Scharfenberg Dental Blog

Learn More From Our Elmhurst Family Dentist About Why Primary Teeth Matter

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Most pediatric patients that our Elmhurst dentists see are excited about their primary teeth for one reason: the tooth fairy. However, baby teeth are good for a lot more than getting a little cash under your pillow. These teeth are developmentally crucial; that’s why it’s so important that you teach your children to care for their baby teeth well. Keep reading to learn more.

The first reason that you want to emphasize proper oral hygiene habits with your child is so that he or she develops strong and sound dental habits. Think of baby teeth as “training teeth.” Your child can learn to brush and floss effectively before their permeant teeth even come in.

Beyond allowing your child to practice good oral hygiene habits, primary teeth also serve an important role as your child matures. It is important for your child to retain his or her baby teeth so that they can learn to speak and enunciate properly. Losing baby teeth prematurely can lead to speech issues.

When your child has healthy baby teeth she will also be able to expand her diet at age appropriate times. Young patients with gaps in their smile struggle to bite and chew normally.

Additionally, primary teeth actually serve as placeholders for the permanent teeth to come. Your child’s baby teeth help to guide permanent teeth into place, and the permanent teeth from shifting or coming in at irregular angles.

The key to quality pediatric dental care is combining diligent at-home maintenance with professional treatments and assessments. Your dentist can give you a better idea of whether you should be emphasizing anything specific as you talk to your child about dental care.

Our Elmhurst dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have, and to help your child’s smile stay on track. Give us a call to speak to a member of our team and to schedule a personal consultation!

 

Our Elmhurst Dentist Explains How Foods And Drinks Can Affect Your Oral Health

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Undoubtedly, the tools and formulations that we use to care for our smiles make a huge difference in how smiles look and feel. But, have you ever thought about how much impact your diet can have on your oral health?

When we snack, or sit down to a meal, we coat our teeth and oral tissues in the things that we eat or drink. As you would imagine, this can affect the health and appearance of our teeth over time. Keep reading to learn more from our Elmhurst dentists.

Perhaps the best known dietary threat to optimal oral health is sugar. The truth is that the bacteria that live in our mouths absolutely love sugar; they use sugar as fuel to grown and multiply! So, when you indulge in a sugary drink or treat, you are giving the harmful oral bacteria in your mouth a boost. That’s why it’s best to limit your consumption of sugar, and to rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking.

Acidic substances can also wreak havoc on your oral health. When you eat or drink something acidic, your dental enamel becomes temporarily softened. During this time period—about twenty to thirty minutes after you stopped eating or drinking—your enamel is more susceptible to sustaining damage. Fruit juices, sodas, coffee, and red wine are all examples of acidic beverages. In order to safeguard your smile from acid, you want to make sure that you don’t brush your teeth for at least a half hour after eating or drinking. Brushing during this time period may actually be too abrasive, and cause inadvertent damage. It’s also helpful to drink some water, and rinse your mouth with water, shortly after acid exposure.

By being thoughtful about your eating habits, you can give your oral health a boost, and help to prevent dental damage in the future. If you want to learn more about how environmental factors, like food, can affect your smile, please give our Elmhurst dentists a call!

Elmhurst Dentist Outlines Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Dental sensitivity often starts out as a nuisance, and then intensifies into a problem that negatively affects the sufferer’s day to day life. The good news is that there are treatments available that can help to prevent sensitivity, and minimize existing discomfort. Our Elmhurst dentists are here with some information about the causes of dental sensitivity; we hope that this information helps you protect your smile moving forward.

In order to understand dental sensitivity, you first have to know how a tooth is designed. A tooth has three layers—the dental enamel, the dentin, and the dental pulp. The enamel is hard, non-porous, and free of nerves—this is the protective layer of the tooth. Below the enamel is the dentin, which is slightly more sensitive and vulnerable. At the center of the tooth is the pulp, which holds nerves, blood vessels, and other tissues.

When you experience dental sensitivity, your dental enamel is not adequately protecting the inner layers of your tooth.

This can happen because your dental enamel is thinning, either due to bruxism, acidic substances, or simply wear and tear.

Your inner tooth may also be vulnerable if your gum tissue has started to recede. As the gum tissue that used to protect the roots of the tooth pulls away, your dental nerves are exposed to cold air, foods, and drinks, which all cause discomfort. Receding gum tissue is often due to gum disease, but you may also be damaging your gum tissue if you are brushing your teeth too aggressively.

Finally, harmful oral bacteria can work their way through your enamel, and create a passageway that allows irritants to reach your inner tooth. In these cases, our team will need to eliminate the infected material, and then restore the tooth with a filling or crown.

With all that modern dentistry has to offer, you absolutely do not have to live with sensitive teeth forever. Our Elmhurst dentists are happy to give you any additional information that you may need—just give us a call to get started!

 

Our Elmhurst Dental Implant Dentist Responds To Commonly Asked Questions About This Treatment

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Many patients who have lost a tooth or multiple teeth know about standard tooth replacement options—historically dentists have used dentures or bridges to replace the look and functionality of a patient’s smile. More recently dental implants have been implemented to replace missing teeth—this dental innovation actually mimics the structure of natural teeth so they look and feel natural. What many patients don’t know is that dental implants can actually be used with conventional tooth replacement options—dentures and bridges—to increase the effectiveness of these treatments.

 

Dental implants are small titanium rods that are surgically implanted into the jawbone. Over time the titanium bonds to the natural bone, forming an effortlessly stable tooth-root. After the titanium is implanted it is capped with a natural looking dental restoration. Our Elmhurst dental implant dentists use dental implants individually to replace a singular missing tooth. Additionally, we use dental implants in conjunction with dentures and bridges to make them more stable, comfortable and long lasting.

 

Dental implants can be used with dentures to anchor the dentures more securely to the jawbone. In many cases, existing dentures can actually be retrofitted to attach to new dental implants. Most patients find that it’s easier to eat, speak, and smile without their dentures shifting after dental implant attachment.

 

Additionally, dental implants are implanted to anchor bridges. Bridgework is traditionally anchored to neighboring teeth for stability. Unfortunately, this can cause unnecessary strain on healthy teeth. By inserting a dental implant to anchor the bridge piece, you can preserve natural teeth by taking the strain off of them.


Dental implants can be used independently or with existing dentures or bridges to help restore a patient’s smile and keep them comfortable and confident. Some patients simply prefer dentures and bridges, and they are amazed at how much more functional these appliances are once they are stabilized with even one or two dental implants. If you have questions about how dental implants work alone or in conjunction with other treatments please give our Elmhurst dental implant dentists a call—(630) 733-1624.

Elmhurst Dentists Explains How Various Levels Of Dental Damage Are Treated

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Even when we are doing everything that we can to care for our smiles, sometimes dental damage pops up anyway. Our Elmhurst dentists understand this, which is why we work so hard to provide a number of restorative treatments to patients of all ages.

In this short article we’ll be outlining some of the treatments that we regularly employ in order to correct existing dental damage. Let’s get started!

The dental crown is a tried and true restorative option that can help a patient regain a healthy smile after dental damage. Crowns are used to repair teeth after dental infection or considerable dental damage. The crowns that our dental team places are natural looking, white, and metal free restorations. Once your crown is in place it will look great, and help you jump back into your normal daily routine,

Dental bonding is another treatment that we use in order to correct damaged dental enamel. When dental enamel gets cracked or chipped, our dental team can use dental resin to fill in these weak spots, and fortify the tooth. Because dental resin can be shaded to suit the individual patient, the finished aesthetic result is very attractive.

Some patients achieve their desired results by using porcelain veneers to cover damaged teeth. Because veneers are designed to cover the visible surfaces of the patient’s teeth they can completely transform the patient’s smile. Every veneer is shaped and shaded to deliver natural looking results. Once veneers are in place, they are easy to care for, and stay in place 24/7.

These are just some of the treatments that we most commonly use in order to help people reclaim healthy and whole smiles. If you want to learn even more about the restorative treatments that we offer here in our office, please call our Elmhurst dentists to get started!

Our Elmhurst Root Canal Dentist Reviews How This Treatment Works

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

When dental damage occurs, prompt treatment can make all the difference for the long-term health and appearance of your smile. Although many people have preconceived, negative notions, about restorative root canal, the truth is that this treatment can be truly smile saving in certain situations.

Our Elmhurst root canal dentists encourage you to learn more about this treatment, so that you can confidently seek out root canal therapy if necessary.

The Purpose

Root canal therapy becomes necessary when a tooth is damaged all the way down into the tooth root. The inner tooth is the part of the tooth that is “alive,” in that it contains blood vessels, pulp, and nerves. When a cavity or fracture extends into the dental core, the entire tooth is compromised.

Root canal therapy is designed to remove all of the inner tooth material, so that the remaining healthy tooth structure can be saved.

The Process

During treatment, our team uses increasingly wide instruments to go into the tooth and pull out any damaged or vulnerable material, including the nerves that run through the roots of the tooth. Once this is complete, we can clean the remaining dental structure, fill the tooth, and cap it with a customized restoration.

The Result

Successful root canal therapy saves a tooth that might otherwise fall out or need to be pulled. Once the patient’s restoration is in place, the patient will be able to eat, drink, and speak normally. The restored tooth will look healthy and whole—it will blend in seamlessly with the surrounding teeth!

Modern root canal therapy is quite comfortable and quick. Our team also offers sedation treatments for patients who are prone to sensitivity and anxiety.

If you want to learn more about how root canal works, or in which situations it becomes necessary, you can always reach out to our Elmhurst root canal dentists for information and support. We look forward to speaking with you!

Dental Veneers Are Designed To Fit You: Our Elmhurst Cosmetic Dentist Explains

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

In this short article our Elmhurst cosmetic dentists will be giving you information about one cosmetic treatment in particular—the cosmetic dental veneer. This explanation is designed to help you get a better idea of whether aesthetic veneers might be able to meet your dental needs. So keep reading, and remember that you can always contact our dental team if you want any additional information.

The first reason that many people turn to dental veneers is that this treatment process is pretty simple and straightforward for the patient. Our dental team shapes the dental patient’s teeth (the ones to which the veneers will be applied). Then, they place custom-made porcelain restorations over these teeth. The veneers appear like whole, unblemished, bright dental enamel.

As you can see, this placement process is much simpler than other cosmetic treatments. Veneers, therefore, have the additional advantage of being able to be completed very quickly. On average, it takes only three dental treatments for our team to transform a patient’s smile using veneers.

And once your dental veneers are finished and in place, you’ll find that it’s quite intuitive to care for them. You’ll need to brush your teeth, floss between your teeth and down to your gum tissue, and use a mouth rinse if your dentist finds it appropriate. Because veneers stay in place 24/7, you don’t need to use any specialty products or tools to keep your veneers fresh and attractive.

Finally, people trust dental veneers to deliver exceptional aesthetic results. This is because every part of the veneer can be customized to suit the individual.

Call our Elmhurst veneers dentists when you are ready to schedule a consultation with our helpful dental team. We can give you all of the information that you need about porcelain veneers, as well as any other cosmetic options that might work for you.

Learn More About Effective And Convenient Cosmetic Treatment From Our Elmhurst Dentists

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

If you have ever thought about using cosmetic dentistry treatments to improve your smile, then this short article is for you. We know that the range of aesthetic dentistry treatments available today can make picking a treatment feel overwhelming and confusing. That is why we are walking you through the key attributes of some of the most commonly used cosmetic solutions in our Elmhurst dental office.

Let’s start by talking about professional dental whitening, which can lighten existing stains on your dental enamel. Key benefits: one treatment generally takes less than an hour to complete; many patients see visible results after just one treatment; treatment can be repeated to improve visible results; teeth whitening is completely non-invasive; affordable aesthetic option.

We can also cover damaged or unsightly enamel with dental resin—this process is called dental bonding. Key benefits: treatment is usually completed in one appointment, and patients see immediate results; dental resin is completely customizable; resin is naturally stain resistant; this is a non-invasive treatment; bonding can improve a wide number of aesthetic problems—from stained smiles to dental damage to dental misalignment.

Cosmetic veneers cover natural teeth with thin porcelain restorations in order to resurface the patient’s smile. Key benefits: veneers can completely transform the patient’s smile in a short period of time; the entire veneer’s placement process usually takes just two to three appointments; porcelain veneers are stain resistant; veneers are crafted from porcelain so that they are sturdy and durable; with proper care veneers can last for decades before they need to be replaced.

The best way to find out if any of these treatments will work for you is to schedule a personal consultation with our Elmhurst cosmetic dentists. During this consultation we will assess the current state of your smile, and help you determine how you can reach your dental goals.

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.


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