Tag Archives: Dr. Bartz

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.

Do You Have Dragon Breath? | Oak Lawn Dentist

There is very little more off-putting than having to speak to someone that has bad breath. While you may think it is bad manners to tell them, it is difficult for someone to know they have bad breath without someone mentioning it. But why do we have bad breath in the first place? There are actually many factors and causes for bad breath, and it can occur on occasion, or it can be a chronic condition.

Certain foods, health conditions and habits are among the causes of bad breath, but can be reduced or prevented if you follow these simple tips:

Oral hygiene. Brush and floss twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque, including the tongue. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months or after an illness. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth the next morning.

Regular dental visits. See your dentist at least twice a year. This will be able to detect and treat any periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.

Quit tobacco. Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products. Ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.

Hydrate. Drink lots of water. Saliva helps wash away food particles and bacteria by keeping your mouth moist. Chewing gum or candy containing xylitol also stimulates the production of saliva.

Healthy diets. Keep a log of the foods you eat and bring the log to your dentist to review. Similarly, make a list of the medications you take. Some drugs may play a role in creating mouth odors.

If you would like to find out more about bad breath, 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.

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.

Eat Your Way to a Whiter Smile

natural teeth whiteningIf I were to tell you that you could eat your way to whiter smile, would you believe me? Chances are you wouldn’t believe a word I said. However, just as there are certain types of food that can stain our teeth, there are also foods that can naturally whiten them.

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, there are several foods that can naturally cleanse and brighten your teeth, while also defending against bad bacteria that could potentially harm your teeth or gums. Your teeth and gums essentially mirror what is going on inside of your body, meaning that what you consume can influence the health and integrity of our teeth. If you’d like to achieve a healthier and whiter smile, try munching on these healthy foods:

  • Apples- I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Well, that saying may apply to your dentist as well. Apples acts as a natural abrasive that can scrub away leftover food particles and stains. Apples contain a high concentration of malic acid, which is natural astringent that acts as a bleaching agent to whiten teeth.
  • Broccoli- When eaten raw, broccoli, just like apples, acts as natural abrasive that can scrub away leftover food particles and stains. Broccoli is high in fiber, and if eaten regularly, it can go a long way in preventing gum disease. Also, the iron found in broccoli can provide a barrier that can protect your teeth from stains and cavity-causing acids.
  • Celery- Say goodbye to tooth stains as you snack on a piece of celery. The yummy veggies are low in calories and high in water content, which can help stimulate saliva production. Saliva is our mouths way of natural cleansing.
  • Cheese- Though the color of some types of cheese may throw you off, most cheese doesn’t stain teeth. Cheese is rich in calcium and phosphorus, which helps provide your teeth with necessary nutrition to keep your enamel healthy and strong.
  • Garlic and Onions- The key is to eat these both raw. Eating both garlic and onions raw releases a bacteria-reducing compound called thiosulfinate and thiosulfonates, which promotes healthier teeth by reducing the production of plaque.
  • Pineapple- This particular fruit is quite unique considering that it is the only food that contains an enzyme called bromelain. Bromelain is a natural stain remover that can help remove plaque buildup from the surface of your teeth, while also preventing tooth erosion and cavities from forming.
  • Strawberries- Like apples, strawberries contain malic acid, which acts as a natural bleaching agent that can remove tooth stains. Strawberries also contain vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system and aid in plaque removal.
  • Water- If you ever needed another reason to up your water intake, it’s that it can help keep your pearly whites bright and healthy. In addition, drinking water throughout and after meals can help rinse your mouth of any leftover food debris and loosen plaque.

As you’ve read, there are many ways that you can go about whitening your teeth aside from teeth whitening treatments. Of course, regular consumption of these foods isn’t enough to maintain a white and healthy smile. You must also make it point to practice proper oral hygiene, and to visit your dentist for checkups and professional cleanings routinely.

If munching on these foods are not enough and you would like to look into teeth whitening treatments, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 to schedule an appointment today. Or visit www.bartzandbartzdental.com for additional information regarding teeth whitening.