Dr. Judith Y. Ko

Dr. Judith Y. Ko
Hemet Valley Dental Care

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Am I a Candidate for Veneers?

Veneers maybe a great option for your smile. These thin porcelain pieces are attached to natural teeth using on a minimum amount of reduction in the tooth structure. Veneers help when patients have staining that isn’t helped by whitening or when teeth are chipping.

While veneers maybe a good option, some patients may not be candidates.

If you have significant tooth structure that has been removed due to decay, a full coverage porcelain crown may be a better option to restoring your tooth to health. This is also true if you want a veneer to correct the positioning of a tooth. “Teeth that are rotated may sometimes require significant reduction to realign, in that case a crown would be the better choice,” says Dr. Judith Ko of Hemet Valley Dental Care in Hemet, CA.

“When teeth are chipping due to problems with occlusion – the way the teeth fit together – veneers might also not be a good choice, “or at least not until the occlusion problem has been corrected,” adds Dr. Ko. If you are chipping your front teeth, it is a sign of something else going on. See your dentist to determine what.

Veneers, just like crowns and natural teeth, must be brushed and flossed on a regular basis. And also, just like crowns, you cannot expect them to last forever. “As you age, gum recession may very well determine when it’s time to replace your veneers,” says Dr. Ko. To learn more, call Hemet Valley Dental Care and set up an appointment today!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Trust Your Dentist?

Many patients report how difficult it is to find a new dentist after moving to a new community. Trust is built over time and finding a new dentist can be a bit daunting. Not only that, but dentists vary in skill and personality as well as in the treatment they recommend. So what should you expect from your first visit to Hemet Valley Dental Care?

“A unique experience,” says Dr. Judith Ko of Hemet, CA. “One of the things we are most proud of is our ability to really listen to our patients.” Patients often confide they do not feel listened to when they see a dentist. “We listen to your story and then we help and guide you to a treatment plan that will allow you to keep or create the smile of your dreams.”

A first visit to Hemet Valley Dental Care begins by with a review of your overall health.  “The mouth is the window into the body,” adds Dr. Ko, one of your Inland Empire’s Top Dentists. “So we want to know everything that is going on with your health.” Radiographs (x-rays) are taken to see between the teeth and all the way to the roots. “Without necessary x-rays we are left guessing at the health of a tooth,” says Dr. Ko.

Periodontal disease affects more than 80% of the adult population. This means that Dr. Ko and her team will also be evaluating the health of your gum tissue. “Bone loss is a factor when determining future treatment, just like you wouldn’t build a house on a faulty foundation, we do not want to build fillings, crowns or bridges on teeth that have been negatively impacted by disease. However, once periodontal disease is controlled, teeth can be effectively restored.”

Dr. Ko will also be checking your bite. “How your teeth work together is also very important,” Dr. Ko says.

Finding a new dentist can be challenging, but a visit to Hemet Valley Dental Care will leave you feeling cared for. Call for an appointment today!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Keep Your Smile White!

Staining foods
To keep your smile at it’s whitest this summer, remember many food items work against you. Any food that would stain a white shirt also has the ability to stain your white teeth.

This means that wine – both red and white, can create a problem. Red gets significant attention, yet the acids in white wine are just as disastrous to your smile.  Acids etch the enamel of your teeth, which then opens the door to other foods to stain. This is also why sodas and sports drinks should only be consumed only through a straw.

Black coffee and teas also can reduce the brightness of your smile. To minimize the effect, add a bit of water or milk to limit the effect.

While blueberries are great for your health they, along with cherries, raspberries and cranberries, can also change the color of your smile. Be sure to rinse your mouth after eating any berries to keep them from damaging your bright smile. And the same holds true for fruit juices, which can also stain. Drink them through a straw and rinse after consumption.

While the above foods stain, you can also eat foods that help improve the color of your smile. Apples, pears and guavas are great as they increase saliva flow – cheese can also provide the same benefit. Eating foods that increase salivary production means you will naturally flush away the debris that can cause the staining of your teeth.

This summer, keep your smile its whitest! And to get yourself off to a great start, ask us about professional whitening. We’d love to help!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Whitening - Is It Right For Me?

Whitening – Can anybody do it?

A bright and white smile is the first thing that people notice about us. Enhancing the whiteness of your smile can be the thing that makes all the difference in the world. It builds confidence. While many people can whiten their existing smile, not everyone is a candidate.

If you have a significant number of crowns, whitening may not give you the desired outcome you are looking for, as porcelain cannot be whitened. If you do have a number of crowns and are disappointed they appear yellow or the coloring of the porcelain doesn’t match your other crowns and/or teeth, your only choice is to redo the existing crowns. Porcelain is a lot like yarn and floor tiles – dye lots make a difference. That’s why your cosmetic dentist will always recommend doing all porcelain work at one time, ensuring all your teeth will match in color.

Some patients with severe staining caused by medications may also have difficulty getting the desired white smile. For those patients, veneers may provide a solution that enhances the smile while reducing the amount of tooth structure lost.

Finally, people who have had significant restoration of their smile due to decay may have fillings with the same shade challenges as mentioned above with the crowns. If you have had a filling here and there done over several years, by many different dentists, you may find you now have a very mismatched smile. For you, the best solution would be to have your existing restorations removed and refilled, again doing as many as possible at the same time.

It is never too late to get the white, bright smile of your dreams. Call today to learn more about how you can gets yours!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bleeding Gums - That's Not Normal

Bleeding of Gums when Brushing or Flossing

It is not normal when gums bleed when brushing and flossing. “In fact, it signals that a disease process has begun,” says Dr. Judith Ko from Hemet Valley Dental Care in Hemet, California. Think about it. If bleeding occurred anywhere else on the body, you’d be concerned. You’d probably visit a doctor to determine what was going on.

For some reason many of us do not consider bleeding in the mouth the same way, but we should. Bleeding of the gums while doing routine maintenance – brushing and flossing – signals infection. We also know that not treating an infection of the body is not in our best interest. Infection causes our body to be depleted of energy – this also rings true when it’s an infection of the gum tissue. “The recommended treatment for bleeding gums is called root planing and scaling. Once this process is completed, many patients remark on how they feel better over all and experience higher energy levels,” adds Dr. Ko.

So at the first signs of bleeding, see your dentist.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summertime Tooth Tips

Summertime Tooth Health

Now that school is out for summer, and the weather is delightful, it’s time to think about how to keep your smile its healthiest.

Dehydration is a concern,” says Dr. Judith Ko, one of your Inland Empire’s favorite dentists. “One of the best things you can do for yourself and your smile is to make sure you keep hydrated.
Drinking plenty of water flushes acids that can cause disease from the surfaces of the teeth and will keep you from having tooth decay. Keep water near your desk, in your purse or in the fridge. Sweeten it with fresh fruit for a delightful and healthy beverage.

Summer is also the time when many resume their outdoor activities. Wear appropriate helmets and/or mouth guards. Be careful and if you have a dental emergency make sure you call and get in to see your dentist promptly.

Finally, choose healthy snacks to pack – fresh berries and cheese help to clean teeth and produce saliva that washes debris from your teeth while providing nutrients that enhance the health of your mouth.

This summer, keep your smiles at its best! Oh, and remember to see your dentist.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Tooth Friendly Snacks for Summertime!

We all know that eating sweets is bad for our teeth, but what are some great snacks that will actually improve our smile and keep our teeth at their best?

“There is some truth to the saying, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away,’” says Dr. Judith Ko of Hemet Valley Dental Care in Hemet, California. “Apples help cleanse the tooth surface, they do this by stimulating saliva while cleaning the teeth.” Not to mention, they are also filled with nutrients our body loves.

Celery is another snack that can increase saliva flow and cleanse the teeth. “As a vegetable that is high in fiber and water content, it can counteract the effects of foods that are higher in sugar, just make sure to eat celery after,” adds Dr. Ko.

“Of course with summertime here, the best snack for your teeth and your overall health here in Southern, California is water. Water is so vital to keeping the tissues of the mouth from becoming dry and also for flushing away debris,” says Dr. Ko. As one of your TOP Dentists in the Inland Empire, she knows.

If you are wanting to whiten your teeth at the same time as having a delicious snack, think strawberries. (Read more here)

Finally, if you need a snack that can help with saliva and also work to clean the teeth, think sugarless gum containing xylitol. Xylitol is a natural sugar that can also prevent tooth decay.

Have a great summer and at the same time, remember to keep your smile bright and healthy!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Help For Decay Is Here!

Now available: Strawberry and Mint flavored MI Varnish

We are so excited. Finally we have a fluoride varnish available to patients that also tastes great!

Most times when a patient presents with hypersensitivity, they can be helped with fluoride. MI Varnish with Recaldent works by remaining on the tooth surface longer than any other type of conventional fluoride. And now it’s available in mint and strawberry flavor to make your experience that much better. We love this product, and more importantly, so do our patients!