Dentist Blog

Posts for category: Dental Procedures

LingualBracesOfferaLessVisibleAlternativetoTraditionalBraces

We’re all familiar with tried and true traditional braces and perhaps with newer clear aligners for realigning teeth. But there’s an even more novel way that’s quickly becoming popular: lingual braces.

This type of braces performs the same function as the traditional but in an opposite way. Rather than bonded to the front of the teeth like labial (“lip-side”) braces, these are bonded to the back of the teeth on the tongue (or “lingual”) side. While labial braces move teeth by applying pressure through “pushing,” lingual braces “pull” the teeth to where they need to be.

Although lingual braces are no better or worse than other orthodontic methods, they do have some advantages if you’re involved in sports or similar physical activities where mouth contact with traditional braces could cause lip or gum damage, or if your work or lifestyle includes frequent snacking or eating, which requires continually removing clear aligners. And like aligners, lingual braces aren’t noticeable to the outside world.

But lingual braces typically cost more: as much as 15-35% more than traditional braces. They can initially be uncomfortable for patients as the tongue makes contact with the hardware. While most patients acclimate to this, some don’t. And like traditional braces, it’s hard to effectively brush and floss your teeth while wearing them. This can be overcome, though, by using a water flosser and scheduling more frequent dental cleanings while you’re wearing them.

For the most part, lingual braces can correct any poor bite (malocclusion) correctable with labial braces. The treatment time is also comparable, ranging from several weeks to a couple of years depending on the malocclusion. And, as with any other orthodontic method, you’ll need to wear a retainer once they’re removed.

Lingual braces have only been available in a limited fashion for a few years, but their availability is growing as more orthodontists train in the new method. If you’re interested in the lingual braces approach, talk to your orthodontist or visit www.lingualbraces.org to learn more.

If you would like more information on lingual braces, 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 “Lingual Braces: A Truly Invisible Way to Straighten Teeth.”

By Hidden Lakes Dental Care, PC
December 29, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
DontAllowYourAgetoStopYoufromaNewSmilewithOrthodontics

Think you’re too old to have your teeth straightened? In reality, healthy teeth can be moved at any age to better positions. For the many adults who have some form of malocclusion (bad bite), orthodontics is still a viable option even in later years.

As important as it is to self-image and confidence, treating misaligned teeth can benefit you more than just improving your smile. Misaligned teeth may be harder to keep clean, setting up a mouth environment advantageous to the development of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, the risks of both rising with age. And normally aligned teeth are easier to chew with than those misaligned.

Age isn’t the determining factor for whether you’re a good candidate for orthodontics — but your dental health is. Gum disease in particular can cause supporting bone loss, which can complicate orthodontic treatment. It’s important then that we first perform a complete oral examination and attempt to treat problems such as decay or gum disease first before attempting tooth movement.

What type of orthodontic treatment you’ll need will depend on the type of malocclusion you have and its relationship to the way your jaws fit together. Because your adult jaws have fully developed you may need orthognathic (“jaw straightening”) surgery to address certain advanced forms of malocclusion. If your bite problems aren’t that severe (the majority of situations) they can be treated with braces or, an increasingly popular alternative, clear aligners. These customized clear plastic trays are nearly invisible compared to metal braces and are effective for most patients.

Following the completion of tooth movement and other bite procedures, you will most likely need to wear a retainer to help prevent the teeth from reverting to their older positions. You may need to wear the retainer for a longer period than a younger patient, or perhaps indefinitely. Even with this mild inconvenience, though, you’ll still experience the positive effects of healthier and better functioning teeth and a great new smile.

If you would like more information on orthodontic treatment, 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 “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”

By Hidden Lakes Dental Care, PC
October 30, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal  
DontFeartheRootCanal-itCouldSaveYourTooth

Many people consider a root canal treatment to be potentially an unpleasant experience. You might even feel a few butterflies fluttering in your stomach if we were to recommend one for you.

But there’s nothing actually to dread about this common and very effective treatment. The procedure doesn’t cause pain; in fact, it most likely relieves tooth pain. What’s more, it could save a tooth that would be otherwise lost.

The name comes from narrow passageways extending from the tip of the root to the innermost tooth pulp. The pulp contains nerves and other structures once vital to early tooth development. And although they’re not as important in a fully mature tooth, those nerves still function. In other words, they can still feel stimulation or pain.

That shouldn’t be a problem with a healthy tooth. But if tooth decay invades the inner pulp, those nerves now under attack will begin firing. You’ll know something’s wrong. As bad as it feels, though, the toothache isn’t your worst problem: if the decay isn’t stopped, it can spread through the root canals to the bone that could eventually lead to losing the tooth.

A root canal treatment removes the decayed pulp tissue and protects the tooth from re-infection. We first deaden the tooth and surrounding tissues with a local anesthesia and set up a rubber dam around the tooth to protect it from contamination from the surrounding environment. We then drill a small access hole through the enamel and dentin to reach the pulp chamber and root canals.

Using special instruments, we remove all the diseased tissue from the pulp and flush out the empty chamber and root canals with antibacterial solutions. After re-shaping the root canals, we fill them and the pulp chamber with gutta-percha, a rubber-like biocompatible material that conforms well to the root canal walls. We seal the gutta-percha with adhesive cement and then fill the access hole. Later, we’ll give the tooth further protection with a custom crown.

After the procedure, you may experience short-term minor discomfort usually manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. The good news, though, is that the excruciating nerve pain from within the tooth will be gone—and your tooth will have a new lease on life.

If you would like more information on saving a problem tooth with root canal treatment, 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 “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”

By Hidden Lakes Dental Care, PC
October 29, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Invisalign Clear BracesWondering which kind of braces would be right for you and your smile needs?

Chances are good that you’ve heard about clear orthodontic systems that are able to straighten your teeth differently from traditional braces. Instead of bonding brackets and wires to the front of your teeth to shift them around, this clear system uses a series of custom-molded, transparent aligners that fit over your upper and lower teeth. So, is it time to talk to our Bolingbrook, IL, dentists Dr. Kathryn Bachinski and Dr. Christine Petrilla about getting clear braces?

If you are ready to take the next step towards a straighter smile, you should definitely schedule a consultation with us. This is the only way for us to determine whether you are right for clear braces. Here are some of the factors that we look at to help us determine your candidacy.

Your age

Clear braces are perfect for adults and older teens who want to discreetly fix a misaligned smile. As you might be able to tell, clear braces provide teens and adults with the ability to get the straighter smile they have always wanted without coworkers and classmates noticing. Unfortunately, children and young teens are not candidates for clear braces.

Your dental issues

The oral problems you are facing will also help us determine whether clear braces are the right approach. While this system can certainly handle a variety of problems it won’t be able to handle more complex or complicated tooth movements or jaw repositioning. This is where traditional braces are still the best choice. You may be right for clear braces if you want to correct,

  • Gaps between teeth
  • Crowding
  • Crooked teeth
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Open bite

We will examine your smile during the consultation to determine whether the issues you want to correct can be addressed successfully with clear braces. If not, we have many other options from which you can choose.

Your dedication (and discipline)

Unlike traditional braces, which are bonded to your teeth, clear braces can be removed. This offers the wearer a lot of freedom during their orthodontic treatment; however, it also means that you will need to be disciplined and still keep those aligners in for about 20-22 hours every day. If you think you will be tempted to keep your aligners off for long periods of time then clear braces may not be right for you.

Call our Bolingbrook office today!

If you want to get a straighter smile the more discreet way, call Hidden Lakes Dental Care in Bolingbrook, IL, today at (630) 759-0077 to learn more about this system and schedule an evaluation. We want to give you something to smile about!

By Hidden Lakes Dental Care, PC
September 07, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Wisdom Tooth ExtractionThough treatments are available to help you save your teeth when they are in a state of decay, there are cases where the only treatment is to extract a tooth and replace it with a new one. Understand the reasons why a dentist at Hidden Lakes Dental Care in Bolingbrook, IL may advise you to have a tooth extracted.

What Is Tooth Extraction?
The process of manually removing a loose, damaged, injured, or infected tooth from the jawbone is called extraction. It is done under sedation by your dentist. Extraction is a measure that's only suggested when other treatments have failed and the tooth is causing more harm than good. It's best to let your Bolingbrook, IL dentist perform the extraction so that bone tissue can be preserved and there will be a good chance you'll be a candidate for a dental implant. A bone grafting procedure (promotes the growth of healthy bone tissue) may also be suggested directly after extraction.

Reasons for a Tooth Extraction
If you have been struggling with intense tooth pain for an extended period of time without treatment and notice that a tooth is starting to loosen from its socket, this is a sign that you may need to have it extracted. This means the infection is worsening, the bone tissue is breaking down, and the problem could spread to other teeth if it isn't promptly treated by your Bolingbrook, IL dentist. A patient who has advanced periodontitis that doesn't respond to periodontal therapy may also need to have one or more teeth extracted to preserve the health of the whole mouth. Another sign that you may need to have a tooth extracted is if you're experiencing pain in the back of your mouth due to impacted wisdom teeth. 

Next Steps After Extraction
Having a tooth extracted does not mean that you have to live with a large gap in your smile. Your dentist will examine your X-rays to explore the possibility of adding a permanent dental implant. If lack of sufficient bone tissue is an issue, specialty dentures are an option. It is a good idea to discuss these measures with your dentist at your next appointment.

Consult with Your Dentist
Tooth extraction is sometimes necessary to preserve the health of your entire smile. After consulting with a dentist at Hidden Lakes Dental Care in Bolingbrook, IL you may learn that other treatments may be available to save your tooth. Call (630) 759-0077 today for an appointment with Dr. Kathryn Bachinski or Dr. Christine Petrilla.