Posts for: June, 2017
Dental crowns can help you keep your teeth in good shape and even change the way they look. Our Woodstock, IL, dentist, Dr. Whitney Behm, discuss how crowns can help your smile.
Crowns protect your teeth
Crowns are often recommended if you have a crack in your tooth. Because the crack weakens the tooth, it's more likely to eventually break, particularly if you continue to chew with it. A crown supports the tooth and prevents it from breaking. The restorations are made of durable materials that look like tooth enamel, such as porcelain or composite resin. After your tooth is reduced in size slightly at our Woodstock office, the hollow crown is slipped over the tooth and secured with dental cement.
Do you have a broken tooth? Broken teeth can be very uncomfortable. If the exposed edges are sharp, they can cut your gums or mouth. Chewing is also difficult with a broken tooth. Adding a crown to the tooth offers a simple way to restore it and improve your appearance.
If you've recently had a root canal, you'll probably need a crown. Any dental procedure that removes a significant section of tooth structure, such as a root canal or large filling, will weaken teeth. Adding a crown helps you avoid a tooth fracture in the future.
Crowns transform your appearance
Crowns are also a good choice if you're concerned about cosmetic issues. Cracks don't just increase the risk of a fracture, but also mar the appearance of your smile. Adding a crown hides the crack from view. They're often used to conceal minor imperfections that don't affect the health of your tooth, such as discolorations from medication side effects.
Crowns can be used to completely change the way a tooth looks. Sometimes one tooth may be twisted or shaped a little differently than the rest of your teeth. When the tooth is capped with a crown, the uniformity of your smile improves.
Could a crown help renew and restore your smile? Call our Woodstock, IL, dentist, Dr. Whitney Behm, at (815) 337-1932 to find out if crowns are a good choice for you.
If you had chicken pox as a child, you're at higher risk for a painful viral infection later in life called shingles. Besides a painful skin rash and other symptoms that can develop, shingles could also affect your dental care.
About 90% of children contract chicken pox, a disease caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), which usually clears up on its own. But later in life, usually after age 50, about a quarter to a third of chicken pox patients will develop shingles.
The onset of shingles usually produces an itching or burning sensation on the skin that's either numb or overly sensitive to the touch. A red rash may ensue with crusty lesions, accompanied sometimes by pain, fever and fatigue. The rash often forms a belt-like or striped pattern along one side of the face or body.
For most patients this painful rash is the extent of their symptoms. But women who are pregnant, patients undergoing cancer treatment or people with compromised immune systems are at risk for more serious complications if they contract the disease. It's important for these at-risk patients to obtain a vaccination, as well as avoid contact with anyone with shingles.
Which brings us to your dental care: in its early stages shingles can be contagious, the virus passing to others through skin contact or by airborne respiratory secretions. That's why it's important if you're currently experiencing a shingles episode that you let us know before undergoing any kind of dental work.Â Even a routine teeth cleaning with an ultrasonic device could disrupt the virus and increase the chances of it spreading to someone else. We may need to postpone dental work until the virus is under control.
Antiviral drugs like acyclovir or famciclovir are highly effective in bringing the disease under control, especially if treatment starts within three days of the onset of symptoms. And don't forget the shingles vaccination: the U.S. Center for Disease Control recommends it for anyone 60 or older regardless of a past history with chicken pox.
See your physician as soon as possible if you begin to notice symptoms. Don't let shingles interfere with your life — or your dental care.
When the multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter and TV personality Jason Derulo was recently asked about his ideal woman, his answer covered a remarkably broad spectrum. "There’s no specific thing," he said, "so I think it’s unfair to say what my ‘type’ is." But it turns out that there is one thing the So You Think You Can Dance judge considers essential: A beautiful smile.
"I’m not into messy teeth," Derulo said. "If the grill has spaces and different colors, it’s not my vibe."
As it turns out, he may be on to something: A number of surveys have indicated that a bright, healthy smile is often the first thing people notice when meeting someone new. Yet many are reluctant to open up that big grin because they aren’t satisfied with the way their teeth look. If you’re one of them, consider this: Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of ways to improve your smile — and it may be easier and more affordable than you think.
For example, if your smile isn’t as bright as you would like it to be, teeth whitening is an effective and economical way to lighten it up. If you opt for in-office treatments, you can expect a lightening effect of up to 10 shades in a single one-hour treatment! Or, you can achieve the same effect in a week or two with a take-home kit we can custom-make for you. Either way, you’ll be safe and comfortable being treated under the supervision of a dental professional — and the results can be expected to last for up to two years, or perhaps more.
If your teeth have minor spacing irregularities, small chips or cracks, it may be possible to repair them in a single office visit via cosmetic bonding. In this process, a liquid composite resin is applied to the teeth and cured (hardened) with a special light. This high-tech material, which comes in colors to match your teeth, can be built up in layers and shaped with dental instruments to create a pleasing, natural effect.
If your smile needs more than just a touch-up, dental veneers may be the answer. These wafer-thin coverings, placed right on top of your natural teeth, can be made in a variety of shapes and colors — from a natural pearly luster to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Custom-made veneers typically involve the removal of a few millimeters of tooth enamel, making them a permanent — and irreversible — treatment. However, by making teeth look more even, closing up spaces and providing dazzling whiteness, veneers just might give you the smile you’ve always wanted.
If you would like more information about cosmetic dental treatments, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry — A Time for Change.”