Dental Treatments and Procedures
Learn about the most popular dental services requested in San Francisco
General, Cosmetic, and Implant Dentistry
SF Dental offers a wide range of dental treatments, from preventative to emergency care and everything in between. On this page we describe some of the dental procedures we see most often here in San Francisco, as well as advanced dentistry options designed for unparalleled results and greater comfort.
How implants work
There are two parts to the implant mechanism: the implant post, and the crown that goes on top.
The implant posts are made of titanium, placed into the jawbone where your tooth is missing. The bone integrates with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for the replacement tooth. After the implant is in place, we often install a temporary crown, followed by a permanent crown when your jaw is ready. Once you’ve got your permanent crown, you’ll be able to eat virtually anything and smile with confidence, knowing that your teeth and facial contour appear natural.
The implant timeline
For most patients, dental implants require two surgical procedures spaced out by several months:
- First, the titanium posts are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums, gradually bonding with the jawbone. During this time, you either wear a temporary “flipper” (for front teeth) or simply leave the space empty (for back teeth).
- After the implant has integrated with the jawbone, we uncover it and attach a small healing collar. An impression is taken so that the laboratory can mold the replacement tooth, and we then cement the new tooth to the post.
More information on implants, from Dr. Kim’s patient education blog:
Invisalign Clear Braces
How Invisalign works
The aligners are made through a combination of our expertise and 3D computer imaging technology. You wear each set of aligners for about two weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move—little by little, week by week—until they have straightened to their final position.
Invisalign treatment timeline
At sfdental, we limit our Invisalign cases to situations where the total treatment time averages between 6–15 months. This way we can accurately predict the results, duration of treatment and cost.
You’ll visit our office about once every 6 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. We can also do monitoring by email and/or Internet chats as needed.
For more information on Invisalign treatment, see Dr. Kim’s blog posts on the subject:
Teeth Whitening Treatments
SF Dental is pleased to offer three different teeth whitening options:
- KöR – for challenging colors and/or sensitive teeth, excellent results
- Zoom! – most popular, immediate change, very good results
- At-home trays – inexpensive, noticeable color change
Also check out Dr. Kim’s teeth whitening articles:
Non-Metal Dental Restorations
Unattractive metal fillings are a thing of the past. We replace existing crowns and fillings with restorations that look and feel just like your natural teeth. Proven and effective, non-metal restorations have a long list of benefits over traditional fillings:
- Incredibly strong
- Conserve and strengthen tooth structure because the material bonds so well to enamel
- Translucent to xrays, making it easier to watch for decay or other problems
- Beautiful, natural appearance
- Easily maintained with brushing and flossing
Let us know if you’d like to learn more about non-metal restorations and the options available to you.
About porcelain veneers
Porcelain veneers have become increasingly popular due to their simplicity and versatility. Veneers can be performed by themselves or used in conjunction with Invisalign, full-coverage crowns and/or selective “composite bonding” to complete the aesthetic treatment plan perfectly.
Placing veneers requires a high degree of technical skill as well as attention to laboratory fabrication and cosmetic detail. We place veneers routinely, and design each case individually to match and enhance the characteristics of each patient’s smile. We use premium laboratories and materials for all veneers.
Will they look like normal teeth?
A veneer’s resemblance to healthy, white tooth enamel—with all of its color and shade complexities—is unsurpassed by other restorative options. Our goal is a beautiful, age-appropriate smile that earns you compliments.
To achieve this, the typical treatment plan involves optimizing the tooth color of all teeth in the mouth using Zoom or Kör, replacing unsightly or damaged fillings, and then shaping the teeth for precise impressions that are sent to the lab.
How durable are porcelain veneers?
Our lab crafts veneers from the highest quality porcelains available, using hi-tech materials unavailable just a few years ago. For strength, we rely on the quality of the porcelain, the excellence of the lab technician and the patient. When bonded to the teeth, thin porcelain veneers are virtually undetectable and highly resistant to coffee, tea, or even cigarette stains. Veneers are a commitment to a permanent change. Under ideal circumstances they last as long as regular full-coverage crowns.
The Chao Pinhole® Technique for Receding Gums
What is Chao Pinhole®
The Chao Pinhole® technique is a revolutionary new approach for treating receding gums. We can treat more teeth at once, with less discomfort, and you’ll see immediate results after a single session. Dr. Kim is one of the first dentists in San Francisco to be certified in the Chao Pinhole® technique.
Why receding gums matter
Receding gums (gingival recession) can cause many health complications, even tooth loss. This is because recession exposes the root structure of the tooth to bacteria, food acid and other threats.
There are also cosmetic reasons to treat receding gums. When people complain that their smile doesn’t look that great, often what they’re noticing are receding gums, which can make your smile look older and less vibrant. The Chao Pinhole® technique can restore your gums to a more youthful appearance and protect against the effects of gingival recession.
How the technique works
Dr. Kim uses specialized Chao Pinhole® tools to gently loosen the gum tissue above the affected area. She pulls the tissue down to cover recessions, shaping it as she goes so that it sits naturally over the tooth root. Collagen strips are then placed under the gums to secure them in place and stimulate the natural healing process of the body. Because only small pinholes are created, the gums heal very quickly, usually within 24 hours. The following video animation (no audio) shows the Chao Pinhole® technique at work:
Gentle Dental Techniques
Modern dentistry places a lot of emphasis on your comfort. After all, what good is a dental treatment if patients are too scared to go see their dentists? There have been significant advances in treatment over the past few years that make your visit much more comfortable, and these are an important part of Dr. Kim’s practice. From rub-on numbing agents to more comfortable fillings, we do everything we can to make you feel at ease.