Scharfenberg Dental Blog

Start Your Smile Off Right In The New Year With Help From Our Elmhurst Dentists

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

It’s that time of year—new year’s resolutions abound! As you’re thinking about how you want to head into this new year, don’t forget to prioritize your smile. Now is the perfect time to address oral health issues and achieve a strong and healthy smile. Keep reading to learn more about how you can get started!

  1. Schedule your semi-annual professional cleanings

The American Dental Association recommends that patients complete professional cleanings and assessments every six months or so. These appointments help you avoid oral health issues like cavities and periodontal disease. Take the time now to schedule these appointments with your dentist, and mark them on your calendar!

  1. Revamp your daily routine

Head into the new year doing everything you can to care for your smile at home. Make sure that you’re brushing morning and night, and flossing at least once a day before bed. Daily dental maintenance is essential for minimizing plaque and tartar accumulation. Additionally, you can:

  • Make sure you’re using a toothbrush with the appropriate type of bristles—most patients will do well with a soft-bristled brush. These toothbrushes clean effectively without being too abrasive.
  • Try to brush for at least two minutes every time that you clean your smile. Gentle, sustained brushing is the best way to clear your smile of plaque and dental debris.
  • Get into the habit of drinking water and rinsing your smile with water after eating. This not only clears away debris; it also prompts saliva production, and saliva neutralizes bacteria and re-mineralizes dental enamel.

If you want to learn more about how you can care for your smile this year, you can always contact our Elmhurst dentists by phone or through the Contact Us page on our website. We are happy to give you all of the information and support that you need to move toward a smile that you truly love.

Our Elmhurst Dentists Remind You To Stay Up To Date With Professional Check Ups And Cleanings

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Undoubtedly, a thorough at-home oral hygiene routine is crucial for maintaining a healthy smile. However, this type of care has to be combined with professional cleanings and assessments in order to optimize your results. The American Dental Association recommends that patients complete professional cleanings every six months or so, and our Elmhurst dentists can help you figure out if this schedule is right for you. Keep reading to learn more about the importance of professional appointments.

The first thing that we do during these appointments is to clear away accumulated plaque and tartar. No matter how thoroughly you clean your smile at home, it is inevitable that some plaque and bacteria will remain. Professional cleanings are essential for helping you refresh your smile.

Professional cleanings also give our team an opportunity to screen your smile for signs of emerging damage, like periodontal disease, cavities, and enamel deterioration. We can spot dental problems that are not noticeable to the average patients, so we’re able to treat these issues before they become too severe. This generally means that you benefit from faster, less invasive, and more affordable treatment.

Every professional cleaning also includes an oral cancer screening. Every time that we meet, our dentists will scan your smile for signs of cancerous or pre-cancerous tissues. Again, prompt detection and treatment are of the utmost importance, so it’s important that you not skip out on scheduled appointments.

Even if it has been years since you’ve been in to see your dentist for a cleaning and assessment, our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you get back on track. We’re here to help you get the treatment you need to enjoy an attractive and healthy smile again; no smile is beyond help.

As always, you can reach out to our dental team by giving our office a call, or by using the Contact Us page on our site.

Replace Your Teeth With State-of-the-Art Dental Implants From Our Elmhurst Dentists

Sunday, December 03, 2017

If you’re dealing with tooth loss, then this short article is for you. Our Elmhurst dentists are here to give you more information about restorative treatments to replace missing teeth. Keep reading to learn about dental implant technology, and how this type of replacement tooth can make your smile whole again!

When a patient loses a tooth, they often perseverate on the fact that there is a visible hole in their smile. Undoubtedly, this aesthetic issue is a big problem, and something that needs to be addressed. However, tooth loss also affects those hidden parts of your smile, under the gum tissue.

Every tooth has a natural tooth root that is anchored in the patient’s jawbone. This root holds the tooth in place, and helps to keep surrounding jawbone healthy and adjacent teeth in place. As you would imagine, when you lose a tooth, this natural dental structure is disrupted. As a result, you may start to lose jawbone tissue, and your teeth may start to shift along your gum line.

Dental implants help you avoid these problems because dental implants titanium roots that serve as replacement dental roots. The visible dental restoration is then attached on top of this titanium root. Thus, the replacement tooth stays in place permanently. Plus, dental implant patients report that it is exceptionally easy to speak, eat, and brush/floss with dental implants in place.

So far we’ve been talking about individual stand-alone dental implants. However, dental implant roots can also be used to permanently anchor larger dental prostheses like dentures and bridges. It generally takes only a few implant roots to anchor a prosthetic—a full denture, for example, can often be held in place with just four or five implant roots.

Our Elmhurst dental implant dentists are happy to give you more information about all of your tooth replacement options. No matter how you choose to restore your smile, our dental team strongly encourages you to seek prompt treatment in order to minimize potential long-term oral health side effects. Give us a call!

Get The Info You Need To Know About Bruxism From Our Elmhurst Dentists

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Bruxism is one of those often-overlooked threats to long-term oral health. When bruxism goes unaddressed, it can worsen over times, and the effects will compound.

The good news is that our Elmhurst dentists provide preventive and restorative treatment for bruxism-related issues. Keep reading to learn more about how bruxism presents, and what you can do to care for your smile.

Bruxism is defined as chronic dental grinding and clenching. Chronic grinding can occur for a number of reasons:

  • People are more likely to exhibit bruxism during times of stress
  • Bruxism can occur because the patient’s natural bite surfaces are poorly aligned—the patient thus moves his or her jaw back and forth in an effort to find a “comfortable” resting place for the jaw
  • Many people actually grind and clench their teeth in their sleep, so they may not realize that they’re dealing with bruxism.

Keep your eyes open for signs of bruxism, including:

  • Sore or stiff jaw muscles, especially upon waking
  • Tooth soreness, unrelated to dental damage or infection
  • Shifting bite alignment
  • Headaches and/or neck/ear pain

When you meet with our dental team we’ll assess your smile in order to determine the root cause of your bruxism issues. Some people benefit from wearing protective mouth guards through the night. We may also recommend that you undergo treatment to improve your bite alignment—this kind of treatment can be absolutely transformative for some bruxism sufferers.

If you want to learn more about what bruxism is, and why it occurs, our dental team is here to help. You can also schedule a personal consultation with our Elmhurst dentist to get in-depth recommendations on how to move forward with your own treatment plan. Remember, when you’re able to seek timely treatment for Bruxism issues, you minimize your risk of dealing with long-term oral health problems related to chronic dental grinding.

Take The Stress Out Of Dental Care With Help From Our Elmhurst Sedation Dentists

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

If stress and anxiety is keeping you from getting the dental care that you need, our Elmhurst sedation dentists are here to help. We know that, for many people, dental anxiety can seem insurmountable, but we promise it’s not!

There are a number of anxiety-reducing measures available to you. When you meet with our dental team, we’ll be able to help you figure out what type of relaxation measures are right for you. We’ll take into account your dental fears and anxiety, your health history, and the treatments you’re undergoing.

Oral conscious sedation is only increasing in popularity among dental patients of all kinds. In order to benefit from oral conscious sedation, you’ll simply take a small dentist-prescribed pill about an hour before your appointment is scheduled to begin. This pill will help you feel relaxed and confident before the treatment process begins.

Once your appointment is over, the effects of oral conscious sedation will naturally wear off. However, because oral conscious sedation has amnesic effects, you likely won’t remember any of the treatment process once you’re back home. For many patients, this is an additional advantage of using oral conscious sedation.

Our practice also offers Dental Spa Therapy, which is natural and completely drug-free. This relaxation protocol combines holistic measures like massage, acupressure, and chiropractic care. Our treatment space is also thoughtfully designed to work with Dental Spa Therapy with soothing lightning, music therapy, and aromatherapy.

Dental Spa Therapy is shown to have additional effects such as lowering blood pressure and supporting your body’s natural healing ability.

Because we offer a range of sedation treatment options, we can help you find the perfect relaxation solution for your specific solution. Even if it has been years since you’ve been in to see your dentist, our dental team is here to help you. Give our Elmhurst sedation dentists a call to learn more about your treatment options and to schedule a personal consultation.

Elmhurst TMJ Dentist Explains How This Disorder Can Affect Long-Term Oral Health

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Most people already know that certain things, like sugary foods and drinks, can harm their smiles. However, there are other, lesser talked about threats to your oral health, such as TMJ dysfunction.

Your temporomandibular joints are the joints that attach your lower jaw to your skull. Thanks to temporomandibular joints you can speak, chew, yawn, and emote comfortably.

The problem is that sometimes TMJs become irritated, damaged, or inflamed. When this happens, you’ll may notice a number of immediate problems and inconveniences, and your smile is more at risk of developing additional damage down the road.

Many TMJ sufferers find that their temporomandibular joints feel sore, and that their jaws pop or click when they chew. TMJ-related pain can also radiate up the face and head, so that it ends up feeling more like an earache or headache than jaw pain. If you notice any of these symptoms in your life, our Elmhurst dentists encourage you to reach out to your dentist right away for a TMJ assessment.

When TMJ problems go unaddressed, your entire smile can start to suffer as a result. Many people subconsciously change the way that they bite and chew in order to favor sore temporomandibular joints. Over time, this can cause your teeth to wear down prematurely and unevenly.

TMJ disorder often develops concurrently with bruxism, or chronic dental grinding. Bruxism can be both a cause and a result of TMJ disorder. Patients who regularly grind and clench their teeth tend to suffer from tension headaches and face/neck pain. Bruxism also creates small cracks and chips in the dental enamel, thus leaving the patient’s teeth susceptible to developing further damage as well as cavities.

There are effective and patient-friendly treatments available to deal with TMJ problems. Our Elmhurst TMJ dentists are here to give you any additional information and guidance that you may need. Give us a call to get started!

Here Are Key Treatment Considerations Our Elmhurst Cosmetic Dentists Prioritize

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Our Elmhurst cosmetic dentists have seen firsthand how powerful and transformative cosmetic dental treatments can be. When you have a smile that you truly love, you may find that you quickly feel more confident, outgoing, and social.

In order to be truly successful, cosmetic treatment needs to be customized to suit the patient’s needs. By taking the time to personalize treatment to the individual, we ensure that our patients end up with aesthetic results they love.

As we design a treatment plan for your smile, here are some of the key factors that we’ll prioritize:

Aesthetic goals: the first thing we’ll talk about is your dream smile. What are your aesthetic goals? Whitening enamel? Straightening teeth? Correcting cracks and chips? Depending on your cosmetic objectives, and how many aesthetic results you want to achieve, we can start narrowing down your treatment options.

Timeline: some treatments, like dental bonding, deliver full aesthetic results in just one appointment, while others take longer. If you are trying to perfect your smile in time for an event, like a wedding or reunion, let our dental team know, so that we can tailor treatment to your timeline.

Budget: because our team offers a variety of cosmetic treatments, we’re able to help patients with a range of respective budgets. Cosmetic treatment may be much more accessible than you think.

Long-term maintenance: different aesthetic treatments require different levels and types of upkeep. Professional whitening treatment, for example, will need to be repeated every once in a while, in order to keep your smile white and bright. Veneers, on the other hand, are naturally stain-resistant. We’ll help you choose a treatment option that fits your life.

Because every one of our patients is an individual, every one of our cosmetic dentistry cases is likewise unique. Don’t settle for one-size-fits-all dentistry; cosmetic care delivers far superior results. Give our Elmhurst cosmetic dentists a call to schedule a personal consultation and get started!

Our Elmhurst Pediatric Dentists Help Young Patients Build Strong Oral Health Foundations

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Pediatric dentistry is crucial for helping young dental patients develop strong oral hygiene habits and skills. However, many parents and caretakers have questions about what, exactly, they should be doing to help their kids care for their smiles. That’s why our Elmhurst family dentists are here! Keep reading to get more information about pediatric dental care, and remember, you can always reach out to dental team if you have specific questions!

Let’s start by talking about the types of tools children should use to clean their smiles. When choosing a toothbrush for your child, you want to make sure that the handle is comfortable for your child to hold, and that the head of the brush is small enough to fit into the back corners of their smile. Most young dental patients should be using soft-bristled brushes so as not to cause inadvertent oral tissue damage or enamel erosion. Your dentist will let you know if your child should use a different type of brush.

Patients who are still regularly swallowing toothpaste should not use toothpastes with fluoride. This is because young kids are still developing their permanent teeth, and ingesting fluoride can cause adult teeth to develop with discoloration and textural irregularities. There are fluoride-free toothpastes on the market that are appropriate for pediatric patients who swallow toothpaste.

The American Dental Association recommends that pediatric patients undergo semi-annual cleanings and evaluations as soon as the patient’s first teeth come in, and definitely by the patient’s first birthday. Proper professional care will help your baby avoid dental decay and oral tissues infections. Additionally, regular dentist visits allow our team to spot and promptly treat ay emerging oral health issues.

We know that pediatric dental care can sometimes seem overwhelming, but don’t panic! You can always contact our Elmhurst dentists by phone or through our Contact Us page when you are ready to get started!

Elmhurst Veneers Dentists Address Common Patients Questions And Concerns About This Treatment

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Our Elmhurst cosmetic dentists know that the more information our patients have about their treatment options, the more confidently they can make decisions for their smiles. If you’ve been considering cosmetic treatment, then you may find this informative article useful. Today we’re addressing some common questions and concerns that patients have regarding porcelain veneers.

Q: Will my veneers look bulky and fake?

A: No! Porcelain veneers are crafted to be exceptionally thin—about as thick as a contact lens. Additionally, our team will shape your natural dental structure to ensure a good fit. Importantly, the porcelain that we use to create veneers is custom-shaded to match the patient’s existing teeth exactly. Once treatment is complete, your veneers will be indistinguishable from your real enamel.

Q: How stable are veneers?

A: Once your veneers are bonded to your natural teeth, they will stay in place permanently, You will be able to chew and speak normally; porcelain is actually an ideal material for these restorations because it provides so much strength and durability. We often speak with patients who are worried that their veneers will “pop off” with use, but the truth is this is very unlikely to happen.

Q: Is the veneers application process painful?

A: This treatment process is actually quite comfortable and straightforward for the patient. If you happen to be a patient who is anxious about dental treatment, or who suffers from severe dental pain and sensitivity, we do offer a range of sedation and relaxation treatments to help you get the care you need.

Check out our Before and After pictures to get a better idea of what we are able to achieve using porcelain veneers. And, as always, please feel free to reach out to our Elmhurst veneers dentists to learn more about your treatment options, and to schedule a personal consultation with our team.

Questions About Syrijet? Our Elmhurst Dentists Have The Answers

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Our Elmhurst sedation dentists are committed to integrating the latest tools and technologies into our practice. We know that these advancements can greatly improve the patient experience as well as treatment options. One simple, and yet very powerful, tool that we use to help patients is called Syrijet. Keep reading to learn more about Syrijet, and to get a better idea of whether or not this technology can help you.

Q: Is Syrijet a type of sedation?
A: Not really, but it is used to help keep patients comfortable in the dentist’s chair. Rather than a type of sedation, Syrijet is specific tool for administering sedatives and numbing agents. Syrijet is a handheld wand that produces a concentrated stream of air that delivers anesthesia directly to the treatment site. Syrijet is completely needle-free and comfortable.

Q: Why do patients use Syrijet?

A: Syrijet is often used to help dental patients who suffer from dental anxiety or have phobias of needles. With Syrijet, patients can get the pain-management treatment they need without dealing with scary needles. This treatment can also be useful for those people who are prone to suffering from pain and sensitivity during dental care.

Q: What is the Syrijet process like?
A: As a patient, you really won’t need to do anything different in order to benefit from Syrijet. Before our team starts treatment, we’ll simply us the Syrijet wand to numb appropriate areas of your smile. Then, we’ll administer further numbing and sedation treatments if necessary. The entire process is quick and comfortable.

Our Elmhurst sedation dentists provide a number of relaxation and sedation treatment options from which patients benefit. If you want to learn more about any of your treatment options, our dental team is here to help. Give us a call to contact our team and schedule a personal consultation!


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