General Dentistry & Oral Health with Dr. Yokoyama in Kailua-Kona
At Dr. Carter Yokoyama’s cosmetic dentistry practice in Kailua-Kona, we specialize in creating beautiful smiles for our patients. However, we know that even the most stunning smile won’t last for long if a patient’s teeth and gums are unhealthy. For this reason, and to insure the optimum health for all of our patients, we offer comprehensive general dental care with modern technology to ensure our patients’ comfort and health.
Modern Dental Examinations and Cleanings
When patients come to the practice of Carter Yokoyama, D.D.S. for a dental check-up and routine cleaning, they receive the most thorough and modern care. To begin the examination Dr. Yokoyama makes use of modern technology in the form of all digital X-rays to gain a clear view of the patient’s mouth structure without exposing him or her to excessive radiation. Dr. Yokoyama may also employ an intra-oral camera which feeds live images of the inside of a patient’s mouth onto a monitor in the examination room, so patients can actually get a first-hand look at any decay or potential problems. We find that this allows patients to better understand their treatment plans, which makes their experience with us much more comfortable. If patients are particularly anxious about undergoing a dental care treatment, our office uses the latest in conscious sedation dentistry techniques, which helps nervous patients or patients who are not comfortable with dental visits feel more relaxed and at ease. Additionally, Dr. Yokoyama completes a thorough head and neck examination to screen for oral cancers and possible TMJ problems.
During each cleaning appointment, the hygienist will give each patient a thorough dental cleaning, taking special care to ensure that his or her gums are in top health. Many of our patients do not realize that unhealthy or diseased gums are commonly associated with heart disease and other serious and life-threatening health conditions. Once the patient’s teeth are brilliantly cleaned, the hygienist will discuss the patient’s oral hygiene routine and may make some suggestions for improvements. At the practice of Dr. Carter Yokoyama, the oral and total health of our patients is our very top priority.
Throughout your experience with us, we strive to involve you in addressing your goals and desires for your smile and oral health. Your input is very important to us, because it helps us give you the personalized attention you deserve. We listen to you and work with you to develop a treatment plan that suits your individual needs.
Our Philosophy on Silver Amalgam Fillings
It is not uncommon for one of our patients to require a dental filling after a cavity has been discovered during a general dentistry check-up. We at Dr. Yokoyama’s practice feel it is important that our patients understand that we use only the most modern and safest materials to ensure their oral health.
A number of years ago Dr. Yokoyama decided to stop placing amalgam fillings into patient’s mouths. This was due to a number of factors based on physical properties, strength and the effect amalgam has on healthy tooth structure. New materials based on adhesive dentistry offer a superior option that is stronger and more aesthetically appealing than metal fillings. Here are a few of the reasons we feel that amalgam is an inferior material.
1. Amalgams contain mercury!
Although there are many studies that prove there is no health risk associated with amalgam fillings and they have been used for decades without causing any major problems, mercury is a very toxic poison and any increase of mercury levels in body tissues, however slight, should warrant concern.
2. Amalgams are unattractive!
As amalgam ages it corrodes and turns black, staining the tooth and causing it to appear dark and gray from the front. This may make it necessary to remove healthy tooth structure in the future to restore the tooth to a more natural appearance. Composite resin fillings disappear into the surrounding tooth structure and become practically invisible.
3. Amalgams break teeth!
Amalgam fillings slowly expand over time, causing stress on the tooth which often leads to tooth fractures. In addition, amalgams are held into teeth by mechanical retention, being wedged into sharp angles and undercuts within the tooth. This increases the risk of breaking a tooth through normal chewing. With state-of-the-art bonding technology and stronger materials, bonded restorations help to hold teeth together rather than wedge them apart.
4. Amalgams leak, causing recurrent decay!
Because amalgam fillings do not bond to tooth structure, there is a microscopic gap between the filling and the tooth. This gap provides a pathway for bacteria and acids to seep in between the tooth and filling, causing decay. In fact, Dr. Yokoyama finds decay under almost every amalgam he removes! Left untreated, this decay will destroy healthy tooth structure and may result in the need for root canal treatment or tooth removal. Since amalgams stain the tooth dark and can block out cavities on x-rays, early signs of micro-leakage are often undetectable. Composite resin fillings actually bond to the tooth structure, creating a seal between the tooth and the filling. This seal reduces micro-leakage and increases the life of the filling.
5. Amalgams have lower wear than correctly-placed composite resin fillings!
The key phrase here is “correctly placed.” Correct placement of composite fillings requires attention to detail and a thorough understanding of the properties of the materials being used. Dr. Yokoyama keeps up to date on the latest materials and techniques and takes the time to properly place composite fillings to ensure a high quality, strong restoration.
Contact Us in Kailua-Kona
Before Dr. Yokoyama or a member of his team makes any cosmetic or restorative dentistry treatment plans, they will make sure your teeth and gums are healthy. In fact, even if you are happy with the appearance of your smile and need no dental restorations, you are encouraged to visit Dr. Yokoyama’s practice for the very finest quality of general dental care. If you’ve gone too long without a proper dental cleaning or examination, or if you simply want the very best dental care for you and your family, we encourage you to contact Dr. Carter Yokoyama to schedule a general dentistry consultation.
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