Up Your Self-Confidence Game with Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

March 23, 2019

Filed under: Blog,Cosmetic Dentistry — tntadmin @ 6:22 am

We all have our own struggle story, from emotional breakdowns to physical scars. Some of us even find our teeth a tad bit embarrassing. They may appear a little crooked, misaligned or sustain stains. But, is that stopping you from giving a shot at your best smile at parties and pictures? There’s absolutely no need to struggle with discolored teeth. And seeking some assistance can always help you understand your teeth better. Smile makeovers aren’t just for the rich and fancy! It’s becoming an increasingly popular treatment option.
Dr. Joshua Hong’s office provides top-quality cosmetic dentistry procedures. We help you achieve your desired smile in a patient-friendly environment. Keeping in mind your preferences, we provide treatment options that best suit you and last a lifetime.


Professional Teeth Whitening vs At-Home Teeth Whitening

February 13, 2019

Filed under: Blog,Cosmetic Dentistry — tntadmin @ 12:39 pm

All of us consume a lot of dark colored foods and beverages in large amounts like tea, coffee, berries, soy sauce and an occasional glass of wine. But over the years, these foods and beverages tend to leave our teeth stained and discolored, putting a damper on our smile. So does that mean you stop consuming them? Absolutely not! You can bring back that lost shine with a teeth whitening procedure. Whether you’re going through your Instagram feed or flipping the pages of a magazine, everyone understands the importance of whiter teeth.


5 Common Problems that Cosmetic Dentistry Can Solve

January 25, 2019

Filed under: Blog,Cosmetic Dentistry — tntadmin @ 12:00 pm

You’re rushing out for a morning meeting and you realize you’ve chipped a tooth! Maybe you tried opening last night’s beer bottle with your teeth! Now you’re worried and when you look a little closer, you find some of your teeth stained! So do you still head to the office or run to your dentist first?
We’ve all been through this phase whether at school or at work and we require an instant solution! Cosmetic dentistry can definitely help to correct your smile for healthier gums and teeth.


5 Frequently Asked Questions about Teeth Whitening and Bleaching

January 17, 2019

Filed under: Blog,Cosmetic Dentistry — tntadmin @ 6:26 am

If you’re one of the 32% of Americans who is concerned about the appearance of your teeth, we’re going to have your queries answered! Approximately 74% of Americans believe that their less-than-perfect smile serves as a challenge for job seekers. And a shocking 99.7% believe that a beautiful smile is vital in a social setting. Teeth whitening and cosmetic dentistry actively work together to significantly improve the way you look and feel.


TMJ and Vertigo: The Connection

November 12, 2018

Filed under: Blog,TMJ Treatment — tntadmin @ 10:03 am

Is your jaw tender and constantly making clicking or popping sounds when you chew? Unfortunately all the above are symptoms of TMJ.

But do you know that there are still some other unknown or unrecognizable symptoms caused by TMJ which are related to vertigo? TMJ is otherwise known as “the great imposter” as it can cause many other symptoms that are completely unrelated to your bite, such as vertigo.


How TMJ Disorders Can Expose Your Body to Other Chronic Diseases

October 22, 2018

Filed under: Blog,TMJ Treatment — tntadmin @ 10:55 am

TMJ or TMD is a sequence of pain, jaw joint problems and muscle spasms that arise when the teeth, chewing muscles, and jaw joints don’t work together harmoniously. TMD refers to the problems with the muscles and joints that join the mandible bone of the jaw to the temporal bone at the base of the skull. Some TMJ symptoms may include headaches, worn out teeth, sore muscles in the face, neck, and shoulder. There are also several chronic diseases that are associated with temporomandibular joint disorder.


Relief from TMJ Headache and Bruxism

October 11, 2018

Filed under: Blog,TMJ Treatment — tntadmin @ 1:12 pm

TMJ is the most complex joint in the body with a rigid in point of closure. You can imagine the strain that we put on this joint as we breathe, talk, eat and swallow 2000 times per day. It is no wonder that a certain percentage of the population reports some level of disorder in the TMJ. Bruxing and clenching can lead to headaches, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and dental wear. TMJ can also trigger other chronic diseases.


TMJ Pain Relief with Simple Jaw Exercises

September 15, 2018

Filed under: Blog,TMJ Treatment — tntadmin @ 12:06 pm

If you find yourself constantly clenching your jaw and teeth in anger or in stress, you’re suffering from bruxism. Bruxism is a condition that results from constantly grinding your teeth at night. A high number of bruxism patients clench their teeth during the day as well. Since it is an involuntary action, many patients find it difficult to stop. The stress of constantly clenching and grinding can damage your temporomandibular joints that lead to TMD. Bruxism and TMJ can be a little confusing to identify since they have similar signs and symptoms, so understanding the difference between the two is going to be important.

If you want to correct your jaw pain for a long haul, then you should do these exercises. These TMJ exercises will contract and strengthen your muscles, which will make the changes to put your joint in the right position.

Jaw Exercises for TMJ Pain Relief

  • Strengthening ExercisesStrengthening exercises are best performed between TMJ flare-ups. During times of extreme pain, TMJ flare-ups can aggravate the pain.

    Here are two strengthening exercises:

    1. Place your thumb under your chin, pushing your chin downward against it. Keep opening your mouth against a reasonable force from your thumb, and then hold it open for 5-10 seconds.
    2. Open your mouth wide open as comfortably as you can. Place your index finger between your chin and lower lip. Keep your mouth closed and push inward against the resistance.
  • Stretching ExercisesStretching exercises can soothe TMJ pain during a flare-up. They minimize muscle and joint tension, providing long-term relief.
    1. Place the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Open your mouth wide open as you comfortably can. Hold for 5-10 seconds.
    2. Place the tip of your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Glide your lower jaw out as far as it can, then back in as far as it can. Hold for 10 seconds in each position.
    3. Gradually open your mouth as wide as you can, with your tongue in a neutral position. Hold for 10 seconds then close your mouth. Then, open your mouth slightly, gliding your lower jaw back and forth 5-10 times.
    4. Keep your mouth closed. Look straight ahead, glancing to the right with your eyes only. Move your lower jaw to the left and hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat the same with your upper jaw.
    5. Keep a thin object, either a pencil or a paintbrush in between your front teeth. Glide your lower jaw forward, allowing the object to rest between your back and front teeth. Hold the position for 20 seconds.
  • Relaxation Exercises
    Stress often triggers TMJ pain, and these exercises can help you with relaxing.

    1. Gradually inhale, allowing your stomach to expand instead of your chest. Slowly exhale, while allowing your exhalation to last as long as your inhalation. Repeat the exercise 5-10 times.
    2. Sit or lie in a comfortable position with some support. Relax your muscles and banish tension from your muscles. Begin with your feet and work your way up to the head.

Other Ways for TMJ Pain Relief

  • Apply an ice pack to the affected area for 20 minutes. Some may find alternating between heat and ice more effective.
  • Use anti-inflammatory drugs to receive temporary relief.
  • Massage your neck and head muscles to control tension emitting from the TMJ.

Make sure you are not pushing too hard since these are gentle stretches for the small joints in your jaw. If you are committed during your TMJ pain treatment, you will feel better with the ease of pain. However, make sure you speak with your dentist in Goodyear, AZ who can make recommendations specific to your case.

Why You Should Consider TMJ Treatment

August 30, 2018

Filed under: Blog,TMJ Treatment — tntadmin @ 6:26 am

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge that connects your jaw to your skull. When this joint is damaged, it can result in a pain disorder called temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).

TMD often results in severe discomfort and pain. It either is a temporary or a chronic pain that can affect either one or both sides of your face. The risk factors that contribute to TMJ disorder increase your chances of facial injuries, a misaligned bite, and bruxism amongst other risk factors. In some cases, you may stop experiencing the symptoms of TMD. However, if your symptoms persist, your doctor would recommend you various TMJ treatment options.

Why Consider TMJ Treatment?

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider TMJ Treatment to put your pain at rest.

1. Get Rid of Chronic Pain

You don’t need to suffer anymore with chronic pain. Whether it is pain in your jaw, ears or neck, and even chronic migraines, TMJ treatment will alleviate the pain help you live a better life. This means better work efficiency since you no longer need to deal with the pain.

2. Reduce Stiffness in the Jaws

A stiff jaw can make it difficult for you to eat your favorite food. It also makes it difficult for you to get the essential nutrients you require to thrive. Even the simplest of acts like talking and yawning can be absolute torture. TMJ treatment will allow you to enjoy even the most involuntary processes of opening the mouth once again.

3. Relieve Vision Problems

TMJ vision problems may seem like the strangest thing. Your TMJ is connected to nearly everything in your head, neck, and face. TMJ treatments treat the unrevealed cause of vision problems. This alleviates the pain for a long time and improves your vision that aids in carrying out daily activities safely.

4. Get Rid of Clicking and Popping

Opening the mouth too wide when eating or yawning and problems in temporomandibular joints can result in the clicking and popping of the jaw. It can impact your social life and blow out your confidence as a result. The right alignment of the jaws will get rid of the disturbing clicking and popping and restore your confidence.

5. A Good Night’s Sleep

If TMJ disorder is costing you a good night’s sleep, you’re definitely not giving your best shot at completing the day’s tasks. Getting a sound sleep is vital in being more productive.

Options for TMJ Treatment

1. Medication

TMJ disorders can be treated with the help of painkillers depending on the seriousness of the condition. However, it doesn’t stop the condition from worsening, and your doctor may recommend different treatment options.

2. TMJ Exercises

TMJ exercises are great for relieving pain as they take as little as 10 minutes and you can choose to do it at any time of the day. TMJ exercises help in improving the movement of your jaw joints. Jaw exercises are also instrumental in improving your posture. Poor posture can add unnecessary pressure to your face and head that can worsen the disorder.

Here are three simple exercises that allow you to perform them anywhere:

  • Relaxed Jaw Muscle
    Allow your tongue to rest on top of your mouth, just behind your upper front teeth. Let your teeth be apart while relaxing your jaw muscles.
  • Chin Tuck
    Keep your shoulders and chest up, while pulling your chin straight back, creating a “double chin”. Hold for 3 seconds each time and repeat exercise 10 times.
  • Side-to-side Jaw Movement
    Place ¼ of a tongue depressor between your front teeth. Slowly move your jaw from one side to the other. As you get accustomed to this exercise, stack a few more tongue depressors on your tongue and repeat the exercise.

Recovering from TMJ pain may require you to make some changes to your diet. Sticking to soft foods and avoiding sticky or chewy foods should be your priority. Soups and drinkable meals are the perfect picks that will give your jaw some time to heal. If you’re looking for a TMJ specialist in Goodyear, AZ, book an appointment with us today to get a step closer to a healthier jaw.

A Patient’s Guide to Dental Implants – Candidacy, Efficacy, Advantages & Aftercare

July 20, 2018

Filed under: Blog,Dental Implants and Dentures — tntadmin @ 1:09 pm

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are one of the most effective tooth replacement procedures and with the help of a skilled and qualified dentist you can easily restore your smile with this safe surgical procedure. Dental implants are made up of titanium that is inserted into the jaw for replacing missing teeth roots. Through a process known as osseointegration, the bone surrounding the teeth grows and gets attached to the implants, thus securing them and making them a permanent part of your natural smile.      

Following osseointegration, the dental implants will be attached to artificial teeth (replacement cap/crown) to anchor them to the jawbone or they may be used to anchor dentures or a bridge to the jawbone if a single tooth or multiple teeth are missing.

When are Dental Implants Needed?  

Dental implants are needed for different reasons like replacing a single tooth or multiple missing teeth, resolving bite issues and joint pain, and for restoring facial tissues for achieving a natural smile. Dental implants are also the best long-term solution for replacing teeth that are missing due to tooth decay, gum disease, an accident, or a root canal failure.

Advantages of Dental Implants

  • Dental implants look completely natural
  • They boost your confidence
  • Implants prevent further loss of bone tissue in the jaw
  • You don’t need to remove them like bridges or dentures
  • Implants offer improved comfort when chewing food

Are You a Candidate for Dental implants?  

In order to have a dental implant, you must be healthy enough to undergo a tooth extraction. You should also have healthy gums and enough bone tissue in your jaw to facilitate the insertion of the anchor. If you meet these qualifications, you can get your dental implants right away. However, even if you have lost bone, you can still get dental implants but before the procedure begins, the bone must be rebuilt.   

An Step-by-Step Overview of the Dental Implant Surgical Procedure  

The dental implant surgery is carried out in several steps that take place over a timeframe of three to nine months.  

Steps of the dental implant surgery

  • Dental Examination  The initial consultation includes a comprehensive dental examination to determine your oral health. You may also have to take dental X-rays (IOPA, OPG, CBCT) to ensure an accurate evaluation. The examination also includes a questionnaire of your dental history, allergies, health conditions and medications that could interfere with the treatment plan. Based on the assessment, the oral surgeon will formulate a tailored treatment plan to obtain optimal oral function and desired aesthetic result.
  • Treatment Planning Depending on your unique situation, a comprehensive treatment plan will be formulated detailing the complete sequence of treatment. This treatment plan will also take into account the condition of your jawbone and the surrounding structure to know which option is best for you. Your oral surgeon will also walk you through all the steps involved in the cosmetic dentistry procedure so you know what to expect from the treatment.
  • Placement of Dental Implant  Implant placement is a major surgical procedure performed under sterile conditions with local anesthesia. If your oral surgeon observes that you lack a significant amount of bone, he will evaluate the possibility of bone grafting procedures for bone regeneration. The placement starts with a gum incision where the implant is to be placed. Sequential drilling is used to prepare the jawbone while ensuring zero damage to the surrounding nerves and subsequently the implant is placed.
  • Fusing Period The implant can take from six weeks to six months to fully integrate with the bone. During this period, the oral surgeon may recommend wearing temporary dentures or bridgework. In certain cases, a small connector post may be attached to the dental implant or temporary teeth can be fixed.
  • Restorative Process Once the bone has fully fused, the dental implants can be brought into full function with definitive restorations that range from a single crown and a small bridge to a larger bridge and removable over denture. After 3-6 months, the second phase starts wherein the abutment (metal post) is attached to the dental implants. Finally, your replacement teeth are created and fitted in the third phase which may require a few trials and corrections to achieve the desired outcome. The complete process generally takes 5 to 8 months but may vary from patient to patient. A dental technician may work closely with your oral surgeon to construct an appropriate restoration for you.
  • Maintenance and Follow-Up   After the completion of your dental implant procedure, the patient must maintain the new teeth with regular brushing and flossing. You are also required to follow the care and maintenance measures recommended by your dental hygienist. Regular follow-up visits are equally important to ensure the oral health of soft tissues and the integrity of the restoration.

How Safe are Dental Implants and How Long Do They Last?

Dental implants are considered a completely safe tooth replacement procedure for patients who are in good overall and oral health and meet the eligibility criteria prior to undergoing this cosmetic dentistry procedure. When the surgery is performed by a qualified and experienced oral surgeon, dental implants are extremely successful. They typically last for several years once they have successfully fused to the bone. Many patients have had dental implants for well over 40 years.     

Are Dental Implants Costly?

The cost of dental implants depends on the work involved. For example, dental implants that will be used for fixing bridgework are more expensive than those used for replacing missing teeth. However, implants are more cost-effective over time as they do not need special care or replacement.

Is the Surgical Procedure Painful?

No. The procedure is not painful because a local anesthesia is administered prior to the procedure.

What to Expect Post Dental Implant Surgery?  

Whether your dental implants were placed in one stage or the entire procedure required multiple dental visits, you may experience some discomfort due to the swelling of your gums, pain at the implant site, minor bleeding and bruising of your skin.

If the pain, swelling or discomfort gets worse after the dental implant surgery, immediately contact your oral surgeon as you may need medications.

After every stage of the surgical procedure, you should only eat soft foods to facilitate faster recovery of the surgical site. While most dental implant surgeries are successful, sometimes the bone fails to fuse completely due to which the implant needs to be removed. After the bone is cleaned, the procedure is performed again in two to three months.  

Dietary Dos and Don’ts After Getting Dental Implants

Recovering from a dental implant surgery is a process that requires you to take a few precautions especially when it comes to your diet and hygiene. This enables the dental implants to fuse with the bone tissue and ensures proper support and stability for implants. Generally, a soft diet is recommended for five to seven days to ensure that the bone tissue and gums heal properly and quickly.

Even then, your soft food diet should factor in the needs of your body like energy and nutrients. You can speak to your dentist for advice on a variety of foods that you can eat. If you are not sure about where to start, here are some food choices/dietary recommendations as well as restrictions you can follow after a dental implant surgery.

  • Fruits and Vegetables
    It is advisable to go for fruits that are deemed softer like peaches, bananas, melons, nectarines as well as all berries. You will do well to consider cutting the fruit into pieces as opposed to taking a bite. On the other hand, your vegetables should be properly cooked so that they are not too crunchy for your new implants. Good alternatives for the vegetables include carrots, broccoli and squash. Soups and sauces are also a safe and easy option to try out.
  • Starches and GrainsA majority of cooked grains will help you avoid hard foods while giving you more nutrients. For instance, you can have oatmeal for breakfast and consider noodles, rice, soft bread, grits or mashed potatoes for dinner.
  • BeveragesYou want to stay hydrated after your dental implant surgery; hence, nothing will work best for you than water. Be sure to avoid alcoholic drinks during your recovery period.
  • ProteinPoultry and red meat may be tough on your dental implants during the first few days of your surgical procedure. Therefore, consume them carefully and sparingly. Other safe options for proteins include fish, seafood, beans and eggs, among others. You can also consider red meat only when it is tenderized.
  • Dairy
    Dairy is also considered a good source of protein when recovering from a dental implant surgery. This includes dairy products like yogurt, milk as well as cheese. Although quinoa and couscous are considered wheat and grain, they have a high amount of protein.
  • Dietary RestrictionsWhen it comes to dietary restrictions, consider staying off food that is chewy, crunchy and hard during your recovery. This is because they may cause discomfort, delay healing and result in implant failure. Some of the foods that you must refrain from eating include the following.
  • Chewy FoodsThis refers to any food that must be chewed for a couple of rounds before swallowing. Eating such foods will result in the implants pulling away from the gums. They include hard fruit, cookies, salads, rolls and gummies, among others.
  • Hard FoodsThey include snack foods like candies, dried fruit and pretzels. Raw crunchy vegetables and nuts also pose a threat to the dental implants.
  • Very Cold or Hot FoodsIntroduction of extreme temperatures can lead to pain or even open a wound. Therefore, consider allowing your hot meals to turn luke-warm before eating. For cold drinks, avoid the temptation of using a straw soon after the surgery as it may brush against the dental implants causing irritation.

In summary, the recovery period for surgical procedure should be supported by eating the right foods that will not interfere with the process of integration into the gums or even give rise to wounds or gum disease. Thus, you must choose your meals wisely.

How to Maintain Your Dental Implants?  

Dental implants can develop problems in the absence of consistent oral care. The earliest sign of an underlying problem is bleeding which eventually progresses to bone loss. This is why the importance of oral care cannot be understated. Restored dental implants should be free from plaque and for this your oral hygiene aids should include a soft toothbrush, a low-abrasive toothpaste and dental floss for thorough cleaning around the abutments. You can also include an antimicrobial mouth rinse and disclosing tablets that stain the area where plaque has accumulated. Your dental implants must be examined annually with an x-ray for the first 3 years following the surgical procedure so you can keep them for life.

For more information on caring for your tooth implant, make an appointment with the best dentist in Goodyear AZ at Joshua Hong DDS.

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