Professional Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure that dentists perform today. It can have a dramatic effect on your smile at a smaller cost than other cosmetic procedures. You can whiten your teeth yourself using at-home techniques, but often professional whitening with your dentist’s help achieves the fastest and most effective results.

Let’s examine the whitening options provided by most dentists to help you evaluate what might work for you.

Whitening at your dentist’s office

The dentist applies a whitening product to your teeth containing higher percentages of hydrogen peroxide than what is available in at-home kits. Heat or light may be used also. This technique produces quick, uniform results, but it does sometimes cause temporary gum irritation or tooth sensitivity.

Home whitening supervised by your dentist

A customized mouthpiece will be created by your dentist for you to fill at home with whitening gel, which contains a lower strength of hydrogen peroxide then the in-office gel. You wear the mouthpiece at home for several hours each day, and your dentist supervises the whitening with regular checkups. Although this method is convenient and less expensive than chair side whitening, it produces slower results.

Repeating the process

Whichever type of teeth whitening technique you might choose, remember that it isn’t a permanent repair to your teeth. You will need to repeat the process every year or two. The length of time between treatments will increase if you don’t smoke and avoid foods that are known to stain your teeth, such as coffee and red wine.

What is Oral Thrush?

Also referred to as oral candidiasis, thrush is a condition that you can develop when a fungus called Candida albicans builds up inside your mouth. Usually, thrush presents as creamy, white lesions on the tongue and cheeks. Anyone can develop thrush, but it commonly occurs in babies, young children, the elderly, and patients who have compromised immune systems such as HIV patients.

Does poor oral hygiene cause thrush?

Interestingly enough, your home care routine does not contribute to thrush. This condition is brought on when the naturally occurring fungi in the mouth get out of balance and become overpopulated. Proper brushing and flossing will help with your recovery so keep up with your oral hygiene. Replace your toothbrush after treatment for thrush to prevent a return engagement.

How do you prevent thrush?

Acidophilus, healthy bacterial organisms can help restore balance in your mouth. You can buy it as a supplement or purchase and eat yogurt that already contains the live cultures.

What is the treatment for thrush?

Otherwise healthy adults and children may not require treatment because thrush can go away on its own. If the thrush continues to be a problem, your dentist or doctor may prescribe an antifungal medication.

What’s the difference between thrush and leukoplakia?

Although you may confuse the two, leukoplakia lesions develop because of chronic irritation from rough edges on teeth, fillings or crowns. Thrush often appears suddenly, while leukoplakia lesions occur over time.

 

Tooth Pain Relief During Pregnancy

Are you one of the many pregnant women dealing with swollen gums and gingivitis, making your entire mouth painful? The stress of pregnancy on your body and fluctuating hormones are believed to contribute to pregnancy dental issues. In typical circumstances, you would have a variety of methods to choose from to relieve tooth pain, but during pregnancy some of those options aren’t safe. Here are some solutions to try that won’t endanger you or your baby.

Acetaminophen

With your doctor’s approval, you should be able to take acetaminophen according to package directions. It will provide pain relief for a few hours, allowing you to get in to see your dentist or obstetrician. Do not take ibuprofen or aspirin, however, as those are not considered safe during pregnancy.

Clove oil

Try chewing on a whole clove. As strange as it might sound, the oil that the clove secretes can be a natural way to help tooth pain while pregnant. Experts say that you should experience some relief within thirty minutes after chewing cloves.

Gargling

Gargling with warm water can safely relieve minor pain for a short period of time.

Benzocaine

The topical antiseptic benzocaine is often used for teething babies, and is considered safe for pregnant women as well. Apply it directly to the aching tooth with a cotton swab. It should be available in the baby products section of your local drugstore.

Dentist

If your tooth pain doesn’t go away in a day or two, make an appointment to see your dentist. Managing the pain for an extended period isn’t enough, because you need to determine the cause of your pain. You might have a cavity, abscessed tooth, or other problem requiring treatment. Make sure to inform your dentist of your pregnancy so appropriate care will be provided.

Technology That Helps Dentists Identify Oral Cancer

Every hour, one person in the United States dies from oral cancer. Worldwide, 300,000 new cases of this disease are diagnosed each year. Because oral cancer is often found in the later stages, the prognosis is usually not good. In fact, almost half of all people who receive an oral cancer diagnosis won’t live longer than five years. With early diagnosis and treatment, survival rates improve dramatically.

One reason regular checkups are so important is that they give dentists a chance to examine your mouth and look for anything unusual. Common symptoms of oral cancer include discolored tissue, scratchy throat, or a sore that doesn’t heal within two weeks. Many doctors perform visual assessments of their patients’ teeth, gums, and mouth. Tools like ViziLite and Velscope help dentists accurately diagnosis oral cancer.  Both the ViziLite and Velscope augment the physical exam dentists perform.

At our dental office, Dr. Hofmeister offers Velscope oral cancer screening. The Velscope uses fluorescence to differentiate between healthy and abnormal tissue.  This device emits a safe, high energy blue light inside the mouth. Generally, healthy tissue shows up with a green glow, while areas of concern show a loss of fluorescence and appear dark.  The Velscope allows Dr. Hofmeister to detect oral abnormalities before they are visible to the naked eye.

Another device that helps dentists diagnose oral cancer is the ViziLite. The patient first rinses with a cleansing solution. The dentist will dim the lights and scan your mouth with the ViziLite. Abnormal tissue appears in a distinct white color, which looks different than healthy areas. If the dentist finds areas of concern, he or she can then request a biopsy to get more accurate information.

 

 

Understanding Full Mouth Reconstruction

If you haven’t visited the dentist in a while or you have developed a host of issues, you may be a candidate for full mouth reconstruction. With full mouth reconstruction, your dentist will often combine restorative procedures like crowns and bridges with endodontic work, as well as implant therapy. Usually, the need for full mouth reconstruction occurs because of trauma, severe decay, or injury.

Smile Makeovers versus Full Mouth Reconstruction

Cosmetic in nature, a smile makeover is something you choose to update your smile. Similar to full mouth reconstruction, it may involve various procedures to complete the work. The biggest difference, however, is that a smile makeover is something you choose while full mouth reconstruction is something you need.

The Full Mouth Reconstruction Process

To determine the extent of the issues, your dentist will conduct a thorough evaluation of your mouth. The doctor will look for cavities, excessive wear, cracks, and tooth movement. At this time, the dentist will also perform a periodontal analysis to inspect the health of your gums. Finally, the doctor will check for alignment and bite issues.

After completing the exam, your dentist will create a detailed treatment plan and review the recommendations with you. Full mouth reconstruction often involves:

  • Dental implants to replace missing teeth
  • Deep cleaning and scaling to improve periodontal health
  • Orthodontic treatment such as Invisalign for optimal positioning
  • Restorations like crowns, bridges, inlays, and onlays
  • Root canal therapy to save deeply damaged teeth

 

Are Regular Exams and Cleanings Really Important?

Many people mistakenly believe that if they have no visible problems and no discomfort they don’t have to see the dentist. The American Dental Association recommends twice yearly checkups to promote a strong, healthy smile. People with periodontal disease or other oral health issues may need more frequent visits.

During a routine care appointment, your dentist can examine your mouth, take X-rays, and look for signs of tooth decay. The hygienist will clean and polish your teeth as well. Thorough assessment of your whole mouth will give your dentist a clear picture of your current dental health status.

At a checkup, your evaluation will likely include:

  • Medical History Review – Collecting information about current medications and any underlying health conditions gives the dentist insight into your oral health.
  • Dietary Review – Because diet plays an important role in your dental wellbeing, the doctor may ask about the foods you are eating.
  • Oral Cancer Screening  – Your doctor will look at your face, lips, mouth, throat, and soft tissue areas to check for signs of oral cancer. Early detection can increase survival rate for this disease to about 80 percent.
  • Gum Disease Assessment – Over 75 percent of adults in this country have some level of gum disease, and they may not even realize the problem is there. During the check up, the dental team will assess the health of your gums.
  • Examination of Existing Repairs – To make sure your mouth remains healthy, the dentist will check old fillings and/or crowns. Over time, metal fillings can crack or leak, allowing food and bacteria to enter the tooth.

 

Dental Advice for Seniors

Most people assume that senior adults all properly take care of their teeth by the time they reach that age. That isn’t always the case though, since older people face different oral health issues than they did in their younger years. It’s important for seniors to maintain a smart oral care routine so that their mouth will stay healthy their entire lives.

Here are some tips to help accomplish that goal.

Brush regularly

Seniors have a higher risk of receding gums and resulting problems like cavities and tooth loss. Brush your teeth at least twice daily with a soft bristled toothbrush, and rinse with mouthwash. Also floss your teeth daily. These tasks remove food and plaque from both your natural teeth and dentures, as well as below the gum line. Be sure to brush your dentures daily too.

See your dentist

Visit your dentist for regular checkups twice a year, whether you have natural teeth or dentures. Your dentist will check for gum disease, oral cancer, as well as clean your teeth and adjust your dentures if needed. Also, make sure you tell your dentist about any medical conditions, medications, allergies, or recent operations you may have had. This will alert him to any potential drug interactions or side effects that might affect your oral health.

Recognize warnings

Be aware of warning signs that you have a problem, such as red or bleeding gums when you brush. That can indicate an infection or other issue. Also tell your dentist if you have red or white patches inside your mouth, or sores that don’t heal within two weeks, because these may be signs of oral cancer.

Follow denture recommendations

Use the correct amount of denture cream or adhesive. If your dentures are uncomfortable or require using more than one tub of cream every three weeks, have your dentures evaluated by your dentist. An adjustment or replacement may be necessary.

Tips On Kicking Bad Breath

Although bad breath is not a life threatening concern, it can impact personal and professional relationships. Certain foods such as onions or garlic can make your breath smell badly, but this is usually a temporary problem. Unfortunately, some people struggle with a dental condition known as chronic halitosis.

Many times, bad breath occurs because of food particles and debris that get trapped in our mouths. These substances provide a prime breeding ground for the bacteria that cause halitosis. Other factors that contribute to bad breath include poor oral hygiene, smoking, dry mouth, medication, and certain illnesses.

To fight bad breath, people may only mask the problems with temporary solutions like breath mints or mouthwash. Because these products can actually dry out your mouth, they end up making the problem worse. If you have real concerns, ask your dentist for recommendations on products designed to address the causes of bad breath.

Follow these tips to keep your breath as fresh as possible:

  • Apply a few drops of peppermint or tea tree oil to your tongue or toothbrush
  • Eat lots of crunchy vegetables, like celery or carrots, to help get rid of plaque
  • Floss at least once a day
  • Keep hydrated with plenty of water
  • Remember to brush your tongue
  • Rinse your mouth with a mixture of 50 percent hydrogen peroxide and 50 percent water
  • Try chewing sugarless gum, which can increase saliva
  • Visit the dentist for regular cleanings and checkups
  • When possible, brush teeth after every meal to remove food particles

Giving you something to smile about at our Bartlett, IL dental office

 

Sports Dentistry

When you are active in a sport, especially those involving contact, there is often a risk of dental injury. The frequency of such injuries has led to a specialization called sports dentistry, which focuses on the treatment and prevention of oral sports injuries and associated risks. In sports, the difficulty can be maximizing the benefits of playing while at the same time limiting injuries. Sports dentistry plays a role in this by protecting athletes from harm, and knowing what to do in the event an injury occurs.

Equipment

In some sports, mouthguards are essential to dental injury prevention. Mouthguards are vital in contact sports like football, boxing, hockey, and martial arts. Properly fitting mouthguards are also key in some sports classified as non-contact, such as basketball, baseball, cycling, soccer, racquetball, and skateboarding.

Treatment

Quick and proper treatment of oral and facial injuries is important in successfully helping an athlete who has suffered a sports injury. This may be in a dental office, or treatment at the site of the injury such as a basketball court or a football field. It requires knowledge and ability to diagnose injuries without using advanced technology.

Non-dental issues

Sports dentistry involves recognizing other health-related issues that athletes may face. Sometimes injuries include concussions or neck injuries that a sports dentist can identify and refer to another specialist to obtain proper care. Sports dentists also address issues of tobacco use, especially because smokeless tobacco is common in certain sports. These dentists also are trained to recognize drug use, and refer patients for treatment. It is also not uncommon for sports dentists to spot the symptoms of anorexia and bulimia through dental examination, which are frequent problems for some athletes.

What You Should Know about Your Child’s Dental Health

If you have kids, you want the best for them. Part of your role as a parent is to make sure they grow up healthy. Proper oral health care assists in your child’s overall wellbeing. To ensure that they have vibrant smiles that will last a lifetime, you need to have the correct information about dental care for children, so it’s important to learn fact from fiction.

Fiction: Baby teeth aren’t important.

Fact: Primary teeth actually serve as placeholders for permanent teeth as well as allowing for normal speech and chewing function. If baby teeth are lost early because of decay, your child may experience crowding or misalignment when permanent teeth erupt.

Fiction: Thumb sucking won’t hurt my child’s teeth.

Fact: While it’s cute to see a baby or toddler sucking his or her thumb, you need to work on curtailing this habit by the time your child enters kindergarten. If thumb sucking continues after that point, the permanent front teeth may not come in properly.

Fiction: Kids don’t need to floss.

Fact: The earlier you teach children to floss, the more likely they will be to continue this important oral hygiene step. As well, flossing baby teeth can help prevent cavities.

Fiction: My child doesn’t need a checkup until kindergarten.

Fact: Most dentists recommend bringing your child in for a first visit by age three. At this appointment, your doctor can examine your child’s mouth and create a positive feeling about dental visits so that your child feels safe and comfortable.

Fiction: I don’t need to help my child with brushing.

Fact: Although you may think your kids are doing a good job, they may not be able to brush the hard-to-reach areas on their own. At the very least, you should do a quick check after brushing is completed.

 

What about Amalgam Fillings?

In recent years, composite, or tooth-colored, fillings have become the choice when dentists repair damaged teeth. Composite fillings blend with your smile and preserve more of the healthy tooth structure. Though amalgam fillings are thought to cost less and last longer, health concerns have caused patients and dentists to reconsider this option.

What are the problems with amalgam fillings?

Metal fillings present several challenges. For one thing, they darken over time, detracting from your attractive smile. Often, metal fillings can crack or began to leak after years of wear. If this occurs, you risk further damage and will likely need more dental work. One of the biggest concerns with amalgams is that they contain mercury, a heavy metal substance.

Are amalgam fillings dangerous?

Currently, the American Dental Association says that metal fillings are safe since the levels of mercury are low. Because amalgam fillings lose their mercury over time, many people fear that the mercury vapors could be absorbed into your body and create a risk for overexposure, which can cause symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and headaches.

What are the benefits of composite fillings?

Not only do tooth-colored fillings look better, but they offer solid restorations designed to last. With a composite filling, the material is bonded to the tooth, so it won’t change shape with age, giving you a solid, attractive smile.

Do I need to have my old fillings removed?

Unless they show signs of wear, you can probably leave metal fillings in place. As they need to be replaced, talk with your dentist about using composite fillings.

 

Consider Dental Implants for Lost Teeth

implant-dentistry-3Just one missing tooth can dramatically impact your life. If you don’t replace a lost tooth, the bone begins to reabsorb and shifting of the remaining teeth can occur. Your bite may change, which can set the stage for major dental problems like TMJ. Some people also have trouble eating and speaking.

Dental implants can help patients enjoy healthy, complete smiles. Constructed from titanium, implants are artificial tooth roots inserted into the jawbone and covered by prosthetic crowns. Benefits of dental implants include restoring functionality, preventing bone loss, and possibly eliminating the need for bridges or dentures.

Am I a candidate for implants?
Your dentist can conduct a thorough evaluation to determine if implants would work for you. For successful implant therapy, you need good oral health and adequate bone density to support the posts.

What doe the implant process involve?
First, a surgeon will surgically place a titanium screw in each empty socket. After surgery, it will take two to three months for your mouth to completely heal. Your dentist will then place a crown over the artificial root.

Will my new teeth look real?
Absolutely. Dental implants look, feel and function the same as natural teeth. Because they are permanently secured in your mouth, you won’t have to worry about slippage or an uncomfortable prosthesis.

How do I take care of my implants?
Treat your implants like you would your natural teeth. Brush them twice a day, floss often, and schedule routine checkups. Performing these steps will help you protect your new smile.

Dental Implants Bartlett, IL

Tips Dentists Want You to Know

SheerVision Dentist Patient Loupes Headlamp Headlight 300x350CTo have a healthy, attractive smile, you need to take good care of your mouth. At your checkup, your dentist will offer advice on keeping your smile in top condition. The following suggestions can ensure that your next dental visit will be a great success.

Gum disease affects your whole body
One of the main causes of tooth loss in adults, gum disease has also been linked to health conditions like heart disease, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and pre-term labor. If you notice swollen or bleeding gums, contact your dentist right away.
Twice-daily brushing keeps cavities at bay
Food debris and plaque can lead to tooth decay. Brushing at least twice a day cleans your teeth and removes cavity-causing agents from your mouth.
Your diet matters to your oral health
Limiting your intake of sweet treats and sugary beverages will protect your teeth and gums. Instead, eat a wide variety of healthy foods, choosing fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
Schedule routine checkups
At your regular visits, your dentist can look for any signs of problems, including oral cancer, gum disease, and tooth decay. Without routine care, you run the risk of damaging your oral health and costing yourself a great deal of money.
Change your toothbrush often
The bacteria that you remove from your mouth can stay on your toothbrush, so get a new brush about every three months. You should also rinse your toothbrush with hot water each time you brush.

Bartlett, IL Family Dentist

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Dental Bridge

toothbrush1Quality dental work can be time-consuming and expensive, so it pays to take care of your dental bridge and to prolong its life for as long as possible. Thoroughly cleaning your dental bridge will enable you to enjoy its benefits for longer. Listed below are a few tips to help keep your bridge beautifully clean and hygienic.

Brush
Choose a soft bristled toothbrush and make sure you brush at least twice a day for a couple of minutes each time. This will help clean your teeth and your bridge. Take your time to brush all around the sides of the bridge to remove food particles as it is still possible for plaque to build up, putting your natural teeth at risk of decay.

Floss
It is especially important to floss around your dental bridge, and it’s best to do this at least twice a day before you brush. Use a floss threader to clean underneath the bridge, or ask your dentist in Bartlett, IL for advice on the best tools to clean this area. Super floss is especially designed for use with a floss threader and to clean underneath bridges, as it consists of three components which are a stiffened end dental floss threader, regular floss and spongy floss. All these elements help to keep the gum tissue underneath the bridge clean and healthy.

Rinse
It can be helpful to use medicated mouthwash to kill off any bacteria you may have missed, and to reach parts of your mouth that aren’t easily accessible. Use mouthwash at least once a day.

Checkups
Visit your dentist in Bartlett, IL at least twice a year for routine checkups and professional cleanings. This will help ensure your bridge fits properly, and professional cleanings will remove any hardened tartar from around the margins, keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

Dental Bridges Bartlett, IL

Overview of a Smile Makeover

Not everyone has the smile of their dreams. That’s why cosmetic dentistry is such a popular field. Modern techniques and skilled professionals are able to give you the smile you’ve always wanted with a smile makeover.

There are a number of reasons that people turn to smile makeovers. Repairing misaligned, stained gapped, broken, chipped, missing, or otherwise damaged teeth all fall under the benefits of a smile makeover. When you have any problems such as these, you can visit a cosmetic dentist to learn about surgical or non-surgical methods that your smile may be improved.

Beginning the smile makeover process is easy. Schedule a consultation with an experienced and reputable cosmetic dentist. You can convey the things you dislike about your smile, discuss your goals and expectations, and create a plan with the dentist about ways to improve your smile. Remember, a smile makeover is unique to each patient’s needs and desires. The dentist will also consider your age, skin tone, gums, lips, and facial appearance to help give you the best look.

Since each smile makeover involves different things, there are a variety of procedures possible to treat each individual. Some common treatments include:

  • teeth whitening – brightening stained or discolored teeth by using quick and effective professional whitening methods
  • veneers – permanently attaching tooth-colored, thin customized shells to the fronts of your teeth to cover flaws
  • composite fillings – using composite resin material that matches your tooth color to reshape teeth or improve their appearance
  • gum contouring – altering your gum line so that your gums and teeth fit together in a more aesthetically appealing way
  • orthodontics – correcting the alignment and placement of your teeth so that they are straight and positioned well
  • implants and crowns – replacing missing teeth by implanting a titanium root into the jawbone and artificial tooth on top

Choosing one or more of these types of smile makeover procedures may transform your smile to one that makes you happier and gives you the look you desire.

Cosmetic Dentistry Bartlett, IL

 

What about Amalgam Fillings?

In recent years, composite, or tooth-colored, fillings have become the choice when dentists repair damaged teeth. Composite fillings blend with your smile and preserve more of the healthy tooth structure. Though amalgam fillings are thought to cost less and last longer, health concerns have caused patients and dentists to reconsider this option.

What are the problems with amalgam fillings?
Metal fillings present several challenges. For one thing, they darken over time, detracting from your attractive smile. Often, metal fillings can crack or began to leak after years of wear. If this occurs, you risk further damage and will likely need more dental work. One of the biggest concerns with amalgams is that they contain mercury, a heavy metal substance.

Are amalgam fillings dangerous?
Currently, the American Dental Association says that metal fillings are safe since the levels of mercury are low. Because amalgam fillings lose their mercury over time, many people fear that the mercury vapors could be absorbed into your body and create a risk for overexposure, which can cause symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and headaches.

What are the benefits of composite fillings?
Not only do tooth-colored fillings look better, but they offer solid restorations designed to last. With a composite filling, the material is bonded to the tooth, so it won’t change shape with age, giving you a solid, attractive smile.

Do I need to have my old fillings removed?
Unless they show signs of wear, you can probably leave metal fillings in place. As they need to be replaced, talk with your dentist about using composite fillings.

Safe Amalgam Removal Bartlett, IL

Options for Complete Dentures

dentures3Denture technology has come a long way since the days of George Washington and his wooden teeth. Unfortunately, people still lose teeth for a variety of reasons including periodontal disease, trauma, and decay. Missing teeth make talking and eating difficult, and can ultimately cause sagging facial muscles. However, with today’s advances in technology it is more possible than ever to replace those lost teeth with natural and comfortable dentures.

Complete dentures cover both upper and lower jaws. The options for complete dentures range from immediate dentures to highly customized implant dentures. Immediate dentures are pre-made and available at your dentist’s office. They are not custom fitted and are set into gum sockets immediately upon removal of your teeth. While these offer the convenience of walking immediately out of the dental office with your new teeth in place, once gum tissue heals and swelling reduces they may shift and become loose. This issue requires follow-up visits for your dentist to make adjustments. People with immediate dentures may also have difficulty speaking, or experience a “clicking sound” when talking.

Conventional full dentures can be made 8 to 12 weeks after tooth loss or removal. Once the gums have healed, your dentist takes a series of impressions of your mouth to be sent away to a dental lab to create your dentures. This process may require multiple visits to your dentist to ensure a proper fit and correct bite. While this process takes longer and is more involved than immediate dentures, you will achieve a more secure and personalized fit. Both conventional and immediate dentures require the use of denture adhesives to keep them securely in place.

For an even more custom, natural looking and secure denture option, implant dentures are an excellent alternative. With implant dentures, small implants are placed in the jaw where they heal in place surrounded by the bone. The denture then snaps into the implant with attachments under the denture. These attachments keep the denture stable, providing more comfort and confidence. You do not have to worry your dentures will slip or fall out while you are eating, talking, or laughing. Implant dentures do not require the use of any denture adhesives.

Talk to your dental professional to determine the best use of denture technology to ensure many years of a confident and comfortable smile.

Complete Denture Dentist Bartlett, IL

Signs that You Many Need Root Canal Treatment

toothache1A root canal procedure involves opening your tooth to get rid of the severely damaged or infected root inside of it. Your tooth pulp is removed and replaced with filling material so that your tooth will be unlikely to become infected again. Root canal treatment is often the only way to save a badly damaged tooth.

So how do you know if you need root canal treatment? The most prevalent symptom of a tooth that needs this type of procedure is pain. Sometimes the pain associated with a severely infected tooth can be intense. If you experience tooth pain, consider whether you can identify the source of your pain. Try to determine if it’s a single tooth in particular, or if the pain continues down your jaw. Jaw pain may mean a bad infection or impacted wisdom teeth.

Once you locate the pain, use your fingernail to gently tap your tooth. If it hurts, then your tooth itself is probably the problem. Also look at your gums around the tooth. If they are swollen or irritated, that may further indicate an infection.

Think about the type of pain you have. Dull and throbbing pain usually points to an infection, especially if it worsens at night or when you bend over. Sharp and piercing pain can indicate a different problem than infection.

After you have gone through this checklist of things to consider, make an appointment to see your dentist. If infection is suspected, you may be prescribed antibiotics to see if that takes care of it. If your root and tooth pulp are affected however, you might require root canal treatment. Don’t let tooth pain continue without seeing a dentist and getting the treatment you need.

Root Canal Treatment Bartlett, IL

Update Your Smile for the Spring

smile4As winter fades away, most people look forward to spring. The flowers bloom and the weather warms up. Spring is often considered a seasonal of renewal. What better way to start this season than with a smile makeover. Even subtle cosmetic changes can transform your image.

Consider enhancing your smile by:

  • Whitening your teeth. A simple, easy way to take years off your appearance, teeth whitening can remove stains and brighten your smile. Most dentists offer either in-office whitening or take-home kits, and some practices provide both options to their patients. With in-office whitening, you leave the appointment with immediate results. At-home whitening produces gorgeous smiles in two to four weeks.
  • Replacing old fillings. In the past, metal amalgam fillings were the only choice. Now, many dentists use composite fillings to repair decay and restore your teeth. If you have metal fillings that have darkened over time, your dentist can replace these restorations with tooth-colored fillings that will blend in with your beautiful smile.
  • Straightening teeth. A flawless smile never goes out of style, so you might consider straightening crooked teeth with Invisalign clear braces. These removable, custom aligners fit over your teeth and gently move them into the correct position. Treatment usually lasts for 12 to 18 months, but most people won’t even notice you are wearing the aligners.
  • Covering imperfections. To close gaps, cover discolorations, and erases chips, you may want to consider cosmetic bonding or porcelain veneers. Cosmetic bonding costs less, but it only works well for smaller imperfections and isn’t as strong as other options. Porcelain veneers can completely transform the appearance of your smile. Veneers are customized to fit your smile and match your natural teeth.

Schedule your appointment at our Bingham Farms dental office today.

Cosmetic Dentistry Bartlett, IL

A Smile Makeover Can Change Your Life

You should never forget the power of an attractive smile. A beautiful smile says so much about you, including your mood and your health. Studies have shown that smiling (as opposed to looking unhappy, sour, or angry) can benefit your life in many ways.

  • When you smile, your brain automatically releases chemicals that tell your body you are happy. Even if you are forcing your smile, your brain will still releases the chemicals. The more you smile, the happier you will feel, and the happier you feel, the more you will smile!
  • When you smile, you make your own state-of-mind more positive. Whether you are bored, sad or angry, a smile can “turn around” your mood. You begin to look at the world in a more positive way, which will lead to more positive interactions throughout your day.
  • When you smile, you can change the way someone else is feeling. When you walk into a room or into a store, starting with a smile can change the reactions of everyone else there. When you smile, they smile back. A smile is catching!
  • Smiling is easy! You use fewer facial muscles when you smile than you do when you frown. Don’t overtax your face! Smile, don’t frown!
  • Smiling is attractive. There is an old saying “the cheapest facelift is a smile.” Nothing brightens your face and keeps you looking your best like a gorgeous smile.

Unattractive, chipped, misaligned or missing teeth can cause you to be self-conscious about smiling – or even speaking – in public. If your smile is less than its best, you may find yourself unable to reach your life goals; you may feel held back socially. Even day-to-day errands and actions can seem more daunting or difficult because of your smile insecurities. Don’t wait another minute – talk to your dentist today about the possibilities of a smile makeover.

Your dentist can make a plan to address whatever is standing between you and your healthiest, best smile. Don’t be afraid of your smile; start the process of a smile makeover today!

Smile Makeover Dentist Bartlett, IL

Caring for Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges

manandwomanRestorative dental work like dental crowns and dental bridges are excellent choices toward lifelong tooth, gum, and jaw health. They allow you to smile, speak, and chew as you would naturally.

Dental crowns and bridges are designed to last many years or even a lifetime, but they sometimes loosen or fall out. A bridge can lose its support if the surrounding teeth or bone holding it in place are damaged by dental disease. The best step you can take to prevent this is to properly care for your restorative dental work. Doing this is easy with good basic oral hygiene habits.

  • Brush your teeth three times a day, following each meal. Brushing helps prevent plaque and calcium buildup on your teeth and restorative work. Plaque traps bacteria feeding on food particles in your mouth and producing toxins, so fighting plaque helps remove these harmful toxins.
  • Floss and clean around teeth, crowns, and bridges daily. Cleaning around dental bridges can be challenging. Because you must clean between the teeth that are the anchors for the bridgework, as well as underneath the bridge itself, specialized floss tools or toothbrushes are recommended. The easiest of these tools is an oral water flosser. Water-based oral irrigators and flossers clean hard-to-reach areas under bridgework, as well as cleaning between the teeth and gums.
  • Sonic toothbrushes help remove plaque by vibrating at a high speed velocity, breaking down plaque build-up between the teeth as well as beneath the gum line.
  • Use an antibacterial mouth rinse to further reduce damaging bacteria.
  • Avoid hard or sticky foods, especially hard or gummy candy or ice. These can damage your restorative work by cracking or dislodging your dental crown or bridge.
  • See your dentist and hygienist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.
  • Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and nutrients to ensure that your teeth, gums and bones stay healthy to support your restorative work.

Dental Crowns and Bridges Dentist Bartlett, IL

Dealing with Common Oral Health Concerns

oral_surgery-300x210Though most people try to take good care of their mouths, dental health issues can arise. Knowing how to treat these issues and when to see a dentist can help you protect your teeth and gums. It’s helpful to have basic knowledge of these common dental problems.

Cold Sores
Also known as fever blisters, cold sores are caused by a viral infection and can be spread by kissing, shared beverages, or other close contact. Usually, fever blisters clear up on their own, but you may need a prescription cream if they become a frequent issue.

Thrush
Most commonly seen in babies or older adults, thrush is a yeast infection in the mouth that is characterized by white, creamy patches on your cheeks and tongue. Antibiotic use, a weakened immune system, and certain medications can increase the risk of thrush.

Leukoplakia
A reaction to an irritant like smoking, rough spots on teeth, or ill-fitting dentures, leukoplakia appears as white areas or plaques in the mouth. Because these spots can be precancerous, talk to your dentist if they last for an extended time period.

Diastema
Another term for space between teeth, the most common diastema occurs between the two front teeth. Your dentist can close the space with bonding, orthodontic treatment, or dental veneers.

Canker sores
Usually found on the tongue, inside the cheeks, or on the gums, canker sores are small, painful blisters that can be triggered by stress, infection, and hormones. Typically, canker sores only last for a week or two.

Stained Teeth
Most people have extrinsic stains that occur because of age, lifestyle choices, and from drinking dark beverages. These surface stains can be removed by professional teeth whitening, which will improve your smile’s appearance. If you have intrinsic stains, which develop because of too much fluoride or from certain medications, you will probably need to consider a more permanent option to cover the discolorations, such as porcelain veneers.

Oral Health – Dentist Bartlett, IL

Restorative Dentistry Makes Patients Smile

smilingoldercoupleEven with proper care, you can still face dental issues. Daily wear and tear can result in broken, fractures, or lost teeth. Restorative dentistry focuses on re-establishing a strong, healthy smile. Fillings, dental implants, inlays and onlays, crowns, and dentures can restore damaged teeth and improve oral health.

What options are available for missing teeth?
When you don’t have a complete smile, your oral health and self-confidence suffers. Bridgework, dentures, or dental implants can revive function and appearance. Permanently cemented in place, a dental bridge can close gaps left by missing teeth. Dentures are prosthetic teeth attached to a gum-colored base that replace some or all of your original teeth. Surgically placed in your jaw, dental implants mimic the look and feel of natural teeth.

What’s the difference between a filling and a crown?
For a small area of decay, your dentist will probably remove the damage and restore the area with a filling. Made from composite resin, the filling is hardened with a curing light and buffed to create the desirably look. When you sustain more damage, you may need a crown, a restoration that covers the entire tooth above the gum line.

Why would I need an inlay or onlay?
Sometimes, you need more than a regular filling but not a full crown. Inlays and onlays work in these situations. An inlay is bonded into the center of the tooth, while an onlay reaches one of more of the cusps.

Why is my doctor suggesting a root canal?
Deep decay or severe trauma can affect the soft inner core of a tooth, referred to as pulp. If the pulp dies, an infection and pressure build, causing intense pain. To save the tooth, your dentist may recommend a root canal. During root canal therapy, your dentist will remove the diseased tissue, seal off the tooth, and place a crown to stabilize the tooth.

Creating beautiful smiles at our Framingham, MA dental office. Visit Metrowest Prosthodontics today.

Restorative Dentistry Bartlett, IL

Complete Your Smile with Dental Implants

dental-implants-3Did you know that 69 percent of adults have lost at least one tooth? Missing teeth don’t just damage your smile. They can limit your diet, inhibit your speech, and compromise your oral health. Studies show that when one tooth is loss, 20 percent of adjacent teeth may be lost in the next several years if you don’t replace the missing tooth. Dental implants offer patients a solid, attractive way to restore their smiles.

Constructed from biocompatible titanium, dental implants are permanent replacements for lost teeth. With implants, you can replace one or more missing teeth. One implant is surgically positioned in the gum line for each empty socket. Usually, your mouth will need three to six month to recover. During this time, the bone will fuse to the posts, creating a solid foundation for the dental crowns your dentist will place on the implants.

Dental implants offer several benefits, including

Attractiveness
Designed to look and feel like natural teeth, dental implants are the closest prosthetic to nature. Your implants will blend in with remaining teeth, giving you a full, attractive smile.

Convenience
Because implants aren’t removable, you don’t have to hassle with the messy adhesives or worry about the embarrassing slippage associated with dentures. After implant therapy, patients can smile confidently and enjoy active lifestyles.

Reliability
With proper care, implants will last for years. Treat your dental implants like your original teeth. Brush twice daily, floss frequently, and schedule routine checkups so that your smile will stay healthy and strong.

Dental Implants Bartlett, IL

Periodontal Disease is Serious Business

gum-infectionLast spring, Whoopi Goldberg spoke on The View about periodontal, or gum, disease and the problems she was experiencing. By sharing her story, she was helping to inform the general public about the importance of caring for your teeth and gums. In the United States, approximately 80 percent of adults have some form of periodontal disease. Unfortunately, many people don’t even realize they have this serious health condition.

Many times, gum disease initially presents with mild symptoms like swollen or bleeding gums, often during brushing. Because these signs are so minor, people often ignore the issue and the disease progresses. Other symptoms include painful chewing, loose teeth, and lingering bad breath. Without treatment, periodontal disease can lead to gum recession, bone degeneration, and even tooth loss.

Caused by an overgrowth of bacteria and excess plaque in your mouth, gum disease begins by irritating the gums and causing them to swell. Over time, the plaque and infection spread below the gum line. Your gums begin to pull away from the teeth, and the supporting tissue and bone start to disintegrate.

Not only does periodontal disease hurt your oral health, but it can also impact your overall wellness. Current research has linked gum disease to more serious health issues, like heart disease, risk of stroke, osteoporosis, and increased chance of premature birth in pregnant women.

To reduce your risk of gum disease, make sure that you:

  • Brush at least twice a day
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet
  • Floss regularly
  • See your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings

Bartlett IL Gum Disease Dentist