Posts for: March, 2015
Most everyone knows that going to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings can help save your smile — but did you ever stop to think that it just might save your life?
That's what recently happened to 11-year-old Journee Woodard of Edmond, Oklahoma. The young girl was having a routine teeth cleaning when hygienist Rachel Stroble noticed something unusual: The whites of her eyes (her sclera) had a distinctly yellow tint. Dr. Michael Chandler, Journee’s dentist, confirmed the hygienist’s suspicions, and advised her mom to take her for further testing. The tests revealed that Journee had a tumor covering parts of her pancreas, gallbladder and liver; it could have ruptured at any moment, with devastating consequences.
The tumor was removed three days later in a 9-hour operation, and Journee is now recovering. As for her dentist, Dr. Chandler told reporters that he and his staff were just doing their jobs thoroughly. “It's hard to feel like I’m a hero,” he said (though others might disagree).
Is this a one-in-a-million case? Maybe — yet for many people, a family dentist may be the health care professional who is seen more often than any other. That can put dentists in the unique position of being able to closely monitor not only a person’s oral health, but also their overall health.
There are several reasons why that’s so. One is that most systemic diseases (such as diabetes, leukemia, and heart disease, for example) can have oral manifestations — that is, symptoms that show up in the mouth. If your dentist notices something unusual, further testing may be recommended. Dentists also regularly screen for diseases specific to the mouth — such as oral cancer, which has a much better chance of being cured when it is caught at an early stage.
But beyond checking for particular diseases, dentists often notice other things that may indicate a health issue. For example, if you complain of dry mouth or snoring, and appear fatigued in the dental chair, your dentist may suspect undiagnosed sleep apnea: a potentially serious condition. Many other signs — such as yellowed eyes, a pounding heart rate, or shortness of breath — can indicate potential problems.
Of course, we’re not even mentioning the main reason for regular dental checkups — keeping your smile healthy and bright; for many people that’s reason enough. How does Journee’s mom feel about keeping dental appointments? “I will never miss another dentist appointment,” she told reporters. “I will never reschedule.”
If you would like more information about routine dental checkups, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Dental Hygiene Visit” and “Good Oral Health Leads to Better Health Overall.”
When your favorite celebrity suddenly appears on the scene with a newly brightened, perfect smile, chances are that he or she had veneers installed. If you go to the dentist for a “smile makeover,” there’s a good chance that veneers will be included in your treatment plan. Learn more about how veneers in Bolingbrook can fix your smile from the professionals at Hidden Lakes Dental Care, PC, a popular dentist office in Bolingbrook, IL.
What Are Veneers?
If you have a cosmetic problem with your teeth, there are probably a number of ways to fix it, including braces, dental contouring and crowns. Veneers are often at the top of the list of cosmetic solutions because they are very attractive, durable and long-lasting. A veneer is a dental covering made of porcelain that hides imperfections and closely resembles the natural look of your teeth.
How Do They Fix Your Smile?
Much like a make-over with makeup covers up imperfections on your face, veneers cover up imperfections on your teeth.
Here are a few dental problems that your Bolingbrook, IL dentist can fix with veneers:
- Chipped teeth
- Discolored teeth (stains that can’t be removed with a whitening appointment)
- Poorly shaped or crooked teeth
- Teeth that are too small, leaving gaps in the smile
How Long to Get Veneers?
It takes about two or three appointments to get veneers. The first appointment is to examine the teeth to ensure that they’re strong enough to support veneers. The next step is to prepare each tooth (a small amount of tooth matter is removed) and take impressions so that a permanent veneer can be created in a lab. At the final appointment (about two weeks later), the finished veneers are bonded to the surface of the teeth and shaped to perfectly fit your smile. With good care and regular checkups, they can last for 10 or more years.
Your First Veneers Appointment
The first step to getting your very own smile makeover is to call Hidden Lakes Dental Care, PC at 630-759-0077 to schedule an initial consultation. A dentist will provide you with a cosmetic treatment plan so that you can make a decision on how to proceed. Our Bolingbrook, IL dentist office is committed to giving you a “reason to smile!”
As a successful author, interior design guru (with 127 makeovers in eight years on The Oprah Winfrey Show), and host of his own television program, The Nate Berkus Show, Nate Berkus understands the important role a beautiful smile plays in one's life and career. In a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine, Nate discussed his oral health history. Berkus credits his all natural smile — no cosmetic dentistry here — to the treatments he received as a child from his dentist. “I'm grateful for having been given fluoride treatments and sealants as a child.” He then added that, “healthy habits should start at a young age.”
Dental sealants are important because they help protect developing young teeth until the enamel has matured. Without dental sealants, the newly erupted immature enamel of teeth is more permeable, meaning that the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth can damage these teeth more easily. This makes the teeth less resistant and thus more susceptible to tooth decay.
Regardless of how much your children brush their teeth, the reality is that toothbrush bristles cannot reach down to clean out the crevices found in the deep grooves (“pits and fissures”) of teeth. And if not removed, the bacteria found in these grooves produce decay-causing acids as a byproduct of metabolizing sugar. However, when sealants are used in combination with fluoride, good hygiene and nutrition (including lower sugar consumption), the odds of having tooth decay is dramatically reduced.
We refer to dental sealants as “pit and fissure” sealants because they protect the grooves found in the top of back teeth and the back of front teeth. Sealants also may reduce the need for subsequent treatments as your child grows older — just as it did for Nate Berkus. For these reasons, sealants are definitely something that all parents and caregivers should consider for their young children.
To learn more about dental sealants, contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination, discuss any questions you have as well as what treatment options will be best for you or your child. Or to learn more about sealants now, you can continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Sealants for Children.” And to read the entire interview with Nate Berkus, please see the Dear Doctor magazine article “Nate Berkus.”