Silver fillings can be replaced with white tooth fillings
Many people in the Bolingbrook area have had silver fillings placed into their teeth because they had "cavities". These silver fillings are called amalgams. Amalgam fills the space where the decay in the tooth has been removed.

However, over time, the amalgam corrodes and leaks which blackens the silver, and many times the tooth. This is easily seen as soon as a patient opens his or her mouth and is usually a source of embarrassment for the patient.

At Radiant Dental we can provide you with composite fillings that are made of a porcelain-like material that actually bonds to the tooth for a tight seal. They are strong and stain-resistant, and they are color-matched to the natural tooth, making them "invisible".

Composite fillings also lack the sensitivity that is often associated with silver amalgam fillings. They are especially suited for smaller cavities and for Bolingbrook area patients who may be allergic to metal fillings.

Please don't hesitate to call us at Radiant Dental with any questions you may have about the benefits of replacing silver amalgam fillings with invisible composite fillings.

Fix cracked, worn, discolored or broken teeth with cosmetic dentistry
For over 100 years, dentists have been using silver-mercury amalgam fillings to restore decayed or broken teeth. The only other alternative was gold and that was too expensive for most folks.

Now there is a new and economical way to restore teeth in the Bolingbrook area using tooth-colored resin fillings. The resin is made up of glass particles in a plastic matrix. We bond the putty-like material to the tooth with a high-intensity light. This hardens the material and allows it to be shaped and polished for immediate use.

Once completed, the tooth has a natural appearance and is actually stronger than before due to the strength of the adhesive agent used to bond the resin to the tooth. Resin restorations not only look better, but they are stronger and last longer than the old silver-amalgam fillings. Resin restorations can range from $150 to $350 per tooth.

Please call our office at Radiant Dental with any questions you may have about the benefits of resin restorations.

Discolored, dark or stained teeth fixed with tooth whitening dentistry
Tooth bleaching involves the placement of a bleaching solution on the teeth to eliminate stains and discoloration. The solution is held in place by a custom- made, see-through tray that fits over the teeth - much like a mouthpiece worn by a professional boxer.

Bleaching is a safe, effective and relatively easy means of producing a whiter smile.

Two bleaching methods are available at Radiant Dental: In office bleaching for instant results and At-Home-Bleaching, which provides for home use (not to be confused with over-the-counter bleaching products available in local area drug stores).

The difference between the two is the strength of the whitening agent and the time it takes to get effective results. Our one hour in office bleaching can be a boost prior to using our take home trays. While home bleaching may take up to four weeks of regular use.

Sensitive teeth, or those that are chipped, eroded or weakened by cavities, should be repaired or protected before they are bleached.

Please don't hesitate to call Radiant Dental at 630 226 1100 with any questions you may have about the benefits of tooth whitening or tooth bleaching for a whiter smile.

Dental restorations that are tooth-colored
For over 100 years, dentistry has restored teeth primarily with a material made of mercury and silver. It has done its job well, although we have had to live with its weaknesses. Those weaknesses consist of cracking teeth due to expansion of the material, and restorations turning black as the silver in the material corrodes.

Now we have many ways to provide tooth-colored restorations at Radiant Dental. We can use adhesives to bond tooth parts that look and act like teeth. We can provide a bright, healthy and strong smile with these exciting new techniques in adhesion dentistry.

Please don't hesitate to call us if you believe you would benefit from these advancements. Together we can help bring a smile back to your face.

Silver-mercury filling replacement
For over 100 years, dentistry has restored teeth primarily with a material made of mercury and silver. It has done its job well, although we have had to live with its weaknesses. Those weaknesses consist of cracking teeth due to expansion of the material, and restorations turning black as the silver in the material corrodes.

Now we have many ways to provide tooth-colored restorations at Radiant Dental. We can use adhesives to bond tooth parts that look and act like teeth. We can provide a bright, healthy and strong smile with these exciting new techniques in adhesion dentistry.

Please don't hesitate to call us if you believe you would benefit from these advancements. Together we can help bring a smile back to your face.

Tooth-colored "resin" fillings
For over 100 years, dentistry has restored teeth primarily with a material made of mercury and silver. It has done its job well, although we have had to live with its weaknesses. Those weaknesses consist of cracking teeth due to expansion of the material, and restorations turning black as the silver in the material corrodes.

Now we have many ways to provide tooth-colored restorations at Radiant Dental. We can use adhesives to bond tooth parts that look and act like teeth. We can provide a bright, healthy and strong smile with these exciting new techniques in adhesion dentistry.

Please don't hesitate to call us if you believe you would benefit from these advancements. Together we can help bring a smile back to your face.

Low self-esteem, the result of poor self-image
The appearance of the teeth has a dramatic effect on both the person's attractiveness to others and on their own self-image and self-esteem. Studies have shown that a person's appearance will have a strong effect on their social and career success, by influencing how others perceive them.

While the appearance of the teeth is one of the most important contributors to facial beauty, it is also probably the most often neglected when improvements to appearance are sought. A person with low self-esteem connected to their facial appearance, can often be greatly helped by cosmetic dental procedures.

Dental makeovers at Radiant Dental have become more common, less invasive, and more effective in correcting deformities and cosmetic dental problems. The effect of these procedures can be nothing short of dramatic both in terms of appearance and also in terms of correcting, at least partially, personality deficiencies caused by poor self-image. Ugly teeth are no longer a matter of fate; they are now becoming a matter of choice.

Please call our office at Radiant Dental with any questions you may have about the benefits of a dental make-over.

Porcelain veneers and your smile
When teeth require significant changes in their shape or contour, veneers may be the answer. By placing veneers, small or misshapen teeth can be built up to regain a more natural appearance, spaces between teeth can be closed by making the teeth wider and teeth that are too short can be lengthened.

The veneer is actually a thin piece of porcelain similar in size to a fingernail. Once it is "bonded" onto the tooth it becomes extremely strong. We also blend the veneer in with the remaining tooth structure so that it is unnoticeable to the naked-eye. Once in place, it looks, feels, and functions just like a regular tooth.

At Radiant Dental we can use porcelain veneers to change the shape and color of a single tooth or, if necessary, revamp an entire smile. Porcelain veneers can also be used to correct teeth that have been worn from clenching and grinding.

Please call us at (630) 226-1100 for consultation. You may ask any of our professional team questions you have about the benefits of porcelain veneers.

Broken teeth are comfortably repaired through cosmetic dental bonding
Bonding is typically comfortable and can yield dramatic results in a single office visit. Essentially, bonding hides any natural flaws through the placement of a thin plastic coating on the front surface of the teeth. After treating the tooth surface, we apply a putty-like bonding material that is then sculpted, shaped and colored to suit your needs. A high-intensity light causes the plastic to harden after which the new surface is smoothed and polished.

Bonding can lighten stains, close gaps and even alter crooked or malformed teeth. At Radiant Dental we can even utilize it to change the shape or color of a single tooth or if necessary to remake your entire smile.

Please call our office at (630) 226-1100 for a cosmetic consultation

Dental crowns - Cosmetic dentistry
A Crown for a Tooth
Teeth are often restored with fillings of silver or composite plastics. These materials can often accomplish the aim of replacing the part of the tooth that has been lost in a strong and good-looking manner.

However, there comes a point where the damage to the tooth has removed too much structure to hold a filling. The restoration must be done by a technique that will attach to the remaining tooth, stand up under heavier use and meet more elaborate cosmetic requirements.

The crown is the dental restoration that can strengthen and restore the entire top of a tooth. The crown can also be part of the attachment of a fixed bridge for the replacement of teeth. The tooth is strengthened because it is covered from the outside with a casting of metal or ceramic that will wrap up and splint the tooth.

The chewing of the tooth can be improved because it can be reshaped to match more efficiently with the opposing teeth. A crown can improve cosmetics by the use of modern ceramic processes that produce translucency and color that is more natural than has ever been possible.

Please call our office at (630) 226-1100 for a cosmetic consultation.

Composite Veneer
The major advantage of the composite veneer is treatment time. If composite is used, the veneers can be done in one appointment. The dentist will actually make the veneer directly on the prepared tooth.

The veneer is then smoothed and polished to look like your natural teeth. Since it takes only one appointment, you can leave Radiant Dental with a brand new smile.

One of the disadvantages of composite veneers is that they are not as strong as the porcelain veneer and therefore are more prone to fracture. However, if a fracture does occur, they can be easily repaired because the same material that was used initially to make the veneer can be added in the same manner to fix it.

Another disadvantage is that the color, although stable, is not as stable as the same porcelain veneer restoration. This means that over time the veneers may get darker or turn yellow. Eventually this change in color can warrant the replacement of the veneers.

If you have any questions regarding composite veneers, please feel free to call our office at (630) 226-1100.

Porcelain Veneer
A porcelain veneer requires a longer treatment time. At the first appointment, your teeth are prepared and an impression is made of them. Temporary veneers are made out of plastic and placed on your teeth. They are used to protect your teeth while the real porcelain veneer is being fabricated. You can also use them to evaluate the look and feel of your teeth so that any changes you desire can be incorporated into your real veneers.

At the second appointment, we remove the temporary veneers and bond the porcelain veneer to your teeth. Once the dental veneers are cemented, color alteration is no longer possible. Dental cement is applied between the dental veneers and tooth.

Although they are thin, a porcelain veneer is much stronger than the composite veneer, so the risk of fracture as compared with composite veneers is much less. However, if a fracture does occur, repairing it is more difficult and may result in the veneer having to be remade.

Once teeth have been veneered, they will require periodic treatment and regular visits to Radiant Dental. The result is a beautiful and long lasting smile you will love.

Please call Radiant Dental at (630) 226-1100 with any questions or concerns regarding veneers.

The functions of dental crowns
The crown serves two important functions. First, it restores the appearance of your teeth and your face. If your tooth is severely decayed or cracked, the dentist will need to restore it prior to preparing a cap. Teeth also support the muscles in our faces, so anything less than a full tooth may affect the way you look.

Second, a crown will be the same size and shape as the natural tooth. As a result, it will keep your jaw and bite aligned; it will also make sure that other teeth don't shift locations or take on a greater share of the work of biting and chewing.

For more information on dental crowns, call our office at (630) 226-1100

Dental crowns are made of ...
At Radiant Dental our dental crowns are most often made of gold or porcelain. Crowns also can be made of stainless steel, but those crowns are often temporary and not designed for long-term wear.

Porcelain crowns usually are built on a metal base, which fits snugly over the natural tooth. We will choose a porcelain that matches the color of your natural teeth.

Porcelain crowns usually are so carefully matched in color, they cannot be distinguished from your natural teeth. Many people choose porcelain crowns for their cosmetic appearance and the confidence it gives them.

New materials are now available that allow the use of "all-ceramic" crowns in some cases. They have a beautiful life-like appearance and short-term studies support their success, with long-term trials ongoing.

Crowns also can be made of all gold. Some people prefer not to use gold because it stands out from the other teeth in appearance. At the same time, if the crown is on a back molar, some people feel the cosmetic issue is not a big one. At Radiant Dental we will discuss the types of materials available if we recommend a crown.

Call us at (630) 226-1100 for a complete evaluation of your cosmetic needs.

Dental hygiene with dental crowns
An Ounce of Prevention Is Still the Rule!
Once your crown is in place, make sure the area is brushed well and that you floss below the gum line. While the crown protects your remaining tooth from further decay, you must protect the base of the crown from bacterial growth and gum disease.

Regular brushing and flossing as you would your natural teeth will ensure that your crown will be in place for years to come!

Dental crowns that reflect light with a natural healthy glow are now available at Radiant Dental.

Veneers for Discolored Teeth
There are many situations that arise that lend themselves to treatment with veneers.

One indication is for restoring teeth with discoloration that have been unaffected by the more conventional tooth whitening approaches, such as bleaching. Some examples of this are teeth that have severe tetracycline (an antibiotic) staining or discoloration from a previous injury to the tooth. Veneers are considerably more durable and stain- resistant than bonding.

If you have any questions about veneers for discolored teeth, please call Radiant Dental at (630) 226-1100.

Dental Implants

What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium metal replacement for a root of a tooth that is surgically implanted in the jawbone. As the body heals for approximately two to six months after the surgery, the bone around the implant fuses to the implant through a process called osseointegration. After the healing phase is complete, the implants are used to anchor crowns, bridges, or dentures. Dental implants are the most natural replacement for a missing tooth. For more information call us at (630) 226-1100.
If you have lost a tooth, is it best to replace it with a dental implant?
Before you decide a course of action, we should consider answering these simple questions: What is a dental implant?
What is the dental implant process like?
How many dental implants should be placed?
Who should you see about getting dental implants?
Are there different types of dental implants?

When you are more knowledgeable about your implant treatment, you will be able to have

more input to give us and better your chances of a successful treatment outcome with Radiant Dental.

Dental Implant Process
At Radiant Dental we begin with a thorough evaluation of the patient's medical and dental history, and a full clinical examination of the entire mouth and missing tooth area. The clinical exam should also include specific X-rays.

After assessing the patient, a comprehensive treatment plan can be devised. From that point, implants are surgically placed in the jawbone under local anesthesia.

The length of the healing time is based on the quality and quantity of bone, as well as the type of implant placed. After adequate healing is allowed to occur, the implant can be used to support a crown, bridge, or denture.

Types Of Dental Implants
Yes, several types are available. The American Dental Association considers both the endosteal and the subperiosteal implants to be acceptable. An important factor for selection is to determine whether your jawbone can adequately support the implant. Most dental implants placed today are endosteal root form fixtures (similar to a man-made).
Find An Implant Dentist
When getting dental implants, you should select a dentist or dental team with in-depth knowledge and prior experience with all aspects of the treatment.

It is also important to know that implant treatment consists of two components: a surgical phase and a restorative phase.

Traditionally, a dental surgeon, like an oral surgeon or a periodontist, performs the surgical component. A general dentist, or prosthodontist and laboratory technician performs the restorative component. However, as implant dentistry has become more sophisticated, sometimes a dentist who specializes in restorative dentistry conducts the entire procedure.

Choose dental implants to replace a missing tooth
Losing a tooth by accident or by extraction is not the end of the matter. When a tooth is missing, the resulting gap will allow nearby teeth to tilt or drift from their normal position, and the teeth above the gap will move downward.

Aside from the obvious cosmetic problem, the changed positions of these teeth can lead to severe bite problems causing jaw pain and headaches.

Missing teeth should be replaced to keep other teeth in their normal position. This can be done with a fixed bridge or a dental implant. Both of these treatments offer a good functional and cosmetic result.

Replacement of missing teeth with dental implants
"Well, you know Doc, it's just a back tooth. No one will see it so I'll just get rid of it. It's not going to make a difference." Unfortunately we hear this type of comment at Radiant Dental more often than you would think.

The plain truth is that it will make a difference. At Radiant Dental we know the loss of just a single tooth can set a course that can destroy an entire mouth. "Well, if that's true, tell me more. I sure don't want to lose the front ones that I smile with."

We often answer with an explanation that teeth will drift and tip into a space that is created by missing teeth. Just like two gears of a car that are not properly aligned, pretty soon you've got a whole lot of problems.

"Well, I don't like that. What can I do?" If it sounds like I've heard this conversation a few times, you're right. If I'm going to keep a patient happy, I need to provide options at this point.

One of the options we often discuss at Radiant Dental would be a dental implant. This is the replacement of a tooth with a false root that is surgically placed. We then carefully construct a dental crown to replace the missing tooth, to prevent teeth from shifting and thereby causing further tooth loss.

Number of dental implants recommended?
This is a question that should be determined during the treatment plan. A good rule-of- thumb is to place one implant for each tooth replaced.

Other decisive factors for the number of implants needed for success is the quality and quantity of the patient's bone. Equally as important are the existing anatomy of the bone and the financial resources of the patient. (At Radiant Dental we try not to let money get in the way of good dentistry.)

Placing enough implants to restore teeth is vitally important to the long-term success of the restoration. Simply stated, the most costly mistake is to have an implant fail because not enough implants are placed to support the teeth. If the number of implants is limited due to financial constraints of the patient, then the implant treatment should be avoided or the type of restoration must be altered.

Technology facts concerning dental implants
How long has dental implant technology been available and what is the success rate?
The technology has been around for decades. In fact, some patients have had dental implants for more than 40 years.

Hundreds of thousands of dental implants have been inserted with more than a 90% success rate. All other metal implants in the body (including hips and knees) are the result of the dental implant technology.

Single missing tooth solution
What can be done for a single missing tooth?
In the case of a single missing tooth, a dental implant can be placed in the jawbone area of the missing tooth. The implant will serve as a replacement for a tooth root and an individual crown. The total apparatus is referred to as a single-tooth implant crown.

Once in place, the implant crown will look, feel, and function like a natural tooth. They are cleaned and flossed just like natural teeth, and best of all, they do not require any special tools to clean around them like bridges. Although dental implants will not decay, they require impeccable oral hygiene.

Tooth Whitening

White Smiles
Advanced dental techniques now provide consumers with exciting, new options for enhancing their smiles. Revolutionary methods are now available for bleaching teeth to make smiles sparkle!

Teeth bleaching or whitening lightens the color of teeth whether darkened from age, coffee, tea or tobacco. Its brightening effects can last up to five years after the treatment depending on your personal habits, such as smoking or drinking coffee or tea.

Bleaching has a higher than 90% success rate. Bleaching is tough on stains but gentle on your teeth! Results vary depending on several factors such as teeth stained from smoking; from taking certain medications such as tetracycline during tooth development; or from fluorosis, a condition occurring in the presence of too much fluoride.

Bleaching will not lighten fillings or artificial materials used in dental repair as for crowns, porcelain veneers, etc. Your dentist may discourage treatment if you have sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, teeth with worn enamel or if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.

Whitening Options
Depending on the bleaching treatment selected, some are performed in the dental office using an in-office bleaching system such as laser bleaching. These methods lighten teeth instantly.

The same results may be obtained more economically through dentist-supervised at-home bleaching, but take longer to achieve. Some bleaching systems, which bleach your teeth while you sleep, work in 10 to 14 days (or more accurately nights)! Others bleach your teeth from two to four hours a day requiring three to six weeks to complete.

Also it's important to know that certain types of stain respond better to different types of whitening materials. In such cases, your dentist may recommend one method over the other.

Get A Brighter Smile
Your dentist will first examine your teeth and gums and discuss the procedure best suited to your individual needs. Any cavities or gum problems must be treated before bleaching can begin.

The in-office method generally takes one to three hours and results in an immediate noticeable change.

For the at-home method, special molds will be made of your teeth, used to make custom- fitting flexible trays holding the bleaching gel comfortably in your mouth.

When you get your bleaching trays, you'll receive instructions about wearing them. These must be carefully followed. Only the materials provided by the dentist can be safely used.

After completing the treatment, your teeth will be checked by your dental provider to discuss the results.

Smile. Your teeth will radiate a bright new look!

Tooth Whitening Safety
Research over the last five years has proven bleaching to be both safe and effective. The American Dental Association's seal of approval has been given to a wide range of tooth whitening products.

Generally, the only side effect from treatment may be some sensitivity to hot and cold foods. If this occurs, sensitivity normally disappears within 48 hours.

Children's Dentistry

Baby Bottle Caries
You should know that the signs and appearance of teeth displaying bottle caries include brown teeth with fragmented edges and upper front teeth that break easily

Children who have erupted teeth or are past the age to be weaned are highly susceptible to rotted front teeth when being put to bed with a bottle containing milk, juice or other sugar-containing liquids. There is decreased salivary flow during sleep and clearance of the liquid from the teeth is slowed. Call us at (630) 226-1100 for more details.

The liquid pools around the upper front baby teeth and creates an excellent environment to promote the growth of decay-causing bacteria. Removing the bottle before the first tooth appears and wiping the child's gums and teeth with a soft cloth before being put to bed can help prevent decay.

At 18 months of age, parents should bring their child into Radiant Dental for an examination and recommended home care.

Baby Teeth Cleaning
When should I start cleaning my baby's teeth?
This is a good habit to start early! The teeth must be cleaned as they erupt. Use a damp washcloth or a toothbrush.

If your health care provider agrees, use a tiny dab of fluoride toothpaste. Tooth brushing is definitely a parents job in the preschool years.

Children are usually able to brush their teeth well when they are 8 years old. Be sure to check your child's teeth regularly for any chalky white or brown spots which could be the beginning of tooth decay.

Infant Teething Advice
Any advice on teething??
Sore gums from teething often occur for a few days at a time between six months to age three.

Babies often get relief from a clean teething ring, cool spoon, cold wet washcloth or toothbrush. Chilled teething rings or rubbing a clean finger on the sore gum area often helps, too.

Infant Dental Problems
What dental problems could a baby have?
Dental problems can begin early. A big concern is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (BBTD), which is preventable. BBTD can result from long periods of exposing baby teeth to liquids that contain sugar including formula, milk, breast milk, and juice.

A baby who has a habit of sleeping with a baby bottle filled with any sugary liquid or a breast in their mouth is at risk of getting BBTD. Frequent snacking on sweet or sticky foods can also cause decay.

The earlier your first dental visit to Radiant Dental, the better chance of preventing dental problems. Children with healthy teeth can chew food well, speak clearly and share precious smiles. Start your child on a lifetime of good dental habits now!

Tooth Decay Prevention
How can I prevent tooth decay from nursing or bottle?
Taking your baby off of the breast when he/she falls asleep can prevent baby tooth decay. Hold your baby while bottle feeding. Always take a bottle filled with milk or juice away from the sleeping child.

If your child requires a bottle at bedtime, provide a bottle filled with water. Instead of a bottle, try comforting your child with a pacifier or a favorite toy or blanket.

Check with your health care provider to make sure your child is getting the right amount of fluoride. Brush your baby's teeth with a soft toothbrush daily.

Infant Thumb Sucking
Should I worry about thumb or finger sucking?
Thumb sucking is perfectly normal for infants; most stop by the age of two. Prolonged (beyond age 5 or 6 years) thumb sucking can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems. At Radiant Dental we will be glad to suggest ways to address a prolonged thumb-sucking habit.
Since the eruption of primary teeth is a normal and natural process, these signs and symptoms are to be expected:
  • Increased salivation
  • Putting fingers and hands into the mouth
  • Restlessness
  • Fretful behavior
Children may display other symptoms such as fever and systemic disturbances, such as croup, diarrhea, etc. These are coincidental to eruption and should be treated medically by the pediatrician as necessary.

If you have any questions or need more information, don't hesitate to call our office.

Why should you wear a mouthguard?
While mouthguards are not mandatory equipment in all sports, their worth is indisputable. Mouthguards cushion blows to the face and neck. A mouthguard should be part of every athlete's gear, no matter the sport. Even adults or weekend athletes need to protect their smile and preserve their health.

Do: At Radiant Dental we feel that you should wear a mouthguard at all times when playing sports. Wear a mouthguard custom-fitted by a dentist, especially if you wear bridges or braces.

Don't: Wear removable appliances like retainers when playing sports. There are two types of mouthguards: Custom-made: Designed by a dentist and made on a cast of your teeth. These cause very little interference with speaking or breathing. They provide the best protection and fit over braces and fixed bridges. They also cost more. Ready-made: Purchased at most sporting goods stores. They are the least expensive, the least effective, and least comfortable.

Family Dentistry

Dental Crisis Treatment
Many people don't see a dentist on a regular basis. They go only when they feel they have a problem. At Radiant Dental we call this "crisis treatment" as opposed to "preventive treatment".

While these patients may feel they are saving money, it usually ends up costing much more in both dollars and time. The reason for this is that most dental problems don't have any symptoms until they reach the advanced stages.

An example is tooth decay. At Radiant Dental we hear all the time, "Nothing hurts... I don't have any problems". But tooth decay doesn't hurt! Until, that is, it gets close to the nerve of the tooth.

Then a root canal and crown are usually necessary, instead of the small filling, which could have been placed several years ago when the cavity was small. We can usually detect a cavity 3-4 years before it may develop any symptoms. It is not uncommon to see a patient with a tremendous cavity and they have never felt a thing!

Diets & Dental Health
Diets low in certain nutrients reduce resistance to oral and dental infections, that is, periodontal disease (gum disease) and decay. We feel a healthy immune system is essential to controlling periodontal disease.

Counseling in the Four Basic Food Groups will improve dental health and general health. The consumption of sugar, especially in sticky forms or in a baby bottle while sleeping, contributes to the rapid development of dental decay.

The trace nutrient fluoride, may not be adequately supplied by bottle or municipal water supplies throughout the Bolingbrook area. Supplementation with oral tablets and topical application will reduce the incidence of dental decay by more than 60%.

Together, a balanced diet, daily use of fluoride, effective brushing, and sensible eating habits can reduce the risk of, or even prevent, infectious dental disease.

Tooth Decay Prevention
Fluoride, in proper dosage, has been shown to significantly reduce dental decay. When fluoridated water has less than the ideal amount or is not available, fluoride supplements are recommended. (A call to your local water district is all that is necessary to determine whether your water has fluoride or not.)

When supplements are needed, the administration of fluoride supplements should begin shortly after birth and continue through the time of eruption of the second permanent molars (approx. 12 years of age).

Regular dental check-ups at Radiant Dental should begin no later than 18 months of age.

First Dental Appointment For Children
When should my child first see a dentist?
"First visit by first birthday" sums it up. Your child should visit a dentist when the first tooth comes in, usually between six and twelve months of age. An early examination at Radiant Dental and preventative care will protect your child's smile now and in the future.

For more answers about your baby's dental care call us at (630) 226-1100

Cavity Prevention
Fluoride has been a great benefit to patients of all ages in helping prevent dental decay. Regular brushing and flossing lowers the chance of developing "cavities."

At Radiant Dental we know that the most decay-prone areas of teeth are the grooves and depressions on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, which require further preventive care.

To prevent decay, a plastic-like coating called a sealant should be painted on the chewing surfaces of all the back teeth. Studies have shown that sealants can reduce tooth decay by as much as 90% to 100% in the Bolingbrook area and nationwide.

The American Dental Association recommends that sealants be placed as soon as the first adult back teeth come in at age 6 or 7. Sealants should continue to be used as each adult back tooth comes into the mouth. All back teeth that need to be sealed are present by age 13. Sealant application is simple and fast.

Please call Radiant Dental with any questions you may have about the benefits using a sealant in preventing dental decay.

Gum Disease Treatment

Joint Replacement Infections
We strongly recommend a thorough dental examination for presence of tooth and gum infection prior to joint replacement.

Periodontal disease is a commonly occurring oral infection of the adult population (80% of adults are affected) destroying the bony support of the teeth.

Because of the lack of any discomfort to the patient until total loss of bony support to the teeth, many adults are unaware that they have this infection until they visit Radiant Dental. However, the bacteria from this bone destroying disease, especially in the more advanced cases, has been attributed to possible infection of joint replacements.

Candidates for joint replacements who have not been seen by a dentist in over a year should consider a thorough dental evaluation of their teeth and gums before surgery.

Depending on the severity of the infection, treatment of gum infections and tooth abscesses may take from two weeks to two months before the patient reaches adequate health before surgery.

Gingivitis is the most common periodontal disease, affecting 90% of the population, including our local Bolingbrook area community. It is an infection of the gums caused by bacteria that form plaque.

In small amounts (when it is newly formed), plaque is invisible and relatively harmless. But when left to accumulate, it increases in volume and the proportion of harmful bacteria grows.

These bacteria release toxins that result in inflammation of the gum tissue. Eventually, the plaque hardens and forms hard deposits called calculus or tartar.

If not properly treated, gingivitis may progress to periodontitis, a periodontal disease in which there is loss of the bone that supports the teeth.

Pregnant Women & Gum Disease
Many mothers have experienced gum disease, dental pain and/or tooth extraction during or shortly after their pregnancy. This is often seen as being a "normal" side effect of being pregnant. However we feel that dental disease, which is an infection of the teeth and/or gums, is not "normal" for any patient.

There are three basic events that happen during pregnancy which make the patient more susceptible to dental disease. First, hormonal changes may make the gums more susceptible to gum disease.

Second, pregnant women tend to eat smaller, more frequent meals, exposing their teeth and gums to sugars and acids more often. Third, cravings for "junk foods" and inadequate oral hygiene pose an increased threat to the teeth and gums.

Pregnant women in the Bolingbrook area are advised to schedule a dental evaluation and receive preventive dental care at Radiant Dental. Personalized oral hygiene instruction will be given to fight disease and promote overall good health for the mother and her baby.

Stages of Gum Disease
The American Dental Association says that over 75-80% of all adults, even in the Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Naperville and Plainfield area, have or will have some form of gum disease.

Gum disease, or more correctly called "periodontal disease", is a bacterial infection in the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It can be divided into several categories.

The first stage is called "gingivitis" and is characterized by gum tissue that is red, puffy, and bleeds easily when touched with a toothbrush, floss or dental instrument.

The second, third, and fourth stages are initial, moderate, and advanced "periodontal disease", respectively. These stages are different from gingivitis because the infection has destroyed the bone supporting the teeth, causing eventual tooth loss. At Radiant Dental the treatment is more involved at these stages, usually consisting of a special cleaning with anesthesia and sometimes gum surgery.

Undetected Bone & Gum Disease
We feel that prevention is an overused word in our vocabulary but we all know it works. You see it in what you do every day. Who wouldn't rather prevent a crisis than manage one?

In the Bolingbrook area awareness of gum and underlying bone disease is very low. Only 50% of the population visits a dentist on a regular basis. Of that 50%, 80% have some degree of gum and bone disease. It is an epidemic. Were this any other disease, we would be calling on the CDC for immediate action!

Periodontal Gum Disease
Periodontal disease can go on for years without pain and without detection unless specific examination procedures are performed.

Visual oral examination by itself (even by a dentist) will not reliably detect periodontal disease until it has reached an advanced stage.

Early detection and adequate diagnosis require measurement of pockets (the crevice between the tooth and gum) with a periodontal probe. At Radiant Dental effective prevention and treatment is available, but the damage caused as the disease progresses is irreversible.

Early detection and treatment is critical to prevent tooth loss and disfigurement. Although the procedure is simple and requires only a few minutes, millions of American adults have never had it done.

Some signs of periodontal disease are: bleeding gums, redness of gum tissue, swelling of gums around the teeth, breath odor, receding gums, mobility of teeth.

One of the easiest problems to spot is a build-up of plaque. Plaque is the soft, sticky layer of bacteria, which is constantly forming on the teeth.

Usually it is invisible to the naked eye, but when a person is not brushing adequately, it can build up to where it appears to be a thick whitish coating on the teeth at the gum line. If not removed, it can lead to gum disease.

Another potential problem, which is easy to spot, is missing teeth. Many patients we see assume that if they are still able to eat, they are O.K.

But very often, losing just one tooth can lead to the loss of support, and teeth begin to drift into the empty space, causing a change in the bite. It also forces the remaining teeth to carry an additional load, sometimes past their ability to adapt. In most cases, when even one tooth is lost, the remaining teeth suffer and are more likely to be lost as well.

Orthodontic Dentistry

What Happens During An Orthodontic Exam?
In order to determine your specific needs, the dentist will completely evaluate your mouth. This will likely include:
  • Impressions of your teeth, from which models are made (these are useful for your dentist, and will remind you exactly how your teeth looked before correction).
  • Photographs of your teeth, face, and smile
  • X-rays of your head and teeth
  • Your medical health history and dental health history
Your orthodontist will then carefully evaluate your specific needs and provide you with a treatment plan for correction. Following the recommended plan is important for proper correction.
What are spacers?
Teeth normally fit tightly against one another. Spacers are inserted before placement of your braces to provide some space between teeth for attaching the bands. There are two types of spacers, small springs or plastic modules. In just a few days they gently move desired teeth slightly apart.

Spacers often cause some soreness, but this goes away in a few days. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to relieve the irritation. Your normal chewing also helps to get your mouth feeling better.

What do I do if a spacer comes out?
Call your orthodontist immediately for a replacement. That little spacer is making just enough room for a comfortable fit for your braces and plays an important role.
Foods To Avoid With Orthodontic Braces
You can eat just about anything, but there are some exceptions. Getting used to braces also usually means making a few adjustments in your eating habits. This is because some food might damage your braces or cause problems for your teeth. Here's a list of items to avoid (or some ways they can still be enjoyed with caution):
  • Apples (don't bite into a whole one! Cut it into wedges first.)
  • Bubble gum (some orthodontists allow sugarless gum, but check with yours for approval)
  • Candy (caramels, taffy, nut brittles, fruit-flavored chewy candies, gummi anything!)
  • Carrots (avoid sticks, cut into thin curls)
  • Corn on the cob (remove the kernels from the cob, then enjoy!)
  • Corn chips/crisp tacos
  • Hard foods (they're tough on braces, causing bending and breaking)
  • Ice (no crunching!)
  • Lemon juice/lemons (pure lemon juice is very hard on your tooth enamel)
  • Nuts
  • Pizza crust/crusty breads (outer edges)
  • Popcorn
  • Pretzels (the large, hard varieties)
  • Sticky foods (can bend wires and pull off brackets)
  • Sugary foods
(avoid these as much as possible; if you do eat them, brush your teeth within minutes or as soon as possible, or at least rinse your mouth with water)

Orthodontic Dentistry FAQs

What is orthodontics?
Orthodontics, also known as malocclusion or "bad bite," is described by the American Association of Orthodontics as the branch of dentistry that specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial irregularities.
What is an orthodontist?
An orthodontist is a dentist who has undergone specialized training to diagnose, prevent, and treat dental and facial irregularities in patients. Within the U.S., orthodontists are required to complete a two- to three-year advanced residency program in orthodontics following the completion of their four-year graduate dental program. Each of these programs must be accredited by the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation.
What causes orthodontic problems?
Most orthodontic problems are inherited, including tooth size and jaw size, and may lead to crowding of teeth or spacing of teeth. Overbites, underbites, extra or missing teeth, and irregularities of the jaws, teeth, and face also are inherited. Other orthodontic problems can be caused from accidents, pacifier or thumb sucking, dental disease, or the premature loss of either the primary or permanent teeth.
What habits contribute to "bad bites?
A number of childhood habits can lead to orthodontic problems, such as thumb or finger sucking, sucking on a pacifier, sucking on a lip, mouth breathing (often caused by enlarged tonsils and adenoids), fingernail biting, and "tongue thrust".
Orthodontic Braces
How early should children get braces?
At Radiant Dental we use the simple guideline that children should be examined at the time their permanent teeth are beginning to come in. However, every child is different, and the best starting time for orthodontic treatment depends on the type of problem and how severe it is. So the answer really is: "It depends..."

If your child requires treatment, early intervention can make a real difference. We see the best results with treatments that would be impossible once your child's face and jaw have completely developed.

Also, when started early, completion of treatment at a later age is much easier. During an initial examination, your dentist will evaluate your child's facial growth, spacing between teeth, crowding, extra or missing teeth. And they will look for habits like tongue-thrusting and thumb-sucking that may hinder normal growth and development. These problems can change tooth alignment as well as alter facial appearance.

If your child doesn't require any early treatment, most dentists will schedule periodic follow-up exams while the permanent teeth are coming in and the face and jaws continue to grow.

Orthodontic treatment can bring your child's teeth, lips and face into harmony. And we all know that a pleasing appearance and beautiful smile give children -- and adults -- a big advantage in life.

Orthodontic Care
When your mouth is loaded with extras -- bands, brackets, and wires -- brushing your teeth gets tougher and extra important. Plus, braces interfere with the natural chewing process that normally bathes and exercises gums and helps clean teeth.

At Radiant Dental we feel caring for your teeth and keeping them cavity-free is a top priority during orthodontic treatment.

While proper-fitting bands or brackets usually protect the covered portion of your teeth, the brackets and wires on the outside of teeth make it harder for the toothbrush to clean between teeth.

Trapped food particles and plaque are a breeding ground for cavity-causing bacteria. Gum disease also can develop, causing swelling and making cleaning even more challenging and painful. Improper care can also stain tooth enamel.

How often do I need to brush with dental braces?
Preferably brush within five minutes after you eat anything, whether you're snacking or after a meal. Brushing away cavity-causing bacteria helps keep your teeth cavity-free.

Carry a travel toothbrush in a backpack, purse, or briefcase to always have on hand for brushing away from home.

How do I brush my teeth with braces?
Brush between wires and gums to loosen any food particles. There are special toothbrushes for this, check with your orthodontist for recommendations.

Start on the outside of your upper teeth, positioning the bristles at a 45 degree angle, toward the gum. Brush two to three teeth at a time using a circular motion, about ten strokes.

  • Next, brush the inner surfaces in the same manner.
  • Brush the chewing surfaces.
  • Next, brush the inner surfaces in the same manner.
  • Brush the chewing surfaces.
  • Repeat the same process for the lower teeth as for the upper ones. Rinse your mouth as well as your toothbrush.
  • Check your teeth in a mirror to make sure you've brushed all tooth surfaces.
  • Floss daily between braces using a floss threader.
  • Toothpicks, stimudents, and other interdental devices work well under brackets.
You may also want to use a water oral hygiene device that helps to remove food particles the toothbrush may not reach. It is used in addition to brushing and flossing, not as a substitute.

While wearing braces, be sure to schedule regular dental exams every three to six months for cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Ask your dentist and orthodontist how often they wish to see you.

Root Canal Therapy

Root Canal Procedure
A root canal procedure limits the infection and keeps it from destroying the tooth. During the root canal treatment procedure, the dentist removes the inflamed or infected tissue, carefully cleans, disinfects, and shapes the root canal space inside the tooth, and then fills and seals this space. It may take one or more appointments to complete the procedure. A protective restoration should be placed after root canal treatment has been completed in order to restore the tooth to function and help prevent tooth fracture.

At Radiant Dental we think of a root canal as washing the invasive bacteria out of the root, filling it with a biocompatible material that soothes the area, then sealing it back up again. Top it off with a solid filling or a crown, and you're as good as new. That means you get to keep your tooth. And that's a good thing.

Why Root Canals?
Many people flinch when their dentists tell them they need root canal therapy. While dentists are sympathetic to fears of pain, at Radiant Dental we also want you to know that root canal therapy has three purposes:
  • Stop the toothache;
  • Prevent bacteria and pain from spreading into the jaw;
  • Maintain the original tooth instead of replacing it with a denture or bridge.
The root canal is actually a channel that runs from the root of the tooth, which connects to the bone, up to the top surface of the tooth. The canal contains blood vessels, nerves, and the complex cells that make up the living tissue inside the tooth. This lifeline inside the tooth is called the pulp.

When a tooth is decayed or cracked, bacteria can get to the pulp. The acid from the bacteria irritates the pulp and it becomes inflamed; it's the same process you watch when other parts of your body become infected. When the pulp tissue becomes inflamed, it's harder for blood to flow to the tissue, and the resulting pressure creates pain inside your tooth.

Signs of Endodontic Disease
What are the most common symptoms of root canal disease?
Endodontic disease can manifest itself with a wide variety and combination of symptoms. Common symptoms of endodontic disease include:
  • Lingering sensitivity to cold liquids.
  • Lingering sensitivity to hot liquids.
  • Sensitivity to sweets.
  • Pain to biting pressure.
  • Pain that is referred from a tooth to another area, such as the neck, temple, or the ear.
  • Spontaneous toothache, such as that experienced while reading a magazine, watching television, etc.
  • Constant or intermittent pain.
  • Severe pain.
  • Throbbing pain.
  • Pain that may occur in response to atmospheric pressure changes, such as when flying or scuba diving.
  • Pain that may occur in response to postural changes, such as when going from a standing to a reclining position.
  • Swelling.
If you have any of these symptoms, it would be wise to visit us at Radiant Dental because you might have root canal disease or another dental problem. Some of these symptoms may also be attributable to decay, defective fillings, periodontal disease, cracked teeth, or other tooth or bite- related problems. On other occasions, the symptoms may even be caused by disorders that are not related to the teeth.

Sleep Apnea

A Treatable Sleep Disorder
Radiant Dental treats many Bolingbrook residents who suffer from sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder. Sleep apnea is diagnosed when someone sleeping stops breathing momentarily, then gasps for air. Apneas are defined as pauses in breathing that last 10 seconds or longer; a shorter one is called a hypopnea. This is most often caused by your airway becoming blocked during sleep; this is known as obstructive sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea, you will most likely have many apneas each night. However, since sleep apneas happen while you're sleeping, it can be hard to diagnose yourself. Maybe you don't feel rested when you wake up, get sleepy during the day, and have never known why.

During an apnea, the level of oxygen in the blood falls, so the brain can't get the air it needs. This compromises REM sleep, which ought to be deeply restful. Sleep apnea can leave people with daytime fatigue, but it also leaves people more prone to a range of other health problems. Research suggests an association between sleep apnea and heart attacks, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, memory loss and brain damage. When seeking sleep apnea treatments, patients have a number of options. The most popular therapy is a CPAP machine; the breathing mask gives continuous positive air pressure all night long. However, some patients choose splint therapy, deciding they would prefer a nightguard to a sleep mask. Only in the most severe cases might we consider sleep apnea surgery.

But treatment can sometimes be refreshingly simple. People with mild sleep apnea may be able to triumph over the sleep disorder by making some straightforward lifestyle changes. These include avoiding alcohol and tobacco, doing breathing exercises, losing weight, and sleeping at an angle, on one's side, or with a sleep apnea pillow.

What Keeps You From Breathing At Night
Obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA, is the most common type of sleep apnea. OSA is characterized by breathing passages being momentarily obstructed during sleep, leading to gasping and skipped breaths. The person tries to inhale but cannot get any oxygen since the airway is blocked.

Seeking obstructive sleep apnea treatment can improve your overall health, but that's not all. There's another real benefit of sleep apnea treatment, and that's treating snoring. If your husband or wife snores, you know just what a prize that would be. Research suggests that snoring treatment can actually improve the quality of a marriage! Not everyone who snores suffers from sleep apnea. On the other hand, people with sleep apnea almost always snore. Snoring is just the rumbling sound of breathing, and it's not a health problem in and of itself. Sleep apnea, however, is sleep disordered breathing, and it can have negative health consequences.

Treatment options include lifestyle changes, CPAP breathing machines, and oral appliance therapy. Only in the most serious situations, when other treatments have failed, is sleep apnea surgery considered. Surgery removes the oral and throat tissue that block the airway.

Snoring and Fatigue
Sleep apnea treatment starts with a diagnosis. You may notice some of your sleep apnea symptoms, but there are others you can't see yourself. Snoring is frequently an indicator of sleep apnea, but you may not know you snore unless a sleeping partner tells you so. Gasping and skipping breaths while sleeping is clear evidence of sleep apnea. Again, you can't observe your own behavior while you sleep, but a partner may notice it. In fact, if you have sleep apnea, you will stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer at a time while you sleep. These pauses in breathe can startle or scare others, but your sleeping self will be unaware of any breathing problems.

However, there are other symptoms of sleep apnea that may be more obvious to you. Restless sleep, feeling tired when you wake, and getting sleepy during the day can all result from sleep apnea. It can also lead to grouchiness, fatigue and depression.

Snoring May Indicate Sleep Apnea
Though most people in Illinois might not think of seeing a dentist for snoring, it turns out that dentists can effectively treat sleep disorders like sleep apnea, which is often the cause of snoring.

A snore is the rumbling sound of air traveling through a partially obstructed airway. When the airway becomes fully obstructed, you get obstructive sleep apnea. This breathing disorder is characterized by pauses in breathing that last at least 10 seconds, followed by gasping.

By itself, snoring isn't a health risk. Sleep apnea, on the other hand, genuinely is. When you skip breaths, your blood oxygen levels plummet. This can damage your brain and body, Sleep apnea ups your risk of various health problems, including stroke, heart attack, and memory loss.

Before a dentist can cure snoring, he or she needs to determine the cause. Sleep apnea treatment helps patients breathe smoothly all night long, and it has the delightful side benefit of reducing or eliminating snoring.

A Popular Sleep Apnea Treatment
The top treatment for sleep apnea, many people in Illinois have found relief with CPAP. This machine uses a breathing machine to provide continuous positive air pressure all night long; all you do is breathe through a sleep mask. CPAP allows you to breathe normally throughout the night. That means that you sleep more soundly, snore less, and feel more rested and refreshed the next day.

The CPAP machine itself is relatively small. There are different types of CPAP masks; some cover both the nose and mouth, others just the nose. We'll help you find a CPAP mask that is comfortable for you, and we'll ensure that it fits properly. If it doesn't, you won't have a good seal, and the pressurized air may escape before it ever reaches your lungs.

That is part of the reason why the FDA regulates CPAP machines. CPAP treatment requires a prescription. Some types of CPAP machines include a computer that monitors your breathing at night. We can then review this information to learn more about your sleeping patterns and how well your sleep apnea treatment is working. And even if CPAP isn't right for you, we can discuss other breathing machines and sleep apnea therapies.

More Than Just CPAP
The CPAP machine is the most common breathing machine. It provides a continuous stream of positive air pressure. The air moves through a flexible tube and into a sleep mask over your nose.

But CPAP is not the only option; there are other types of breathing machines as well. Some people do not prefer CPAP machines. However, it's worth noting that other machines tend to cost more than CPAP and are less likely to be covered by insurance. A VPAP machine provides variable positive airway pressure. A BiPAP machine offers bilevel positive airway pressure. These machines allow for different air pressure when inhaling than when exhaling. For some people, VPAP or BiPAP therapy feels more natural and comfortable.

An APAP machine provides automatic positive airway pressure or auto-titrating continuous positive airway pressure. This type of breathing machine has sensors that monitor breathing and provide air as needed. CPAP therapy is often covered by insurance. However, insurance is less likely to cover the cost of other breathing machines. Patients generally begin with CPAP treatment, moving on only if they're not satisfied.

If you've had a sleep apnea diagnosis, here are some of the best tips for sleep apnea treatment and snoring prevention:

  • Avoid alcohol. Alcohol, muscle relaxants, opiates and other depressants make breathing more difficult, especially when you sleep. It's especially important to avoid them in the few hours before you fall asleep.
  • Lose weight. The fact is, people who are overweight are more likely to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Losing weight doesn't just trim your midsection; it also can give your airways a little more "breathing room."
  • Sleep in a different position. Evidence suggests that you may be able to find a snoring solution by sleeping on your side or stomach instead of your back, or by sleeping in an inclined position. (Some people use a sleep apnea pillow for this purpose.)
  • Quit smoking. Nicotine and cigarettes can make a snoring problem worse.
  • Do breathing exercises. They can make your airway stronger, less likely to collapse as you sleep. Singing lessons can also be a snoring remedy. So can learning the didgeridoo!
  • Avoid congestion. This means avoiding allergens or anything else that may cause mucus: dust, dander, pollen, and dairy products are common culprits.

TMJ Disorder

Causes of TMJ
The exact cause of the disorder is unknown. Some factors are related to an improper bite, injury, arthritis, severe stress, or a combination of factors. Clenching or grinding teeth, a condition called bruxism, may develop from stress or as part of a sleep disorder. This can tire muscles and create painful spasms, causing even more pain. Repeated muscle problems may affect the joints, resulting in tissue damage, muscle tenderness, and more spasm, perpetuating a cycle of pain. For more information about how we can help you with TMJ problems, call us at (630) 226-1100
TMJ Symptoms
Jaw pain or soreness, more noticeable in the morning or afternoon Jaw pain while chewing, biting, or yawning Earache without an infection, sometimes spreading into the face Soreness in front of the ear A clicking or grinding noise while opening and closing your mouth Difficulty opening and closing your mouth A stiff jaw when eating, talking, or yawning Sensitive teeth without any signs of dental problems Aching on the side of the head and neck pain A burning sensation in the mouth/tongue Grinding of your teeth Restricted range of jaw movement or "locking" of the jaw in an open or closed position A thorough dental examination is the first step toward finding a solution. Depending on the diagnosis, treatments may include reshaping teeth, bite guards, and muscle relaxants.
TMJ Disorder Treatment
Proper diagnosis is critical to make sure you receive treatment for your particular condition. At Radiant Dental we will only recommend treatment after conducting a thorough health history, clinical exam, taking appropriate X-rays, and perhaps confirming the condition through other diagnostic tests. The symptoms related to TMJ disorders can be successfully treated to reduce or eliminate your discomfort. Postponement of treatment usually results in more damage to the joint, muscles, or teeth.

We may prescribe a multiple-phase treatment plan. Only minor corrective treatment may be needed. Treatment may be simple or require more steps for alleviating the condition, depending on the degree of severity. Some of these treatments include:

  • Taking a non-aspirin pain reliever or prescription medications such as muscle relaxants analgesics, or anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Eating soft foods
  • Avoiding chewing gum
  • Applying moist heat or ice
  • Physical therapy
  • Teaching relaxation techniques to control muscle tension
  • Stress management training techniques
  • Posture training
  • Wearing bite plates to eliminate the harmful effects of clenching or grinding the teeth, and a better positioning of the jaws
  • Adjusting the bite, known as "occlusal equilibration" involving removing interferences when the teeth touch
  • Replacement of defective restorations that prevent the jaws from meeting properly
  • Orthodontics, to put the teeth in proper position
  • Surgery

Wisdom Teeth

Why are wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth usually appear in young adults between the ages of 15 and 25. Some wisdom teeth will grow in normally; others are "impacted." An impacted wisdom tooth allows no room for the rest of your teeth to grow. We use X-rays to evaluate whether your wisdom teeth have any chance of coming in properly and can advise you on the best time to have wisdom tooth removal.

When there is no room for wisdom teeth to come in properly or when the teeth haven't reached their permanent location by age 25, then they're considered to be impacted wisdom teeth. We recommend removing the tooth early, before wisdom tooth and other dental complications can develop.

Wisdom tooth removal
We can provide guidance whether you're a candidate for wisdom teeth removal (extraction). The bottom line is that wisdom teeth most often don't fit well in our mouths and they can cause other teeth to move or lead to gum disease or bone problems.

Ask us to make an evaluation and suggest the best course of action!

Partially visible wisdom teeth
Partially visible wisdom teeth are susceptible to bacteria that can cause wisdom tooth infection. Cysts and tumors can grow on a trapped wisdom tooth, causing irritation and some pain as well as diseases of the gums.

Another problem occurs when the second molar, the last tooth before the wisdom tooth, is damaged as the wisdom tooth grows in without enough room.

The younger the patient, the easier the healing will be, which is another reason not to wait before removing impacted wisdom teeth

Care after oral surgery

How do I care for bleeding after oral surgery?
To limit bleeding after oral surgery, we may place a gauze pack on the wisdom tooth extraction site. This should be left in place for 30 to 45 minutes after leaving the office. Bite down on the gauze, but don't "chew" on it. Bleeding might continue after the pack is removed. If it does, we recommend you follow these instructions:
  • Form a thick pad from clean gauze; dampen it and place the pad directly on the wisdom tooth extraction site.
  • Apply some pressure by firmly biting on it for about 30 minutes.
  • Replace the pad with a clean one if it becomes soaked with blood.
  • If heavy bleeding continues, call your oral surgeon.
  • Avoid sucking on the wisdom tooth extraction site.
Proper care for bleeding
To limit bleeding after oral surgery, we may place a gauze pack on the wisdom tooth extraction site. This should be left in place for 30 to 45 minutes after leaving the office. Bite down on the gauze, but don't "chew" on it. Bleeding might continue after the pack is removed. If it does, we recommend you follow these instructions:
  • Form a thick pad from clean gauze; dampen it and place the pad directly on the wisdom tooth extraction site.
  • Apply some pressure by firmly biting on it for about 30 minutes.
  • Replace the pad with a clean one if it becomes soaked with blood.
  • If heavy bleeding continues, call your oral surgeon.
  • Avoid sucking on the wisdom tooth extraction site.
Protect the clot
A blood clot should form in the wisdom tooth extraction site; this needs to be protected for proper healing. Healing is a delicate process and requires the restriction of certain activities; otherwise the blood clot can be dislodged.

Oral Surgery Care And Things You Must Avoid:

  • Sucking or blowing motions
  • Smoking
  • Drinking through a straw for 24 hours
  • Rinsing your mouth vigorously
  • Mouthwash (until your oral surgeon approves its use)
  • Cleaning teeth next to the extracted site for the rest of the day
  • Strenuous exercise for 24 hours
  • Hot liquids or alcoholic beverages
Proper oral care
Your mouth should be gently rinsed (not vigorously) with warm salt water the day after oral surgery. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt to one-cup warm water. Be sure to rinse after eating to keep food particles out of the extraction site.

Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brushing your tongue is also advised to eliminate bad breath and the unpleasant taste that often accompanies oral surgery. Floss at least once a day, too.

Follow our instructions carefully after dental surgery.

Contact Radiant Dental if:

  • Numbness doesn't subside within a few hours
  • You experience nausea or vomiting
  • You have severe pain, swelling, bleeding, or fever in the wisdom tooth extraction area
Reduce swelling and pain
We may give you a plastic ice pack to apply to your face on the way home. A cold compress helps reduce swelling. Apply either a cold compress or a cold, moist cloth periodically. Switch to moist heat (a warm wash cloth) 24 hours after oral surgery. Check with me regarding how often and how long to use a compress.

We may prescribe medication to prevent infection and control pain. Carefully follow the instructions. If you experience severe pain, swelling, bleeding, fever, nausea or vomiting, contact Radiant Dental for advice and assistance (630) 226-1100.

What is a dry socket?
After a tooth has been extracted, the socket is filled with a blood clot. Slowly, the clot shrinks and fills in. That is, a skin or a covering with tissue similar to the rest of the mouth (mucous membrane) begins to cover the clot and the tissue in the clot area is ingrown by bone cells and tissue cells. Eventually, the area shrinks and the socket is eliminated and replaced by firm tissue, and the depth of the socket fills with bone. The healed area usually is narrower than the site of the original tooth.

The pain following an extraction usually lasts no more than a day or two, at the most. If the clot breaks down or is washed away, the protective covering of the exposed bone is lost and the bone can be exposed to the mouth bacteria. This painful condition is known as dry socket. One of the features of its presence is that post-extraction pain persists longer than a couple of days and can be quite severe.

Though the causes are not known with certainty, some factors seem to predispose individuals towards a dry socket:

  • those people who have gingivitis or periodontal disease
  • those who have had lower or mandibular extractions,
  • particularly on posterior (back) teeth such as molars and pre-molars
  • those who have teeth that are difficult to extract and necessitate bone removal
  • those that are particularly difficult to numb and so need several cartridges of local anesthetic

Some local anesthetics contain epinephrine, which is used in preventing rapid dissipation of the anesthetic by constricting the blood vessels at the site. This perhaps may prevent good clot formation. People who smoke also are predisposed towards dry socket. Again, this may be because of the constricting effect of nicotine and tar products on the blood vessels. Rinsing the mouth within a few hours of extraction may flush the clot out of the socket. Using a straw may have a similar effect. That is why post-operative instructions urge the patient not to smoke, rinse or use a straw for at least a day.

Unfortunately, there is no sure way of guaranteeing that a dry socket won't occur, but there is some evidence that placing a small piece (quarter of a square inch) of gel foam (a clotting agent) covered with tetracycline powder (an antibiotic) in the socket after the extraction can reduce the chance of a dry socket. This will be absorbed over a few days and has not been shown to induce allergies or have any other effect on the patient. Fortunately, dry socket is a relatively easy condition to treat.

The Right Denture For You

What are dentures?
Dentures are removable prosthetic devices designed to replace missing teeth.
What are partial dentures?
Partial dentures are dentures that replace only a few missing teeth.
What are complete dentures?
Complete dentures are dentures that replace a complete set of missing teeth.
What is the difference between conventional dentures and immediate dentures?
Conventional dentures are dentures that are made and placed after the remaining teeth are removed and the tissues have healed. Immediate dentures are dentures that are placed immediately after the removal of the remaining teeth.
What is an over-denture?
An over-denture is a denture that fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth or implants.

Partial Denture FAQs

What are partial dentures?
Partial dentures are dentures that replace only a few missing teeth.
How do you wear a removable partial denture?
Removable partial dentures are attached to your natural teeth with metal clasps or devices called precision attachments.
How long will it take to get used to wearing a partial denture?
Your partial denture may feel awkward or bulky for the first few weeks, but your mouth will eventually get used to it.
How long should you wear a partial denture?
Initially, you may want to wear your partial denture all the time. Your dentist will give you specific instructions on how long it should be worn and when it should be removed. Generally, your mouth tissues need to rest so it is advisable that you take out your partial denture at least 15 minutes per day.
Will the partial denture change the way you speak?
Your partial denture may help your speech. It can be difficult to speak clearly when you are missing teeth. However, it also will take time to get used to it.

Denture Q&A

What do dentures feel like?
For a few weeks, new dentures will feel awkward until you become accustomed to them. They might feel loose until the cheek and tongue muscles learn to hold them in position. It is not unusual to feel minor irritation or soreness. The patient needs to see his or her dentist for regular fit adjustments to relieve any sore areas.
Do dentures need to be replaced?
At Radiant Dental we find that dentures will need to be relined, remade, or rebased due to normal wear over a period of time and normal shrinkage of your gums and bones.
Are you able to eat with dentures?
Eating with dentures will take a little practice. You should start with soft foods that are cut into small pieces. As you become used to chewing, you can return to your normal diet.
Are there foods you should avoid if you wear dentures?
There are only a few eating restrictions for denture wearers. Avoid biting down directly on crunchy or hard foods, like whole apples, hard pretzels, crusty bread, or large sandwiches. They can break because of the angle where the denture comes into contact with the hard surface.

Denture Care & Hygiene

How do you clean your dentures?
When cleaning your dentures, you should first rinse away loose food particles thoroughly. Then moisten your toothbrush and apply denture cleanser. Brush every surface, scrubbing gently to avoid damage.
How many times a day does the denture need to be cleaned?
The denture needs to be cleaned two to three times daily.
What is good oral hygiene when you have full dentures?
In addition to taking care of your dentures, taking care of your mouth also is vital if you wear full dentures. This includes brushing your gums, tongue, and palate every morning with a soft-bristled brush before inserting your dentures. This stimulates your tissues and helps remove plaque. We also recommend an oral cancer screening at least once a year.

Denture Repair

What should you do if your dentures crack or break?
Call your dentist immediately. Normally, dentures can be repaired quickly, often on the same day at Radiant Dental. Damaged dentures can cause additional oral health problems, so see your dentist right away. Never attempt to repair dentures yourself. They require professional repair and adjustment.
Why can't you fix dentures that break with glue?
Glues often contain harmful chemicals and are not effective in the proper repair of dentures.

Denture Problems

What are the denture problems?
Many denture wearers in the Bolingbrook area breathe a sigh of relief when they get their first pair of dentures because they think their dental problems are over. What they soon realize, however, is that they have just traded some old problems for new ones.

Even the best dentures can't compete with natural teeth in ability to chew food efficiently and comfortably. As the years go by, the supporting ridges that remain after teeth have been removed gradually change and get smaller.

We believe that for most patients, their dentures need to be "relined" or "refitted" every 2-4 years so that the denture will conform to the changing ridge. A large change in weight can also alter the shape of the mouth, causing changes in the fit