Dental Blog | Kahului Dental Care | Smile Hawaii! – Dr. Lance Ogata


7/14/2015 9:06:20 PM

Let’s be honest – nobody enjoys pain. Teeth are housed in delicate gum-tissue, and they protect extremely sensitive nerves, so damage to this area usually results in excruciating pain. It is one of the main reasons regular visits to the dentist are encouraged, alongside your daily flossing and brushing routine.

One of the most common causes of tooth and jaw pain is gum disease. Gum disease is a result of a build-up of tartar, plaque and disease-causing bacteria. The affected areas harbor colonies of bacteria in between the gum tissue, and the tooth, causing inflammation and infection. Gradually, the tissue separates from the tooth and the surrounding area is left exposed and prone to further damage. The symptoms of advanced gum disease include:

• Inflammation of the gums
• Bleeding gums
• Receding gums
• Bad breath
• Pain when chewing
• Loose or broken teeth

Fight gum disease with the right treatment, LAPT!

Dr. Ogata wants his patients to live as pain-free as possible, whether they are in his office receiving treatment, or going about their daily routine. To better combat severe gum disease, also known as periodontitis, Dr. Ogata offers a laser-assisted periodontal therapy (LAPT). It is a non-surgical gum treatment which treats most patients in-house rather than having to send them to a periodontist for special care. Severe cases aside, LAPT gives patients a more thorough treatment and long-term results directly from Dr. Ogata himself.

Laser-assisted gum cleaning therapies have significantly improved over the years with all the advances in dental technology. The positive, long-term results truly benefit our patients. The LAPT procedure is fast, affordable and only requires a topical, or local anesthetic, as opposed to the general anesthetic used in traditional methods.
To remove the plaque buildup, Dr. Ogata inserts a small laser fiber into the infected pockets of tissue between the tooth and gum. The infection is removed quickly and procedures can be completed in as little as two 2-hour sessions. Depending on the severity of infection, a follow-up visit may be necessary.

Laser-assisted therapy is not only gentle on the patient, but it helps stimulate the surrounding tissue, encouraging new bone growth and decreasing the chances of recurring infection. And because the LAPT procedure is non-invasive, a patient can avoid the drills and sutures used in conventional treatments.
LAPT and you!

Please, don’t tolerate dental pain! If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of gum disease, contact the office of Dr. Ogata and discover whether LAPT is the right treatment for you!

5/19/2015 8:40:55 PM

We have all been in situations where we have been informed “your safety is our highest priority,” or something along those lines. It might strike you as just a thing to say, or maybe you’ve seen or heard it too many times for it to hold any real meaning. The thing is, it really is true; especially in the dentistry field, where the focus is on complete patient care.

We (the office of Lance D Ogata, DDS) are committed to providing informed, long-term oral health care that improves the quality of patients’ lives. We respect our patients and we are committed to ensuring their safety. So, with that in mind, we would like to share a few reasons why we are committed to operating amalgam free.

Composite fillings protect tooth, amalgam does not

Amalgam fills cavity space without complete protection.

Moving away from Amalgam fillings

Amalgam is a metal fillings mixture containing, liquid mercury and a powdered alloy of silver, tin and copper – it is used to plug a hole in the tooth, there is no seal. The mixture is silver in appearance, and it is also called “silver fillings”. However, 50% of the mixture consists of elemental mercury – its purpose is to bind the alloy components of silver, tin and copper.

Concerns regarding the presence of mercury exist due to the damage ingesting mercury can do to internal organs and body systems, including the liver and the kidneys. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Dental amalgams contain Hg which may have neurotoxic effects on the nervous system of developing children and fetus.” It also recommended that pregnant women and people with sensitivity to mercury exposure should discuss options with their health practitioner, as opposed to agreeing to treatment involving dental amalgam.

Composite fillings are a complete dental solution

Composite fillings seal the area to protect remaining tooth

Composite fillings are a safe restorative dental treatment

Thankfully, alternatives do exist! A mixture of glass and plastic, known as a composite filling, provides a safe alternative to metal fillings and benefits the patient in many ways.

  • The absence of mercury, which removes the health risks outlined above.
  • Composite fillings seal and water-proof the teeth.
  • In appearance – the composite filling more closely resembles a natural tooth in both its coloring, and its luminosity (shine). This is particularly beneficial when a front tooth needs a filling!
  • The composite material can be shaped to look more natural and tooth-like.
  • Unlike metal, which is sensitive to temperature, a composite filling will not expand and contract in response to heat or to cold. Metal fillings that expand and contact can cause further damage by causing the tooth to break and crack.
  • Composite fillings don’t require much of the tooth to be filed down prior to fitting. Metal fillings require more filing and larger sections of the tooth to be removed; with composites, only the diseased part of the tooth needs to be drilled.

While there are ample arguments for the use of composites, this option is not available to all patients depending on their needs, and some patients might not benefit from composite fillings alone. Please take the time to speak with Dr. Ogata about composite fillings and other best dental practices to solve your oral health conditions.

3/19/2015 8:21:19 PM

Technology helps procure natural beautiful smiles! Technological advances in dental therapy drive us further into the realms of complete patient care, and the CEREC method is no exception. CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or Ceramic REConstruction. It is a CAD/CAM system used to restore your tooth in one visit, and it has proved to be revolutionary in dental care.

Dr. Ogata creates beautiful smiles fast with CEREC

CEREC Solution

Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) enables the dentist to accurately construct, produce and insert individual ceramic crowns. The precision with which the new tooth is created helps patients feel more comfortable and satisfied with the end result.

Why Choose a Dentist who offers CEREC?

Your dental care provider should strive to offer their patients with the most time- and cost-efficient procedures available! Indeed, the efficiency of CEREC directly impacts the patient where it matters the most – efficient and long-lasting restoration.

Advanced dental treatment with CEREC

Dr. Ogata uses the latest CEREC technology

• CEREC offers a one-stop shop for restorations. Integrating the process of design, milling, production, and finishing customized touches to the ceramic dentures cuts down the length of time, and number of visits necessary for patients to receive their new smile! Instead of multiple visits for fitting molds, crown placement, follow-up visits and so on, by using CEREC, the entire process can be done during an extended lunch-break!
• Ceramic crowns are more compatible with the body’s natural demands; unlike metal fillings, ceramic crowns are less likely to crack or break when exposed to changes in temperature.
• Because there is no extended wait-time throughout the process, there is no need to wear a temporary crown for 2-3 weeks. Temporary crowns are often discolored and uncomfortable.
• CEREC produces a more natural look! CAD/CAM technology provides dentists with the ability to precisely follow the contours of the patient’s natural tooth shape. Dentists use an intra-oral camera that captures an accurate record of the area for restoration, and the surrounding teeth and bite structure. The ceramic material used to create the crown is also more like the patient’s natural teeth, both in texture and color.
• Patients recover quickly. Thanks to the accuracy involved in the production process, such as producing contours and shapes that fit the patient’s bite structure, the tooth created by CEREC has a more natural feel. Recovery from the procedure is nominal and a patient will find they adjust more comfortably with the CEREC method than traditional restoration methods. Patients enjoy same-day results!

In order to qualify for CEREC, patients must be in good oral health, and this can be determined by your dental care provider. Talk to Dr. Ogata today about the CEREC method and discover how technology can provide you with a beautiful, natural smile!

1/14/2015 7:41:17 PM

We hear all kinds of “horror stories” about dentures – the most common being the sudden shift, or loss, of dentures during an important event, or a special occasion. That might be funny in a cartoon, but it’s not exactly amusing when it happens in reality!
The main issue at hand is providing dentures with the strength and stability they need to do their job, and yes, there is a solution!

Dental Implants are a permanent  solution

Dental Implants replace missing teeth

Solve Denture Problems with Dental Implants

A major component of dental implants is titanium alloy screws that fit the location the missing tooth’s root. Surgically implanted into the jaw bone, the screws are fitted with an abutment upon which the dentures are placed. Dentures can be stabilized with as little as two dental implants per bridge – upper and lower.
Dr. Ogata educates patients as they go through the dental implant process. He will create dental implants that look and feel as natural as your surrounding teeth!

The many benefits of a prosthetic root:

• It’s fast! Feel you don’t have the time for a surgical procedure? The procedure itself is not time consuming. There is no down-time after any portion of the procedure.
• Implants strengthen the jaw. Titanium alloy fuses to bone, which provides surrounding bone and tissue with more support, encouraging the tissue to regenerate and promote healthy growth. That’s the stability our patients need to live normal, healthy lives. Patients will feel a new-found confidence when smiling, eating, talking, and more!
• Implants are kinder to your other teeth. Because each screw is implanted where the root would be, no other tooth is affected. Disruption to the other teeth is common in the more traditional method of fixed bridge work. Implants do not negatively impact the health of the surrounding teeth.
• Get your smile back! Being able to feel secure with your dentures means not worrying about the natural movements of your face and jaw. Dr. Ogata will finish off your dental implants with customized crowns that fit your natural face shape and jaw line.

Regain your confidence and take advantage of this fast and effective procedure by talking to Dr. Ogata about your options. Let dental implants change your life, call for an appointment today!

11/18/2014 7:17:34 PM

Tooth pain is simply no fun, and as it worsens, it can feel like relief will never come. But addressing the source of the pain is vital, not only to living pain-free, but as a means of living a healthier lifestyle, overall.

Besides tooth pain, a common cause of mouth pain is gum disease. Scientists have long explored the connection between gum health and such health-related conditions as diabetes, heart disease and even pregnancy. The bacteria to blame for gum disease can cause other extreme issues, too, such as inflamattory diseases and even a stroke, or heart attack. It is a serious condition, and one you cannot afford to ignore.

Gum disease is a common condition, and one that many of us encounter in adulthood. In fact, a report from the CDC¹ suggests nearly 50% of all adults over the age of 30 experience gum disease. Untreated, gum disease can develop into periodontitis – diseased bacteria destroys the soft gum tissue and the bone that supports your teeth. Advanced stages periodontitis can cause extensive pain as inflamed and infected gums start to deteriorate and pull away from the tooth, sometimes resulting in the loss of teeth and in extreme cases, bone.

Traditional methods of periodontal treatment include deep cleanings in gums, a root canal, medication, or surgery. But as the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”, and Dr. Ogata is a firm believer in preventing his patients from enduring pain. So, Dr. Ogata offers a non-invasive, laser-assisted treatment to his patients as part of their regular teeth cleanings.

What are the benefits to laser treatment?

Surgical methods to treat advanced gum disease can be painful for some patients, and the recovery time can be quite lengthy! Less intrusive than traditional methods, laser-assisted therapy also reduces the amount of pain and discomfort patients experience after treatment. Patients are back to dental health in no time!

You see, laser treatment works by breaking up the hardened plaque, tartar and bacteria found on the surface of the teeth and in the lining of the gums. As a preventative measure, laser-assisted therapies prevent the build-up of tartar and plaque that would otherwise result in more chronic infection. The infected area is efficiently targeted by a focused beam of light, which painlessly destroys the bacterial colonies causing inflamation and infection.

Additional benefits to laser treatment of gum disease and chronic periodontitis include the stimulation of the gum tissue, which encourages gums to heal naturally. The procedure is fast – it can take as little as 10 seconds to treat each tooth – and decreases the chance of recurring gum disease!

If you are fighting gum disease and you are interested in this fast, pain-free therapy, contact a member of Dr. Ogata’s team about laser-therapy and whether it would be right for you!

9/17/2014 7:06:44 PM

Your smile has an impact on everyone around you! It can convey confidence, enthusiasm, or even kindness. A crooked or crowded smile is generally considered less aesthetically pleasing, and might negatively affect teeth functionality or self-esteem. However, teeth straightening will address the appearance of your smile and it can also help with other issues too, such as preventing gum disease, and eliminating jaw pain.

Conventional Orthodontic Practices

Conventional alignment methods are familiar to many of us. Traditionally, orthodontists use metal braces to gently, yet consistently push the teeth into their intended location. A successful alignment helps the patient use their teeth more effectively and produces a more natural looking smile.

The Invisalign Choice ®

Dr. Ogata wants all his patients to enjoy the best possible smile, which is why he offers his patients Invisalign, a more cosmetic focused orthodontic treatment. Because Invisalign consists of clear, plastic aligners, Dr. Ogata can offer patients the option to straighten their smiles discretely and in comfort.

Dr. Ellenbogen, a Preferred Provider

Invisalign® gives patients an alternative orthodontic option for a beautiful smile.

Patients love the benefits of Invisalign ®

Invisalign functions in a similar way to traditional metal braces. Invisalign straightens the teeth, improves their appearance, and addresses alignment issues.
Invisalign is also preferred by adults for reasons that extend beyond function. The device offers the patient a huge incentive in appearance, too. Invisalign’s clear plastic means it is not as noticeable as traditional metal braces, so the patient enjoys near invisible teeth-straightening! And thanks to the plastic material, a patient is less likely to experience irritability to their cheeks and gums.
We all love being as stress-free as possible, and Invisalign certainly can help the patient live a more natural, stress-free life. The Invisalign device is easily removable, so patients don’t experience any disruption to their diet or dental hygiene habits. They can remove the device to eat whatever food they like, to brush and floss normally, and then pop the aligner back in! Extremely convenient, and healthier, too! (Note: It is recommended patients wear their Invisalign device for at least 22 hours per day.)

Affordability counts!

Invisalign is indeed affordable! Many patients are surprised to discover that the cost of Invisalign doesn’t differ much from the cost of metal braces. If you have any concerns about the price of Invisalign, Dr. Ogata will happily discuss the cost of your treatment plan with you.

Orthodontics in 3-D!

Catch a glimpse of the future, with the Invisalign 3-D simulation video! As part of the treatment plan, Dr. Ogata will use the Invisalign program to create a 3-D image that shows what the teeth and jaw line are going to look like at the end of the alignment process. Patients have more realistic expectations of the end result, which can encourage them to continually care for their smile!
If you are in need of mild to moderate alignment treatment, contact Dr. Ogata today about why Invisalign might be the clear choice for you. Dr. Ogata will evaluate your smile and customize a treatment plan that is right for you!

3/13/2014 9:57:56 PM

We’re excited to announce the official launch of our Smile Hawaii blog.

We’ll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we’re there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Smile Hawaii, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here’s to your best oral health ever!

Healthy Smiles

What does your smile say about you? Let us help you radiate confidence with a healthy smile.



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