Posts for: June, 2011

By Dr. Hartmann D.D.S
June 26, 2011
Category: Dental Procedures

A veneer is a thin layer of dental ceramic tooth-colored restorative material, usually made of porcelain, which replaces some of the tooth's enamel and is physically bonded to it.

You might want to consider porcelain veneers:

  1. If your teeth are severely discolored. (For best results we may recommend that your teeth be whitened before veneering them.)
  2. If your teeth cannot be evenly whitened or matched by other means.
  3. If your teeth are misshapen or worn, you can change their size or shape for optimum aesthetic appeal.
  4. If you don't want to have your teeth prepared (drilled), prepless veneers may be an option to change your smile.
  5. If you want as little natural tooth structure prepared as possible to improve your smile.
  6. If you would like something temporary first to “test-drive” your new smile, then:
  7. “Provisional veneers” allow you to try out your new smile and give us feedback before the final permanent veneers are placed.
  8. If you want to improve your smile for just one tooth or even multiple teeth.
  9. If you want long-lasting restorations — veneers can last from seven to twenty years or more.

And the top reason is:

  1. Porcelain laminate veneers are among the most aesthetic ways to create a more beautiful, yet normal, looking smile.

Tell us what you want to change about your current smile, and we can tell you whether veneers are right for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss your questions about cosmetic dentistry. You can learn more by reading about porcelain veneers in Dear Doctor magazine.


By Dr. Hartmann D.D.S
June 19, 2011
Category: Dental Procedures

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” or cover that we place over a tooth that is badly damaged from trauma or decay to restore its shape, strength, size and functionality. We also use them for cosmetic reasons to improve a tooth's appearance with natural, life-like results. Crowns are generally handcrafted by dental laboratory technicians using high-quality dental porcelains (ceramic materials) that are made to fit on precise replicas (molds) of the prepared teeth. In our office, we generally make temporary crowns to protect the teeth to keep them comfortable and functional while the permanent crown(s) is being made. And once a crown is placed (cemented into position), it fully encases the entire visible portion of the tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

When Are They Necessary?

There are many reasons a crown may be needed. Some of these include:

  • To repair a tooth that is worn down, broken or badly damaged by decay or injury.
  • To restore a tooth so severely damaged by decay that the tooth's structure is no longer intact enough to place a filling or where a filling can't restore the tooth to its former strength.
  • To protect a tooth that has minor cracks or fractures from further damage.
  • To create a bridge to replace a missing tooth, in which the teeth on either side, known as abutments, must be “crowned” to attach to the “pontic” (from the French word, “pont” that means bridge).
  • To create the visible part of the tooth that sits atop a dental implant.
  • To improve the appearance of a tooth providing a more appealing shape and color.

To learn more on this topic, read the Dear Doctor article, “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.” You can also contact us to discuss your questions or to schedule a consultation.


By Dr. Hartmann D.D.S
June 12, 2011
Category: Oral Health

Many youngsters look forward to finding a surprise under their pillow after a visit from the “tooth fairy.” This fable may comfort children who wonder why their first teeth come out. Parents need to know that losing baby teeth, also called primary or deciduous teeth, is completely normal, but at the right time and the right “space.”

A child's first set of teeth must be lost to create room for the adult or permanent teeth that have been forming beneath them. The buds of the permanent teeth grow within a child's jawbone just under the baby teeth. The tops, or crowns, grow first, followed by the roots. Then as the roots develop, the permanent teeth push the baby teeth above them up through the gum tissues. As this happens, the roots of the baby teeth are resorbed, or melted away.

With their roots gone, eventually the baby teeth become so loose that they can be easily removed or fall out on their own, making room for the adult teeth to appear. Sometimes, when a baby tooth is so loose, it can be wiggled out. It leaves a little bleeding gum tissue that heals easily. This is also normal.

Besides making sure the tooth fairy comes, parents need to be sure that their children are evaluated to determine whether baby teeth are being lost in the right sequence so they will act as guides for the adult teeth. If teeth are lost prematurely because of decay or trauma, it is important that space is maintained for the adult teeth when they come in.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to discuss whether your child's baby teeth are being lost in the right sequence and the adult teeth are coming in correctly. To read more about losing baby teeth, see the article “Losing a Baby Tooth: Understanding an important process in your child's development.”


By Dr. Hartmann D.D.S
June 05, 2011
Category: Dental Procedures

While we have gained recognition for our role in creating gorgeous smiles with porcelain veneers, the often overlooked or unknown key contributors in this process are the dental laboratory technicians. These behind-the-scenes artists are the trained professionals in the art of using dental porcelain to hand-craft veneers and crowns into near exact replicas of natural teeth in shine, opacity, translucence and shape.

Through the use of precise molds and excellent communication skills, we share detailed information with the laboratory technician to create veneers or crowns specifically for enhancing and improving your smile. In fact, communication must be so exact that it often demands correct lighting, cameras and computers to produce optimal results. This process also requires a variety of colors, shapes and translucency, created so that once we cement them into place, they appear as beautiful natural teeth. If your veneers are part of a smile restoration or makeover and you are getting them for several front teeth, the end results are typically brighter and whiter than your natural teeth. However, they must blend with surrounding teeth if those teeth are not also receiving veneers. So it is often recommended to have your natural teeth whitened before the veneers are replaced.

Good dental porcelains in the right hands can make for spectacular tooth imitations by mimicking tooth enamel perfectly. And now that you have these facts, you begin to understand all of the expertise, artistry, and the technology required by laboratory technicians to produce the most dazzling porcelain veneers.

To learn more about porcelain veneers, continue reading the Dear Doctor article, “Smile Design Enhanced With Porcelain Veneers.” Or if you are ready to see what cosmetic dentistry can do for you, contact us to schedule a consultation.




Gina Piccioni, D.M.D. and John G. Hartmann, D.D.S.

River Forest, IL Dentist

River Forest Dental Studio

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