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Colonial Dental Group Cosmetic Dentistry Blog - Dooley, Lewis, and Quezada

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How Can my Chipped Tooth be Fixed?

Although tooth enamel is a tough mineral casing, it can chip and break through trauma or misuse. Chipped and broken teeth are more susceptible to further damage or infection and should be fixed immediately.

If the chipped teeth are visible when you smile, one excellent solution is to apply porcelain veneers. If the damaged tooth is in the back and out of the smile line, a porcelain crown may be used. Regardless of where the tooth is, a porcelain inlay or onlay could fill the chip invisibly. The choice of solution would depend on the size of the chip as well as the location of the tooth.

Our CEREC technology
The porcelain color is matched to your natural tooth color and the chosen restoration can be placed in one visit. Most cosmetic dentists would need you to come for two visits, but our CEREC technology is a chairside system that digitally images your teeth, designs the needed restoration, and mills the porcelain to make it.

From your dental chair, you can see the computer monitor, and can watch your dentist using the software to plan and shape your veneers, crown, or filling. You will know ahead of time how it will look. Be sure and give this porcelain restoration the same good daily care that you give your natural teeth, and it will serve you for many years.

If you are in the Chicago area and need to fix a chipped or otherwise damaged tooth, please call or email us, and we will set up a consultation for you. We hope to work with you soon.

posted by Patti at 12:59 PM 0 comments

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gum Disease

If you have sometimes gone for long periods without adequately brushing and flossing your teeth, you may have experienced tender gums and associated bleeding. With your tongue, you can also feel the rough film on your teeth we call plaque. Plaque becomes tartar, a hard substance with tiny sharp edges, which cause the bleeding.

This is the first stage of gum disease and is known as gingivitis. Plaque consists of bacteria and their excretions, and left alone, bacteria will thrive and multiply, spreading into every little cozy nook available. This will include the small pockets called the sulcus, between each tooth and its surrounding gum tissue.

This build-up will push the gums away from the base the teeth, making room for even more bacteria to grow. Their excretions are acid and therefore eat into tooth enamel. Inflammation builds up in the surrounding gums. This first stage of gum disease is preventable with adequate oral hygiene.

If not taken care of, gingivitis progresses to the next stage of gum disease, called periodontitis. Now the inflammation turns to infection as it is allowed to build up under the gum line. The gums fall away from the teeth and deteriorate. The longer this condition continues, the more likely it is that teeth will loosen and fall out. Left untreated, the decay and infection will spread through the gums into the jawbone.

If you have been suffering from progressive gum disease, please contact us as soon as possible. Delay in not in your best interests, and we can stop that disease more easily if we start on it sooner rather than later. You can read more on our Gum Treatments page. Please contact our Colonial Dental Group Chicago office today to schedule an initial consultation.

posted by Patti at 12:55 PM 0 comments

Monday, May 19, 2008

Endodontics

One of the most dreaded procedures of dentistry is commonly referred to as a "root canal." The actual root canal is the interior part of a tooth through which blood vessels and nerves enter it from the body’s circulatory and nervous systems. A tooth may have up to four root canals. The blood vessels and nerves, along with some connective tissue, are known as the tooth pulp. Root canal surgery is part of endodontic therapy, or endodontics.

In past years there was reason to dread a root canal, as dentistry was less effective in blocking pain and took longer to do procedures. At Colonial Dental Group, we place a high priority on your comfort and will use whatever level of anesthetic is required to keep you calm. We also of course have modern equipment and technology to finish procedures speedily.

Endodontic Procedure
Your dentist will usually prescribe a course of antibiotics to be concluded before working on the tooth. The first step is to remove infection and decay from the root canal. If the tooth has decayed from the outside all the way into the root canal, that often means it is too badly damaged to survive with just a filling and must be given a crown.

With the tooth cleaned and ready, your dentist permanently fill the space where tooth structures used to be with a rubber compound called gutta percha. The cleaned remains of the tooth are trimmed down if necessary and shaped to receive a crown.

There may be an interval of several weeks while your crown is made in a dental lab. In that time you will have a temporary filling to protect the tooth. The new porcelain crown is placed over the tooth remains and permanently bonded, so that now you have a strong tooth with a renewed life ahead of it.

It is actually a dead tooth since it no longer receives oxygen and nutrients, and has no nerve. This may make it more fragile, but in adults the tooth pulp is no longer necessary for tooth growth.

Please call or email us to learn more about endodontic therapy. Our office serves the entire Chicago area.

posted by Patti at 12:53 PM 0 comments

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dental Implants

When teeth are lost, it's best to replace them. The traditional method is a dental bridge, which requires the teeth on each side of the socket to be shaved down to accept a crown. Connections between the crowns and the pontic (porcelain tooth) anchor the new tooth. This process is less than ideal on two counts:
  • It requires the removal of healthy enamel from the supporting teeth; and
  • It does not address the gap inside the jawbone, where the tooth root used to be.

Missing teeth can now be replaced, root and crown, using dental implants. An implant consists of a titanium cylinder that is inserted into the socket the missing tooth used to occupy. Titanium is well received by the body and the bone does not reject it, but grows in around it closely. This secures it permanently to the jawbone in a process called ossification.

After the two or three months required for this bone growth, a small projection is attached to the top of the implant. The gums are allowed to heal around it for a couple of weeks. Then a porcelain crown is bonded to that projection and caps off the implant, creating a new permanent tooth, complete with root.

When considering dental implants, it is important to find a qualified cosmetic dentist with many years of experience. If you live in the Chicago area and would like to learn more about how dental implants can help, please contact us at the Colonial Dental Group to schedule an initial consultation.

posted by Patti at 12:45 PM 0 comments


1775 Glenview Rd.
Suite 107
Glenview, Illinois 60025-2969

847.729.2233