Blog Bucktown Dental Associates
Not long ago, musician, businessman, and actor 50 Cent (AKA Curtis James Jackson III) joined the growing ranks of celebrities (like Demi Moore and LeAnn Rimes) who have sent out tweets from the dental chair. The rapper, who has had extensive cosmetic work done on his teeth, even live-tweeted an action shot of his dentist giving him an oral exam!
Some might consider this too much information — but we're happy whenever people are reminded of the importance of regular dental checkups. In fact, the “routine” dental exam is truly one of the most useful procedures (and one of the best values) in dental care. Let's “examine” some reasons why that's so.
For one thing, coming in to our office when you don't have a specific problem gives us the chance to talk to you about any concerns you may have in regard to your mouth — or your health in general. In fact, many of the questions we ask and the exam procedures we perform give us an opportunity to detect potentially deadly diseases. For example, simply monitoring your blood pressure may identify a risk for heart disease; or an examination of the oral tissues may reveal the first signs of oral cancer. Both conditions are treatable if caught early on.
Of course, at a dental exam we always look closely at your teeth for signs of cavities. We also check your gums for inflammation or bleeding, which could indicate gum disease. X-rays or other diagnostic tests are performed when necessary. Generally, the sooner we can diagnose and treat any problems we may find, the better (and less costly) the outcome tends to be.
A typical checkup also includes a thorough, professional teeth cleaning with specialized tools, performed by our skilled dental hygienists. This not only makes your mouth look and feel sparkly clean — it also removes the built-up hard deposits (called tartar or calculus) that can lead to bad breath or gum disease.
Once the exam and cleaning are done, we have a good idea of the general state of your dental health. We can then give feedback on your oral hygiene techniques, assess your risk for disease, and make recommendations tailored to your individual needs. And we can do all this in about half an hour.
So talk about it, tweet about it — but don't neglect it! Along with regular brushing and flossing, routine dental checkups are the best way for you to maintain good oral hygiene — and prevent future dental problems.
If you would like more information about the benefits of regular dental exams, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Dental Hygiene Visit.”
The most important thing for any dentist is to ensure all patients are relaxed, comfortable and anxiety-free.
Do you find yourself nervous and jittery before your upcoming dental appointment? Perhaps you’ve cancelled multiple times already and you’re thinking about backing out. Before you do, please consider these options for calming your dental phobia. After all, while dental checkups aren’t always the most fun, they are extremely important for finding and treating dental problems. Early detection is key to maintaining a healthy smile. Therefore, your Bucktown dentist is offering some helpful tips that other patients have used to quell their dental fears:
Learn deep relaxation and breathing techniques. When people panic, their breathing becomes labored and shallow, making the whole dental visit a stressful event. Next time, download deep relaxation podcasts before your upcoming visit so that you have something soothing to listen to. Distractions are always a good way to keep your mind off your checkup.
If the thought of having someone chatting into your headphones while you’re sitting in the dentist’s chair makes you antsier, then consider listening to calming, gentle music instead. Create a dental playlist before your upcoming appointment so you’re not spending time searching for the right music. We recommend soothing instrumental music rather than music that’s going to rev you up. After all, if you can make your experience feel more like a day at the spa then a dental visit, we’ll bet you’ll be a happy camper.
Call your dentist if you have any concerns or questions. It’s important that you feel comfortable with anyone who is taking your health in his hands. We want you to feel at ease with us so we can help you with your dental fears. That means calling us when you need to so we can ease your worried mind.
Talk to us beforehand about establishing a “stop” signal. This will help you feel in control during the procedure and also let me know when you are feeling uncomfortable. Let’s come up with a “stop” plan before your next dental visit.
If these tips sound all well and good but haven’t worked for you in the past, then talk to us about sedation dentistry in Bucktown. We understand that for some the fear is pretty deep rooted. In these cases, the only way to fully relax is with sedation. We offer oral sedation (anti-anxiety medications) and inhalation sedation (nitrous oxide), which allows patients to fully relax during their visit without uncomfortable side effects. If you have questions about sedation dentistry in Bucktown before your next visit, give us a call today. Sedation could help abate your dental fears.
When you first received your removable dentures the fit was firm and comfortable. Lately, though, they’ve become loose, making it difficult to eat or speak without slippage.
The problem may not be with your denture, but with bone loss. Human bone goes through a natural cycle of dissolving (known as resorption) and new growth to take the lost bone’s place. The jawbone receives further stimulation to grow from the forces generated by natural teeth when we bite or chew.
When natural teeth are missing, however, the jawbone lacks this stimulation, which over time results in bone loss and gum tissue shrinkage. Traditional dentures can’t transmit this stimulating force to the jawbone either, so the bone and gum structure under a denture will also shrink. This results in a looser fit for the denture.
The simplest option to correct a loose-fitting denture (especially if it’s the first occurrence) is to reline the dentures with additional material to re-form the fit to the new conditions in the mouth. A permanent relining will require sending your dentures to a dental laboratory to apply the new material based on a mold of your current anatomy beneath the denture.
If, however, your dentures have already undergone a few relinings, or after examining your gums we determine a relining won’t provide the fit and stability needed, then it may be time for a new denture. Although this is more costly than a relining, a new appliance could provide a more accurate fit to the current contours in your mouth.
The latter option may also give you a chance to benefit from advancements in denture technology or materials since you received your current denture. One such advancement is a removable denture that’s supported by implants. It’s possible to achieve this new supporting foundation for the denture with as few as two strategically-placed implants in the lower jaw.
If you’ve begun to notice denture looseness, be sure to make an appointment for an examination. From there, we can advise you on what will work best in your particular case.
If you would like more information on your options regarding removable dentures, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Loose Dentures.”
When it comes to sensitive gums during pregnancy, Nancy O'Dell, the former co-anchor of Access Hollywood and new co-anchor of Entertainment Tonight, can speak from her own experience. In an interview with Dear Doctor magazine, she described the gum sensitivity she developed when pregnant with her daughter, Ashby. She said her dentist diagnosed her with pregnancy gingivitis, a condition that occurs during pregnancy and is the result of hormonal changes that increases blood flow to the gums. And based on her own experiences, Nancy shares this advice with mothers-to-be: use a softer bristled toothbrush, a gentle flossing and brushing technique and mild salt water rinses.
Before we continue we must share one important fact: our goal here is not to scare mothers-to-be, but rather to educate them on some of the common, real-world conditions that can occur during pregnancy. This is why we urge all mothers-to-be to contact us to schedule an appointment for a thorough examination as soon as they know they are pregnant to determine if any special dental care is necessary.
Periodontal (gum) disease can impact anyone; however, during pregnancy the tiny blood vessels of the gum tissues can become dilated (widened) in response to the elevated hormone levels of which progesterone is one example. This, in turn, causes the gum tissues to become more susceptible to the effects of plaque bacteria and their toxins. The warning signs of periodontal disease and pregnancy gingivitis include: swelling, redness, bleeding and sensitivity of the gum tissues. It is quite common during the second to eighth months of pregnancy.
Early gum disease, if left untreated, can progress to destructive periodontitis, which causes inflammation and infection of the supporting structures of the teeth. This can result in the eventual loss of teeth — again, if left untreated. Furthermore, there have been a variety of studies that show a positive link between preterm delivery and the presence of gum disease. There has also been a link between an increased rate of pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) and periodontal disease. Researchers feel this suggests that periodontal disease may cause stress to the blood vessels of the mother, placenta and fetus.
To learn more about this topic, continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Pregnancy and Oral Health.” And if you want to read the entire feature article on Nancy O'Dell, continue reading “Nancy O'Dell.”
Beautiful Smile. Less Time. Clear Braces for Adults
Are you one of many adults who want straight teeth but feel stuck because you do not want to have the metal-mouth look of braces?
Modern orthodontic techniques have improved significantly over the last 20 years. Now, there are effective and safe orthodontic techniques that fit adult lifestyle. These orthodontic techniques include clear aligners, such as ClearCorrect, and clear braces (invisible braces), such as Cfast. Combined with the skill, experience, and education of the dentist, patients can now get impressive results with less discomfort and in a short treatment time.
Clear tray-style aligners such as Invisalign and ClearCorrect are great cosmetic orthodontic techniques. They are clear and almost invisible. However, they have few major disadvantages:
1- Clear aligners - ClearCorrect need compliance as they do not work unless worn 22 hours a day.
2- Clear aligners - ClearCorrect are not effective for achieving significant tooth movement,
3- Clear aligners - ClearCorrect often take much longer to work compared to regular braces.
Modern clear orthodontic braces such as Cfast are virtually invisible. Cfast braces are highly resistant to staining and discoloring that can be caused by coffee or tea. The Cfast braces technique utilized tooth-colored titanium wires. The titanium wires are secured to the braces using stain-resistant clear elastics. Collectively, the Cfast braces components disappear in the mouth.
How is orthodontic treatment fast?
Orthodontic wires normally produce friction when tied to braces. Modern orthodontic braces produce far less friction with wires. The minimalfriction of Cfastbraces makes teeth move much faster. In addition, orthodontic Titanium wires, because of their flexibility, allow teeth to move faster compared to the traditional stiff stainless steel wires. The flexibility of titanium wires also causes little or no discomfort during treatment.
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