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Posts for: April, 2017

By Willow Ridge Dental Group
April 29, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

It might seem that supermodels have a fairly easy life — except for the fact that they are expected to look perfect whenever they’re in front of a camera. Sometimes that’s easy — but other times, it can be pretty difficult. Just ask Chrissy Teigen: Recently, she was in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a restaurant scene for the TV travel series The Getaway, when some temporary restorations (bonding) on her teeth ended up in her food.

As she recounted in an interview, “I was… like, ‘Oh my god, is my tooth going to fall out on camera?’ This is going to be horrible.” Yet despite the mishap, Teigen managed to finish the scene — and to keep looking flawless. What caused her dental dilemma? “I had chipped my front tooth so I had temporaries in,” she explained. “I’m a grinder. I grind like crazy at night time. I had temporary teeth in that I actually ground off on the flight to Thailand.”

Like stress, teeth grinding is a problem that can affect anyone, supermodel or not. In fact, the two conditions are often related. Sometimes, the habit of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) occurs during the day, when you’re trying to cope with a stressful situation. Other times, it can occur at night — even while you’re asleep, so you retain no memory of it in the morning. Either way, it’s a behavior that can seriously damage your teeth.

When teeth are constantly subjected to the extreme forces produced by clenching and grinding, their hard outer covering (enamel) can quickly start to wear away. In time, teeth can become chipped, worn down — even loose! Any dental work on those teeth, such as fillings, bonded areas and crowns, may also be damaged, start to crumble or fall out. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold because of the lack of sufficient enamel. Bruxism can also result in headaches and jaw pain, due in part to the stress placed on muscles of the jaw and face.

You may not be aware of your own teeth-grinding behavior — but if you notice these symptoms, you might have a grinding problem. Likewise, after your routine dental exam, we may alert you to the possibility that you’re a “bruxer.” So what can you do about teeth clenching and grinding?

We can suggest a number of treatments, ranging from lifestyle changes to dental appliances or procedures. Becoming aware of the behavior is a good first step; in some cases, that may be all that’s needed to start controlling the habit. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress — meditation, relaxation, a warm bath and a soothing environment — may also help. If nighttime grinding keeps occurring, an “occlusal guard” (nightguard) may be recommended. This comfortable device is worn in the mouth at night, to protect teeth from damage. If a minor bite problem exists, it can sometimes be remedied with a simple procedure; in more complex situations, orthodontic work might be recommended.

Teeth grinding at night can damage your smile — but you don’t have to take it lying down! If you have questions about bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”


Orthodontics relies on certain mechanics in the mouth to move teeth to better positions. As the specialty has advanced, we've become ever more precise in moving teeth with braces, the “workhorse” of orthodontics, and other specialized appliances and techniques.

But although cooperating effectively with the mouth's natural ability for tooth movement is crucial for success, there's another aspect to consider if that success will be long-term: the growth and development of oral and facial structure. And not just development during childhood and adolescence: indeed, facial structure continues to change throughout a lifetime, including the senior years. Research has shown that although the rate of growth slows over time, it doesn't stop even for someone 80 years or older.

Our emerging understanding in this area has had an important impact on how and when we perform orthodontic treatment. As we develop a treatment strategy for an individual patient we consider not only the immediate outcome of a treatment, but also how it may change their facial appearance in the future. By taking continuing facial growth into consideration, we're more likely to achieve a new smile appearance that remains attractive later in life.

A key factor is to be sure we're initiating treatments at appropriate ages. We may detect developing bite problems as early as age 6, which might prompt preventive treatment at that time to diminish or even eliminate the problem. But it may also be prudent to wait on full-scale orthodontic treatment until late childhood or puberty. Furthermore, some form of orthodontic treatment might need to continue into early adulthood to ensure the most optimal outcome.

By taking a longer view of the treatment process, we're better able to work within the natural growth and development taking place now and in the future. As a result, a person is more likely to enjoy an attractive and youthful appearance even in their later years.

If you would like more information on aging factors for cosmetic enhancement, 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 “Understanding Aging Makes Beauty Timeless.”

By Willow Ridge Dental Group
April 03, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Want a great smile? Dentists have a wide array of tools at their disposal for improving the look of your smile. Willow Ridge Dental Group, cosmetic dentistry which is located in Naperville, IL, offers a full range of dental services. Dr. Jeffrey Onik and Dr. Connie Onik are some of the finest dentists in Naperville, IL. Here are four dental services that can help improve your smile.

1. Invisalign

The Invisalign System is the virtually invisible way to straighten your smile. Invisalign aligners are removable, so you will be able to eat all your favorite foods during your treatment. Unlike conventional braces, there are no metal archwires or brackets. No one will even notice that you are wearing these virtually invisible aligners.

2. Dental Implants

Dental implants are the gold standard in tooth replacement. A dental implant is a post, usually made of titanium, that serves as a substitute for the tooth root. Dental implants can restore your smile and improve your self-esteem. Dental implants look and feel like your natural teeth, and act like real teeth, allowing you to eat without pain and with confidence. 

3. Teeth Whitening

Professional teeth whitening removes years of stains and the process is safe. Professional teeth whitening methods include in-office bleaching and treatments which the patient carries out at home. For in-office bleaching, your dentist will combine a bleaching gel with a light to speed up the process. Take-home whitening involves custom-made trays filled with a whitening solution that you can use at home.

4. Dental Veneers

Want a million-dollar smile? Dental veneers offer a surgery-free and safe means of improving the look of your teeth. Porcelain veneers are thin, custom-made shells that fit over the teeth, changing their length, color, shape, and size. These shells are used to improve teeth that are crooked, poorly shaped, stained, worn, or chipped. Veneers are also used to improve teeth that have gaps between them. 

Now is the perfect time to make a wise decision. If you want that perfect, million-dollar smile, call Willow Ridge Dental Group at 630-420-2800 to schedule a consultation in Naperville, IL. We will help you create a healthy, gorgeous smile that lasts for years. Remember, it's never too late to improve your smile.