• Invisalign Attachments 101

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    Invisalign is among the most popular methods for straightening teeth. It uses a series of custom-made, clear plastic aligners to provide the precise pressure required to gently reposition the teeth. Many patients can achieve excellent results with just the aligners, particularly if they only have mild cases of malocclusion. If you have severe malocclusion, your Invisalign aligners may need a little extra help.

    Defining Attachments
    Attachments, also called buttons, are very small bumps of dental bonding material. They are colored to match the shade of your teeth. The attachments are typically placed at about the mid-point of the tooth, and they may be triangular, square, circular, or rectangular. Your dentist may only need to place attachments on a few of your teeth. Since the attachments are quite small and tooth-colored, they blend in well with the rest of your smile. They may be slightly visible, but not nearly as noticeable as the metal brackets required for conventional braces.

    Understanding the Purpose of Attachments
    Although Invisalign aligners do a great job by themselves, the attachments can help the aligners be more effective. They work by providing an anchor point for the aligner. The result is a more precisely directed pressure that guides the tooth to the position it should be in.

    Getting the Attachments
    If you need attachments, the Invisalign lab will send your dentist a template. The template looks much like a regular plastic aligner, except that it depicts the specific teeth and locations on the teeth where you need attachments placed. After preparing your teeth for the dental bonding process, your dentist will apply composite resin material to the bulges in the template. This material will be shaded to mimic the precise degree of whiteness of your teeth. Then, your dentist will place the template over your teeth, and use a special light to cure the bonding material. As soon as it cures, your dentist will remove the template, and trim away any excess bonding material.

    Thinking about getting Invisalign and live near Chicago? Get in touch with the friendly team at University Associates in Dentistry. Call (312) 704-5511 to schedule your comprehensive dental consultation.

  • Planning on Diving? Here’s Why You Should See a Dentist First

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    Scuba diving is a thrilling adventure that gives you a ffront-rowseat to the aquatic wonders of lakes and oceans. But did you know that nearly half of all scuba divers experience dental problems while underwater? If you’re thinking about taking a diving class, start with a visit to your dentist. Dental problems in the water stem from the drastic changes in atmospheric pressure. They are also caused by the need to constantly clench the air regulator in the jaw. These problems can be exacerbated by the supply of very dry air, and the awkward positioning of the jaws.

    Scuba divers frequently report symptoms like jaw pain, gum pain and soreness, and even broken dental fillings and loosened crowns. It’s becoming increasingly apparent to those looking into this issue that divers who already have oral problems are more likely to experience severe symptoms underwater. Visiting a dentist first to take care of any problems might reduce the risk.

    Recreational and professional athletes alike turn to University Associates in Dentistry for high-quality, personalized care, including sports dentistry . Call (312) 704-5511 if you would like to schedule a dental consultation in our Chicago office.

  • Here’s Why You Should Buy Tea Bags Before Having Dental Implant Surgery

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    Dental implant placement is often a multistep process, but some patients can receive their new teeth in just one appointment. Just like any other oral surgery, you can expect to spend a little time preparing for the procedure and getting ready for your recovery afterward. Your oral surgeon will give you detailed pre-operative and post-operative instructions to follow, which may include the use of a tea bag or two.

    Bleeding After Dental Implant Surgery
    It’s perfectly normal to experience slight bleeding after oral surgery. Up to 48 hours afterward, your saliva might look slightly pinkish. Before you leave the dental office, you’ll be asked to bite down gently on a sterile gauze pad, which your dentist will place at the surgical site. Do this for about an hour, or for as long as your dentist recommends. Know that spitting and rinsing can make bleeding worse. Never use a straw after oral surgery, as the suction can dislodge the blood clot and cause bleeding.

    Using Tea Bags to Stop the Bleeding
    If the surgical site is still bleeding after you’ve been biting down on the gauze for about an hour, your dentist may recommend that you use a tea bag. There’s no need to actually make a cup of tea. Just moisten the tea bag with a little cool water. Place it over the surgical site and bite down gently until the bleeding stops. Black tea seems to work best to stop the bleeding, as this type contains the most tannins. Tannins are bitter biomolecules that encourage the coagulation of the blood, which will halt bleeding. Tannins also help constrict the blood vessels, which limit blood flow to the area. Additionally, they offer some slight antibacterial benefits, although tea is not a substitute for taking prescribed antibiotics.

    Here at University Associates in Dentistry , we pride ourselves on providing exceptional patient education and support. Our dental implant experts in Chicago have made it their life’s work to help our patients enjoy the beauty and functioning of a brand new smile. Get in touch today at (312) 704-5511, and find out how you can become our next success story!

  • Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Digital X-Rays

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    Dentists need to examine X-rays periodically, both for screening and for diagnostic purposes. This is because X-rays allow dentists to find hidden problems that a visual exam can miss, such as cavities, an abscess, etc. They also allow for the analysis of malocclusion. And if you’re having a procedure, X-rays support the treatment planning process. Look for a general dentistry office that features digital X-ray equipment.

    What makes digital X-rays different?
    Conventional X-rays must be developed from film, and the quality is poor compared to digital X-rays. When your dentist takes a digital X-ray, the image is immediately sent to the computer software. Since the image is digital, your dentist can manipulate it to enhance clarity. This allows for more accurate diagnoses and more precise treatment planning. With digital X-rays, the dentist is able to explain what they are seeing in a more accurate and understandable way. It also decreases the amount of time you’ll spend in the chair, since there’s no development time required.

    Do digital X-rays use more radiation?
    No. Actually, digital X-rays use a great deal less radiation than conventional X-rays. You’ll get about 70% to 80% less radiation with this advanced technology. It’s also possible that digital X-rays can decrease the total number of X-rays you’ll need. Since the images are stored digitally, you can have X-rays taken elsewhere sent immediately to another office.

    Besides cavities, what can digital X-rays detect?
    Cavities are just one of many dental issues that can be diagnosed with the help of digital dental X-rays. Your dentist can analyze the images for signs of cysts, tumors, and periodontal disease. They can reveal bone loss, tooth positioning problems, and wisdom teeth eruption. X-rays can also be used to evaluate potential defects in dental restorations.

    How often do I need X-rays?
    This depends on your own personal dental health history. Some patients need them every six months. Others may only need them once every year or two years. It’s also customary for dentists to take X-rays of new patients, so that changes over time can be evaluated.

    University Associates in Dentistry invests in the latest dental technologies, including digital X-rays, to promote the health and safety of our patients. Our protective X-ray aprons extend over the thyroid gland for maximum safety. When you’re ready for general or cosmetic dentistry in Chicago, call our friendly office staff at (312) 704-5511.

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