• Dental Care for Athletes 101

    Dental trauma can happen to anyone. Tooth and soft tissue injuries can develop from tripping and falling on the stairs, for instance, but athletes are undoubtedly at a higher risk of dental trauma than most people. Amateur and professional athletes alike can benefit from seeing a sports dentistry specialist. A dentist who has experience working with athletes can provide appropriate recommendations for mouth protection and care.

     

    Always wear your sports mouth guard.

    If you don’t yet have a sports mouth guard, you need to visit a dentist right away. Over-the-counter (OTC) mouth guards are available. These are typically the “bite and boil” kind. Unfortunately, since they aren’t custom-fitted, OTC mouth guards can be uncomfortable, poorly fitted, and inadequate. As a result, athletes might be tempted to skip wearing them, leaving themselves even more vulnerable to dental trauma. Protect your smile by visiting a dentist to have a custom-fitted mouth guard made, and always wear it for practices and games. You’ll thank yourself for it the next time you get tackled, take a tumble, or get hit by a hockey puck.

     

    Keep your sports mouth guard clean.

    Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste to gently brush your mouth guard after every time you wear it. Some people like to rinse the mouth guard with antiseptic mouthwash to kill germs. Afterward, rinse it in cool water, and pat it dry with a clean towel before storing it in its container. Clean the container regularly too.

     

    Know what to do for an avulsed tooth.

    An avulsed tooth is one that has been completely expelled from the mouth. If you act right away, your dentist can save the tooth. Just follow these rules:

     

    • Only handle a knocked-out tooth by the crown, not the root.
    • You can rinse the tooth in water, but never scrub it, dry it, or use cleaning products.
    • Gently replace the tooth in its socket if possible.
    • If you can’t replace the tooth, place it in a clean cup with tooth preservation product (available at drugstores).
    • If you lack tooth preservation liquid, use a cup of milk.
    • Get to the dentist as soon as possible.

     

    The team at University Associates in Dentistry has more experience than most in treating sports-related dental trauma. We are the official sports dentists for the Chicago Blackhawks. Call our office at (312) 704-5511 to request our next available sports dentistry consultation.

     

  • Get a Better Night’s Sleep Without a CPAP

    The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine has long been used to manage sleep apnea in patients who suffer from moderate to severe symptoms. But lots of people have problems wearing one all night long. It can feel uncomfortable and unnatural, and the machine makes noises that can keep you and your partner awake. There’s a better solution. Talk to a dentist about your alternative options.

    A dentist can provide effective sleep apnea treatment with a custom-made oral appliance. These devices are FDA-approved to manage sleep apnea. And unlike a CPAP machine, an oral appliance is small, comfortable, custom-fitted, and easy to keep clean. You’ll be sleeping soundly in no time, and your partner will appreciate the lack of snoring!

    Sleep apnea treatment is a specialty here at the Chicago office of University Associates in Dentistry. Call (312) 704-5511 to schedule your consultation, and look forward to getting a better night’s sleep without a bulky, uncomfortable CPAP machine.

     

  • Why You Should Discuss Your Sleep Quality with Your Dentist

    If you spend your nights tossing and turning, or if you wake up feeling like you haven’t slept at all, it may not immediately cross your mind to call your dentist—but you should. Dentists are on the forefront of treating an extremely common and dangerous sleep disease called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea could be to blame for your fatigue and restless nights, and your dentist has the tools you need to overcome your condition and get some much-needed rest. Here is what you need to know.

    What is sleep apnea?

    Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in your neck obstructs your airway while you are sleeping. As a result, you can’t get any oxygen. You will wake up, gasp for air, and then fall back to sleep in quick succession in episodes called apneas. Apneas can occur hundreds of time per night, and although you may not be aware that they are happening, they can significantly disrupt your ability to get restful sleep. In addition to disturbing your sleep, sleep apnea increases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even injuries from car accidents that are linked to fatigued driving.

    How do you know if you have sleep apnea?

    Often, people don’t know that they have sleep apnea until a partner complains about their snoring or tells them that they seem to be gasping for air when asleep. In other instances, you may visit your doctor to complain about unexplained fatigue, and he or she may order a sleep study that identifies your sleep apnea.

    How can a dentist help?

    CPAP machines are a common treatment for sleep apnea. They involve a mask that you wear while sleeping that uses forced air to keep your airway open. Although they can be effective, many people cannot tolerate them. Your dentist can offer an alternative with oral appliance therapy. This treatment involves wearing a device similar to a night guard that is custom-made for your mouth. It shifts your jaw forward gently, so your airway stays open. It is an effective alternative to CPAPs and a useful conjunctive treatment if you have severe sleep apnea.

    Take the first step to a better night of sleep with the help of your dentist at University Associates in Dentistry. To schedule a consultation for sleep apnea treatment in Chicago, call (312) 704-5511.

  • Can You Floss Your Dental Implants?

    One of the advantages of dental implants is that you can care for them as you would your natural teeth. Unlike dentures, which have to be removed for cleaning, you can brush your dental implants just like your other teeth. One common question people have about implants has to do with flossing. Is flossing necessary—and safe—for a dental implant?

     

    Flossing is an important part of your oral hygiene routine, and you shouldn’t skip your implant when you are flossing the rest of your teeth. There may be additional space between your implants and gums compared with your natural teeth, so be sure to get into that area with your floss. You can use regular floss or your dentist may recommend a special kind of floss that is easier to use with dental implants. This kind of floss is attached to a firm handle so that it is easy to get under the implants.

     

    Your Chicago dentist at University Associates in Dentistry will help you learn how to keep your dental implants in top condition, so that they look and feel healthy. To find out more, call our practice today at (312) 704-5511.

  • Are You Missing Several Teeth? Here’s a Look at Your Treatment Options

     

    If you have several missing teeth, you may think that dentures and bridges are your only treatment option, but in reality, dental implants could be the right solution for you. Your dentist can help you weigh the pros and cons of different treatments and pick the best one for your needs. Here is a look at some of the options for restoring your smile when you are missing multiple teeth.

     

    Removable Dentures

    For many years, removable dentures were the only option for people with several missing teeth. Dentures consist of a row of artificial teeth site on a base designed to mimic gum tissue. They sit on top of your gums to create the impression of natural teeth. Dentures are a cost-effective choice, but they also have several disadvantages. They have to be removed for cleaning, they can slip when you are eating and talking, and your jaw and gums will shrink, causing a poor fit and giving your face a sunken appearance.

     

    Dental Bridges

    If your missing teeth are in a row, a dental bridge is an option for treatment. Bridges are usually supported by the natural teeth on either side of the appliance, which can use those teeth to become weaker. Ultimately, you can lose those teeth as well. Although bridges are more stable than full, removable dentures, their disadvantages have seen them fall out of favor with dentists.

     

    Dental-Implant Supported Bridge

    The gold standard in replacing multiple missing teeth is a dental implant-supported bridge. This bridge consists of a row of artificial teeth than that are supported on each end with a dental implant. The screw portion of the implant fuses with the bone in your jaw so that the bridge looks and functions like your natural teeth. There are no special diet or cleaning techniques required, and your natural teeth won’t be compromised since the implant fully supports the bridge.

     

    Don’t let missing teeth make you uncomfortable about showing your smile. Dental implants from University Associates in Dentistry will restore your confidence without the downside of other restorations. To make an appointment with a dentist in Chicago, call (312) 704-5511.

  • How Long Will Your Dental Crown Last?


    When you get a dental crown or any dental restoration, like a dental implant, one of your first questions may be how long you can expect your restoration to last. Some restorations can last indefinitely, depending on the aftercare procedures that you follow.

     

    Watch this video to learn about the lifespan of dental restorations, including crowns, veneers, and implants, and the things you can do to extend their lives. Practicing good oral hygiene and seeing your dentist regularly are essential for preserving your treatment.

     

    If you have missing teeth or tooth damage, make an appointment at University Associates in Dentistry to find out what treatments are available to you. To schedule a dental consultation in Chicago, call (312) 704-5511.

  • How to Fight Your Gag Reflex at the Dentist

    For some people, going to the dentist means one thing: fighting with their gag reflex. Although some people don’t give the idea of gagging at the dentist a second thought, for others, a sensitive gag reflex can make it difficult to get dental care and may cause anxiety during dental appointments. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a victim to your gag reflex. There are things you can do to make getting dental care more comfortable and to avoid gagging during treatment. Start by talking to your dentist. These tips will also help.

     

    Bring a Distraction

    Your gag reflex is part physiological response and part psychological trigger. If you’ve experienced problems with gagging in the past, your anxiety about it happening again makes you more likely to gag. Using a distraction can prevent you from concentrating on gagging so you’re less likely to experience it. Holding a stress ball to squeeze during your appointment can help, as can bringing headphones and listening to music. Before your appointment, you can even practice self-hypnosis techniques so you can calm yourself down and avoid gagging.

     

    Don’t Swallow Saliva

    It’s normal to worry about saliva building up in your mouth or spilling out when you’re getting dental care. Many patients try to swallow their saliva during dental appointments to avoid embarrassment, but doing so is likely to make you gag. Your dentist can use a suction wand to clear out saliva from your mouth periodically when it gets in the way, so you don’t have to worry about it when you’re getting care.

     

    Resist Mouth Breathing

    When your mouth is open, it’s natural to default to breathing through it, but doing so will only make you more likely to gag. Breathe through your nose instead to reduce your gag reflex. Concentrating on breathing through your nose may also help to distract you from gagging.

     

    The team at University Associates in Dentistry is committed to making every patient comfortable during treatment, whether he or she comes in for a general dentistry check-up or extensive cosmetic dentistry care in Chicago. Schedule your dental consultation today by calling (312) 704-5511.

  • Busting Myths about Digital X-Rays

    Most people are used to getting x-rays when they see the dentist, but digital x-rays are not your grandparents’ imaging. When using digital x-rays, your dentist can get a clearer picture of what is happening in your mouth instantly, without waiting for photos to develop. They will also know right away if an image is not clear, so that it can be taken again immediately. With traditional x-rays, dentists don’t know if their pictures are adequate until after they have been developed. Still, myths about digital x-rays make some patients wary. Here is the truth behind some of these common misconceptions.

    Myth: Digital x-rays are more uncomfortable than traditional x-rays.

    The process of getting digital x-rays performed is virtually identical to the process you’re used to with traditional x-rays, except that you will be able to see the images pop up on a screen immediately. The sensor used in the mouth for digital x-rays is thinner and smaller than the one used for traditional x-rays, and it has rounded edges. If you notice any difference, it may actually be that you find digital x-rays to be more comfortable.

    Myth: Digital x-rays produce lower quality images than film x-rays.

    Dentists have adopted digital x-rays because they produce better images, not worse ones. Through digital imaging, dentists can zoom in on problem areas and enhance different parts of an image for a better view of different parts of your mouth. This means digital x-rays are significantly more useful for your dentist than film.

    Myth: Digital x-rays are more expensive for me.

    For dentists, digital x-rays save money, since they don’t need to lose treatment time to the developing process, nor do they have to spend money on a dark room and chemicals for developing film. This savings is something that patients get to enjoy as well. Although every insurance plan is different, there is no reason to think that digital x-rays are priced at a premium.

    At University Associates in Dentistry, we are committed to harnessing the very latest technologies to improve care with everything from general dentistry to dental implants. To learn more about our dentists in Chicago, call (312) 704-5511.

  • Restore Your Smile with All-on-4 Implants

    If you have missing teeth, dental implants are a popular way to restore your smile and reclaim your confidence. Although dental implants used to involve multiple appointments and many months of care before they were fully functional, now you can get a new smile in a single day with All-on-4 implants. This revolutionary solution for people with multiple missing teeth delivers fast, natural results that you’ll love to show off.

    All-on-4 implants work using only four implant posts to secure an entire row of teeth. Your dentist can strategically place the posts where you are missing teeth and then attach a set of prosthetic crowns to the posts. Over time, the posts will fuse with the bone in your jaw, so your implants feel, look, and act like natural teeth, without the need for the kind of special care that dentures require.

    University Associates in Dentistry provides All-on-4 dental implants in Chicagoland alongside our other general, cosmetic, and restorative treatments. To schedule an appointment for a dental consultation, call (312) 704-5511.

  • CEREC: Behind the Scenes

    If you need dental restorations, such as veneers, crowns, inlays, onlays and many other fillings, the CEREC system means you can get your treatment in a single appointment. This technology has changed the way dental restorations are used, allowing for faster care and better patient outcomes.

    Watch this video to see how the CEREC system works. Your dentist can customize veneers and other restorations to match your smile perfectly using the CAD/CAM system, and he or she can them mill them right in the office, so you can get your restoration without multiple appointments.

    CEREC is just one of the technologies we use at University Associates in Dentistry to provide the most advanced, cutting-edge care for our patients. To make an appointment with a dentist in Chicago, please call (312) 704-5511.