Posts for: December, 2017
Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants require a surgical procedure. But don't let your imagination run wild — the procedure is relatively minor and easy for most people to undergo.
Implants are unique among restorations because they replace a tooth's root. A metal titanium post, substituting for the root, must be surgically placed into the jawbone. While the procedure itself is simple and no more involved than a tooth extraction, it does require careful attention to detail before, during and afterward.
Our first step is to examine the target site with x-rays (often CT scanning) to pinpoint the best location for placement. This is critical because where we place the implant will have a huge bearing on how attractive and natural the implant finally appears. From this evaluation we frequently create a surgical guide.
Surgery begins with a local anesthesia to completely numb the site. You will feel no pain during the procedure and only minimal discomfort for a few days afterward. We then make small incisions in the gums to access the bone and create a small channel or hole.
Using the surgical guide, we then initiate a drilling sequence that gradually increases the size of the channel until it's the size and shape of the implant post. One thing we must do at this point is take our time: we use gentle pressure and water-cooling to avoid overheating and damaging the bone.
Once we're finished with drilling we remove the implant from its sterile packaging and imbed it directly into the prepared channel. It's then a matter of verifying the location with x-rays and then closing the gum tissue with self-absorbing sutures if necessary.
Most patients only need mild pain medication like aspirin or ibuprofen to manage discomfort afterwards. You won't even notice it in a week or less. After several weeks in which the bone grows and adheres to the implant (a process called osseointegration), you'll be ready for the final step, attaching the life-like porcelain crown to the implant.
Although the process can take several weeks to months, your discomfort should be minimal at any stage. In the end, your patience will be rewarded with a new, more attractive smile.
If you would like more information on the process of obtaining dental implants, 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 “Dental Implant Surgery.”
When you look in the mirror, do the imperfections in your smile jump out at you first? If so, you may benefit from a cosmetic dentistry procedure to brighten, enhance, or even completely renew your smile. With a versatile procedure like dental veneers, you can do all these things and more. Find out more about dental veneers with Dr. Whitney Behm at City Square Dental in Woodstock, IL.
What can veneers do for me?
Dental veneers fit onto the surface of the teeth to cover them and change their appearance. While a veneer can completely change the appearance of the tooth, it can also only change certain things, like the length or width or color of the tooth. Additionally, a veneer can repair cracks or chips in a tooth or even out a too-long, too-short, or pointy tooth. Veneers are a powerful cosmetic tool which, with help from your dentist, can renew your smile and help you feel as great as you look.
How does the procedure for veneers work?
Your dentist will most likely require several visits to properly design, create, and place your new veneers. You will need one appointment to consult with your dentist about your expectations and results and determine if this is the best procedure for your teeth. Your dentist may begin the preparation process at this visit, preparing the teeth to receive the veneers by removing a super-thin layer of enamel from their surfaces. If necessary, your dentist will place temporary veneers after taking an impression of the mouth. This ensures a natural look and strong bond between restoration and tooth. At a follow-up appointment, your dentist will remove any temporary veneers and fit and permanently place the final restorations onto your teeth.
Dental Veneers in Woodstock, IL
If you think you could benefit from veneers, it is important to consult with your dentist to ensure that another cosmetic dentistry procedure would not better suit your wishes. For more information on dental veneers, please contact Dr. Whitney Behm at City Square Dental in Woodstock, IL. Call 815-337-1932 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Whitney Behm today!
Laying out goals for the New Year is a great way to inspire yourself to make positive changes that can improve your health. For example, many habits—both good and bad—affect the health of your teeth and gums. Here’s a list of risky habits to kick, and mouth-healthy habits to adopt:
Habits That Risk Oral Health
Smoking. As if oral cancer weren’t enough to worry about, smoking also promotes gum disease and tooth loss. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, smokers have double the risk of gum disease compared to nonsmokers. And according to the Academy of General Dentistry, smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth as nonsmokers. For help quitting, visit smokefree.gov.
Snacking. Nibbling all day can create the perfect conditions for tooth decay—especially if your snacks contain sugar and other carbohydrates. Sticky snacks like cookies, crackers, chips and candy bars that cling to teeth tend to remain in the mouth and attract decay-causing oral bacteria. The acid these bacteria produce can penetrate the enamel of your teeth, causing cavities.
Soft Drinks. Speaking of tooth-eroding acid, soft drinks have plenty of it. And this includes both regular and diet varieties of soda, sweetened iced tea, sports drinks and so-called energy drinks. The healthiest drink for your teeth is water!
Brushing. You probably brush your teeth every day already, but are you doing it correctly? To get the most benefit from this healthy habit, brush twice each day for a full two minutes each time. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with toothpaste that contains fluoride, and don’t scrub too harshly!
Flossing. Yes, it’s worth the effort! If you don’t floss, you’ll miss cleaning about 40% of your tooth surfaces. A toothbrush just can’t reach in between teeth, where decay-causing dental plaque can hide. If you find dental floss difficult to work with, try using disposable floss holders.
Regular Dental Checkups. Keep up a regular schedule of professional teeth cleanings and exams! This allows us to remove any hardened dental plaque (tartar) that has built up on your teeth, screen you for oral cancer, and treat minor dental problems before they become major ones. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to review your at-home oral hygiene.
If you have any questions about how to improve your oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “10 Tips for Daily Oral Care at Home” and “10 Tips to Help You Stop Smoking.”