A "toothy grin" might be endearing, but not necessarily healthy. More of the teeth showing may mean your gums have pulled back or receded from the teeth. If so, it's not just your smile that suffers—the parts of teeth protected by the gums could become more susceptible to disease.
There are a number of causes for gum recession. Some people are more likely to experience it because of genetically thinner gum tissues. Over-aggressive brushing could also contribute to recession. But the most common cause by far is periodontal (gum) disease, a bacterial infection triggered by dental plaque accumulating on teeth mainly as a result of inadequate hygiene.
There are some things we can do to help heal and restore recessed gums, most importantly treating gum disease. The number one goal of treatment is to uncover and remove all dental plaque from tooth and gum surfaces, which can take several sessions and sometimes minor surgery if the infection has reached the tooth roots. But removing plaque and tartar (calcified plaque) is necessary to stop the infection and allow the gums to heal.
For mild recession, this may be enough for the gums to regain normal coverage. But in more severe cases we may need to help rejuvenate new tissue with grafting surgery. In these highly meticulous procedures a surgeon uses microscopic techniques to position and attach donated tissue to the recession site. The graft serves as a scaffold on which new tissue growth can occur.
While these treatments can be effective for reversing gum recession, they often require time, skill and expense. It's much better to try to prevent gum recession—and gum disease—in the first place. Prevention begins with daily brushing and flossing to prevent plaque buildup, as well as regular dental visits for more thorough cleanings. Be on the lookout too for any signs of a beginning gum infection like swollen, reddened or bleeding gums and see your dentist as soon as possible to minimize any damage to your gums.
Caring for your gums is equally as important as caring for your teeth. Healthy gums equal a healthy mouth—and an attractive smile.
If you would like more information on preventing gum recession, 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 “Gum Recession.”
So you’re tearing up the dance floor at a friend’s wedding, when all of a sudden one of your pals lands an accidental blow to your face — chipping out part of your front tooth, which lands right on the floorboards! Meanwhile, your wife (who is nine months pregnant) is expecting you home in one piece, and you may have to pose for a picture with the baby at any moment. What will you do now?
Take a tip from Prince William of England. According to the British tabloid The Daily Mail, the future king found himself in just this situation in 2013. His solution: Pay a late-night visit to a discreet dentist and get it fixed up — then stay calm and carry on!
Actually, dental emergencies of this type are fairly common. While nobody at the palace is saying exactly what was done for the damaged tooth, there are several ways to remedy this dental dilemma.
If the broken part is relatively small, chances are the tooth can be repaired by bonding with composite resin. In this process, tooth-colored material is used to replace the damaged, chipped or discolored region. Composite resin is a super-strong mixture of plastic and glass components that not only looks quite natural, but bonds tightly to the natural tooth structure. Best of all, the bonding procedure can usually be accomplished in just one visit to the dental office — there’s no lab work involved. And while it won’t last forever, a bonded tooth should hold up well for at least several years with only routine dental care.
If a larger piece of the tooth is broken off and recovered, it is sometimes possible to reattach it via bonding. However, for more serious damage — like a severely fractured or broken tooth — a crown (cap) may be required. In this restoration process, the entire visible portion of the tooth may be capped with a sturdy covering made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to a gold metal alloy.
A crown restoration is more involved than bonding. It begins with making a 3-D model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors. From this model, a tooth replica will be fabricated by a skilled technician; it will match the existing teeth closely and fit into the bite perfectly. Next, the damaged tooth will be prepared, and the crown will be securely attached to it. Crown restorations are strong, lifelike and permanent.
Was the future king “crowned” — or was his tooth bonded? We may never know for sure. But it’s good to know that even if we’ll never be royals, we still have several options for fixing a damaged tooth. If you would like more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Crowns and Bridgework.”
Implant-supported fixed bridges are growing in popularity because they offer superior support to traditional bridges or dentures. They can also improve bone health thanks to the affinity between bone cells and the implants' titanium posts.
Even so, you'll still need to stay alert to the threat of periodontal (gum) disease. This bacterial infection usually triggered by dental plaque could ultimately infect the underlying bone and cause it to deteriorate. As a result the implants could loosen and cause you to lose your bridgework.
To avoid this you'll need to be as diligent with removing plaque from around your implants as you would with natural teeth. The best means for doing this is to floss around each implant post between the bridgework and the natural gums.
This type of flossing is quite different than with natural teeth where you work the floss in between each tooth. With your bridgework you'll need to thread the floss between it and the gums with the help of a floss threader, a small handheld device with a loop on one end and a stiff flat edge on the other.
To use it you'll first pull off about 18" of dental floss and thread it through the loop. You'll then gently work the sharper end between the gums and bridge from the cheek side toward the tongue. Once through to the tongue side, you'll hold one end of the floss and pull the floss threader away with the other until the floss is now underneath the bridge.
You'll then loop each end of the floss around your fingers on each hand and work the floss up and down the sides of the nearest tooth or implant. You'll then release one hand from the floss and pull the floss out from beneath the bridge. Rethread it in the threader and move to the next section of the bridge and clean those implants.
You can also use other methods like specialized floss with stiffened ends for threading, an oral irrigator (or "water flosser") that emits a pressurized spray of water to loosen plaque, or an interproximal brush that can reach into narrow spaces. If you choose an interproximal brush, however, be sure it's not made with metal wire, which can scratch the implant and create microscopic crevices for plaque.
Use the method you and your dentist think best to keep your implants plaque-free. Doing so will help reduce your risk of a gum infection that could endanger your implant-supported bridgework.
If you would like more information on implant-supported bridges, 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 “Oral Hygiene for Fixed Bridgework.”
Your smile helps you eat, speak, express emotion and tell people who you are inside--your personality, in other words. At Lynch Dental Center, Drs. John, Sheila, and Frances Lynch understand the value of a great smile and offer innovative ways to make it the best it can be. For patients needing orthodontic treatment, the dentists offer Invisalign clear aligners in their Chicago and River Forest offices. Smooth, removable and invisible, Invisalign appliances are the ultra-modern way to create great smiles quickly and discreetly.
Invisalign and your smile
Many people--both teens and adults--qualify for Invisalign aligners. In fact, literally millions have worn these custom-made, crystal-clear appliances since their inception and FDA-approval in the late nineties.
What makes Invisalign so popular? First of all, this inventive orthodontic system works, and it works more quickly than traditional metal, ceramic or lingual braces. With Invisalign, expect a beautifully straight, healthy and easy to clean smile in about a year. Whether you have bite problems, spacing issues, such as gaps and crowding, tooth rotation or tipping or other issue, likely Invislaign can help you.
Dr. Lynch in River Forest, IL, will tell you if you are a candidate after a complete oral examination, digital X-rays and photos and a three-dimensional scan. Computer imaging and design processes will show you how your smile will change as you wear the 18 to 30 aligners typical of any patient's treatment plan.
As you progress through your care plan, you'll check in at Lynch Dental Center to receive more aligner pairs and for a quick check on how your smile is progressing. It's very important to follow Dr. Lynch's plan exactly; be sure to wear your aligners 20 to 22 hours per day, says Animated-teeth.com.
Invisalign aligners are completely removable for meals, brushing, flossing and special events such as job interviews. Because they are so thin and smooth, they do not abrade or irritate oral tissues the way conventional wire and bracket braces do. Also, Invisalign patients can eat any healthy foods they like because they remove their appliances during meals. Finally, brushing and flossing is easy, and the appliances clean up with a mild toothpaste, soft brush and water.
A new smile
It can be yours when you qualify for treatment with Invisalign. Would you like to come to Lynch Dental Center for a one-on-one consultation with one of our dentists? Then, call us today, won't you? Reach our Chicago office at (312) 263-3235. For the River Forest location, phone (708) 366-6411.
Dealing with a less-than-perfect smile? Veneers have you covered!
It’s amazing how much our smiles affect not just our appearance but also our confidence. If your smile could use a little cosmetic spruce thanks to discolorations, chips, gaps between teeth, and other issues then it’s time to turn to our River Forest, IL, dentists Dr. John Lynch, Dr. Sheila Lynch, and Dr. Fran Lynch to find out how dental veneers can transform your smile.
What are dental veneers?
Veneers are very thin layers of porcelain that are designed to look just like real tooth enamel. They are bonded to the front of your teeth to hide common imperfections while also improving the color, shape, and alignment of your smile. Veneers are common among Hollywood stars, as this simple restoration can help you achieve a straighter and more ideal smile quickly.
What’s involved in getting dental veneers?
There are several stages involved in getting dental veneers; however, the treatment process is fairly simple. Most patients will get veneers in just 2 or 3 visits. Here’s what’s involved in getting veneers,
Consultation: Our River Forest, IL, cosmetic dentists will need to perform an oral exam and take X-rays of your mouth to make sure that your teeth are healthy enough and strong enough to support veneers. We will also sit down and discuss your treatment goals to help determine whether dental veneers are right for you.
Tooth preparation: In order to get veneers, we will need to shave off a very small amount of enamel from the front surface of your teeth. This will ensure that there is room for the veneers to fit without it looking bulky or unnatural. This step can usually be performed without the need for local anesthesia. After teeth have been prepped then we will take impressions of your mouth.
Fitting the veneers: It will take at least a week for a dental lab to create your veneers, so our dentist will decide whether or not we will need to place temporary veneers over your teeth in the meantime. Once your veneers have been made you will come in so that we can check the look and fit before bonding them to the front of your teeth using a special dental resin.
Lynch Dental Center in River Forest and Chicago, IL, is dedicated to providing you with the cosmetic treatment you’re looking for to get the smile of your dreams. If you are ready to find out if porcelain veneers are right for you then call our office today to schedule your no-risk consultation.
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