Crowns, Bridges, Dentures & Implants: the Facts

There are lots of ways to deal with missing or damaged teeth. You’ve probably heard one of us at Nelson Ridge Family Dental talking about implants, dentures, bridges, and crowns, but have you ever wondered what they are and how they work? Your New Lenox dentists know folks like to be informed, so think of this as your personal guide to dental restorations that might end up in your mouth.

Crowns, Bridges & Dentures, Oh My!

At some point in time, most of us will lose at least one adult tooth. The most common cause of tooth loss is gum disease, but it could also be an accident, a sports injury, or a cavity. Some people are even born without the ability to develop one or more adult teeth! Either way, the point is that most of us will one day face a decision: how do I replace my lost or damaged tooth? There are many ways to fill a gap in your bite:

Crowns

Crowns themselves do not replace entire teeth, but they play an important role in the process of stabilizing teeth and supporting other devices that restore harmony to your bite. Sometimes, Dr. Etchison, Dr. Pycinska, Dr. Eberhardt or Dr. Danesh will place a crown to improve the appearance of or strengthen a tooth after a cavity has left the tooth unable to support a filling.

Placed directly over the surface of the tooth (like a king’s crown), crowns can also be used to protect weak teeth, repair broken teeth, attach and anchor a bridge, and/or cover an implant. They come in a variety of materials and colors to suit a number of different needs.

Bridges

Bridges are permanent or removable dental restoration appliances that replace missing teeth with artificial teeth. By creating a literal bridge between gaps, bridges improve the functionality of your bite and the beauty of your smile.

Bridges can be made of gold, alloys, porcelain, or any combination thereof. Both fixed and removable bridges make use of surrounding teeth for support, but fixed bridges are usually more stable than removable bridges. However, they are also more expensive than removable bridges.

Dentures

If you have lost most or all of your teeth, dentures may be the way to go. Dentures are natural-looking, removable appliances that allow you to eat and speak normally, despite a lack of teeth. They also help prevent sagging of the facial muscles, which can occur if there are little or no teeth to support the structure of your face.

There are three types of dentures: conventional, immediate, and overdentures. Conventional dentures require the removal of any remaining teeth and a healing period (sometimes several months or longer) before they can be fitted. Immediate dentures also require the removal of your remaining teeth but are inserted the same day as the removal.

Overdentures are a great option if you have a few healthy teeth left. They are called overdentures because your New Lenox dentists fit them over your remaining teeth, which provide support and help keep your jawbone healthy. Although the process of adapting to your dentures may be uncomfortable at first, having functional teeth is much better for your health in the long run!

Implants

In terms of preserving the integrity of the jawbone and providing support and strength to nearby crowns, bridges, and/or dentures, implants are the best option for missing teeth. Implants are small, titanium posts inserted directly into your jawbone. The bone grows around them, much like a natural root, and fixes them in place.

Once the bone around the implant is fully healed, a replacement tooth is placed over the implant. This is the closest you can come to a natural tooth. Stimulation from chewing with an implant helps to preserve the jawbone and encourage circulation in the surrounding area. Implants are a permanent solution for a healthier smile.

Why Fix Missing Teeth?

Even if missing teeth aren’t visible and don’t seem to affect your bite, it is still important to do something about them. Nelson Ridge Family Dental wants every everyone to know that the reasons for using crowns, bridges, dentures, and implants go beyond cosmetics and comfort. Your adult teeth are designed to work as a team, and any missing player can compromise the function of your bite, ease of speech, susceptibility to dental disease, and the health of your jawbone.

Contact your New Lenox dentists today to make an appointment and we’ll help you get the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve!

The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Do Whitening Strips Actually Work?

Whitening strips are among the most popular health and beauty products in New Lenox. Brightening up your pearly whites is a great way to give your smile a boost, and with all the over-the-counter options, there’s no reason not to pick one up and try it out. Nelson Ridge Family Dental wants you to be informed about every aspect of dental health, so here’s a guide to which whitening options can give your teeth a bright new shine.

Teeth Whitening: The Basics

Nowadays, there are three basic types of in-home whitening: toothpaste and mouthwashes, whitening strips, and gel trays. While whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes are the least expensive products on the market, they are also the least effective at creating a noticeable change in the short-term. This is because they don’t have a significant amount of the active ingredients in most whitening products, which are hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. However, they are effective at removing surface stains. On the other hand, gel trays and whitening strips can produce some serious whitening in as little as a week.

How Whitening Strips Work

Whitening strips are all the rage, so we will focus on how they work and what kind of results you can expect from them. Whitening strips are made from a flexible plastic material called polyethylene. Each strip is coated with hydrogen and/or carbamide peroxide and an adhesive to keep the strips in place. Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes when it covers your teeth, bleaching them and making the surface whiter. Carbamide peroxide works the exact same way but contains an additional acid that breaks up stains as well.

How Long Do Whitening Strips Take to Produce Results?

Treatment times vary from brand to brand, but the average whitening strip package comes with 28 strips, for two weeks of whitening (one per night per row of teeth). Usually, the directions instruct people to wear the strips for about half an hour before going to bed. Most people that try whitening strips notice a significant improvement in the whiteness of their teeth. However, they are not effective on tetracycline (antibiotic) or fluorosis (fluoride poisoning) stains, and they will not change the color of dental restorations.

Professional Whitening

Although they’re more expensive, professional whitening treatments are much more effective, safer, and can usually be done in a single visit. If you would like to know how your New Lenox dentists can give you a radically whiter smile in one visit, call Nelson Ridge Family Dental today.


The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Welcome Home

Welcome to our new website! We are thrilled with the launch of our new online home that will help us provide a better experience for our patients. This site is meant to be an extension of our practice that allows you to easily find information and schedule appointments, and a resource for our patients and community members. Whether you’re an existing patient or you’re looking for a new dentist to provide all your oral health needs under one roof, you’ve come to the right place.

  • If you’d like to learn more about our doctors and team members, click on the About Us tab in the main menu.
  • If you’d like to explore all of the services and technology we offer, you can find that information in the Services tab.
  • If you want to explore our payment options including insurance and financing, that information is located under Patient Info.
  • If you’re interested in learning more about all things oral health, follow along on our blog for bi-monthly articles full of fun facts and the latest research to help you stay healthy and smiling.
  • If you still have further questions or are ready to schedule an appointment, you can give us a call at (815) 313-0017 or request an appointment easily online through the website.
  • You can even find your New Patient Forms on the Patient Info page so you can fill them out before your first visit.

We are always looking for new ways to take better care of our patients and make dental care easy for you. If there’s anything we can do to better serve you, please let us know!