Dental Care Grayslake, IL

White Spots? Here’s What it May be About!

Dental Care Grayslake, ILWhen you look at your smile, what you would like to see are shiny, healthy-looking teeth. If you’re a large percentage of the modern generations, you would also like it if your teeth were radiant white. What we look for is an all-over white, a shade that reflects youth and vitality. Bright white spots are usually more of a nuisance than a feature we appreciate. Here, we point out what those spots are and what can be done to improve the appearance of your smile.

When Fluoride Equals Fluorosis

The American Dental Association recommends that we all obtain a moderate dose of fluoride on a regular basis. Fluoride is the mineral that has been recognized the most for its anti-cavity protection. This is why fluoride is added to most public sources of drinking water, and why most toothpaste products contain it. In most cases, the addition of fluoride is advantageous. However, some people are either susceptible to fluoride exposure or get a little too much.

Fluorosis develops on teeth that are still growing; the teeth that are still hidden beneath the gums. Once a tooth erupts from the gums, this cosmetic condition cannot occur. Knowing this, dentists provide tips for the use of fluoride in children aged 8 and younger. If you are concerned about the risk of fluorosis for your child, contact our office for personal assistance.

What to do about Fluorosis

When teeth are discolored in any way, there is usually an assumption that teeth whitening is the most appropriate method of correction. In most cases, this is correct, but not when we are dealing with white spots caused by fluoride. These spots are permanent and will not improve if teeth are whitened. The way that whitening may work on mild fluorosis is by lightening the enamel around small areas of discoloration.

A more reliable treatment for the correction of fluorosis is to cover the tooth. A convenient and long-term cosmetic treatment that is often considered is porcelain veneers. This treatment is performed over two office visits and can hide discoloration in addition to other concerns, such as gaps between teeth or disproportionate size and shape. In some cases, dentists recommend porcelain crowns. We are careful to propose treatment and do so only after a thorough consultation and examination of your teeth.

Find the solution to fluorosis at Advanced Dental Arts in Grayslake. Call (847) 223-5200 to schedule your visit.

Dental Care

Treat Your Heart Well with Good Oral Care

Dental CareMany adults are interested in finding ways to support a healthy heart as they traverse their aging process. To do so means to eat well and exercise regularly in a way that suits individual preferences. It also means to take really good care of teeth and gums. Several research studies have made the correlation between poor oral health and heart problems. This may sound like bad news, but it’s not. Understanding that oral health affects the heart, we have one more way to sustain optimal wellness!

The Connection: Where and What?

It may be enough for some people to know that the mouth affects the heart, and that’s that. However, we’re going to take a look at this connection a little more closely for those who like details.

What research has discovered is that there are millions of microorganisms that live in the mouth. Living critters that we often call oral bacteria. It is bacterium that cause inflammation in the gums and cavities in teeth. When they get out of control, they can enter the blood through any opening in tissue, of which there are many. Bacteria are swallowed. Some may be inhaled. Others head straight into the blood, and where does that go? To the heart.

Then what?

Once bacteria from the mouth flow along with the blood and reach the heart, they can adhere to the tissue in this organ, where inflammation may result in:

  • Heart attack. Severe gum disease is a major risk factor for heart attacks. The direct cause in many cases is cardiovascular disease . . .
  • Cardiovascular disease. This heart condition occurs when the arteries that carry blood narrow. The reason that narrowing often occurs is plaque buildup. Another reason is inflammation. This inflammation may originate with or be exacerbated by the bacteria that have traveled from the mouth to the walls of arteries.
  • Endocarditis. This condition is actual infection in the endocardium tissue that lines the inner chambers and valves of the heart. This infection is caused by bacteria and has been directly related to the same bacterium that live in the mouth that has been infected with gum disease. Endocarditis may be treatable, but it can also permanently damage the valves of the heart, inhibiting adequate blood circulation.

Brilliant Smile, Happy Heart

Taking good care of your teeth is easy. That is something to smile about. When teeth and gums are healthy, they look better. More reason to smile! Perhaps the best advantage of good oral health is the marked decrease in the risk of potentially serious heart problems.

If you’ve got questions about what your teeth and gums really need to stay healthy, call our Grayslake office. We’re happy to schedule an exam and cleaning to jump start your forward progress.

Preventative Dental Care Grayslake, IL

What Could Cause You to Lose a Tooth?

Preventative Dental Care Grayslake, ILA study published by the Centers for Disease Control revealed that approximately two-thirds of adults in the 20 – 39-year-old age group have all of their natural teeth. After the age of 40, this statistic drops by a third. Now, this is a far cry from the days when our ancestors were used to being toothless. The statistics reported today are more related to the loss of one or two teeth, not all teeth in the mouth. Also, today, we’ve got some ways to restore the look and function of the smile if a tooth or teeth are lost. This may be to our benefit, but we must also remember that prevention is the best medicine.

It is possible that you might significantly reduce your risk of losing natural teeth? Can this problem be entirely preventable? In many cases, yes. To reduce risks, though, we’ve got to know what we’re up against.

Common Causes of Tooth Loss

There are several reasons why a person may lose a tooth, including injury. Most cases revolve around one of a few common conditions:

  • Periodontal disease. Inflammation of the soft tissue around teeth is one thing. We call this gingivitis. Most people with gingivitis suffer frustrating but relatively minor concerns like chronic bad breath. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is different. This is an infectious condition that has reached deeper into the connective tissue around the roots of teeth. The presence of bacteria and inflammation in the gums and periodontal ligament degrade tissue, even bone, creating instability around teeth and, if not treated, tooth loss.
  • A cavity is a pretty minor problem. When the subtle tooth pain that indicates a cavity is treated, we cheer and call it a god day. Letting this problem go on for any length of time means that dental caries, or oral bacteria, will continually eat away at the enamel, then soft tissue, then nerves and the tooth root. This can cause the tooth to die in the mouth.
  • Root canal infection. There are between one and four canals that connect a tooth to the substructure. Each canal contains dental pulp, highly-sensitive and nutrient-dense tissue that support tooth health. Contamination of the pulp needs to be treated properly to prevent death and the need for extraction.

There is a reason the American Dental Association encourages twice-yearly dental visits for people of all ages. The combination of in-office exams and cleanings and good daily care can mean keeping your teeth for life. And, guess what? It’s never too late to start taking excellent care of your smile. We’re here to help you. Call our Grayslake office at (847) 223-5200.

Dental Bonding Grayslake, IL

The Beauty of Dental Bonding

Dental Bonding Grayslake, ILUsually, when we talk about the veneer process, it is porcelain veneers that come up. The longevity and lifelike qualities of porcelain veneers make this cosmetic treatment ideal for some situations. However, there is another veneer process that doesn’t get nearly as much attention. For many of the complaints patients of our Grayslake office have, dental bonding may be a great solution.

What is dental bonding?

A good way to describe dental bonding is a direct veneer. A veneer is a covering that changes the appearance of a surface. So, bonding is a type of veneer that we refer to as “direct” because this process takes place almost entirely in the tooth. Porcelain veneers are referred to as “indirect” because they are fabricated off the tooth using a model as a guide.

A patient may choose dental bonding to disguise smaller areas of concern, such as a localized stain on a tooth, a small gap, or a chip or crack. Dental bonding is also the process of repairing a small cavity with a composite resin material. The treatment process involves etching the tooth with a mild chemical solution. This enables the composite material to adhere to enamel. After the composite is color-matched and shaped, it is cured using light. Hardened against enamel, the bond should last for several years.

Which treatment is right for you?

You may have noticed that dental bonding shares some of the capabilities of porcelain veneers. The two treatments overlap in some of the issues they can disguise. Why, then, might you choose dental bonding with composite resin instead of a porcelain veneer? A leading benefit of bonding is the expedited timing of results. When we bond a tooth, you see the difference immediately; no second visit is needed. Also, bonding requires slight tooth etching, not actual reduction. This means treatment is reversible and does not require lifelong maintenance.

Do you have cosmetic concerns that are keeping you from your best smile? We would love to help you resolve them. Contact our office at (847) 223-5200 for friendly service and convenient scheduling.

Dental Implants Grayslake, IL

Tooth Replacement: It’s Not All About Your Teeth

Dental Implants Grayslake, ILTooth loss is not a new problem by any means. In fact, we’ve come a long way in recognizing the role we play in the longevity of our teeth. In the past century alone, humans have discovered the reasons why teeth may fail, and also what can be done to minimize the effects of tooth failure if it does occur. Advances in dental science have led to innovative treatment options like dental implants. We are pleased to serve our patients’ needs with this high standard of care.

Important Changes in Tooth Replacement

Something very important happened when the use of dental implants became common: we harnessed the ability to reinstate natural oral structure. You see, before dental implants, all we could do to help a person who had lost one or more teeth was replace that missing tooth structure, the crown of the tooth. Affixing a bridge or denture over the gums did (and does) provide some beneficial improvement. At the same time, the mouth needs more. We need roots to our teeth. By replacing them, we reestablish:

  • Expected permanence. Natural teeth are supposed to be permanent fixtures in the mouth. Whether a result of injury or poor dental health, the loss of a tooth or teeth has the potential to create a life of anxiety related to oral function. It doesn’t have to. When titanium posts are positioned into the jawbone, they become set in place, where they should stay for many, many years.
  • Optimal function. Our understanding of, and ability to restore, tooth stability has only recently come together in the form of a reliable treatment option. Chewing with loose dentures is uncomfortable, at best. Teeth should not move when we bite into food, nor when we smile or speak. The stability of teeth is guaranteed through the use of well-placed dental implants.
  • When we have our natural teeth, the general guidelines for care are well established. We know that we need to brush and floss and see the dentist. In the ideal situation, replacement teeth will require nothing more than what we have always done. What is needed to sustain dental implants is a consistent brushing routine that inhibits oral bacteria from causing inflammation in the gums.

We would love to see you in our Grayslake office to support your healthiest smile. Call (847) 223-5200 for your visit.

Cosmetic Dentistry Grayslake, IL

Cosmetic Dentistry for the Older Generation

Cosmetic Dentistry Grayslake, ILThere may be quite a few people who don’t like being categorized as being a part of the older generation referred to as the Baby Boomers. We think there is a lot to be proud of whatever generation you may be in. The fact is, life provides us with ample opportunity for growth and the attainment of knowledge and success. The older we get, the more we know; it’s pretty simple. On the flip side of the benefits of aging, we can understand the very clear challenges that come with the cosmetic changes that occur with the passage of time. Here, we want to discuss why men and women in mid-life and beyond are still able to benefit significantly from cosmetic dental treatments.

No Expiration Date on Success

The fact that we get older does not change the fact that we want to feel good about the contribution we are making to the world. This could be through valued work in a chosen career, or it could be volunteer work provided to a passion-project. What we see today more than ever is the clear indication that older individuals are not ready to slow down. As such, these men and women want to – and deserve to – feel confident in their appearance.

Anti-aging treatments such as injectables, laser treatments, and cosmetic facial surgeries are trending among men and women from their 40’s to their 80’s, and for a good reason. We propose that a smile makeover, which need not be overly dramatic or complicated, could have a powerful effect on the face. The smile is the first thing that people notice. When it is bright and straight, we are portrayed in a positive light. Research has suggested and then confirmed, the immense value of an attractive smile, both in the workplace and in social situations. This value does not expire, regardless of age.

At Advanced Dental Arts, we enjoy helping patients of all ages sustain healthy teeth and gums, and enhance beauty with innovative cosmetic dentistry treatments. From teeth whitening to porcelain crowns and veneers to dental implants, our services are performed with compassion and commitment to the best possible outcome.

Call (847) 223-5200 to schedule your appointment in our Grayslake office.

Lumineers Grayslake, IL

LUMINEERS: Is This the Treatment You’ve Been Waiting for?

Lumineers Grayslake, ILCosmetic dentistry is an exciting field due to the many innovations that have taken place over time. There seems to always be something new on the horizon for folks who want to revamp their smile and boost their image. Porcelain veneers, or any veneer treatment, are not new anymore; dentists have been performing this technique for several years now. As such, this is a treatment that is relatively familiar. So familiar, in fact, that the fact that veneer treatment has recently improved may be missed.

Veneers Solve Numerous Problems

There are some cosmetic concerns that are easily corrected with porcelain veneers. By adhering a thin sheath of porcelain to the front surface of a tooth or teeth, it is possible to cover up a gap, an odd shape or stain, chip or several other types of imperfections. In resolving such issues in the smile, veneers have become a valuable cosmetic process for anyone wanting to feel better about their appearance. And yet, there is a tiny drawback.

As many problems as porcelain veneers can solve, this treatment poses a singular challenge that, for some, may be difficult to overcome: permanence. You might think that the longevity of veneers is a good thing, but that isn’t always the case. Many people have a difficult time committing to the maintenance aspect of traditional veneers. If a veneer chips or breaks or wears down, it must be replaced. This is enough to keep a large percentage of interested patients from leaping their best smile. But then came LUMINEERS.

LUMINEER treatment is a no-prep veneer process. No enamel is taken from the surface of the tooth or teeth being covered. This is because the custom covers are made from Cerinate porcelain of which thickness is only about that of a contact lens. Cerinate porcelain has been carefully manufactured for strength to make up for the thin frame of each veneer, so patients need not worry that their results will last any less than they would with standard-thickness veneers. Good oral care continues to be integral to that outcome but is simple enough that most patients have no problem following their dentist’s recommendations.

Are you ready to make a big smile change with little commitment? Contact our Grayslake office at (847) 223-5200 to learn more about LUMINEERS.

Dental Care Grayslake, IL

There are Multiple Paths to Less Sensitivity

Dental Care Grayslake, ILTo have tooth sensitivity means more than you might think. Because we hear about having sensitive teeth, and how to manage tooth sensitivity with a certain type of toothpaste, it is easy for more people to go without the proper diagnosis and treatment for this common condition. Tooth sensitivity is, in fact, a common problem among adults of all ages. Should you experience the telltale discomfort when you consume something that is either warm or cold, know that there are a few different reasons this could be happening. Also, know that appropriate dental care can resolve the issue.

Sensitivity Could Be a Symptom

Because tooth sensitivity has been discussed more or less as its unique problem, one might miss the fact that, by and large, sensitivity is a symptom of something else. A few of the common dental concerns that could lie beneath sensitivity include:

  • Early tooth decay. The formation of a cavity creates an opening through which stimulus has a greater impact on the nerves of a tooth.
  • Tooth erosion. Erosion is different than tooth decay. When enamel erodes, the wearing down of a tooth is more widespread. A cavity is localized, erosion affects a far greater amount of a tooth’s surface.
  • Gum recession. We don’t typically think of tooth sensitivity as a gum issue, but this is often the case. When gums become inflamed, they pull away from the tooth. When space is created between the tooth and gum tissue, nerves at the root of the tooth are more reactive to stimulus.

Getting to the Heart of the Matter

When you understand tooth sensitivity as a symptom rather than a primary condition, you are better equipped to care for your oral health. Some of the treatment options to decrease tooth sensitivity include:

  • Small cavities that are causing sensitivity will ideally be treated with simple tooth-colored fillings. Remember, early care is the best care because small fillings take less time and hold up well for many years. The longer a cavity goes untreated, the more effect there is inside the tooth, where extensive damage can occur at the root.
  • Teeth that have eroded may benefit from a dental crown or porcelain veneer. Veneers are typically considered for their cosmetic value, but the extra layer of material over enamel also blunts the sensation to the nerves of the treated tooth.
  • Gum recession also responds well to early treatment, which is usually a deep cleaning referred to as scaling and root planing. This deep cleaning, performed with local anesthetic, removes plaque from the root surfaced and smooths that surface so gum tissue can more easily re-attach.

Do you need help with tooth sensitivity? Call our Grayslake office at (847) 223-5200.

Dental Care Grayslake, IL

Tooth Decay Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Dental Care Grayslake, ILTooth sensitivity can keep you from eating foods that are warm, as well as foods that are cold. So long, popsicle! Take care, steaming piece of pizza! Many people express frustration at the presence of sensitivity. Numerous products exist to help people manage this problem and feel more comfortable to enjoy their favorite foods and beverages. The problem with having options to manage sensitivity is that you might miss the point of this symptom.

When teeth cry out as they come into contact with hot or cold temperatures, it is usually because something is wrong. That something wrong could be tooth decay. The breakdown of healthy enamel happens in steps. When you understand what those are, you realize how much time you have to address the issue of decay before extensive damage – and pain – occur.

  • It is possible to see the demineralization of teeth, but only if you know where and how to look. Usually, it is the teeth at the back of the mouth that lose precious mineral content first, due to the shape of our molars. These teeth have high corners and a deep center. Here, food debris and bacteria become trapped. The more bacteria that accumulate and deposit acid onto the tooth, the more demineralized the tooth becomes. This may present as light brown spots or white spots on enamel. When dental treatment is conducted at this point, enamel may be protected through a deep cleaning and dental sealants, if needed.
  • Enamel breakdown. The accumulation of bacteria and their acidic byproduct continually eat away the surface of a tooth. As a hole develops in the area of acidity, the tooth may become sensitive. This is because there is less of a buffer between the nerves of that tooth and the “outside world.” A small cavity can be repaired with a lifelike tooth-colored filling.
  • Dentin decay. Dentin is the soft substance that sits behind enamel. Here, there are numerous tubules that travel through the tooth. When bacteria reach dentin, they have a more damaging effect on this soft material. Because dentin lies close to the pulp chamber, it may be necessary to cover the tooth with a dental crown after removing all decay.
  • Pulp infection. Bacteria that reach the pulp chamber, the center of the tooth, typically cause infection quickly. It is in the pulp chamber where nerves are housed, which is why pain becomes intense if decay reaches this depth of tooth structure. Decay in the pulp chamber may need endodontic treatment followed by a dental crown.

Why wait for the pain to dictate your dental treatment? Contact our Grayslake office at (847) 223-5200 for friendly family dental care.

Bruxism Grayslake, IL

Are You Caught in the Grind?

Bruxism Grayslake, ILDid you know that more than 30 million people in our country are affected by bruxism? This condition of unconscious grinding and clenching the teeth may develop in children and adults of all ages. Sometimes, the force against the teeth and jaw occurs during waking hours. However, in a good number of cases, bruxism occurs at night when one is asleep.

What does May bring About Bruxism?

There are some potential reasons that a person starts to grind and clench their teeth. Sometimes, the underlying cause is physical (bruxism is related to snoring and sleep apnea). Sometimes it is genetics that leads to this habit, and sometimes it is a matter of psychological stress. Whatever the reason for grinding, it is important to recognize this habit. If bruxism continues, there is a chance that enamel may be damaged to the point of extensive wear or even fracture. Tooth sensitivity may become an uncomfortable problem, and headaches may even occur as a result of chronic stress in the jaw.

Seeing the Signs

As we stated, bruxism is a subconscious habit. That means it is necessary to look for evidence outside of the actual movement of clenching. Some of the symptoms that may result from bruxism include:

  • Persistent tooth sensitivity or pain.
  • Grinding sounds that are heard by others.
  • Changes to the shape of teeth.
  • A feeling of looseness in a tooth or teeth.
  • Chips or fractures.
  • Tension or pain in the jaw, or limited range of motion in the jaw.
  • Chronic headaches or migraines.
  • Severe tooth wear that causes exposure of dentin or tooth roots.
  • Persistent or frequent ear pain.

What to do about Bruxism

If bruxism is suspected, a dental consultation and examination should be scheduled sooner rather than later. Appropriate treatment for bruxism may be multifaceted, including dental treatment such as a custom-fit mouth guard. Additionally, lifestyle habits may be suggested. Some tricks to try include taking a warm bath or shower before bed and avoiding caffeine after a certain time of day.

Lifestyle habits to reduce stress can help bruxism, but these do not substitute for dental care. To get optimal results for tooth grinding and clenching, call Advanced Dental Arts in Grayslake for personal care.