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

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What is Invisalign?

A new alternative to traditional braces provides consumers with an "invisible" choice in orthodontia. Invisalign uses a series of molded plastic forms that you wear to reposition teeth, bringing them into proper alignment. There is no metal, no wires, no painful tightening procedures. The trays can be removed for short periods of time if necessary – in fact they should be removed each day for brushing and flossing.

How Invisalign works
The trays are created in a customized series using Invisalign software. Each tray gently nudges some teeth into a better position by applying continuous positive pressure. Every two weeks, you discard the current pair of trays (aligners) and begin wearing the next pair, which apply gentle pressure slightly differently. By the time you reach the end of the series, your teeth are well-positioned, your bite is comfortable, and your smile is even and attractive.

On our computer monitor, you can see the end result ahead of time. Your dentist will explain how your trays will work and why. Every six weeks or so you will have a progress visit with us, to keep things on track. The whole process takes about the same amount of time as traditional braces – in some cases less time -- but is not accompanied by the any social stigma or cleaning problems.

  • Improved hygiene during treatment – because you remove the aligners for brushing and flossing
  • No eating restrictions – you would remove them for eating
  • Improved appearance during treatment – they are invisible unless a person knows to look for them or peers at you closely. Nobody has to know that you are straightening your teeth.

Most people have a lot of questions about Invisalign. It seems too good to be true. Please feel free to contact us for a personal consultation and we will be glad to answer all your questions. Our office serves the entire Chicago area.

posted by Patti at 10:59 AM 0 comments

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What is Instant Orthodontics?

The word orthodontics usually brings to mind years of metal in your mouth, painful adjustments, and a lot of expense. Porcelain veneers achieve the look of having had orthodontic work, but they do it in one dental visit, and hence the term Instant orthodontics.

Veneers are thin ceramic wafers used to resurface teeth for a variety of reasons:
  • Covering stains
  • Concealing small chips
  • Covering large fillings
  • Filling gaps
  • Creating a straightened look for front teeth

Measuring only 0.7 to 0.5 mm in width, veneers are custom made to cover the front surfaces of existing teeth. Your dentist prepares the teeth by removing a tiny amount of enamel to make space for the veneers.

Our CEREC system
Many cosmetic dentists will have you come for two visits, but we can complete your veneers procedure in just one. That is because we have a chairside system which images, designs, and mills the porcelain to make customized veneers for you.

Your dentist would digitally photograph the teeth in question and input those photos to the CEREC computer. Using its software, he will convert them into a computer design and the milling part of the system will use that to make your veneers. The dentist will choose a shade of porcelain to match your other teeth.

After testing their fit and comfort, he will bond them permanently to your teeth and now you have a transformed smile!

We place a high priority on patient education. If you have questions about Instant Orthodontics or any other dental procedure, please feel free to contact us and we will schedule a personal consultation for you.

posted by Patti at 10:55 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What is a Cavity?

Most people have had a cavity at some point in their life, yet not everyone realizes what causes tooth decay beyond a general idea of harmful bacteria. In ancient times, a tooth worm was thought to be responsible, but that theory lost favor in the seventeenth century. Spikes in the frequency of cavities have been found to correlate sharply with changes in diet such as the introduction of sugar cane and white bread.

Like most physical processes, the mouth, and teeth in particular are normally in a state of equilibrium. As the pH of the mouth becomes more acidic during eating, demineralization of the tooth occurs. Afterwards as the pH changes back to neutral, remineralization takes place.

Poor dental hygiene
Problems occur when the nooks and crannies of the teeth retain food particles, especially those of highly fermentable carbohydrates like fructose, glucose, and sucrose. The prolonged presence of these sugars feeds bacteria in the mouth, causing them to excrete acid substances. The sugars themselves are also acid. All this acid (low pH) eats into tooth enamel, and this is tooth decay. Each area of decay is a cavity and unless it is filled, infection will set in and decay will spread throughout the tooth, into the gums, and even into the jawbone.

Dental cavities are worldwide. If discovered early when still small, they are easily filled. If left untreated, they grow larger until the entire tooth is destroyed.

You can easily tell if your teeth are overdue for brushing and flossing. Run your tongue over them and if there’s a rough film on them, that is plaque. It’s bacteria and their excretions. You can (and should) brush and floss it off daily or twice-daily. Good dental hygiene also includes six-month visits to your dentist for check-ups and professional cleaning.

If you live in the Chicago area, and suddenly realize that it has been more than six months since your last dental checkup, please for your own sake, schedule an appointment today. You can also call or email us if you’d like a consultation about any other dental issues.

posted by Patti at 10:48 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

What Causes Bad Breath?

Bad breath (halitosis) is bad for everybody. Unfortunately, most people have a hard time self-diagnosing this problem, and have to rely upon others to tell them about it. There are many causes of bad breath, most of them originating in diet and oral hygiene. There are also some more serious conditions that cause bad breath, causing many people to seek additional treatment.

Strongly-flavored foods like garlic can linger on the breath long after the meal is over. Seemingly harmless foods can provide food for the bacteria in your mouth. As they process it, especially carbohydrates like sugars and starch, they may expel sulfurous malodorous compounds.

Gum disease
The first stage of gum disease, gingivitis, sometimes goes unrecognized by a person with poor dental hygiene. It may then progress to the second stage, periodontitis. Eliminating this problem is paramount in addressing the malodor.

Contrary to popular belief, stomach gasses do not cause most bad breath. The esophagus effectively creates a tight seal, preventing stomach gasses from continually rising to the surface except for an occasional burp. If the esophagus is compromised, there will be significantly more severe medical problems to deal with than bad breath.

Good oral hygiene is the best way to fight bad breath. A consistent regimen of brushing, flossing, and using anti-microbial mouthwash will help keep the numbers of bacteria to a minimum. Keeping food particles from staying on the teeth and decomposing, offering food to the bacteria, will also help

Bad breath is a significant social embarrassment. In these days of sophisticated modern dentistry, there is no reason for anybody to have bad breath caused by a dental condition. We will be glad to arrange a personal consultation for you, if you would like to learn more about your own breath conditions.

posted by Patti at 10:33 AM 0 comments

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