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Posts for: February, 2020

By Willow Ridge Dental Group
February 21, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

If damage, decay or wear and tear have taken a toll on your teeth, it can affect both your confidence and your comfort. A healthy smile is not only attractive, but makes eating and brushing easier. If you are looking to restore your smile to its absolute best, it's time to consider dental implants from Drs. Jeffrey and Connie Onik at Willow Ridge Dental Group in Naperville, IL.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is essentially an inconspicuous and fully functional replacement for a missing tooth. The implant itself is formed like a screw, which is secured into your jawline beneath the gums to serve as the root for an artificial tooth. Implants can replace one or more of your original teeth, and are designed to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your smile.

What are the advantages of dental implants?

First, dental implants from our Naperville, IL, are attractive and natural-looking. We use an artificial tooth tinted and shaped to match your natural teeth so it is undetectable. Secondly, dental implants are permanent, unlike dentures, making them convenient and easy to care for. You won't need to worry about any slipping or shifting in your mouth.

Dental implants can also improve your oral and overall health, by keeping your jawline supported and strong and allowing you to eat crunchy, healthy foods like apples, carrots and nuts which provide you the valuable nutrients your body needs.

Are dental implants painful?

Your dentist at our Naperville, IL office will keep you as comfortable as possible during your dental implant procedure by applying a local anesthetic to the area. After making a small incision in your gum line and place the dental implant. Over the next several weeks and months the implant will begin to bond with the jawbone.

Call Willow Ridge Dental Group in Naperville, IL today to learn more about dental implants, and how they can restore your smile. Reach us at 630-420-2800.


By Willow Ridge Dental Group
February 20, 2020
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth pain  
SeeYourDentisttoFindouttheRealCauseforYourToothPain

If you have tooth pain, we want to know about it. No, really—we want to know all about it. Is the pain sharp or dull? Is it emanating from one tooth or more generally? Is it constant, intermittent or only when you bite down?

Dentists ask questions like these because there are multiple causes for tooth pain with different treatment requirements. The more accurate the diagnosis, the quicker and more successful your treatment will be.

Here are 3 different examples of tooth pain, along with their possible causes and treatments.

Tooth sensitivity. If you feel a quick jolt of pain when you eat or drink something hot or cold, it may mean your gums have drawn back (receded) from your teeth to leave more sensitive areas exposed. Gum recession is most often caused by gum disease, which we can treat by removing dental plaque, the main cause for the infection. In mild cases the gums may recover after treatment, but more advanced recession may require grafting surgery.

Dull ache around upper teeth. This type of pain might actually be a sinus problem, not a dental one. The upper back teeth share some of the same nerves as the sinus cavity just above them. See your dentist first to rule out deep decay or a tooth grinding habit putting too much pressure on the teeth. If your dentist rules out an oral cause, you may need to see your family physician to check for a sinus infection.

Constant sharp pain. A throbbing pain seeming to come from one tooth may be a sign the tooth's central pulp layer has become decayed. The resulting infection is attacking the pulp's nerves, which is causing the excruciating pain. Advanced decay of this sort requires a root canal treatment to remove the diseased tissue and fill the empty pulp chamber and root canals to prevent further infection. See your dentist even if the pain stops—the infection may have only killed the nerves, but is still present and advancing.

Pain is the body's warning system—so heed the tooth pain alert and see your dentist as soon as possible. The sooner the problem is identified and treated, the better your chances of returning to full dental health.

If you would like more information on tooth pain and what it means, 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 Pain? Don't Wait!


By Willow Ridge Dental Group
February 10, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: gum recession  
4CommonCausesforGumRecession

Your gums play an important role in dental function and health. Not only do they help anchor teeth in the jaw, the gums also protect tooth roots from disease.

But you can lose that protective covering if your gums recede or shrink back from the teeth. An exposed tooth is more susceptible to decay, and more sensitive to temperature and pressure.

Here are 4 causes for gum recession and what you can do about them.

Gum disease. The most common cause for gum recession is a bacterial infection called periodontal (gum) disease that most often arises from plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles accumulating on teeth. Gum disease in turn weakens the gums causes them to recede. You can reduce your risk for a gum infection through daily brushing and flossing to remove disease-causing plaque.

Genetics. The thickness of your gum tissues is a genetic trait you inherit from your parents. People born with thinner gums tend to be more susceptible to recession through toothbrush abrasion, wear or injury. If you have thinner tissues, you’ll need to be diligent about oral hygiene and dental visits, and pay close attention to your gum health.

Tooth eruption. Teeth normally erupt from the center of a bony housing that protects the root. If a tooth erupts or moves outside of this housing, it can expose the root and cause little to no gum tissue around the tooth. Moving the tooth orthodontically to its proper position could help thicken gum tissue and make them more resistant to recession.

Aggressive hygiene. While hard scrubbing may work with other cleaning activities, it’s the wrong approach for cleaning teeth. Too much force applied while brushing can eventually result in gum damage that leads to recession and tooth wear. So, “Easy does it”: Let the gentle, mechanical action of the toothbrush bristles and toothpaste abrasives do the work of plaque removal.

While we can often repair gum recession through gum disease treatment or grafting surgery, it’s much better to prevent it from happening. So, be sure you practice daily brushing and flossing with the proper technique to remove disease-causing plaque. And see your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups to make sure your gums stay healthy.

If you would like more information on proper gum care, 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 “Gum Recession.”