How can we help you?
At Dr. William Cheung & Associates, we welcome questions because we want our patients to feel confident in their choice of dental care. If you do not see your question here, we welcome you to reach out to our dental surgery to speak with a member of our team.
Uncovering the truth behind the mask
The recent global outbreak of novel Coronavirus has seen a new trend emerge - in cities like Hong Kong, it is a rarity to see someone walking in public without wearing a mask. The masks come in a multitude of colors and styles, but which one offers the best protection against this new virus? More specifically, should you be hunting down a surgical mask, or an N95 type of mask?
Surgical masks are designed for various medical procedures, and as such are subject to grading by the American Society for Testing and Materials (“ASTM”). The ASTM has categorized masks into various levels, depending on the mask’s ability to resist fluids, filter particles, withstand pressure and flames. For the casual mask-wearer who does not intend to engage in activities that produce large amounts of fluid or aerosol spray, the most critical parameter to pay attention to here is the Particulate Filtration Efficiency (“PFE”) at 0.1 micron. ASTM Level 3 and Level 2 masks reach a >98% efficiency, while ASTM Level 1 masks reach a >95% efficiency. This is a relevant benchmark for our current outbreak since coronaviruses are typically around 0.1 micron in size.
On the other hand, N95 masks were originally designed for the construction industry, but have since branched out into the medical field as well. According to 3M’s own press kit, the N95 respirators specifically designed for healthcare uses have a PFE of >95% at 0.3 micron. Just looking at these numbers, doesn’t this mean the N95 is in fact less effective at preventing you from getting the coronavirus? Before we jump to conclusions, it is important to consider one big factor in mask wearing that we have not yet addressed, and that is “user error”.
For a surgical mask to function at its peak performance, it needs to be worn correctly, well-fitted to the face, and not allowing air to seep through the gaps typically formed around the nose, the cheeks, and the chin. In contrast, N95 respirators are designed to fit snugly around the face, and as long as you don’t sport a beard or have an inordinately small face, these tend to leave very limited gaps.
At the end of the day, if you’re planning to be out in public in an enclosed area coming into close contact with people, it’s probably wise to wear some kind of protection over your nose and mouth. If nothing else, it at least stops us from accidentally touching our faces with our dirty hands! But if you’re trying to figure out what kind of mask to buy, hopefully now you have a little more insight on the sheath you’re putting on your face!
We provide a variety of diagnostic dental imaging in our Hong Kong CBD dental office, including 3-D CBCT imagining.
3-D CBCT – When planning dental implants, orthodontics, or surgical procedures, a 3-D view of the teeth, bone, and surrounding sinuses and other biological landmarks is a valuable part of the planning process.
Other types of dental imaging:
Digital x-rays – Rather than using traditional film x-rays, we have opted to use digital sensors and x-rays. The image appears instantly on the treatment room monitors for our dentists to use for diagnosis.
Panoramic x-rays – A panoramic x-ray moves around the head to capture a comprehensive view of the teeth, bone, and jaw joints. Panoramic x-rays are often used for evaluating wisdom teeth and evaluating bone. They can also assist in the identification of cysts, tumors, and locating sinus cavities while planning for dental implants.
Intraoral camera – If you have ever tried to look inside to see your own teeth, you probably realized how challenging it can be to see a detailed view. We use intraoral cameras as a teaching tool to show patients what our dentists see when they look in your mouth. Intraoral cameras can also provide detailed images to monitor changes in oral health.
The main goal of preventive dentistry is to stop little problems before they become big problems. For example, a small untreated cavity could eventually grow and impact the nerve deep within the tooth, resulting in the need for root canal therapy. Treating a small cavity, which can be detected by the dentist or via x-rays, is usually less costly and complex than root canal treatment.
Our gentle dentists also monitor gum and bone health. Periodontal disease is progressive and can sometimes be reversed in its earliest stages, which is called gingivitis. Once periodontal disease progresses into periodontitis, regular maintenance can help control the condition, but not reverse it.
At each dental exam, our dentists:
- Examine each tooth
- Perform a periodontal (gum) exam
- Look for signs of oral cancer
- Provide treatment options to solve any issue
- Ask our patients about what works best for them
Other treatments like dental x-rays are recommended on a case-by-case basis.
Our goal at Dr. William Cheung & Associates is to help patients have better oral health by offering preventive dentistry to detect any dental diseases as quickly as possible. Our dentists will always present all treatment options available and help you make a choice that works well for your budget and goals.
Root Canal Treatment
While having root canal therapy combined with a dental filling or crown can seem like heroic efforts to save a single tooth, we would like to explain why we strive to preserve natural teeth whenever possible.
Tooth loss can lead to bone loss because there is no longer a reason for the underlying bone to regenerate. When bone loss occurs, it can sometimes destabilize the foundation of adjacent or opposing teeth. Keeping natural teeth is often less costly and invasive than replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant.
When a tooth undergoes root canal treatment, the nourishment it received from the body stops. This sometimes means that the tooth can become more brittle and susceptible to cracks and fractures. A dental crown encases a troubled tooth and absorbs much of the force caused by chewing. When our dentists perform a root canal, on a molar tooth especially, they may recommend a dental crown to protect it.
We offer tooth crowns in a variety of materials from full gold crowns to natural-looking tooth-colored crowns. We can discuss the benefits and limitations of each at your dental appointment.
If you have a toothache or other dental emergency, please contact our Central Hong Kong dental office to book an appointment.
Periodontal (Gum) Treatment
Periodontal (gum) disease is often silent and asymptomatic in the early stages. Often, the first sign of trouble is that bleeding occurs when eating or cleaning the teeth. Healthy gums appear pink and hug the teeth snugly. As infection develops, gums become inflamed and loose around the teeth. These pockets create a harbor for bacteria, which makes the problem worse.
As part of the comprehensive dentistry we provide, our dentists perform routine periodontal evaluations in our Hong Kong dental office by measuring the depth between the teeth and gums.
Once our dentists determine if gum disease is present, they will customize a treatment plan to help gums heal. A commitment to improved home care on the part of patients combined with professional dental cleanings can help patients enjoy improved oral health and greater comfort.
Any inflammatory disease, such as an infection, within the body puts overall health at greater risk. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Improving the health of the mouth can improve overall wellness and whole-body health.
If you have questions about the repercussion of oral conditions and their effect of the body, we invite you to arrange a consultation with one of our dentists at Dr. William Cheung & Associates.
We recognize that each patient is unique and never make sweeping recommendations based on opinion without first speaking to each client to discuss their goals for their smiles. What works for one person may not be the solution for the next, and since we offer bespoke dentistry in our Central Hong Kong dental office, we will talk to you at your consultation to learn more about what you want for your smile.
Some of the teeth replacement options we offer include:
Dental implants – Dental implants replace the entire tooth, including the root, which has the benefit or reducing bone loss.
Fixed dental bridges – Dental bridges are a nonsurgical solution to one or more missing teeth and rely on healthy adjacent teeth to support an artificial tooth in the gap.
Partial dentures – Multiple missing teeth can be replaced with a removable partial denture. Our dentists will closely match the artificial teeth to the surrounding natural teeth for esthetic results.
Complete dentures – Complete dentures provide a solution for patients who have all of their teeth missing on the upper arch, lower arch, or both.
Implant dentures and bridges – Dental implants can provide a secure solution to hold dentures in place. Dental implant bridges rely on dental implants to hold an artificial tooth in place rather than requiring alteration to healthy teeth.
At Dr. William Cheung & Associates, we enjoy welcoming your entire family – including your children. Pediatric dentistry helps children develop a healthy oral care routine and a positive attitude about their dental visits can have a lasting impact even into adulthood.
We focus on speaking to children in a calm manner using language that they will understand.
We educate children on the importance of looking after their teeth and gums by demonstrating how to brush and floss properly.
We monitor children’s development and will make recommendations based on your little one’s unique needs.
Sometimes kids can benefit from additional preventive dentistry treatments such as:
Fluoride application – Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that strengthens enamel and helps to prevent dental decay.
Sealants – Clear sealants are a noninvasive barrier that we paint onto the teeth to fill in deep grooves where bacteria are likely to collect.
Athletic mouthguards – To avoid sports-related injuries to the teeth and gums, a custom athletic mouthguard will help your child stay safe and avoid dental emergencies without hindering their breathing and performance.
If you are searching for a family dentist in Central Hong Kong, we welcome you to become part of our dental family.
Crowns and Bridges
At Dr. William Cheung & Associates, we value education and believe that informed patients make the best decisions regarding their oral health and smiles.
Each type of dental restoration serves a purpose, and we will explain any recommendation our dentists make so that you understand it fully. When it comes to repairing teeth, here are some general guidelines.
Dental fillings – Dental fillings seal and protect a tooth after removing tooth decay. We often use a composite material that comes in a variety of shades and blends in nicely with surrounding teeth.
Dental crowns – Dental crowns encase the entire tooth structure to prevent pain and further damage. Dental crowns can protect a root canal tooth or a deeply decayed tooth, or make cosmetic improvements to the teeth.
Inlays and onlays – Inlays and onlays are indirect fillings that lie within the cusps of the teeth (inlay) or encase one or more cusps (onlays). You can think of them as a “partial crown” or a crown-filling hybrid that is made from durable metal or porcelain.
Dental bonding – Dental bonding is a conservative choice for making small repairs to the teeth such as filling small chips or reshaping the tooth.
If you are concerned about the appearance of your smile, we offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry options at our Central Hong Kong dental office for our patients to achieve the smile that they want.
Teeth whitening – Remove years of stains with in-office or take-home teeth whitening options. We are happy to help you choose the option that will give you the results you want on your timeframe.
Cosmetic bonding – Small chips and narrow gaps can sometimes be corrected using cosmetic dental bonding to add to the existing tooth structure. Dental bonding can often be completed in a single dental appointment.
Dental crowns – For worn, damaged, or discolored teeth dental crowns will cover the tooth and improve the shade, shape, and function.
Porcelain veneers – Dental veneers can correct stained teeth that do not respond to teeth whitening, create the illusion of proper alignment, and provide uniform-looking results.
Dental implants – Dental implants replace missing teeth. Replace a single missing tooth with dental implants or an entire arch of teeth.
Smile makeovers – A variety of procedures used in combination can create a new look for patients wishing to make many changes to their smiles.
For more information about cosmetic dentistry, we welcome you to call to arrange a consultation.
As with all dental treatments, we recommend everything based on each patient’s needs and goals for their smile. In most cases, teeth whitening is safe for healthy patients and often healthier for your enamel and gums than many store-bought options.
At Dr. William Cheung & Associates, we offer both in-office, chairside teeth whitening and take-home custom teeth whitening kits.
Here is how they work:
Chairside Teeth Whitening
If time is a concern for you and you want a white smile fast, chairside teeth bleaching takes about 60-90 minutes and provides great results for most stains such as yellow teeth.
Take-Home Teeth Whitening
You can choose to continue whitening your teeth at home after your initial in-office bleaching appointment, or office whitening can work on its own.
We will create custom teeth whitening trays for you to use for about an hour each day.
What about Teeth Whitening Toothpaste, Strips, and Rinses?
For some people, store-bought whitening products can have a subtle impact on the smile. Unfortunately, they also come with a few challenges.
Worn enamel – Abrasive toothpaste can cause enamel wear and scratching.
Sensitive gums – With generic teeth whitening trays or strips, more of the bleaching agent leaks onto the gums. This can make gums and teeth feel sensitive, especially in cases of recession.
Would you like to learn more? The best time to whiten your teeth is right after a dental cleaning. We are happy to discuss your options for a whiter smile.
Bruxism and TMJ Disease
Because TMJ dysfunction is so common, many people actually believe that it is normal to have some jaw pain or even clicking and popping joints. When you hear a noisy jaw, it generally means that the condyle (the ball-part of the joint) is catching on a small disc inside the joint. The catching motion can lead to a pop, click, or can even lock the jaw open or closed.
Yawning and overextending the jaw is fairly common and may be a one-time occurrence. Regular joint popping and clicking warrants a visit to your Central Hong Kong TMJ dentist. At Dr. William Cheung & Associates, we will examine the joints to make sure that they move freely without catching or popping.
Having jaw pain can stem from TMJ disease or exhausted muscles. Any muscle that gets a workout can be sore. Jaw muscles can become sore from overworking at night because of teeth grinding or clenching. Overworked muscles get bigger, and jaw muscles are no different. If you notice your jaw muscles getting bigger or even looking square or boxy, it might be time for a jaw exam to determine if bruxism (teeth grinding) is the cause.
If you experience jaw pain or popping jaw joints, give us a call. We warmly welcome new patients.