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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Other

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. 

 

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