Category Archives: Cosmetic Dentistry

MythBusters: Porcelain Veneers Edition | Oak Lawn Dentist

There are plenty of ways your dentist can improve your smile flaws. Whitening can brighten it, dentures can fill in missing teeth, but veneers are like the superhero of the cosmetic dentistry world, especially for those patients that have suffered from dental trauma, excessive wear, tooth decay or discoloration over time. But there are many myths that surround porcelain veneers, making people question this wonderful dental treatment. Here are the most common:

Veneers are noticeable. Thanks to advances in cosmetic dentistry, veneers are much more natural-looking. The color, shape and thickness are all customized to blend in seamlessly with the patients surrounding teeth.

Veneers are aesthetic. While the primary purpose of veneers is for aesthetic reasons, they are also used to restore the function of a patient’s teeth. Veneers can rebuild molars, improve facial profiles and replace worn or misshapen teeth.

Veneers require your entire tooth to be filed down. While reshaping is usually required before adhering a porcelain veneer, most patients only need a minimal amount removed. Veneers are now made to be fingernail thin, so less prep work is required.

Veneers are for your front teeth. Although veneers are commonly placed on the six teeth located in the front of the mouth, veneers can be used anywhere. There are many patients that use them on their lower teeth and premolars to even out or widen their smiles.

Veneer placement is painful. Like any other dental procedure, patients will be put under a local anesthetic when veneers are placed, so there is no pain or discomfort.

If you would like to find out more about porcelain veneers, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn and all surrounding areas.

The ABCs of Dental Bridges | Oak Lawn Dentist

If you have missing teeth, chances are you’ve experienced trouble eating, speaking clearly and even biting down correctly. When you do have a missing tooth, it’s important to visit your dentist immediately to discuss tooth replacement options, as having missing teeth can lead to further dental problems.

A dental bridge may be one of the options your dentist may give you to replace your missing tooth or teeth because they fill the space where the teeth are missing. Dental bridges can last up to 15 years, though how long they last ultimately depends on how well you take care of them. Practicing proper oral hygiene at home and visiting your dentist on a regular basis for routine checkups and professional cleanings will ensure that your bridge lasts for years to come.

Caring for your dental bridge is no different than taking care of your very own natural teeth. However, there are certain things that you should consider avoiding, such as chewing on ice and biting your nails, as both of these habits can cause damage to your dental restoration. If you grind or clench your teeth while you’re asleep, you should ask your dentist for night guard for added protection.

Your overall oral health is key to having your dental restoration last. To ensure the longevity of your dental bridge, brush twice a day for two minutes each session, floss at least once a day and use mouthwash. And, of course, be sure to visit your dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings.

If you would like to find out more about dental bridges, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Protect Those Gums! | Oak Lawn Dentist

No one wants to know they have gum disease, but unfortunately, many adults currently have some form of it. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost. This is why your dental hygiene is so important.

Your mouth is full of bacteria constantly form a sticky, colorless film or plaque on teeth. Plaque can harden and form tartar that brushing doesn’t clean. Your dentist removes the plaque through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing. Scaling means scraping off the tartar from above and below the gum line, cleaning between the gums and teeth down to the roots. In some cases, a laser may be used to remove plaque and tartar, resulting in less bleeding, swelling and discomfort.

When gums have either started to pull away from the teeth or the roots of the teeth have hard mineral deposits on them. If you maintain good dental care after the procedure, the progression of gum disease should stop, and your gums will become firm and pink again. However, root planing and scaling can introduce harmful bacteria into the bloodstream. Gum tissue is also at risk of infection. You may need to take antibiotics before and after surgery if you have a condition that puts you at high risk for a severe infection or if infections are particularly dangerous for you.

Root planing and scaling is a simple procedure that can work very well to stop gum disease, but be sure to brush and floss regularly afterward – proper oral hygiene is the key to avoiding dental pitfalls.

If you would like to find out more about root planing and scaling, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

There Is No Need to Panic When You Chip a Tooth | Oak Lawn Dentist

The saying holds true – accidents happen. And when they do, there is no cause for alarm. However, there is little more frustrating than chipping a tooth. Not only is it unappealing, but it could lead to future dental issues. A broken tooth will also be exposed to things that can cause more issues, like bacteria. Regardless of the reason, when you chip a tooth, it’s definitely time to visit the dentist.

If your chipped tooth is a typical case, your dentist can repair minor chips with a dental bonding. For larger chips, could lead to structure loss in the tooth and a more complicated remedy may be required, such as a root canal or dental crown.

Unfortunately, many patients will forgo getting a chipped tooth repaired if it doesn’t make a huge difference or cause a toothache. However, when a cracked tooth goes unchecked you’re opening your mouth up to the risk of developing an abscess. What is an abscess? When a break (or cavity) in a tooth exposes a nerve, the nerve then eventually dies and causes the cells inside of the tissue to die and release their contents. This creates a backup of gases and purulent exudate, something more commonly known as pus. Left untreated, this could lead to the loss of the tooth in its entirety, not to mention severe pain, cost and time off from work.

A chipped or broken tooth may not hurt but it can potentially be a big problem. If you notice you’re your tooth is broken, make it a point to see a dentist as soon as possible.

If you would like to find out more about dental emergencies, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

What to Expect from Gum Contouring | Oak Lawn Dentist

It’s only natural to dream of having a sparkling, beautiful smile. However, those who are born with uneven gums may find it hard to find a way to have that smile they’ve always wanted. Luckily, now there is gum contouring.

Gum contouring is a medical procedure that’s mainly used to treat problems such as receding gums and the occurrence of pockets in between teeth, which leaves the teeth exposed and vulnerable for bacteria to accumulate. While it’s mainly a medical procedure, gum contouring can also be used to help those who were born with gummy smiles.

The procedure is performed only by qualified dental professionals and involves the use of a mild local an aesthetic to numb the gums. Dentists then use a soft tissue laser for a variety of purposes. For those with gummy smiles, the laser is used to remove the excess gum tissue, resulting in the teeth looking longer and the smile looking much better. For those with whose gums have receded, the laser is used to help reshape and seal the tissue to create the ideal shape, as well as to prevent any excess bleeding. For those with pockets in between their teeth, the laser is used to seal off such hollows to prevent future bacterial infections.

Whether you had your gums reshaped for medical or aesthetic reasons, it’s important to emphasize good dental hygiene even more so the weeks following the procedure. Because the gums have yet to fully heal, you may want to brush much more gently than usual with a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritation.

If you would like to find out more about gum contouring, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Everything You Need to Know About Veneers | Oak Lawn Dentist

It honestly doesn’t really matter what the reason is that caused the issue – when your smile has a flaw, it can make one feel subconscious about smiling. Not only can it cause issues speaking or chewing, but it can also cause your other teeth to move in order to fill in the space left by the dental issue. Luckily, there is a solution to teeth that can completely change the smile game – veneers.

Porcelain veneers is a cosmetic dental procedure that can create bright white smiles with beautifully-aligned, shapely teeth, but are also routinely used to fix teeth with the following dental issues:

  • Discoloration due to root canal treatment, stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride, or resin fillings
  • Worn down, chipped or broken
  • Misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped
  • Gaps

But that’s not all, there are even more advantages to choosing veneers over other cosmetic procedures, like dentures:

  • Natural tooth appearance
  • Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well
  • Porcelain veneers are stain resistant
  • The color of a porcelain veneer is selected to make darkened teeth whiter

Veneers not only offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color and shape, but also don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, offering a stronger, more aesthetic alternative. Bonus feature is that they also do not require any special care. As long as you continue to follow good oral hygiene practices as you normally would, there shouldn’t be a reason you can’t have your veneers for a very long time as veneers generally last between 5 and 10 years. After this time, the veneers would need to be replaced.

If you would like to find out more about veneers, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Too Much Gums? Contour Them | Oak Lawn Dentist

Our smile is very important to us. And when people think of how they can achieve the smile they’ve always dreamed of, they think of procedures such as tooth bleaching, veneers, braces, and a bunch of other cosmetic procedures. But there is one procedure you may not know about that can help – gum contouring.

When it comes to smiles, the amount of gum and teeth showing should be balanced. If not, and too much gum is showing, a smile. then becomes what’s known as a “gummy smile”. A gummy smile is a term used to describe people whose gums cover too much of their teeth when smiling, giving the impression that their teeth are much shorter. And, in such cases, gum contouring may just be the answer. Here are some factors that may cause a “gummy smile”:

  • Brushing too hard and improper brushing, as well as flossing techniques
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Teeth grinding
  • Oral piercings
  • Sensitivity to certain chemicals
  • The shifting of teeth (very common among adults)
  • Periodontal disease

Gum contouring has long been around as a cosmetic procedure. Though, it was only recently that it became popular with plenty of people. It could directly be attributed to the fact that modern dental medicine now allows dental practitioners to completely bypass the use of scalpels. Instead, soft tissue lasers are used to slowly and gently scalp the gums, while at the same time, the tissue is sealed to help speed up the healing process, as well as to prevent any bleeding.

If you would like to find out more about gum contouring, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Why Custom Whitening Trays Are a Great Choice | Oak Lawn Dentist

Do you avoid flashing your smile due to having stained or yellow teeth? If so, you’ll be happy to hear that there are many teeth whitening options to choose from that can safely and effectively brighten your smile.

One common dental treatment that’s done to whiten teeth is a bleaching procedure using custom teeth whiten trays. This specific whitening option is effective and most of all, it cost significantly less compared to alternative teeth whitening treatments.

While there are several over-the–counter teeth whitening treatments that can be used, like whitening strips or trays, they won’t work quite as effectively as custom whitening trays. One of the risks that come along with using over-the-counter teeth whitening products is that the bleach can leak from the tray or strip. This can cause your gums to become irritated or sensitive. Custom whitening trays are made to fit your teeth perfectly.

The process starts off with your dentist taking an impression of your teeth, then using the mold your dentist can create the custom trays. Once your custom whitening trays are complete and your go in for your second visit, your dentist will give you instructions to properly use them.

During the whitening process, you should start to notice a difference in the shades of your teeth as they begin to whiten. Once this short process is over, you should be able to enjoy flashing your significantly whiter teeth. To maintain the appearance of your pearly whites you may want to get treatments done every now and then.

If you would like to find out more about custom whitening trays, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.comfor additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Crowns and Bridges: Which Is Best? | Oak Lawn Dentist

There are many risk factors that can lead to tooth loss, such as injury, disease or decay. With proper dental treatment, your confidence and smile don’t have to suffer as much. As a matter of fact, with proper dental treatment your smile may appear to look better as a result.

Dental crowns are used to strengthen a damaged tooth, while also improving the alignment, appearance and shape. Crowns can also be placed on top of a dental implant, as to replacing a missing tooth. Porcelain and ceramic crowns can be customized to match the color of your natural teeth. There’s also the option of using other materials, such as gold and metal alloys, and acrylic and ceramic. Though porcelain bonded to a metal shell is often the best choice for both appearance and durability.

As for dental bridges, these are recommended if you have one or more missing teeth. Bridges are cemented to either your natural tooth or a dental implant surrounding your missing teeth. As with crowns, the material used to fabricate dental bridges are made of porcelain fused to metal or ceramics. Your dentist can help you decide which option best fits your individual needs.

There are several benefits when it comes to replacing missing teeth with dental crowns and bridges. They can be used to improve the appearance, shape, alignment and bite. Empty spaces caused by missing teeth can result in your teeth shifting, which can cause a bad bite. Crowns and bridges will help prevent this from occurring.

If you would like to find out more about dental crowns and bridges, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.comfor additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

The Only Chips in Your Mouth Should Be Snacks | Oak Lawn Dentist

A crown is a cosmetic dental restoration that is used to replace an old filling or broken tooth to improve the function of your teeth. The two main signs that indicate an individual needs a dental crown are:

  • Cracks in the teeth are main indicators that one needs a dental crown. Deep cracks in teeth allow for plaque and bacteria to build up inside the tooth which can lead to infection and permanent tooth loss.
  • Chips in your teeth are a major sign of weakened and decaying teeth that should be examined immediately. If the chip was not caused by some kind of accident, the chip is most likely due to some damage that can only be fixed with a dental crown.

If you wonder if a crown is right for you, take a look at the advantages:

Natural looking. Porcelain and composite-created dental crowns have the look and feel of natural teeth. More importantly, your porcelain crown will be stain-resistant, so no one has to know you have one.

Durable. Last up to fifteen years, but only if you take good care of them. Treat them like your normal teeth for best results.

Non-slipping. Because they are cemented or anchored in place, you won’t have to worry about them moving around or irritating your gums like dentures would.

Restorative protection. Dental crowns not only restore your smile, but they also protect the tooth from further decay.

Confidence. Damaged, discolored or missing teeth causes confidence issues. Dental crowns help to make your smile beautiful and confident enough to show it off.

If you would like to find out more about dental crowns, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.