My Dentistry Blog
Posts for: April, 2016
Recent studies have shown that about 47% of Americans have some severity of gum disease. This startling number became even higher, about 70%, when the study changed focus to only those who are 70 or older. However, most cases of gum disease are treatable with a dental procedure called scaling and root planing. Find out more with help from your Glenview, IL dentist.
What is scaling and root planing?
Scaling and root planing is a periodontal treatment for gum disease like gingivitis or periodontitis. This deep cleaning eliminates the presence of dental plaque and tartar, the cause of gum disease. Gum disease occurs when the gums become inflamed and infected. Gum disease could affect the bone underneath the gum tissue, causing it to degrade.
When is scaling and root planing necessary?
Normally, the gums fit snugly around the teeth. Only about 1 to 3 millimeters of gum tissue should be between the top of the gum and where it attaches to the tooth. Gum disease causes the gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming deeper pockets between where the gum begins and attaches to the tooth. When your Glenview dental hygienist measures a pocket 4 millimeters or deeper, scaling and root planing is recommended.
What can I expect during the procedure?
This non-surgical deep cleaning uses a mixture of a supersonic tool and hand tools to blast or scrape away plaque, bacteria and tartar from the teeth. The procedure might take place during several appointments, with your hygienist working on the mouth in halves or quarters, depending on the severity of the problem. Your hygienist cleans the teeth both above the gumline and below it, reaching down to the tooth’s roots. After the procedure, bleeding, inflamed gums should firm up and turn back to a healthy pink rather than irritated red as the pockets shrink.
Caring For Your Teeth After Treatment
Gum disease returns if your teeth are not properly cared for. Brush twice a day and floss at least once to keep your teeth healthy and clean. Be sure to visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular dental checkups and cleanings. For more information on treating your gum disease, please contact Colonial Dental Group in Glenview, IL. Call (847) 729-2233 to schedule your appointment today!
When the multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter and TV personality Jason Derulo was recently asked about his ideal woman, his answer covered a remarkably broad spectrum. "There’s no specific thing," he said, "so I think it’s unfair to say what my ‘type’ is." But it turns out that there is one thing the So You Think You Can Dance judge considers essential: A beautiful smile.
"I’m not into messy teeth," Derulo said. "If the grill has spaces and different colors, it’s not my vibe."
As it turns out, he may be on to something: A number of surveys have indicated that a bright, healthy smile is often the first thing people notice when meeting someone new. Yet many are reluctant to open up that big grin because they aren’t satisfied with the way their teeth look. If you’re one of them, consider this: Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of ways to improve your smile — and it may be easier and more affordable than you think.
For example, if your smile isn’t as bright as you would like it to be, teeth whitening is an effective and economical way to lighten it up. If you opt for in-office treatments, you can expect a lightening effect of up to 10 shades in a single one-hour treatment! Or, you can achieve the same effect in a week or two with a take-home kit we can custom-make for you. Either way, you’ll be safe and comfortable being treated under the supervision of a dental professional — and the results can be expected to last for up to two years, or perhaps more.
If your teeth have minor spacing irregularities, small chips or cracks, it may be possible to repair them in a single office visit via cosmetic bonding. In this process, a liquid composite resin is applied to the teeth and cured (hardened) with a special light. This high-tech material, which comes in colors to match your teeth, can be built up in layers and shaped with dental instruments to create a pleasing, natural effect.
If your smile needs more than just a touch-up, dental veneers may be the answer. These wafer-thin coverings, placed right on top of your natural teeth, can be made in a variety of shapes and colors — from a natural pearly luster to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Custom-made veneers typically involve the removal of a few millimeters of tooth enamel, making them a permanent — and irreversible — treatment. However, by making teeth look more even, closing up spaces and providing dazzling whiteness, veneers just might give you the smile you’ve always wanted.
If you would like more information about cosmetic dental treatments, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry — A Time for Change.”
Waiting is part of life for a teenager: waiting to get a driver’s license, to graduate high school or to leave home and stretch their wings. A teenager with lost teeth may also need to wait until they’re older to obtain dental implants.
The reason arises from the differences in how implants and natural teeth attach to the jaw. Although natural teeth may seem rigidly set in the bone, they’re actually held in place by an elastic tissue between them and the bone known as the periodontal ligament. Tiny filaments that attach to the teeth on one side and the bone on the other hold the teeth in place, but also allow the teeth to move gradually in response to mouth changes.
A titanium implant post doesn’t have this relationship with the periodontal ligament — it’s attached directly to the jaw bone. Over time the bone, which has a special affinity with titanium, grows and adheres to it to form a durable bond without an attachment to the periodontal ligament. Because of this the implant can’t move like a natural tooth.
This is extremely important for implant placement because the jaws in particular won’t fully develop in most people until their late teens or early twenties: the upper jaw in particular will tend to grow out and down. Natural teeth accommodate to these changes, but the implant can’t — it will appear to retreat into the jaw. The gum tissues surrounding the implant also won’t conform to the continuing growth and may appear receded.
The best approach is to choose a temporary replacement option until the jaws and other facial bone structures have finished growing. One example is a bonded bridge in which we use a bonding agent to attach a bridge of artificial teeth to teeth on either side of a missing tooth — bonding won’t permanently alter them as with a traditional bridge. Once the jaws have finished growing, we can remove the bonded bridge and install the more permanent implant.
Ask any teenager: waiting can be hard. But with dental implants, waiting until the right time will help ensure the attractive result is a permanent one.
If you would like more information on dental restorations and teenagers, 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 “Teenagers & Dental Implants.”