Dr. Mark Kuioka is a compassionate, friendly, and motivated general and cosmetic dentist who genuinely cares about the well-being of his patients. He has studied under some of the world’s leading dental educators including: Dr. Gordon Christensen, Dr. Dan Fischer, Dr. Terry Tanaka, and Dr. John Calamia (a pioneer of bonded porcelain veneers). In addition, Dr. Mark is honored to be working alongside his mentors, Dr. Wynn Okuda and Dr. Tony Kim. He has been a regular attendee of the Pan Pacific Dental Conference, an annual learning symposium hosted by Dr. Okuda, who is an internationally renowned cosmetic dentist and educator. Dr. Mark believes learning is a lifelong endeavor and takes pride in delivering a comfortable, thorough, and relaxing experience to all of his patients.
Born and raised in Honolulu, Dr. Mark received his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology from the University of Washington and earned his dental degree (D.D.S.) from New York University College of Dentistry. He is a member of the Kaimuki Business and Professional Association (KBPA), performs preventive dentistry for the residents of Arcadia and 15 Craigside retirement communities, and enjoys serving the community. Outside of the office, Dr. Mark likes playing golf and tennis, trying new restaurants, hiking, and watching various sports on TV.
Past and Current Professional Memberships:
American Dental Association (ADA)
Hawaii Dental Association (HDA)
Honolulu County Dental Society (HCDS)
American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD)
Academy of General Dentistry (AGD)
Examinations and Cleanings: If you are interested in experiencing comprehensive and quality care in a state-of-the-art dental practice, Dr. Mark is gladly accepting new patients. Every new patient appointment consists of a medical history questionnaire, a thorough dental examination and a complete series of digital X-rays. Dr. Mark will make detailed notes of your existing dental restorations, perform an oral cancer examination, check your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and bite relationship, and chart periodontal (gum) measurements of all your teeth. He will also take digital photographs of each tooth and spend the time to review his findings and discuss any treatment recommendations. It is his goal that you feel comfortable and relaxed throughout the appointment, have all your questions and concerns addressed, and never feel rushed. For your comfort, we will offer you a warm neck pillow and a bottle of water. If your treatment needs are straight-forward, our staff can provide you with a treatment estimate when you leave. However, if your treatment plan is more extensive, our office will e-mail you an estimate after further studying your case. Upon leaving, you can also schedule a cleaning appointment with our dental hygienist.
Digital X-rays and Intraoral Cameras: At the Dental Day Spa of Hawaii, we utilize the latest in digital (low radiation) radiography and intraoral cameras. By incorporating digital X-rays into our daily practice, we are able to reduce the radiation exposure by up to 90% compared to traditional film X-rays. Each digital image will appear immediately on a computer monitor allowing for greater efficiency, detail and magnficiation. A complete series of digital X-rays is paramount in allowing us to accurately assess your dental conditions and provide sound treatment recommendations. In particular, we are able to view any cavities developing between the teeth, the depth of a cavity in relation to the tooth’s nerve, bone levels, prior root canals, and any infections around the roots of the teeth. Many of these conditions are not visible with the naked eye and X-rays provide extremely valuable information. As part of his comprehensive examination, Dr. Mark also takes digital photographs of every patient’s teeth with a high-resolution, pen-shaped intraoral digital camera. This educational tool allows him to show patients in detail what their teeth look like and help them truly visualize and understand their dental conditions. Specifically, the camera assists Dr. Mark in better diagnosing decay (cavities), leaking fillings, fracture lines, soft tissue conditions, and clearly visualizing plaque and tartar levels.
Composite Resin Fillings: Are you concerned about cavities? Do you have discolored, unattractive fillings that you would like to address? At the Dental Day Spa of Hawaii, we use an array of shades, or tooth colors, comprised of the highest quality composite resin materials to restore teeth to their natural appearance. One of the greatest fears of patients is the pain felt from the anesthetic needle. By incorporating special techniques and modern anesthetic advances, Dr. Mark is able to administer local dental anesthesia in a painless manner. Our team will then apply a sheet of rubber on your tooth in order to isolate it from contamination and protect your airway. After this, he will choose shades of composite resin that best match your natural teeth, thoroughly clean your tooth of any decay and apply disinfectants and desensitizers before bonding in the permanent filling. Throughout the procedure, Dr. Mark will make sure you are comfortable and relaxed. Before you leave, he will make sure that your bite feels normal, check that you are able to floss between your teeth, and meticulously polish the filling. You will also receive a warm facial towel to help you feel refreshed at the end of your appointment.
Teeth Bleaching (Whitening): Our office utilizes modern and effective teeth bleaching materials in order to help you achieve a bright smile. We offer several options including customized take home trays with bleaching gel or in-office bleaching. Teeth bleaching is an excellent, safe, and non-invasive method to brighten a smile. However, there are several factors to consider including: existing dental work, types of beverages consumed, frequency of application, and sensitivity.
In general, it is recommended that patients who are considering bleaching have it completed prior to any extensive porcelain or composite restorations. This is because bleaching agents work on natural tooth structure and not on fillings or porcelain. Additionally, if you tend to drink beverages like coffee, red wine and/or tea which tend to stain, your teeth may revert to a darker color more quickly and require more frequent application. One potential consequence of bleaching is tooth sensitivity. This is usually the result of peroxide entering the tooth and temporarily opening microchannels (dentin tubules) which contain nerve endings. This mineral layer will gradually replenish over a few days and the sensitivity will diminish. Dr. Mark recommends brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste (i.e. Sensodyne) on a soft-bristled toothbrush approximately 2-3 weeks prior to bleaching in order to proactively minimize the sensitivity. If you do get sensitivity, you may also rinse and brush with fluoride containing products. Fluoride helps to remineralize teeth and prevent sensitivity. If you have any questions regarding teeth bleaching, please feel free to come in for a consultation to discuss your options.
Safe Amalgam (Mercury) Filling Removal: Do you have amalgam (silver, mercury-containing) fillings in your mouth and are concerned about its impact on your health and function? Our office utilizes safe mercury removal equipment and protocols for the health and well-being of everyone. These include the high-quality IQ Air Hg vacuum, a rubber dam to protect the airway and prevent amalgam accumulation in the mouth, as well as a high volume evacuator to safely remove the mercury vapors and amalgam remnants. After making sure all the amalgam is removed, he will remove any residual decay and clean the tooth with antibacterials and desensitizers before bonding in the permanent composite resin filling.
Porcelain Crowns and Veneers: Are you interested in achieving a brighter, more attractive and balanced smile? Dr. Mark believes that education is lifelong and has spent many hours studying and learning from some of the best cosmetic dentists across the country. As a result of studying under Dr. Wynn Okuda, one of the preeminent cosmetic dentists nationally, he has acquired valuable knowledge in treatment planning, smile design, material selection, and the technical aspects of cosmetic dentistry. Dr. Mark feels fortunate to be able to translate his dedication to continuing education into helping his patients leave smiling. Whether you’re interested in a single crown or multiple porcelain veneers, Dr. Mark collaborates with a high-quality dental laboratory and a skilled ceramist to deliver excellent and beautiful results.
If you are interested in cosmetic dentistry, we will schedule an appointment to take molds of your teeth and bite. He will also use a facebow, a measuring device that fits into your ear canals, to accurately record the spatial relationship of your upper teeth to your jaw joint. Dr. Mark will also take a series of digital photographs to study your overall smile, teeth and bite. Next, Dr. Mark will hand-sculpt a wax rendition as a blueprint or vision of the final outcome, followed by a personal consultation with you, the patient. At this appointment, the wax design will be presented, a dialogue will follow and any questions or concerns will be addressed. In this way, the destination, or final result, will be determined ahead of time and the journey will proceed smoothly.
Once the treatment is accepted, the teeth will be prepared at a separate appointment, impressions and bite records will be taken for the laboratory, and the temporary crowns/veneers will be created and cemented. During this temporary phase, it is imperative to maintain excellent oral hygiene for the health of the gums. The patient will also have the opportunity to evaluate the esthetics, speech and bite of the temporaries and discuss any alterations. The laboratory will then custom craft the porcelain restorations and you will be notified when they are completed. At the final appointment, the porcelain will be tried-in and evaluated by you, the patient. If they are deemed acceptable, they will be permanently bonded onto the teeth with state-of-the-art materials and cements.
Dental Implants and Porcelain Bridges: If you are missing any teeth and are interested in replacing them for improved esthetics and chewing function, the Dental Day Spa of Hawaii offers dental implants and/or porcelain bridges. In order to determine whether you are a good candidate for implants, Dr. Mark will have you take a three-dimensional cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scan. This imaging modality is critical for visualizing bone quality and quantity, nerve pathways, sinus location and overall anatomy to ensure accurate placement of the dental implant. On each of the upper and lower jaws, there are different anatomical considerations that must be noted prior to implant placement.
On the upper arch, there are air-filled sinuses located above many of the teeth. If they are positioned too low, they may need to be raised in order to accomodate for successful implant placement (termed a sinus lift procedure). In the lower jaw, there is a major nerve passing through the bone (the inferior alveolar nerve). The precise location must be identified with a scan and avoided when placing an implant. If you are deemed a good candidate, the implant will be placed and the bone is allowed to heal for approximately four (4) months before the final crown can be made. This healing period is critical to make sure that the implant is stable prior to accepting any chewing forces. In the event that the implant is located in the aesthetic zone, you may leave with a temporary fixed or removable tooth while healing is occurring. Dental implants are often an attractive option to replace missing teeth because they stand on their own and do not require significant adjustment or preparation of any other teeth.
Alternatively, porcelain bridges are another option to replace missing teeth. A bridge involves preparing both teeth adjacent to the space for crowns. In this way, these teeth will have crowns with a fused tooth in the middle to “bridge” the space. For a porcelain bridge, two (2) appointments are required. The first appointment involves preparing the teeth for crowns, taking an accurate impression for the lab to make the final bridge, and fabricating and cementing a temporary bridge. At the second appointment, the temporary bridge will be removed, the teeth cleaned and disinfected, and the permanent bridge tried in. After checking your bite and making adjustments, the bridge will be permanently bonded to your teeth, and the excess cement removed. With a bridge, meticulous oral hygiene is important since the replacement or “bridging” tooth often acts as a food trap. As a result, cavities on the two supporting teeth may develop when the bridge is not consistently brushed and flossed.
Esthetic Removable Dentures (rigid and flexible): Do you have a set of dentures but are unhappy with the fit and/or appearance? Are you interested in replacing missing teeth with an esthetic and affordable option? Dr. Mark offers esthetic partial and complete dentures to restore your quality of life, function and appearance. After consulting with you and taking putty molds of your teeth, he will design dentures that incorporate strength, comfort, and esthetics. From start to finish, the entire process often requires four (4) visits to complete due to the steps involved and the laboratory time. After molds are taken, Dr. Mark will take your bite in wax and record facial landmarks in order to set the denture teeth in an esthetic and functional manner. He will also choose a shade, or tooth color, to obtain a natural and esthetically pleasing result. Dr. Mark will then try in the preliminary denture with the teeth in place and make adjustments to the bite and tooth positions. In this way, the final result can be visualized and any alterations made ahead of time. At the final appointment, he will try in the denture, check and adjust your bite, polish any rough surfaces, and provide instructions for care and maintenance.
Tooth Extractions and Bone Grafting: Dr. Mark has a philosophy of saving natural teeth whenever feasible. However, there are situations where teeth are unable to be salvaged. These include deeply fractured teeth, severely decayed or broken down teeth, and extremely mobile (loose) teeth. In these cases, the tooth must often be removed (extracted) in order to minimize the risk of an infection. During the procedure, Dr. Mark will administer anesthetic comfortably and take great care to remove your tooth atraumatically. This means using specialized instruments along with gentle movements to preserve as much bone as possible. After thoroughly cleaning out the area, he will usually add bone to the site in the form of a bone graft. A bone graft involves adding bone to the extraction socket (socket preservation) in order to prevent the existing bone and gum from caving in (resorbing). The graft acts as a conduit allowing for new bone to grow and provides an optimal site for a dental implant or bridge. When a tooth is removed and no graft is placed, the existing bone and gum will naturally shrink over time since it no longer receives the daily stimulation and feedback from a natural tooth or dental implant. After waiting for approximately 4 months for the bone to heal, the area will be assessed with an X-ray and/or scan in order to visualize the quantity and quality of bone present. This will help guide the decision making process and is one of the factors examined when deciding upon an implant or a bridge.