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Does My Teeth Whitening Need to Be Custom? | 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. While many choose to have a professional do the dirty work, there are many options that put you in the driver’s seat. But is a customized treatment the best option for you?

While there are several over-the–counter teeth whitening treatments that can be used, like whitening strips or trays, they won’t work as effectively as custom whitening trays because they don’t give you that made for you treatment. Over-the-counter teeth whitening products can leak bleach from the tray or strip, causing your gums to become irritated or sensitive.

If you decide to get custom teeth whitening trays, your dentist will begin with a professional teeth cleaning and correct any existing dental problems you may have. Once your dentist is finished, he or she can proceed to fabricate your custom tray based on your mouth’s exact measurements via a mold.

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. This typically involves you wearing the trays up to four hours a day for a couple of weeks, using very little bleaching solution to achieve optimal results. Once this short process is over, you should be able to enjoy flashing your significantly whiter teeth.

So, while there is no correct way to whiten your smile, customized treatment alleviates a lot of human error.

If you would like to find out more about teeth whitening options, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit for additional information.

Dr. Bartz proudly serves Oak Lawn and all surrounding areas.

When Teeth Whitening Doesn’t Work | Oak Lawn Dentist

Everyone wants a bright shiny smile. It isn’t the easiest thing to do alone, so we visit our dentist for a whitening treatment. Bleaching is often the go-to treatment option for whitening teeth, but not everyone is a candidate for bleaching.

Patients who’ve had tooth-colored filings in the past, as well as crowns and caps in their front teeth won’t benefit as much from bleaching because the color of the dental appliances will remain the same. This presents a notable aesthetic problem because bleaching can make the dental appliances stand out, virtually destroying the look of a newly whitened smile. So, what do you do to get your brightest smile? Opt for the two other possible treatment options – porcelain veneers and dental bonding.

Each treatment option presents a distinct set of advantages, as well as disadvantages, both of which will be discussed below to help you make an informed decision.

Porcelain veneers are custom-made for your teeth based on a mold sent to a dental laboratory, then fitted on your teeth. More expensive, but veneers bring a natural look while also fixing dental imperfections such as chips, cracks, and a few other problems.

Dental bonding is a dental procedure where composite resin is used to restore chipped and broken teeth. The treatment is also applicable for filling in gaps, reshaping and recoloring teeth.

While both treatment options require patients to make necessary dietary changes, such as avoiding chewing on and opening hard stuff using teeth, porcelain veneers are generally considered as easier to take care of. This is likely because veneers are more resistant to staining and are much more durable.

If you would like to find out more about veneers and dental bonding, contact Dr. Bartz in Oak Lawn, IL at 708-430-4440 to schedule a consultation. Or visit 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 for additional information.

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

Hearing 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 for additional information regarding periodontal disease.

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

Gum Contouring – Achieve The Smile That You’ve Always Dreamed Of

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. Very rarely, if at all, do people think about gum contouring – most people probably don’t even know that such a procedure exists.

Gum contouring, for those that don’t know, is another type of cosmetic procedure that can help improve the appearance of your smile.

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.

What Exactly Is 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”.

A gummy smile is perfectly acceptable for most people. However, there are cases wherein the gums showing too much can be quite unsightly, especially if it makes one’s teeth look a lot shorter than they really are. And, in such cases, gum contouring may just be the answer.

Why Do Some People Have Gummy Smiles?

Uneven gums are a fairly common problem, though it’s arguably a cosmetic one.

Some people are just born with it, while there are those whose gums become uneven as they grow older.

There are also other factors leading to people developing a “gummy smile”, such as:

  • Brushing too hard and improper brushing, as well as flossing techniques.
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco.
  • Frequent teeth grinding.
  • Oral piercing.
  • Sensitivity to certain chemicals.
  • The shifting of teeth (very common among adults).
  • Periodontal disease.

Gum Contouring For Your Gummy Smile

Gum contouring has long been around as a cosmetic procedure. Though, it was only recently that it became popular with plenty of people.

This rise in popularity in gum contouring procedures 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.

To put it simply, gum contouring is now widely considered as a very safe process where a single visit is all that’s necessary and the results are evident immediately.

Healthy teeth are good and all, but sometimes, they’re just not enough and too much gums showing is a good example of that.

If you feel that your self-esteem has suffered because of your “gummy smile”, be sure to contact the nearest cosmetic dentist in your area so that you can achieve the smile that you’ve always dreamed of, today!

If you’re interested in gum contouring and would like more information, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 or visit our website at to learn more.

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