Too old for braces, too young to be satisfied with a substandard smile—an array of new orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry has emerged to fill the gap between what most people have and what everybody wants. Invisalign, whitening treatments, veneers and other options can transform crooked, stained teeth into natural or even Hollywood-style smiles at any age, without braces.
Invisalign utilizes clear aligners to guide each tooth into their preferred placement. The process begins with a consultation and a three-dimensional scan or mold of all existing teeth. The customized treatment plans—and no two are alike—vary based on the severity of movement, but can take anywhere from six months to two years. Your dentist can even show what your completed smile will look like— before beginning treatment! Aligners are worn 20 hours a day and switched out about every two weeks for a new aligner, the next step in shifting your teeth toward your desired results.
Dr. Malia Kamisugi, D.D.S., M.S.D., of HI Smile Orthodontics (hismile.com), sees the life-changing effects of Invisalign in her work nearly every day. Her practice uses iTero scanners to scan teeth without traditional tooth molds, resulting in better a fit, faster ClinCheck setups to track tooth movement, and simulated patient outcomes for a preview of the end result. The results can be lifechanging.
“We have people come in who don’t smile,” Kamisugi says. “You go through the process and it’s a full-body transformation. That is so rewarding for me.”
By the end of treatment, patients show a new confidence, which frequently manifests in a new haircut and clothes, better posture, promotions at work—even weight loss.
“Having good teeth shows that you take care of yourself,” she says, referencing multiple reports showing a correlation between oral health and general health by organizations like the Mayo Clinic and the World Health Organization.
HI Smile Orthodontics also offers Philip’s Zoom Whitening, AcceleDent (which accelerates teeth movement with braces or aligners), general dentistry, and more.
Kamisugi recommends getting children as young as seven screened for Invisalign, because it’s the ideal time to pave the way for permanent teeth to grow in straight. But anyone can benefit from the procedure. Some of her Invisalign patients are in their 80s.
“A lot of adults are seeking treatment now, and a lot of older adults,” Kamisugi says. “The misconception is that it’s just for rich teenagers. That is not the case.”
Seeing a professional is key to a good result, Kamisugi warned. Social media advertises great results from internet-order aligners, but Kamisugi has patients come in to get inexpert treatments fixed. Fixing the damage and treating teeth correctly ends up taking longer—and costing more. Orthodontists go to school for three years longer than even dentists, she pointed out, so leave orthodontics to the professionals.
“My job is to improve the function of your teeth,” Kamisugi says. “It’s a side effect that you end up looking better.”
Dentists and orthodontists around the island are committed achieving the beautiful smiles their patients want.
Dr. Ken Yasuhara, D.D.S., (kenyasuharadds.com) focuses on aesthetic and restorative dentistry. Yasuhara offers general dental care and specializes in cosmetic dentistry like crowns, bridgework and dental implants. He offers Invisalign as well as veneers. His treatment approach works with patients toward their health goals while educating them in the importance of dental health for overall well-being. It’s all toward the goal of helping patients preserve their natural teeth as long as possible while ensuring oral health and looking good for a lifetime.
Dr. Alvin H. S. Chung, D.D.S., (dralvinchung.com) is known for treating the smiles of people who smile a lot: several Miss Hawai‘i contestants, as well as a galaxy of celebrities, including models, actors, professional surfers, and musicians. He offers general dental care, as well as Invisalign and Philips Zoom WhiteSpeed Light-Activated Whitening System. Chung prefers the whitening system because it delivers maximum results while offering variable intensity settings.
Dr. John Ha, D.D.S., of Honolulu Smile Design (honolulusmiledesign.com) uses a combination of preventative care, tooth-colored fillings and restorative techniques to meet patients’ ideals for dental health. Smile makeovers can be easy and affordable, using crowns, bonding and whitening to achieve a natural-looking smile. Bridges and veneers can transform smiles in just a few visits. Ha has specific training in dental implant placement and restoration, root canal treatments, cosmetic dentistry, and sleep apnea treatment with oral appliances. He offers one-visit crowns, Invisalign and Inman Aligner.
Dr. Dennis T. Nagata, D.D.S., of Land- mark Dental Group, LLC (landmarkdentalhawaii.com) offers general, cosmetic and sleep apnea dentistry. He creates individualized treatment plans that use the latest technology to treat a wide range of dental issues using Invisalign, implants, and teeth whitening to deliver lasting oral wellness and satisfied patients.
A variety of modern cosmetic and orthopedic options can help anyone achieve straight, white teeth. Because when it comes to first impressions, nothing says more than a smile.