How Often Should I Visit the Dentist?

Whitehall dentistKeeping your teeth and gums healthy is obviously a significant priority. And there’s a lot you can do in the comfort of your home to do so. However, these efforts have to be complemented by frequent visits to the dentist’s office.

How often? Generally speaking, dental experts recommend that Americans should visit their dentist at least once every six months.

Every patient is unique, of course, but that twice-a-year recommendation applies to the vast majority of patients. In some cases, such as when you’re suffering from gum disease or other specific conditions, you might need to come to the office more frequently. Dr. Kun will provide you with more specific instructions in such a situation.

Why are such frequent visits necessary? The reality is, no matter how hard you work at dental hygiene and no matter how thoroughly you clean your teeth and gums, there are some limitations to where you can reach and what you can achieve.

By contrast, Dr. Kun is capable of reaching parts of your mouth that are essentially unreachable to you when you’re standing in front of your mirror. In addition, these professional cleanings can remove plaque and tartar buildups that aren’t easily eliminated by brushing and flossing alone. As a result, these dental visits are simply irreplaceable – missing them can have serious effects on your oral health.

If you live in or around Whitehall, Pennsylvania and you need an experienced dentist, please call Dr. Michael E. Kun today at 1-800-753-4420 for a consultation and examination.

Why Do I Need To Replace Missing Teeth?

Bethlehem dental implantsWe tend to think of missing teeth as a cosmetic problem, and that’s certainly understandable – missing teeth absolutely mar an otherwise beautiful smile. However, what we tell Bethlehem-area patients considering dental implants is that there are serious health hazards associated with lost teeth as well.

If you lose a tooth, you are at a greater risk of suffering:

  • More lost teeth
  • Loss of bone density in the jaw
  • Difficulty eating, speaking and even breathing
  • A “sunken” shape in the facial region
  • Teeth shifting to accommodate the missing tooth
  • TMJ

As you can imagine, these are serious problems. They’re not to be ignored. If you’ve lost a tooth, it’s important you replace it as soon as possible.

And while there are a lot of options for replacing a missing tooth, dental implants are often the best choice available. This is because they do the best job of addressing the problems listed above. Because implants are placed deep within your jawbone, they arrest and reverse the loss of bone density, while their sturdy, durable construction greatly reduces the risk of losing the replacement.

In contrast, dentures, for example, are just adhered to the gum line – there is no “anchor” within the structure of your jaw to act as a replacement tooth root.

Are dental implants right for you? The only way to know for sure is to arrange a consultation and examination with our dentist. But we have found time and again that implants are a wonderful option for patients looking for a durable, inconspicuous tooth replacement.

If you live in or around Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and you’re considering dental implants, please call Dr. Michael E. Kun today at 1-800-753-4420 for a consultation.

When Should I Consider Sedation Dentistry?

Allentown sedation dentistryDr. Michael E. Kun is one of the few dentists in the Allentown area to offer sedation dentistry (which we also refer to as “relaxation dentistry”). Sedation dentistry is an excellent way of undergoing needed dental work you’ve been putting off for years.

It’s important to understand that sedation dentistry is not for everyone. Sometimes, people ask us about sedation dentistry when it’s really not the right option for them. Many people experience minor nervousness before going to the dentist – this is normal, and while we strive to keep everyone relaxed and in a pleasant state of mind, it’s not a situation that calls for sedation dentistry.

Instead, you should consider sedation dentistry if you suffer from serious, debilitating dental anxiety. How do you know if this is you? One crucial sign of such anxiety is an unwillingness to undergo needed dental work because of a fear of the dentist. If you find yourself so scared of the dentist’s office that you cancel appointments or you decide to just “deal” with pain and discomfort, this is likely dental anxiety.

In such a situation, sedation dentistry is often a perfect solution. We will provide you with safe, proven oral medications you can take before your procedures – these will put you in a pleasant, relaxed state. You’ll be able to undergo the dental work you need.

If you live in or around Allentown, Pennsylvania and you suffer from dental anxiety, sedation dentistry might be an option. Please call, Dr. Michael E. Kun today at 1-800-753-4420 to learn more.

Causes of Tooth Discoloration

Bethlehem teeth whiteningIf you’re a Bethlehem-area resident considering teeth whitening, the cause of your tooth discoloration might not seem particularly important. After all, you just want white teeth. What does the cause of the discoloration really matter?

Actually, it could matter a great deal. Teeth whitening is a great option most of the time. But in some very specific circumstances, whitening treatments will not be effective. Therefore, it’s important to have a sense of why your teeth have grown discolored.

Common causes of tooth discoloration include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Poor dental hygiene
  • Frequent consumption of sodas, wines, juices and other staining beverages
  • Age
  • Disease
  • Genetics
  • Certain medications, such as tetracycline and doxycycline
  • Trauma

In most of those cases, our teeth whitening treatments can have a tremendous effect. However, in some of them – for example, discoloration related to medication use – teeth whitening products are often not effective.

That’s why it’s important to be completely open and up-front about your medical history and medication usage, even if both are a little embarrassing. The more we know about your habits and history, the better equipped we will be to help you achieve your goals.

If you live in or around Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and you have questions about our teeth whitening treatments, please call Dr. Michael E. Kun today at 1-800-753-4420 to schedule a consultation.

The Dental Implant Process

The dental implant processWe fear what we do not understand. So many of our Lehigh Valley patients don’t know what to expect when they come to our office to talk about dental implants. As such, a key component of our practice is giving you the information you need to be an informed, relaxed, happy patient.

This is particularly important when the subject in question is the process of placing dental implants. People have a lot of fear about this process, fear that is often based on misconceptions and misunderstandings.

With that in mind, here is a brief primer on the dental implant process so you can know what to expect as you begin your journey toward sound oral health:

  • The process begins by thoroughly evaluating your dental health. If you have no active infections, you don’t suffer from gum disease and you have sufficient bone density in your jaw, you’re likely a good candidate for dental implants.
  • After we’ve determined you are a good candidate for dental implants and crafted your implant and replacement tooth, we will place the implant in your jawbone. This procedure ensures your new tooth will have a strong, durable foundation.
  • We wait. Over the next three to six months your jawbone will slowly integrate the implant in a process known as “osseointegration.” The implant will, for all intents and purposes, become a part of your jaw. The process is a bit lengthy, but it’s worth the time investment – your implant will have an incredibly strong and sturdy base.
  • Once osseointegration is complete, we will top your implant with your replacement tooth – usually a porcelain dental crown.

There might be additional steps and office visits in between the points listed above. But this gives you a clear sense of the broad path associated with dental implants. We won’t lie – it requires a significant investment of time. But the end results are worth it.

If you live in or around Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania and you have questions about dental implants, please call Dr. Michael E. Kun, DMD today, at 1-800-753-4420, to arrange a consultation and examination.

Tips for Maintaining Your Teeth Whitening Results

Teeth whitening in Bethlehem PA

If you undergo teeth whitening in the Bethlehem area from Dr. Kun, you’re almost certainly thrilled with the results. We have seen so many patients walk away from a teeth whitening treatment positively giddy about the bright, white, photogenic smile they can now show off with confidence.

Naturally, then, you’ll want to maintain these results. We understand you want your teeth whitening results to last as long as possible. No teeth whitening treatment lasts forever, but there are some things you can do to increase the duration of your results.

If you want to keep your teeth white for as long as possible, here are some tips:

  • Practice sound dental hygiene. There is really nothing better you can do for your teeth than thoroughly brushing them at least twice a day (preferably right after meals) and flossing on a daily basis. You want to clear off as much of the plaque and food particles from your tooth enamel as possible.
  • Avoid – or at least minimize your consumption of – food and drinks that are known to stain tooth enamel. These include red wine and sodas. And if you do drink soda, make sure to drink it using a straw.
  • If you do eat or drink any of these staining foods and drinks, brush your teeth immediately after. If that’s not possible, you should drink water and rinse as quickly as possible.

Of course, the reality is you can do everything right and still end up with some enamel staining. This is one of the most common cosmetic problems. From time to time you might need a bit of a whitening touch up. Dr. Kun will talk to you about your options and whether or not another procedure might be the right course of action.

If you live in or around Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and you have questions about teeth whitening, please call Dr. Michael E. Kun, DMD today at 1-800-753-4420.

What Are The Benefits of Invisalign?

Eating during Invisalign treatment in BethlehemOur Bethlehem-area patients in need of orthodontic treatments have a number of options. Part of our job at Dr. Kun’s practice is helping you choose the right option. When it comes to finding the best possible orthodontic adjustment option, many patients wind up choosing Invisalign®, and for good reason.

If you’re unfamiliar with Invisalign®, here are the basics: We will custom craft a set of clear plastic aligners that you will wear whenever you’re not eating. After a couple weeks, you return to our office and swap out your aligners for a new set.

And that’s it. The process is simple, safe and quite pleasant. Many patients choose Invisalign® because it offers a number of benefits, including:

  • An utterly invisible, inconspicuous experience – no one will know you’re wearing Invisalign® aligners
  • The process is much more comfortable than traditional metal braces. You won’t have metal wires poking your cheeks or gums and you won’t have to undergo repeated appointments for tightening of your braces
  • You won’t have to worry about getting food stuck under the wires of your metal braces – you’ll remove your aligners before meal time

As you can see, Invisalign® offers a number of benefits and advantages over traditional metal braces. We’re happy to talk to you about your orthodontic options and help you decide if Invisalign® is right for you.

If you live in or around Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and you have questions about Invisalign®, please call Dr. Michael E. Kun, DMD today at 1-800-753-4420 for a consultation and examination.

Migraine Headache Treatment Options

Bethlehem migraine headache treatmentsIf you’re suffering from chronic migraines and you’ve tried everything to fix the problem, you might need to consider the possibility that your headaches are caused by a jaw misalignment. TMJ is a serious problem for many of our Bethlehem-area patients, but the good news is that Dr. Kun can offer a range of migraine treatments to alleviate your pain and misery.

Dr. Kun is an experienced, specially trained neuromuscular dentist, which means he is uniquely well-equipped to help you in this difficult time. We work with every patient to find a treatment that’s right for you.

These treatments are designed to bring your jaw into its proper alignment. By using a range of treatments, we can relax your jaw muscles, then find more permanent solutions that re-align your jaw into a more comfortable and natural position.

When seeking effective migraine treatments, it’s important to choose an experienced, trained neuromuscular dentist. TMJ is a tricky condition, and not every dentist is properly equipped to treat it. Dr. Kun has the training, experience and equipment to address the structural causes of your migraine headaches.

If you live in or around Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and you’re desperate to find relief from your migraine headaches, treatment is possible. Please call Dr. Michael E. Kun, DMD today at 1-800-753-4420 for a consultation and examination.

Relieve Dental Anxiety With Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentist in Bethlehem PA

At our office, we love dentistry. We love helping people solve their oral health problems. Of course, we recognize that not everyone shares our passion. In fact, many people in and around Bethlehem have serious dental anxiety – the sights, sounds and smells of a dental office induce serious, crippling anxiety for many of our patients.

In these cases, sedation dentistry (or, as we call it, relaxation dentistry) represents a perfect solution. If you’re suffering from dental anxiety that prevents you from undergoing needed dental work, Dr. Kun and his staff will be happy to talk to you about your sedation dentistry options.

With sedation dentistry, we can place you in a relaxed, dream-like state. You won’t be unconscious – you’ll be aware and able to respond to Dr. Kun’s instructions. But the safe, proven sedatives we offer during relaxation dentistry will wash away your anxiousness and leave you feeling pleasant during your procedure.

Sedation dentistry thus allows you to undergo the procedures – either cosmetic or general – that you need, finally resolving some longstanding dental health issues that should not be ignored. You won’t have to worry about the sound of a drill or some other sensation in the dentist’s chair triggering your dental anxiety.

If you live in or around Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and you have questions about sedation dentistry, please call Dr. Michael E. Kun today at 1-800-753-4420 for a consultation.

Invisalign Vs. Traditional Metal Braces

Braces alternatives in Allentown PA

For years, Allentown-area patients in need of significant orthodontic adjustment have put off needed dental work out of fear of traditional metal braces. This decision, while unfortunate, is understandable. Metal braces have a number of flaws that make them less than ideal as a treatment option. Fortunately, braces aren’t your only option – Invisalign® represents a different path.

Now, don’t get us wrong. Metal braces are widely used for a reason – when applied properly, maintained properly and adjusted properly, they do an excellent job of correcting an alignment concern with your jaw or bite.

However, this alignment comes at a price. These braces are uncomfortable – they can poke your gums and cheeks. They require frequent adjustments at the dentist’s office. Food gets stuck under the wires. And they’re unsightly, which is a problem for both kids and adults.

Invisalign® addresses all of these concerns. The aligners fit snugly – but comfortably – over your teeth because they are custom crafted for your specific needs. You can remove them at meal time, ensuring you don’t get any food stuck in inconvenient locations. Invisalign® aligners don’t need tightening – you simply get a new set every couple of weeks.

But perhaps most importantly, Invisalign® is more or less invisible. No one will know you’re wearing them. This is a crucial consideration for so many of our patients. For children and teenagers, the idea of going through school while wearing unsightly metal braces is mortifying. And for adults, there’s a certain stigma to being seen with braces at the office or on a date.

Invisalign® avoids these traps. These clear plastic aligners let you get the orthodontic care you need while your friends and colleagues are none the wiser.

If you live in or around Allentown, Pennsylvania and you have questions about Invisalign®, please call Dr. Michael E. Kun today at 1-800-753-4420 for a consultation and examination.