Why You Should Never Skip Regular Dental Checkups

Visiting the dentist every six months may not be something you look forward to, but it is vitally important to your health and appearance. If you have ever wondered why regular dental checkups are important, we have something for you to think about.

Some people consider skipping their dental visits because of factors like dental anxiety or cost. These people rarely consider all of the risks involved. You may save some money in the short run, but you are likely to more than pay for it in the long run.

Here are three reasons why you should regularly visit your dentist in New Lenox, IL:

#1 Oral Cancer Detection

When you think of dental visits, you don’t normally think of something so serious. Unfortunately, oral cancer is a life-threatening disease when left undetected and untreated. Fortunately, oral cancer can be easily treated when detected in its early stages.

Our team at Nelson Ridge Family Dental is trained to detect symptoms of oral cancer at your regular dental checkups. Maintaining regular visits means that if you should be so unfortunate as to develop this type of cancer, it would likely be detected early when it is easily treatable. Even when you don’t notice or feel any changes taking place in your mouth, we will notice the smallest and earliest of signs to prevent the disease from advancing.

#2 Preventing Cavities

Even if you have a good oral hygiene routine at home, there are small areas in your mouth that can become problem areas when you miss them. A film can develop on your teeth called plaque. When this plaque accumulates on the surface of your teeth, it can harden and turn into tartar, which requires professional help to be removed.

When you undergo regular dental cleanings, this tartar can be prevented from damaging your teeth and forming cavities. Once a cavity has developed, it will need to be filled and fixed. Regular dental cleanings are more affordable than having a filling, so make sure that you do not skip any of your checkups.

If it so happens that you do get a cavity, we will clean and fill it up for you. Timely treatment will ensure that the bacteria cannot penetrate further into the tooth and will prevent it from reaching the pulp of the tooth.

#3 Reducing the Risk of Gum Disease

In addition to causing tooth decay, the buildup of plaque and tartar can damage gum tissue. This occurs when the buildup of tartar leads to an infection at the gumline, causing your gums to pull away from your teeth. This condition is called gingivitis.

When gum disease progresses further, it can cause the destruction of bone that holds your teeth in place. This can lead to the loosening of teeth or even them falling out completely. When it reaches this point, specialized care is needed. Such special treatments can not only drain your pocket but also require surgery and extensive medication in some situations. Maintaining regular dental checkups in New Lenox, IL can help you avoid all of this unnecessary trouble.

If you have been skipping your regular dental checkups for any reason, resuming your routine can prevent painful and expensive conditions from developing down the line. Getting back on track is easy by simply contacting Nelson Ridge Family Dental to schedule your next checkup with the best dentist near you in New Lenox, IL. We will provide you quality dental care to keep your smile healthy and beautiful always.

How You Can Get a Straight Smile in Just Six Months

Most people who are advised to get braces can only think about the metal contraptions that are being worn for a year or so. But with the advances in technology, there are now several ways available for people to achieve straighter and healthier teeth. One example is the Six Month Smiles in New Lenox IL – a new approach that follows the same concept as the traditional treatment but in a more improved form.

What makes it so different is, instead of metal brackets and wires, clear and tooth-colored materials are being used. And undergoing the procedure does not mean the patient should endure a year or two, results can be achieved in six months or even less!

What Makes Six Month Smiles Unique?

Although Six Month Smiles may look like traditional braces, know that the brackets and wires used are specially designed to address a short-term orthodontic approach. Here is what makes these components different:


These components are not simply bonded on the teeth; their placement and angle have been planned, especially on the particular areas where there are cosmetic issues. What makes it more favorable is its translucency that most patients find highly ideal.


Instead of using the usual metal, Six Month Smiles have a tooth-colored wire to offer better aesthetics with the transparent brackets. But aside from appearance, the wires are also reliable in applying a gentle and constant force to move the teeth effectively.

Aside from giving people their dream smiles, the orthodontic approach also help people in keeping their oral health in shape. By getting your crooked teeth straightened, not to mention in a much faster pace, you will be able to clean the nooks and crannies that are initially inaccessible. This will improve your dental health substantially and prevent plaque. Read more about how crooked teeth affect your dental health here.

Who Should Get Six Month Smiles?

Six month smiles differ greatly from traditional orthodontic braces. Here are some scenarios where six month smiles are the perfect treatment choice:

  • If you want a new smile quickly: As the name implies, Six Month Smiles provides patients with a straighter smile in an average of six months. The length of treatment for Six Month Smiles wearers typically falls within the four to nine-month range
  • If you don’t want metal wires: Six Month Smiles uses clear and tooth-colored materials as opposed to metal wires. The subtle appearance of Six Month Smiles allows you to receive orthodontic treatment and achieve a straighter smile while maintaining a lower profile
  • If you only want to enhance the aesthetics of your smile: The Six Month Smiles program is designed to treat patients looking for basic, straightforward smile correction. However, if you are looking to fix functional issues, you should opt for traditional, comprehensive orthodontic treatment.

If you want to straighten your smile quickly, you should schedule a consultation to see if you are a good candidate for six month smiles in New Lenox IL. It is a great way to enhance your smile in just six months.  At Nelson Ridge Family Dental, we will be glad to help you get a straighter smile that you have always dreamed of.

Your Common Root Canal Questions Answered

What exactly is a root canal treatment?

A root canal treatment (also known as endodontic therapy) is a dental procedure in which the pulp of a tooth is taken out along with its surrounding tissues when a bacterial infection has occurred within the tooth. The pulp is the innermost layer of a tooth and harbors nerve tissues. A root canal treatment protects a tooth from further damage and preserves the natural tooth while it still can be.

Why you may need a root canal treatment

You may need a root canal treatment most commonly due to poor oral health and hygiene. Plaque and tartar can form cavities and if still untreated, the bacteria can keep penetrating the tooth, reaching the pulp of it and damaging surrounding nerve tissues in the process.

Another reason why you may need a root canal treatment is due to a dental injury or trauma. A chipped or cracked tooth could expose the pulp inside the tooth, making it more prone to the bacteria inside the mouth.

These conditions infect the pulp to cause what is known as ‘pulpitis’ and is a more common oral health issue than you’d expect. It is therefore important to look for the symptoms and get the earliest treatment possible for pulpitis.

Symptoms that you need root canal treatment

To know if you need root canal treatment, look for the following symptoms:

    • Mild to severe toothache
    • Slightly discolored tooth
    • Inexplicably bleeding gums
    • Persistent bad breath
    • Heightened tooth sensitivity to hot and cold food
    • Newly acquired tooth sensitivity to sweet and sour food
    • Swollen lymph nodes
    • Fever

The root canal treatment procedure

The root canal treatment is a simpler process than what you’d imagine. At first, the dentist will provide you with sedation to ease the treatment experience for you. Next, an access hole will be created to take the pulp and surrounding tissues out of the tooth. The hollow tooth will be filled with a dental filling and a dental crown may be required to protect the natural tooth.

Is a root canal treatment painful?

A root canal treatment is not painful at all. This is because firstly, you’ll be given sedation to ensure a pain-free treatment. Secondly, the nerve tissues could be too damaged inside the tooth to transfer distress signals.

Without proper sedation, however, a root canal treatment could indeed be painful. That’s why it’s always wise to choose a dentist who provides sedation. To find a dentist who offers sedation in root canal treatment near you in New Lenox IL, click here!

Types of Dental Implants And Their Benefits

About Dental Implants 

What are dental implants? Dental implants are artificial teeth that are implanted into your jawbone to replace missing teeth. They’re typically made of titanium and are the strongest and most durable form of dental restoration in dentistry.

Dental implants have a post that works like the root of a tooth, a crown that resembles the visible natural tooth, and an attachment to fit the crown in the post. The post stays below the gum line and the crown remains visible. All in all, dental implants work, feel, and look just like your natural tooth!

Types of dental implants 

Based on the material used to make the implant, a dental implant could be made of zirconia or most commonly, zirconia.

  1. Titanium Dental Implants: Titanium Dental Implants are known to be stronger than zirconia dental implants are known to last for decades and even a lifetime with proper care. The only problem is, some patients are allergic to the metal in their mouth, which is why some opt for zirconia dental implants.
  2. Zirconia Dental Implants: Zirconia Dental Implants are non-metallic, ceramic implants that look more natural than titanium dental implants. However, they’re much more expensive than titanium implants and are not as strong as them either. This is why Titanium Dental Implants are better than Zirconia Dental Implants.

Based on the surgical type, dental implants could either be endosteal or subperiosteal.

  1. Endosteal Dental Implants: This is the normal surgical procedure for dental implants in which, a post is inserted into the jawbone and a crown is fitted on top of it.
  2. Subperiosteal Dental Implants: Subperiosteal implants require a metal framework to be inserted below the gum line, over which the post is attached. This is meant for patients whose jawbones have receded. Another similar alternative is bone grafting.

Benefits of getting dental implants 

The benefits of dental implants are as follows:

  • Enhanced smile
  • Improved speech
  • Better chewing and digestion
  • More convenient than other forms of dental restoration
  • Long-lasting
  • High surgical success rates

Looking for dental implants in New Lenox IL? Get the best restoration dentist for dental implants in New Lenox IL near you!

Answering all your questions on tooth extractions


What is tooth extraction? 

Tooth extraction is the process of removing a bad tooth, by uprooting it from the gums.

Why does a tooth have to be extracted? 

  • You may be suffering from a badly decayed tooth. This might be causing infection in the surrounding areas and it’s only spreading. A tooth decay (dental caries) can occur due to several reasons and causes immense pain and impacts oral health. As per the World Health Organization (WHO),

“Dental caries results when microbial biofilm (plaque) formed on the tooth surface converts the free sugars contained in foods and drinks into acids that dissolve tooth enamel and dentine over time. With continued high intake of free sugars, inadequate exposure to fluoride and without regular microbial biofilm removable, tooth structures are destroyed, resulting in development of cavities and pain, impacts on oral-health-related quality of life, and, in the advanced stage, tooth loss and systemic infection.”

No dental procedure can heal a tooth that is too much infected or decayed and a dentist has to resort to tooth extraction to protect your overall health.

  • You may also have a misaligned tooth. Believe it or not, misaligned teeth can contribute to oral diseases. This is because when teeth are overcrowded, or when one tooth overlaps another, you can’t brush the entire surface area of your teeth, which is crucial for good oral health. When this misalignment is too severe and orthodontic treatment would take too long to cure it, a dentist has to resort to extracting the misaligned tooth/teeth.
  • You may even need a wisdom tooth removal. Most wisdom teeth come out badly and misaligned and cause a lot of pain. To relieve you of the excruciating pain, you have to get the wisdom tooth removed. This is the most common type of tooth extraction.
  • You may also get your tooth fractured, broken or chipped. This doesn’t go well with the aesthetics of your smile! Furthermore, an injured tooth can also lead to oral infection, which is all the more reason why you should get it extracted.

Regardless of why you have to extract your tooth, in most cases, restoration dentistry options like crowns, implants, bridges, etc. help in replacing the missing tooth.

How is a tooth extracted? 

How your tooth is extracted depends on the visibility of the tooth that is to be removed.

  • For a tooth that is properly visible in the mouth, the dentist would first give you a local or general anesthesia to ease you through the process. Forceps will be used to grab the tooth and it will be rocked back and forth, gently. A few cuts in the surrounding gums may also be required to loosen the tooth until the tooth can be easily uprooted.
  • For a tooth that is not properly visible in the mouth, the dentist would have to resort to the incision. A surgical flap is created in the gum and then the extraction process follows.

Does tooth extraction hurt? 

The tooth extraction process is not likely to hurt you. This is because you would be given local or general anesthesia before the extraction process. You’d be experiencing some pain after the effects of the anesthesia are over. However, the pain is tolerable and over-the-counter pain killers like Ibuprofen would perfectly help you cope with it.

Aftercare for tooth extraction

  • Avoid smoking and drinking
  • Avoid spitting or sneezing for a couple of days post-extraction.
  • Use your medications as prescribed. Do not skip your painkillers and neither should you opt for those other than what is prescribed without prior consultation with your dentist.
  • Avoid solid food for the first few days.
  • Rinse your mouth at night with salt water, but only after 24 hours from the tooth extraction.

There might be a clot in the socket of the extracted tooth. It’s best for you to leave it undisturbed as much as possible. If it breaks loose, you’d be going through an unimaginable amount of pain. That being said, tooth extraction is a complex dental procedure and must be done by an experienced dentist. If you’re in New Lenox IL, choose the best dentist for tooth extraction!

5 popular dental implant myths that need to be busted

Why do you think there are a lot of myths surrounding the technique of dental implants? The reason is, dental implants, despite being one of the most expensive dental procedures, are one of the highly popular procedures in the field of dental restorative treatments. The complex and time-consuming procedure of implantation has paved way for a lot of speculation concerning its pros and cons.

This article highlights a few notions that concern the process of dental implantation. These are in fact myths and the literature concerning the methodology of applying dental implants and their working logically busts them. The discussion below involves the popular myths concerned with this implantation technology.

dental implant near me

Dental implants are very expensive.


In fact, dental implants at New Lenox, IL come cost-effective for even those individuals who find it difficult to afford them. Why so? Considering the number of dental benefits, they are not as expensive they seem to be. That is to say, dental implants are a good investment because they last for several years. Their average life span is more than a decade or two. This implies that for this extent of time, you don’t require any dental visit to redo or repair your restoration (except for gross accidental damages).

Dental are cost-effective in another way too. They do not include any maintenance hazards apart from the normal daily brushing and flossing. This reduces maintenance costs and unnecessary dental visits too.

Having dental implants is painful.


Since implantation is a surgical procedure, it involves the use of anesthetics. Thence the procedure does not necessarily involve any pain. The gum area (where the implants embedded) are numb and thus void of any pain sensation. Only during the procedure, some pressure might be felt. However, post-surgery, the area needs some time to heal, before you schedule your second appointment with the doctor to continue with the later steps of getting your implants.

My dental implants will be visible to everyone


Although many people are under the impression that the dental implants within their mouth are clearly visible from outside while they eat, speak or laugh, the fact is, they aren’t! implants are hidden well below the gums and after the healing period, the candidate needs to undergo another short intervention that is done to expose the crest part of the post (titanium post implanted). This is required to place the crown (artificial teeth) above. Only this crown is visible from outside.



This is again another common myth for dental implants. However, since the dental implant technology has been added with newer advancements continuously in the past thirty years, dentists are able to guarantee an almost 95% success rate! Thus, implant technology is far from being risky.

Dental implants are only for old people.

Since implants are a very strong restorative technique and it prevents jaw receding by stimulating the jawbones, many are under the idea that it is ideal for the elderly. However, the fact is, since your jawbone is fully developed by the early 20, you may consider implants at any age as long as you have healthy gums and jaw tissues.

Previously, damaged and misplaced teeth were treated with dentures, bridges or root canals. While these procedures were certainly effective, they possessed chances to harm the adjacent teeth too. In addition, root canals were considered to be one of the most painful and complex procedures too. All of these seem to have changed with the introduction of dental implants at New Lenox, IL and contributed to its immense demand today. Since implants have been a lot in the discussion, the myths commonly crop up but they essentially need to be negated in order to avail this modern treatment.

Baby Dentistry: Teething & Other Joys

It’s easy to think that baby teeth aren’t that important. They make their grand entrance (however painfully) and leave your baby’s mouth soon thereafter. But your baby’s oral health is very important, both in the present and to set the stage for a lifetime of health. Today Nelson Ridge Family Dental would like to talk about those tiny teeth and how to care for them.

Teething Facts

  1. Teething begins anywhere from 3-9 months and can continue until your child is 3 years old. Every baby is different.
  2. Teeth emerge in a consistent pattern: lower 2 front incisors; upper 2 front incisors and 2 additional lower incisors; first set of molars; canines; then second molars.
  3. One reason we get baby teeth is that our baby mouths aren’t big enough for the size and number of adult teeth we need later in life.
  4. Babies have 20 teeth that fall out. They are then replaced by 32 adult teeth.
  5. Chewing on a cold, wet washcloth, extra snuggles, and a little pain-relieving medicine are certain to help ease the pain of teething.
  6. Contrary to popular belief, teething is not proven to cause sickness like diarrhea, fever, or a runny nose.
  7. Children should see the dentist as soon as their first baby teeth start coming in.

Taking Care of Baby Teeth

  • Breastfeeding: According to a recent study, babies that exclusively breastfed for at least six months have a 72% less chance of developing an improper bite. Breastfeeding also reduces your child’s risk of baby bottle tooth decay and cavities.
  • Baby Bottle Tooth Decay: Overexposure to sugar in the liquids your baby drinks can cause early tooth decay, which is when the important, hard enamel cover of your teeth breaks down. Enamel never grows back, so it’s very important to protect. Avoid baby tooth decay by only using formula and breast milk in your child’s bottle, not putting honey or sugar on their pacifiers, and not letting them fall asleep drinking from the bottle.
  • Cleaning: “Welcome to earth! Now, let me wash your gums.” It may seem silly, but you’re actually supposed to wash your baby’s gums from the first day they are born. Use a clean washcloth and water, and maintain the habit as all the baby teeth start coming in. Fluoride toothpaste is recommended after your child turns 3. Fluoride-free toothpaste or “training toothpaste” is popular for kids under 3.
  • Thumbs and Pacifiers: Discuss thumb sucking and pacifier use with us. Usually, both are fine until babies become little children. However, they can increase your child’s risk of tooth decay, jaw misalignment, and an improper bite. Consider weaning off either of these habits depending on what your dentist recommends.
  • Insurance for Pediatric Dental Care: Most states cover dental visits for children on governmental support. And most dental offices have flexible payment plans to help everyone prioritize oral health for the whole family. Don’t let finances hold you back from keeping your baby as healthy as possible—feel free to reach out to us, we’re happy to help.

Once your baby’s first tooth has emerged, it’s very important to begin a regular dental care routine. Contact your New Lenox dentists today to make an appointment. We’d love to see your little bundle of joy smile!

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.


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!