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Archive for May, 2016

When is a dental crown recommended?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

dental crowns ChicagoDental crowns can be used to preserve significantly damaged teeth or as a measure of protection for teeth that may be vulnerable to breakage. This valuable restoration can help patients save a biological tooth rather than have it extracted.

Sometimes a crown is too severely compromised to be restored by a more conservative measure like a filling. In these cases, tooth-shaped caps made of materials that replicate the appearance of natural enamel can be placed atop a tooth to restore the smile’s appearance and protect the tooth from further damage.

Additionally, dental crowns are placed after root canals, as the treated tooth is more susceptible to breakage after that procedure. The dental crown helps to prevent that outcome.

Your dentist can advise you about the most appropriate restoration for your particular issue. If you do decide to pursue a crown, the treatment timeline will likely be just a few weeks. At an initial appointment, the dentist will gather information about your tooth and may take photos, X-rays or dental impressions to be used in the design of the crown.

The tooth will also need to be prepped prior to crown placement, and this may take place at that first appointment as well. A thin layer of enamel must be removed from the crown in order to create enough room for the restoration. The patient can be fitted with a temporary crown to maintain the smile’s appearance until the permanent crown is ready, if desired.

That information is then relayed to the dental lab responsible for creating your crown. When it is ready – usually just a few weeks later – the patient returns to the office to have it bonded to the tooth.

When you take good care of a crown, it can last for many years. If anything happens to the crown, come to our office to be examined and determine the next steps.

If you think you may benefit from a dental crown, contact our team at Ora Dental Studio to schedule a consultation and learn more about this option.

Surprising Habits that Could Damage Your Teeth

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

dentist Chicago LoopThere are many things that come to mind that could harm your teeth, like eating too much candy or failing to brush and floss your teeth every day. However, there are some other habits that are not as obvious that can still harm your teeth and send you to the dentist for care.

  • Overdoing it on sneaky sources of sugar: Do you use lots of throat lozenges? That’s lots of exposure to sugar for your teeth. Drinking too many sweetened beverages and not enough water? Not only are the sugary drinks bad for your teeth, but you need water to clear away oral bacteria and stay hydrated to make enough saliva.
  • Biting your fingernails: Biting your nails can damage your teeth and repeatedly put your jaw in an unnatural position. This habit can lead to premature wear on your teeth, as well as jaw pain.
  • Overdoing it on your brushing: While brushing is an essential component to your oral health regimen, it is possible to overdo it. If you brush too hard, you can actually damage your teeth or gums. Check in with your dentist to make sure that you are using proper technique.
  • Using your mouth as a tool: Your teeth were designed to chew food, not open bottles or packages. So don’t use them for that purpose! Furthermore, don’t chew on things (like pencils, straws, etc.) that weren’t meant to be eaten. Even chewing ice can harm your teeth, so steer clear of that action too.

There’s one more habit that’s harmful to your smile that may not be surprising, but it still warrants a mention here: smoking. It can be so detrimental to your teeth and gums in so many ways that if you are a smoker who wants a beautiful smile, you should really work to give up your cigarettes.

If you are concerned that one of your habits may be harming your teeth or want some help with ideas about how to kick one of these bad habits, talk to one of our dentists at your next check-up or call our office to consult with one of our experienced team members.

Am I still a candidate for Invisalign if I’ve had traditional braces?

Friday, May 6th, 2016

Invisalign clear braces ChicagoPatients whose teeth have shifted after orthodontic treatment are often interested in a second round of treatment to correct that problem. However, they may not want to spend a lengthy time in traditional braces that obscure their smile and negatively affect their appearance. Invisalign clear braces can be a good alternative for these patients.

Invisalign clear braces reposition the teeth by applying forces to them via custom-designed clear plastic trays rather than brackets and wires. The trays can be removed at meal time and when brushing and flossing, so they are less disruptive to the patient’s normal routine.

Patients who were treated with traditional braces in their teens can be candidates for Invisalign clear braces, and many choose this treatment out of concern for maintaining a professional appearance and better convenience.

If you are interested in Invisalign, you should consult with our dentists who can evaluate your case to determine if the system can help you achieve your smile goals.

Those of you who have previously experienced traditional braces may remember that you always seemed to be in your orthodontist’s office for adjustments to the appliances. That’s not the case with Invisalign. The patient is responsible for switching out the trays according to the schedule provided by the dentist, so you only have to come into the office periodically to monitor your progress with the treatment.

It’s important to adhere to that schedule, though, and be sure that you are wearing your trays for at least 20-22 hours each day. If you don’t follow those directions, you won’t get the results you want in the desired timeframe.

Invisalign also can be used to treat malocclusions (misaligned jaws), such as overbites, underbites and crossbites. If you have any of these concerns, you may also want to check in with your dentist to see if Invisalign can help.

If you’ve already been through one round of conventional orthodontic treatment and need to reposition your teeth again, consider Invisalign. Call our office to learn more about this treatment option.