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Archive for November, 2011

Porcelain inlays and onlays: What are the benefits?

Friday, November 25th, 2011

You have just been told that an existing filling in a back tooth is failing or the decay has spread beyond the initial filling; or perhaps you have been advised that you require a rather large filling and your dentist has expressed concern that perhaps it is time to “cap” the tooth. You do have another option, and our dentist serving the area of 60622 can fill you in.

The purpose of a dental onlay is to correct decay in a back tooth where a traditional filling might weaken the tooth resulting in a broken tooth, or perhaps needing a root canal. But an onlay falls short of “capping” a tooth, and provides an excellent alternative to a dental crown.

An onlay offers stability and longevity that a composite filling can’t provide. The primary difference between an onlay and an inlay is the portion of the tooth that requires repair. An onlay will be used to restore a larger area of damage and is most often used when the biting surface of the tooth is involved.

Depending on the location being restored, onlays can be made of gold, composite resin or porcelain. The primary advantages to selecting porcelain are aesthetic appearance, durability and strength. While composite resin might be adequate for a smaller filling, a larger filling in a back tooth takes a lot of abuse throughout the course of the day and night.

The strength of porcelain allows more protection for chewing. In addition, after the onlay/inlay is fitted by your dentist, there is no concern about the filling shrinking. The area is sealed, margins checked, and the fit is exact making brushing and flossing very easy.

The beauty of porcelain hides the fact that you have a large filling. Porcelain will hold its color allowing for lasting beauty – there is never a concern about fading or staining with porcelain.

And the durability of porcelain means that your onlay should last for many, many years. Only gold might measure up to the durability of porcelain, but the aesthetics with gold is not there.

Dental onlays and inlays are an excellent option when repairing a damaged tooth. When a filling might not be enough, but a crown is not needed, onlays and inlays offer an alternative treatment that might be the right answer. A consultation with our experienced team at ORA Dental Studio will provide all the information needed to make the right decision. Call 773-227-6721 and schedule a visit today.



What is Laser Microdentistry?

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

dentist 60611With the added diagnostic tools available in many updated offices, the advent of microdentistry had to be right behind. And our dentist serving the area of 60611 is certainly no exception.

In years past, your dentist had to rely on only dental x-rays and hand explorer to detect decay. Then came the intraoral camera that allowed for more accurate diagnosis of cracked, broken teeth and cavities. Right on the heels of the camera came digital x-rays.

With digital x-rays, the dentist need never leave the side of his patient, and his diagnostic tools are on the computer screen in seconds instead of minutes. Enlarged, color screens instead of cloudy images in front of a lamp have allowed your dentist to provide a visual to the patient confirming the treatment needed.

With microdentistry your dentist can not only detect dental problems before they become significant, repairs can be made allowing for much less invasive and prolonged treatment.

The “wait and see” approach of years past has been replaced with the ability of a single laser to detect cavities in their very early stage with astounding accuracy. The many advantages that come from early detection include:

  • The need for anesthetics is minimized – no needles or the need for hours of allowing the “freezing” to wear off.
  • Discomfort is significantly reduced or eliminated – this also can reduce the anxiety many people experience. So many people resist going to the dentist even for their needed cleaning and exams due to fear of what might be found.
  • With air abrasion, so much more of the healthy tooth structure is preserved. This allows for a much more pleasing appearance.
  • If a filling is allowed to become larger, you can be faced with the possibility of your tooth fracturing, a root canal or maybe even a crown may be needed. A smaller filling will last longer, takes much less time to complete resulting in shorter time spent in the dental chair.
  • In addition to valuable time saved, your financial investment is lower as well.

With traditional conservative dentistry methods, the prospect of facing extensive dental treatment at some point is very likely.  Microdentistry is the tool that will allow your dentist to diagnose and make the needed repairs to your teeth before they become extensive.

But these advancements are only as good as you allow them to be. Continue excellent hygiene habits and make sure you visit ORA Dental Studio for a professional cleaning and exam. Your oral and overall health will reap the benefits.



Aesthetic Tooth and Gum Contouring

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

For many, the prospect of a big smile has been dimmed due to a relatively benign and easily resolved situation. A gummy smile or misshapen, uneven teeth can make you feel self-conscious about opening your mouth to speak, smile or even eat. Our dentist serving area 60614 has a remedy that can have you smiling broadly in less time than it takes to watch your favorite movie.

Aesthetic gum contouring is a procedure used to correct extensive gum tissue that covers more of the teeth than is desired. By the use of a soft tissue diode laser, your dentist can redefine the shape of your gum tissue involving one or several teeth. Excess gum tissue can be due to genetics, and does not pose any medical malady.

Your dentist will apply a topical anesthetic to the area to be treated. With careful and precise movement, gum tissue is reshaped. And because a laser is used, there is significantly less bleeding due to the laser sealing the tissue as the procedure is done. As with all dental procedures, each case is different, so a consultation with our dental providers will allow you to make a well informed decision prior to treatment.

After gum contouring, there will be some precautions needed. Healing time will vary based on the extent of your procedure. Eating soft foods to avoid unnecessary pressure on gum tissue is advised. For minor discomfort, avoid aspirin products as this can lead to bleeding. Follow your dentist’s instructions, and you will be back in the pink in no time.

If you suffer from uneven or oddly shaped teeth, tooth contouring may be all that is needed to resolve this problem. Tooth contouring may be performed on one or several teeth. Your dentist will rely on an ultra-fine diamond impregnated bur and disc to shave off or reshape teeth to a more even, natural appearance. Generally this procedure does not require anesthetic, and there is no healing time required.

These procedures can be done together or separately and are considered to be a less invasive way to a smile makeover. So if you are embarrassed by your gummy smile or uneven teeth, consult with your dentist to see if these treatments are for you. As with all dental procedures, starting out with healthy teeth and gums will greatly enhance the end result. So follow excellent hygiene at home and see your dental provider twice each year for a professional cleaning and exam.