Don’t give in to dental fear 

December 10,  2013

It is estimated that 75% of US adults experience some degree of dental fear.

These fears can be mild to severe but Weller Dental is here to help.

Too often we see people neglect their dental health, because they are afraid it will hurt or just don’t know what to expect. Unfortunately the neglect can hurt you more than the dental procedure.  Our mouths have a direct relationship with our bodies and the bacteria involved with infections in our mouth can often hurt our bodies severely enough to put you in the hospital.

In interviewing the 1000’s of patients that have entered our practice, we found this above statistic to be quite true.  Women tend to report more dental fear than men although it is present in both. We have found that many fears came from a bad dental experience when one was young, or lack of care that was received.  We cannot make up for those past experiences, which may have started this roller coaster of dental anxiety, but we can promise you a new dental experience.  Our team at Weller Dental is here to make each experience comfortable and make you understand the procedure to eliminate the unknown.  Some of the newest  techniques and materials that we utilize can help in this total experience. So there is no need to fear anymore we are here to help and many of our patients have eliminated fear completely.

The use of positive reinforcement, non-threatening language and even the use of pharmacologic management like utilizing anxiety-reducing medication can all help dental fearing patients feel less threatened. Many patients have found that a dentist that listens and understands their concerns helps make them feel in control and helps also to lessen dental anxieties.

Cleanings and dental treatments do not have to hurt, if a cleaning is hurting you need to let your dental professional know and we can use topical gels to help this.  If a cleaning is hurting your mouth, it’s your body that may be telling you there are other things going on there and perhaps need to be treated.

Gum disease can be controlled and maintained but it needs to be addressed with treatments in order to get to a point where routine care is comfortable.  You should be getting periodontal screenings once a year and this is truly the only way to check for gum disease.

We found that many patients need to be distracted from the service in order to help them get to a happy place, we offer patients Noise Controlling headphones and let them relax to some spa music or jam out to the Rolling Stones.  We have Monitors in the room too that help patients relax while watching light hearted sitcoms like Seinfeld, Sex in the City, or 30 Rock.

It is the smile you receive at the front door, to holding your hand, watching a movie, and a warm atmosphere that help to start making you feel like you are at home and not the dental office.

If my tooth doesn’t hurt why do I need to fix it?

August 28, 2012

Dental emergencies are hopefully something you never have to encounter. Tooth aches and pain are an indication typically of additional problems that can lead to a loss of tooth or additional dental treatments being needed in order to save the tooth. Preventative measures to ensure less work on a tooth and keep it in a stronger more stable condition are recommended to limit the need for unnecessary procedures on a tooth in the future.

By the time a tooth hurts, you may have other factors come into need, such as a possible root canal therapy or a fractured tooth. These conditions often come from cracks or decay left untreated. Fractured fillings/tooth structure or decay can deepen causing the possible loss of a tooth and the need for a dental implant. If decay sits in the mouth it can also affect the foundation, our bone support, and if we lose this we may not be able to get a Dental Implant. Changing dental fillings that are broken down before they continue to fracture or wear, by placing in stronger dental restorations, is a sign of good comprehensive dental care. This is the type of dentistry at Weller Dental we recommend for our family and friends, as well as our family of patients. We are here to be your Chicago Dentist now and in the future. We pride ourselves on looking at your mouth in hopes of keeping your teeth for a lifetime.

The benefits of probiotics and oral health

September 9, 2011

Probiotics are bacteria that are beneficial to a person’s health, either through protecting the body against pathogenic bacteria or assisting in recovery from an illness.

There are more then 600 species of bacteria that live in the oral cavity.  Some are good bacteria and the majorities are bad bacteria. The balance of these bacteria can be easily disturbed and a prevalence of pathogenic/bad bacteria can cause oral health problems such as cavities, gingivitis and gum disease.  The goal of probiotics is to enhance oral health by supplying good bacteria to negatively affect the bad disease causing bacteria in the mouth

Probiotics seem to be a potential therapy for maintaining oral health.  Probiotics can be found in multiple forms including:

  • Power: mix with water, swish around and swallow
  • Capsules: open a capsule and sprinkle the contents into water and swish and swallow
  • Lozenges: let it dissolve in your mouth
  • Yogurt

It’s recommended to use a probiotic 1 time daily.  After using probiotics try to refrain from eating and/or drinking anything else for about 30 minutes.

Probiotics help control the overgrowth of bad bacteria lessening the chance of destruction and disease within the oral cavity.

 

Why are crooked or crowded teeth a problem?

September 1, 2011

Orthodontics is often thought of as an esthetic fix as opposed to a functional fix.  While orthodontics does result in a prettier smile it more importantly aligns the teeth properly to ensure pressure is distributed evenly therefore eliminating occlusal trauma and benefits the patients long term oral health.

Orthodontics has come a long way.  You no longer have to have a “metal mouth”.  There are a few different ways in which to straighten teeth.  The option of traditional metal brackets, ceramic brackets (which are tooth colored), clear aligners (such as Invisalign) or lingual braces (which are placed on the tongue side of the tooth, making it so no one can see you have them).

Some potential issues resulting from misaligned teeth are:

  • increased plaque and tarter buildup due to crowded or overlapped teeth which are harder to effectively clean and maintain.
  • gingivitis and periodontal disease due to increased bacterial buildup
  • tooth decay
  •  abfraction, which is the loss of tooth structure at the gumline, due in part to excessive occlusal trauma.
  •  Gum recession due to increased stress on the tooth
  • trapping food due to larger spaces
  • premature tooth wear and risk of chipped or fractured teeth
  • TMJ pain and dysfunction

Straightening your teeth not only results in an improved smile, it makes a significant difference to having a healthy mouth and keeping your teeth for life.  Straight teeth are healthier teeth!

 

In office whitening- Frequently asked questions

August 26, 2011

 

Looking for a whiter brighter smile then in office whitening is a simple solution.  You’re smile is one of the first things someone notices when they meet you and those pearly whites can make you feel more comfortable and confident.

Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding in office whitening.

 

  • How long does the procedure take?
    • The actual procedure takes roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour.  There are 3-4 15 minute sessions, but the complete appointment takes about 2 hours due to preparations.
  • How does teeth whitening work?
    • A whitening gel made up of Hydorgen Peroxide is applied to the teeth and activated by a special light. As the Hydrogen Peroxide is broken down, oxygen enters the enamel and dentin, bleaching the tooth.  The light helps to activate the Hydrogen Peroxide and helps it penetrate the tooth surface.
  • How many shades whiter can I expect to be when complete?
    • On average you can get 5-8 shades whiter.  That all depends on what color your teeth are to begin with.  Also keep in mind that bleach isn’t paint.  Unfortunately you can’t pick what color you would like your teeth to be.  Your teeth are only going to get as white as your teeth will get.  Everyone’s teeth are different.
  • How long do the results last?
    • It all depends on your daily habits.  If you drink coffee, teas, dark soda’s, red wines frequently your teeth won’t stay as white as someone who doesn’t drink dark liquids.  To prolong the length of whiteness I would recommend maintaining your results with an at home whitening system.
  • How can I help the results last?
    • Brushing 2-3 times a day with a whitening toothpaste and flossing at least 1 time per day.  Have custom whitening trays made by your dentist.  Custom trays allow you to maintain your results at home on your own.  You simply put the bleach solution, bought from your dental office, in your custom trays and where them for 15-30 minutes a few times a month.
  • Are there any side effects?
    • You may experience some sensitivity during and for a period of about 24 hours after the procedure is complete.  During the whitening process the tooth structure becomes dehydrated and therefore sensitive.  After the tooth has a chance to rehydrate sensitivity subsides.  You can ask your dentist about specific pastes and gels that can be used prior to and after whitening.
  • Is whitening safe?
    • Yes, extensive research and clinical studies have been done and indicate that teeth whitening, under the supervision of a dentist, is safe.  It is not recommended for children under the age of 13 or pregnant or lactating women.

 

 

The Importance of Oral Health During Pregnancy

August 19, 2011

 

Pregnancy may have significant effects on oral health.  Pregnant women are at a greater risk of periodontal disease, dental caries and gingival inflammation.

Pregnancy gingivitis is a result of hormonal changes during pregnancy.  As hormones fluctuate during pregnancy bacteria take advantage and thrive in and around the gum tissue resulting in increased bleeding and swelling.  Pregnancy gingivitis occurs mainly in the second and third trimesters.

Oral inflammation is linked to preterm low birth weight babies.  If the mother has poor oral hygiene, gingivitis, or periodontitis the bacteria can enter into the bloodstream.  As the bacteria approaches the placenta it can compromise the sterility of the amniotic sac, thus creating the potential for preterm labor.

The American Dental Association’s recommendations for pregnant women are

  • Brush teeth twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss Daily
  • Limit food containing sugar to mealtimes only
  • Choose water or low-fat milk as a beverage
  • Avoid carbonated beverages
  • Choose fruit rather then fruit juice to meet the recommended daily fruit intake
  • Obtain necessary dental treatment before the delivery
  • Chew xylitol-containing gum (four pieces per day)

The American Academy of Periodontology advises pregnant women to seek preventative oral health care and any necessary restorative treatment during pregnancy.  The period between week 14 and 20 is considered ideal.

Your oral health is an important part of your overall health, and good oral health habits not only help prevent oral health problems during pregnancy, they also affect the health of your unborn child.

 

 

Teeth In A Day!

August 4, 2011

In the past the only solution for those with missing teeth, bad teeth and/or those who have lost teeth due to periodontal disease has been a full removable denture.  Today, teeth can be replaced with fixed, non-removable, new replacement teeth in just one day, utilizing dental implants.

The conventional way to replace an entire arch of missing teeth has been a full removable denture although there are several problems in doing so.  Full dentures may create an aesthetically appealing look but they are not fixed and can slip, fall out, be very uncomfortable, painful and most importantly they do not stop the problem of bone loss.

Dental implants are the preferred solution.  Implants mimic a natural tooth and when eating and chewing the bone is stimulated therefore preventing further bone loss.  They are fixed in place and therefore do not move creating a permanent set of replacement teeth.  They look and feel natural and you don’t have to worry about them falling out when you are talking or eating.

A full arch of teeth can now be replaced with just four implants and can be done all in one day, for most patients.  The teeth can be removed and the dental implants can be placed at the same time without having to do bone grafts because the four implants are strategically placed to take maximum advantage of the existing bone.  You will leave with a beautiful customized set of replacement teeth which will greatly improve your quality of life.  They will allow you to properly chew and speak, enhance self confidence and encourage you to eat a wider variety of foods. Healthy teeth make for a happy and healthy life!

 

Why is utilizing a laser in conjunction with a dental cleaning beneficial?

July 28, 2011

We are constantly learning and striving to advance the standard of patient care in our dental practice. In doing so, we have added an optional new procedure to routine cleaning care to help fight periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease affects approximately 80% of adults and is a growing epidemic in our society. The understanding of this disease has increased greatly over the last few years. We know that Periodontal Disease is a bacterial infection in the pockets around the teeth. With this knowledge, we not only treat Periodontal Disease with the removal of mechanical irritants and diseased tissue (your normal cleaning) but now can also address the underlying infection that causes it. With that thought in mind it is recommended that patients have their teeth laser decontaminated, also known as laser bacterial reduction, at the beginning of every routine dental cleaning appointment for three major reasons.

  1. To reduce or eliminate the bacteria that can get into the bloodstream. During the normal cleaning process most patients will have some areas that may bleed, this allows bacteria that are present in all of our mouths to flood into the bloodstream and sometimes settle in weakened areas of our body.  Latest research shows that these oral pathogens have now been linked to a number of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory infections, rheumatoid arthritis, low birth weight babies, and diabetes.  Needless to say anything we can do to reduce or eliminate these bacteria is a must in order to maintain good oral health as well as overall health!
  2. To prevent cross contamination of infections in one area of your mouth to other areas. Laser decontamination minimizes the chance that we may inadvertently pick up bacteria in one area of your mouth and move it to others.
  3. To kill bacteria that causes periodontal disease and stop their infections before they cause physical destruction or loss of attachment around your teeth.

This process is painless and only takes about 5 minutes to complete.  Since there is such a drastic reduction of the bacterial levels it then takes about 4-6 weeks for the bacteria to repopulate the pocket, which is 3x longer then it would take without utilizing the laser.

 

Why are fluoride treatments important for adults ?

July 21, 2011

I often get the question, “Do I NEED fluoride?  I had it as a kid, but never as an adult”  My answer is, “as long as you have teeth and want to maintain them as strongly as possible, then, Yes, you need fluoride”  And here are some great reasons why adults benefit from regular fluoride treatments.

New research indicates that topical fluorides – from toothpastes, mouth rinses, and in office fluoride treatments – are as important in fighting tooth decay as in strengthening teeth during development.  Just because the tooth structure is done developing doesn’t mean you don’t need fluoride anymore.  You still need it but for other reasons

Fluoride keeps the tooth enamel strong and solid by preventing the loss of important minerals from the tooth enamel.  Situations that may put adults at higher risk of tooth decay and therefore would benefit from additional fluoride include: gum disease, history of frequent cavities, adult orthodontics, sensitivity, dry mouth, recession and restorative treatments.

Dry mouth– Caused from reduced salivary flow due in part to age, certain diseases and most often a side effect of medication. Specific medications that cause this are antihistamines, allergy, anxiety and high blood pressure medication. Lack of saliva makes an individual more prone to tooth decay by not allowing food particles to be washed away or allowing acids to be neutralized.

Recession– People in the United States are living longer and retaining more of their natural teeth then ever before.  Because older adults experience more problems with recession, the prevalence of root decay increases resulting in the need for additional fluoride to protect the root surface.

 

Restorative treatment– Just because the natural tooth structure is covered up with a restoration, doesn’t mean the tooth doesn’t benefit from fluoride.  The margins of the fillings, onlays, crowns or veneers can act as a hiding place for bacteria and fluoride protects the area from decaying which weakens the filling, resulting in the need for replacement.

The regular use of fluoride helps to protect the permanent teeth from decay and sensitivity.  This allows adult patients to keep their permanent teeth in a much healthier state and much longer!!

 

What are the benefits of dental implants?

July 6, 2011

Some patients I have seen have stopped smiling and being social do to missing teeth. Thanks to modern technology, the entire tooth, root and all, can be replaced with a titanium implant and porcelain crown. A dental implant is an artificial tooth replacement made of titanium and shaped like a screw.

The use of dental implants has become more common as procedures have gotten easier and success rates have grown over the years. Considering dental implants has many benefits. With a dental implant, you will experience better oral health. Implants create a comfortable bite, reduce chances of gum disease, enhance aesthetics, and can improve your speech.

Dental implants look exactly like a natural tooth so aesthetically you won’t notice a difference in appearance. They are such a great tooth replacement that you don’t even remember that it’s not a real tooth. Dental implants also offer a durable, long term, permanent solution to tooth loss unlike dentures or bridges. They bond or osseointegrate with the jaw bone which stimulates the bone area and prevents long term bone loss.

Treatment with dental implants involves placing implants in areas where there are no teeth and unlike bridges, they don’t affect your other healthy teeth. More of your own teeth are left intact, improving your long-term oral health. Since implants are individual tooth replacements it allows easier access between the teeth improving oral hygiene.

 

Why do I need to get my teeth professionally cleaned every 3-6 months?

June 30, 2011

Visiting a dentist for regular professional cleanings is vital to having healthy teeth and gums. As for personal dental care, teeth cleaning, is of course, the most beneficial thing you can do for your teeth.

The truth is that most patients only brush their teeth, and tend to use dental floss sporadically only to get the food out from between their teeth. Because brushing your teeth is a daily routine, few people actually stop and think about the proper way of doing it. The fact is that brushing by itself only gets off about 65% of the plaque and bacteria that is on the teeth. Getting a professional dental cleaning every three to six months, depending on your gum condition, helps to remove the remaining 35% of plaque and bacteria on your teeth that eventually hardens into tartar.  It is that tartar which can cause cavities and other problems in your mouth, including gum disease. Maintaining good oral hygiene, and having your teeth cleaned professionally are the most effective ways to prevent periodontal disease.

When your dental hygienist cleans your teeth they remove plaque, tartar and stains off your teeth. The primary purpose of having your teeth cleaned is to prevent or delay the progression of periodontal disease. Your hygienist will polish your teeth to a beautiful shine, resulting in a whiter and brighter smile!

The frequency of professional teeth cleaning depends on the health of your teeth and gums, for example healthy children and adults should have their teeth cleaned at least every 6 months. If you’re a smoker or have gum inflammation, bleeding gums, gum disease, extensive restorative work or have invested in veneers you should visit your hygienist 3-4 times a year for proper maintenance in order to retain ideal oral health.

 

How to choose a Cosmetic Dentist?

October 4, 2010

 

This is a great question to consider prior to having a smile makeover started.  The first factor to consider is the dentist’s training in smile makeovers.  All dentists receive basic training in dental school on how to do porcelain veneers,   but only 5% of the dentists in the United States have received hands on training in Cosmetic Dentistry. This advanced training is done among one’s peers and improves the doctor’s aesthetic and functional planning, preparation, and delivery of the smile enhancements.

The second key factor to making sure your porcelain veneers are perfect, is to view the dentist’s  before and after smile makeover portfolio.  Look closely at the pictures. Do the teeth individually look natural, realistic and pretty, if not this is an indication that the doctor’s work will not meet your expectations.

The third key factor is to know how the dentist plans to meet your expectations. Do they utilize customized temporaries? How does the dentist know what I want as the patient? Utilizing customized temporaries gives patients a preview of what the smile should look like including the shape, size and color. These customized temporaries are utilized to go over what a patient likes or dislikes, so the permanent porcelain veneers are to the patient’s expectations.

Last but not least in your quest for a Cosmetic Dentist is to interview the dentist by asking detailed questions. How experienced are you in doing smile makeovers? How many  Cosmetic treatments do you perform in your practice per day or per week? How do you guarantee that what I want is what I will receive? Do you have before and after photographs of cases similar to mine? Have you received any advanced training in Aesthetic and functional dentistry? Do you have a preference of  type of porcelain veneer  you will use in my case and why?

Thie information provided should help you find a  cosmetic dentist   It is extremely important that you get to know the doctor and be absolutely comfortable with his or her style, personality, experience, artistry and training before you have any work done.

Choose wisely and do not allow price to be the main reason for choosing a cosmetic dentist. You do get what you pay for and least expensive does not usually mean the best.

Don’t Give In To Dental Fear

December 15, 2013

It is estimated that 75% of US adults experience some degree of dental fear.

These fears can be mild to severe but Weller Dental is here to help.

Too often we see people neglect their dental health, because they are afraid it will hurt or just don’t know what to expect. Unfortunately the neglect can hurt you more than the dental procedure.  Our mouths have a direct relationship with our bodies and the bacteria involved with infections in our mouth can often hurt our bodies severely enough to put you in the hospital.

In interviewing the 1000’s of patients that have entered our practice, we found this above statistic to be quite true.  Women tend to report more dental fear than men although it is present in both. We have found that many fears came from a bad dental experience when one was young, or lack of care that was received.  We cannot make up for those past experiences, which may have started this roller coaster of dental anxiety, but we can promise you a new dental experience.  Our team at Weller Dental is here to make each experience comfortable and make you understand the procedure to eliminate the unknown.  Some of the newest techniques and materials that we utilize can help in this total experience. So there is no need to fear anymore we are here to help and many of our patients have eliminated fear completely.

The use of positive reinforcement, non-threatening language and even the use of pharmacologic management like utilizing anxiety-reducing medication can all help dental fearing patients feel less threatened. Many patients have found that a dentist that listens and understands their concerns helps make them feel in control and helps also to lessen dental anxieties.

Cleanings and dental treatments do not have to hurt, if a cleaning is hurting you need to let your dental professional know and we can use topical gels to help this.  If a cleaning is hurting your mouth, it’s your body that may be telling you there are other things going on there and perhaps need to be treated.

Gum disease can be controlled and maintained but it needs to be addressed with treatments in order to get to a point where routine care is comfortable.  You should be getting periodontal screenings once a year and this is truly the only way to check for gum disease.

We found that many patients need to be distracted from the service in order to help them get to a happy place, we offer patients Noise Controlling headphones and let them relax to some spa music or jam out to the Rolling Stones.  We have Monitors in the room too that help patients relax while watching light hearted sitcoms like Seinfeld, Sex in the City, or 30 Rock.

It is the smile you receive at the front door, to holding your hand, watching a movie, and a warm atmosphere that help to start making you feel like you are at home and not the dental office.

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