Friday, March 16, 2018

Most Common TMJ Treatments

TMJTMJ – temporomandibular joint disorder – can be excruciating to live with. It can lead to pain in your jawbone and the muscles that control your jaw. The temporomandibular joint serves as a pair of sliding hinges that connect your jaw to your skull on both sides. Problems with either lead to difficulty moving your jaw, thus compromising any activity that requires the use of your jawbone or jaw muscles.

Common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

  • Tenderness/pain in the jaw
  • Pain from either temporomandibular joints or both
  • Pain in your ear
  • Aching facial muscles
  • Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
Fortunately, your dentist has many options to help you alleviate these symptoms. These treatments are broken down into three sections: medication, therapy, and surgery.

TMJ Treatments

1. Medications

We can combine medications with therapeutic or surgical treatments. These medicines help to reduce the pain that comes with TMJ disorders.
A. Anti-inflammatory and pain relievers
When OTC medication is not enough to help manage the pain that comes with TMJ, your dentist will prescribe something stronger. Non-steroid, anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen are a common aid to temporarily relieving some pain.
B. Tricyclic antidepressants
Medications that were common for combating depression can now act as pain relievers for TMJ patients. It is important to speak with a professional in order to determine which is right for you.
C. Muscle relaxants
Medications like these often take weeks to kick in, but they are effectively used to help temporomandibular joint disorder patients deal with pain.

2. Therapeutic treatments

There are treatment options available to those dealing with TMJ issues that do not require the use of drugs. These include:
A. Mouth guards and splints
People with temporomandibular joint pain often report reduced pain when wearing a soft, firm device like a mouth guard over their teeth.
B. Physical therapy
Extreme temperatures and ultrasound waves can be used to address TMJ. This external simulation is typically coupled with exercises that strengthen and stretch the jaw muscles.
C. Counseling
Patients can reduce the discomfort associated with the temporomandibular joint disorder by understanding the behaviors and factors that aggravate your condition. Habits, like grinding your teeth or leaning on your chin, will only make your condition worse. The education will help you avoid things that make your condition worse.

3. Surgical and other treatments

When your dentist has exhausted other options, surgical solutions are next on the list. Here are the most commonly recommended treatments:
A. Arthrocentesis
This is a relatively straightforward process that involves the insertion of small needles into your jaw joints to remove debris and other by-products that are causing the inflammation.
B. Injections
Your dentist might recommend corticosteroid injections to deal with your TMJ. Botox injections can also occasionally help alleviate jaw bone pain.
C. TMJ arthroscopy
This can be as effective as open-joint surgery when it comes to treating TMJ disorders. During this procedure, we place a thin tube into your jaw joints and use miniature surgical tools for surgery. This procedure is less intrusive than open-joint surgery, but it does come with some limitations.
D. Open-joint surgery
Open-joint surgery is a last resort option for when all other methods fail. While it will allow a dentist to deal with some of the issues that TMJ presents, there are also risks with surgery.

Why does this all matter?

Dealing with jaw pain? Contact a dentist to find out more about common TMJ treatments.
Request a dental appointment here: http://www.mitchelldentalspa.com or call Mitchell Dental Spa at (312) 948-8807 for an appointment in our Chicago dental office.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Visit Our Cosmetic Dentist Office for Dental Veneers or Teeth Whitening

Cosmetic DentistAs a cosmetic dentist, we have multiple ways to improve your smile. It is our goal to help you to maintain beautiful and healthy teeth for a lifetime. While this starts with preventative care like teeth cleanings, fluoride treatments and oral cancer screenings, it also includes addressing any aesthetic issues that you have with your smile. This is because we understand that the more you like the appearance of your teeth, the more likely you are to practice good oral hygiene and show off your smile. With that in mind, we offer many solutions, including dental veneers and teeth whitening that can be used to improve your appearance.

Improve Your Smile

We typically recommend starting with a teeth whitening procedure since it is the easiest way to brighten the teeth. People associate yellow and stained teeth with age and poor health. When an individual whitens his or her teeth, the individual is turning back the clock and will appear much younger. A professional whitening solution works far better than what people can buy in the store.
The solution we offer penetrates the enamel to begin the process of oxidization where the molecules inside of the teeth reflect less light and appear colorless. As the teeth reflect less light, the teeth will become brilliantly white. Not only does our solution produce a more dramatic effect but it is also safe for the teeth and the individual should not experience any sensitivity afterward. As a cosmetic dentist, we can also make teeth appear white by placing dental veneers on top of them. A veneer is a thin shell that consists of porcelain or ceramic. We will customize the veneer to match the surrounding teeth. Thus, if a patient is only placing one or two veneers, then the patient may want to whiten the surrounding teeth first.
We use veneers for a variety of reasons beyond covering stains. The reasons include closing gaps between teeth and making them appear straighter. While a veneer will not change the actual position of a tooth since it is bonded to the surface of it, we can create the appearance of straight teeth. This makes dental veneers a much faster solution than orthodontics when one has gaps or slightly crooked teeth. We can also use this solution if the teeth are misshapen or damaged, making them an incredibly versatile treatment.

Call us today

In our cosmetic dentist office, we use teeth whitening and dental veneers on a regular basis to transform smiles; but that is not all that we do. We also perform natural-looking restorations when teeth become cracked or chipped. This way, you can regain the full functionality of your smile without experiencing any unnecessary discomfort.
Since we do this in a way that blends in with your surrounding teeth, no one will be able to tell that you ever had a restoration in the first place. This is often done using dental crowns, dental veneers, or dental bonding.
To learn more about our teeth whitening procedure or any of our cosmetic treatments, call our Chicago dental office at (312) 948-8807 and schedule a consultation with Mitchell Dental Spa.

Monday, January 15, 2018

When to Visit an Emergency Dentist in Chicago

Dental EmergencyThere is only so much that an individual can do to prepare for a dental emergency. No matter what preventative measures one takes, there is always the chance of an accident damaging the teeth. In other cases, an infection can suddenly cause incredible pain in certain teeth and require emergency treatment. If someone falls and chips a tooth, it is crucial to seek professional treatment right away.

Available when you need emergency treatment

Since most people cannot plan for dental emergencies, the only time that an emergency dentist is not needed is for routine appointments and teeth cleanings. While we perform those and recommend scheduling them twice a year, we know how critical it is to be available for patients when they need help.
Thus, we always leave room in the schedule to help patients when they call and recommend you do so at the first sign of an emergency. In fact, adding our phone number to your phone contacts is a good idea since you never know where you will be when the emergency occurs.

Types of emergencies

Very often, dental emergencies are the type of things that no one can ever expect to happen. For example, we receive calls from parents who have rushed to the school after a child breaks a tooth on the playground. We help people that had a tooth knocked out while on a ski trip, taken care of patients whose crowns suddenly fell out in the middle of a birthday dinner, made time for patients who woke up with a toothache and much more.
These are just a few of the examples of how we have helped patients over the years but it all comes down to availability. We are here when patients need us so that regardless of what the emergency is or when it happens, they can get the help they need as quickly as possible.

What is a true dental emergency?

A lot of times people are afraid to call in an emergency because they are not sure if they are overreacting. The best thing to do is simply call our office, explain the situation and at that time, we can assess whether it is a true emergency and requires immediate care or if it would be okay to schedule an appointment in the next week.
In most cases, we have found that if patients are calling because they think it is an emergency, it actually is one. Some signs that there is an emergency requiring urgent help are:
  • Bleeding from the mouth that is persistent and does not stop after biting down on gauze
  • Dental pain that makes it too difficult to eat
  • Teeth being cracked or chipped
  • Teeth getting knocked out
  • Physical damage to the structure of the face or mouth
In these situations, visiting the emergency room at a local hospital in Chicago will not do a lot of good. They provide incredible care but are trained to treat the body, not the mouth, teeth or gums. As such, they can perform triage and prescribe pain medication but will ultimately refer patients to a dentist.
In our opinion, it is far better to visit an emergency dentist in the first place because that means receiving treatment faster and speeding up the recovery process. If you are suffering from a dental emergency, do not delay in calling Mitchell Dental Spa at (312) 948-8807. Let us know what is happening so that we can provide the urgent treatment you need to recover.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Dental Fillings Are Essential After Treating Cavities

Dental FillingsWe complete dental fillings every single day at Mitchell Dental Spa. They are the single most used procedure, with everyone from children to grandparents needing to get cavities repaired at some point. When you come in for dental fillings we believe that you should leave with one and an assurance that the tooth will not easily experience decay again.
To accomplish this task, we will carefully remove all the decay and then work to remove any of the enamel that the decay may damage. Finally, we will fill the hole that has been created, also known as the cavity.

When are dental fillings needed?

Many of our patients, except our young ones, know that decay is due to bacteria in the mouth which forms a thin film of plaque over the teeth. When one introduces sugary or starchy foods to the teeth, this bacteria secrets acid. The acid eats at the tooth until cavity forms. What most people do not realize is that the teeth actually fight against decay.
In fact, the teeth are able to make minor repairs to themselves using calcium and phosphate in the saliva, water, and fluoride. It is only when the tooth cannot access any of these essential minerals, after multiple assaults by the acids on the enamel, that the bacteria is able to create a cavity and a need for dental fillings.

Dental filling technology

When it comes to dental fillings, we are always interested in improvements in technology that will make them better for patients. If you remember, it was not that long ago that most fillings were made of metal which made it obvious which teeth previously had cavities. We now offer white dental fillings that allow us to inexpensively repair more prominent teeth while also giving the patient the clean white look that he or she wants.
The science behind dentistry continues to evolve. In 2012, the University of Maryland Dental School came up with a new cavity filling system that fills the cavity, but also to kill any residual bacteria that may survive the cleaning. The treatment may also help the tooth regrow some of the lost tissue in the fight against the bacteria. The use of silver nanoparticles, in addition to ammonia, makes the primer, the bonding agent, and the filling itself help to kill off any bacteria.
While this particular method remains in clinical trials, it is an example of the kind of innovation being tested in laboratories across the country with the goal of making dental work less necessary. If we are able to help the natural order of enamel in re-growing and regenerating itself, combine that with a system that kills all bacteria, and provide you with the means to avoid cavities in the future, it will be a huge accomplishment for the dental world. In our dental office in Chicago, we will continue to watch as this new technology develops and to provide you with the best possible dental care.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Benefits of Teeth Whitening


Dentist
We provide teeth whitening that can be used to improve the appearance of your smile. This is a simple procedure that can make a dramatic impact on how you look because people associate bright teeth with youth and good health. Both men and women have reported that a beautiful smile is one of the most attractive qualities anyone can have. White teeth are an important aspect of any beautiful smile, so having this treatment can also have a positive impact on your social interactions.
Teeth whitening continues to grow in popularity and there are numerous products on the market that can help. Many are sold in the drugstore and on television, making it difficult for most people to know which product to use. Before heading to the store, there are a few things about whitening teeth that people need to know. First and foremost being that store-bought products will hardly make a difference to the shade of the teeth.

Professional teeth whitening is more effective than whitening teeth with a store-bought solution. Here is why:

The solution itself
Whether whitening teeth at the dentist or at home, one must apply a whitening solution to the teeth. These solutions contain some type of peroxide. The peroxide and the overall chemical makeup of the solution change from product to product. Most of what is sold in the store will only remove the surface stains on teeth.
Our solution, however, will penetrate the enamel and start the process of oxidization. This is where the molecules inside of the teeth begin to reflect less light and appear colorless. As a result, the smile will be bright, white, and beautiful.
The process
When whitening the teeth at our dentist office, we will ensure the patient has complete and total comfort. If the patient whitens teeth at home, you can use whitening strips, which may or may not slip out of place. The other option is whitening trays. When you have trays made by a dentist, they will fit securely and the process will be comfortable.
When a patient buys the whitening solution from the store, he or she will be purchasing trays that are a general size to fit everyone. This size increases the likelihood that the trays will slip out of place and the solution will leak into the mouth. This can be entirely unpleasant and is avoidable by visiting the dentist.
Safety
When you visit us for a teeth whitening, we will examine your teeth and gums to ensure that you do not have any small cracks, chips, cavities, or infections. If you do, we will want to treat them first so you do not experience any discomfort or sensitivity when the whitening solution is placed on your teeth.
When you whiten your teeth yourself, this is not an option. Also, some people overuse the solution and erode their enamel in the process. This can lead to long-term sensitivity, which is also avoidable with help from our dentist office.
To improve the appearance of your teeth, call us at (312) 948-8807 and schedule your whitening appointment today.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Reason for Teeth Whitening and the Science Behind It

Dentist
Teeth whitening is one of those conveniences that have become an integral part of how people improve their appearance today. It was not always so convenient or so easy to get your teeth whitening done. Today, you have the choice of going to see us and having your teeth whitening done by us in the office, or buying a solution from the local pharmacy and doing it yourself. Regardless of what method you chose, it has never been easier or as inexpensive to get your teeth whitened.

An efficient solution

With the number of products that can discolor teeth, it is important to consider teeth whitening as a potential treatment option. Regular beverages such as coffee, tea, soda and wine, all stain teeth. Even with proper oral hygiene and brushing, people still experience teeth staining.
Fortunately, teeth whitening is an easy and efficient process with professional supervision. People who attempt to whiten teeth without professional supervision or services can actually cause more damage to their teeth and increase the chance for other health risks.
Did you know that teeth whitening is actually a chemical process? Most people who whiten their teeth have no idea how the process happens or that the peroxide solution used is designed to make the smallest of changes in your enamel's natural organic chemical makeup. It is important for you to be aware that when you are whitening your teeth you are not just dyeing the outside of the tooth with a whiter paint, rather you are actually causing the tooth itself, from the inside out, to look whiter with a chemical process known as oxidization.

A chemical process

The peroxide is quickly absorbed into the tooth enamel, where it works to release free radicals that make the tooth more colorless, and hence they appear to be whiter. Our solution is stronger and more effective than what you can purchase from the store so the results that you see will be far more dramatic.
The reason we point this out is that there are many over the counter whitening solutions available, and we would recommend two things if you are going to use one of them. First, we would advise that you consult with us before starting the process regardless of how you are going to be whitening your teeth. Very often, there are minor challenges with your teeth, like a small cavity, for example, that can be exasperated or irritated by the peroxide in the teeth whitening solution.
We can prevent you from feeling discomfort with a simple checkup, and by correcting these issues before they become a problem. Secondly, we recommend that you always follow professional advice as to how frequently you should whiten your teeth. Overly frequent use of teeth whitening products can lead to sensitivity, among other problems.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Visit the Dentist to Keep Teeth Healthy

Dental Appointment
By visiting the dentist you can stay in excellent oral health. Our office is modern and comfortable, however, we know that the dentist office probably not your ideal spot for relaxing, reading magazines, and catching up on all the celebrity gossip. In fact, most people would prefer to avoid ever having to visit the dentist, and sadly many people do avoid coming in until they have some kind of a dental emergency.
We will tell the patient that the only way to reduce the number of times he or she comes in with an emergency situation is to have a strategy for preventative oral care. This usually involves coming in to see us at least twice per year for a teeth cleaning that allows us to identify and treat any potential problems before they become serious. Coming in for a well-visit is far more enjoyable than having to come in with a severe toothache.

Dental Office Visits

As a dentist, we can clean an individual's teeth at least twice per year and determine if there are any dental health risks before they get worse. If we find any signs of dental health issues, we will eliminate the issue during the appointment or schedule another one to do so. When patients come in for a wellness checkup, we will also take X-rays to see if there are any issues below the gum line as well.
During these visits, we can also go over a patient's oral hygiene routine and bring up areas that the patient needs to focus on, which ultimately will improve oral health. The patient needs to make sure to follow these steps as these practices will reduce the potential for both toothaches and dental emergencies. For both are two of the main reasons why people come in to see us, outside of regularly-scheduled visits.

Dental Emergencies

Dental emergencies happen quite frequently and can range from a kid knocking out a tooth during soccer practice to severe infection. There is really no way to predict accidents that cause a dental emergency. However, regular teeth cleanings and exams will ensure that a patient's teeth are strong and more likely to withstand the damage.
As a dentist, we provide preventative care to reduce the likelihood of a future emergency or at least minimize the damage in the event of an accident. If an individual does get in an accident and damages his or her teeth, however minor, we recommend calling our office right away so that we can then advise the individual on the course of action. We may be able to even suggest ways to reduce discomfort.

Toothaches

In a sense, toothaches do fall under the broad categorization of a dental emergency, and they are among the most frequent reasons why people seek out medical attention for their teeth. As a dentist , we always recommend contacting us as soon as a toothache develops, since there could be a number of underlying causes that could be triggering the pain. By examining it right away, we can identify the problem and treat it before the infection spreads further.