It is dentistry that enhances, improves or changes the appearance of your teeth. Your appearance is very important. People place judgments on you based on the way you look. What you look like is not only how you dress, but also what your teeth look like when you smile. When you talk to someone, that person will focus on your face - eyes and teeth. They will form opinions about you based on what they see. If you have a natural looking mouth, teeth and smile people will notice that fact. If you have visible cavities, unsightly defective fillings, gum disease, crooked or misshapen teeth, people will notice that too. And their impression of you will be affected. The judgment based on your appearance may be superficial and not who you really are. But it will affect how people think of you.
The term cosmetic dentistry is a little misleading because some procedures that fall under this term are not strictly performed for cosmetic purposes. A fixed bridge, for example, may be used to correct a bite problem rather than repair stained or chipped teeth. Cosmetic dentistry can have beneficial health as well as psychological benefits. After all, when you look good, you feel good. Your smile is an important part of your being.
Here is a partial list of dental procedures that you can have that can improve the way your teeth look when you talk or smile:
· replace discolored fillings in front teeth
· whiten teeth to a lighter/whiter color
· straighten crooked teeth with Invisalign orthodontic treatment
· recontouring of your teeth
· closing up spaces between teeth
· porcelain or resin veneers to change the shape and alignment of teeth ("bonding")
· placing tooth colored fillings in back teeth instead of silver fillings
· porcelain or resin inlays and onlays for back teeth
· cosmetic periodontal surgery to even out gum tissue that is crooked
· restoration of worn and short teeth to their proper shape
· filling in tooth brush abrasion notches
· replacing missing teeth with bridges or implants
· replacing defective and unsightly old crowns (caps)
· cover stained dentin
· remove stained fracture lines from enamel
· restore chipped teeth (bonding)
· make teeth longer
· make teeth shorter
Porcelain veneers or facings are a bit more involved and require more than one visit because they are fabricated in a laboratory. A laminate, just like a cap is not reversible because a little bit of the enamel is removed during the bonding procedure, which adheres the facing or veneer to the tooth. Veneers have a much longer life expectancy and color stability than bonding.
Most people know veneers for their cosmetic benefits but did you know they can also repair a damaged tooth surface? Forming a thin protective layer over your tooth, veneers give you the best of both worlds – whiter teeth and enhanced strength.
Caps or crowns are used in cases where none of the other procedures will be effective or if the tooth structure has been seriously undermined. Crowns have the longest life expectancy of all the possible cosmetic restorations. Your dental team can recommend the best type of restoration for your particular needs.
Ask yourself the question - "If I could wave a magic wand over my teeth and instantly change anything I didn’t like, what would I change?"
Make a list of whatever your answers are. You will be fascinated by what we can do to improve your appearance.
If you have any questions about improving your appearance by cosmetic dentistry, ask us. We will be pleased to discuss how you can get what you want - and deserve!
Most people wish that they had straight, beautifully aligned, sparkling white teeth. Unfortunately, most people are not that lucky. When teeth are in very poor alignment - rotated, tilted, crowded, the obvious way to correct the problem is by orthodontics - braces. However, there are situations where it may not be possible or desirable to use braces to straighten teeth. The patient might feel that they are too old (although this is rarely the case!), the cost of the orthodontics may preclude their use, the patient does not want to wear braces, or perhaps there are only a few areas that need attention and full orthodontics is not indicated. In certain select cases, the appearance of your top and bottom teeth can be slightly or dramatically improved be recontouring the enamel. The four tops and four-bottom incisors and canines (4) can be routinely altered. Sometimes teeth further back in your mouth can also be cosmetically improved. It is useful when there is slight - moderate overlapping of the front teeth, slight rotation of the front teeth, uneven wear or teeth that do not have their biting and incising edges in harmony - an uneven "picket fence" look. This is usually a painless procedure (no local anesthetic is administered). The enamel that is overlapping or poorly shaped is removed, recontoured and polished. Depending upon your individual needs one or several teeth may require some reshaping and different amounts of enamel may be removed from different teeth. The teeth do not become more prone to decay and they are not made weaker or "damaged" by the procedure.
Many times the recontouring is all that is necessary to significantly improve your appearance. Other times when the poor alignment is more pronounced, it might be done in conjunction with bonding (adding) resin to teeth. What is needed is related to your presenting conditions and what you would like to see changed.
These procedures are not taxing for the patient and can often be done in only one appointment. The change is immediate and permanent. It does take an artistic flair on the part of the dentist to see what possibilities for change exist. We need to know what enamel needs to be removed, where we must add material and where orthodontics is the treatment of choice.
If you have any questions about improving the appearance of your smile and the alignment of your teeth by recontouring the enamel of your teeth, please ask for an evaluation. You might be very surprised at the improvement that is possible.
The Most Natural Replacement for Missing Teeth
What are Dental Implants?
Quite simply, Dental implants are artificial replacement for natural tooth roots. They attach firmly into the gum and jawbone, becoming quite solid. Dr. Bong then places a crown onto this artificial tooth root which looks feels and functions like a natural tooth. Implants can also be used to anchor partials and full dentures.
When are Dental Implants Appropriate?
Dental Implants are one method of tooth replacement. Other methods are bridges, partial dentures and full dentures. Dr. Bong is the judge of which method is most appropriate.
What are some of advantages of Dental Implants?
1. More attractive appearance.
2. Speech improvement.
3. Greater comfort.
4. Greater ability to chew food naturally.
What is the advantage of fixed restorations?
Implants look and feel like natural teeth. As dental implants are fixed in the jaw there are none of the problems that can be associated with removable appliances such as dentures and partials, including:
1. The slipping, irritation & pain that can accompany dentures.
2. The tedious removal for overnight soaking and cleaning.
3. The Adhesives.
What is the success rate of implants?
The success rate of Osseointegrated Dental Implants is between 94% and 98%. If you are a non-smoker with good oral hygiene habits, the percentage is closer to 100%.
How long will they last?
Dental implants integrate into the jawbone. Implants have been in patients mouths for 25 years or longer. With excellent oral hygiene and regular check-ups and cleanings, your implant should last a lifetime.
Are Dental Implants Expensive?
Dental implants involve a significantly more difficult procedure than dentures, and therefore have a higher fee associated with the surgery and following lab work. They should be regarded as a permanent solution. Dentures and all other dental work does have a life expectancy to them which requires occasional replacement. We have, to date, never had a patient tell us after the fact that they regret investing in implants. In fact, most say they wish they had done it years earlier!
How Predictable is the Procedure?
The success rate of Dental Implants is between 94% and 98%. If patients practice daily, effective oral care and maintenance, and are infection and disease-free, dental implants can be their friends forever.
Am I a Candidate for Implants?
Implants begin with an evaluation by Dr. Bong who shall decide if you are a good candidate for this procedure. If he feels implants may be possible, he may send you for a 3D CT Scan so the exact dimensions of your jaw are known. From this, Dr. Bong can determine precisely what size implants are possible, and also see what additional procedures may be necessary to prepare the site for a dental implant.