• 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.

  • Meet George Washington’s Dentures

    Like lots of other colonists, George Washington had dental problems. Although he did try to keep his teeth healthy with tooth powders, pastes, and brushes, he began to lose teeth early in his adult life, and by the time he was sworn in for his first term as President, he had just one natural tooth remaining. Modern dental implants weren’t available then, and so Washington tried a number of different denture configurations.

    You can get to know George Washington’s dentures when you watch the accompanying video. Over the years, he had false teeth made from ivory, copper, silver, and brass. He even used a lead and tin alloy, which undoubtedly wasn’t good for his overall health.

    In addition to providing dental implants, University Associates in Dentistry is pleased to offer high-quality, well-fitting dentures for patients in Chicago. You can request your dental consultation by calling a friendly staff member at (312) 704-5511.

  • UAD’s Exciting Alternative to Dental Drills

    dentist chicago ​Along with our compassionate, personalized care, University Associates in Dentistry is known for offering our patients the very latest in dental technology. Our dentists celebrate new technological advancements because they bring greater comfort and health to our valued patients. As an example, our patients no longer have to dread the sounds and sensations of the dental drill. Our exciting alternative is laser dentistry!

    Unlike dental drills, dental lasers don’t produce heat, pressure, or vibrations. This results in a far more comfortable experience for our patients, particularly those with dental phobias. Our dentists can use these gentle lasers to treat tooth decay, reshape gum tissue, remove lesions, and perform biopsies. This technology typically allows patients to use less anesthetic, and it can reduce the risk of swelling, bleeding, and post-operative pain.

    University Associates in Dentistry welcomes dental consultation requests from new and current patients. Call (312) 704-5511 or check out our website for more information on laser dentistry or our other high-quality dentistry services in Chicago.

  • Everything You Should Know About Dental Bonding and How It’s Done

    Self-confidence starts with a great smile. Many cosmetic dentistry options are available to give you the beautiful smile you deserve. Dental bonding is one of the treatments your dentist might suggest. The bonding material blends in seamlessly with your natural teeth—no one will know the difference!

    What Dental Bonding Is

    Dentists can shape and shade a composite resin material to apply to a tooth. This process is known as dental bonding. The composite resin is a special mixture of glass and plastic that’s safe for use in human dentistry.

    What Dental Bonding Can Fix

    Dental bonding is actually useful for both general and cosmetic dentistry purposes. Patients with tooth decay, for instance, can get the decayed material removed. The dentist will then apply composite resin to create an aesthetically pleasing filling. The composite resin is a great alternative to traditional amalgam fillings, which are far more visible. Dental bonding is also useful for repairing teeth that have minor chips and cracks. (Teeth with severe damage will likely need a crown instead.) Composite resin bonding can also address cosmetic concerns like these:

    • Asymmetrical shape of the teeth
    • Gaps between teeth
    • Teeth that look too short

    How Dental Bonding Is Performed

    If your dentist determines that dental bonding is right for you, you’ll probably be able to have it done in the same appointment. Little preparation is needed. If the dentist is using the composite resin as a filling for a cavity, he or she will first apply a local anesthetic to eliminate discomfort. Anesthetic is rarely necessary when dental bonding is done for cosmetic reasons alone. The dentist will start by etching the tooth. This creates a roughened surface, which allows the composite resin to stick to it better. The dentist then applies a conditioning liquid, followed by the composite resin. He or she will carefully mold the resin until it’s in the right shape before hardening it with a laser. The material will be further trimmed and polished until the desired results are achieved.

    Dental bonding is one of the many cosmetic dentistry services we offer here at University Associates in Dentistry . From missing teeth to discolored teeth, we can treat it all in our modern, high-tech office. Call (312) 704-5511 to schedule an appointment for cosmetic dentistry services in Chicago.

  • Getting to Know Neanderthals Through Their Teeth

    Your dentist can discern a lot about your overall health by examining your teeth and gums. Similarly, scientists can learn about ancient Neanderthals by analyzing their teeth. Watch this video to find out what the real paleo diet was. It explains that in one study, scientists analyzed the DNA in the plaque in five sets of teeth that belonged to Neanderthals who lived between 42,000 and 50,000 years ago.

    The results varied widely, depending on where the Neanderthals lived. Those in modern-day Belgium primarily ate wooly rhinoceros, wild sheep, and wild mushrooms. Neanderthals in Spain appear to have been vegetarians, primarily eating pine nuts, tree bark, moss, and mushrooms.

    For modern dentistry in the Chicago area, you can turn to University Associates in Dentistry . Call us at (312) 704-5511 to request a general dentistry appointment or a consult for dental implants.

  • Invisalign Attachments 101

    invisalign chicago

    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

    dental implants chicago

    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.