General Dentistry

 

Healthy teeth and gums for a life time!

Dr. Han uses the VIP approach to promote a healthy chewing system or make corrections to it when necessary. Because he always uses advanced dental techniques, he rarely adjusts inlays, onlays or crowns in the mouth. He always uses an earbow procedure to relate an upper jaw to jaw joints and an articulator to fabricate well fitting restorations. The benefits to patients are comfort, durability, pleasing esthetics and a natural feel. The restoration feels like your own tooth. 

Inlay: It is a type of treatment that takes two appointments to complete.  It can repair a tooth that is affected by a small decay, only. The inlay is preferred over a tooth colored filling (Composite filling) because it is more durable, comfortable and longer lasting. Most importantly, it preserves or improves the bite (occlusion) thereby preserving the healthy chewing system of your mouth. Although the composite filling may look esthetically pleasing, it permanently changes the bite relationship due to its uncontrollable, fast erosions, thereby adversely affecting the stability of the healthy chewing system. In addition, the composite filling is more prone to decay because bonding to dentin is temporary, only lasting up to three years. The dentin makes up the majority of the tooth structure, which lies underneath the enamel. Please click on Dr.Han's Dental Philosophy for farther clarification of the chewing system.  

Onlay: This is a type of treatment that takes two appointments to complete.  It is done when a cusp is fractured or the remaining tooth structure is too weak to withstand the biting force. An onlay is less conservative than an inlay, covering over a biting surface extending over a cusp. The gold onlay is the best because it wears like a natural tooth, does not damage the opposing tooth and can last a long time if done correctly. The gold onlay is more conservative than a crown because less tooth structure needs to be removed than either a porcelain onlay or a full crown. Although, the porcelain onlay looks natural, it is more prone to fracture, and can cause a premature wear of the opposing tooth.

Crown: A crown is a restoration that caps or encircles a tooth.  It is  less conservative than either an inlay or an onlay. It typically takes two appointments to complete a crown. A gold crown is preferred over a porcelain crown or porcelain fused to gold crown because it requires less removing of tooth structure, wearing like a natural tooth and is kind to the opposing tooth. Although the porcelain or porcelain fused to gold crown may look better than a gold crown, porcelain is prone to fracture because it is brittle like glass by its nature.

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Veneers

The benefits to patients are comfort, durability, pleasing esthetics and a natural feel. The veneers look just like your own teeth, except looking even better. 

Porcelain veneers or porcelain laminates are conservative, indirect restorations made of very thin shells of porcelain that are fabricated by a dental technician. They are bonded onto the front of teeth to alter the shape, color and size of teeth so to mimic natural teeth. If preparation is made within enamel and properly designed by the doctor, it can be as strong as natural teeth, stain resistant and durable.

To preserve as much tooth structures as possible, Dr. Han makes a precise diagnosis by taking molds of your teeth and relating the casts of your teeth on an articulator in order to duplicate the dynamic movements of your mouth; in this way, he can rebuild your new teeth to exact size, contour and shape that fit your mouth and face. By modeling the final outcome of your new smile, Dr. Han can ascertain exactly how much of the tooth structures need to be removed, minimally, in order to achieve a new smile. Dr. Han then makes the projected new smile on temporary veneers while the new ones are being fabricated at the laboratory. Dr. Han alters the shape and size of the temporary veneers if needed after evaluating a new smile with you. Once, Dr. Han and you are satisfied with your new smile, the mold and photo of your temporary smile are taken, and then sent to Dr. Han’s technician so the final outcome is exactly as anticipated. 

Because veneers can completely reshape your teeth and smile, they can often be alternatives to orthodontic treatment.

As with most dental restorations, porcelain veneers are not permanent and may someday need replacement. Proper maintenance can lengthen the life expectancy of porcelain veneers: good oral hygiene, professional cleaning by a hygienist three to four times yearly and precautions on eating habits such as biting into hard food or ice.
You may be a candidate for porcelain veneers if you experience any of the following:

  • Not happy with your smile.
  • Crooked teeth.
  • Misshapen teeth.
  • Severely discolored or stained teeth.
  • Teeth that are too small or large.
  • Unwanted or uneven spaces.
  • Worn or chipped teeth.

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Fixed Bridge or Fixed Partial Denture

A fixed bridge consists of two anchored teeth (abutments) on either side of a missing tooth and a pontic (an artificial tooth) that connects two anchored teeth together.

The fixed bridge supports and maintains the integrity of your mouth in addition to improving your bite and esthetics. When you lose one or more teeth, your remaining teeth shift and disrupt your ability to chew and speak.

There are several types of bridges: gold, all porcelain or porcelain fused to gold. Dr. Han will discuss the best options for your particular case. Fixed bridges are highly durable and will last many years; however, they may need replacement or need to be re-cemented due to normal wear.

You may be a candidate for a fixed bridge if you have or want any of the following:

  • Missing teeth.
  • Collapsed face because of missing teeth.
  • Prevent the remaining teeth from drifting out of position.
  • Improve chewing and speaking ability.
  • Restore your smile.
  • Upgrade from a removable partial denture.

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Partials, Complete Dentures and Overdentures

A denture is a removable appliance, replacing missing teeth and surrounding tissue. It resembles your natural teeth and may even enhance your smile. Dr. Han uses porcelain teeth that look natural and cut through food better than widely used plastic teeth. Dr. Han selects porcelain teeth based on your facial shape, gender and smile line to create a smile that is uniquely yours. There is also a ‘try-in session’ where you will see your new teeth, and Dr. Han makes any changes required to color, size and the shape of your new teeth. By actually setting the teeth by himself, Dr. Han can make teeth that are unique to that particular patient, and the finalized dentures mimic natural teeth. Once satisfied, the technician will finalize the denture.

There are three types of dentures – complete, partial and over. Complete dentures are used when all of the teeth are missing, while partial dentures are used when some of the teeth are missing. A Partial denture not only fills in the spaces created by missing teeth, it prevents other teeth from shifting. An overdenture is similar to a complete denture but is supported by a few remaining teeth. Because it is supported by teeth, you can exert more chewing force on it than a complete denture, and it is more comfortable.

A Complete denture may be either "conventional" or "immediate." A conventional type is made after the teeth have been removed in the past or is made to replace your existing denture. An immediate denture is made in advance and immediately placed after the teeth are removed, thus preventing the patient from having to be without teeth during the healing process. Once the tissues shrink and heal, adjustments will have to be made.

Dentures are very durable appliances and will last many years, but may have to be remade, repaired, or readjusted due to normal wear.

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Tooth Colored or Composite Posterior Filling

Dr. Han sculptures the chewing surfaces of your tooth to fit the chewing system and checks the bite to the accuracy of 0.0005 inch.  Consequently, it feels like the rest of your natural teeth, and you do not experience sensitivity or pain. However, it is important for you to know that the tooth colored filling is a temporary fix because it is weaker than a natural tooth. Because the tooth colored filling cannot maintain the chewing surfaces of the tooth, the opposing teeth will drift to meet the prematurely worn tooth colored filling. Subsequently, the bite relationship of a healthy chewing system is altered permanently. Generally, an inlay or onlay is the treatment of choice over a tooth colored filling because Dr. Han can control the bite.

A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by a small decay, only. The decayed portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today. Because composite fillings are tooth colored and can be bonded to a tooth, thereby requiring less tooth removal, Dr. Han offers only composite fillings. Because composite fillings can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, they are used for the front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.

Words of Caution: Fillings should be used only if the bite can be maintained. If the filling is large and occupies the large area of chewing surface or contact area, the tooth should be restored with inlays or onlays that are precise and durable. When filings are placed in the chewing teeth, it is impossible to restore the lost contact points at the proper positions and pressure. Even if it were possible, a filling will wear out quickly and loses the restored contact points. Teeth with a large filling and opposing tooth will begin to drift, causing unfavorable changes to jaw joints and discs and facial muscles! Dr. Han therefore places composite fillings where decay is very small and the finalized restoration is not in the place of tooth contact points. Also, Dr. Han uses a rubber dam to isolate teeth from saliva to ensure proper adhesion of composite material to tooth. Tooth colored fillings are a temporary repair of teeth for a short time!

Composite fillings are indicated for:

  • Tooth with a minor decay where tooth colored filling does not come in contact with an opposing tooth.
  • Temporary repair of teeth for a short time

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Sealants for Kids

A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) in the chewing surface of molars and premolars. The majority of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves; creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.

Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years if done with a proper moisture control such as rubber dam or Isolite. The moisture contamination can lead to adhesion failure of sealant to tooth. They need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits. Proper home care, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new sealants.

Who can benefit from sealants:

  • Children and teenagers (6-16 years old) – As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear.
  • Adults – Tooth surfaces with deep grooves or depressions.
  • Baby teeth – If a child is cavity prone, Dr. Han places sealants on teeth with deep grooves or depressions.

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