Monday, October 17, 2016

What Is a TMJ Treatment and Why Do I Need One?

TMJ TreatmentWe offer a TMJ treatment in Chicago that can help eliminate or reduce your jaw pain. As a dentist, patients ask us what is the best treatment for their jaw, face, or teeth that are constantly hurting. This is actually a fairly common problem, even though most people are unaware of what is causing the pain or how to treat it. While you can certainly go the normal route of taking ibuprofen or icing your face, you do not have to live like this on a regular basis. Having to take the occasional ibuprofen is fine, but if that has become your daily routine, you need to seek help.

Visiting our office is the first place to start because we can examine you and determine whether or not you have TMJ. Some of the signs we will look for are worn down teeth and popping noises when you open and close your jaw. We will also look to see how sore your jaw and face muscles are when you speak or touch them. If we feel that you do have TMJ, we will present you with treatment options.

What is a TMJ treatment?

We recommend a non-invasive treatment solution that works by addressing the source of your TMJ symptoms. Very often, grinding or clenching your teeth at night will cause soreness in the jaw or face. Most people who do so never realize that they are. Since it happens in your sleep without causing much noise, your partner may not notice you grinding your teeth either. The only thing you will notice is how you feel when you wake up the next day. If we feel that this is happening after examining and speaking with you, we will recommend that you wear a night guard to prevent your teeth from touching. Our treatment solution is that simple.

How a TMJ treatment works:

When you visit our Chicago dental office, we will make an impression of your mouth and take measurements. That information will be sent to the dental lab so they can create a night guard to your exact specifications. Over the course of a couple of weeks, your new oral appliance will be created. It will be designed to fit you perfectly and securely. This is important because it needs to remain in place as you sleep without becoming loose since that could cause you discomfort or alarm in your sleep. All you need to do is wear it every night when you go to bed. We have found that most of our patients wake up feeling much better and that the soreness they felt is all but eliminated. By wearing it for a couple of weeks, your soreness should go away entirely. The only exception to this is if there is an additional factor causing your TMJ symptoms.

For more information about TMJ treatment, call our Chicago office and schedule a consultation.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Dental Implants are Incredibly Successful at Replacing Lost Teeth

Dental ImplantsWhen getting dental implants, most Chicago patients will be pleased to know that there is typically over a 95 percent success ratio following the placement of the dental implants. This number increases to 98 percent with people who take good care of their teeth and by proxy, their dental implants. However, as with most things, there is always a slim chance for failure, and we do get questions about how this can happen. A failed implant is one that is loose, becomes mobile, falls out, or starts to show bone loss of more than one millimeter after the first year. In these cases, we want to make sure to identify and rectify the problem.
In most cases, dental implants are:
  • Incredibly durable
  • Long-lasting
  • Natural looking
  • Comfortable
Dental implants typically do not fail. There have been a few cases when the bone does not fuse fully with the dental implants, which can cause it to become loose or fall out. At other times, we have seen where the jawbone continues to disintegrate even after placing the implant, which leads to a failure of the dental implants. Careful monitoring of the dental implants is required. If we suspect that there may be cause for concern, we will measure the amount of bone loss over a period of one to two years.
If we start to see mobility in the implant or a bone loss of one millimeter after one year or 0.2 millimeters after the second year, we may start to discuss implant failure and what measures to take. It is important to note that if we find a low density of jawbone, to begin with, we will do a bone graft before ever considering placing dental implants, to ensure the bone can withstand the new implants.
With any oral surgery, and this is true for dental implants as well, there is always a risk of infection. When it comes to dental implants, we call this peri-implantitis, which is caused when there are bacteria present during the placing of the dental implants. The infection can lead to inflammation of the gum and bone and is a relatively common complication. In a few cases, we can treat this condition with antibiotics. However, we also find that in most cases, we will have to remove implant to cure the peri-implantitis.
The following can increase your risk of developing a complication:
  • Smoking
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Being diabetic 
Another potential complication is when dental implants are placed into the upper row of the teeth. As a seasoned professional in placing dental implants, we know to be extra careful that the dental implants do not protrude into the sinus cavity. When this happens, the area can become infected and inflamed. Typically, if we discover that there is a potential for this condition to happen, we will perform a sinus augmentation to create more bone in the area, which will provide better support of the dental implants. Our Chicago dental office always likes to know if you have had sinus issues before the dental implants are placed.