Will Veneers Fix My Smile? | Oak Lawn Dentist

186932212Porcelain veneers fall into the category of cosmetic dentistry because they create bright, white smiles with beautifully aligned, shapely teeth. But dental veneers can also be placed over the surfaces of your teeth to correct worn tooth enamel, uneven tooth alignment, spacing, discoloration and chips or cracks.

Porcelain veneers are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length.

Veneers are routinely used to fix:

  • Teeth that are discolored due to root canal treatment, stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride, or resin fillings that have discolored the tooth
  • Teeth that are worn down, chipped or broken
  • Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped
  • Teeth with gaps between them

Veneers offer the following advantages:

  • They provide a natural tooth appearance
  • Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well
  • Porcelain veneers are stain resistant
  • The color of a porcelain veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter

Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth’s color and shape; veneers generally don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative. They also do not require any special care. Continue to follow good oral hygiene practices as you normally would. 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 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, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

The Toothbrush: Your Mouth’s Best Friend | Oak Lawn Dentist

480320367While we’ve all heard about how important brushing and taking care of our teeth is, most of us know virtually nothing when it comes to that little instrument we use to keep our mouths healthy – the toothbrush. For starters, did you know that the toothbrush wasn’t invented by a dentist? They weren’t even kin the medical field! Instead, the first bristled toothbrush was invented in China in 1498. It was basically boar’s hair attached to bamboo or a bone. Who knew, right? In fact, we didn’t get the bristles we know today until 1938. There is also the theory that China’s invention was too primitive, so the modern invention was touted as made in 1780, by a guy named William Addis due to his boredom in prison. Using a bone and bristles from a stationed guard. The fact that Addis eventually made a fortune mass producing his invention further proves that statement. Here are some more interesting facts about your teeth’s best friend:

It’s been shown that the average American will have spent more than a thousand hours, or close to 38 days brushing their teeth by the time they die.

Speaking of time spent brushing teeth, the average person usually spends 48 seconds a day brushing their teeth. Yikes! That’s more than a minute short of the 2 or 3 minutes that dentists recommend. Two minute is the bare minimum to even get your teeth clean, so take your time!

On average, the typical toothbrush will contain around 2,500 bristles.

This one will cause friction in your home, but placing a cap back on your toothpaste is actually counterintuitive. This is because the moist environment created by placing a cap promotes the growth of bacteria.

In America alone, Americans are believed to throw away 25,000 tons of toothbrushes every year. This has led manufacturers to try and minimize the waste by selling toothbrushes made out of recyclable plastic, or with replaceable heads, so only the bristles are thrown away when the time comes.

Despite how “little” time people devote to brushing their teeth when you go by what’s recommended, a survey back in 2003 showed that the toothbrush was the #1 thing people couldn’t live without.

Whether you could live with your toothbrush or not, you shouldn’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once and gargle with mouthwash to prevent bacteria and plaque build-up. Also, make sure that you don’t forget to schedule a regular check-up and cleaning with your local dentist.

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

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

How Dry I Am…How to Treat Dry Mouth | Oak Lawn Dentist

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A sound sleep is important for good health. The sleep we get, the better our health will remain. But it isn’t just about the amount of hours you are sleeping – it also has to do with the condition of your sleep. Sleeping soundly is not so easy, and if you wake up frequently at night with a dry mouth, a condition known as xerostomia, it makes things even worse. The exact causes of xerostomia vary, but if it happens at night, it is happening because you snore. Sleeping with your mouth open allows air to freely enter and depart, leaving your mouth especially dry. Factors such as stress and medication may also play a factor.

Regardless of what caused it, it’s important that you have it checked by a healthcare professional to get proper treatment. Because saliva not only washes away bacteria and food to keep your mouth clean, but it’s also important for your mouth while you sleep. It can cause your mouth to become red and irritated, putting you at a higher risk for developing bacterial infections, affecting the quality of your sleep even further.

So how is it treated? The first step is seeking medical advice from your dentist. However, in the meantime, there are some things that you can do to make it a bit less uncomfortable for you:

Cut back on bad habits. Cut back on beverages such as caffeine, soda and alcohol. You can also benefit from refraining from smoking and tobacco use. Studies have also shown that avoiding sugary or acidic foods can help in that avoiding consumption of such food items can increase one’s risk for tooth decay, especially if one suffers from dry mouth. If you insist on munching on something sweet, you can chew on sugarless gum or hard candy to help satisfy your cravings and stimulate saliva flow.

Drink your water. It seems like more of a chore but drinking lots of water to maintain, or increase the production of saliva.

Keep your nightly dental routine. Before sleeping, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride rinse, as opposed to an alcohol-based mouthwash, can help keep your mouth from drying at night. Alcohol is known to dehydrate. Keep a glass of water next to your bed to sip on if you wake up with a dry mouth in the middle of the night.

Maintain enough air moisture. The air in your room may also be too dry. Use a humidifier.

The only person who can tell if your dry mouth is caused by something more serious is a dental or health professional. If you’ve been finding yourself waking up at night with a dry mouth frequently, make an appointment to get checked.

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

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

Veneers Will Fix Your Smile | Oak Lawn Dentist

thinkstockphotos-78812411Having become increasingly popular over the past few years as the way to go for white teeth, porcelain veneers have become a household name. In fact, you may have even thought of getting the procedure done on yourself. But, while porcelain veneers do help whiten teeth, they can help with much more than that. This simple, yet effective cosmetic dental procedure can not only get you a brighter smile, but the smile that you’ve always wanted.

But first, a little history. Porcelain veneers started off as a temporary product in the film-making industry about a century ago. Yes, a century ago. It was used as a cosmetic fix, improving the appearance of the actors’ teeth because permanent fixtures were not yet available. In the last few years, however, modern dental medicine has made porcelain veneers look more natural and a lot more convenient to use. The newest types of porcelain reflect light in the same way that the natural enamel of your teeth does, and they’re also quite as strong.

Plenty of dental care experts today can easily perform porcelain veneer restorations to make sure that they match the exact shape and color of their patient’s teeth. Veneers may also be used in conjunction with other procedures, like dental crowns and teeth whitening treatments. So it’s true – porcelain veneers can whiten your teeth, but they can also help improve the appearance of your smile and teeth.

If you plan on getting porcelain veneers, you may want to know that they can correct more than just cosmetic issues. Veneers can also help with structural dental issues like such as: chipped teeth, cracked teeth, gaps in between your teeth, minor tooth misalignment and even tooth discoloration.

Porcelain veneers are also made out of different types of ceramic. Here is a quick breakdown: Stacked ceramic material are more customized and more precise. Those made from pressed ceramic are much more durable, but are a bit thicker or bulkier and won’t look as natural. Lithium disilicate is so strong that this type of veneers may be used by those suffering from bruxism, or teeth grinding. Your dentist will be the one to determine which type of porcelain veneer material is best suited for your needs and of course, your budget.

As durable as veneers are, it’s important to exercise extra care when you have them. Of course, proper oral hygiene is still necessary, but more than that, you should avoid excessive biting or chewing as well. If you excessively grind or clench your teeth, you may want to wear a bite guard. It is also important to avoid food and drinks that may cause staining. While veneers are typically resistant to stain, the natural teeth around them are not, making your veneers stand out and appear brighter.

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 about veneer options.

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

Root Planing and Scaling: Why Do I Need It? | Oak Lawn Dentist

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669Hearing you have periodontal disease, is never great news to receive. Any sort of gum disease is going to be somewhat disheartening. Worry not, many adults currently have some form of the disease, or will have at some point in their lives. 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. Worst case scenario, the teeth will be lost. Whether your gum disease is stopped, slowed, or gets worse depends on how well you have been taking care for your teeth and gums on a daily basis.

Whether you believe it or not, your mouth is full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with saliva and food particles, constantly form a sticky colorless film, or plaque, on your teeth. Your brushing, paired with regular flossing, will help get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form tartar. Unfortunately, tartar cannot be removed by brushing. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar.

Again, this is where your daily hygiene comes into play. If you neglect your teeth and it becomes excessive, your dentist will remove 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. Root planing and scaling cleans between the gums and the teeth down to the roots.  In some cases, a laser may be used to remove plaque and tartar. Sounds intimidating, but this procedure can result in less bleeding, swelling, and discomfort compared to traditional deep cleaning methods.

Root planing and scaling is done when gums have either started to pull away from the teeth or the roots of the teeth have hard mineral deposits (tartar) on them. Gum recession is a pretty serious condition in and of itself. But if you maintain good dental care after the procedure, the progression of gum disease should stop and your gums will heal and become firm and pink again.

But root planing and scaling does have its risks. The procedure 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.

All in all, root planing and scaling is a simple procedure that can work very well to stop gum disease. But it is important to realize that poor dental hygiene is what leads to gum disease. And that’s all up to you. Brush and floss regularly. See your dentist regularly. Proper oral hygiene is the key to avoiding dental pitfalls.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from a form of periodontal disease, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding periodontal disease.

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

5 Myths About Periodontal Disease | Lawn Oak, IL

periodontal diseaseAccording to the American Academy of Periodontology an estimate of approximately three out of four Americans suffer from some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Periodontal disease ranges from a mild stage referred to as gingivitis to a more severe stage called periodontitis. This bacterial gum infection destroys the attachment fibers and supporting bone that holds your teeth in place. Though this disease has be highly publicized, many people still don’t take periodontal disease seriously because of certain myths and misconceptions that surround it. In this post I’ll be dispelling the truth behind the myths about periodontal disease.

Myth #1: Flossing my teeth isn’t important.

Fact: False. On top of brushing your teeth twice a day, you should be flossing at least once a day as to prevent gum disease. According to a survey that was released by Delta Dental, only 4 in 10 adults floss their teeth every day. Flossing your teeth is one of the best way to prevent gingivitis, a form of gum disease.

Myth #2: My bleeding gum are no big deal.

Fact: Let’s put it this way, think of your gum tissue the same as your hands. If your hands were to bleed every time you washed them, wouldn’t you worry? If your gums are red, swollen, or bleeding, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. They will be able to suggest the best periodontal treatment.

Myth #3: Poor oral hygiene is the only way I can get periodontal disease.

Fact: While poor oral hygiene is the primary cause of periodontal disease, there are other certain factors that can increase ones risk. The use of tobacco products, a poor diet, stressing, pregnancy and genetics can all contribute to periodontal.

Myth #4: I don’t have cavities so I don’t have periodontal disease.

Fact: While you may be cavity-free, it still doesn’t ensure that you are in the clear where periodontal disease is concerned. This is because periodontal disease is painless and several people don’t even know that they have it. Of course, gums that’s bleed easily or are red, swollen or tender are signs of gingivitis, which happens to be the only stage that’s reversible with periodontal treatment and practicing proper oral hygiene.

Myth #5: Having periodontal disease means I’m going to lose my teeth.

Fact: Once again, this is false. You won’t have to lose any teeth to periodontal is you practice proper oral hygiene on a daily basis. This involves brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, eating a healthy diet and visiting your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings every six months. Even if you are diagnosed with periodontal disease, your dentist will be able to design a periodontal treatment plan to keep it under control.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from a form of periodontal disease, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding periodontal disease.

What Are The Three Stages Of Periodontal Disease? | Oak Lawn, IL

Periodontal DiseaseIf you’ve recently been told that you’re suffering from periodontal disease, you are not alone. Nearly 75% of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal disease, also known as gum disease. Periodontal disease is a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums which can progress to affect the bone and tissues that surround and support your teeth.

Periodontal disease is typically caused due to improper oral hygiene, however in some cases it can be caused by certain medications, hormonal changes, among other certain factors. When you aren’t practicing proper oral hygiene, you’re allowing the bacteria in plaque to remain on your teeth, which will eventually infect your gums. Not only will periodontal disease affect your gums and teeth, but it can potentially affect your connective tissue and bone that supports your teeth as well. There are three stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis. Gum disease often exhibits worsening symptom as time goes on.

  • Gingivitis- Gingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease, and can be noticed by inflamed gums, red or swollen gums, which is mainly caused by the plaque buildup. This stage of the disease can also cause your gums to bleed, which you may notice when brushing or flossing your teeth. This is the only stage of periodontal that is reversible with periodontal treatment.
  • Periodontitis- When gingivitis is left untreated it progresses to a more advanced stage, known as periodontitis. At this particular stage the supporting bone and tissues will be irreversibly damaged. Your gums will also start to separate from your teeth, then form pockets below the gum line that become infected. . With periodontal treatment and improved oral hygiene you and your dentist can usually prevent any further damage.
  • Advanced Periodontitis- This is the final stage of periodontal disease, not only has the infection affected your teeth, but it has also destroyed the fibers and bones that support your teeth. This can affect your bite and cause your teeth to shift, loosen and/or even fall out. If periodontal treatment can’t save your teeth, your dentist may have to remove them.

Periodontal disease does not discriminate and can occur to anyone at any age, however it is more common in adults. As mentioned earlier, if periodontal disease is detected in its early stages, it can be reversed.

If you suspect that you may be suffering from periodontal disease, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to see which periodontal treatment best suits your needs. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding periodontal treatment.

Gum Contouring: What Are The Benefits?

186932212When people think of enhancing or improving their smile they usually think of teeth whitening, veneers, or other cosmetic procedures. Most people never think about gum contouring when it comes to cosmetic procedures. However, there are many ways one can benefit from gum contouring.

People don’t typically consider their gums a part of their smile because most times gum tissue doesn’t show very much when one smiles, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. However, there are many people that have what’s considered a “gummy smile”, which is where your gums are far below your upper lip when you smile. Fortunately, gum contouring can help you out if you are unhappy with your “gummy smile”.

What is gum contouring?

Gum contouring is a dental treatment used in cosmetic dentistry. The primary purpose of gum contouring is to improve a patients gums that have become or are uneven or rest too low. Both of the two can either be a result of genetics, particular health problems or taking certain kinds of medication. Though this procedure is consider cosmetic, it is also recommended to patients that have suffer from gum recession. Gum recession may not technically be an aesthetic problem, but it can increase some health risks.

Benefits of Gum Contouring

There are many benefits that associated with gum contouring, some which include the following:

  • Makes a patient’s smile more symmetrical
  • Creates a more uniform and proportionate smile for patients
  • Helps patients whose teeth appear to be oddly shaped or small
  • Lengthen the appearance of a patient’s teeth
  • Even out a patient’s gum line
  • Help curb the effects of tooth decay and gum disease

Not only can gum contouring help improve a gummy smile, but as you can see, it can also help control and curb the side effects of certain dental problems.

If you feel that gum contouring would benefit you, contact. Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding gum contouring.

What Are Common Periodontal Treatments?

periodontal diseaseIf 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. Periodontal disease can range from inflamed gums to serious disease that can cause tooth loss. Whether a patient’s gum disease is stopped, slowed or gets worse ultimately depends on them and how well they care for teeth and gums.

Signs and symptoms 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. The following includes the signs and symptoms of periodontal disease:

  • Bad taste in mouth or persistent bad breath
  • Red or inflamed gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Gum recession or longer appearing teeth
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth

What are the most common periodontal treatments?

The primary purpose of periodontal treatment is to control the infection. The number and type of periodontal treatments vary, depending on the how far the disease has progressed. Any type of periodontal treatment requires the patient to practice proper oral hygiene at home. Dentists may also suggest that the patient change certain habits, such as smoking, as a way to improve the overall outcome.

  • Deep Cleaning- This periodontal treatment involves a dentist, periodontist or oral hygienist 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, and also helps remove harmful bacteria that can contribute to periodontal disease. In some cases, a dental laser may be used.
  • 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. Dentists base whether or not you should have oral surgery based on how far the patient’s gum disease has progressed. More studies are still needed to see if medication can work long-term. Common medications used include antibiotic gels, oral antibiotics and prescription antimicrobial mouthwashes.

Your dentist may suggest that you have oral surgery to help control your periodontal disease. The periodontal treatments that involve oral surgery include flap surgery, which helps further rid built-up tartar in deep pockets, and bone and tissues grafts. Bone and tissue grafts help regenerate a bone and tissue that was lost due to periodontal disease.

If you’re seeking ways to treat gum disease, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to see which periodontal treatment best suits your needs. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding periodontal treatment.

5 Myths about Porcelain Veneers Busted

186932212Porcelain veneers can be a great advantage for those patients that have suffered from dental trauma, excessive wear, tooth decay or discoloration over time. However, there are many myths that surround porcelain veneers, making people question this wonderful dental treatment. The following includes the five most common myths about porcelain:

  1. Veneers are bright white and noticeable. Thanks to advances in cosmetic dentistry, veneers have come a long way and are actually quite natural-looking. The color, shape and thickness are all customized to blend in seamlessly with the patients surrounding teeth.
  2. Veneers are only used for aesthetic purposes. 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.
  3. Veneers require a dentist to file down your entire tooth before veneers can be placed. This is one of the most common myths regarding veneers. 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.
  4. Veneers are only necessary for your front teeth. Although veneers are commonly placed on the six teeth located in the front of the mouth, veneers can actually be used anywhere throughout the mouth. There are many patients that use them on their lower teeth and premolars to even out or widen their smiles.
  5. 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.

As you can see there are many myths that surround the use of porcelain veneers. Don’t let these common myths impair your judgement regarding porcelain veneers and their effectiveness.

If you would like to see if you’re an ideal candidate for porcelain veneers, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation today. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding porcelain veneers.