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cosmetic dentistry thousand oaks

Dental Questions: Does Invisalign work for everyone?

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Dental Questions: Does Invisalign work for everyone?

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

Invisalign (generically known as "clear aligners") is a relatively new orthodontic option for patients who desire straighter teeth. They offer a number of benefits over traditional bracket-and-wire braces, including less visible hardware, easier cleaning and less trauma to the lips and cheeks. However, Invisalign is not necessarily a great choice for everyone. While most patient have needs that can be addressed through clear aligners, it is important to note the limitations of this treatment option. 

For starters, Invisalign needs to be worn at least 20+ hours a day (ideally 22+ hours). If you are unable to adhere to this requirement, your treatment will take much longer. This is one of the primary reasons Invisalign is not recommended for young and poorly compliant kids. It is better to wait until the patient is ready to commit to treatment rather than stay in trays for additional months or years. 

While Invisalign is easier to clean than normal braces, it can pose a higher tooth decay risk for individuals who choose to eat or drink with their trays in (water being the exception). The clear plastic creates a cover that can hold in sugars and carbohydrates while blocking out the remineralizing/protective saliva. Oral hygiene is of utmost importance when considering any appliance, and Invisalign is no exception. 

Finally, there is a small subset of orthodontic conditions that Invisalign either cannot treat or treats very slowly. Severe deviations from normal dentition and drastic tooth movements may be better managed with traditional braces. Here, the wires and brackets can act as anchors on which to push, pull or slide teeth. In certain cases, a combination of Invisalign and other appliances may be needed to achieve an ideal smile. There is only so much a removable device can do in straightening teeth. 

At Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry, we offer Invisalign aligners as a treatment option to our established patients. However, we evaluate each patient individually and decide if their needs are better managed by one of the orthodontists in our specialist network. If you would like to know more about Invisalign, braces or cosmetic dentistry, please give our office a call!

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Zirconia Crown and Bridge Replacement

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Zirconia Crown and Bridge Replacement

Subtle changes can have powerful effects in cosmetic dentistry! Check out the crowns and bridge patient's before photos. The opaque shade and rounded features gave these teeth a definite "chiclet" appearance. Additionally, gum recession had left the teeth with dark lines surrounding their bases that contrasted with the white porcelain. By working with the Opus One Dental Laboratory, we were able to create new crowns with more lifelike shape and translucency. Even with similar color shades, the new crowns/bridge look infinitely more natural and beautiful in this patient's mouth. 

If you would like to know more about the amazing transformations we can achieve with crowns, bridges, implants and veneers, give our office a call. We specialize in providing the highest quality dentistry with a personal touch. Come see what Thousand Oaks Family Dentistry can do for you!

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Cosmetic Reconstruction With Emax Crowns and Veneers

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Cosmetic Reconstruction With Emax Crowns and Veneers

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

Today's case is a great example of the importance of color and translucency when designing a crown or veneer in the anterior region. This patient came to our office dissatisfied with their current dental restorations and overall smile esthetics. The crowned teeth appeared unnaturally opaque and presented with a sharp change in color where the teeth met the gum tissue. These crowns were created using porcelain fused to metal (PFM), a classic technique for fabricating tooth colored crowns. While they make very functional restorations, PFMs take away from the natural translucency of teeth due to their solid metal underpinnings. This patient's condition was exacerbated by gingival recession, which revealed contrasting natural tooth structure underneath the crown.

To create a completely natural smile, we utilized Emax lithium disilicate crowns and veneers across the maxillary and mandibular teeth. These crowns are made of a single type of translucent material, and thus transmit light like natural enamel. Similarly, the single piece construction makes these crown very strong, allowing us to replace the PFMs in the posterior region as well. By working closely with our dental lab, we created a set of crowns and veneers that are uniform in shape, color and shade. The final product is a natural and youthful smile designed to stand the test of time! If you would like to know more about crowns, veneers or any other esthetic service offered by our office, please give us a call. 

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Post Remodel Office Tour

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Post Remodel Office Tour

If you haven't seen our new look, check out this quick video tour put together by Dr. Kari Ann Hong! You will notice new flooring, paint and artwork throughout the office and exam rooms. Additionally, take a peek at our brand new waiting room and private consultation room. Overall, the renovated space creates a very upscale and welcoming ambiance. If you would like to see the office for yourself, just stop by and see us!

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Case Presentation: Anterior Smile Perfection

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Case Presentation: Anterior Smile Perfection

Another Great veneer case from Dr. Kari Ann Hong! 

Another Great veneer case from Dr. Kari Ann Hong! 

This patient came to our office wanting to restore the esthetics and proportions of their smile. The maxillary anterior teeth appeared jagged and uneven due to a combination of grinding and dietary acid wear. The unnatural sharpness in tooth structure lends itself to an older appearing or "worn down" smile. Additionally, old composite (tooth colored) fillings had begun to show contrast against the natural tooth structure. As teeth age, they tend to pick up stains and wear at a rate different from composites. Over decades, these small differences can become very evident, particularly in patients who consume lots of dark liquids (coffee, soda, red wine, etc.).

In recreating this smile, Dr. Kari used a series of eight lithium disilicate veneers. These restorations give the teeth a uniform shape and color, while mimicking the natural opacity of dental enamel. In just two weeks, this smile looks years younger! If have any further questions about veneers and what they can do for your teeth, please give our office a call!

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Case presentation: Full Anterior Veneers

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Case presentation: Full Anterior Veneers

thousandoaksfamilydentistry.com

Take a look at this beautiful transformation performed at our office! In the before pictures, notice how the biting surfaces of this patient's anterior (front) teeth are worn down and uneven. Flattened and discolored teeth create an older appearing smile, regardless of age. The new veneers allowed Dr. Hong to develop a uniform and well rounded smile, while correcting the tooth shade. The results are absolutely stunning! If you would like to know more about veneers or any other cosmetic services offered at our office, please let us know!

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Case Presentation: Premolar Implant

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Case Presentation: Premolar Implant

Every day, our office sees patients with a wide variety of restorative needs, each of which we try to match on an individual basis. Today's patient came to us with decay in their second premolar that structurally compromised the tooth. Radiographs revealed that there was not enough healthy enamel/dentin left to do a traditional filling or crown, so we had to consider other treatment possibilities. After reviewing options with the patient, it was decided that the tooth should be extracted and replaced with an implant by one of our specialists. 

Take a look at how the decayed (darker appearing) tooth was removed and replaced with a titanium implant. 

Take a look at how the decayed (darker appearing) tooth was removed and replaced with a titanium implant. 

After the implant was placed and healed, we took impressions to make a custom mounting for the final crown (called an abutment). Since the second premolar is far back in the mouth, we had our lab create a gold abutment matched to a porcelain and metal crown. This combination of materials allowed us to create a crown that was both durable and beautiful without risking damage to the opposing teeth. The patient gets all the structural benefits of a metal crown, but with no metal showing. Careful planning provided us with great results; both our office and the patient were ecstatic with the outcome!

The final product! Notice how natural the implant crown looks in the patient's mouth. 

The final product! Notice how natural the implant crown looks in the patient's mouth. 

Overall, dental implant cases typically take about 8 months from start to finish. The vast majority of this time is spent making sure the implant is healed correctly and properly integrated into bone. In the meantime, there are numerous other considerations and adjustments needed: the appearance of the surrounding gum tissue, the color/shade of the crown and even the shape/material of the underlying abutment. If you are interested in an having a dental implant placed or are just curious about what goes into making an implant, please feel free to call our office! We are always happy to walk you through any of our procedures!

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Kerr Sonicfill Filling System

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Kerr Sonicfill Filling System

If you have had a filling placed at our office recently, you likely noticed that the entire appointment was much shorter (and more comfortable) than when you were a child. This is due to a number of wonderful advancements in dental technologies and techniques, allowing us to move more smoothly and efficiently. A great example of this progress is the Kerr Sonicfill Composite Applicator.

The Sonicfill "handpiece" and composite filling material tubes. It plugs into our chairs much like the dental polisher and "drills." 

The Sonicfill "handpiece" and composite filling material tubes. It plugs into our chairs much like the dental polisher and "drills." 

The Sonicfill is an incredible device that allow us to place certain fillings in the back of the mouth in a matter of seconds. Previously, properly filling a large cavity in the molars and premolars required two different types of materials, which had to be carefully packed, shaped, adjusted and finally cured. With Sonicfill, The entire process is completed in a single step, with outstanding results.

This incredible device works by utilizing the air supply built into our dental chairs to create a vibrating/pushing motion against a tube of tooth colored filling material. The vibrations cause the material to flow gently and thoroughly into the shape of the cavity, leaving no gaps or bubbles. Once the vibration is stopped, the material remains firm but pliable, allowing us to shape it perfectly before curing it completely solid. The end result is a beautiful tooth colored filling placed in practically no-time!

We love this technology for two reasons. First, it has provided us with excellent functional results. The vibrating motion truly does make a difference and has given hundreds of our patients strong, long lasting restorations. Secondly, its speed-of-use means a shorter appointment time. This translates to less time in our office, away from work and/or family.

As with all of our products, if you have any questions or concerns please call our front desk. We only use new technologies when we are absolutely sure they will provide a superior experience for our patients. Sonicfill has satisfied this requirement by making your appointment smooth, quick and comfortable!


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Video Blog on Teeth Veneers

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Video Blog on Teeth Veneers

 

Greetings, my name is Dr. Kari Ann Hong, and I have a family dentistry practice here in Thousand Oaks, California. Frequently, my patients will ask me if I do cosmetic dentistry. This is an interesting question, because cosmetic dentistry defines every treatment that I provide. In fact, cosmetics are intrinsic to the very nature of dental procedures. My ultimate goal is to provide you with long term dental solutions that are both functional AND beautiful.

The most common procedure associated with the term “cosmetic dentistry” is teeth veneers.  Veneers can be used to change the color, shape, and size of the teeth.  They are an excellent solution for teeth that have been chipped in the past or that have had extensive fillings.  Also, they can be used to fill in gaps or to correct the alignment of teeth.  The process of making a veneer involves lightly removing about 0.3-1.5mm of tooth structure. Then an impression is taken, temporaries are made, and the dental lab takes about two weeks to fabricate the veneer.  

Veneers are made out of either feldspathic porcelain or lithium disilicate.  Both materials are known for their translucency and life like appearance.  Patients are often concerned that their veneers will look fake.  I work very closely with my dental lab to ensure that the final result is both natural and esthetically pleasing.

If you are interested in teeth veneers, please fill out the contact us page at the bottom of this page.

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