Do You Need a Root Canal Procedure?

When a tooth is seriously decayed or has become infected, a root canal procedure can be done to repair the tooth and save it. During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, while the remainder of the center of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and then carefully sealed to prevent infection.

“Root canal” is the term for the natural space within the tooth’s center. The tooth’s nerve is in the root canal, as is the pulp (or pulp chamber), which is the soft area within the root canal. Because the tooth’s nerve isn’t vital to a tooth’s health, removing it doesn’t prevent the normal functioning of the tooth.

Removing the nerve and the pulp is necessary in some cases to address irritation, inflammation and infection stemming from severe decay, damaged or deep fillings, cracked or chipped teeth or facial trauma. When the nerve tissue and pulp become damaged, bacteria begin to form within the pulp chamber. This can lead to a serious infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess can form when the infection spreads past the ends of the tooth roots.

Additionally, severe infections can lead to bone loss around the tip of the root or holes in the tooth that drain the infection into the gums or through the cheek into the skin. It can cause swelling that spreads to the face, head, or neck.

Sometimes, the only signs you need a root canal procedure are more minor. They can include tooth pain when applying pressure or chewing, discoloration (darkening) of the tooth, tenderness and/or swelling of the gum tissue, or a pimple or blemish on the gums that is recurring. Acute sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures that does not abate with time can also be a sign.

Talk to your dentist or endodontist (a dentist whose specialty is the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and trauma to the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth) about your concerns. Your dentist will know what to do so you may make the best decisions for your long-term tooth health.

 

If you live in the Bartlett area and you need a root canal, contact our dental office today.

 

Emergency dentist in Bartlett

What’s a Dental Emergency?

It may be obvious when you’re in a situation that requires immediate treatment by a dentist. Perhaps you’re in immense pain, or you’ve had a tooth knocked out or bleeding that won’t stop. Examples like this make it easy to decide you need help right away, but sometimes it’s not as clear. What are some other problems that may require emergency dental treatment?

Cracked teeth
A cracked or fractured tooth is serious, and often means that the tooth has been damaged both on the inside and the outside. Many times the tooth can’t be saved. If your tooth is broken, schedule an emergency appointment immediately. Remember, a cracked tooth is different than a chipped tooth, which is not as serious. You can usually wait to see your dentist at the next available opportunity for a chipped tooth.

Lost fillings
Some lost fillings require immediate care to avoid worse issues. Fillings protect your tooth’s root from exposure, so if the filling falls out your root can be uncovered and cause intense pain. There is also increased risk for damage to your tooth’s structure, so seeing your dentist as soon as possible is suggested.

Lost crown
If your crown falls out, call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. Until you can see the dentist, try putting the crown back in place using an over-the-counter dental adhesive. Do not use any products like Super Glue. If the crown won’t stay in place, make sure you take it to your appointment with you so that it can be re-cemented correctly.

Abscess
If you have a painful swelling on your gum that resembles a pimple, it might be a serious condition called an abscess. It can damage gum tissue and teeth, as well as spread serious infection to your body. See your dentist immediately for proper treatment.

 

Emergency dentist in Bartlett – Mark A. Hofmeister DDS

Veneers dentist in Bartlett

Transforming your Smile with Veneers

Beautiful smiles with sparkling, straight teeth are common sights these days. Many people seek various treatments to help improve the appearance of their smile, and one of the popular choices is dental veneers. Read more to find out about this quick and painless way to transform your look, and obtain a smile that others envy.

Description
A very thin porcelain shell is permanently attached to the fronts of your teeth with a durable dental adhesive. Veneers are stain resistant and can be as white as you choose. These natural-looking restorations can hide chipped teeth, gaps, misaligned teeth, and discolorations.

Procedure
A small amount of your tooth enamel is removed to allow your dentist to properly place your veneers. A model of your teeth is created to be used to create perfect veneers customized to your mouth. On your next dental visit, a solution will be placed on your teeth to promote bonding. Then the veneers are firmly attached, and there is no downtime or recovery necessary.

Maintenance
Veneers should be treated like your natural teeth. That means they can be damaged by chewing hard objects like ice or biting your nails. Dental hygiene tasks remain the same. Dentists recommend that you brush twice a day and floss daily to clean your teeth and gums, and to prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay. Maintain regular checkups at your dentist for examinations and cleanings. If properly cared for, your veneers should last many years.

If you live in the Bartlett area contact us today

 

Soda and your teeth

Stop the Pop!!

Whether you call it pop, soda, soft drink, or something else, these terms all refer to a sugary, carbonated drink popular all over the country. It is estimated that Americans consume over 13 billion gallons of soft drinks each year. These beverages can cause serious health problems, including negative effects on your oral health.

Soft drinks are one of the most significant reasons for tooth decay, and it impacts all age groups. From babies drinking it out of bottles to teenagers drinking it all day long to older adults sipping it in retirement homes, it is deteriorating tooth enamel and eroding gums of everyone who consumes it.

Why are soft drinks harmful?
The high sugar content in the drinks is the root cause of trouble, and the high acid content adds to the threat. The sugar combines with bacteria in your mouth to create an acid, which adds to the acid from the drink itself. Then this mixture attacks your teeth. Each time you take a drink of the carbonated beverage, an acid attack begins in your mouth. During this time, your tooth enamel is weakened and cavities are just waiting to form. You may think that the risk goes away by drinking sugar-free soft drinks. Although these are less harmful, they are still acidic and can lead to decay.

How can I avoid harming my teeth?
The ideal way to rule out risks from soft drinks is to cut them out of your diet completely. If you think you just can’t live without them, here are some suggestions:

  • Drink more water.
  • Set a good example. Drink alternatives yourself and encourage your kids to do the same.
  • Sip with straws. This helps keep the sugar from direct contact with your teeth.
  • Rinse with water. After drinking a soda, rinse your mouth with water to reduce the amount of sugar and acid hanging onto your teeth and gums.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse. Using fluoride in your daily dental routine helps to reduce decay and strengthen enamel. Also ask your dentist about the possible need for professional fluoride treatments.

General dentist in Bartlett – Schedule your appointment today.

Dentures dentist in Bartlett

Questions and Answers about Dentures

An estimated 50 million Americans have lost all their teeth, and 69 percent of adults are missing at least one tooth. Without a full set of teeth, you may deal with alignment problems, dietary restrictions, and self-esteem issues. With modern dentures, your dentist can renew your appearance and improve oral health.

Dentures are prosthetic appliances created to replace missing teeth. Full dentures are rows of false teeth that cover the upper, lower, or both arches. If you still have some of your natural teeth, your dentist may suggest a partial denture, which fits into the empty space in your smile like a puzzle piece.

How do dentures feel?
At first, your prosthesis may take some getting used to, so give your mouth time to adjust. You may have some difficulty with pronunciation, but that will pass.

Will my dentures need to be replaced?
As we age, our mouth tissues change. Over time, your dentures may need to be repositioned, realigned, or entirely remade. Never make changes to your appliance; contact your dentist if something doesn’t seem right.

How do I care for my dentures?
To protect your dental appliance, handle the denture with care. When you take the device out, always store it safely in its case. Gently clean your dentures with mild soap and water to remove bacteria. Make sure to put the denture out of reach from small children or pets.

Do I still need to brush if I have dentures?
Absolutely. Your gums still need proper oral care, so brush them twice daily to keep the tissue healthy.

We offer dentures at our Bartlett dental office

Teeth Whitening Bartlett

Learn about All Your Teeth Whitening Options

A beautifully white smile is often perceived as a sign of youth and vitality, but over time it can gradually fade. Eating certain foods or drinking dark-colored beverages, taking particular medications and simply aging can all take its toll on your teeth. It’s hardly surprising that tooth whitening has become one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures in recent years. Professional teeth whitening is safe and effective and can quickly rejuvenate your smile. If you’re thinking about whitening your teeth, there are several options to choose from which include:

In-Office Whitening
In-office teeth whitening is hugely popular, as you can literally book a lunch time appointment and leave with a dazzling white smile. Surface stains can quickly be eliminated, and teeth can be brightened by up to eight shades in just an hour. This option is the most expensive, and you don’t have much control over the final results. Your dentist in Bartlett will activate the bleaching gel with a special light so the final result should be a stunning white smile.

Custom-Made Take-Home Teeth Whitening Kits
Not everyone wants to whiten their teeth so quickly, and custom-made whitening trays enable you to safely bleach teeth in a more controlled manner. Your Bartlett cosmetic dentist will take impressions of your teeth that are used to fabricate custom-made whitening trays. You’ll be shown how to use these trays, and should wear them for as long as directed. Most people will begin to notice real results within a few days, but they generally need to be used for two or three weeks to achieve optimum effects.

Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Kits
Over-the-counter whitening kits come in the form of trays and whitening strips and can cost between $20 and $50 so it’s tempting to think they will save you money. However the bleaching gels contained in these kits are not as strong as those available to your dentist. In addition, there’s the possibility these kits could irritate your gums as ill-fitting whitening trays can allow the gel to leak out.

If you live in the Bartlett area contact us today

teeth whitening dentist

Teeth Whitening Trends

Nobody is happy with yellow or brown teeth. Ugly stains from smoking or consuming foods and drinks prone to discoloring your teeth can make you a good candidate for teeth whitening. There are many techniques available to restore your bright smile. The main two categories of teeth whitening are either at-home kits or professional treatment in a dental office. Let’s learn about these to see which you’d like to use to brighten your smile.

At-home teeth whitening
There are a variety of products you can try yourself to whiten your teeth. These treatments usually take a few weeks of use before your teeth are noticeably whiter. Also remember that most of these products cannot achieve as high of a level of whiteness as those performed professionally.

  • Kits – whitening kits contain a tooth mold and gel to place inside the mold. You wear the filled mold for about 30 minutes for 2-3 weeks.
  • Strips – thin whitening strips are coated with peroxide gel, and then you apply the strips directly to your teeth for 30 minutes for 14 days. Results become evident in a few days and last about four months.
  • Toothpaste – brushing with whitening toothpaste must be done consistently and you must be patient because reaching the desired outcome usually takes a couple of months.

Professional teeth whitening
Treatments done by a dentist are the fastest and most effective way to regain your pearly whites.

  • Laser whitening – the dentist coats your teeth with a hydrogen peroxide solution and then shines a laser light on them. This oxidizes the stains and gives them a whiter appearance.
  • Porcelain veneers – if your teeth are severely stained and other whitening techniques haven’t done the trick, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers. These shells permanently cover your teeth and provide a beautiful smile.

Teeth Whitening dentist in Bartlett

family dentist

Great Snacks for Your Kid’s Teeth

The school year has started and kids are busy with school, sports, and social activities. It’s a challenge sometimes to get your kids to eat healthy when they are on-the-go, not only for their overall health but also for their oral health. Here are some tasty and healthy snacks that you can offer your kids, and chances are they’ll like them!

Yogurt
Dairy foods help build strong bones, and they’re also great for a strong mouth. Eating low-fat yogurt provides calcium. Try mixing it with berries and granola for a healthy parfait, or making homemade fruity yogurt popsicles to attract your children’s attention.

Cheese
Besides providing calcium, cheese helps fight cavities. It triggers saliva production, which washes away food particles in your mouth and the acids that can weaken your teeth. In these ways, cheese halts the process of cavity formation. Cheese not only contains calcium but also phosphorous, which both help rebuild the enamel on your teeth.

Blueberries
These berries may be small, but they’re packed with Vitamin C, minerals, and folic acid. They also contain ingredients which studies show help prevent diabetes and cancer. Try adding blueberries to pancakes and muffins, or sprinkling them with a small amount of sugar and topping them with whipped cream.

Almonds
Nuts like almonds contain ingredients to fight diseases, as well as Vitamin E, fiber, calcium, and iron. Most kids enjoy eating almonds raw, but remember they are a choking hazard for young children.

Whole wheat bread
Bread made with whole wheat provides kids with iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins. Whole grain cereal offers calcium, fiber, and vitamins. Enjoying these whole wheat snacks with milk provides an even healthier snack for your kids.

Our dental office is located in Bartlett

sleep apnea dentist

What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

More than 12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a serious condition that compromises your rest and can impact your health. Some symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, extreme daytime tiredness, mouth breathing, and irritability. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea, much less common, happens when the brain fails to signal your breathing muscles.

Characterized by short episodes of not breathing, which can occur from five to 50 times a night, obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the muscles in your throat relax and your airways become blocked as you sleep. Your brain senses the lack of breathing and wakes you briefly to restore airflow. These episodes disrupt sleep and keep you from feeling rested.

Not only does sleep apnea keep you from getting a good night’s rest, but it can also put your health at risk. Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure, risk of stroke, memory impairment, and weight gain. As well, your sleep partner may not get enough sleep because of your snoring and/or waking episodes.

If you suspect sleep apnea, talk with your dentist, who may recommend a sleep evaluation. Through overnight monitoring, a sleep specialist can determine if you suffer from sleep apnea. Treatment for sleep apnea may include lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask, or an oral appliance. Your dentist can fit you for night guard that will hold your jaw in the correct position to keep your airways open.

Our dental office is located in Bartlett

root canal treatment

Saving Your Tooth with Root Canal Treatment

Millions of root canal treatments are performed every year, and it is an effective and safe way to save a damaged tooth. Unlike its reputation over the years, modern dentistry allows this procedure to be practically painless and to provide relief from symptoms right away.

Anatomy
The first thing to understand is the anatomy of the tooth. Under the hard enamel on the outside of the tooth and the dentin below that, the interior of a tooth contains pulp. It houses the nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissues that all nourish the tooth. This allows it to grow properly and contributes to good oral health. After the tooth is fully developed, the tooth can get its nourishment from surrounding tissues and the pulp is not as necessary.

Necessity
The pulp can become infected, inflamed, or damaged by problems like decay, injury, repeated dental procedures, or a bad crown. If the damaged pulp is not treated, an abscess can develop or severe pain can result. Often, root canal treatment is the only way to save the tooth instead of having to extract it. Dentists advise that saving a tooth is almost always a better option, providing the most natural appearance, efficient function, and protection of oral health.

Procedure
Many patients report that root canal treatment is not much different for them than having a regular filling done. X-rays are taken and a local anesthetic is administered. Once numb, a dental dam is placed to protect the area during the procedure. Then the pulp is removed, the area is thoroughly cleaned, and then it is filled with special material for this purpose. The tooth is sealed for protection, and finally a crown is placed on top to protect the tooth. Most patients are able to return to normal activities immediately following treatment, and the procedure is permanent in most cases.

If you need a root canal dentist in Bartlett, contact our office today.

General dentist in Bartlett

What Really Happens When You Get a Filling

You’re sitting in your dentist’s chair for your checkup, and you hear the dreaded words that you have a cavity. Is it really a cause for panic? Modern advances in equipment and methods may surprise you about what really happens when you get a filling. Let’s learn what to expect if you need this procedure.

The first thing you and your dentist will discuss is the type of filling that is best for you. One choice is an amalgam filling. It is known for its durability, but contains a small amount of mercury which raises concerns among some patients. Another option is a resin composite filling, which is a newer material that contains more plastics. Many patients like this option because its white color is less noticeable in your mouth, but it lasts only about half as long as an amalgam filling.

The first step of the process is numbing the area, unless the cavity is very small and it’s unnecessary. First, the dentist will rub a topical numbing agent on the area, and will give you an injection after it takes effect. Many patients don’t even feel the injection after the topical numbing.

Next, the dentist will separate the area being worked on from the rest of your mouth using a rubber dam or a bite block. Once your mouth is ready, your tooth will be drilled and the decay will be removed.

The actual filling will be placed after the decay is gone. If you are receiving an amalgam filling, the hole will be filled with the metals. It will be pushed down to ensure all of the space is full, and then any overflow will be removed to make the tooth smooth. If you are getting a composite filling instead, the dentist will put some blue acid in the hole to create small holes for bonding the material. The acid is then rinsed, and a bonding agent is applied. Then the composite material will be added. A blue light will be used to harden and strengthen the material. Finally, the filling will be filed to make it smooth.

Dental fillings dentist in Bartlett

kids dentist

Baby Teeth Basics

Babies obviously can’t take care of themselves, so parents have to handle all aspects of their care. Don’t forget their oral health! Parents need to lay the groundwork for lifelong good dental habits and healthy smiles for their children. Here are some answers to common questions about baby teeth.

Do baby teeth matter?
Primary, or baby, teeth are important. They help children chew naturally and speak clearly. They provide the place for adult teeth to grown in properly later.

Should I brush my baby’s teeth?
You should brush your baby’s teeth without toothpaste, using a small amount of water instead. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush at bedtime to remove plaque and bacteria from your baby’s teeth and gums.

When can I start using toothpaste?
Fluoride toothpaste can be implemented after age two, when a child can be trusted not to swallow the toothpaste. Only use a small amount of toothpaste, and watch the child carefully to ensure proper brushing and spitting out the toothpaste.

When should I take my child to the dentist?
Experts recommend taking your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears, or by their first birthday. Your child should be taken for dental visits every six months, or more often if your dentist has concerns.

Do I need a certain type of dentist for my child?
You may choose a pediatric dentist who has been trained specifically to treat children. Their goal is to teach children about oral hygiene and the importance of taking care of their teeth, as well as provide a comfortable experience in visiting the dentist. However, you may also choose a regular dentist to take care of your child’s oral health. It is up to you to decide which kind of dentist is right for your family.

We look forward to seeing you in our Bartlett dental office

cosmetic dentist

Trends in Cosmetic Dentistry

Dentistry today does not just include treatments for tooth and gum problems or diseases. The trend in dentistry has expanded to include a wide range of treatments and procedures with the purpose of improving your appearance. The purpose of cosmetic dentistry is to give you the most appealing smile possible so that you can be happy with your look and have an improved self-esteem. Here are some trends in cosmetic dentistry explained.

Bonding
Mild to severely damaged teeth can be treated with dental bonding. A tooth-colored material is applied to the fractured or chipped surface of your tooth and then bonded with a special light. The restoration provides a renewed look to your tooth so that others can’t even tell it was ever damaged.

Teeth whitening
A bright white smile gives of a great impression of oral health and beauty. Stains from age, foods, drinks, and habits like smoking all play a role in making your smile dull and unattractive. Cosmetic dentists offer teeth whitening procedures that can turn your smile around in just an hour.

Veneers
Another way to easily improve your smile is dental veneers. These thin shells usually made of porcelain are permanently adhered to the fronts of your teeth, giving you a bright and flawless smile for many years to come.

Contouring
Instead of having lengthy orthodontic treatment to correct crooked teeth or uneven spacing, contouring is an option to improve your look. Also called tooth reshaping, this procedure is additionally used to correct irregularly shaped teeth and alter issues like overly pointy teeth. During contouring, small amounts of tooth enamel are removed in order to change the tooth’s shape, length, or surface.

Implants and dentures
To replace missing teeth, dental implants are dentures are both options depending on the patient and the specific situation. Many people prefer implants because they are a permanent and secure solution.

Cosmetic dentist in Bartlett

Cosmetic dentist in Bartlett

Who Could Benefit from Dental Veneers?

Lots of people feel self-conscious about smiling, and problems with their teeth can make them hesitant to talk and laugh with others. Veneers are an easy way to transform teeth, and to get that gorgeous smile you’ve always wanted. Dental veneers are made from very thin pieces of porcelain or composite resin and fit tightly over the front surfaces of your teeth. They can mask many different types of imperfections and are a great way to improve the appearance of your smile.

In spite of this, veneers are not suitable for everyone. Your cosmetic dentist in Bartlett can help you decide if veneers are the best choice of treatment, or if another solution might be more appropriate. This procedure is not usually reversible so it’s important to be sure before your teeth are prepared for veneers. The following guidelines will help you determine if dental veneers are right for you.

Tooth Decay
Teeth that are decayed or which have already been filled are weaker and less able to support veneers. In this case you may be better off considering dental crowns that completely cover up decayed teeth right down to the gum line.

Gum Disease
You will need to have a full checkup with your dentist in Bartlett prior to having veneers. If you have any signs of gum disease then this condition must be treated first. It’s important to be in good oral health before your veneers are fitted.

Bad Oral Habits
Nail-biting, biting on ice cubes and teeth grinding can all damage veneers. If you have any of these habits then you’ll need to quit if you want your restorations to last.

Misaligned Teeth
If your teeth are quite crooked or misaligned, consider consulting an orthodontist to decide if braces are a better solution. It could be that once your teeth are straightened you’ll no longer need veneers. Dental veneers are not meant to correct severely misaligned or crooked teeth.

Family Dentistry

An Overview of Family Dentistry

The area of dentistry that provides preventative and restorative treatment for oral health needs for the whole family is called family dentistry. These types of dental practices deal with all age groups using a wide variety of treatment options.

Although similar to general dentistry, family dentistry does not restrict the practice to specific age groups. It addresses oral health issues at every stage of life, from baby teeth to permanent teeth. Children should begin regularly seeing a dentist around turning one year old, so what better way to start your child’s professional dental care by establishing care with the same dentist that the whole family sees? It is convenient to have everyone seeing the same dentist, and you can establish a long-lasting healthcare relationship for all of you.

One of the most important aspects of family dentistry is ongoing, consistent maintenance and preventative treatment. Experts recommend getting a dental checkup every six months for deep cleanings and routine examinations. This helps eliminate plaque buildup, a primary cause of tooth decay and cavities, and identifies any oral health issues that might be occurring even before symptoms develop.

Fluoride treatments are offered by most family dentists. This involves coating the teeth with fluoride to help prevent tooth decay. Dental sealants are another line of defense against dental issues that family dentists can provide. Other services that some family dentists offer include cavity filling, gum disease treatment, crowns, root canals, extractions, and orthodontics. Treatments offered completely depends on the family dentist and the associated practice.

We look forward to seeing you in our Bartlett, IL dental office

Dental Veneers

Reasons that Veneers May be Right for You

Porcelain veneers hide your teeth’s imperfections so that you are happier with your smile. They are very thin shells that are adhered onto the fronts of your teeth to permanently give you the look you want. Veneers can make your teeth look straighter, whiter, and better than ever before.

How do you know if veneers might be right for you? Here are some things to consider when deciding whether veneers can help your smile:

  • You would like to alter your teeth permanently.
  • You want to change the color of your teeth.
  • Your front teeth are broken or chipped.
  • Your teeth are not evenly spaced.
  • Your teeth are not aligned straight.
  • You’d like to improve your smile quickly.
  • You don’t want to affect much of your natural teeth.
  • You would like a brighter smile.

If any of these statements describe your situation, then porcelain veneers might be a good choice for you. Of course the first thing you need to do is consult a dentist for advice. Many times, the ideal person for the job is a cosmetic dentist. This type of specialist focuses on performing procedures to help patients achieve their cosmetic smile goals. Veneers is one such treatment that has grown in popularity because it transforms smiles in just a few short appointments, and it is a painless approach.

When you visit a cosmetic dentist, you will be able to describe what bothers you about your teeth and learn if you are a good candidate for veneers. If so, the dentist will explain the simple process of having your porcelain veneers custom-made in a lab for you. Your natural teeth will undergo some minor preparation, and when your veneers are ready the dentist will securely attach them to your teeth. Then you will be set to show off your new smile!

Schedule your appointment at our Bartlett, IL dental office

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry Treatment Options

Your smile makes a noticeable first impression on others, and can also leave a lasting impression. That means that you should take good care of your mouth, regularly visit the dentist, and consider treatments that will help you appreciate your smile. Cosmetic dentistry is there for this latter purpose, giving you an aesthetically pleasing smile. These types of dentists offer a variety of ways to help you become happier with your look.

Orthodontics

Straightening or repositioning the teeth to improve your appearance can be done through orthodontics. Correcting your smile may also help your oral health because your teeth and gums are easier to clean. Orthodontic work typically involves examining the teeth and jaw, and then correcting problems with braces, tooth removal, other appliances, or a combination of these treatments.

Teeth whitening

Over time, teeth can become stained or yellowed. This unsightly problem may be remedied with teeth whitening, which is a bleaching process that can be done in a professional setting or at home. Professional methods consist of a stronger bleaching agent, so the results are usually faster and more effective.

Bonding

Bonding provides a way to change the color or makeup of your teeth. Chips, breaks, cracks, or discolored areas can be repaired with tooth-colored bonding material so that no one can even tell the tooth was damaged in the first place.

Veneers

Thin porcelain makes up dental veneers, which are placed over the fronts of your teeth to change the color or shape. Veneers are a good solution for crooked, chipped, misshapen, or uneven teeth. These provide a customized restoration that can last a very long time.

Contouring

Teeth that have minor flaws such as irregular shapes, uneven texture, or unappealing height or position can be corrected with contouring. Small amounts of the tooth enamel is altered so that the teeth look more attractive and fit your smile more appropriately.

We look forward to seeing you in our Bartlett, IL dental office

Dental Insurance

Understanding Dental Insurance

Though many companies offer dental insurance, employees often find it difficult to determine coverage levels and deductibles. While it makes sense to maximize your benefits, people need to realize that dental insurance may not cover all of their dental care. Remembering these points about dental insurance will help you achieve your desired results without any surprises.

Fact 1: Medical and dental insurance do not work the same way.
People often assume that dental insurance operates just like their medical coverage. Typically, dental insurance doesn’t provide for as much care as medical insurance. Look at dental insurance as an aid, not a pay-all situation.

Fact 2: Dental coverage varies from plan to plan.
Before dental visits, you should contact your provider and find out if they accept your insurance. Then, ask for an estimate of benefits so that you have an idea of the out-of-pocket costs. At Metrowest Prosthodontics, we participate with Delta Dental Insurance, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cigna Insurance.

Fact 3: Some services are not covered by insurance.
Often, purely cosmetic procedures, like teeth whitening, do not fall into the parameters set by your dental plan. Having a stunning smile that you can proudly display may, however, be worth a little extra money.

Fact 4: Your plan and coverage levels can be confusing.
Usually, insurance plans utilize wording like “usual and customary” or “maximum plan benefits.” If you don’t understand something, call the insurance company directly to get clarification. Your dental practice may have personnel that deal with insurance companies who can help you as well.

Fact 5: Your dentist’s main concern is your dental health.
As your dedicated health care professional, your dentist will focus on ensuring you’re your teeth and gums are healthy, making treatment plans accordingly. Taking care of your oral health is an important component of your overall wellbeing, so you need to make it a priority, even if you incur additional expenses.

Our dental office is located in Bartlett, IL

Family Dentist

Dental Care for Your Growing Child

As soon as your baby enters the world, you begin the task of caring for your little one. As a parent, you want to keep your child safe and healthy. Part of this job includes looking out for your child’s dental health. From infancy until late teens, you need to take steps to ensure that your kids have strong, beautiful smiles.

Infants and Toddlers
Although your baby may not get a first tooth until about six months, start oral hygiene habits now. Wipe gums with a soft cloth every day to remove germs. During teething, offer your baby cold washcloths and teething rings to help with the discomfort. Once teeth erupt, brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush, but don’t use fluoride toothpaste on children under age two. You should schedule a first dental visit by the time your child turns three.

School-age children
By this point, most children can brush by themselves, but you may need to inspect their efforts. Make sure to have your kids get into the habit off flossing every day. Regular checkups are recommended every six months so that the dentist can evaluate your child’s development and look for any issues, such as cavities.

Tweens
During this time, your child may end up beginning orthodontic treatment. Remind your child to keep up with brushing and flossing because oral hygiene can be more difficult with braces. If your child has a retainer, make sure he or she wears it as directed and stores it in a safe place.

Teenagers
Because of their active schedules and questionable dietary choices, teens can be at risk for cavities and other problems. Provide healthy snack options and offer reminders about home care routines. Teens who participate in sports activities should wear a mouth guard to prevent facial and oral injuries.

We look forward to seeing you in our Bartlett, IL dental office

White fillings

Should I Replace My Fillings?

All dental fillings will need replacing eventually, and their longevity can be due to a variety of factors. The durability of your dental fillings will depend on the type of material used, the size and location of the filling, and your oral habits.

Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam has been used to fill teeth for decades, and these silver colored fillings typically last for 10 to 12 years. Eventually they can begin to crumble and leak, and are likely to fail much sooner if you have a particularly heavy bite. Your dentist in Bartlett, IL will check the condition of these fillings at each appointment, and will recommend their replacement if there is evidence of further decay due to the filling leaking or crumbling.

Composite Resin Fillings

These fillings are made from tooth colored composite resin and will usually last between five and seven years. Composite resin is a popular material for fillings due to its virtual invisibility, but these fillings are more expensive as placement is very technique sensitive. Modern composite resins are quite durable and can withstand relatively heavy biting pressure. Over time these fillings can become stained. Your dentist will advise you when replacement is necessary.

Location and Size of the Filling

Fillings that are particularly large are more likely to fail. There is an increased risk that the tooth around the filling will fracture or break as it will have been weakened by the filling placement and the overall loss of tooth structure. Fillings in back teeth are more likely to fail as these come under much more pressure during chewing.

Oral Habits

Oral habits can affect the life span of fillings, including dental hygiene, nail biting and teeth grinding. A lack of dental hygiene will increase the risk of subsequent decay in that tooth, while other habits such as nail biting and tooth grinding can wear down teeth or cause them to chip or fracture. The best way to maintain your fillings is to have regular dental checkups and cleanings with your dentist in Bartlett, IL.

Schedule your appointment at our Bartlett, IL dental office

Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry Improves Smiles

Everyone wants a nice smile. A great set of teeth and overall appearance of your mouth positively affects all aspects of your life. Self-confidence and attitude both improve along with your smile. Instead of hiding your mouth and covering it up when you smile or laugh, cosmetic dentistry offers ways to improve it so that you will be smiling every chance you get.

There are a wide variety of procedures and treatments provided by cosmetic dentists. The main goal is to enhance the appearance of your smile, which can involve things such as teeth whitening, gum alterations, hiding imperfections, and teeth straightening.

One common problem that many people are unhappy with about their smiles is staining or discoloration of their teeth. It can result from smoking, eating foods that stain, drinking beverages like coffee and cola, and other issues. Luckily there are various whitening methods, with the ones available in professional dental offices offering the most dramatic and fastest results.

Another popular cosmetic dental treatment is veneers, which are porcelain covers that permanently attach to your teeth to hide imperfections. They are used for things like closing gaps, hiding stains, and altering tooth length.

Cosmetic dentists can perform gum contouring to change the appearance of your gums along your teeth. Sometimes gums cover too much or too little of your teeth, so your gums can be lifted or lowered to improve your smile’s appearance.

Dental implants have grown in popularity, providing permanent and effective tooth replacement. People lose teeth for a number of reasons, but implants give people back their smiles. These titanium rods are attached directly into your jaw so that your bone fuses with the implant, and then an artificial tooth or crown is place on top to complete the natural look of implants.

Orthodontic treatment may also be provided by cosmetic dentists to straighten teeth and correct alignment problems. Newer technology such as clear braces and ClearCorrect retainers offer less noticeable orthodontic treatment methods.

No matter what your goals might be for your smile, it’s likely that a cosmetic dentist can help you achieve them.

If you live in the Bartlett, IL, contact us today

Dental Bridges

Benefits of Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are a cosmetic way to help restore health to the mouth that has been compromised by a missing tooth. If you have lost several teeth, multiple or longer bridges can be placed. Because they are not removable, bridges help to restore the integrity of your bite without slipping or falling out of place. Other benefits of dental bridges include:

  • The placement of a bridge is quick and can be completed in two appointments, unlike having an implant or partial denture placed.
  • Bridges are predictable, durable, and have been shown to last a considerable length of time.
  • Because bridges are less invasive than alternatives like implants, they are a good option for patients who are not good candidates for surgical procedures for other medical reasons.
  • Dental bridges help to maintain your natural face shape and prevent the facial changes that occur when missing teeth are not replaced.
  • Bridges help prevent jaw and chewing problems caused when missing teeth force you to chew repeatedly on the opposite side.
  • A dental bridge prevents the remaining teeth from shifting to fill the space where your teeth are missing.

Besides the dental health benefits, a qualified dental professional can plan and place a bridge that creates a remarkably natural result. Having a bridge that perfectly complements the color and texture of your surrounding teeth will not only improve your oral health, but also improve the esthetics of your smile. Consult with Bartlett dentist Dr. Hofmeister to find out if bridges are a good option for replacing your missing teeth and improving your smile.

If you live in the Bartlett, IL, contact us today

Mouth Guard

Moms for Mouth Guards: Preventing Sports Injuries

In today’s society where millions of people are active in sports, it should be no surprise that there are over seven million injuries related to sports and recreation every year in the age group of 5 to 24 alone. One way to cut down on injuries to the mouth and face is for participants to wear mouth guards. The group Moms for Mouth Guards is getting involved to promote safety.

The American Associate of Orthodontists (AAO) advises that team or recreational sports participants wear a mouth guard to protect their mouths and faces. AAO research shows that more than 67 percent of parents do not make their children wear mouth guards. Moms for Mouth Guards is on a mission to educate parents, players, and coaches about the effects of facial and jaw injuries. Wearing a mouth guard is a proven way to decrease the seriousness of injuries and impacts that they have on players.

Moms for Mouth Guards has joined the AAO in its efforts to encourage other mothers in supporting athlete safety by wearing mouth guards. The group’s website provides details about sports injuries, tips on selecting an orthodontist, and the Moms for Mouth Guards pledge. This pledge asks individuals to commit to ensuring their children wear appropriate athletic equipment, including mouth guards. For every signature on the pledge, Moms for Mouth Guards donates mouth guards to the National Alliance for Youth Sports. This non-profit group promotes safe, fun, and healthy sports for all children.

The AAO suggests choosing for a custom mouth guard over store-bought options for the best protection. A custom mouth guard is personalized to your child’s teeth after a mold is taken by an orthodontist. The models are sent to a dental lab so that a personalized mouth guard can be created. The orthodontist will then ensure that the appliance fits your child perfectly, and provide directions for proper usage and cleaning.

If you live in the Bartlett, IL, contact us today

Cosmetic Dentistry

Most Popular Cosmetic Dental Procedures

With advances in cosmetic dentistry, you no longer have to live with an unsatisfactory smile. Today’s cosmetic dentists can perform a wide variety of procedures intended to make your smile brighter, more youthful, and aesthetically pleasing.

Some of the most popular procedures currently being performed by qualified cosmetic dentists include the following:

  • Teeth whitening or bleaching eliminates tooth stains and discoloration
  • Dental implants, both mini and full, give a more natural look and feel than traditional dentures
  • Dental bonding corrects broken, crooked, or uneven teeth
  • Porcelain veneers can correct both heavily discolored or severely damaged teeth
  • White or composite fillings are used to treat damage to the teeth caused by cavities, and are a more natural looking alternative to traditional silver fillings
  • Dental contouring aligns overlapping or crooked teeth, or helps correct the shape of teeth
  • Cosmetic gum surgery can correct a receding gum line caused by natural aging or gum disease
  • Accelerated orthodontics offers the same straightening benefits as braces with a much shorter treatment time
  • A dental bridge or fixed partial denture helps eliminate a flat look caused by missing teeth, and helps bring back the appeal of your natural smile

Nearly all of these cosmetic procedures can be completed in one to two dental visits, are relatively painless, and require minimal recovery time. Cosmetic dentistry offers a multitude of treatments to help you improve your smile and boost your self-confidence. Consult with qualified Bartlett IL cosmetic dentist Dr. Hofeister to find out how you can reshape your smile and enjoy greater self-esteem for years to come.

Schedule your appointment at our Bartlett, IL dental office

Teeth Whitening

Why Do Celebrities Whiten Their Teeth?

Celebrities are in the public eye all the time, so they are constantly speaking in public and smiling for the cameras. Of course they don’t want to flash a dull, discolored, unattractive smile! Many celebrities make their livings off their public image, and a set of pearly white teeth adds to their appeal. So what are some of the specific benefits that white teeth offer famous people?

Confidence
A bright sparkly smile enhances confidence and self-esteem. A smile is a personality trait that a celebrity can use to influence the public, so they want to make the very best of that characteristic. Having white teeth makes a celebrity more comfortable in photos, press opportunities, and other events. Celebrities are usually the focus, and self-confidence shines through along with their bright smiles.

Positive image
Both in their professional and social lives, celebrities need to be appealing to others. A pretty smile allows them to smile freely and enhance their positive image by their willingness to be the center of attention.

Profitability
Celebrities are constantly being photographed, so their smile is a precious commodity to them. They seek the help of dentist professionals to help them achieve the most stunning smile possible, so they in turn can continue a profitable career.

Good health
Healthy living and a fit body are keys to success for many celebrities. White teeth demonstrate a healthy lifestyle, even though some celebrities may not be making the healthiest choices in reality. Smoking, drinking wine, and sipping coffee are some habits that many celebrities have that can discolor their teeth. They have learned, however, to seek the help of teeth whitening to save their winning smiles.

If you live in the Bartlett, IL, contact us today