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Archive for December, 2015

Your Most Common Teeth Whitening Questions Answered

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

teeth whitening ChicagoAre you curious about teeth whitening? Perhaps you have tried toothpastes and strips from a supermarket and feel that store-bought products didn’t produce noticeable results. Did you know that professional teeth whitening is actually very effective? This quick, non-invasive procedure can lighten your smile up to ten shades. Our cosmetic dentists utilize a system called Zoom!, which involves the use of a safe dental laser and prescription-grade bleaching agents to produce a dramatically whiter smile in about an hour’s time. Following are some answers to common questions about professional teeth whitening.

What makes professional teeth whitening effective?

The reason professional whitening is effective is because the ingredients used in the whitening solution are potent enough to penetrate the enamel surface of teeth. Permanent tooth stains form underneath tooth enamel and over the counter products lack the concentration to remove anything but surface stains, which form on top of tooth enamel. Professional whitening systems have the strength and concentration to bleach away the deepest discoloration and stains.

Why is a laser used?

The Zoom! whitening system involves using a laser to speed up the whitening process. This means that patients can enjoy a dramatically brighter smile immediately after a 45-minute session at our office. Since the laser emits a concentrated light beam, it not only accelerates the bleaching process, it enhances it.

Is professional whitening safe for my teeth and gums?

The whitening solution used by our cosmetic dentist office is safe for teeth and our team will take precautions to protect sensitive oral tissues like the linings of lips and cheeks along with the gums. Protective gauze and liquid dam are applied over the gums to prevent the bleaching solution from migrating off teeth. Patients may notice slight tooth sensitivity after a whitening treatment but these sensations will subside in a day or so.

How long will my white smile last?

After a professional teeth whitening treatment, patients can expect their smile to stay white for at least a year. There are ways to prolong the effects of treatment, however. We recommend that patients avoid smoking and drink beverages like coffee, soda, and wine through a straw.

To learn more about our cosmetic dentistry services, call us at Ora Dental Studio to reserve an appointment.

What are my options for replacing a metal-based crown?

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

dental crowns ChicagoDental crowns are a wonderful restoration for restoring badly damaged and diseased teeth. These restorations fit over the entire tooth above the gums and protect it from future damage. Without crowns, patients’ damaged teeth would eventually fail and require extraction. The protection afforded by a crown, however, can prevent a tooth from failing or the need for its removal. Today, patients have more options than ever before when it comes to the materials used to fabricate a crown. One of the most popular options is porcelain. This high-quality ceramic comes in a number of white shades that can be matched to the color of existing tooth structure. Porcelain crowns are as durable as they are beautiful. Our dentists can even remove old, conspicuous restorations and replace them with porcelain crowns to improve the aesthetic appeal of a smile.

Why are crowns necessary?

The reason restorations are necessary is because once the enamel layer of teeth is damaged, the tooth’s interior structures cannot ward off bacteria that cause decay and can even chip or crack under pressure. Once a tooth is damaged at this level, it cannot repair itself and the damage will only worsen with every day oral function and exposure to bacteria. Dental crowns are needed to prevent structural damage from worsening and decay from deepening. With a crown, a patient’s tooth and his or her occlusion is restored.

A crown is a cap that is cemented over the tooth. It is custom made so that is properly fits over a tooth, between neighboring teeth, and does not protrude too much to affect a patient’s bite.

What are the benefits of porcelain crowns?

Porcelain crowns make for beautiful and very lifelike restorations—especially when compared to their all-metal predecessors. Since this material reflects light, it has a very tooth-like luster. If you receive a porcelain crown or have a metal one replaced with porcelain, you will enjoy a restoration that is so natural others won’t be able to tell that you have had dental work done.

To learn more about restorations, call our practice to schedule an appointment.

Do I really need to pay attention to my tongue?

Monday, December 7th, 2015

dentist 60654The tongue is a vital part of the oral health system that is often over looked. Your tongue is essential to correct pronunciation. For example, you would not be able to enunciate words with the letters L or N in them without your tongue. The tongue is a breeding ground for bacteria and can develop cancers—especially when patients have certain risk factors such as a family history of oral cancer or a history of using tobacco. When performing checkups, our dentists look for signs of bacterial buildup (plaque) on the tongue as well as signs of oral cancer. Following are some important facts about your tongue and how you can take steps at home to improve and protect your oral health.

Should I brush my tongue?

You should absolutely incorporate brushing your tongue into your oral hygiene regimen. Simply brush your tongue with toothpaste and your toothbrush. Be sure to brush the sides and top of your tongue thoroughly so that you can remove as much bacteria as possible. You can purchase a tongue scraper to clean your tongue as well. These products are available in most supermarkets and pharmacies in the oral healthcare section.

Most studies show that about 70% of the mouth’s bacteria lives on the tongue. By cleaning your tongue, you can greatly reduce the threat of bacteria colonizing and forming plaque.

What are signs of oral cancer?

Since oral cancer can form anywhere in the mouth, it can be a bit difficult to perform a thorough self-screening. However, you can monitor the appearance of your tongue quite easily. Be sure to look for lumps, red or white colored patches, and sores that do not heal. If you notice any changes in the appearance or feel of soft oral tissues, schedule a checkup with our dentist immediately. Keeping regular appoints will help our team detect abnormalities as early as possible. If you drink or smoke, be sure to discuss this with our team as these habits increase your risk for oral cancers.

Call our friendly team at Ora Dental Studio today to schedule an appointment.