Dentist Blog

Posts for: September, 2015

By Hidden Lakes Dental Care, PC
September 27, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

It might seem that supermodels have a fairly easy life — except for the fact that they are expected to look perfect whenever they’re in front of a camera. Sometimes that’s easy — but other times, it can be pretty difficult. Just ask Chrissy Teigen: Recently, she was in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a restaurant scene for the TV travel series The Getaway, when some temporary restorations (bonding) on her teeth ended up in her food.

As she recounted in an interview, “I was… like, ‘Oh my god, is my tooth going to fall out on camera?’ This is going to be horrible.” Yet despite the mishap, Teigen managed to finish the scene — and to keep looking flawless. What caused her dental dilemma? “I had chipped my front tooth so I had temporaries in,” she explained. “I’m a grinder. I grind like crazy at night time. I had temporary teeth in that I actually ground off on the flight to Thailand.”

Like stress, teeth grinding is a problem that can affect anyone, supermodel or not. In fact, the two conditions are often related. Sometimes, the habit of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) occurs during the day, when you’re trying to cope with a stressful situation. Other times, it can occur at night — even while you’re asleep, so you retain no memory of it in the morning. Either way, it’s a behavior that can seriously damage your teeth.

When teeth are constantly subjected to the extreme forces produced by clenching and grinding, their hard outer covering (enamel) can quickly start to wear away. In time, teeth can become chipped, worn down — even loose! Any dental work on those teeth, such as fillings, bonded areas and crowns, may also be damaged, start to crumble or fall out. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold because of the lack of sufficient enamel. Bruxism can also result in headaches and jaw pain, due in part to the stress placed on muscles of the jaw and face.

You may not be aware of your own teeth-grinding behavior — but if you notice these symptoms, you might have a grinding problem. Likewise, after your routine dental exam, we may alert you to the possibility that you’re a “bruxer.” So what can you do about teeth clenching and grinding?

We can suggest a number of treatments, ranging from lifestyle changes to dental appliances or procedures. Becoming aware of the behavior is a good first step; in some cases, that may be all that’s needed to start controlling the habit. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress — meditation, relaxation, a warm bath and a soothing environment — may also help. If nighttime grinding keeps occurring, an “occlusal guard” (nightguard) may be recommended. This comfortable device is worn in the mouth at night, to protect teeth from damage. If a minor bite problem exists, it can sometimes be remedied with a simple procedure; in more complex situations, orthodontic work might be recommended.

Teeth grinding at night can damage your smile — but you don’t have to take it lying down! If you have questions about bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”

By Hidden Lakes Dental Care, PC
September 12, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: x-rays  

Radiographic (x-ray) images are an indispensible diagnostic tool in dentistry. One of the most routine and useful types of x-rays dentists take is the so-called bitewing. Here are some things you may want to know about this common diagnostic procedure.

What are bitewing x-rays?
Bitewings reveal the presence and extent of decay in the back teeth, specifically in areas where adjacent teeth touch each other. Unlike other areas of the teeth, these contacting surfaces between adjacent teeth can’t be examined visually. Bitewings can also show areas of bone loss around teeth — a sign of periodontal disease; however, they are not taken for that purpose because bitewings will not show the complete root surface that is surrounded by bone.

Why are they called that?
The name “bitewing” refers to how the film — or sensor, in the case of a digital x-ray — is positioned in the mouth: The patient bites down on a little tab or wing that holds the apparatus in place.

How often do I need them?
This is determined on a case-by-case basis, with the goal of not exposing you to any more radiation than necessary — even the minimal amount found in a series of bitewing x-rays. Your individual susceptibility to caries (tooth decay) and personal dental history will play a major role in determining how frequently you need radiographic examination — and, for that matter, how often you need to come in for routine cleanings and exams.

Are they safe?
The safety of bitewing x-rays is best illustrated with a comparison to the regular daily radiation exposure we get every day from environmental sources, which is about 0.01 millisieverts — the unit of measure we use for radiation. A series of 4 bitewing x-rays exposes you to 0.004 millisieverts of radiation — less than half of the daily exposure. Undetected tooth decay, which can spread quickly through the softer inner layers of teeth, is considered much more dangerous!

If a bitewing x-ray shows that there is tooth decay, what happens next?
If the cavity is very small, we may be able to treat it during the same appointment. If not, we will make a separate appointment to make sure it is taken care of promptly. The sooner tooth decay is treated, the better!

What if I have more questions?
Contact our office, or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Hidden Lakes Dental Care, PC
September 11, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dentures  

Are your missing teeth a source of physical and mental stress? Is chewing and eating difficult due to the gaps? Is your facial structure sagging? If you answered “yes” to these questions, wearing dentures could turn your life around, boosting not Dentures only quality of life, but self-confidence as well. For more immediate information on dentures in Bolingbrook, IL please contact Hidden Lakes Dental Care, PC.

What are the benefits of wearing dentures?

The benefits of dentures are numerous, and can be found in many peoples' everyday lives.

  • Look great: Thanks to advancements in dental technology, dentures are more comfortable and natural looking than ever. As well as looking great, dentures can prevent facial muscles from sagging, causing you to look older.
  • Eat the foods you want: Eating with missing teeth can prove to be difficult and even painful, since you're unable to utilise the full surface area of your bite. Dentures make eating much more comfortable, and patients can eat and chew the foods they love easily again.
  • Speak with confidence: Speaking with tooth gaps can cause speech to become mumbled or words to be mispronounced, creating awkward situations during face-to-face conversations.

How do I know if dentures are right for me?

Usually, if you are missing teeth, you are a good candidate for dentures. There are different kinds of dentures for many different situations, though.

Denture types include:

  • Complete Dentures: A full set of dentures made for those missing all of their teeth on the bottom or top arch of the mouth. Patients who are missing all of their teeth can wear a pair of complete dentures.
  • Partial Dentures: Partial dentures are anchored to surrounding natural teeth, and are used to fill in the gaps between missing teeth.
  • Overdentures: If not all teeth are missing, overdentures utilize the remaining natural teeth in the mouth and are worn over them, further stabilizing eating.
  • Immediate Dentures: These dentures are used temporarily to ensure the bone and tissues heal correctly after the extraction of teeth.

Are you interested in learning more about dentures? Dr. Charles E. Crowl, D.D.S., F.A.D.I.A. and Dr. Kathryn Bachinski, DDS of Hidden Lakes Dental Care in Bolingbrook, IL can help. To schedule a consultation to talk about your oral health and how dentures fit into it, just call (630) 759-0077.