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Posts for: July, 2020

By Willow Ridge Dental Group
July 29, 2020
Category: Oral Health
NewStudiesShowSealantsCouldHelpYourChildAvoidToothDecay

Your child could hit a speed bump on their road to dental maturity—tooth decay. In fact, children are susceptible to an aggressive form of decay known as Early Childhood Caries (ECC) that can lead to tooth loss and possible bite issues for other teeth.

But dentists have a few weapons in their arsenal for helping children avoid tooth decay. One of these used for many years now is the application of sealants to the biting surfaces of both primary and permanent teeth. Now, two major research studies have produced evidence that sealant applications help reduce children's tooth decay.

Applying sealant is a quick and painless procedure that doesn't require drilling or anesthesia. A dentist brushes the sealant in liquid form to the nooks and crannies of a tooth's biting surfaces, which tend to accumulate decay-causing bacterial plaque. They then use a curing light to harden the sealant.

The studies previously mentioned that involved thousands of patients over a number of years, found that pediatric patients without dental sealants were more than three times likely to get cavities compared to those who had sealants applied to their teeth. The studies also found the beneficial effect of a sealant could last four years or more after its application.

The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend sealants for children, especially those at high risk for decay. It's common practice now for children to first get sealants when their first permanent molars erupt (teeth that are highly susceptible to decay), usually between the ages of 5 and 7, and then later as additional molars come in.

There is a modest cost for sealant applications, but far less than the potential costs for decay treatment and later bite issues. Having your child undergo sealant treatment is a worthwhile investment: It could prevent decay and tooth loss in the near-term, and also help your child avoid more extensive dental problems in the future.

If you would like more information on sealants and other preventive measures for children's teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


By Willow Ridge Dental Group
July 24, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry

Teeth whitening treatments are offered by your Naperville dentist at Willow Ridge Dental Group. Drs. Jeffrey and Connie Onik provide in-office teeth whitening and take-home teeth whitening kits to eliminate stained teeth. Why? Because a sparkling, white smile is a great first impression.

More About Teeth Whitening

Your dentists at Willow Ridge Dental Group provide a safe and effective way to brighten your smile. Depending on the whitening method chosen, results can be dramatic. In-office professional teeth whitening uses high-concentration bleaching gels to lighten teeth 3-to-8 shades brighter. At-home teeth whitening kits also work well but may need to be repeated to get the desired results.

More About the Professional Whitening Methods

  • In-Office Whitening works fast and produces powerful results quickly. Your Naperville dentist first protects sensitive tissue, gums, and tooth-root surfaces by covering them. Next, he/she uses a retractor to keeps lips and cheeks away from bleaching material applied on teeth. Finally, after an hour, you're done and go about your day.

  • Take-Home Whitening may be convenient for people with hectic work schedules. Your dentist creates custom-made molds of your teeth to have two thin, flexible plastic mouth trays made — one for the top teeth and one for the bottom — to fill with whitening gel and then position over teeth. Leave trays for about an hour at a time until you get the desired results.

Caring for Your Whitened Smile

Preventive care is essential to keep teeth white and clean. Brushing and flossing daily go without saying, but also avoid drinking too much coffee and tea. Avoid eating food that stains teeth, like berries or beetroot, and stop smoking and chewing tobacco. Talk to your Naperville dentist about other ways to avoid teeth staining.

Who to contact?

If you have more questions about professional teeth-whitening options and what best suits you, then call Drs. Jeffrey or Connie Onik at Willow Ridge Dental Group in Naperville IL at (630) 420-2800 today!


By Willow Ridge Dental Group
July 19, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implant  
TheseDigitalToolsIncreasetheSuccessRateofDentalImplants

Nothing beats the form and function of a real tooth—but dental implants come pretty close. That's why they're tops among both dentists and patients for replacing missing teeth.

Much of an implant's functionality and durability can be credited to its material construction, from the titanium metal post imbedded in the jawbone to the lifelike porcelain crown attached at its other end. But an implant's “nuts and bolts” isn't the only reason why this premier dental restoration is so popular: A good portion of their success comes from the adjunct support provided by digital technology.

Without this varied array of computer-based applications used in planning, designing and installing them, implants couldn't produce the level of satisfactory outcomes they currently do. Here then are a few of the high-tech tools dentists use to make sure your implants result in a winning smile.

CBCT scanning. Implant placement requires a high degree of precision often complicated by various anatomical structures like nerves, blood vessels and sinuses within the gums and jaws. Cone Beam Computer Tomography (CBCT) scanners rotate around a patient's head, taking hundreds of digital x-ray images that are then assembled into a 3-D model image. Dentists can view this model from various angles to identify obstacles and better pinpoint the best implant locations.

Digital impressions. Dentists can also create a 3-D digital impression model of the inside of a patient's mouth that can give them views of their current teeth and gums from any angle. This aids in determining the size and type of implant so that it blends seamlessly with remaining teeth. A digital impression can also provide both the dentist and patient a preview appearance of their future smile after treatment.

3-D printed surgical guides. To accurately drill the implant site during surgery, dentists often create a custom-made device called a surgical guide that fits into the patient's mouth during the procedure. Using results from scanning and digital impressions, highly accurate guides can be created with a 3-D printer. This further ensures that the implant will be in the exact best location for the most attractive and functional outcome.

Implantology is as much art as it is science in achieving a beautiful smile. These and other digital tools help make that desirable end a reality.

If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


By Willow Ridge Dental Group
July 09, 2020
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implant  
ReplaceYourTeethinStagesWiththeHelpofDentalImplants

Complete tooth loss is a common condition among older adults, gradually occurring one or two teeth at a time. There often comes a point of realization, though, that all the teeth will eventually be lost.

This can create a dilemma: Do you replace teeth as they're lost, or go ahead and have all of them removed at one time?

Up until recently, the latter choice seemed the most practical and affordable. But most dentists would agree that keeping natural teeth for as long as practical is better for a person's overall oral health and to slow any potential bone loss.

The emergence of dental implants has made this less of a dilemma: We can use this technology to more affordably replace teeth in stages rather than all at once. This is because an implant is technically a root replacement: a dentist inserts a titanium metal post into the jawbone. Because of an affinity with titanium, bone cells grow and adhere to the implant surface, which creates a stronger hold. It also impedes bone loss.

We can, of course, use implants as individual tooth replacements. But the expense of this approach with multiple teeth puts it well out of reach financially for many people. But implants can also be used as connective points between the patient's jaw and other kinds of dental restorations like bridges, partial dentures, and full removable or fixed dentures.

Using this approach, we can adopt a strategy of allowing healthier teeth to remain until it's necessary to remove them. We initially place implants to support a bridge, for example; later we can use the same implants along with additional ones to support a larger restoration, even a fixed full denture.

An implant-supported restoration is typically more expensive than traditional bridges or dentures, but far less than replacing teeth with individual implants. And because the stages of restorations may occur over a long period of time, the cost can be spread out to make it more manageable.

If you're facing a future where it's likely you'll lose all your teeth, you don't have to lose them all at once. Staged restorations with implants could help you hold on to your natural teeth for as long as possible, slow bone loss and make for a healthier mouth.

If you would like more information on the wide array of dental restoration options, 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 “Replacing All Teeth But Not All at Once.”


By Willow Ridge Dental Group
July 08, 2020
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Dental Veneers  

Dental veneers are a great way to upgrade your smile, providing whiteness, straightness, and evenness to your teeth. But while you want to improve your smile, you also want it to look natural.

With custom veneers from dentists Drs. Jeffrey Onik and Connie Onki at Willow Ridge Dental in Naperville, IL, you can feel confident showing off your fabulous grin.

What are veneers?

Veneers are sturdy, thin coverings attached to the surface of your original teeth, concealing any gaps, cracks, chips, or crookedness. Veneers are bonded securely to your teeth so you can eat, talk, and brush without any worry about them budging or shifting. They are one of the most popular services at your Naperville dentist.

How can my veneers be customized?

Veneers from your Naperville dentist are customized to fit your mouth and aesthetic. Your dentist will take a mold to ensure the size is appropriate and comfortable. Together, you collaborate on the tint and shape of your veneers, with varying levels of whiteness and translucency to choose from.

You can select veneers with rounded or squared edges to craft the look you want. Feel free to show your dentist pictures of teeth that you like for reference. Your finalized veneers will be attractive yet inconspicuous, so no one will know that they aren't your natural teeth. As a bonus, veneers also help repel stains from drinks and foods like wine and coffee, keeping them whiter and brighter.

How do I take care of my veneers?

Veneers are durable and permanent, so they require no removal for cleaning, sleeping, or eating. You can brush, bite, and chew like you would with your original teeth. It is best to avoid biting especially hard or sticky objects so as not to disrupt or chip your veneers, which are strong but can still be damaged. If you do crack or chip a veneer, contact your Naperville dentist right away.

Feel great about your smile with veneers from Drs. Jeffrey and Connie Onik at Willow Ridge Dental Group in Naperville IL. Call us today at 630-420-2800 to make an appointment.