Dealing with a slightly chipped, discolored, or misshapen tooth? If so, you may feel a bit embarrassed by your smile. The good news is that through a simple cosmetic treatment known as dental bonding, your Bolingbrook, IL, dentists Dr. Kathryn Bachinski and Dr. Christine Petrilla can help you find a renewed confidence in your smile.
What is dental bonding?
Do you know the tooth-colored resin that is used to fill cavities? Well, that same resin can also be used to correct very minor defects in the shape, color, or size of a tooth. This composite resin is moldable, making it easy to shape over small chips, cracks, and discolorations. It can even be used to fill gaps between teeth. Bonding is a great solution if you are dealing with small imperfections that may not warrant the time and expense of crowns or veneers.
How does bonding work?
Our Bolingbrook, IL, dentists will first choose the appropriate shade for the resin that will blend in with the rest of the tooth. Next, we will apply a liquid over the tooth to rough up the surface. This will make it easier for the bonding resin to stick to the tooth.
Then the resin is applied in layers, shaped, and trimmed to give the desired effect. Once the resin is perfectly shaped to the tooth, we will use a special light to harden the resin to match natural tooth enamel. Once the resin is permanently bonded to the tooth you will not even notice it.
Is bonding right for me?
Keep in mind that bonding is a conservative, non-invasive, and inexpensive cosmetic dental treatment that can be used to correct minor imperfections in a single tooth. It can improve the size or shape of a tooth or hide small discolorations. If you only need to make subtle corrections to one or two teeth, then dental bonding may be right for you.
If you have questions about the cosmetic treatments our Bolingbrook, IL, dentists offer, then call us today at (630) 759-0077 to learn more or to sit down with Dr. Bachinski and Dr. Petrilla and find out if dental bonding is right for you.
Preventing periodontal (gum) disease not only preserves your teeth and gums, it might also benefit the rest of your health. There's growing evidence that gum disease has links to other systemic diseases.
Gum disease usually starts with dental plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles, which triggers a bacterial gum infection. Left untreated, the infection advances and steadily breaks down the gums' attachment to teeth.
This can create large ulcerated areas that are too weak to prevent the passing of bacteria and toxins into the bloodstream and other parts of the body. There's growing evidence from epidemiology (the study of the spread and control of disease) that this bloodstream transfer, as well as the inflammation that accompanies gum disease, could affect other body-wide conditions or diseases.
Diabetes. This chronic condition occurs when the body can't adequately produce insulin, a hormone that regulates sugar (glucose) in the blood, or can't respond to it. Diabetes can inhibit healing, cause blindness or lead to death. Both diabetes and gum disease are inflammatory in nature, and there's some evidence inflammation arising from either condition may worsen the other.
Heart disease. Heart attack, congestive heart failure, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of death. Like diabetes and gum disease, these heart-related conditions are also characterized by inflammation. There are also specific types of bacteria that arise from gum disease that can travel through the body and increase the risk of heart disease.
Arthritis. An autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis causes debilitating pain, particularly involving the joints, and leads to decreased mobility. Interestingly, many newly diagnosed arthritis patients are also found to have some form of periodontal disease—the two diseases, in fact, follow a similar development track. Although this may hint of a connection, we need more research to determine if there are indeed links between the two diseases.
Regardless of any direct relationships between gum disease and other conditions, preventing and treating it can improve both your oral and general health. You can lower your risk of gum disease by practicing daily brushing and flossing and undergoing regular dental cleanings to remove plaque. And at the first sign of gum problems, see your dentist as soon as possible for early intervention—the earlier the better.
If you would like more information on oral health care, 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 “Good Oral Health Leads to Better Health Overall.”
There are many things to be concerned about with your infant. Thumb sucking shouldn't be one of them—at least not yet. Practically universal among young children, the habit normally fades by age four with no real harm.
If it persists beyond that age, however, it can lead to a poor bite (malocclusion). Late thumb sucking may also have a connection with another problem—the inability of a child to transition from an infantile swallowing pattern to an adult pattern.
A baby while swallowing thrusts their tongue forward to help create a seal around a breast or bottle nipple during nursing. This normally changes about age 4, though, to a positioning of the tongue against the roof of the mouth when swallowing. But if they don't transition and continue to thrust the tongue forward, it can place undue pressure on the front teeth and cause them to develop too far forward.
The result may be an open bite, in which a gap exists between the upper and lower teeth even when the jaws are shut. An open bite can also happen with late thumb sucking, but instead of the tongue, their thumb presses against the teeth.
As to thumb-sucking, parents should encourage their child to stop the habit beginning around age 3, if they haven't already begun to do so. The best approach is to use some form of positive reinforcement such as praise or treats. The sooner the habit ceases after age 4, the lower their risk for developing an open bite.
You may also need to be alert to continued tongue thrusting while swallowing, which may still continue even after they no longer suck their thumb. In that case, your child may need orofacial myofunctional therapy (OMT), a series of exercises directed by a trained therapist to retrain the muscles involved with swallowing. This therapy could further help a child properly transition to an adult swallowing pattern.
Open bites can be corrected orthodontically later in life. But by being alert to your child's oral habits, as well as the way they're swallowing, you and your dentist may be able to intervene and eliminate or at least lessen the development of this type of problem bite.
If you would like more information on how to manage thumb sucking, 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 “How Thumb Sucking Affects the Bite.”
If you struggle with crooked or misaligned teeth, you may be wondering what form of treatment works best. Both clear braces and metal braces have different benefits and it’s important to pick the one that works best with your lifestyle. Dr. Kathryn Bachinski and Dr. Christine Petrilla at Hidden Lakes Dental Care in Bolingbrook, IL, are here to help you understand the differences between clear braces and metal braces and answer any questions you may have about what will work best for you!
When you think of braces, the first thing that comes to mind is most likely traditional metal braces. There’s a reason that they’re so well known and popular, and that’s because they’re a proven reliable and effective form of braces that help you get the smile that you deserve.
Metal braces are made of high-grade stainless steel and consist of metal bands and brackets that wrap around your teeth. A thin, metal wire connects all the brackets and helps to slowly and gently guide the teeth into the correct position. You can even customize your braces by changing up the colors of the elastics around the brackets to show your style and personality.
Unlike metal braces, clear braces aren’t actually attached to your teeth. Clear braces are clear aligners that you wear throughout the entire day. You’ll take your aligners off to eat, drink, brush, and floss but wear them even while sleeping. Your dentist in Bolingbrook, IL, will fit you for these custom aligners, and every few weeks, you’ll switch to a different pair that will help to guide your teeth into the position they should be in.
Clear braces are practically invisible and no one will need to know you’re straightening your teeth unless you tell them. You’ll have to see your dentist every six to eight weeks to ensure that the process is going as planned and for any adjustments that need to be made.
Contact Your Dentist Today!
It’s time to get the straight smile you’ve always wanted. Contact Dr. Bachinski and Dr. Petrilla at Hidden Lakes Dental Care in Bolingbrook, IL, to learn more about the differences between clear and metal braces and which one is best for your lifestyle. Call (630) 759-0077 today!
If it seems like your teeth are getting longer as you get older, it's unlikely they're magically growing. More likely, your gums are shrinking or receding from your teeth. Besides the negative effect on your appearance, gum recession exposes you and vulnerable tooth areas to harmful bacteria and painful sensitivity.
Although common among older adults, gum recession isn't necessarily a part of aging: It's primarily caused by periodontal (gum) disease, in which infected gum tissues can weaken and detach from the teeth. This, along with bone loss, leads to recession.
But gum disease isn't the only cause—ironically, brushing your teeth to prevent dental disease can also contribute to recession. By brushing too aggressively or too often (more than twice a day), you could eventually damage the gums and cause them to recede. Tobacco use and oral piercings can also lead to weakened or damaged gums susceptible to recession.
You can lower your risk of gum recession by abstaining from unhealthy habits and proper oral hygiene to prevent gum disease. For the latter, your primary defense is gentle but thorough brushing and flossing every day to remove harmful dental plaque. You should also see your dentist at least twice a year for professional dental cleanings and checkups.
If, however, you do experience gum recession, there are a number of ways to restore your gums or at least minimize the recession. To start with, we must treat any gum disease present by thoroughly removing all plaque and tartar (calcified plaque), which fuels the infection. This reduces inflammation and allows the gums to heal.
With mild recession, the gums may rejuvenate enough tissue to recover the teeth during healing. If not, we may be able to treat exposed areas with a tooth-colored material that protects the surface, relieves discomfort and improves appearance.
If the recession is more advanced, we may still be able to stimulate gum regeneration by attaching a tissue graft with a micro-surgical procedure. These types of periodontal surgeries, however, can require a high degree of technical and artistic skill for best results.
In any event, the sooner we detect gum disease or recession, the quicker we can act to minimize the damage. Doing so will ensure your gums are healthy enough to protect your teeth and preserve your smile.
If you would like more information on gum recession, 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 “Gum Recession.”
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