Category Archives: Restorative Dentistry

When You Need to Get a Filling | Oak Lawn Dentist

Traditional fillings were typically made of metal – usually an amalgam of tin, zinc, copper, and silver. Mixed together and placed into the cavities left after dentists removed decay, these fillings could last for a very long time – often 30 to 40 years – without further maintenance.

However, things have changed in recent years and the metal filling is no longer required. While traditional metal amalgam is still an option for back teeth due to its low cost and durability, but for more visible areas, many dentists favor composite resin – a mixture of synthetic materials such as plastic and fine glass particles. Composite resin is more expensive and requires more effort, but they can very closely match the look and feel of your natural teeth, making it a discreet option. There is also the glass ionomer – an acrylic resin. Glass ionomer is set with a bright blue light, which seals the resin and permanently bonds it to your teeth.

So, if you need a filling, know that you have options. If you’re curious about which your dentist will use, ask your dentist questions – they’ll be more than happy to explain which they’re using, and why they’ve selected that option.

If you would like to find out more about filling options, 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 Periodontal Treatment | Oak Lawn Dentist

If you’ve recently been informed that you have periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, you’re not alone. There are many people in the U.S. that suffer from some form of periodontal disease. There are many signs and symptoms that come along with periodontal disease, however, some people don’t even realize they have it, due to it being a painless disease. It’s time to visit the dentist…

The primary purpose of periodontal treatment is to control the infection. The type of periodontal treatment varies on the how far the disease has progressed. Any type of periodontal treatment requires proper oral hygiene at home, and may involve changing certain habits, such as smoking, as a way to improve the overall outcome.

Deep cleaning. This periodontal treatment involves removing built-up plaque though a method called root planing and scaling. This gets rid of the rough spots on the patient’s teeth where germs accumulate, while helping to remove harmful bacteria that can contribute to periodontal disease.

Medications. In some cases, medication may be used with treatments that include root planing and scaling, but they can’t always take the place of oral surgery. It all depends on how far the gum disease has progressed. Common medications used include antibiotic gels, oral antibiotics and prescription antimicrobial mouthwashes.

Oral surgery. Your dentist may suggest that you have oral surgery to help control your periodontal disease. These options will include flap surgery, which helps further rid built-up tartar in deep pockets, and bone and tissues grafts. Bone and tissue grafts help regenerate any bone and tissue lost through periodontal disease.

If you would like to find out more about periodontal treatment, 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.

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.

Kim K. Is the Queen of Contouring | Oak Lawn Dentist

While most people rarely think of their gums as part of their smiles, they are. And, in some cases, the gums or gingival tissue may be too far below the upper lips when smiling, causing them to show too much, and resulting in 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. 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”. While a natural occurrence, there are also other factors leading to people developing a “gummy smile”, such as:

  • Brushing too hard and improper flossing techniques
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Teeth grinding
  • Oral piercing
  • Chemical sensitivity
  • Teeth shifting
  • 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. This can 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. This makes it a very safe process that can be done in single visit, with immediate results.

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.