Dr. Judith Y. Ko

Dr. Judith Y. Ko
Hemet Valley Dental Care

Friday, September 19, 2014

This year is coming to an end!

Is your Dental Insurance going to keep your Money this year?

As health care professionals and your dental team, Hemet Valley Dental Care would like to remind you how important it is to see your dentist!

Of course we know the days are packed solid with work, school, errands, other appointments, homework, cooking.... and the list goes on and on....

What happens when you have all of those tasks to complete and you wake up with a toothache?
Some people would say nothing would get done, or the day will be miserable, or if you choose to call the dentist and you fortunately get seen, you spend the day in the dental office....

Dr. Ko is a firm believer in preventative dentistry!  If you are a current patient of Dr. Ko, then you know her first goal is educating her patients on how to prevent emergency visits and toothaches.  Her second goal is providing comfort to those who are in pain, and in need of dental treatment.

Lets keep those smiles healthy and your earnings in your pocket!!! If you have not been seen this year do your Smile a favor and make the call today.

Hemet Valley Dental Care

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Facial Pain – What Could Be Causing It?

Facial pain may or may not be something your dentist can assist you with. “It all depends,” says Dr. Judith Ko, your Inland Empire’s Top Dentist in Hemet, California. While your dentist can assist you with facial dental pain related to decaying, abscessing, fracturing or breaking teeth, or if the pain is associated with bruxing and grinding and the temporomandibular joint, there can be other causes for facial pain.

1. Cluster Headaches – as these headaches are often felt on one side of the face, they are thought to be caused by tooth or mouth issues. Instead they are an allergy response.

2. Shingles – A tingling pain or burning, it is generally felt on one side of the body.

3. Migraines – These headaches can also present on one side of the head and mimic an infected tooth.

4. Blows or injuries to the face

5. Sinusitis – and infection of the sinuses is often mistaken as an infected tooth.

6. Myofascial pain syndrome – is a chronic pain disorder and is generally associated with repetitive motions.

If you are unsure what is causing your facial pain, a trip to your dentist may be in order to rule out dental concerns before you seek medical help.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

When is a Crown Necessary?

Dental crowns are generally placed on teeth that have had severe wear and tear. “It is many times considered the best restoration in that it completely covers the entire top of the tooth,” says Dr. Judith Ko of HemetValley Dental Care in California.

But how do you know if a crown is the right restoration for you? Here are a few things to ask and consider when discussing your treatment with your dentist.

     1.    What percentage of the tooth has been impacted? Most of the time a crown is recommended when a substantial part of the tooth structure is decaying or fracturing. “A fracturing tooth can many times impact the nerve, resulting in endodontic or root canal treatment,” adds Dr. Ko.

     2.    What other options exist? Generally your dentist will thoroughly discuss all options for treatment with you prior to beginning your crown. They may discuss the option of a filling, inlay or onlay and should explain why they do not believe they are the best options for you.

     3.    If the tooth is so damaged, will the tooth need a root canal? As mentioned above, teeth where crowns are recommended are generally in trouble. This could mean that your dentist will advise you to have endodontic treatment immediately, or they may wish to wait and see how extensive the damage is before taking any further action.

     4.    How soon should the crown be done? Almost always the answer to this question is now. Teeth requiring crowns for treatment are in serious trouble – how serious may be unknown, but they will never get better by waiting.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Will Dental Insurance Pay for My Night Guard?

We don’t always understand it either – and by it, I mean your dental insurance policy.

A night guard or occlusal guard is a custom-made appliance that your dentist may recommend when it appears that severe wear due to bruxing and grinding is occurring. While the cost of a night guard is generally ¼ to ½ the fee for a single crown, insurance plans rarely will cover the cost.

“This makes no sense,” says Natalie, the financial coordinator at Hemet Valley Dental Care, your dental office in Hemet California. “We know that by providing patients with night guards we are saving them and the insurance companies money. Teeth that are broken many times have occurred due to bruxing and clenching. The fact that we can reduce the number of broken teeth by the wearing of a simple appliance means savings.”

“The only time we sometimes see insurance companies pay for night guards is when the clenching and bruxing has now impacted the tooth’s stability – this means the periodontal ligament is now impacted.”

While it would be nice if dental insurance companies paid for custom night guards, know that as a patient you will still be ahead of the financial game if you pay in full for your appliance.

“One less crowned tooth more than covers the cost,” adds Natalie. “And it also means better dentistry for you, the patient.”

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cost of a Dental Night Guard

For many, their first crown comes due to a broken tooth. “And too often, the cause of the breakage is bruxing and grinding,” says Dr. Judith Ko of Hemet Valley Dental Care.

“One of the results of nighttime clenching and grinding is broken teeth, and one of the best ways to avoid breaking and fracturing teeth is to wear a night guard or splint,” adds Dr. Ko.

Not only will an occlusal night guard help with your bruxing and grinding but it also saves you money.

In general, a night guard will cost somewhere between ¼ and ½ of a single crown. “Not only that, but teeth that are damaged and in need of a crown often also suffer from nerve damage that could result in the recommendation of root canal treatment,” says Dr. Ko.

So why wait? If you think you are someone who grinds or clenches their teeth, or if you’ve been told by a spouse that you grind at night, don’t delay. Call today and learn more.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Clenching – How Can You Tell If You Are Guilty?

Most people at some point in their lives will probably clench or even grind their teeth. Occasionally clenching or grinding will usually not cause significant long-term damage, but repeated acts will.

Generally clenching and grinding occurs when a person is under stress or is anxious, has bite issues or missing or crooked teeth. Unfortunately, clenching and grinding often happens during sleep and so you may not be aware you are even doing it unless a partner informs you, or you wake with face or joint pain.

“Sometimes the issue first presents itself as a broken tooth or filling. Chronic grinding damages teeth,” says Dr. Judith Ko, your Inland Empire’s Top Dentist in Hemet, California. “You may even see the results when you brush and notice the wear on the surfaces of your teeth.”

While there are a few things you can do to reduce the discomfort – apply ice to the joint, learn relaxation techniques and avoiding foods and drinks that contain caffeine, the best solution is often a night guard.

“Night guards are custom fit appliances that will allow your jaw to move freely without damaging teeth or joints,” adds Dr. Ko. Your general dentist is the person to ask if you may be a candidate for an appliance to help with your clenching. Call us today to learn more about how you can be fit with a night guard to protect your teeth and joints.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What Difference Does a Correct Bite Make?

Bruxism – the clenching of teeth, and grinding – the side-to-side motion can damage otherwise healthy teeth. Estimates of people affected range from 8-30% of the population. For many the symptoms are mild and they may be unaware they even have the condition, but for others the pain and discomfort are severe enough to cause facial and jaw joint pain.

Occlusion or the way your teeth fit together for eating and chewing can sometimes be thought to be the culprit.

Bruxism isn’t the only challenge that can occur when a bite issue is present. “When teeth do not fit together properly, chewing and eating foods can become an issue,” reports Dr. Judith Ko of Hemet, California. “Often patients have no idea that their bite may be why they often choke on their favorite foods. I once had a woman who informed me after having done extensive dental work, that she could now eat without fear.”
When occlusion is wrong a number of other problems may also present themselves including:

1. crooked teeth
2. gum problems
3. jaw joint problems
4. broken fillings
5. broken teeth
6. broken crowns

Occlusion problems can also cause migraines, headaches, facial pain, and even pain in the neck, upper back or shoulders.

“No one should live with discomfort due to an occlusion issue,” adds Dr. Ko.
Call today to make your appointment for an evaluation.