Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Are you wondering whether you could be a good candidate for Invisalign?
Most people have heard of Invisalign, a unique orthodontic system that uses clear aligners to shift and move teeth into the proper alignment. Invisalign has made it possible for older teens and adults to finally get the beautiful smiles they deserve without peers, coworkers and friends noticing. Curious to know whether you should get Invisalign from our Batavia, IL, dentists Drs. Andrew and Laura Elliff?
Knowing more about Invisalign treatment will help you decide whether or not it’s actually the best treatment for you. Here are some things to keep in mind when getting Invisalign.
You’ll Need to Schedule a Consultation
To determine whether you are a good candidate for Invisalign our Batavia, IL, family dentists will need to examine your mouth and talk to you about what your smile goals are. X-rays are also taken to look for decay and other issues that will need to be treated before getting Invisalign. Most healthy teens and adults dealing with minor-to-moderate malocclusions and alignment issues can benefit from Invisalign treatment.
Invisalign is Custom-Made Just for You
In order for each aligner to apply just the perfect amount of pressure to certain teeth to move them around, our Invisalign lab will need to have the exact measurements of your teeth. Each aligner is custom-made to fit firmly against your teeth. In order to do this, our dentist will need to take digital scans of your mouth and then map out every tooth movement. This data is also sent to a dental lab to help them craft the perfect set of aligners to give you the results you want.
Aligners are Removable
Invisalign treatment can easily fit into anyone’s lifestyle. Aligners are removable so you can take them out before meals, brushing and flossing your teeth, or even before a big event or meeting. While you will certainly want to wear your aligners as often as possible throughout the day it can provide our older patients with peace of mind to know that if they really need to remove their “braces” they can do so before an important event.
Elliff Dental in Batavia, IL, is ready to help you get that perfect straight set of teeth. If you want to discuss your orthodontic options with us then call us today at (630) 482-7200.
While some aspects of regular dental visits are much the same for everyone, they can be more involved for an older adult. That’s because people later in life face an increased risk of dental disease and other age-related issues.
If you’re a caregiver for an older adult, you’ll want to be aware of these heightened risks. Here are 4 areas of concern we may check during their next regular dental visit.
Oral cancer. While it can occur at any age, cancer is more prevalent among older adults. Although rarer than other cancers, oral cancer’s survival rate is a dismal 50% after five years. This is because the disease is difficult to detect early or is misidentified as other conditions. To increase the odds of early detection (and better survival chances) we may perform a cancer screening during the visit.
Dental disease. The risks for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease also increase with age. A primary risk factor for older people is a lack of adequate saliva (the mouth’s natural disease fighter) often caused by medications or systemic conditions. We’ll watch carefully for any signs of disease, as well as assess their individual risk factors (including medications) for decreased oral health.
Dentures. If they wear dentures, we’ll check the appliance’s fit. While dentures can wear with use, the fit may also grow loose due to continuing bone loss in the jaw, a downside of denture wearing. We’ll make sure they still fit comfortably and aren’t stressing the gums or supporting teeth. It may be necessary to reline them or consider replacing them with a new set.
Oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing are just as important for older adults as for younger people for preventing dental disease, but often more difficult due to mental or physical impairment. We can note areas of bacterial plaque buildup and recommend ways to improve their hygiene efforts.
Depending on how well your older adult can care for themselves, it may be advisable for you to come with them when they visit us. Our dental team can provide valuable information and advice to help you help them have a healthier mouth.
If you would like more information on dental care for older adults, 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 “Aging & Dental Health.”
You may be familiar with a dental implant used to replace a single tooth — but implant technology can do much more. Implants can also support other restorations including total teeth replacement on a jaw.
The reason they're so versatile is because implants replace the tooth root as well as the visible crown. We use a metal post, usually made of titanium, which we surgically implant in the jawbone as a root substitute. Because of a special affinity with titanium, bone around the implant grows and adheres to it and creates a durable bond.
With a single tooth replacement (the implant's original purpose when they were introduced in the 1980s) we attach a life-like porcelain crown to the individual titanium post. But with their continuing development we've adapted implants for other applications, like using a few strategically-placed implants as a stable platform for removable dentures or fixed bridges.
We're now able to use implants to support a full prosthetic (false) dental arch. Though similar in appearance to a removable denture, this particular prosthesis is permanently joined to the supporting implants with retaining screws.
Of course, the application requires careful pre-planning, which includes making sure you have enough healthy bone to support the implants. We'll also need to determine how many implants you'll need (usually four to six for this application) and create a surgical guide to place them in the best location for supporting the prosthesis. A dental technician will then create the prosthesis to match your jaw ridge contours and facial structure.
Using implants this way has a benefit other types of restorations can't provide: they may help stop future bone loss. The jawbone life cycle depends on stimulation from the attached tooth as you bite and chew — stimulation that ends when you lose the tooth. Traditional dentures and other restorations can't replicate that stimulation. Implants, on the other hand, directly encourage bone growth and can stop gradual bone loss.
If you need some form of total teeth replacement, consider one supported by implants. You may find they'll provide an excellent long-term solution to both function and appearance.
With their durability, versatility and life-likeness, there’s no doubt dental implants have revolutionized teeth replacement. If you’re considering dental implants, however, there are some issues that could impact how and when you receive implants, or if you should consider another type of restoration.
Cost. Dental implants are initially more expensive than other tooth restorations, especially for multiple tooth replacement. However, be sure you consider the projected cost over the long-term, not just installation costs. Because of their durability, implants can last decades with little maintenance cost. In the long run, you may actually pay more for dental care with other types of restorations.
Bone health. Dental implants depend on a certain amount of bone to properly situate them for the best crown placement. If you’ve experienced extensive bone loss, however, there may not be enough to support the implant. This can often be overcome with grafting — immediately after extraction, at the time of implantation or a few months before implantation — to encourage bone growth. In some cases, though, bone loss may be so extensive you may need to consider an alternative restoration.
Gum Health. While implants themselves are impervious to infection, they’re supported by gum and bone tissues that can be affected. Infected tissues around an implant could eventually detach and lead to implant failure. If you have periodontal (gum) disease, we must first bring it under control and render your gums infection-free before installing implants. It’s also important to maintain effective oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings and checkups for optimum implant health.
Complications from osteoporosis. People with osteoporosis — in which the bones lose bone density and are more prone to fracture — are often treated with drugs known as bisphosphonates. In less than 1% of cases of long-term use, a patient may develop osteonecrosis in which the bone in the jaw may lose its vitality and die. As with bone loss, this condition could make implant placement difficult or impractical. Most dentists recommend stopping treatment of bisphosphonates for about three months before implant surgery.
If you have any of these issues or other complications with your oral health, be sure to discuss those with us before considering dental implants. With proper planning and care, most of these difficulties can be overcome for a successful outcome.
If you would like more information on pre-existing conditions that may affect implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Osteoporosis & Dental Implants” and “Infections around Implants.”
Are you suffering from tooth decay? Well, with tooth-colored fillings, that's no problem. Dentists in Batavia, IL, Drs. Andrew and Laura Elliff, can help you get the healthier and whiter smile you want.
Tooth-colored fillings, also known as composite resin, are used during dental bonding procedures. The composite is made of plastic resin and a filler of finely ground glass-like particles and is used to fix issues, such as:
- Chips and cracks
- Discolored and stained teeth
- Short teeth
Fillings and Dental Bonding in Batavia
In order to prepare your teeth for the composite, your dentist will apply an etching solution to the surface of your tooth, then the composite resin that matches the color of your teeth is applied and molded to the right shape. The last step consists of the composite being hardened in place with a curing light.
Advantages of Tooth-colored Composite
After your doctor has finished the procedure, your teeth will look natural, especially if the tooth being filled is visible while you smile. Some other advantages include:
- Unlike silver amalgam, the fillings won't cause your teeth to turn a gray tint over time and are safer.
- As mentioned before, your teeth will look natural, so you won't feel self-conscious when you smile.
- The composite strengthens your teeth, so you can enjoy your meals without having to worry about applying too much pressure on your tooth and breaking, or cracking, it again
Maintaining your New Bonding
Dental bondings require the same care as all your teeth. You need to brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once before your bed. This will help keep your teeth healthy and avoid new cavities from flourishing in your new tooth-colored fillings, or any of your other teeth.
For more information about tooth colored fillings and how they can improve the appearance of your smile, call your dentists, Drs. Andrew and Laura Elliff, at (630) 482-7200, their office is conveniently located in Batavia, IL, so don't hesitate to call!