10085 W. Lincoln Hwy. Frankfort, IL 60423    |    815.469.7000    |    contact@frankfortsmiledesign.com    |   
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Services

Whether your dental needs are a complete exam and cleaning, a full-mouth restoration, or anything in between, we promise to provide you with exceptional care as we enhance the natural beauty of your smile. Below are just some of the many procedures and services we regularly provide to our patients – with a gentle touch, and stunning results. Your smile is our first priority, and we’ll give you something to smile about.

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us today. We look forward to providing you with the personal care you deserve.

Dental Exam, Cleanings & Prevention

A preventive program is a cooperative effort by the patient, dentist, and dental staff to preserve the natural dentition and supporting structures by preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions.

Preventing dental disease starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet. It is continued in the dental office by the efforts of your dentist and dental hygienist to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health.

Prevention also includes regular dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays. Sealants and fluoride are also great preventive treatments that help protect the teeth.

Prevention helps avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to having a healthy, confident, beautiful smile.

Dental Exam

A comprehensive dental exam will be performed by Dr. Sheryl Leipold at your initial dental visit. At regular check-up exams, your dentist, Dr. Leipold, and hygienist will include the following:
  • Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
  • Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
  • Gum disease evaluation: Check the gums and bone around the teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of tooth decay: All tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special dental instruments.
  • Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Professional dental cleanings (dental prophylaxis) are usually performed by Dr. Leipold or one of our Registered Dental Hygienists. Your cleaning appointment will include a dental exam and the following:
  • Removal of calculus (tartar): Calculus is hardened plaque that has been left on the tooth for some time and is now firmly attached to the tooth surface. Calculus forms above and below the gum line and can only be removed with special dental instruments.
  • Removal of plaque: Plaque is a sticky, almost invisible film that forms on the teeth. It is a growing colony of living bacteria, food debris, and saliva. The bacteria produce toxins (poisons) that inflame the gums. This inflammation is the start of periodontal disease!
  • Teeth polishing: Remove stain and plaque that is not otherwise removed during tooth brushing and scaling.
  • DIAGNOdent Laser Cavity Detection
    The DIAGNOdent Laser Cavity Detection takes the guesswork out of making a correct treatment decision regarding these teeth. The DIAGNOdent is a small, portable laser unit that can detect cavities on or just below the surfaces of the back teeth, even when they are just beginning. An audible signal alerts the dentist there is a problem and it also provides a numerical readout as to it's approximate size.

    Studies show that 50% of caries go undetected* by present diagnostic methods. The DIAGNOdent** aids in diagnosing “hidden” fissure caries more accurately and confidently. Most caries occur in the complex anatomy of the occlusal surfaces, making diagnosis with traditional methods difficult, because the outer tooth surface often appears to be intact.

    The DIAGNOdent is a new high tech laser system. It utilizes laser light of a defined wavelength to help detect and quantify demineralized tooth substances without x-ray exposure. This revolutionary new device is easy to use and turns caries detection into a harmless, measurable, more reproducible and exacting procedure.

    With DIAGNOdent we are able to make better treatment decisions earlier, whether they call for further “watching” of suspect areas to monitor changes, preventive measures or minimally invasive preparation. Detect the invisible, with the DIAGNOdent.

    Please ask us about our new laser scanner cavity detection system!

Digital X-Rays

Digital radiography (digital x-ray) is the latest technology used to take dental x-rays. This technique uses an electronic sensor (instead of x-ray film) that captures and stores the digital image on a computer. This image can be instantly viewed and enlarged helping the dentist and dental hygienist detect problems easier. Digital x-rays reduce radiation 80-90% compared to the already low exposure of traditional dental x-rays.

Dental x-rays are essential, preventative, diagnostic tools that provide valuable information not visible during a regular dental exam. Dentists and dental hygienists use this information to safely and accurately detect hidden dental abnormalities and complete an accurate treatment plan. Without x-rays, problem areas may go undetected.

Dental x-rays may reveal:
  • Abscesses or cysts
  • Bone loss
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous tumors
  • Decay between the teeth
  • Developmental abnormalities
  • Poor tooth and root positions
  • Problems inside a tooth or below the gum line
Detecting and treating dental problems at an early stage may save you time, money, unnecessary discomfort, and your teeth!

Are dental x-rays safe?

We are all exposed to natural radiation in our environment. Digital x-rays produce a significantly lower level of radiation compared to traditional dental x-rays. Not only are digital x-rays better for the health and safety of the patient, they are faster and more comfortable to take, which reduces your time in the dental office. Also, since the digital image is captured electronically, there is no need to develop the x-rays, thus eliminating the disposal of harmful waste and chemicals into the environment.

Even though digital x-rays produce a low level of radiation and are considered very safe, dentists still take necessary precautions to limit the patient’s exposure to radiation. These precautions include only taking those x-rays that are necessary, and using lead apron shields to protect the body.

How often should dental x-rays be taken?

The need for dental x-rays depends on each patient’s individual dental health needs. Your dentist and dental hygienist will recommend necessary x-rays based upon the review of your medical and dental history, a dental exam, signs and symptoms, your age, and risk of disease.

A full mouth series of dental x-rays is recommended for new patients. A full series is usually good for three to five years. Bite-wing x-rays (x-rays of top and bottom teeth biting together) are taken at recall (check-up) visits and are recommended once or twice a year to detect new dental problems.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride is the most effective agent available to help prevent tooth decay. It is a mineral that is naturally present in varying amounts in almost all foods and water supplies. The benefits of fluoride have been well known for over 50 years and are supported by many health and professional organizations.

Fluoride works in two ways:

Topical fluoride strengthens the teeth once they have erupted by seeping into the outer surface of the tooth enamel, making the teeth more resistant to decay. We gain topical fluoride by using fluoride containing dental products such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, and gels. Dentists and dental hygienists generally recommend that children have a professional application of fluoride twice a year during dental check-ups.

Systemic fluoride strengthens the teeth that have erupted as well as those that are developing under the gums. We gain systemic fluoride from most foods and our community water supplies. It is also available as a supplement in drop or gel form and can be prescribed by your dentist or physician. Generally, fluoride drops are recommended for infants, and tablets are best suited for children up through the teen years. It is very important to monitor the amounts of fluoride a child ingests. If too much fluoride is consumed while the teeth are developing, a condition called fluorosis (white spots on the teeth) may result.

Although most people receive fluoride from food and water, sometimes it is not enough to help prevent decay. Your dentist or dental hygienist may recommend the use of home and/or professional fluoride treatments for the following reasons:
  • Deep pits and fissures on the chewing surfaces of teeth
  • Exposed and sensitive root surfaces
  • Fair to poor oral hygiene habits
  • Frequent sugar and carbohydrate intake
  • Inadequate exposure to fluorides
  • Inadequate saliva flow due to medical conditions, medical treatments or medications
  • Recent history of dental decay
Remember, fluoride alone will not prevent tooth decay! It is important to brush at least twice a day, floss regularly, eat balanced meals, reduce sugary snacks, and visit your dentist on a regular basis.

Sealants

A sealant is a thin, plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of molars, premolars and any deep grooves (called pits and fissures) of teeth. More than 75% of dental decay begins in these deep grooves. Teeth with these conditions are hard to clean and are very susceptible to decay. A sealant protects the tooth by sealing deep grooves, creating a smooth, easy to clean surface.

Sealants can protect teeth from decay for many years, but need to be checked for wear and chipping at regular dental visits.

Reasons for sealants:
  • Children and teenagers – As soon as the six-year molars (the first permanent back teeth) appear or any time throughout the cavity prone years of 6-16.
  • Adults – Tooth surfaces without decay that have deep grooves or depressions.
  • Baby teeth – Occasionally done if teeth have deep grooves or depressions and child is cavity prone.

What do sealants involve?

Sealants are easily applied by your dentist or dental hygienist and the process takes only a couple of minutes per tooth.

The teeth to be sealed are thoroughly cleaned and then surrounded with cotton to keep the area dry. A special solution is applied to the enamel surface to help the sealant bond to the teeth. The teeth are then rinsed and dried. Sealant material is carefully painted onto the enamel surface to cover the deep grooves or depressions. Depending on the type of sealant used, the material will either harden automatically or with a special curing light.

Proper home care, a balanced diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new sealants.

Home Care

A beautiful, healthy smile that lasts a lifetime is our ultimate goal when treating patients. Your personal home care plays an important role in achieving that goal. Your personal home care starts by eating balanced meals, reducing the number of snacks you eat, and correctly using the various dental aids that help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease.

Tooth Brushing
Brush your teeth at least twice a day (especially before going to bed at night) with an ADA approved soft bristle brush and toothpaste.
  1. Place the brush at a 45 degree angle to the gums and gently brush using a small, circular motion, ensuring that you always feel the bristles on the gums.
  2. Brush the outer, inner, and biting surfaces of each tooth.
  3. Use the tip of the brush to clean the inside of the front teeth.
  4. Brush your tongue to remove bacteria and freshen your breath.
  5. Electric toothbrushes are also recommended. They are easy to use and can remove plaque efficiently. Simply place the bristles of the electric brush on your gums and teeth and allow the brush to do its job, several teeth at a time.

Flossing
Daily flossing is the best way to clean between the teeth and under the gumline. Flossing not only helps clean these spaces, it disrupts plaque colonies from building up, preventing damage to the gums, teeth, and bone.
  1. Take 12-16 inches (30-40cm) of dental floss and wrap it around your middle fingers, leaving about 2 inches (5cm) of floss between the hands.
  2. Using your thumbs and forefingers to guide the floss, gently insert the floss between teeth using a sawing motion.
  3. Curve the floss into a “C” shape around each tooth and under the gumline. Gently move the floss up and down, cleaning the side of each tooth.
Floss holders are recommended if you have difficulty using conventional floss.

Rinsing
It is important to rinse your mouth with water after brushing, and also after meals if you are unable to brush. If you are using an over-the-counter product for rinsing, it’s a good idea to consult with your dentist or dental hygienist on its appropriateness for you.

Use other dental aids as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist: Interdental brushes, rubber tip stimulators, tongue cleaners, irrigation devices, fluoride, medicated rinses, etc., can all play a role in good dental home care.

Tooth Whitening

Your smile is important. It's one of the first things you notice when you meet someone. A whiter, brighter smile is beautiful - it can help you feel better about yourself and make a memorable impression.

Your lifestyle and the aging process can stain and darken your teeth. Many things we do on a regular basis can contribute to stained teeth, such as drinking coffee, tea, cola and red wine or smoking.

Whitening can get your smile looking its best. Non-professional procedures and clinically unproven teeth whitening tips can often lead to unsatisfactory results, you should look for a whitening procedure that is:
  • Fast and convenient
  • Long lasting
  • Low sensitivity
  • Proven to be safe and effective
  • Performed by a Dental Professional

Reasons for tooth whitening:
  • Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development)
  • Normal wear of outer tooth layer
  • Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.)
  • Yellow, brown stained teeth

What does tooth whitening involve?

This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.

At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.

You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.

Please call our office and inquire about our Zoom! and Lumibrite whitening specials

Composite Fillings (Tooth Colored)

Advances in modern dental materials and techniques increasingly offer new ways to create more pleasing, naturallooking smiles. Researchers are continuing their often decades-long work developing esthetically attractive materials, such as ceramic and plastic compounds that mimic the appearance of natural teeth.

Today, more patients ask their dentists about white fillings because they want their teeth to look natural when they laugh, talk and smile. White fillings, also called composite fillings, are made from tooth-colored materials that restore the natural appearance of a decayed or previously filled tooth. Because they blend well with tooth enamel and don't look like fillings, your dentist may recommend them if the teeth to be restored are near the front of your mouth.

A composite filling usually requires only one visit, during which the tooth is prepared and restored. An advantage of composite fillings, as compared with other dental restorations, is that they require less of the healthy part of a tooth to be removed to hold the filling in place. This is due to composite materials' ability to bond to teeth adhesively.

The procedure for a composite filling may take a little longer than those for other types of fillings, because after the decay is removed, the tooth must be kept totally isolated from saliva. The dentist carefully applies an adhesive followed by several thin layers of the tooth-colored composite. Once the filling is in place, it is chemically hardened, or cured, for less than a minute with a special light.

Porcelain Crowns (Caps)

What Is a Crown?

A crown, also known as a "cap", is a tooth-like covering used to strengthen, restore, or improve the appearance of your natural tooth.

Reasons for crowns:
  • Fractured or Broken teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured or Large fillings
  • Tooth has a root canal
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist, will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once this is accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting on your crown properly.

At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be permanently cemented and ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.

Porcelain Veneers/ Lumineers

Veneers can solve the problem of gaps in your teeth or with teeth that are stained, badly shaped or crooked. Today a veneer placed on top of your teeth can correct nature's mistake or the results of an injury and help you have a beautiful smile.

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells crafted of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front side of teeth. They're made by a dental technician, usually in a dental lab, working from a model provided by your dentist.

You should know that this is usually an irreversible process, because it's necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from your teeth to accommodate the shell.

Regardless of what causes unattractive teeth, dental veneers may solve most or even all of your cosmetic dental issues, including:
  • Worn enamel: Over time, the thin, hard white substance covering your teeth (enamel) may become worn, dulled, and discolored. Such wear and discoloration may be natural or the result of a genetic predisposition; however, it is often a result of your habits (soft drink, tea, or coffee consumption, smoking, medication use, etc.).
  • Wear and tear: Teeth naturally wear down as people age. Aged teeth are more likely to have chips, cracks or a generally uneven appearance
  • Genetics: Certain people may be born with abnormal spacing between the teeth that grows wider as they age.
  • Uneven teeth: Uneven teeth can result from tooth grinding or general wear and tear.

What does getting porcelain veneers involve?

Getting veneers usually requires two visits to complete the process, with little or no anesthesia required during the procedure. The teeth are prepared by lightly buffing and shaping the surface to allow for the thickness of the veneer. A mold or impression of the teeth is taken and a shade (color) will then be chosen by you and the dentist.

On the second visit the teeth will be cleansed with special liquids to achieve a durable bond. Bonding cement is then placed between the tooth and veneer and a special light is used to harden and set the bond.

You will receive care instructions for veneers. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new veneers.

As with most dental restorations, veneers are not permanent and may someday need replacement. They are very durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.


LUMINEERS®

LUMINEERS® BY CERINATE® are porcelain veneers that offer the painless way to a permanently whiter and perfectly aligned smile. Your LUMINEERS dentist can apply these contact lens-thin "smile shapers" to teeth without any grinding or shaving, transforming teeth into a naturally beautiful smile that looks perfect for every individual. LUMINEERS can even be placed over existing crown or bridgework without having to replace them.

LUMINEERS are contact lens-thin and are placed over existing teeth without having to remove painful tooth structure (unlike traditional veneers.) LUMINEERS is the painless, permanent cosmetic solution for stained, chipped, discolored or misaligned teeth.

LUMINEERS can only be made from patented Cerinate porcelain unavailable anywhere other than the Cerinate Smile Design Studio. In just 2-3 visits to your LUMINEERS dentist, you can have a custom-made smile that is clinically proven to last over 20 years - and it is completely reversible since your natural tooth structure is still intact! Get your perfect smile today!

Porcelain Inlays

Sometimes, a tooth is planned to be restored with an intracoronal restoration, but the decay or fracture is so extensive that a direct restoration, such as amalgam (silver) or composite, would compromise the structural integrity of the restored tooth or provide substandard opposition to occlusal (i.e., biting) forces. In such situations, an indirect gold or porcelain inlay restoration may be indicated. When an inlay is used, the tooth-to-restoration margin may be finished and polished to such a super-fine line of contact that recurrent decay will be all but impossible. While these restorations might be ten times the price of direct restorations, the superiority of an inlay in terms of resistance to occlusal forces, protection against recurrent decay, precision of fabrication, marginal integrity, proper contouring for gingival (tissue) health, and ease of cleansing offers an excellent alternative to the direct restoration. Inlays are an ideal alternative to conventional silver and composite fillings. Also, they are more conservative than crowns because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of inlays.

As with most dental restorations, inlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement. They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.

Porcelain Onlays

An onlay restoration is a custom made filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. Porcelain onlays are popular because they resemble your natural tooth. An onlay is sometimes also referred to as a partial crown. Porcelain onlays are made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented onto the tooth by your dentist.

Onlays can be utilized to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of onlays. Onlays are essentially identical to inlays with the exception that one or more of the chewing cusps have also been affected and need to be included in the restoration.

As with most dental restorations, onlays are not always permanent and may someday require replacement. They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile.

Reasons for onlay restorations:
  • Broken or fractured teeth
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Decayed teeth
  • Fractured fillings
  • Large fillings
What does getting an onlay involve?

An onlay procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate impressions (molds) that will be used to create your custom onlay and a temporary restoration.

While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and/or old filling materials. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an onlay restoration. A temporary filling will be applied to protect the tooth while your onlay is made by a dental laboratory.

At your second appointment, your new onlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place. A few adjustments may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.

Porcelain Fixed Bridges

What Is a Bridge?

To replace one or more missing teeth, a custom designed bridge is anchored to neighboring teeth. When replacing a missing tooth, crowns must be placed on the teeth on either side of the missing one to hold the replacement in place.

Why Is A Bridge Necessary?

Losing a permanent tooth, for whatever reason, can cause many serious problems for your neighboring teeth. The remaining teeth may begin to shift due to changes in support and chewing function. The tooth above or below the lost tooth can begin to move out of its socket, which can accelerate gum disease and further break down the bone structure. If the missing tooth is not replaced, more teeth may eventually be lost due to the improper forces exerted during chewing.

Reasons for a fixed bridge:
  • Fill space of missing teeth
  • Maintain facial shape
  • Prevent remaining teeth from drifting out of position
  • Restore chewing and speaking ability
  • Restore your smile
  • Upgrade from a removable partial denture to a permanent dental appliance

What does getting a fixed bridge involve?

Getting a bridge usually requires two or more visits. While the teeth are numb, the two anchoring teeth are prepared by removing a portion of enamel to allow for a crown. Next, a highly accurate impression (mold) is made which will be sent to a dental laboratory where the bridge will be fabricated. In addition, a temporary bridge will be made and worn for several weeks until your next appointment.

At the second visit, you permanent bridge will be carefully checked, adjusted, and permanently cemented to achieve a proper fit.

You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new permanent bridge.

Dental Implants

Crowns and conventional bridges or dentures may not be your only options when replacing missing teeth. For some people, dental implants offer a smile that looks and feels very natural. Surgically placed below the gums over a series of appointments, implants fuse to the jawbone and serve as a base for individual replacement teeth, bridges or a denture.

The Facts About Dental Implant Restorations:
  • Durable: Dental Implants are the strongest and most durable option to tooth replacement because they are fused into the jaw bone;
  • Long-Lasting: Dental Implants are made to be strong and withstand your everyday activities for years to come and even a lifetime if properly taken care of;
  • Promotes A Healthy Oral Solution: Because Dental Implants are secured into the bone individually, they do not require the altering or reduction of the bordering teeth for support;
  • Natural Looking: Dental Implants are designed to be just as strong and natural looking as your own natural teeth, which will enhance your smile as well as your appearance;
  • Improve Appearance and Restore Confidence: Having a missing tooth can make you self conscious and not want to smile. With the option of Dental Implants you can smile with confidence knowing that your teeth look and feel very natural.

How Dental Implant Restoration Treatment Works:
  • The Dental Implant acts as the new root in the jaw bone;
  • Then the implant and bone are given the next 2 to 6 months to bond which forms the anchor for the artificial tooth. If needed a temporary tooth can also be placed over the implant site;
  • A replacement tooth will then be designed and attached to the artificial root. Shortly after the replacement tooth has been secured you will be able to chew and speak as if you had never lost your natural tooth;
  • In the event that several teeth are missing, bridges that are supported by implants can also be created to replace all of the teeth. Dental implants will be used to replace the natural teeth you have lost as well as some of the roots.

Periodontal Disease

Introduction

If you have been told you have periodontal (gum) disease, you’re not alone. Many adults in the U.S. currently have some form of the disease. Periodontal diseases range from simple gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.

Whether your gum disease is stopped, slowed, or gets worse depends a great deal on how well you care for your teeth and gums every day, from this point forward.

What causes gum disease?

Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless “plaque” on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar.

Gingivitis

The longer plaque and tartar are on teeth, the more harmful they become. The bacteria cause inflammation of the gums that is called “gingivitis.” In gingivitis, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed easily. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can usually be reversed with daily brushing and flossing, and regular cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist. This form of gum disease does not include any loss of bone and tissue that hold teeth in place.

Periodontitis

When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to “periodontitis” (which means “inflammation around the tooth”). In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called “pockets”) that become infected. The body’s immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the body’s natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.

Risk Factors
  • Smoking. Need another reason to quit smoking? Smoking is one of the most significant risk factors associated with the development of gum disease. Additionally, smoking can lower the chances for successful treatment.
  • Hormonal changes in girls/women. These changes can make gums more sensitive and make it easier for gingivitis to develop.
  • Diabetes. People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease.
  • Other illnesses. Diseases like cancer or AIDS and their treatments can also negatively affect the health of gums.
  • Medications. There are hundreds of prescription and over the counter medications that can reduce the flow of saliva, which has a protective effect on the mouth. Without enough saliva, the mouth is vulnerable to infections such as gum disease. And some medicines can cause abnormal overgrowth of the gum tissue; this can make it difficult to keep teeth and gums clean.
  • Genetic susceptibility. Some people are more prone to severe gum disease than others.

Who gets gum disease?

People usually don't show signs of gum disease until they are in their 30s or 40s. Men are more likely to have gum disease than women. Although teenagers rarely develop periodontitis, they can develop gingivitis, the milder form of gum disease. Most commonly, gum disease develops when plaque is allowed to build up along and under the gum line.

How do I know if I have gum disease?

Symptoms of gum disease include:
  • Bad breath that won't go away
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Painful chewing
  • Loose teeth
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
Any of these symptoms may be a sign of a serious problem, which should be checked by a dentist. At your dental visit the dentist or hygienist should:
  • Ask about your medical history to identify underlying conditions or risk factors (such as smoking) that may contribute to gum disease.
  • Examine your gums and note any signs of inflammation.
  • Use a tiny ruler called a "probe" to check for and measure any pockets. In a healthy mouth, the depth of these pockets is usually between 1 and 3 millimeters. This test for pocket depth is usually painless.

The dentist or hygienist may also:
  • Take an x-ray to see whether there is any bone loss.
  • Refer you to a periodontist. Periodontists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of gum disease and may provide you with treatment options that are not offered by your dentist.
How is gum disease treated?

The main goal of treatment is to control the infection. The number and types of treatment will vary, depending on the extent of the gum disease. Any type of treatment requires that the patient keep up good daily care at home. The doctor may also suggest changing certain behaviors, such as quitting smoking, as a way to improve treatment outcome.

Deep Cleaning (Scaling and Root Planing)

The dentist, periodontist, or dental hygienist removes the plaque through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing. Scaling means scraping off the tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing gets rid of rough spots on the tooth root where the germs gather, and helps remove bacteria that contribute to the disease. In some cases a laser may be used to remove plaque and tartar. This procedure can result in less bleeding, swelling, and discomfort compared to traditional deep cleaning methods.

Medications

Medications may be used with treatment that includes scaling and root planning, but they cannot always take the place of surgery. Depending on how far the disease has progressed, the dentist or periodontist may still suggest surgical treatment.

Dentures & Partial Dentures

Dentures, also known as false teeth, are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth, and which are supported by surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable, however there are many different denture designs, some which rely on bonding or clasping onto teeth or dental implants. There are two main categories of dentures, depending on whether they are used to replace missing teeth on the mandibular arch or the maxillary arch.

Reasons for dentures:
  • Complete Denture - Loss of all teeth in an arch
  • Partial Denture - Loss of several teeth in an arch
  • Enhancing smile and facial tissues
  • Improving chewing, speech, and digestion

What does getting dentures involve?

The process of getting dentures requires several appointments, usually over several weeks. Highly accurate impressions (molds) and measurements are taken and used to create your custom denture. Several “try-in” appointments may be necessary to ensure proper shape, color, and fit. At the final appointment, your dentist will precisely adjust and place the completed denture, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit.

It is normal to experience increased saliva flow, some soreness, and possible speech and chewing difficulty, however this will subside as your muscles and tissues get used to the new dentures.

You will be given care instructions for your new dentures. Proper cleaning of your new dental appliance, good oral hygiene, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new dentures. Daily cleaning of dentures is recommended. Plaque and tartar can build up on false teeth, just as they do on natural teeth. Cleaning can be done by chemical or mechanical denture cleaners.

Root Canal Therapy

Endodontic therapy or root canal therapy, colloquially root canal, is a sequence of treatment for the pulp of a tooth which results in the elimination of infection and protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion. This set of procedures is commonly referred to as a "root canal." Root canals and their associated pulp chamber are the physical hollows within a tooth that are naturally inhabited by nerve tissue, blood vessels and other cellular entities. Endodontic therapy involves the removal of these structures, the subsequent shaping, cleaning, and decontamination of the hollows with tiny files and irrigating solutions, and the obturation (filling) of the decontaminated canals with an inert filling such as gutta percha and typically a eugenol-based cement. Epoxy resin, which may or may not contain Bisphenol A is employed to bind gutta percha in some root canal procedures.

After endodontic surgery the tooth will be "dead." Although the procedure is relatively painless when done properly, the root canal remains a stereotypically fearsome dental operation. After treatment, your tooth may still be sensitive, but this will subside as the inflammation diminishes and the tooth has healed. After the tooth feels more comfortable your dentist places a crown over the tooth to help make it stronger.




Signs and symptoms for possible root canal therapy:
  • An abscess (or pimple) on the gums
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Severe toothache pain
  • Sometimes no symptoms are present
  • Swelling and/or tenderness

Orthodontic Treatment
(Metal & Ceramic Braces and Invisalign)

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry specializing in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of jaw, face and bite irregularities (malocclusions*). Orthodontic treatment is provided by an oral health care provider known as an Orthodontist, who has typically completed two to three years of additional training beyond dental school.

Meet the Orthodontist:

John R. Napolitano, D.D.S.

Educational and Professional Affiliations
  • Bachelor of Science, Chemistry- University of Notre Dame
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery- University of Illinois
  • Post Doctoral Specialty Training, Orthodontics- Columbia University
  • Instructor, Oral Pathology- University of Illinois
  • Instructor, Orthodontics- Loyola University
  • Past President American Lingual Orthodontics Association
  • Sanctioned Speaker for the Academy of General Dentistry
  • Member American Dental Association
  • Member Illinois Dental Association
  • Member Chicago Dental Association
  • Member American Association of Orthodontics
  • Member Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS)
  • Member The World Clinical Laser Institute
  • Member The International Congress of Oral Implantologists
  • Graduate The Chicago Implant Dentistry Continuum
  • Bone Biology Harvesting and Grafting Certified
  • Oral Conscious Sedation Certified
  • Laser Certified
  • Implant Certified
  • LVI Trained (Las Vegas Institute)
  • Private Practice 35+ years

Personal and Special Interests:

Dr. Napolitano is an avid “lover of the sea” and enjoys sailing whenever the opportunity permits. As the weather cools, Dr. Napolitano heads to the “slopes” where he fills his free time with the challenges of down hill skiing. In addition to sports, Dr. Napolitano loves to create things with his hands and when he is not building beautiful smiles, he enjoys the intricacies of woodworking. Dr. Napolitano’s most favorite hobby however, is spending time with his grandchildren Luke, Cooper, Hunter and Vincent. Dr. Napolitano’s heart is filled with his grand-sons and he hopes that someday he will have a grand-daughter that he can call his "princess".


Philosophy of Care

Behind your beautiful smile lies our pride! That is the feeling we share at Innovative Dental Professionals. Our goal at Innovative, is to create gorgeous smiles along with complete facial harmony.

As a specialist, Dr. Napolitano believes these objectives can only be accomplished when a “growth and development” treatment philosophy is employed. Intercepting growth aberrations at an early age has a very high correction percentage. The result is a completely balanced facial profile to go along with that beautiful smile. When children are screened by 6 years of age, all non-extraction orthodontic treatment options remain available.

As an adult patient, Dr. Napolitano will evaluate the size and shape of the oral cavity and restore your mouth to proper size addressing the issues of sleep apnea, snoring and airway. The harmony established between your smile and facial features will make you feel like you’ve had a “smile make-over”.

At Innovative we will provide the most progressive treatment modalities within a very fun, spirited and caring environment. For us, it is an honor to treat your family’s dental/orthodontic needs. We enthusiastically look forward to welcoming you into our practice.
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