Tag Archives: Oak Lawn Dentist

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.

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.

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.

Is Dry Mouth Haunting Your Sleep? | Oak Lawn Dentist

A sound sleep is important for good health, but sleeping in peace is not so easy if you wake up frequently with dry mouth, a condition known as xerostomia. The exact causes of xerostomia vary, but if you snore while you sleep, or sleep with your mouth wide open, other 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. In 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. You can also benefit from refraining from smoking and tobacco use.

Drinking lots and lots of water during the day can also help, as frequent water intake can maintain, or increase the production of saliva. 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. If the air in your room is too dry at night, try using a humidifier. Also, keeping a glass of water next to your bed is also handy.

In some cases, xerostomia may not be the biggest issue, but may only be a symptom of a worse medical condition. If you find that dry mouth is becoming an issue, see your dental professional as soon as possible.

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.com for additional information.

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

Dental Veneers Will Give You that Celebrity Smile | Oak Lawn Dentist

Porcelain 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. Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.

Veneers are routinely used to fix teeth that are:

  • Discoloration due to root canal treatment, stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth
  • Worn down
  • Chipped or broken
  • Misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped
  • Gaps

Veneers offer the following advantages:

  • Natural (even whiter) appearance
  • Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well
  • Stain-resistant

Veneers generally don’t require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative. Additionally, porcelain veneers do not require any special care. All that is required is that you follow good daily oral hygiene practices. Veneers generally last between 5 and 10 years before they 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.

How Dental Professionals Clean Their Instruments | Oak Lawn Dentist

skd284147sdcWhen you’re sitting in the dentist office waiting for your appointment, you notice all of the tools that may or may not end up in your mouth. Ever wonder how they sterilize them? The American Dental Association, working with the Centers for Disease Control, sets guidelines for dental tool sterilization. Each tool is listed in one of three categories and treated based on risk.

Critical tools. These are tools that may penetrate tissue or bone, such as scalpels, forceps, and scalers. Because they are used on sterile tissue, it’s crucial that these tools be sterilized after each and every use. The ADA requires that these tools be sterilized using steam under pressure, dry heat, or chemical heat. An autoclave is a pressure chamber used to carry out industrial processes requiring elevated temperature and pressure different to ambient air pressure. Autoclaves are used in medical applications to perform sterilization.

Semi-critical tools. Any tool that comes in contact with mucous membranes or non-intact skin, mirrors and dental trays for impressions should also be sterilized after every use. However, it’s permissible for these tools to be disinfected with an EPA certified high-level disinfectant.

Non-critical tools. X-ray components and blood pressure cuffs that only come in contact with skin have a relatively low risk of transmitting infection. However, they are still cleaned between patients with a medium-level or low-level disinfectant.

If you would like to find out more about sterilization practices, 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.

 

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 Link Between Diabetes and Periodontal Disease | Oak Lawn, IL Dentist

Healthy food in heart and cholesterol diet concept

Diabetes is a serious health complication that, in much simpler terms, means that you have too much sugar or glucose in your blood. There are two types of diabetes, but regardless of which of the two you have, you’re basically facing a lifelong bout with diabetes medication.

Diabetes affects the whole body, including your mouth and gums. Though, to what extent depends on how well you’re able to discipline yourself in terms of controlling your blood sugar.

If kept under control, diabetes should have little to no effect on oral health. But, if left unchecked, the effects of diabetes on the mouth and gums can be dramatic.

Those with diabetes are susceptible to the following:

  • Increasingly progressive gum disease
  • Gingivitis
  • Xerostomia, or dry mouth, which can also lead to periodontal disease
  • Poor healing in the mouth
  • Thrush or oral candidiasis
  • Burning sensation in the mouth and/or tongue

Diabetes, if left unchecked, can significantly affect your body’s white blood cells, making your body much weaker against infections. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, which is why those with uncontrolled diabetes are more susceptible to it and also why those with diabetes, in general, tend to suffer from worse cases of gum disease.

If you’re suffering from both diabetes and periodontal disease, it’s important to get treatment. Successful treatment of gum disease can help keep diabetes under control, as any type of infection can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Once the infection is treated, your blood sugar levels may go back down to normal, making it easier to keep your diabetes in check without always having to rely on medication.

Going to the Dentist

The first step in keeping your diabetes under control is to inform your dentist about the history of your condition. Your dentist should know about when it started, when you started taking medication and what sort of medication you are on. Basically, be honest with your dentist because this kind of information will help him or her decide what course of treatment is best for you.

One reason why you want to tell your dentist about the history of your diabetes is because they may accidentally prescribe you medicine that may interfere with your diabetes medication.

Because of your diabetes, your wounds tend to heal much more slowly and you’re more prone to infection. So, as far as dental treatments and recovery goes, be sure to follow your dentist’s recommendations to the letter.

Now, while going to the dentist is a significant step when it comes to having gum disease treated and keeping your diabetes under control, equally as important is the follow-up home care. If you don’t take proper care of your teeth, your diabetes will only get worse and this will only make it harder to control your diabetes.

Brush twice a day and floss once to prevent decay. If you’re suffering from dry mouth, ask our dentist or physician about other means of moistening your mouth. You should also rinse with fluoride mouthwash or gels to further prevent decay.

Minimizing The Risk for Gum Disease

Those with diabetes are more at risk for gum disease than those who are not, due to a combination of many factors. As a result, they have special needs.

Should you be suffering from diabetes, be sure to keep your glucose levels in check at all times and practice proper oral care at home. You should also visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleaning, as well as make sure that your dentist is well-informed about the history of your disease.

By making sure that you do all those things, you suffering from diabetes should not be synonymous to you also suffering from gum disease.

If you’re have diabetes and would like more information on periodontal disease, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 or visit our website at www.bartzandbartzdental.com to learn more.

Dr. Bartz proudly welcomes patients from Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank and Palos Hills.

How are Dental Tools Sterilized? | Oak Lawn, Il Dentist

Close-up of dental toolsWhen you’re sitting in the chair, waiting for the your dentist, you may notice all those dental tools laid out on the table. It’s reasonable for a patient who sees tools that will be going into their mouth to wonder how each tool is sterilized. So, you’re not alone!

The American Dental Association, working with the Centers for Disease Control, sets guidelines for dental tool sterilization. Various tools are broken down into three distinct categories, each of which is treated differently based on risk.

The first category is critical tools – these are tools that may penetrate tissue or bone, such as scalpels, forceps, and scalers. Because they’re penetrating into sterile tissue, it’s absolutely crucial that these tools be sterilized regularly – after each and every use. The ADA requires that these tools be sterilized using steam under pressure, dry heat, or chemical heat. Also called autoclaving: An autoclave is a pressure chamber used to carry out industrial processes requiring elevated temperature and pressure different to ambient air pressure. Autoclaves are used in medical applications to perform sterilization.

For semi-critical tools that still come in contact with mucous membranes or non-intact skin – such as mirrors and dental trays for impressions – the ADA recommends that these, too, should be sterilized after every use. However, in some cases where sterilization isn’t practical, it’s permissible for these tools to be disinfected with an EPA certified high-level disinfectant.

Finally, non-critical tools that only come in contact skin, such as x-ray components and blood pressure cuffs, have a relatively low risk of transmitting infection. However, they are still cleaned between patients with a medium-level or low-level disinfectant, suitable for hospital use.

Dr. Bartz is very aware of the risk that non-sterilized instruments pose to your oral health, and work diligently to keep a safe and sterile workspace, which includes safe and sterile tools. Proper safety procedures greatly reduce patient risk, and your dentist happily complies with the most recent ADA guidelines for managing tools in a safe manner.

You can also find dozens of ‘how it’s done’ videos on YouTube. Try searching for autoclave or dental instrument sterilization.

If you have any concerns, do not be afraid to ask Dr. Bartz about the tools & process next time you’re in the office. However, have not fear! The instruments they will be using on you have been throughly cleaned and disinfected!

For more information on oral health, contact Dr. Bartz at (708) 430-4440 or visit our website at  bartzandbartzdental.com.

Dr. Bartz also welcomes patients from Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank and Palos Hills.