Why Do Dental Implants Cost So Much?

If you have a missing tooth, it’s pretty likely that you’ve looked into dental implants – well, even more likely since you’re on our website right now! If you’ve done research, you may have found out how much a dental implant can cost. And if you did, you may also have been wondering how in the world a tiny little dental implant can cost so much! As your choice for a cosmetic dentist in Mililani and Waipahu, we at Palola Dental will be glad to answer this question for you.

So Why the High Cost?

First, we’ll go over the dental implant itself. A dental implant is made of a titanium post that’s screwed into a person’s jaw bone and designed to simulate the function of a tooth’s natural roots. Titanium itself is a strong, light, and very long-lasting metal. The other part of the dental implant is the lifelike crown that sits on top of the post. Crowns are expertly crafted to perfectly match the color and shape of the rest of your teeth so that it blends in with them. Both the crown and the titanium post will be in your mouth for potentially decades so it’s important that they’re both high-quality and as strong and durable as possible.

We haven’t even gotten into the surgery part yet! Having a dental implant placed requires a surgery that the dentist needed to undergo years of training to learn and understand. The dentist must know exactly where to place the dental implant, drill into the jaw without hitting any of the major nerves, and integrate the implant properly with the jaw bone. While your family dentist in Waipahu and Mililani may make this incredibly complex treatment seem so simple and routine, trust us – it’s absolutely not! Failure in performing this treatment properly can result in pain and lost feeling in part of a patient’s face. Only a truly qualified professional will be able to perform this treatment in a safe manner.

All these factors combined show why dental implants can end up costing a few thousand dollars. But you know what the truth is? It’s definitely worth it.

The Benefits of Dental Implants

While yes, dental implants do cost plenty of money, but the truth is that their benefits to you can be much more than just a simple price tag. Dental implants can provide benefits that include, but aren’t just limited to, the following:

  • If you have a gap in your mouth from a missing tooth, the rest of your teeth will start shifting around due to the extra space. A dental implant will prevent that.
  • Additionally, dental implants will keep you from suffering from bone loss in the area of the missing tooth.
  • They can help prevent gum disease, which is common for those who have missing teeth.
  • Dental implants will allow a person to maintain good nutrition.
  • Perhaps most importantly, dental implants will restore your smile back to its natural beauty.
  • It can even give you more confidence as well!

Visit Your Cosmetic Dentist in Mililani and Waipahu!

If you have a missing tooth and you’d like to get one of our dental implants or if you’re just interested in any of our other exceptional dental treatments, feel free to give your Mililani and Waipahu dentist a call at (808) 678-3000. Alternatively, you can just fill out our appointment request form to schedule a visit through our website. We can’t wait to see you and help restore your beautiful smile!

Posted in Blog

Start the New Year off Right with Your Cosmetic Dentist in Waipahu and Mililani

The new year has come and that typically means that it’s a time to make changes to better your life. Through New Year’s resolutions, it seems like just about everyone has made (or has attempted to make, at least) positive changes to their lives, whether it’s losing weight, exercising more, slacking off less, or one of a million other things. As your Waipahu and Mililani dentist and dental team, we at Palola Dental want to suggest making improving your smile one of these positive changes this year. A great smile can bring so many terrific benefits and with the help of our cosmetic dentistry services, we can help you attain an even more beautiful smile in no time!

Why You Should Consider Cosmetic Dentistry

While you may associate cosmetic dentistry with giving a person a better-looking smile (which is true), you may not be aware of the immense amount of other benefits that cosmetic dentistry can provide. A person who doesn’t like the way that his or her smile looks may end up subconsciously holding up a hand to hide it or even stifle a laugh for fear of showing any teeth. However, with a healthy and attractive smile, you’ll never be afraid to laugh and show your true self around others. Additionally, having a beautiful smile can also lead to both social and professional advantages as well. A smile is one of the first things that other people notice about you and when your teeth are looking wonderful, others will typically respond better to you. Sure, it may be incredibly shallow of them, but it’s still the absolute truth!

What We Can Do for You

By coming to visit your cosmetic dentist in Waipahu and Mililani, we’ll be able to provide you with a wide variety of treatment options to help give you the smile that you’ve always been desiring. Just a sample of the services that we can offer you are as follows:

  • Teeth Whitening – For giving a patient a whiter and brighter smile.
  • Veneers – For masking any minor imperfections (such as chips or cracks) on the fronts of the teeth.
  • Crowns – For restoring the function and appearance of teeth that have been badly damaged or decayed.
  • Dental Implants – For restoring the smile of a person with missing teeth.

Visit Your Cosmetic Dentist in Waipahu and Mililani!

If you’re interested in any of these wonderful services that your Mililani and Waipahu dentist can offer you, we invite you to schedule an appointment with us. To do so, feel free to give us a call at (808) 678-3000 or fill out our appointment request form. We’re looking forward to seeing you and giving you a more beautiful smile!

Posted in Uncategorized

Holiday Candy & Their Effect On Teeth

The holiday season is now upon us and that can mean many different things for each person. It can mean costumes, it can mean decorations, it can mean friends and family, but most importantly, it can mean candy – lots and lots of candy! Unfortunately, as your Waipahu and Mililani dentist, we at Palola Dental would be remiss if we didn’t talk about the potentially negative dental ramifications that can occur when eating too much candy. With that being said, we want to help make sure that your dental health remains great even in the face of such tempting treats.

Our Dental Health Tips This Holiday Season

We understand that no one really wants to give up candy. We don’t and we wouldn’t expect anyone else to either! However, there are things that you can do to keep your teeth at their healthiest while still being able to enjoy candy this holiday season. Here are a few great dental tips this holiday season, courtesy of your cosmetic dentist in Mililani and Waipahu:

  • The best type of candy to eat is milk chocolate. Milk chocolate has milk (which includes calcium) in it, which will make it melt away in a person’s mouth without any residue. If you’re going to eat any type of candy, make it milk chocolate.
  • The candies that you’ll want to avoid are anything that’s gummy, sticky, or gooey. While milk chocolate is alright because it won’t linger, these types of candy can stick to a person’s teeth long after he or she has finished eating them, allowing them to cause more harm.
  • Potentially the worst type of candy to eat is sour candy. Sour gets its taste by being full of acid – a terrible ingredient for your teeth. Make sure to stay away from anything that’s sour.
  • Lastly, we recommend that you don’t horde any holiday candy and continue to eat it over a period of weeks or months. While eating a piece of candy here or there likely won’t do any serious harm to your teeth, the act of continuously eating sugary treats may be damaging. Our advice is to enjoy the candy during the holiday and a few days afterward and then toss the rest.

Contact Your Cosmetic Dentist in Mililani and Waipahu Today!

If you have any questions or you’d like to know more about our Waipahu and Mililani Invisalign, we encourage you to contact us. Please feel free to give us a call at (808) 678-3000 if you’re interested in scheduling an appointment with your Mililani and Waipahu dentist. We can’t wait to hear from you!


Posted in Uncategorized

Self-Improvement Month

You may already know that we at Palola Dental are a premier choice when you’re looking for a cosmetic dentist in Waipahu and Mililani. You may already know that we’re proud to offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry treatments that are sure to give you a whiter and brighter smile. Having said that, we’d like to inform you about something that you may not have known – the month of September is actually Self-Improvement Month – what we believe to be a perfect opportunity to better yourself when it comes to your dental health!

Improve Yourself Through Self-Improvement Month!

Yes, September is the time to make commitments toward creating a positive change in your life. No, it’s not like New Year’s resolutions where they typically just get broken by the first nightfall – or at least we hope not! These new goals that are created during the month are intended toward making life changes and bettering yourself. We can’t think of a better time to do this than the month of September.

September is typically the time of year for changes – getting back into the school year, shifting away from summer, and moving back into your regular, everyday routine. We at Palola Dental want to make one little addition to that list of September changes – making a more committed effort toward taking care of your dental health.

We want to encourage our patients to make attaining a healthier smile one of their self-improvement goals for the month. A healthy smile can provide many benefits, including giving you a better appearance, giving you more self-esteem, and even boosting your overall body health. To put yourself on the path toward a healthier smile, we recommend doing the following:

  • Brush twice a day.
  • Floss daily.
  • Cut down on sugary foods and drinks.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year.

Visit Your Cosmetic Dentist in Mililani and Waipahu!

You can take the first step toward achieving dental wellness by scheduling an appointment with your cosmetic dentist. Feel free to do so by giving us a call at (808) 678-3000. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or comments. We can’t wait to see you and help you on the path to an even more beautiful smile!


Posted in Uncategorized

About Bruxism

As a Waipahu and Mililani family dentist, it is common for Dr. Palola to see patients who show signs of teeth grinding or bruxism as it’s also called. While most people grind or clench their teeth briefly when annoyed or under stress, this level of teeth-grinding is typically nothing to worry about. But for those people who grind their teeth far more frequently and often without even realizing it such as when they’re asleep, it can be a serious problem.

There are two main types of bruxism: sleep bruxism and awake bruxism. Sleep bruxism is also called nocturnal bruxism and it can occur due to a side effect of snoring and sleep apnea. Awake bruxism or diurnal bruxism can occur as a side effect of stress.

The Consequences of Bruxism

Over time, the accumulated toll of bruxism can lead to some serious consequences including:

  • Frequent headaches and aching jaws due to the overuse of muscles
  • Hypertrophy of the jaw muscles
  • Shifting or loose teeth due to the rocking effect of teeth grinding
  • Flattened chewing surfaces of the teeth
  • Exposed dentin & increased tooth sensitivity
  • Chipped, cracked or split teeth
  • Tooth loss

How Your Mililani Family Dentist Can Help

While there is no cure for bruxism, the condition can be managed through treatment. If you suspect that you clench or grind your teeth, we encourage you to set up a visit with our Waipahu dentist. Dr. Palola can evaluate the extent of wear and tear on your teeth, gums, and jaw, and provide you with a remedy to offset further damage.

The Custom Fit Mouthguard Remedy

If Dr. Palola determines that you do have bruxism, she can provide you with a custom-fit mouthguard that’s fabricated at a dental lab just for you. Instead of being made of a soft material that can be chewed away like what over-the-counter mouthguards are made of, custom-fit mouthguards designed for bruxism are made of a hardened acrylic material.

This type of mouthguard, which is called an occlusal guard or a bite splint, will fit snugly over your teeth, to give your jaws a rest, while protecting your teeth. Your mouthguard will be comfortable to wear and hardly visible as it’s made of a clear material. These mouthguards are a great solution for people who grind their teeth in their sleep. We can also help you if you need a mouthguard for daytime use.

Contact Your Mililani and Waipahu Dentist Today!

If you suspect that you grind your teeth (or have been told you do), don’t wait to seek help! Letting your bruxism go untreated can result in damage to your teeth and jaws. Just schedule an appointment with Dr. Palola today by calling our office at (808) 678-3000. We look forward to seeing you soon and helping you with your teeth grinding habit!


Posted in Uncategorized

Do Dental Fillings Last Forever?

YOU MAY BE SURPRISED TO LEARN that dental fillings don’t last forever! While they are extremely durable and can last years, there will come a time when they will have to be replaced.

We Check Your Fillings At Your Regular Visits

You may be wondering, “If fillings don’t last a lifetime, then how long DO they last?” That depends on a number of factors, such as the type of procedure performed, the size or area being treated or replaced, the kind of materials used for the filling and the patient’s level of oral hygiene and care.

At your six-month appointment, we will check your fillings and make sure they are still intact. We will look for early signs of wear and tear so we can replace a dental restoration before it breaks, loses its effectiveness or falls out on its own. We also take x-rays to make sure there is no decay under or around a filling, which can cause it to become loose.

We’re Here For You In An Emergency

Despite your best efforts, a filling may crack or fall out unexpectedly. This is less likely to occur if you visit your dentist regularly; however, accidents can happen. Over time, dental fillings can be weakened by the following:

  • Tooth decay
  • Frequent jaw clenching and teeth grinding (bruxism)
  • Chewing on hard items or foods
  • Injury or trauma, such as those sustained during sports activities
  • Time; no filling lasts forever no matter how well kept

Although the following video discusses tooth loss, the same principles apply for a lost filling!

If you ever have a filling fall out just remember, don’t panic and don’t wait. Even if it falls out after hours, call us–we’re here for you in an emergency! We will get you in as quickly as we can. In the meantime, make sure to keep the affected area clean and debris-free.

If you don’t experience any pain after losing a filling, it’s still important to come in as soon as possible to have it treated. Not seeking immediate care could result in pain, discomfort and even tooth loss.

Call Us Anytime, Day Or Night

Regular dental visits are imperative to maintaining a healthy smile. With that being said, we know not every dental emergency happens during normal business hours. That’s why we strive to make ourselves available to our patients as often as possible. If you need us, call us! Your health and comfort are our number one priority.

Thank you for reading our blog and supporting our practice!


The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Posted in Restorative

The Spooky Truth About Sugar



Wait… sugar? That’s right. The scariest thing you’ll encounter this Halloween may just be sweets.

Here are some hair-raising statistics about Halloween candy consumption:

  • Americans purchase around 600 million pounds–or 2 billion dollars worth–of candy each year for Halloween.
  • Kids consume up to 7,000 calories on Halloween and the average trick-or-treater intakes about three cups of sugar.
  • The average child would need to trick-or-treat for over 100 miles to burn off what they eat during Halloween.

These statistics may be a bit shocking but what is perhaps even more frightening is how much sugar the average American consumes on a daily basis, not just around October 31st.

According to a study done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, sugar makes up 16 percent of the average american child’s daily caloric intake. The American Dental Association recommends that added sugar should make up no more than 10 percent of total energy intake and ideally less than five percent.

More Sugar, More Cavities

It’s no secret that sugar in excess can be harmful to your health. High sugar consumption has been linked to obesity, diabetes and poor heart health. We also know it can be especially damaging to teeth and gums.

When we eat foods that contain sugar, we are not the only ones enjoying the meal–so are the harmful bacteria in our mouths. As a result, these bacteria produce acids that eat away at our teeth and cause tooth decay, or in other words, cavities.

Watch Out For Added Sugars And Try To Cut Back

Almost all foods have some type of sugar in them. Naturally occurring sugars–like those found in milk, and fresh fruit and vegetables–are less worrisome, since these choices are healthy overall. What you want to keep an eye out for are added sugars.

Here’s how we recommend you lower your daily sugar intake:

Read food labels.

Many times we don’t realize just how much sugar we are consuming. You may think you’re making a healthy choice for your child with dried or canned fruit, granola bars, or even yogurt. But many of these food items have a surprisingly high amount of sugar.

Think about your drink.

Did you know that one can of soda is equivalent to three times the daily recommended sugar intake for a child? Even seemingly healthy beverages such as fruit juices contain far too much sugar. The best options for beverages are water and milk.

Cook at home.

By cooking at home you can know exactly what is going into your child’s meals and snacks. You’d be surprised by how much hidden sugar there is in fast food!

Trick Or Treat?

Don’t let Halloween trick you into thinking it’s the only time of year you need to think about your treats! The amount of sugar we consume in October is scary, but our daily sugar intake needs our attention too. Let this Halloween mark the start of your family’s journey to cut back on sugar!

Happy Halloween!

Top image by Flickr user Micah Sittig used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Posted in Nutrition

Have You Gotten Screened For Oral Cancer Lately?


THROUGHOUT LIFE, PEOPLE get regular prostate exams, mammograms and colonoscopies. These preventative health care exams are extremely important for detecting any abnormalities–including cancer–early, so they can be treated as soon as possible. These exams save lives. So do oral cancer screenings.

Unfortunately, many people don’t understand that a regular oral cancer screening is just as important as these other preventative exams. We want our patients to know that coming in to see us every six months isn’t just to make sure you don’t have cavities; it can actually save your life.

The Truth About Oral Cancer

There are 400,000 people throughout the world who are diagnosed with oral cancer every year–in the U.S. alone, that’s about 100 new cases every day. Oral cancer is a particularly deadly cancer, as only about half of oral cancer patients survive five years past their diagnosis.

These statistics are frightening, but there is some good news: early detection of oral cancer can boost survival rates 80 to 90 percent.The reason oral cancer is so harmful is because many patients aren’t diagnosed until late in the game. By raising awareness about this disease and the need for regular screenings, we hope to help stop that from happening.

Lifestyle Choices Can Put You At Higher Risk

Certain lifestyle activities can put you at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Familiarize yourself with these risk factors:

  • Tobacco use–Smoking and other tobacco use makes you three times more likely to develop oral cancer
  • Age–Two-thirds of individuals with oral cancer are over age 55
  • UV exposure–Frequent and prolonged exposure to sunlight increases your risk of developing lip cancer
  • Alcohol consumption–Drinking alcohol more than doubles your risk of oral cancer

While knowing the risks can help us prevent oral cancer, it still occurs in people without any of the above risk factors. In fact, it is becoming increasingly more prevalent among non-smoking, healthy individuals. The reason for this shift is the rise of HPV, or human papillomavirus, a common sexually transmitted infection. Individuals with HPV are 32 times more likely to develop oral cancer–even more so than tobacco users.

Monitor Abnormalities And Get Regular Screenings

We’re all used to the occasional canker sore or sensitive cheek that we accidentally bit while eating dinner. While sores in the mouth are common, it’s important to remember that oral cancer often begins as a painless sore that simply outstays its welcome. If you experience any of these symptoms, come in to see us right away:

  • A lump or thickening of your cheek
  • A white or red patch on any part of your inner mouth or throat
  • Numbness inside the mouth
  • A sore inside your mouth that doesn’t heal within two weeks
  • Difficulty with swallowing, chewing, or moving the tongue or jaw

The most important thing you can do to combat oral cancer is get regular screenings. Dental professionals are the first line of defense against this disease and we are often the first health care professionals to notice any abnormalities.

So, ask us more about oral cancer screenings when you come in for your biannual checkup. Or give us a call today to set up a screening for yourself or someone you care about. We want to see you healthy and smiling bright for a lifetime.

Thank you for placing your trust in our practice.

Top image by Flickr user Gabriel Gama used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Posted in Oral Cancer

Helping Your Kids Learn And Love To Brush Their Teeth


ANY PARENT KNOWS that getting your child to do certain things like eat their veggies, clean their room and even brush their teeth can be difficult. But the reality is that tooth decay is the number one disease affecting young children today.

To combat this, kids need to learn and love to brush their teeth early on in their lives. Our goal is to help your children maintain bright, healthy smiles and help them learn early the importance of good oral hygiene.

Let’s Catch Up On Some Of The Basics

Your child’s first dental visit should be when their first tooth appears, or around their first birthday. Once teeth emerge, you can start brushing them. Brush your child’s teeth twice a day with a child-sized toothbrush and only a smear of toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice). When two teeth begin to touch, it is time to start flossing!

From the ages of three to six, you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Remind children not to swallow the toothpaste. Continue to help your child brush their teeth until you feel that they can correctly do so on their own.

Our Top Tips On Teaching Your Kids Good Oral Hygiene

It may not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it to teach your kids the value of taking care of their teeth. Here are some things you can do to help them understand just how important a task it is, and even how fun it can be!

Teach Them Why

When kids understand the reason behind something, they are more inclined to do it. You can even make it more interesting by spinning it into a fun story and giving the bacteria in their mouths a name, like the plaque monsters or tooth bugs!

Let Them Participate

Allowing your child to pick out their toothbrush, toothpaste and floss is a great way for them to participate. If you use a timer to help them brush their teeth for the full two minutes, let them press the button. Find ways to get them involved!

Use Positive Reinforcement

Parents know better than anyone what kids will do for prizes. One idea is to use a sticker chart. Every time they brush their teeth well, without complaining, they get to put a sticker on the chart. When the chart is full, they get a prize!

Make It Fun

Whether you turn on their favorite two-minute song or have them brush their stuffed animal’s teeth first, making it fun is key to helping your child love brushing time. There are also many smartphone apps out there dedicated to making oral hygiene more fun!

You can even show them this fun video to help encourage them to brush their teeth!

We Are Proud Partners Of Parents

Although getting your child to love brushing and flossing their teeth is difficult at times, remember that we are your allies in helping ensure their lifelong oral and overall health. If your child is still struggling with brushing and flossing, let us know, we are here to help.

Have any other suggestions that have worked for you and your child?

Thank you for your trust in our practice.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Posted in Pediatric
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94-1221 Ka Uka Blvd., Suite 201
Waipahu, Hawaii 96797
Call: (808) 678-3000