Kalaheo Dental Group
Dr. Michael Lutwin, DDS and Dr. Ron Quade, DDS

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

Choosing a dentist for your family's care is a big step, and we know you probably have a lot of questions about our office, dental care, and your own health in particular.

We've taken the time to collect some of the questions we hear most often. See if your question is answered here! If not – or if you'd like more information – give us a call or send us an email using the convenient online form on our contact page.

Other

Asking Questions | Accepting New Patients Kalaheo HIAbsolutely! We’re proud that the majority of our new patients come to us by a recommendation from a trusted family member or friend. If someone you know has referred you to Kalaheo Dental Group, or if you’ve seen one of our oral health presentations or ads, give us a call and we’ll be happy to see you soon.

Schedule Appointment | Dentist in KalaheoWe're Looking out for Your Oral Health

Your oral health is a basic pillar of overall health and wellness, so your “routine cleaning” is not “just routine” to us. Kalaheo Dental Group believes in preventing and fixing problems, not overlooking them. An initial visit to our office for a cleaning always includes a thorough examination and consultation by one of our excellent dentists.

A Thorough Checkup

Your cleaning will also include checkup digital radiographs as needed, intra-oral photos, a TMJ (jaw joint) assessment, and an oral cancer screening, as well as a dental and periodontal health check-up. Not only is this the gold standard of care, but more and more, new research supports the connection between oral health and overall wellness. We care about the whole you, not just your teeth!

Contact Us

Our patient's health and oral wellness is our primary concern. Contact us today to schedule your check up. 

At Kalaheo Dental, we do not recommend night guards for children, as this can hinder the proper growth and development of their facial structures. Studies show that around 3 out of 10 kids grind their teeth at night, even to the point it extremely audible and almost painful to hear by us adults! The good news is that with most children, this is just a natural process as new teeth are erupting and facial structures are rapidly changing, and both are not always in proper alignment. They will grow out of it! If you feel there could be other underlying conditions, you may want to speak to your child's pediatrician. There are some cases where stress, mild dehydration, and/or lack of vitamin B5, and the minerals calcium and magnesium may be an underlying factor.

Piece Of Paper With Question Mark On ItWe offer several payment options to allow your dental treatment to fit your personal budget. We accept the following forms of payment:

  • Cash
  • Personal Checks
  • Credit Cards: American Express, Mastercard, Visa, & Discover
  • Easy-Pay: We also offer in-office payment plans for your convenience. Our “Easy-Pay” plan allows you to pay your balance in monthly installments that we automatically bill each month using your credit/debit card on file at our office. 

 

Dental Appointments Kalaheo HI Your oral health is a basic pillar of your overall health and wellness. New research supports the connection between oral health and overall wellness.

The Rise of Gum Disease

A recent study by the CDC (U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that roughly 50% of U.S. adults over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal (or gum) disease. That number increases to 70% for folks 65 years old and over. Growing scientific evidence supports that this is more than simply a problem of receding gums, bad breath, and tooth loss.

Do an online search for “gum disease,” “tooth decay,” and “health” and you’ll find studies linking oral health to whole body wellness. Gum disease is often a silent disease of chronic bacterial infection and inflammation, and as such, studies now link poor oral health to systemic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. 

Consistent Maintenance Is the Key to Oral Health

Consistently maintaining your oral hygiene is vital to avoiding dental problems and potentially serious health issues. And yes, professional dental cleanings can improve bad breath and give teeth a healthy, clean appearance. While regular home care like brushing for two minutes, twice a day and flossing daily are necessary you should visit your dentist for regular cleanings at least twice a year. Teeth cleanings are key to preventing, detecting and correcting initial problems such as cavities and gingivitis before they escalate into more serious issues. 

Contact Us for a Thorough Exam

In addition to a comfortable, professional cleaning with one of our excellent dental hygienists at Kalaheo Dental Group, your cleaning will also include a TMJ (jaw joint) assessment, an oral cancer screening, intraoral photography, and digital radiographs as needed. At Kalaheo Dental Group, your “routine cleaning” is not “just routine” to us. We care about the whole you, not just your teeth! Give our office a call to schedule an appointment. 

Girl Smiling In The Dental Chair | Kalaheo Dental Group | Kalaheo, HIWith flexible scheduling and an enthusiastic, professional staff, we can schedule your appointment soon, at a time that is convenient for you. For a dental emergency, we’ll do our best to see you TODAY, or as soon as possible. Give us a call. 

Limited exams are problem-focused appointments and only cover the patients stated chief complaint. Limited exams are primarily scheduled for patients who are having pain or a dental emergency.

What to expect during your visit?

All new patients should expect to complete a health history listing all medical information including a list of all medications and supplements taken and all known allergies. A complete health history is important due to the fact many diseases and medications may also be linked to oral conditions.

A dental assistant will seat the patient and review the health history and chief complaint. The assistant will then take all necessary x-rays, photos, and diagnostic information necessary for proper diagnosis by the dentist. X-rays are a vital part of a dental examination and essential for proper diagnosis.  

A dentist will review the diagnostic information and the chief complaint with the patient and perform an oral exam. Once the oral exam is completed the dentist will review the findings with the patient. The dentist will review treatment options with the patient and together they will decide upon the best course of action.

Patient care coordinators will help patients schedule the next appointment and review fees for the services needed.  If special financial services are needed the patient care coordinator is able to answer any questions and help patients secure financial assistance if needed.

If you or your dental provider notes signs of clenching and/or grinding, a custom night guard can be one of the best options, as it actually offers a number of benefits. When you wear it, especially overnight, it will help relax and protect your jaw joint (TMJ), protect your teeth from chipping, cracking and wearing down, prevent bone loss around your teeth from the constant torque, reduce or stop teeth sensitivity, prevent headaches, neck aches, facial pain, and shoulder pain, help you sleep better, and reduce the amount of time you spend clenching and/or grinding during the daytime. Pretty amazing!

Your temporomandibular joints, or TMJ for short, controls the motion of your jaw with a ball-and-socket connection, cushioned by a disk that rests between them. If anything disrupts this specific motion, even to a very small degree, it can cause a lot of pain and issues long term. Some common factors include arthritis, sleep disorders, dislocation/injury, misalignment of the teeth and jaw structure, and, of course, stress. All of these issues can cause strain to the muscles and joints, leading to clenching and grinding. Over time, this prolonged stress on the teeth and TMJ can cause generalized tooth sensitivity, cracked teeth, wear through the entire outer protective layer of the tooth (enamel) and sometimes even wear into the inner layer (nerve space), which can lead to a root canal, severe headaches, facial, neck, and shoulder pain, and eventually permanent damage to the TMJ by wear to the bone and disk. For most people, they notice clenching and grinding happening occasionally during the day in times of intense focus, physical exertion, or stress, but it also usually manifests at night when most are unaware. It is good to note, that people who drink alcohol and smokers are approximately twice as likely to grind their teeth at night.

Financing Your Dental Appointment | Finance FoldersAnother great option is CareCredit, which offers a way for you to get the dental care you need now and then pay off the balance in manageable monthly installments. You can decide on a monthly amount that fits your budget, and interest-free options are available. Our team at Kalaheo Dental Group can customize a payment plan designed specifically for you and your individual budget.

CareCredit

At Kalaheo Dental Group, we pride ourselves on giving you convenient financial options and the resources you need to help you make good decisions on dental care.

We will bill all insurances for our patients, including AARP, Aflac, Anthem, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and many others. We are currently participating providers, in-network, with these insurance providers:

  • AetnaDental Insurance Accepted | Cosmetic Dentist Kalaheo
  • Cigna
  • GEHA Connection Dental
  • HDS (Hawaii Dental Service)
  • HMSA (Hawaii Medical Service Association)
  • HMAA (Hawaii Medical Assurance Association)
  • Delta Dental
  • Metlife
  • MetLife TRICARE PROGRAM
  • United Concordia
  • United Concordia for Active Duty Members (ADDP)

Bad Breath Prevention | Kalaheo HI Dentist You're Not Alone

Bad breath happens. If you’ve ever gotten that not-so-fresh feeling on a date, at a job interview or just talking with friends, you’re not alone. Studies show that 50 percent of adults have had bad breath, or halitosis, at some point in their lives. If you hate your current job, be glad you weren’t one of the data collectors in those studies!

There Are Many Reasons for Bad Breath

So what can cause bad breath? Bad breath can happen for many harmless reasons, but there are some concerning causes of bad breath as well. Foods like onions, garlic, coffee and a long list of others that may be eaten regularly. What you eat, affects what you exhale.

Bacteria

Bacteria can also cause bad breath.  Thanks to the hundreds of types of bad breath-causing bacteria that naturally live in your mouth, your mouth can act like a hothouse that allows these bacteria to grow. When you eat, bacteria feed on the food left in your mouth and leave a foul-smelling waste product behind.

Dry Mouth

Dry Mouth, called xerostomia, can also contribute to bad breath. Saliva is important because it works around the clock to wash out your mouth. If your mouth isn’t making as much saliva as it should, your mouth isn’t being cleaned as much as it should be. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems or by simply breathing through your mouth.

Smoking

Smoking stains your teeth, gives you bad breath and puts you at risk for a host of health problems. Tobacco reduces your ability to taste foods and irritates gum tissues. Tobacco users are more likely to suffer from gum disease. Since smoking also affects your sense of smell, smokers may not be aware of how their breath smells. 

Bad Breath Can Be A Sign of a More Serious Problem

Some more serious reasons that bad breath occurs are Gum Disease and certain medical conditions. Bad breath that just won’t go away or a constant bad taste in your mouth can be a warning sign of advanced gum disease, which is caused by a sticky, cavity-causing bacteria called plaque. Gum or tooth infections can cause bad breath. However, if your dentist has ruled out other causes and you brush and floss every day, your bad breath could be the result of another problem, such as a sinus condition, gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease. In this case, be sure to report this to your healthcare provider. 

 

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentist | Kalaheo DentistThere's A Treatment Fit For You

There are so many exciting possibilities for improving your smile that there’s really no reason to live with a less-than-perfect smile. Many people have the idea that cosmetic dental treatments are a luxury that is beyond their reach. But today we have access to updated techniques and materials that make cosmetic treatments a possibility for just about anyone who desires a healthy, beautiful smile.

Your Cosmetic Dentistry Options

Achieving the smile of your dreams may be as simple as professional teeth whitening to remove stains and discoloration. Or it could involve combining treatments like bonding, tooth-colored fillings, and veneers for a complete smile transformation. Our team at Kalaheo Dental Group has experience in making this both easy and affordable to you.

Contact Us

Are you ready to find out what it'll take to get your dream smile? Contact our office today for your consultation.

Are your teeth yellow or stained? There are many reasons this occurs, but the good news is that we can easily renew your smile safely.

While many store brands promise Hollywood-style looks, the most effective treatment is by visiting your dentist at Kalaheo Dental Group. We offer take-home teeth whitening kits for patients to enhance their smiles in the comfort of their own house.

Why Are My Teeth Stained?

Teeth are amazingly durable, resilient, and vital, yet they are surprisingly vulnerable to everyday foods and lifestyle habits.

A few reasons your teeth may be dull and dingy include:

  • Foods and beverages like coffee, tea, foods with dyes, red wine, curries, tomato sauce
  • Smoking and tobacco products
  • Certain medications
  • Injury 
  • Childhood illness
  • Infection
  • Genetics
  • Aging

As you can see, stained teeth can be entirely outside of your control, or due to daily habits.

So, How Safe Is Teeth Whitening?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), hydrogen peroxide found in bleaching gels is safe and effective—if you use it correctly.  Only a professional can get the results you want with professional-grade teeth whitening kits. 

Incorrect usage of teeth whitening, even store-bought brands, can cause damage to your gums, or extreme tooth sensitivity. 

Teeth whitening bleach is most effective on teeth that have aged naturally with age or have external stains from food and drink (we see you, red wine, and coffee). Gray or brown stains may not be lifted with bleach.

Kauai dentists Dr. Michael Lutwin, Dr. Ron Quade, and Dr. Kelliann Rita will also examine your teeth and gums before teeth whitening (and any dental procedure). It's essential to treat any cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, infections, or more before we can get your pearly whites up to Hollywood standards. 

Call Us to Schedule Your Whitening Appointment

It's never too late to improve your look, and professional teeth whitening is a cost-effective and reliable cosmetic treatment that can instantly improve your smile. Call Kalaheo Dental Group today!

Crowns and Bridges

No matter how good we take care of our teeth and gums, sometimes a tooth becomes damaged or weakened. In order to retain your natural existing teeth, your Poipu dentist may recommend a dental crown in order to strengthen and protect them.

What Is a Dental Crown?

A crown is a dental prosthetic that covers every surface of your tooth, like a cap. Patients who have a large filling that creates a weak spot in the tooth can use a dental crown to seal the cavity and stabilize the tooth. Dental crowns can also cover badly stained teeth, abnormally shaped teeth, and chipped or cracked teeth. 

No matter why patients decide to invest in a dental crown, they all receive the benefit of a newly restored and enhanced smile. 

What Does the Dental Crown Procedure Look Like?

Typically, the entire procedure takes two trips to the Kalaheo Dental Group. During your first trip, Dr. Michael Lutwin, Dr. Ron Quade, Dr. Kelliann Rita, or Dr. Robert Stebbins will be able to determine whether you are a good candidate for a dental crown.

Your dentist will then prepare your tooth and take a digital scan of it so that it can be sent to a special dental lab to fabricate your tooth crown from tooth-colored dental materials. At this time, your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown while you wait for your permanent dental crown to be created. 

It can take two or more weeks for the dental lab to complete your new dental crown, at which point you can come back to have it placed and bonded. Once your dentist is happy that it fits snugly and comfortably during smiling, talking, biting down, and chewing, they will adhere the crown to your tooth permanently. 

Using a Dental Crown to Improve Your Appearance

Many of our Poipu, HI patients look to tooth crowns to enhance the following:

  • Cover yellow and severely stained teeth
  • Restore an obviously damaged tooth
  • Fix an oddly shaped tooth
  • Elongate stubby teeth

Are You Interested in Dental Crowns?

If you think dental crowns could restore your bite, smile, and quality of life, please give our Poipu dental office a call at  (808) 332-9445 today or arrange a dental crown appointment online. 

Dental Crowns | Kalaheo Dental Group | Kalaheo, HIStrengthen and Protect Your Teeth

Dental crowns at Kalaheo Dental Group are a prosthetic that we use on a tooth that has been weakened by decay. If we don’t protect the tooth, the damage will get worse and lead to discomfort and possible loss of the tooth.

A crown is designed like a little helmet that holds the tooth together and redistributes the stress evenly throughout its structure. After your crown is placed, it restores strength, appearance, and your ability to chew and eat comfortably. 

There are several reasons why we may recommend a crown:

  • Strengthen and protect cracked, broken, or worn teeth
  • Improve the appearance of misshapen or poorly proportioned teeth
  • Protect tooth structure after root canal treatment
  • Restore a tooth that already has a large filling

Placing a Crown

Placing a crown is a straightforward process that takes place over two or three visits. First, we prepare the tooth, then take impressions that we use to create a model. The model is used to design your new crown and create a temporary to wear while your restoration is fabricated at a custom lab. When your crown is ready, you will return to our office to have the temporary removed, and the final crown checked for fit and comfort and cemented in place.

Contact Us

If you are considering dental crowns in Kauai, please call our office to arrange a consultation with Dr. Lutwin, Dr. Quade, or Dr. Rita.

Dental Implants

Diagram of Dental Implant & Titanium RootImplants Act Like a Natural Root

Dental implants are the only tooth loss solution that recreates the entire structure of the tooth, from root to crown. A titanium implant post is placed surgically in your jaw and prevents bone loss, just like a natural root does.

Because of the way your jaw heals after placement, the biocompatible implant fuses with surrounding bone and tissue. After several months of healing, it becomes a permanent part of your dental structure, and we attach a crown, bridge, or denture to restore function and appearance.

Long-Term Success Depends on You

However, the key to the long-term success of a dental implant is being diligent with your oral health by brushing twice and flossing once a day. Lack of proper oral hygiene can lead to gum disease that compromises bone in your jaw and causes the implant to fail. With proper at-home care and routine visits to your dentist for exams and checkups, your implant could last a lifetime.

Learn More about Dental Implants

If you would like to learn more about dental implants in Kalaheo to see if they’re right for you, please call our office. One of our skilled dentists will be happy to consult with you to answer your questions, explain your options, and help you decide if dental implants are the best solution for you.

Family Dentistry

  • Use a mirror and a bright light
  • Remove any removable partials or full dentures
  • Look and feel lips and front of gums for any lumps or bumps that do NOT move
  • Tilt your head back and inspect the roof of your mouth
  • Pull your cheek out to see the inside surface and gums in the rear
  • Pull out your tongue and look at all surfaces

What am I looking for?

  • White patches
  • Red Patches
  • Combination of red and white patches
  • Sores
  • Abnormal lumps or thickening
  • Chronic sore throat/hoarseness
  • Difficulty chewing/swallowing
  • Masses or lumps in the neck that are not bilateral (same on both sides)

***If you have any concerns about an abnormality in your mouth or throat please call us ASAP to evaluate.
   
Additional Resources:

https://www.sixstepscreening.org/self-exam/

http://checkyourmouth.org/

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/Oral-Cancer-Slideshow?utm_source=mouthhealthyorg&utm_medium=mhrotator&utm_content=oral-cancer-awareness

There are several factors to consider when selecting a dentist for your family. Many different dentists have different specialties within their field, so not every dental office is right for every patient. 

If you are choosing a new family dentist, consider any particular needs your family may have. Do you have young children who are trying to learn and develop good oral hygiene habits? Does anyone in your family suffer from a fear of the dentist? Are you looking to begin a new treatment plan or receive any specific services? Are you or a member of your family behind on your regular exams or routine dental care? It is important to first evaluate what your family needs from a dentist, and then decide if a particular dental group meets your needs. 

At Kalaheo Dental Group, our main focus is on treating entire families within the community. We specialize in providing top-notch dental care to patients of every age, no matter how young or old. Your ohana is our ohana, and we have extensive experience working with children and the elderly. Our dental office even conveniently offers group appointments so every member of your busy family can be seen during one easy visit! 

For quality family dentistry in Kauai, look no further than Kalaheo Dental Group. Give our dental office a call today to learn more about our caring Kalaheo team! 

Invisalign

Make A Great First Impression 

One of the best ways to make a great first impression is a beautiful, healthy smile. But if you’re bothered by a problem like crooked or crowded teeth, you probably don’t feel much like smiling. If you have been living with the discomfort of crooked teeth, you may have put off treatment, thinking that your only option is to spend years in metal braces. But we’re happy to tell you that may not be the case.

Comfort and Convenience with InvisalignInvisalign Trays On Teeth | Kalaheo Dental Group | Kalaheo, HI

At Kalaheo Dental Group, we are pleased to offer our patients the comfort, convenience, and beautiful results offered by Invisalign clear aligners. A revolution in orthodontics, Invisalign clear aligners provide an effective way to straighten your teeth while remaining virtually invisible. Wearing the comfortable, customized aligners will gradually shift your teeth into their correct position. Correcting teeth alignment is important, and not just for cosmetics: straight teeth are healthier teeth. They’re less subjective to the damage of uneven bite forces and because they are much easier to brush and floss, they’re less likely to develop periodontal disease. Simply wear them every day, taking them out to eat, brush and floss.

How Long Will Treatment Last

Most folks will not realize you are wearing them. Full treatment usually lasts around one year for adults on average, so before you know it, you’ll have a straighter, more confident and healthier new smile!

Contact Us

If you feel that Invisalign may be the right fit for you, contact our office to schedule your consultation today, 

Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain Veneers | Kalaheo DentistVeneers are thin translucent shells of porcelain that are securely bonded to individual teeth. They beautify your smile by improving the shape and color of one or more of your teeth.

We use veneers to close gaps between your teeth, perfect the shape of small or misshapen teeth, or conceal severely stained teeth. If your teeth are beginning to show signs of wear, veneers can protect them from damage and restore their original look.

 

Tele-Dentistry (Phone or Video Appointments)

What is Telehealth?

Telehealth encompasses various telemedicine systems, health care tools, and
modes of care delivery that allow access to health education or services from a
distance. Which can include live video chat, remote patient monitoring or mobile
health delivery is done over mobile communication devices such as cell phones or
tablets.

What can we offer you?

Kalaheo Dental Group is here to provide teledentistry to new and existing patients. We
are currently offering phone or video consultations to patients. If you are having
concerns about your dental health please feel free to call and we can set up an
appointment for a visit with one of our Doctors or Hygienists. Whether your
concerns be an emergency or you need some tips on your home care we are here
to help. Our patient care coordinators are able to triage patient emergencies and
schedule you for an in-person appointment when necessary. Video conferences
may be available on these platforms: Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, or
Line app.

Helpful Resources: 
https://www.cchpca.org/about/about-telehealth
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/in-depth/telehealth/art-20044878

Not finding what you need?
If you have difficulty using our website, please email us or call us at (808) 332-9445
View the ADA Accessibility Statement
We are: 1) Open and serving patients 2) Offering tele-dentistry appointments by phone/video. Click here to learn about our increased protocols due to COVID-19.