Scharfenberg Dental Blog

Root Canal Demystified! Our Elmhurst Dentists Give You The Facts

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Root canal treatment has gotten a bad reputation over the years. Many dental patients start to feel anxious as soon as they hear the words, “root canal!”

Our Elmhurst dentists are here to tell you that root canal therapy doesn’t have to be anxiety-producing. And, in fact, root canal therapy can really be smile saver. Keep reading to get more information!

Root canal therapy is simply a procedure that allows our dentist to go into the core of your tooth and remove damaged dental material—including the dental roots. This treatment becomes necessary when a dental infection has infiltrated the dental pulp, or when a tooth is deeply cracked or chipped.

Our dental team offers a number of relaxation and sedation options to help keep you at ease throughout the treatment process. Thanks to the marvels of modern dentistry, many people now report that root canal therapy is just as comfortable as receiving a standard filling. Additionally, the treatment process is usually completed in just one appointment.

Once our dental team has removed the damaged dental material, we then repair the tooth using composite resin and/or customized restorations. Our team uses metal-free, natural-looking restorations that are designed to stand up to daily wear and tear.

Timely root canal therapy can actually save teeth that would otherwise need to be pulled or would fall out on their own. This treatment preserves the healthy and strong portions of your dental structure, while eliminating persistent infections and damage.

Don’t let fear or anxiety keep you from getting root canal therapy when you need it. This treatment isn’t nearly as scary or intense as it has been made out to be, and our Elmhurst root canal dentists are here to make sure that you have a positive experience in the dentist’s chair. If you have questions, please feel free to give us a call!

Looking For A Natural Relaxation Remedy? Try Dental Spa Therapy With Our Elmhurst Sedation Dentists

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Dental anxiety is a very serious problem, that keeps many dental patients—both young and older—from getting the treatments that they need to stay well. Our Elmhurst dentists do everything we can to put patients at ease, so that they can conquer their fears and achieve healthy and attractive smiles.

One unique relaxation treatment that we offer here in our office is all-natural Dental Spa Therapy. This relaxation protocol combines different therapies in order to help the patient feel calm and comfortable in the dentist’s chair. Many people choose Dental Spa Therapy because it totally drug-free and holistic.

Here are some of the therapies that Dental Spa Treatment utilizes:

Relaxing muscle manipulation—this helps your muscles to release tension

Aromatherapy—soothing scents put your mind at ease and minimizes corporeal tension

Music therapy—we use calming sounds create a calming, patient-friendly atmosphere; music therapy keeps you from feeling like you’re in a traditional dentist’s office.

Chiropractic medicine—bringing your body into healthy alignment helps to minimize tension in the body

Holistic medicine—you may benefit from supplements that diminish your body’s release of stress-related hormones and help you to feel balanced and healthy

Dental Spa Therapy has helped numerous patients enjoy calm and comfortable dental treatments. Additionally, Dental Spa Therapy has a number of whole-body benefits:

· This treatment supports whole-body wellness and balance. Because it is drug-free, Dental Spa Therapy truly works with your body’s natural mechanisms to achieve a calming result.

· The various therapies used in Dental Spa Therapy help to lower blood pressure.

· Dental Spa Therapy also works to reduce inflammation throughout the patient’s body. Inflammation leads to discomfort and inhibits healing.

If you want to learn more about all of your relaxation dentistry options, including all-natural Dental Spa Therapy, our Elmhurst sedation dentists are here to help! Give us a call to schedule your personal consultation.

Jaw pain? Headaches? Dental Chips? Our Elmhurst Dentist Explains Why It Could Be Bruxism

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Too many adults suffer from chronic head/face/neck pain without knowing that bruxism is a potential cause of all of these issues. Bruxism is a surprisingly common condition in which a person grinds or clenches his teeth habitually—this can happen day or night. Bruxism puts an enormous amount of pressure on a patient’s faciocranial structure as a whole.

Our Elmhurst dentist office provides treatment solutions for bruxism, which can help to alleviate pain and discomfort and safeguard your smile. When bruxism goes untreated, your dental enamel may thin and wear down prematurely; your smile will be at risk of developing cavities as well as cracks and chips.

The key to treating bruxism is to pinpoint its underlying cause:

You may be grinding your teeth because your bite surfaces do not come together evenly, and so your top and bottom teeth grind back and forth in order to find a comfortable “resting” position. In this case, orthodontic treatment may be used in order to move your natural teeth and improve your bite surfaces. Our dentist may alternatively recommend building up your bite surfaces with resin or restorations.

Another key cause of bruxism is stress. Luckily, this type of bruxism is often temporary, and once your stress levels are reduced you’re likely to stop grinding.

You may also be exhibiting bruxism because your temporomandibular joint is damaged. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your skull to your lower jaw. If this joint becomes damaged due to injury or misalignment, you may experience bruxism as a result. Unfortunately, bruxism can further damage your TMJ; sticking you in a vicious cycle.

Have you noticed the signs of bruxism in your own life? If so, don’t wait to contact our Elmhurst dentists for support and treatment recommendations—we look forward to working with you!

Elmhurst Family Dentist Helps You Start Your New Year Off Right With Thoughtful Dental Care

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

As 2017 begins, now is the time to make sure that you are starting your dental routine off right in the new year! Our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you craft a personalized oral health plan that works for you and your life.

Take the opportunity now, while you’re thinking about the year ahead, to schedule your professional dental cleanings for the year. Most dental patients should be completing professional cleanings every six months or so. If you need to be going more frequently, your dentist will help you figure out a better professional cleaning schedule.

Give our office a call to get your professional cleanings on the calendar so that you don’t fall behind!

Now is also a great time to recommit to your daily oral hygiene routine. During the holidays we are prone to indulging in all kinds of sugary treats and drinks. This can lead to an increase in plaque accumulation and tartar build up.

In the new year, make sure that you are brushing your teeth every morning and night and flossing every night. It is most beneficial to floss your teeth at night right before you brush teeth. This allows you to dislodge dental debris and plaque before you brush it away.

Another thing that you can do in order to boost your oral health as well as you overall health is to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated allows your body to produce plenty of saliva; saliva works to neutralize bacteria and remineralize dental enamel!

Our Elmhurst dentists are here to provide you with any additional information that you may need about how to care for your smile, and how to establish a strong oral hygiene routine in the new year. Call our office to get started, or use the Contact Us page on our website in order to get started!

Elmhurst Dentist Reviews Situations In Which Sedation Dentistry Is Often Used

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Have you been thinking about pursuing sedation dentistry? Our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you determine whether sedation is right for you. Keep reading to learn more about how and when sedation is used in our office.

As you probably already know, the goal of sedation treatment in general is to keep the patient calm and pain-free during treatment. This effect can be achieved by using a few different sedation methods including nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. When you meet with our team, we’ll be able to give you a better idea of what type of sedation is right for you and treatments you’re undergoing.

Sedation treatment is used to…

Help calm anxious patients

Some people get so nervous at just the thought of going to the dentist that they have trouble even getting into the dentist’s chair. Oral conscious sedation helps these types of patients feel calm and confident before their appointments. With the help of sedation dentistry you can get your smile back on track.

Achieve results faster

For people who are undergoing comprehensive or multi-phased treatment sedation can help to expedite the process. Many times, our dentists are able to complete more treatments in fewer appointments because the patient is sedated. Sedation prevents the patient from becoming fatigued and tense as quickly.

Prevent pain

Sedation dulls the patient’s pain receptors so that he or she can remain comfortable throughout the appointment—even when undergoing significant restorative or cosmetic treatments. Sedation can also ease the process when people with needle phobias need to receive local anesthesia.

As always, you can reach out to our Elmhurst sedation dentists for more information on sedation and dental treatments in general. And check out our website and information packets to get details on sedation. We look forward to working with you!

This Holiday Season Keep These Tips In Mind From Our Elmhurst Dentists

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The holidays, for many people, is a time of indulgence. We’re surrounded by cookies, candies, and other sweet treats—what to do? Our Elmhurst dentists have some tips for you to keep in mind, so keep reading to get more information!

Let’s start by reviewing why sweets are so problematic for your oral health. Your mouth is full of bacteria—some good and some bad. Oral bacteria feed on sugars and refined carbohydrates. So, when you eat or drink something sweet, harmful oral bacteria go to town feasting on dental debris. Bacteria use the energy from sugar to multiply and grow.

Obviously, the first thing that you can do in order to keep your smile healthy is to limit the number of treats that you consume during the holiday season.

Beyond that, make sure that you are drinking plenty of water along with that yummy cider and cocoa. Water helps to rinse away dental debris, and keep bacteria from sticking to your teeth. Water also helps you stay hydrated, and when you are hydrated, your body is able to produce saliva (a substance that naturally neutralizes bacteria and re-mineralizes enamel).

When you do indulge in a sweet treat, try to do so in a limited period of time. So, for example, if you are going to eat four cookies, it is actually better for your smile if you eat them in one sitting, rather than chomping on cookies throughout the day. This is because oral bacteria stay active and feeding in your smile for about 20 to 30 minutes after you eat. Don’t give bacteria too many chances to feed and grow!

Want to learn more? Our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you make the best decisions for your smile. Call our team to schedule a consultation and develop an optimal oral hygiene plan!

Elmhurst Dentist Helps You Battle Bad Breath

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

There are so many gums and mints on the market today to help you cover up bad or stale breath. You can use these things for days, weeks, years, and never really get the fresh breath that you want.

The key to fighting bad breath is to address the root cause of the problem. Our Elmhurst dentists are here to explain who bad breath develops, and what you can do about it!

The first reason that you may be suffering from bad breath is because you have a lot of oral bacteria in your mouth. Oral bacteria, when they feed on sugars and multiply, emit unpleasant odors as a result. If you have existing plaque and tartar build-up, you will probably find that it is difficult to achieve fresh breath. In the same vein, if you are suffering from existing cavities or gum disease, you’ll likely suffer from bad breath as well. The key to overcoming this problem is to undergo a professional dental cleaning, and receive effective treatment for any existing dental infections.

You may also be dealing with bad breath because you have chronic dry mouth. Saliva is very important for you smile; saliva helps to neutralize bacteria and re-mineralize teeth. If you are suffering from dry mouth, you do not have enough saliva in your mouth. Bacteria thrive in this dry environment, so you’ll notice that your breath tastes and smells stale. Talk to your dentist about how to address dry mouth. You may simply need to be drinking more water throughout the day, or your salivary glands may be malfunctioning.

Finally, you may find that your breath is temporarily malodorous after you eat certain foods like onions, garlic, and spicy meats. Cleaning your smile can help to alleviate these types of odors, but for the most part you will need to wait until your body breaks down these substances for the taste/odor to full dissipate.

Contact our Elmhurst dentists to learn more about treating bad breath; schedule a consultation with our team to get personalized recommendations!

Elmhurst Dentist Gives Simple Tips For Helping To Protect Your Gum Tissue

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Your gum tissue is the foundation of your smile. In order to enjoy a healthy and attractive smile for years to come, you need to care for your oral tissues as well as your teeth.

Today our Elmhurst dentists are sharing some simple steps that you can take to prioritize oral health every day; let’s get started!

One of the main things that you can do in order to support your gum tissue is to empower your body to produce plenty of saliva. Chronic dry mouth greatly increases a person’s risk of suffering from periodontal disease. Make sure that you’re drinking enough water throughout the day, and rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking something other than water.

If you do get something caught in your smile during the day, please use gentle floss to remove the dental debris. Metal and wooden toothpicks are common causes of gum tissue damage—they can cause abrasions in your gum which then become infected with harmful oral bacteria.

Here a surprising cause of gum damage: your toothbrush! Specifically, using the wrong type of toothbrush. There are so many different toothbrushes available on the market today—if you take a look at the packaging you’ll notice that different toothbrushes have different types of bristles. Most people should actually be using toothbrushes with soft bristles. Using a medium or hard-bristled brush can cause your gums to thin and recede.

Finally, do your best to minimize the amount of time that your gums are exposed to acidic foods and drinks. This is a situation in which it can help to rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking.

Our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you maintain healthy teeth and gums. Feel free to give us a call if you would like to learn more about at-home dental care, or if you want to schedule a consultation with our dental team!

Keep These Oral Health Tips From Our Elmhurst Dentist In Mind This Halloween

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

As Halloween approaches, you’re likely to have more candy than usual lying around the house. An increase in consumption of sugary substances can wreak havoc on your smile. So, today, our Elmhurst dentists are giving you some simple tips on how to protect your smile this fall!

The first thing to keep in mind is that it is always in your smile’s best interest to limit the amount of sugary and refined-carbohydrate-rich foods and drinks that you consume. The fewer of these substances that you ingest, the less that oral bacteria will be able to use these sugars to grow and multiply.

If you are going to be indulge in some sweet treats, try to drink plenty of water, so that you stay hydrated throughout the day. When you drink water, you empower your body to produce saliva: a natural substance that neutralizes bacteria and re-mineralizes dental enamel. Dry mouth + harmful bacteria is a recipe for disaster (and bad breath).

It also makes a difference when you enjoy a piece of candy. If, for example, you eat a piece of candy right after eating a meal, your body will have already flooded your mouth with saliva as you ate. This means that it is easier for your saliva to neutralize the harmful effects of refined sugars.

In the same vein, you want to try to enjoy sweet treats in discrete sittings, rather than snacking constantly throughout the day. Bacteria actively feed on sugars for about 20 to 30 minutes after they are exposed to them. So, if you eat candy constantly, you’re allowing harmful bacteria to stay active in your mouth all day. Limit the times in which you eat candy to keep bacteria production in check.

Finally, as always, follow all of your dentist’s recommendation for your daily oral hygiene routine, and see your dental team for semi-annual professional cleanings. And give us a call if you have more questions about how candy affects your smile; our Elmhurst dentists are here to help!

Elmhurst Pediatric Dentist Gives Tips For Helping Kids Maintain Oral Health

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Pediatric dental care can make a huge difference for a young patient’s smile in both the short term and the long term. Proper pediatric dental care includes both professional dental treatments and thorough daily oral hygiene care. Today our Elmhurst dentists are reviewing some of the key attributes of a healthy pediatric dental care regimen.

Let’s start by discussing some of the foundational things that your child can do at home to maintain oral health.

· Brush at least twice a day—make sure that your child brushes his teeth once in the morning to start the day, and once in the evening before going to bed

· Every time your child brushes, make sure that he or she is brushing for at least 2 minutes

· When brushing, your child should move her brush in small circular motions while applying gentle pressure—applying too much pressure can cause dental erosion and gum tissue damage

· Talk to your dentist about when your child should start using toothpastes with fluoride—usually children who are old enough to brush without swallowing toothpaste are cleared to use fluoridated products

· Encourage your child to floss once a day—the most effective time to floss is at night right before you brush

Complement your at-home oral hygiene efforts with professional dental care in order to achieve optimal results.

· The American dental association recommends that dental patients complete professional dental cleanings every six months, so that your dentist can clear away accumulated plaque and tartar

· Talk to your dentist about professional preventive treatments that may benefit your child—like sealants and topical fluoride treatments

Our Elmhurst dentists are happy to answer any questions that you may have about pediatric dental care. You can always reach our team by calling our office, or by submitting a question through the Contact Us page on our website.


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