My Blog

Posts for: February, 2015


You have a beautiful smile, but you hesitate to show it because of your stained teeth. Fortunately, whitening techniques could take away that embarrassment.

There are two basic types of tooth staining or discoloration: extrinsic, in which the stain is on the surface of the teeth and mostly caused by substances like coffee, wine or tobacco; and intrinsic, which occurs deep within the tooth, caused by such factors as aging, previous dental treatments and fillings, the use of antibiotics (tetracycline, predominantly), or over-exposure to fluoride.

Whitening or bleaching is an effective and relatively affordable solution for many instances of both intrinsic and extrinsic staining. Bleaching solutions are available in over-the-counter (OTC) home kits or as a professional application in the dental office.

Most bleaching solutions use carbamide peroxide, a chemical compound that is effective in removing most stains. OTC home applications contain carbamide peroxide (or an equivalent) in concentrations of about 10% as opposed to 15-35% found in professional solutions. Though less costly than a professional application, OTC products take longer (usually up to three weeks) to achieve desired results. With its stronger solution, a professional application in our office can achieve the same level of brightness in only one or two visits. We may also use special lighting to accelerate the chemical process, as well as rubber dams or gels to protect gums and soft tissues from solution irritation during the procedure.

Although effective, whitening isn't a permanent solution — over time the effect will fade, usually six months to a year depending on how you care for your teeth. Matching tooth color can also be difficult in some cases, especially if you have a mix of natural teeth and artificial crowns or bridges. And, whitening may not be adequate for some types of staining.

Regardless of which application you wish to use — OTC or professional — it's a good idea to visit us first for a professional consultation. We can recommend whether whitening is a good choice for your particular type and level of staining, or if some other option like porcelain veneers might be the better choice. Regardless, there are solutions to the problem of staining, and a way to gain a brighter smile.

If you would like more information on bleaching, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Teeth Whitening.”

By Suburban Family Dental
February 17, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Untagged

Dental ImplantsFind out how dental implants can replace one tooth or an entire smile.

While losing a tooth as a child often feels like an exciting rite of passage, an adult feels just the opposite way when they lose a permanent tooth. If you are dealing with tooth loss, you have a variety of dental options at your disposal. Find out how Suburban Family Dental in Des Plaines, IL dentist could replace one or even multuple missing teeth with dental implants.

About Dental Implants

In order to replace a missing tooth completely, we need something that acts similarly to a tooth’s root to anchor the artificial tooth in place. That’s why we turn to dental implants. By placing the implant into the jawbone of the missing tooth’s socket, we are able to create a strong, root-like foundation from which to hold a dental crown. The final product consists of three components: the screw-like implant, the abutment, and the dental crown.

The Dental Implant Procedure

Your dental treatment plan will vary depending on your oral health and the type of implant you are choosing:

Replacing one tooth: if you are only looking to replace one tooth, then only one implant is required for your treatment.

Replacing multiple teeth: If you need to replace multiple teeth, than we may recommend implant-supported bridges.

Replacing all teeth: If you want to replace all of your teeth than we you will most likely get implant-supported full dentures or an implant-supported full bridge.

Once you have consulted with Suburban Family Dental and we have determined implants will be required, the next step will be to surgically place them. The location and number of the implants will depend on how many teeth you are replacing. You will need several implants to hold a full set of dentures, for instance.

After the implant or implants have been placed in the jawbone, we will give them several weeks to heal. During this time, a natural process known as osseointegration will occur. This is when the tissues and bone will start to grow around and fuse with the implant.

Once osseointegration has finished, we will reveal the implant and add a metal abutment, which serves as a connector between the implant and the dental crown. Lastly, we will place the artificial tooth, bridge or dentures over the implants to restore your smile.

To schedule a consultation and find out whether dental implants are right for your smile, contact your Des Plaines, IL dentist at Suburban Family Dental today. Let’s giving you a healthier smile that will last the rest of your life.

February 13, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Let’s say you’re traveling to Italy to surprise your girlfriend, who is competing in an alpine ski race… and when you lower the scarf that’s covering your face, you reveal to the assembled paparazzi that one of your front teeth is missing. What will you do about this dental dilemma?

Sound far-fetched? It recently happened to one of the most recognized figures in sports — Tiger Woods. There’s still some uncertainty about exactly how this tooth was taken out: Was it a collision with a cameraman, as Woods’ agent reported… or did Woods already have some problems with the tooth, as others have speculated? We still don’t know for sure, but the big question is: What happens next?

Fortunately, contemporary dentistry offers several good solutions for the problem of missing teeth. Which one is best? It depends on each individual’s particular situation.

Let’s say that the visible part of the tooth (the crown) has been damaged by a dental trauma (such as a collision or a blow to the face), but the tooth still has healthy roots. In this case, it’s often possible to keep the roots and replace the tooth above the gum line with a crown restoration (also called a cap). Crowns are generally made to order in a dental lab, and are placed on a prepared tooth in a procedure that requires two office visits: one to prepare the tooth for restoration and to make a model of the mouth and the second to place the custom-manufactured crown and complete the restoration. However, in some cases, crowns can be made on special machinery right in the dental office, and placed during the same visit.

But what happens if the root isn’t viable — for example, if the tooth is deeply fractured, or completely knocked out and unable to be successfully re-implanted?

In that case, a dental implant is probably the best option for tooth replacement. An implant consists of a screw-like post of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Titanium has a unique property: It can fuse with living bone tissue, allowing it to act as a secure anchor for the replacement tooth system. The crown of the implant is similar to the one mentioned above, except that it’s made to attach to the titanium implant instead of the natural tooth.

Dental implants look, function and “feel” just like natural teeth — and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Although they may be initially expensive, their quality and longevity makes them a good value over the long term. A less-costly alternative is traditional bridgework — but this method requires some dental work on the adjacent, healthy teeth; plus, it isn’t expected to last as long as an implant, and it may make the teeth more prone to problems down the road.

What will the acclaimed golfer do? No doubt Tiger’s dentist will help him make the right tooth-replacement decision.

If you have a gap in your grin — whatever the cause — contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation, and find out which tooth-replacement system is right for you. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Crowns & Bridgework.”