• How World War I Affected Dentistry

    Historically, armed conflict has thrown a spotlight on the aggressive spread of deadly infectious diseases, which are easily transmitted when large numbers of people are displaced. But war has also had a lesser known, and more positive effect on dentistry. In 1914, Britain had no official dental branch of the armed services, and so dentists who were keen to serve their fellow countrymen enlisted as combatants.

    The U.S. experienced similar problems. When it entered the war, the U.S. Army had just 86 officers on its dental staff to treat about 200,000 troops. As the number of enlisted men swelled, so too did the dental staff. Naturally, dentists who served their country in the war treated soldiers for routine dental problems, like toothaches and fractured teeth, as well as more severe trauma caused by the conflict itself. For many of the enlisted men, the dental care they received in the Army was the first they’d ever had.

    At University Associates in Dentistry, we pride ourselves on offering the latest dental technologies and treatments to our valued patients. Call (312) 704-5511 to request an appointment for preventive care, cosmetic dentistry, or dental implants in Chicago.

  • Here’s Why You Need to Treat Your Sleep Apnea


    Physicians and dentists alike agree that it’s critical to get sleep apnea under control. Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of serious medical complications, some of which may be life-threatening. You can hear more about them when you watch this informative video, presented by a professor of neuroscience.

    This professor explains that sleep deprivation inhibits your brain’s ability to form new memories, and it increases the levels of a toxic protein called beta amyloid. Beta amyloid in the brain is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, failure to seek sleep apnea treatment may increase the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

    University Associates in Dentistry is your source for effective, non-CPAP sleep apnea treatment in Chicago. Call us today at (312) 704-5511, and ask us how our dentists can treat your sleep apnea.

  • Strange Dental Implants Throughout History

    Modern dental implants are comprised of titanium. The discovery that titanium is able to fuse with natural bone was made by accident in 1952. Since that time, dentists have continued to refine the materials and technique used to restore patients’ smiles. Although modern dental implants are an impressive innovation, implants have ancient roots. Throughout history, humans have used some strange materials to replace missing teeth.

    Bamboo

    In recent years, bamboo has been prized by homeowners as a sustainable, eco-friendly flooring material. That’s because bamboo can be harvested after just a few years of growth. The rapid growth rate of bamboo is perhaps one reason why the ancient Chinese decided it would make a good replacement for teeth. About 4,000 years ago, Chinese dentists carved the hard, durable bamboo into a tooth-shaped implant and then tapped it into the unfortunate patient’s jawbone.

    Ox Bones

    Ancient Egyptians relied on oxen. When they slaughtered an ox, they used every part of the animal possible. The hides were used to make furniture and the bones were used to make dental implants for missing teeth. The Egyptians held the oxen bone implants in place with gold wire. It’s unknown if the implants were placed before death or after it. It’s conceivable that the implants were placed after death, since great care was taken to prepare the bodies of the deceased for the afterlife.

    Shells

    In the 1930s, archaeologists were excavating an ancient Mayan site in Honduras when they discovered part of a human mandible. The jawbone was dated to about 600 CE, and is believed to be from a woman who died in her twenties. The jawbone had three dental implants made from tooth-shaped pieces of shells. Decades later, a researcher took radiographs of the mandible. He discovered that, based on the bone formation around the shells, these implants had been placed while the woman was still alive.

    University Associates in Dentistry is known as leading experts in dental implants in the Chicago area. Our dentists specialize in same-day dental implants, which lets you walk away with a complete, beautiful smile in just one appointment. If you have missing teeth, call us today at (312) 704-5511.

  • How Oral Health and Weight Loss Intersect

    You already know that it’s important to see a dentist every six months to reduce your risk of cavities and other oral health problems. But did you know that your teeth and gums can also affect your waistline, and vice versa? There are a few ways in which oral health and weight loss intersect.

    Individuals who are overweight have a higher risk of periodontal disease.

    If you’re looking for motivation to stick with your New Year’s resolution to lose weight, consider a recent study published in the medical journal Oral Diseases. It indicates that individuals who are overweight or obese have a nearly six-fold increased risk of suffering from periodontal disease. It’s thought that the increased presence of systemic inflammation in overweight individuals may play a role in the elevated risk of gum disease. This wasn’t the only study to evaluate this issue. Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine conducted a study that led them to conclude that overweight individuals who successfully lose weight are better able to fight off gum disease.

    Poor oral health can lead to poor nutrition.

    A person’s waistline can influence his or her oral health, but the reverse is also true. People who have poor oral health are more likely to have poor nutrition, which can negatively affect weight management. For example, if you have severe toothaches, loose teeth, or missing teeth, you might think twice before reaching for healthy foods like crunchy apples, carrots, and almonds. You might prefer softer foods that are easier to eat, like sugar-laden muffins that can add to your waistline.

    Oral health and weight management benefit from the same lifestyle choices.

    Although it can be disheartening to learn about the ways oral health and weight management can be negatively affected, there is good news. The same healthy habits that benefit your waistline will also support your oral health. For example, if you’re trying to lose weight by cutting out soda, you’ll also have a lower risk of tooth decay. Another trick is to brush your teeth immediately after a meal so you won’t be tempted to keep snacking.

    The entire team at University Associates in Dentistry is committed to helping you improve your oral health and overall wellness. New and current general dentistry patients in Chicago can give us a call at (312) 704-5511 to request a dental consultation. We always welcome your questions and concerns about your oral care routine.