Three Methods Of Restoring Your Full Smile

Missing a tooth can be problematic aesthetically, but most importantly, it can also cause problems when it comes to oral health.

Kaneohe HI dentist treating couple

Why is a complete set of teeth necessary?

Teeth are essential in our speech function as they aid in the production of specific phonemes. Certain sounds will be difficult to create with an incomplete set of teeth which can result in an unclear speech.

They are also vital in food consumption especially in chewing. Teeth keep the natural structure of the face by preventing the lips and mouth from sinking in.

If I lost a tooth, how can I replace it?

Fortunately, dentist Honolulu, HI has found ways to replace a missing tooth through various methods including dental implants, dentures, and dental bridge.

  • Dental implants are artificial tooth root surgically infused into the jawbone. They serve as a strong foundation for a crown which is placed above the titanium implant.

Dental implants can either be removable or permanent. A removable dental implant is often recommended for people whose gums are not the healthiest or whose jawbone is not the strongest. They are also easier to clean, natural-looking, and can help in speaking and eating just like any other tooth.

But, removable dental implants may not be as sturdy as their permanent counterpart.

It must be noted that an ideal candidate for a dental implant procedure must have a strong jawbone, healthy gum tissue, and good oral health.

On the other hand, permanent dental implants are much-recommended options since they are sturdier than removable dental implants.

  • Dentures are the most common remedy when it comes to a missing tooth. A type of dental restoration, dentures are removable and can either be partial or full.

A partial denture restores only a portion of the mouth with missing teeth, while a full denture replaces the whole top or bottom part of the teeth.

  • Dental bridges are used to restore one or more teeth which are either implanted into the mouth or are bonded to pre-existing teeth. A dental bridge can be traditional, cantilever, or Maryland-bonded.

Traditional dental bridges are considered the most common type, while cantilever dental bridges are great options for replacing front teeth but not the back teeth. Alternatively, Maryland-bonded dental bridges are more recommended for a single missing tooth.

What happens when a missing tooth is not replaced?

A missing tooth can lead to bone loss in the jaw area as the body may quit maintaining the area where the supporting bone which anchors the tooth is to be more efficient.

When bone is lost, the mouth is put at higher risk of losing more teeth. The face’s shape can also be compromised because when a tooth is missing, other teeth may try to fill in space by shifting and tilting, causing them to weaken.

The risk for gum disease also increases since the area where the tooth once was is now empty. The vacated place can lead to an open socket where all kinds of bacteria can enter the gums. When gum disease happens, it can be problematic to the oral health, as well as, to the overall well-being.

Never Let Crooked Teeth Mess Your Oral Health And Here’s Why

A crooked set of teeth is not only visually unappealing, but it can also lead to oral-related issues.

What can cause crooked teeth?

Crooked teeth getting treated by dentists

A type of teeth misalignment or malocclusion, a crooked set of teeth can be a result of:

  • a small mouth
  • distorted jaw
  • genes
  • early loss of primary teeth
  • periodontal disease
  • excessive pressure on the gums and teeth
  • jaw injury
  • oral tumors
  • pacifier use
  • thumb-sucking
  • extended use of a baby bottle
  • tongue thrusting.

What are the consequences of having a crooked set of teeth?

Having a crooked set of teeth is for one embarrassing. But other than causing a toll on our self-esteem and making us self-conscious, it can also lead to dental problems.

When your teeth are misaligned, you may experience problems with your bite. They can interfere with your chewing, eating, and speech.

Because a crooked set of teeth poses problems with our bite, additional stress is put on the oral cavity including the teeth, jaw, and facial muscles which can result in a chipped or broken tooth.

Brushing and flossing may also be difficult to do correctly because of the overlapping of teeth, hidden spaces, and unreachable areas. When basic oral care is not properly done, the likelihood of dental cavities and gum infection rises.

What can I do to address my crooked teeth?

Although having a crooked set of teeth is observable with the naked eye, it is recommended to approach an orthodontist, a dentist who specializes in Orthodontics, for indications of abnormality in the alignment and appearance of the teeth and face.

A dental X-ray is conducted to get images of the patient’s teeth. After a diagnosis, the orthodontist can determine the treatment necessary to correct the dental problem.

A dental impression is then taken which will serve as the model for the creation of an orthodontic appliance.

What orthodontic appliances can I use for my treatment?

Orthodontic appliances can be fixed or removable. However, the type of device you will use will depend on your orthodontist’s recommendation, your needs, and choice.

The most widely used orthodontic appliances are dental braces and Invisalign, a type of clear aligners.

Braces are the common recommendation of orthodontists and are effective in correcting malocclusion especially complicated cases. These orthodontic appliances are comprised of brackets, bonding, and wire.

The pressure from the brackets and wires move the teeth, straightening and aligning them. Treatment using dental braces usually last 18 to 24 months.

On the one hand, Invisalign is a set of trays generated using a computer system. The trays are then replaced bi-weekly and involve six months to a year of treatment.

Which is better: braces or Invisalign?

The main drawbacks of dental braces are its aesthetic and irremovability which are addressed by Invisalign.

However, dental braces have also incorporated improvements by using tooth-colored brackets. Still, having dental braces can make eating, drinking, and basic oral care difficult.

On the one hand, Invisalign is not recommended for complex cases of malocclusion as it is expected to be more effective for aesthetic purposes than in the enhancement of the teeth’s functionality.

Talk to your dentist about the best orthodontic treatment for your crooked teeth.

Things You Should Know Before Getting Your Tooth Extracted

Tooth decay destroys the protective, outer layer of the tooth called the enamel due to the overgrowth of bacteria and their production of acid.

If untreated, the decay can infect the healthy part of the tooth, reach the pulp chamber, and result in infection and irritation.

There are various treatments available to combat tooth decay, depending on the severity of the condition.

A patient can get a filling to remove the infected areas and fill the hole with filling material like amalgam. However, when the tooth becomes unrestorable, and the risk of the spread of bacteria becomes imminent, the best, remaining choice is to pull the teeth through a tooth extraction.

Tooth extraction is the removal of the tooth from its dental socket or alveolus in the alveolar bone.


What other instances will a tooth extraction be necessary?

Other than a severely decayed tooth, tooth extraction is also done for other reasons including:

  • Make room for the permanent teeth by pulling out a baby tooth which has not fallen out.
  • Remove excess teeth that block other teeth.
  • Provide space for adjustments due to an orthodontic treatment
  • The wisdom tooth is impacted


What happens during a tooth extraction?

Before pulling out a tooth, an X-ray of the area is needed to properly see and accurately identify the location of the tooth to be extracted. An X-ray is also vital in knowing the condition and circumstances of the surrounding areas and in planning the most suitable way to remove the tooth that will not harm other parts of the oral cavity.

Aside from an X-ray, your medical and dental records will also be reviewed. Your dentist will also need to know the medications you are currently taking. Fully disclosing your health history and medicines is necessary to prevent complications in the procedure.

When everything is set, local anesthesia will be injected into the gums or inner cheek. The administration of the anesthesia is to numb and relax you during the procedure.

There are two types of tooth extractions. You can either have a simple or surgical extraction. The former is often conducted by general dentists, while oral surgeons perform the latter.

A simple extraction is done on a fully erupted tooth with the use of an elevator which loosens the tooth and forceps which remove the tooth.

On the one hand, a surgical extraction creates a small incision into the gums to remove an partially erupted tooth or a tooth which has not come out yet.

What should I do after my extraction?

After the extraction, you will be requested to bite down a piece of gauze to help with the bleeding and be given post-operation instructions.

It is normal to feel discomfort following the extraction. You can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. If the area swells, you can put ice packs over the area in a 20-minute interval.

Do not panic if the swelling and bleeding lasted a day or two. Initial healing, in the first place, usually takes two weeks at the very least.

Make sure to wash your mouth with warm salt water 24 hours following the surgery. Also, adjust your diet to consist of soft and cool foods for several days. When the area is healed, you can slowly return to your usual diet.

Do not smoke before, on the day, and a day after the tooth extraction. Smoking can decelerate the healing process and cause complications.

However, when swelling and bleeding become severe, or too much pain, fever, and chills are experienced, go to your dentist to get checked and treated.

Get Back Your Smile With Invisible Braces

A recent study conducted by the Australian Institute of Health and Wellbeing found out that 3 out of 5 fifteen year olds in Australia have a dental problem while individuals over 65 had on the average 23 teeth affected by a dental complication. No doubt the impact of this is not lost on the ability of many to smile.

A revitalized smile that has straight teeth no longer has to emanate from a mouth that is full of unappealing wired braces. Enhancing physical confidence and self-esteem, invisible braces are now offering an aesthetic and hardly visible substitute to the traditional wire and bracket braces. Also called clear braces, clear aligners have been manufactured utilizing advanced computer technology which has the capability of predicting your tooth movement, which makes it feasible for this detachable orthodontic appliance to progressively straighten your teeth.

Invisalign for Teens

What are the Available Types?

Among the popular types of cosmetic braces available are ceramic brackets, clear aligners and inside braces. Porcelain tooth coloured braces generally don’t stain and blend with your natural teeth, which make them less obvious. Invisible or clear braces are now trending due to the many advantages over the traditional metal and wore braces. They are virtually invisible and even those closest to you may not be aware you are wearing braces! The lingual braces or what are referred to as “iBraces”, have gone a step further, making your dental treatment practically invisible.

What is the Length of Treatment?

The length of treatment times using clear aligners vary. For instance, when using Invisalign treatment, which typically requires between 20 and 30 aligners, it averages from 9 to 15 months to achieve desired results.

What are the Cost Implications?

The specific cost of your clear braces is determined by a number of factors such as the dental professional, the treatment type and its duration, the geographical location, and your personal dental insurance plan. Other factors may be the kind of restorative work required before or during treatment. The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) plays a big role in ensuring that the cost of braces in Australia is regulated to protect the patient.

Cavities and Its Causes

Cavity is another word for tooth decay. Cavities typically result from the build-up of plaque on the teeth and gums.

Plaque is a layer of bacteria that coats the teeth. In the period after a meal, this bacteria emits acids that deteriorate the enamel of the teeth, leading to the formation of cavities.

Cavities and Its Causes

Given enough time to accumulate, plaque may also congeal into tartar, which means trouble for the gums. This begins with inflammation and bleeding but may end in gum disease.

In the latter case, the gums begin to retreat from the teeth, leading to the formation of pouches of pus and bacteria. The final result can be severe cavities, in which one or more teeth have to be removed. In this article, Hawaii Family Dental emphasizes that good dental hygiene is the key to minimizing plaque and preventing these outcomes.

The Three Lines of Defense Against Cavities

There are three primary lines of defense against cavities. The first is to maintain a healthy diet that limits sugary and starchy foods, both of which are a major cause of the plaque build-up that leads to cavities. While restricting the consumption of sweets, soda, and other high-sugar foods is essential to preventing cavities, it is important to note that consuming otherwise healthy foods such as breads and cereals may also lead to cavities for those not vigilant about the second line of defense: brushing and flossing.

Brushing the teeth twice daily minimizes plaque build-up. Tooth-brushing should include all surfaces of the teeth: inner, outer, and those used to chew. Fluoride toothpastes are recommended as they aid in the prevention of cavities. Of equal importance to brushing is daily flossing. Flossing is essential for preventing cavities because it cleans plaque and bits of food out of the areas between the teeth that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush. Flossing is also indispensable for the prevention of gum disease. While being gentle, one should always make sure when flossing to clean all the way up to the top of each tooth, where the tooth meets the gum line.

The third and final line of defense against cavities is regular dental cleanings; i.e., visiting the dentist. Professional dental cleanings not only maintain good dental hygiene and help to preserve the appearance of teeth, they also give the dentist a chance to spot early signs of cavities. By neglecting to visit the dentist, one becomes vulnerable to more serious dental conditions. Untreated cavities, for example, may end up creating root canal infections, permanent tooth decay, and eventually even tooth loss.

Those seeking further information related to cavities and their prevention should speak with their dentist.

About the Author

Hawaii Family Dental is the number one dental practice in Honolulu, HI. They provide a wide range of dental services. Visit for more information.