Dealing with tooth loss? Our Worth, IL, dental team has the treatment you’re looking for.
Chances are good that you know someone who has one or more false teeth. Tooth loss is actually surprisingly prevalent among adults, and not just older adults. If you are missing one or more teeth, our dentists here at All Smiles are dedicated to giving you the treatment and care you need to rebuild your smile. One of the ways in which we replace missing teeth here in Worth, IL, is with dental implants.
How does dental implant work?
An implant is an artificial tooth root made from a biocompatible metal such as titanium that is incredibly durable and long-lasting. In order for the implant to replace the missing tooth roots, our Worth, IL, dental team will need to surgically place the dental implant into a pre-drilled hole in the jawbone. This surgical procedure is very minor and is performed under local anesthesia. The implant, once it fuses together with the jawbone, provides a stable and permanent structure from which to hold one or more false teeth.
What should I expect when I get dental implants?
The implant process does take time, so it’s important that you understand what goes into getting dental implants so you can decide whether this is the right option for you. Here are the steps that we take to give you your new tooth,
- You will come in for a consultation where we will examine your mouth and run X-rays to make sure you are an ideal candidate for dental implants. We need to make sure there is no active gum disease or decay, and that your jawbone is strong enough to support an implant.
- Like we said above, in order to get an implant, we will need to perform minor surgery to place the implant into the jawbone. It usually takes around 30 minutes to place a single implant. Once this is complete, we will stitch up the gums and give your mouth several months to heal.
- Once the jawbone and implant have fused together (known as osseointegration), you will come back into our office so that we can place a structure called an abutment on top of the implant. This will serve to connect the implant, which lies under the gums, with the false tooth.
- From there, we will give the gums several more weeks to heal and during this time also create a custom dental crown. Once the gums have fully healed, you’ll come back in so that we can check the fit of the crown and then cement it on top of the abutment to complete your implant.
While tooth loss may be more common than we want to admit, the dental team at All Smiles in Worth, IL, is making the process of getting dental implants and other tooth replacement options easier. To learn more about dental implants, call our office at (708) 448-0333 to schedule an appointment.
If you're among the estimated 14 million families with a healthcare flexible spending account (FSA), New Year's Eve has an added meaning—that's typically the deadline for using any current year funds. Since any remaining money in your FSA could go poof at the stroke of midnight on December 31st, you might be looking for a way to spend it. If so, consider a dental health boost for you and your family.
FSAs were created in the 1970s by the U.S. Government as a salary benefit that employers could offer employees. Instead of receiving all of their pay as taxable income, employees could designate a portion of it (currently up to $2,650) in a non-taxable account to use for certain medical and dental expenses. An FSA thus provides families a way to pay for uncovered healthcare costs while saving on their taxes.
But because most FSAs expire by the end of the year and then restart with a fresh balance in the new year, there's a natural concern that you will “use or lose” remaining money. People thus begin looking for eligible expenses like treatments, prescribed medications or eyeglasses. They can't, however, use them for items like over-the-counter medical products (though some pain relievers get a pass this year because of COVID-19), as well as most things cosmetic.
The same generally holds true for dental expenses—you won't be able to use FSA funds for procedures like teeth whitening or veneers. Toothbrushes and other routine oral care products are also ineligible, although you may be able to buy items like a water flosser if your dentist issues you a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN).
Still, there's a wide range of eligible dental items you could pay for with remaining FSA funds.
Prevention measures. Any procedures or treatments intended to prevent disease are typically FSA-eligible. These can include measures like regular dental cleanings, sealants or fluoride applications.
Disease treatment. FSAs cover procedures like fillings, extractions, gum surgery or root canals. This could include repairing damage from disease through dental bonding or crowns, which might also improve your smile.
Dental restorations. Missing teeth restorations like bridgework, dentures or dental implants are also covered. These may improve your appearance, but they primarily restore disrupted dental function.
Out-of-pocket expenses. Although you can't pay for dental insurance premiums, an FSA may be able to help in other ways. You can use FSA funds for co-pays or any remaining out-of-pocket expenses.
If you're not sure what dental expenses might be eligible for FSA funds, give our office a call and we can provide you guidance. If FSA funds can help, you'll be able to improve your dental health—and possibly your appearance—before you ring in 2021.
If you would like more information about managing your dental care, please contact us or schedule a consultation.
How an orthodontic consultation from your dentist in Worth, IL, can help your smile
If nature didn’t give you straight teeth, orthodontic treatment can help. Orthodontic treatment is a great way to improve your chewing ability and the beauty of your smile. It all starts with scheduling an orthodontic consultation.
The dentists at All Smiles in Worth, IL, offer comprehensive dental care, including orthodontic consultations, to get you on your way to a straight smile.
You might need an orthodontic consultation if you have:
- An overbite or underbite
- A crossbite or open bite
- Crowded or rotated teeth
- Gaps between your teeth
Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on correcting jaw and teeth alignment. Facial structures including your jaws all grow at different rates, and tooth eruption times can vary, leading to problems like crowding, underbite, overbite, and other issues. These can all be corrected with orthodontic treatment.
When you go in for an orthodontic consultation, your dentist will do:
- A full dental examination, including making notes of crowding, jaw alignment, and other important issues
- Imaging studies including x-rays, a panorex, and others
An orthodontic consultation can benefit people of all ages. Children can have an orthodontic consultation as early as 7 years old because the first permanent molars have erupted.
Once the orthodontic consultation is complete, your orthodontist will discuss the different options of treatment. These options include:
- Invisalign, which uses clear plastic trays called aligners
- Metal brackets and wires, which are the conventional method of orthodontic treatment
- Tooth-colored or clear brackets and wires, which offer a more natural look
- Lingual braces, which are placed on the back surfaces of your teeth
Orthodontic treatment can give you a great-looking, fully-functioning smile, and it all begins with scheduling an orthodontic consultation. To schedule an orthodontic consultation, call the dentists of All Smiles in Worth, IL, at (708) 448-0333.
Most of us have no clue how the ancient holiday tradition of kissing under the mistletoe originated—but it sure doesn't stop us from keeping the tradition alive! Yet although eager to join a certain someone under the hanging twig, you still might hesitate to apply the old smackeroo out of fear your breath isn't as fresh as it should be.
Bad breath has tormented us humans long before we started osculating (kissing) under trimmings of viscum album (the scientific name for mistletoe). Our resulting discomfort has inspired a myriad of remedies, from ancient Egyptian toothpastes containing natron (also used in embalming mummies) to 19th Century American breath mints made of ingredients like cardamom, essence of rose and licorice root.
Today, we're much better at relieving common bad breath because we've uncovered its primary source: bits of food and mucus accompanied by oral bacteria on undisturbed areas the mouth, particularly the tongue. As the debris interacts with the bacteria, it releases chemical compounds called VSCs (volatile sulfur compounds) that emit a classic rotten egg smell.
The key then is to remove the source of these VSCs. You might think that means doing a better job of brushing and flossing, and you're right. But it can involve more.
Keeping your tongue clean. Since the tongue is a prime collecting point for debris and bacteria, it makes sense to keep it clean. That might simply mean brushing its surface when you brush your teeth. You might, however, benefit from using a tongue scraper if you have more stubborn accumulations.
Maintaining your dentures. These and other dental appliances can accumulate food debris that if not removed can cause a “stink.” You should clean dentures daily using a denture cleaner or mild antibacterial soap and then rinse them off thoroughly. It also helps to take them out at bedtime.
Seeking dental care. Another source of bad breath could be tooth decay or gum disease, or even older dental work in need of repair. Treating these and other conditions (like an oral yeast infection) not only improves your dental health, it could do wonders for your breath.
There are also other sources of foul breath unrelated to the mouth—and some can be serious diseases like diabetes, cancer or lung infections. If your chronic bad breath doesn't respond to your hygiene efforts, it's a good idea to get checked medically.
Now as to holiday traditions, we can't help you maneuver your prospective sweetheart under the mistletoe with you—you're on your own, pal (or gal). But by following these tips for sound oral care, we're sure you'll have the “fresh breath” confidence to follow through from there.
Professional Hockey player Keith Yandle is the current NHL “iron man”—that is, he has earned the distinction of playing in the most consecutive games. On November 23, Yandle was in the first period of his 820th consecutive game when a flying puck knocked out or broke nine of his front teeth. He returned third period to play the rest of the game, reinforcing hockey players’ reputation for toughness. Since talking was uncomfortable, he texted sportswriter George Richards the following day: “Skating around with exposed roots in your mouth is not the best.”
We agree with Yandle wholeheartedly. What we don’t agree with is waiting even one day to seek treatment after serious dental trauma. It was only on the following day that Yandle went to the dentist. And after not missing a game in over 10 years, Yandle wasn’t going to let a hiccup like losing, breaking or cracking nearly a third of his teeth interfere with his iron man streak. He was back on the ice later that day to play his 821st game.
As dentists, we don’t award points for toughing it out. If anything, we give points for saving teeth—and that means getting to the dentist as soon as possible after suffering dental trauma and following these tips:
- If a tooth is knocked loose or pushed deeper into the socket, don’t force the tooth back into position.
- If you crack a tooth, rinse your mouth but don’t wiggle the tooth or bite down on it.
- If you chip or break a tooth, save the tooth fragment and store it in milk or saliva. You can keep it against the inside of your cheek (not recommend for small children who are at greater risk of swallowing the tooth).
- If the entire tooth comes out, pick up the tooth without touching the root end. Gently rinse it off and store it in milk or saliva. You can try to push the tooth back into the socket yourself, but many people feel uneasy about doing this. The important thing is to not let the tooth dry out and to contact us immediately. Go to the hospital if you cannot get to the dental office.
Although keeping natural teeth for life is our goal, sometimes the unexpected happens. If a tooth cannot be saved after injury or if a damaged tooth must be extracted, there are excellent tooth replacement options available. With today’s advanced dental implant technology, it is possible to have replacement teeth that are indistinguishable from your natural teeth—in terms of both look and function.
And always wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports! A custom mouthguard absorbs some of the forces of impact to help protect you against severe dental injury.
If you would like more information about how to protect against or treat dental trauma or about replacing teeth with dental implants, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants: A Tooth-Replacement Method That Rarely Fails” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”
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