My Blog


What a difference forty years can make: Dental bridges once occupied the top spot for choices to replace missing teeth until the arrival of dental implants in the 1980s. Today, dental implants are the gold standard for dental restoration.

But although bridgework may have lost “first chair” in the orchestra of restorations, it's still a viable option. In fact, it can be the best option in certain situations.

Bridges consist of a series of porcelain crowns fused together like fence pickets. The center crowns, known as the pontics, “bridge” the gap left by a missing tooth or teeth. The crowns on each end, the abutment teeth, crown the natural teeth on either side of the gap to support the bridge.

Bridges are effective and durable, but with a major downside: To accommodate the abutment crowns, we must reduce the size of the natural teeth to which they'll be attached. This alteration can weaken those teeth's structure and require them from then on to have some form of restoration. They're also at higher risk for tooth decay.

Implants, on the other hand, don't require this alteration, and may also be more durable than bridges. Why then consider a bridge?

Price can be a factor: Implants may be more expensive, especially involving multiple teeth. Keep in mind, though, that this only compares the initial cost: Because implants have a 95% or more ten-year success rate, with further evidence they could potentially last for decades, they may actually cost less in the long-run than bridge restorations that have a higher chance of being replaced sooner.

But the prime reason is that some dental situations aren't suitable for dental implants. For instance, implants require a certain amount of bone for proper placement, so people with extensive bone loss may not be able to acquire them. Health conditions like uncontrolled diabetes or a compromised immune system can also complicate implant installation. A bridge in these cases may represent a better alternative.

With the help of your dentist, you'll need to consider your individual situation, dental and financial, in deciding between an implant or a bridge. And, if a dental bridge is your best option, it will be a solid choice for restoring your missing teeth and your smile.

If you would like more information on various dental restoration methods, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”

December 31, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: loose tooth  

Losing their first tooth is among the most significant rites of passage for kids. This is completely normal, but if you have concerns, don’t hesitate to consult with your children’s dentistry professional in Decatur, IL, Dr. Natalie Corley, or Dr. Chad Corley here at Corley Family Dental.

Amid all the thrill and buzz around growing up, as a parent, here’s what you should keep in mind when it comes to your child losing teeth.

When Does The First Baby Tooth Fall Out?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids begin losing their first baby teeth at about six or seven years old. However, because all children are different, your little one might be older or younger when this happens. Just continue bringing your child to the dentist to detect any infection signs or other issues that could hinder milk teeth from falling out on schedule.

Baby teeth don’t typically loosen until the adult or permanent teeth under them has begun to push the baby teeth out of their socket. Take note though, that when baby teeth start to loosen, it could take up to several weeks to completely fall out. Just leave the tooth alone unless you see any indications of infection such as swelling or redness around the tooth’s gums.

If your child’s baby tooth becomes loose due to an injury, it’s best to visit your children’s dentistry professional in Decatur, IL, to check the baby tooth’s stability and the condition of the adult tooth underneath, if applicable.

Should You Pull Out Your Child’s Loose Tooth?

The best thing you can do with a loose baby tooth is to not do anything about it and just let it fall out naturally on its own. Just make sure to tell your child what to expect, especially when it falls out. Tell him or her that there might be some bleeding and tingling, but that these will pass quickly.

Have your child rinse her or his mouth with water after the loose tooth falls out, and place some gauze in the gap to stop the bleeding. Give your child an OTC pain medication if there’s pain. In the unlikely case that the bleeding and pain persists for more than an hour, call your dentist for advice.

Reach Out to Us To Learn More About Children’s Loose Teeth and Our Children’s Dentistry Services

Contact your Decatur, IL, dentist Dr. Natalie Corley or Dr. Chad Corley here at Corley Family Dental by calling (217) 330-6217.


Cowboys wear Stetsons; ballerinas wear tutus; and teenagers wear…braces.

At least that's the popular conception. In actuality, one in five orthodontic patients is an adult, a number that continues to grow. Even adults over fifty are straightening their teeth and improving their smiles.

But it's still a big step and many adults are wary to take it because they think it's too late. Not necessarily: If you're an older adult toying with the idea of straightening your teeth, toy no more. Here's the lowdown on late in life orthodontics.

It's not just about the smile. While wanting a more attractive smile may have started you thinking about orthodontics, it's not the primary reason for considering it. Straightening your teeth can improve your health. Because misaligned teeth are more difficult to keep clean of disease-causing plaque, realigning them properly can improve your hygiene and lower your risk of dental disease. You'll also gain new chewing efficiency and comfort, which can improve your overall health and nutrition.

Health, not age, is the determining factor. Even if you're well advanced in years you can have your teeth straightened—as long as you're healthy. If your teeth, gums and supporting bone aren't in the best of shape, the stresses associated with tooth movement might be further damaging. Some systemic conditions may also interfere, so a full assessment of your overall health will be needed before treatment.

Only you and your dentist need to know. A lot of adults are embarrassed by the prospect of wearing braces. But you might be a candidate for an alternative to braces called clear aligners. These clear plastic trays are worn in a series to gradually move the teeth to their desired positions. You can remove the trays for eating or hygiene, as well as for rare special occasions. But best of all, they're nearly invisible to others.

If you're serious about straightening your teeth, take the next step by undergoing a complete dental exam. If the results of the exam show you're a good candidate for orthodontics, we can discuss your options for transforming your crooked teeth into a more attractive smile, regardless of your age.

If you would like more information on adult orthodontics, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Orthodontics for the Older Adult.”


Most of us have no clue how the ancient holiday tradition of kissing under the mistletoe originated—but it sure doesn't stop us from keeping the tradition alive! Yet although eager to join a certain someone under the hanging twig, you still might hesitate to apply the old smackeroo out of fear your breath isn't as fresh as it should be.

Bad breath has tormented us humans long before we started osculating (kissing) under trimmings of viscum album (the scientific name for mistletoe). Our resulting discomfort has inspired a myriad of remedies, from ancient Egyptian toothpastes containing natron (also used in embalming mummies) to 19th Century American breath mints made of ingredients like cardamom, essence of rose and licorice root.

Today, we're much better at relieving common bad breath because we've uncovered its primary source: bits of food and mucus accompanied by oral bacteria on undisturbed areas the mouth, particularly the tongue. As the debris interacts with the bacteria, it releases chemical compounds called VSCs (volatile sulfur compounds) that emit a classic rotten egg smell.

The key then is to remove the source of these VSCs. You might think that means doing a better job of brushing and flossing, and you're right. But it can involve more.

Keeping your tongue clean. Since the tongue is a prime collecting point for debris and bacteria, it makes sense to keep it clean. That might simply mean brushing its surface when you brush your teeth. You might, however, benefit from using a tongue scraper if you have more stubborn accumulations.

Maintaining your dentures. These and other dental appliances can accumulate food debris that if not removed can cause a “stink.” You should clean dentures daily using a denture cleaner or mild antibacterial soap and then rinse them off thoroughly. It also helps to take them out at bedtime.

Seeking dental care. Another source of bad breath could be tooth decay or gum disease, or even older dental work in need of repair. Treating these and other conditions (like an oral yeast infection) not only improves your dental health, it could do wonders for your breath.

There are also other sources of foul breath unrelated to the mouth—and some can be serious diseases like diabetes, cancer or lung infections. If your chronic bad breath doesn't respond to your hygiene efforts, it's a good idea to get checked medically.

Now as to holiday traditions, we can't help you maneuver your prospective sweetheart under the mistletoe with you—you're on your own, pal (or gal). But by following these tips for sound oral care, we're sure you'll have the “fresh breath” confidence to follow through from there.

If you would like more information about eliminating chronic bad breath, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bad Breath.”

December 11, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: General Dentist  

You’re probably well aware by now that maintaining good oral health is immensely crucial to avoiding various oral health issues. But did you know that keeping your oral health in tiptop shape also ensures your general health? This is because poor oral health is directly correlated to an increased risk of various health problems such as stroke and heart disease.

That being said, with help from your dentist here at Corley Family Dental in Decatur, IL, Dr. Natalie Corley, or Dr. Chad Corley, you could ensure excellent oral health with general dentistry treatments. What are these treatments, exactly?

Preventive Dentistry Treatments

General dentists aid in preventing oral infections and oral cancers as well as other oral health complications. Professional cleanings performed by your dentist can likewise aid in preventing plaque, stain, and discoloration from accumulating in your teeth. Your dentist is more capable of cleaning your teeth and gums more effectively than any toothbrush can.

Professional Oral Health Checkups

During these crucial checkups, your dentist will thoroughly inspect your teeth, mouth, and gums for any potential issues. Depending on the results of your assessment, your dentist in Decatur, IL, may recommend some general dentistry treatments to prevent existing issues from progressing further and becoming harder to treat.

Likewise, keep in mind that your dentist has all the necessary tools to aid them in detecting oral health issues, like gum disease and cavities for instance, during their earliest phases when they’re still easier and more affordable to treat.

Restorative Dentistry Procedures

If your dental problems can’t be treated with regular cleanings and dental hygiene modifications, your dentist can still help save your tooth and safeguard it from further complications. For example, a cavity can be treated with a dental filling or a crown.

For severely damaged teeth, your dentist may be able to perform root canal therapy. Additionally, for teeth that can’t be saved, your dentist may recommend dental implants, bridges, and crowns, or dentures to replace your missing teeth.

Improved Oral Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, poor oral health is directly linked to poor overall health since the body is already more vulnerable to various complications since your immune system has already been compromised. So ensuring that your oral health is always in top condition will help lower your risk of developing all sorts of health problems.

Reach Out to Us to Learn More About How General Dentistry Can Benefit You

Book a meeting here at Corley Family Dental in Decatur, IL, Dr. Natalie Corley or Dr. Chad Corley, by calling (217) 330-6217.

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

Office Hours
Monday: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tuesday: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday: 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday: 7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday: 7:00 AM - Noon
  2 Times a Month

Contact Us