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Archive for December, 2011

Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder

Monday, December 26th, 2011

dentist ChicagoTMJ disorder is one of those terms used by the average person to describe jaw pain or the many problems associated with this area. A correct diagnosis is vital to determining if that clicking sound you hear when you chew or the discomfort around your jaw or neck is indeed TMJ Disorder. A visit with our dentist serving Chicago IL is your first step to a correct diagnosis and course of treatment.

TMJ Disorder is a term that can broadly cover many problems that are affected by the temporamandibular joint. This is the joint of the jaw just in front of your ear. You can feel this joint move if you place your finger just above your jaw in front of your ear and open and close your mouth.

This joint is surrounded by muscle, ligaments and bones. Every time you speak, chew, yawn or even do something as benign as rest your chin in your hand, you are putting some type of pressure on this joint. When the joint becomes inflamed, the resulting discomfort can affect not only your jaw, but your head, neck, throat or face.

There are many options for treatment depending on the level of severity of TMJ disorder and the underlying cause. For example, a missing tooth can result in TMJ disorder as chewing and speaking are modified to compensate for the space where a tooth should be. Or maybe your bite needs to be adjusted due to a dental shift that has taken place over time. For some, grinding and clenching during sleep can create the discomfort that affects not only the TMJ, but the neck and head as well.

Treatment options vary depending on your diagnosis. For a milder condition, moist heat or a cold pack to relieve the inflammation might help. Eating softer foods, avoid chewing gum and taking aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce inflammation are temporary solutions, but will generally offer some immediate relief.

Your dentist might suggest fitting you with a splint or mouth guard to alleviate the problem of clenching and grinding your teeth. For those who bite and grind their teeth due to stress or anxiety, relaxation techniques might help.

There are many different options from physical therapy to employing the use of laser and wave length technology to relieve TMJ. Surgery is usually the final option for consideration, but may be necessary for extreme cases. A proper diagnosis is the first step, and following the advice from your dental professional will bring relief.

Contact ORA Dental Studio at 312-328-9007 to learn more about TMJ disorder and to schedule a consultation.



Benefits of a Smile Makeover

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

There are many different dental procedures that can be employed to enhance the appearance of your smile. Thanks to cosmetic dentistry in Chicago you can see this transformation take place in a few brief visits.

One of the most basic procedures that may offer a “wow” result is professional teeth whitening. Stained or discolored teeth can ruin one’s appearance. In a couple of hours you can realize a bright and dazzling smile that will go from dull to amazing. Teeth whitening is considered a temporary fix and must be maintained. For a more permanent makeover to brighten your smile, porcelain veneers might be your answer. 

There are many different dental procedures that can be employed to enhance the appearance of your smile.

For stubborn stains resulting from medication, diet or fluorosis (too much fluoridation as teeth were developing), brightening your smile with porcelain veneers offers a more lasting solution. Even if you have uneven or misaligned teeth, you can benefit from porcelain dental veneers. Veneers are thin shell like coverings that are bonded to the front of your teeth. Porcelain veneers can transform your smile by covering chipped or cracked teeth; closing unsightly gaps between teeth; or virtually covering any dental maladies you wish.

For the more serious issues of missing teeth, your cosmetic dentist can offer dental implants. A dental implant is a small screw like device that is placed in your gum tissue. A protective covering is placed over the implant during the healing process, typically four to six months. Once your implant has been uncovered, your dentist will confirm that the healing process is complete and the implant has grafted to the bone giving it strength and stability (acting much like the root of your own teeth). Your dentist will be ready to complete the transformation by placing a final restoration that is designed to match the shape and shade of your surrounding teeth.

For teeth that may have large fillings, but are still viable, you may select one of the many porcelain options available from onlays and inlays that primarily cover the biting surface of the tooth or repair in between teeth; a porcelain crown where more of your natural tooth is removed then covered with a beautiful restoration that makes it virtually impossible to detect; to a porcelain bridge that may be needed if more than one tooth is in jeopardy.

Whichever option you and your cosmetic dentist select, your journey will take you through a smile transformation that will offer you many benefits including the ability to eat your favorite foods, speak with confidence and smile with the joy of knowing you now have beautiful teeth made possible with cosmetic dentistry.



Composite Resin Fillings: What Are the Advantages?

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

dentist BucktownThere are many uses for the composite resin material offered by our dentist serving Bucktown IL.

Dental decay has been treated for years using a material made of silver amalgam to fill the tooth. But due to the mercury content in dental amalgam, many dental offices have opted for the use of composite resin material to repair small cavities.

But composite resin has many other uses in the dental office. Composite resin is a material that allows your dentist to adapt to the shade of your teeth making the use of composite resin very aesthetically pleasing for:

  • Dental fillings suitable for both the front and back teeth.
  • The replacement of small mercury fillings that may have cracked or become defective.
  • Cracked or chipped teeth are repaired using composite resin.
  • Reshaping or changing the contour of teeth to improve their appearance.
  • Partial crown or a veneer.
  • Cosmetic uses such as to close spaces or gaps between teeth.
  • Bonding to cover stains due to diet, medication or fluorosis.

When using composite resin, the material is essentially bonded in place, dried to a hardened finish using a curing light or laser, and polished to match your dental enamel. By employing the use of composite resin your dentist has essentially enhanced the strength and durability of the tooth repaired.

In addition to improved tooth strength, the use of composite resin can be used to create an entire smile makeover.  Your dentist can reshape or build-up teeth that have been worn down or are uneven.

Who are the best candidates for composite resin restorations? Any person needing a filling or dental repair is a suitable candidate. In fact, the use of composite resin can make dental fillings less sensitive to hot and cold than with the use of dental amalgam.

Composite resin dental repair is applied by your dentist in usually one visit. And because it is applied in layers with hardening each layer as it is added, your dentist can control the appearance of your restoration making it very lifelike and matching it to the shape and shade of the surrounding teeth. Your finished restoration will be virtually undetectable from your own teeth.

Many folks today are opting to replace their older silver fillings with composite resin. A broad smile that exposes only bright white teeth instead of the old silver or gold can uplift your spirit and give you confidence beyond your best expectations.

To learn more and to schedule your visit, please call ORA Dental Studio at 312-328-9007.