Posts for: May, 2017

By River Forest Dental Studio
May 23, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

As in other parts of medicine, lasers are beginning to change the way we provide dental care. More and more dentists are using lasers to make earlier diagnoses of dental disease or provide surgical treatment. One area prime for change is the treatment of teeth with deep decay and in danger of being lost.

For decades now, the best way to save teeth in this condition is with root canal treatment. In this common procedure we access the pulp, remove the infected tissue with specialized hand instruments, and then fill and seal the pulp chamber and root canals with a special filling.

We can now potentially improve the efficiency and increase the success rate of this treatment with laser technology. With their focused light, lasers emit a concentrated burst of energy that's extremely precise. In many instances laser energy can remove the target diseased tissue without damaging nearby healthy tissue.

In this form of root canal treatment, we use lasers to remove tissue and organic debris within the pulp and then shape the root canal walls to better receive the filling. We can also utilize the heat from laser energy to soften and mold the filling, so that it better conforms within the walls of the root canals.

Using lasers in root canal treatments may require less local anesthesia than the traditional approach and also eliminates disturbing or discomforting sounds and vibrations. Dentists who've used the new technology also report less bleeding during the procedure and less pain and occurrences of infection afterwards.

But there are a couple of disadvantages for using lasers in root canal treatment. For one, light travels in a straight line — and many root canal networks are anything but straight. More complex root canal networks may still require the traditional approach. Laser energy could also increase the tooth's inner temperature, which could potentially damage tissues even on the tooth's outer surfaces.

Used in the right circumstances, though, lasers can be an effective means to treat diseased teeth.  As laser technology continues to advance and becomes a mainstay in dental care, you may soon find it part of your next dental procedure.

If you would like more information on root canal treatments, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By River Forest Dental Studio
May 09, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

When something goes wrong with one of your teeth, there's no way to hide the problem. Whether you've chipped a tooth or are missing cosmetic dentistry one or more teeth, the issue can be obvious every time you open your mouth. Luckily, cosmetic dentistry procedures can restore your smile. River Forest, IL, dentists Dr. Gina Piccioni and Dr. John Hartmann at River Forest Dental Studio discuss a few procedures you may want to consider.

Porcelain veneers

Porcelain veneers cover up chips and other little flaws that can draw unwanted attention to your smile. Veneers, thin layers of porcelain attached to the front surfaces of your teeth, are a good choice if you want to conceal cracks, pits or bumps, or change the appearance of a tooth that just looks out of place in your mouth. Have you always wanted to do something about the slight gap between your front teeth? Veneers offer a simple way to cover small spaces between teeth. They're also ideal for hiding discolorations, lengthening teeth and whitening your entire smile.

Teeth whitening

Have you ever looked at an old photo and marveled at how white your teeth were 10 or 20 years ago? Aging alone is enough to dull your smile, but the problem can also occur if you smoke or chew tobacco. If you start every morning with a cup of coffee or tea, your morning habit may also contribute to your duller smile. Luckily, it's simple to get rid of stains in tooth enamel with professional teeth whitening. You'll only need to spend about one hour at our River Forest office to improve your smile. After one whitening treatment, your teeth may be three to eight shades whiter.

Dental implants

Dental implants are the newest tooth replacement method. The small titanium implants fill up the space in your jawbone that used to be occupied by your tooth roots. Over a few months, the implants fuse to the bone, enabling them to support crowns that will replace the visible parts of your teeth. Dental implants are a good choice if you've lost just one tooth, but can also be used to replace multiple teeth, thanks to implant-supported bridges or dentures.

Ready to enhance your smile with cosmetic dentistry procedures? Call River Forest, IL, dentists Dr. Gina Piccioni and Dr. John Hartmann at River Forest Dental Studio at (708) 366-6760 to schedule an appointment.

By River Forest Dental Studio
May 08, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.

“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into cavities. How did this happen?

Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.

While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.  Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.

This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”

Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:

  • Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
  • Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
  • Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.

Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.

“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”

If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”

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

River Forest, IL Dentist

River Forest Dental Studio