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Archive for March, 2016

What happens to a cracked tooth after it has been crowned?

Friday, March 25th, 2016

dental crowns ChicagoDental crowns can help patients preserve a cracked tooth and avoid having it extracted, which is almost always preferable to replacing a missing tooth with a prosthetic version. Here is an overview of how this treatment process works.

If you suffered some sort of injury that has severely damaged your tooth, your dentist may recommend that you consider a dental crown, a tooth-shaped cap made of metal, porcelain or composite materials. That crown offers a layer of protection to the tooth. Dental crowns can be used to repair damage too extensive to be addressed by a filling, and they are placed after a root canal for this purpose, as well. 

In order to prepare your tooth for placement of the crown, your dentist may first need to remove a thin layer of enamel to create room for the crown. You may also need to get a dental impression and/or have photos taken of your tooth in order for the crown to be designed.

It can take a few weeks for the crown to be ready for placement, so you may be fitted with a temporary crown while you await the permanent one. When the final crown is ready, you’ll return to the office to have it placed.

Patients can have significant input into the appearance of your crown. The porcelain and composite materials can be tailored to closely match the shade of your natural teeth so that the crown does not stand out. Further adjustments can be made before the crown is bonded to the tooth, but no changes are possible after that, so be sure that you are satisfied before the crown is placed.

After the crown is in place, it should protect your tooth from bacteria and other undesirable elements that could infiltrate the exposed inner core, as a result. Dental crowns can protect fractured teeth against abscesses and infections that can access the bloodstream and spread elsewhere in the body.

Don’t despair that you’ll need to have a cracked tooth removed and replaced. Schedule an evaluation at one of our Ora Dental Studio locations to see if a dental crown might help you save the affected tooth.

Lumineers vs. Teeth Whitening

Monday, March 14th, 2016

Lumineers ChicagoPatients don’t need to settle for a dingy yellow smile or stained teeth that mar a grin. A cosmetic dentist can use different interventions to improve the shade of a patient’s teeth or eliminate or hide stains, and the recommended treatment will be tailored to the patient’s unique needs. Two of the main options are veneers, such as Lumineers, and teeth whitening.

Teeth whitening treatments are most commonly used to brighten patients’ smiles. Depending on the patient’s preferences, these treatments can be administered by the cosmetic dentist in the office, or the patient can wear custom-designed trays that contain bleaching gels at home as directed.

In the dentist’s office, the gel can be activated with specialized lasers that help the bleaching agents take effect quite quickly. In-office treatments leave patients with smiles that are up to 10 shades whiter and require just about an hour of their time. This is a good choice for a patient who needs whiter teeth in a hurry or even those who just want results right away.

In contrast, patients usually don’t see results from at-home teeth whitening systems for at least a few days, but those results tend to be quite even and consistent. Patients can also use the trays at home to maintain whitening treatments originally delivered in the office.

Generally, veneers will be used to whiten the teeth of patients whose smiles have not responded adequately to typical bleaching gels. For example, patients who have deep stains in their teeth may not get the results they want from teeth whitening alone. Veneers can conceal such stains and give the affected tooth a much whiter appearance.

The treatment timeline for veneers can be a couple of weeks, as the devices are custom-crafted according to the patient’s unique specifications. Your dentist can let you know what to expect for timing of the veneer placement. When the veneers are ready, you will return to the office to have them bonded atop your teeth.

Talk to one of our expert dentists to determine which treatment is most appropriate to brighten and whiten your teeth. We will evaluate your case and talk to you about your desired outcomes in order to move forward with the best method to meet your needs. Call our team today at Ora Dental Studio to set up a consultation!

Good Dental Health Starts Early

Friday, March 4th, 2016

dentist 60601If you instill the importance of oral hygiene habits in your children at an early age, they will reap the benefits of good dental health throughout their lifetime.

Parents should consult with a dentist about the timeline of their children’s oral health care quite early. In fact, it’s recommended that children have their first appointment by their first birthday, even if the first tooth hasn’t erupted yet.

When a dentist sees a child at a young age, it can be possible to detect potential problems, like improper eruption, relatively early. Children’s teeth should be examined every six months just like their parents’ teeth. Even baby teeth can get cavities, and when they’re identified when they’re still small, it can be relatively easy to restore the tooth.

It’s also good for your child to establish a relationship with a dentist at a young age to overcome any potential dental anxiety that could develop. When your child views appointments at our office as a regular occurrence, they’ll become more familiar, and your child should be at ease with professional exams and cleanings.

The care parents provide at home will also help keep a child’s teeth healthy. Your provider can advise you on the timeline for introducing various oral hygiene habits. For example, you can brush your child’s teeth gently after they erupt and add toothpaste to the routine sometime later.

Your child can take over oral hygiene practices when he or she is capable of mastering the technique needed. It may be easier for your child to brush rather than floss, so you may have to continue to floss at first even after your child takes over brushing duties.

Get children started on a path to oral health at a young age by helping them establish good habits. Call us today to talk to one of our knowledgeable staff members about the timing of the various benchmarks that your child should reach with both professional and home care.