Tag Archives: General Dentistry

Will Anyone Notice My Dental Filling? | Oak Lawn Dentist

We all have a bit of hesitation when it comes to having dental procedures done. The good thing is that dental technology has changed significantly in the past few decades, making procedures both easier and less painful for their patients. One of the most common dental procedures is a simple filling, and even those have benefited from advances in dental technology.

Traditional fillings were typically made of metal – usually an amalgam of tin, zinc, copper, and silver placed into the cavities. These fillings could last 30 to 40 years without further maintenance. Today, dentists have far more flexibility in their choice of materials to use to fill cavities. While traditional metal amalgam is still an option for back teeth – where its low cost and high durability make it a viable option, many dentists favor composite resin – a mixture of synthetic materials such as plastic and fine glass particles. While composite resin is more expensive and requires more effort for the dentist to properly install, composite fillings can very closely match the look and feel of your natural teeth, allowing its use for front teeth and in places where traditional fillings may be too visible. In many cases, dentists may use glass ionomer – an acrylic resin set with a bright blue light, which seals and permanently bonds it to your teeth.

It’s likely that your dentist will choose one or more of the types of fillings above. 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 dental fillings, 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.

When You Don’t Have a Toothbrush Handy | Oak Lawn Dentist

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. If you’d like to achieve a healthier and whiter smile, try munching on these healthy foods:

Apples. 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 acts as natural abrasive that can scrub away leftover food particles and stains. Think of it like a natural toothbrush. Broccoli is high in fiber, great for preventing gum disease.

Celery. Veggies are low in calories and high in water content, which can help stimulate saliva production. Saliva is our mouths way of natural cleansing. And like broccoli, celery is like a form of floss.

Cheese. 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. Eating both garlic and onions raw releases a bacteria-reducing compound called thiosulfinate, which promotes healthier teeth by reducing the production of plaque.

Pineapple. Pineapple contains bromelain, 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 and vitamin C, which can also aid in plaque removal.

If you would like to find out more about teeth whitening foods, 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.

Treatment Options for Gum Disease | Oak Lawn Dentist

If you’ve recently been informed that you have gum disease, you’re not alone. Periodontal disease can range from inflamed gums to serious disease that can cause tooth loss. There are many signs and symptoms that come along with periodontal disease, but because it’s a painless disease, oftentimes people don’t even realize they have it. 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

The primary purpose of periodontal treatment is to control the infection. 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 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, helping 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. Common medications used include antibiotic gels, oral antibiotics and prescription antimicrobial mouthwashes.

Oral surgery. The periodontal treatments that involve oral surgery include flap surgery, which helps further rid built-up tartar in deep pockets, bone and tissues grafts. Bone and tissue grafts help regenerate a bone and tissue that was lost.

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, Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank, Palos Hills and all surrounding areas.

Dry Mouth While Sleeping Can Be Cured | Oak Lawn Dentist

A sound sleep is important for good health, but sleeping in peace is not so easy if you wake up frequently at night with a dry mouth, a condition known as xerostomia. The exact causes of xerostomia vary, but it’s most likely because you snore or sleep with your mouth wide open. Factors such as stress and medication may also play a factor. The first step in having your dry mouth treated is to talk to your dentist and ask for advice. However, for the meantime, there are some things that you can do to make it a bit less uncomfortable for you.

One thing that you can do is to cut back on beverages such as caffeine, soda and alcohol. 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. Before sleeping, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and a fluoride rinse. The air in your room may also be too dry at night, in which case, you’ll want to use a humidifier. Also, keeping a glass of water next to your bed can help so you can immediately sip on it if you wake up with a dry mouth in the middle of the night.

If you would like to find out more about xerostomia, 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.

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.

A Night Guard Can Help You Get Some Sleep | Oak Lawn Dentist

Custom Mouth GuardBruxism, or night time teeth grinding is a very common habit that can also be very destructive to your teeth and gums. Although it’s a good thing that night guards are there to help, as these custom-made oral appliances can help teeth from getting damaged or chipped from the constant grinding. While helpful, night guards need proper care and attention to make sure that you don’t just end up trading one dental problem for another.

Here are some essential night guard care tips that should come in handy:

Brush your night guard. Whenever you take out your night guard in the morning, brush it as you would your teeth. Preferably, use a different, soft toothbrush and a liquid antibacterial soap.

Use the case and keep it clean. You should always clean the storage case for your mouth guard as well. Use liquid antibacterial soap and feel free to use hot water this time around, as it won’t ruin the case in any way.

Take care of your teeth. Before you even think about putting your night guard in your mouth, make sure that you have brushed and floss first.

Have your night guard checked at your dental appointments. Every time you visit your dentist for regular exams and cleanings, be sure that you have your night guard with you so the dentist can examine it for wear and tear, as well as clean it. Although very durable, these oral appliances are not invincible and will need to be pleased eventually.

If you would like to find out more about night guards, 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.

Gingivitis: Is It Really That Bad? | Oak Lawn Dentist

If you aren’t the most regimented patient with your daily dental hygiene, you may want to read this – because it can lead to severe, and costly, dental problems. Problems like gingivitis.

Gingivitis is inflammation of the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth and is most commonly a result of poor dental hygiene. Gingivitis is a very common condition characterized by red, swollen gums that bleed easily when teeth are brushed or flossed.

Both dental plaque and tartar are filled with harmful bacteria, and if they aren’t removed from teeth, they will begin to irritate the gums and cause gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis will often extend from the gums to the bone and lead to periodontitis. When the bone gets infected, it will start to recede away from the teeth and form deep gum pockets. These pockets collect plaque and bacteria as they are very difficult to keep clean, and more bone loss occurs. As periodontal disease progresses into later stages and more bone tissue is lost, the teeth may eventually become loose and fall out. Here are the most common risk factors:

  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Crooked, rotated, or overlapping teeth
  • Hormonal changes in puberty, pregnancy, and menopause
  • Cancer and cancer treatment
  • Stress
  • Mouth breathing
  • Poor nutrition, such as a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates and low in water intake
  • Diabetes
  • Medications such as anti-seizure medications

Preventative care is simple. Brushing and flossing twice a day is of utmost importance, as are regular dental visits.

If you would like to find out more about gingivitis, 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.

Dental Emergency 101: When You Chip a Tooth | Oak Lawn Dentist

There is little more frustrating than chipping a tooth. It is just one of those accidents that happen and until it’s fixed, totally bums you out. Perhaps you it was an injury or maybe bit into that hard candy at a weird angle. Regardless of the reason, it’s time to visit the dentist.

When you chip a tooth, it is important to see your dentist right away because you could risk more damage to the tooth or even lose it entirely. A broken tooth will also be exposed to things that can cause more issues, like bacteria.

Luckily, your dentist will generally 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 crown.

When a cracked tooth goes unchecked you’re opening your mouth up to the risk of developing an abscess. What is an abscess? Well, 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 you may also know 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. Always have your dentist inspect a fractured tooth.

If you would like to find out more about broken tooth 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.