Scharfenberg Dental Blog

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!

Get The Facts On Dental Enamel From Our Elmhurst Restorative And Cosmetic Dentists

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Our Elmhurst dentists have found that the more that our patients know about how their smiles are built, the better able they are to take steps to protect their oral health every day. That is why we take the time to educate our patients about dental health. In this short article, we’re going to be talking about an important part of your dental structure: the dental enamel. Keep reading to learn more.

Many people do not realize that teeth are actually comprised of a few different layers. Within the core of the tooth are blood vessels and nerves—this is called the dental pulp. The next layer is called dentin; dentin is less porous than dental pulp, and it appears as a yellowish color. The outermost covering of the tooth is called the dental enamel; this is the white and shiny tooth surface that you see when you look in the mirror.

Dental enamel is designed to protect the more vulnerable inner layers of the tooth. Healthy enamel is some shade of white (shades vary greatly) and luminous. Dental enamel does not have nerves, so it is not sensitive like the dental core.

Enamel is designed to be pretty nonporous and sturdy; however, it is by no means indestructible. A number of common oral health threats can weaken and thin enamel over time, including:

  • Acidic substances
  • Chronic dental grinding or clenching (bruxism)
  • Dental trauma
  • Bacteria plaque and tartar

Weakened enamel is more easily fractured and infected, so the best thing that you can do for your smile is to protect the enamel you have. Make sure that you follow all of your dentist’s recommendations for caring for your smile at home. Seek prompt treatment if you think that you are grinding or clenching your teeth.

Our Elmhurst dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have. Give us a call to get started!

Elmhurst Family Dentists Provide Useful Preventive Treatments For Patients Young and Old

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Timely and regularly scheduled preventive dentistry treatments can help you avoid a host of oral health problems in the future. Our Elmhurst dentists know firsthand how important preventive care is to pediatric as well as adult patients. Keep reading to learn more about the ins and outs of preventive dentistry.

The foundation of any healthy preventive oral hygiene routine is the professional dental cleaning. The general recommendation from the American Dental Association (ADA) is that patients complete professional cleanings every six months or so. These cleanings are so important because they:

  • allow our team to clear away accumulated plaque and tartar
  • provide regularly scheduled opportunities for our team to complete oral cancer screenings
  • enable patients to get prompt treatment for emerging dental issues, before these dental problems becomes severe

If, during our evaluations of your smile, our team finds that your smile is potentially at risk of suffering from damage, we may recommend further preventive treatment:

  • Topical fluoride treatments, for example, strengthen the patient’s natural dental enamel, and help teeth to stay strong and resilient over time. This type of treatment is often used in pediatric dentistry, but it may also be employed for adult patients with compromised teeth.
  • Dental sealants protect vulnerable dental surfaces with a thin protective coating. Sealants are often placed on bite surfaces and back molars, as these spots are prone to accumulating plaque, tartar, and bacteria.

Even if it has been years since you’ve been in to see a dentist, our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you. Now is the time to get your smile back on track, so that you can optimize your oral health. If you have questions about the treatments we provide, or how to care for your smile at home, please feel free to call our office to schedule a consultation.

Elmhurst Dental Implant Dentist Reviews The Top 3 Health Benefits Of These Replacement Teeth

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Treating tooth loss is essential for improving dental aesthetics and helping your smile stay healthy for the long-term. Patients today have a number of tooth replacement options from which to choose. Our Elmhurst dentists are here to give you more information about one tooth replacement treatment in particular: the dental implant. Keep reading to learn more about how dental implants can support optimal oral health.

As you may already know, dental implants are stand-alone replacement teeth. Every dental implant has a titanium root that extends into the patient’s jawbone. The root is then capped with a customized restoration (which looks like a natural tooth).

The dental implant root, because it is made from titanium actually bonds to the patient’s jawbone over time. This helps the patient avoid jawbone deterioration, which is a common side effect of tooth loss. Other tooth replacement treatments, which sit on top of the gum tissue—like traditional dentures and bridges—do not provide this health benefit.

It is also simple and straightforward to care for and clean dental implants, and this can help patients avoid periodontal disease and other oral infections as time goes on. With dental implants, you’ll be able to floss and brush your teeth normally, as well as use mouth rinse if your dentist recommends it.

Finally, dental implants prevent the patient’s natural teeth from shifting along his or her gum line. Once the dental implant is in place, it does not move around or come out, so it is serves as a supportive structure in the patient’s smile.

Dental implants are highly customizable, and they deliver permanent results. This increasingly popular tooth replacement treatment is appropriate for many types of dental patients of different ages.

Our Elmhurst dental implant dentists can help you determine whether these replacement teeth are right for your smile. Give our team a call, or use the Contact Us page on our website in order to get started. Schedule a personal consultation to get all of the information that you need!

Our Elmhurst Dentists Offer Efficient & Convenient Treatment Options To Our Patients

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Dental treatment does not need to be lengthy or arduous in order to deliver exceptional results. Today our Elmhurst dentists are reviewing some of the treatments we utilize that are both convenient and efficient. We hope that this information helps you get a better idea of how you can achieve the smile you’ve been dreaming of.

One of the most versatile and convenient treatments in dentistry today is dental bonding. During the dental bonding process our dental team applies custom-shaded resin to the patient’s teeth. Once we cure the resin it hardens and bonds to the tooth, and transforms the tooth. Dental bonding is used to correct dental damage, cover discolored enamel, close gaps between teeth, and make misaligned smiles look straighter. This treatment is completed in just one appointment, and requires no post-treatment recovery time.

Dental veneers can likewise help you improve the aesthetics and the structure of your smile in a short period of time. Dental veneers are actually individually crafted thin porcelain restorations. They are bonded to the natural dental structure, and cover the entirety of the visible tooth. Our dental team generally completes dental veneer placement in just two to three dental appointments, making this one of the fastest and most efficient ways to achieve a complete smile transformation.

Professional dental whitening treatment allows patients to minimize existing stains and discoloration to restore the smile to its previous level of whiteness. This comfortable and non-invasive treatment delivers results right away, and, if necessary, the process can be repeated over a number of appointments in order to achieve more dramatic results.

As you can see, patients today have a number of quick and comfortable treatment options. If you want to learn more, or if you have questions for our team, please give our Elmhurst dentists a call.

Elmhurst TMJ Dentist Describes Common Signs And Side Effects Of TMJ Disorder

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Many people think of Temporomandibular Joint problems as merely inconvenient or tiresome. But, the truth is that, when left untreated, TMJ issues can intensify and actually damage your smile and underlying dental structure. Our Elmhurst TMJ dentists strongly encourage TMJ sufferers to seek treatment as soon as they notice troublesome symptoms. Keep reading to learn more about recognizing TMJ issues.

Your temporomandibular joints are the joints that connect your skull to your lower jawbone. Obviously, it is crucial that these joints remain healthy so that you can eat, speak, emote comfortably.

Sometimes TMJ problems occur due to a sudden trauma or accident that affects the jaw are. More frequently, however, TMJ disorder progresses gradually. It may start as little more than a feeling of tightness in your jaw, or a clicking/popping sensation. These symptoms may indicate that your TMJ joint is inflamed and/or slipping out of socket.

Other symptoms of TMJ may be more general, and harder for the patient to associate to his or her jaw joint, specifically. For example, TMJ sufferers are prone to suffering from chronic headaches and even ear pain.

When your Temporomandibular Joints are inflamed or damaged, it may become difficult for you to chew comfortably to fully open your mouth. You may feel like your jaw is “locking” when you try to take a big bite of something.

TMJ problems can intensify over time. Your TMJs can sustain permanent damage, which is why it is so important to seek prompt treatment for TMJ issues, before the disorder progresses. Chronic TMJ problems can even cause your teeth to wear down unevenly, and change your bite alignment.

Please contact our Elmhurst TMJ dentists, by phone or through our Contact Us page if you think that you’re struggling with TMJ issues. We’re here to achieve lasting relief.


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