Posts for category: Dental Procedures
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says nearly half of all American adults have periodontal disease to one degree other. At Corley Family Dental in Decatur, Drs. Chad and Natalie Corley and their team include gum disease management in their list of general dentistry services. You can have better gingival health and overall well-being when you know the signs of periodontitis and what to do about them.
What is periodontal disease?
Although aggressive in nature, periodontal, or gum disease, sometimes has no obvious symptoms in its earliest stages. Yet, oral bacteria do their destructive work under the gum line, infecting the tissue and eventually causing worrisome signs such as:
- A long-in-the-tooth appearance
- Deep gum pockets (deeper than three millimeters is diagnostic for periodontitis)
- Pus at the gum line
- Halitosis (persistent bad breath)
If undetected and untreated, gums recede, the underlying bone deteriorates, teeth loosen, and eventually, must be extracted. Gum disease is the number one cause of tooth loss in the United States, reports the CDC, and your general dentists in Decatur wish to change that statistic.
Additionally, research links periodontal disease to general health conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease, dementia, arthritis and more. So, what happens in your mouth does not end there. The overall health impact of periodontal disease is too serious to ignore.
What can be done about gum disease
Prevent, prevent, prevent. Drs. Chad and Natalie Corley and their professional staff stress the importance of daily flossing and twice a day brushing to remove bacteria-laden plaque and avoid tartar build-up. Six-month check-ups and hygienic cleanings reduce these biofilms, too, and the problems they cause. Drinking plenty of water for good hydration and consuming a high fiber diet fosters healthy gum tissue. Avoid all tobacco usage as well.
At Corley Family Dental, your hyginest measures and charts the condition of your gums--specifically those spaces between gum tissue and tooth surfaces. If you do have a problem, she performs deep cleaning and root planing as needed, removing tartar and plaque and smoothing the surfaces of exposed roots. Antibiotics may be used to ward off or heal infection so gums reattach and heal.
When you come to Corley Family Dental, ask your dentist about your risk for developing gum disease. Remember, it's what you don't know that can hurt you most. Call us to book your routine cleaning and examination, won't you? Phone (217) 330-6217.
Teeth whitening or bleaching is one of the most affordable and least invasive ways of improving your smile. Although the effect fades with time, whitening can make dull and dingy teeth more attractive in short order.
Teeth whitening is also unique among cosmetic dental procedures in that you can do it yourself at home. While professional bleaching solutions are stronger and capable of greater brightness and longevity, you can still achieve good results with a DIY kit.
If you decide to whiten at home, though, there are a few things to keep mind for a desirable and safe outcome. Here are 3 tips for successful DIY teeth whitening.
Follow the directions. It's not a good idea, both for a successful and safe outcome, to stray away from a kit manufacturer's recommended directions. FDA-approved home kits usually contain 10% or less of carbamide peroxide (one of the more common bleaching agents). That may not seem very strong but it's adequate within the recommended time it remains on your teeth to achieve an effective whitening effect. Exceeding those directions could permanently damage your tooth enamel.
Make sure a home kit will work on your staining. Home whitening kits only affect outer staining on tooth enamel. But dental discoloration can also arise from inside a tooth, often because of trauma, tetracycline use, or as a side effect of a root canal treatment. This kind of internal staining requires a special procedure usually performed by an endodontist to reduce it. So, see your dentist first to make sure your teeth are healthy enough for whitening and that a home kit will work for you.
Get your dentist's advice on home kits. There are a number of whitening applications on the market you can choose, so ask your dentist for recommendations. They can also give you some helpful tips on the whitening process to ensure you'll be safe and successful in your efforts.
Here's a couple of other things to remember to enhance your teeth whitening experience: whether you whiten your teeth at home or with the dentist, be sure you continue to care for your teeth with daily brushing and flossing. And, if you limit your consumption of foods and beverages known to stain teeth, you'll help extend the duration of your brighter smile.
If you would like more information on teeth whitening procedures, 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 “Tooth Whitening Safety Tips.”
As the host of America's Funniest Home Videos on ABC TV, Alfonso Ribeiro has witnessed plenty of unintentional physical comedy…or, as he puts it in an interview with Dear Doctor–Dentistry & Oral Health magazine, "When people do stuff and you're like, 'Dude, you just hurt yourself for no reason!'" So when he had his own dental dilemma, Alfonso was determined not to let it turn onto an "epic fail."
The television personality was in his thirties when a painful tooth infection flared up. Instead of ignoring the problem, he took care of it by visiting his dentist, who recommended a root canal procedure. "It's not like you wake up and go, 'Yay, I'm going to have my root canal today!'" he joked. "But once it's done, you couldn't be happier because the pain is gone and you're just smiling because you're no longer in pain!"
Alfonso's experience echoes that of many other people. The root canal procedure is designed to save an infected tooth that otherwise would probably be lost. The infection may start when harmful bacteria from the mouth create a small hole (called a cavity) in the tooth's surface. If left untreated, the decay bacteria continue to eat away at the tooth's structure. Eventually, they can reach the soft pulp tissue, which extends through branching spaces deep inside the tooth called root canals.
Once infection gets a foothold there, it's time for root canal treatment! In this procedure, the area is first numbed; next, a small hole is made in the tooth to give access to the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. The diseased tissue is then carefully removed with tiny instruments, and the canals are disinfected to prevent bacteria from spreading. Finally, the tooth is sealed up to prevent re-infection. Following treatment, a crown (cap) is usually required to restore the tooth's full function and appearance.
Root canal treatment sometimes gets a bad rap from people who are unfamiliar with it, or have come across misinformation on the internet. The truth is, a root canal doesn't cause pain: It relieves pain! The alternatives—having the tooth pulled or leaving the infection untreated—are often much worse.
Having a tooth extracted and replaced can be costly and time consuming…yet a missing tooth that isn't replaced can cause problems for your oral health, nutrition and self-esteem. And an untreated infection doesn't just go away on its own—it continues to smolder in your body, potentially causing serious problems. So if you need a root canal, don't delay!
If you would like additional information on root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “A Step-By-Step Guide to Root Canal Treatment” and “Root Canal Treatment: What You Need to Know.”
Is orthodontic care in your future? While many patients begin treatment before the age of 14, others, including teens and adults, postpone braces until a later age. Whatever your situation, Drs. Chad and Natalie Corley of Corley Family Dental in Decatur, IL can help you navigate your choices.
Why get braces?
Orthodontics change the oral landscape and the balance between bone structure and musculature. Not only do braces improve personal appearance, they also promote the long-term health and longevity of teeth and gums. Straight teeth experience less decay and gum disease, and people with good smiles:
- Speak more clearly
- Experience less wear and tear on tooth surfaces
- Feel better about themselves as they smile more confidently
While children respond best and most quickly to smile reconstruction, even teens and adults with healthy teeth can wear braces. As a matter of fact, a full 20 percent of American orthodontic patients are over the age of 21, says the American Association of Orthodontists.
Kinds of braces
Dr. Chad Corley and Dr. Natalie Corley carefully evaluate their prospective orthodontic patients by examination and through a series of digital X-rays which visualize teeth, roots, and bone structure. This information, together with oral impressions, tells your dentist the exact nature of your problem and how best to correct it.
Your dentist will devise a complete treatment plan to include which type of braces will work best for you. Also, you'll learn how to care for your braces, how often to come into the office for adjustments and how long treatment should take. Commonly treated problems include crowding, gaps, poor bite (malocclusion), congenital absence of teeth, poorly erupted teeth, and more.
These are the kinds of braces offered at Corley Family Dental:
- Conventional metal braces consisting of metal bands and arch wires
- Metal braces consisting of arch wires and brackets bonded to the front side of teeth
- Ceramic braces which are tooth-colored and less obvious in appearance
- Lingual braces which are bonded to the back, or tongue-side, of teeth (completely unnoticeable but more difficult to keep clean)
Most braces utilize ligatures, or rubber bands. Ligatures help move teeth into their proper positions.
Additionally, children often need space maintainers which allow teeth which have not yet erupted to move into position correctly and at the right time. These simple appliances may avoid or facilitate orthodontic correction
Find out more
At Corley Family Dental, Dr. Chad Corley and Dr. Natalie Corley want their patients to have smiles which look good, function well and stay healthy for the long haul. Braces help achieve that goal. So, find out more through an informative, in-office consultation. Call us for an appointment: (217) 330-6217.
Sometimes it seems that appearances count for everything—especially in Hollywood. But just recently, Lonnie Chaviz, the 10-year-old actor who plays young Randall on the hit TV show This Is Us, delivered a powerful message about accepting differences in body image. And the whole issue was triggered by negative social media comments about his smile.
Lonnie has a noticeable diastema—that is, a gap between his two front teeth; this condition is commonly seen in children, but is less common in adults. There are plenty of celebrities who aren’t bothered by the excess space between their front teeth, such as Michael Strahan, Lauren Hutton and Vanessa Paradis. However, there are also many people who choose to close the gap for cosmetic or functional reasons.
Unfortunately, Lonnie had been on the receiving end of unkind comments about the appearance of his smile. But instead of getting angry, the young actor posted a thoughtful reply via Instagram video, in which he said: “I could get my gap fixed. Braces can fix this, but like, can you fix your heart, though?”
Lonnie is raising an important point: Making fun of how someone looks shows a terrible lack of compassion. Besides, each person’s smile is uniquely their own, and getting it “fixed” is a matter of personal choice. It’s true that in most circumstances, if the gap between the front teeth doesn’t shrink as you age and you decide you want to close it, orthodontic appliances like braces can do the job. Sometimes, a too-big gap can make it more difficult to eat and to pronounce some words. In other situations, it’s simply a question of aesthetics—some like it; others would prefer to live without it.
There’s a flip side to this issue as well. When teeth need to be replaced, many people opt to have their smile restored just the way it was, rather than in some “ideal” manner. That could mean that their dentures are specially fabricated with a space between the front teeth, or the crowns of their dental implants are spaced farther apart than they normally would be. For these folks, the “imperfection” is so much a part of their unique identity that changing it just seems wrong.
So if you’re satisfied with the way your smile looks, all you need to do is keep up with daily brushing and flossing, and come in for regular checkups and cleanings to keep it healthy and bright. If you’re unsatisfied, ask us how we could help make it better. And if you need tooth replacement, be sure to talk to us about all of your options—teeth that are regular and “Hollywood white;” teeth that are natural-looking, with minor variations in color and spacing; and teeth that look just like the smile you’ve always had.
Because when it comes to your smile, we couldn’t agree more with what Lonnie Chaviz said at the end of his video: “Be who you want to be. Do what you want to do. Do you. Be you. Believe in yourself.”
If you have questions about cosmetic dentistry, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”