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What is Laser Gum Recontouring?

January 15th, 2015

What is Laser Gum Recontouring?If you’ve ever noticed your own or your friend’s teeth appearing short and stubby, it may be from an excessive amount of gum tissue in the mouth. Heath-wise, an excess of gums is not good or bad, it simply is. Aesthetically, however, many people can feel self-conscious with the look of their smile. It can often make a person look as if they never lost their baby teeth, with their pearly whites looking too small for their mouth. A solution to remove excess gums from the mouth is by laser gum recontouring. This simple procedure can push back the amount of gums over the teeth and give a person an excellent smile.

Why Choose Laser Gum Recontouring?

Laser Gum Recontouring Before and After Picture
Many people find laser gum recontouring a simple way to relieve themselves from a gummy smile. This happens when a smile shows more gum than teeth. Often, this is caused by excess of gums, however it can also be caused by hyperactivity of the muscle that controls lip movement, or a misaligned bite. If it is caused by over-excess of gums, laser recontouring is the option that can help turn that gummy smile into a perfect smile.
It’s good to know that overcrowding of gums is not an unhealthy issue. The only time laser gum recontouring is recommended is when the gums are healthy enough to withstand the push back. Excess gums that are unhealthy gums are often caused by other issues, such as inflamed gums from bacteria or periodontal disease. At which point, other dental procedures and options are available.
For healthy gums that are overcrowding the teeth and creating a gummy smile, laser recontouring is the solution.

How Does Laser Gum Recontouring Work?

While laser gum recontouring may sound scary, it’s much safer and more efficient than the old way of recontouring, which included a scalpel and a long recovery time. Using a precise diode laser, the procedure is virtually painless. The process begins by using an anesthetic to numb the mouth. The dentist then uses the diode laser at specific points of the gums. The heat of the laser vaporizes the excess gum tissue instantly without any type of burning sensation. As well, as the laser removes the excess gums, it also seals the remaining tissue which prohibits bleeding and chance of infection.
Recovery from laser recontouring is quite simple. Depending on the amount of tissue removed, there will be a few days of swelling and discomfort. Often, the patient will eat softer foods for a few days as the healing process continues. However, for the most part, recovery is quick and results are immediate.
If you have questions about laser gum recontouring or are interested in the procedure for yourself, do no hesitate to contact Water Tower Dental. We can schedule an appointment to look at your gums and decide on a proper procedure to put your smile on the path to perfection. If that includes laser gum recontouring, we will walk you through the steps of the procedure and make certain that you are comfortable and ready for a great smile.

Dental Phobia: 8 Helpful Tips for Overcoming Your Fear of the Dentist

January 8th, 2015

Dental Phobia: 8 Helpful Tips for Overcoming Your Fear of the DentistMany people have serious phobias of doctors and dentists. Often it comes from past experiences that might not have gone over so well. Other times the fear lacks reason. Either way, there are ways to overcome the fear of the dentist so you can commit yourself to appointments and make sure your teeth are in great health.

The first step to overcoming your fear is to understand that it is a common issue. Popular culture often eludes and overcompensates the actual job of a dentist, giving him or her a crazed look and pliers too big for your mouth. It’s the wrong image of what are actually, caring and gentle doctors that want to help and make you feel comfortable in the dentist’s chair. Once you lose that mentality and understand that a dentist will be as gentle as possible, then you can already start to feel a little safer. Here are eight tips to help make visiting the dentist relaxing and lose your fear of the dentist.

Make an Appointment at a Stress-Free Time

Stress is a major factor that can make your fear of the dentist escalate. Find a date for an appointment that isn’t surrounded with other stressful activities. Consider taking the day off of work, or scheduling around a slower time of the month. Making an appointment during the holiday season or a day before you leave for a European vacation is not the best time for your stress and fear.

Don’t Arrive Too Early

Sitting in a crowded waiting room listening to ominous sounds coming from the dentist’s chair will not help your fear. Try to arrive close to the time of your appointment so you don’t need to spend as much time waiting. It can also help to bring a friend or loved one with you that can sit with you in the waiting room and offer their support.

Have a Conversation With Your Dentist

The best way to alleviate the fear of an “evil” dentist is to talk to them and trust them. This doesn’t need to include a step by step breakdown of what the dentist will be doing to your teeth, but rather, a casual conversation about your day, catching up on a story or two to help you feel comfortable. As well, don’t feel shy about telling your dentist that you have some fears about sitting in the dentist’s chair. Your doctor should be able to help you relax and reassure you that there is nothing to fear.

Bring a Stress Ball

This is a simple way to alleviate fear once you sit down. Squeezing on a stress ball will release your stress and keep you from concentrating too hard on the dentist’s actions.

Bring Headphones

Consider listening to music while in the dentist’s chair. Bring headphones and put on music that relaxes you. This will help keep your mind off of what’s happening.

Practice Meditation Techniques

It helps to practice the techniques that make meditation so relaxing. This includes deep-breathing exercises, clearing the mind, keeping your eyes closed, and focusing on positive energy. This will be especially helpful if you practice beforehand.

Discuss the Procedures With Your Doctor

If you can handle it, talk to your doctor about what exactly is going to happen during the procedure that is being performed. Often, the mind can exaggerate the intensity of the procedure and make it much worse than it actually is.

Talk to Your Dentist About Sedation

If the methods above don’t work for you and you still need a way of coping with the dentist, you can talk to your dentist about sedation techniques that will keep you from feeling anything during your visit. Unless your visit includes a serious surgery, we suggest avoiding this method, as it’s not a long-lasting solution.
Most importantly, it is best to understand that there is nothing to fear about the dentist. At Water Tower Dental Care, our dentists and technicians are caring and highly-trained professionals using the most current and safest technologies available. One visit to our offices and you’ll see, there’s nothing to be worried about. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact Water Tower Dental, voted Chicago’s #1 Dentistry.

Dental Health Tips for the Holiday Season

December 18th, 2014

Dental Health Tips for the Holiday SeasonWe all love the holidays, but it’s important to be aware of your oral health during these festive times. Taking care of your teeth and gums during the holidays is simple. All it includes is avoiding a few nasty habits and being aware of the treats that can be most harmful to your teeth. Here are our four dental health tips for the holiday season.

Be Careful of the Sugary Treats

The holidays are often filled with candy canes, peanut brittle, sweet chocolate, and fruitcake. All of these treats can be very harmful for your teeth. Chewy and hard candy alike can get stuck in your teeth, pull out fillings, and even fracture more sensitive teeth. Most of these sweet treats are best avoided throughout the season.
Of course, we know that’s near impossible, so don’t fret. Just drink lots of water after eating any of these sugary sweets. Why? Well, the worst proponent of these snacks is the sugar. However, sugar is much less harmful when it’s not feeding the bacteria in your teeth. Washing out your mouth with water will help keep your teeth safe from sugar.

Let the Nutcrackers do their Job

Nothing is worse during the holiday season than a fractured tooth. It means you can’t eat all of those delicious meals, and because most dentists are off on holidays, you may not be able to receive medical attention for a day or two. With that in mind, never use your teeth to crack a nut. While grandpa might tell you, “that’s how they did it in the war,” you’re living in a townhouse in the suburbs. Your aunt’s collection of nutcrackers will do a much better job than your teeth, not to mention keep your teeth safe.

Keep Scissors Handy to Open Those Packages

Everyone receives a few gifts during the holidays. As excited as you are to see what your friends or family gave you, we suggest avoiding using your teeth to tear open that package. Instead employ a pair of scissors. They’re easier to use than your teeth, and will allow you to avoid the risk of chipping your front teeth or pulling on teeth that needn’t be pulled.

Avoid Stressful Situations

We understand that the holidays can get hectic. Family is visiting, there are a dozen things on your “To Do” list, and you’re always one hour short of time. That’s okay, it’s the holidays, and no one will be too upset if things go a little wrong. After all, you’re with people that love you.
Those who stress out do two things: they bite their nails and they grind their teeth. Both of these habits can wear down the enamel of your teeth and make you more prone to cavities. As well, biting your nails lets germs and bacteria that were stuck in your fingers into your mouth. This can harm your teeth more than you know. Instead, take a breath every so often. Enjoy a cup of tea (which can help the teeth), and remember, no matter what, things will be okay.
Remember, the holidays are about having fun and seeing friends and family. The best advice for the holidays is to make sure to brush and floss on your regular schedule. Drinks lots of water to wash out the food particles between meals, and have a great time!

What Are Wisdom Teeth and Why Are They Removed?

December 11th, 2014

Impacted Wisdom Teeth - Wisdom Teeth RemovalSurprise: your wisdom teeth are no wiser than your other teeth. They’re named that because the wisdom teeth are your last to emerge, usually when you’re more mature and a little wiser. The wisdom teeth are the third molars in the back of your mouth that develop in the later years of your maturing body. While some people are able to keep their wisdom teeth, the majority of people need to have them removed. There are many reasons why a person may need their wisdom teeth removed.

Reasons Why Your Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed

The first reason why you may need your wisdom teeth removed is that they can grow improperly, either never emerging from the gums or moving at such an angle that they affect other teeth. Because wisdom teeth are the last of the teeth to emerge, they often displace other teeth that are in their correct position. Many times, the wisdom teeth don’t start to grow until after a person has worn braces. If they grow irregularly, they can push against your back molars and cause a chain reaction that dis-aligns all of your teeth. Some wisdom teeth can grow at such an angle they never emerge from the gums, yet still push on your teeth to affect your mouth structure.
Other times, a wisdom tooth might grow straight, but only partially emerge from the gums, making it hard to fully clean the tooth while creating a passageway for bacteria to enter into the gums. This will create larger issues such as periodontal disease or oral infections.
When either of these situations happen, it’s a wise choice to have your wisdom teeth removed. It’s recommended to remove wisdom teeth before they are fully grown. This makes the removal easier, as roots are not yet fully formed, which keeps them from becoming too hinged to the jaw. When wisdom teeth are rooted, they are often positioned very close to the nerve endings of your jaw. Removal of your wisdom teeth at such juncture can cause a higher amount of pain, heavy bleeding, and minor loss of movement in the jaw. These problems can last days to months.
Removing wisdom teeth before they’re fully grown often means removing them before a clear problem arises. Often the patient is younger, which helps the mouth heal faster with less bleeding and pain.
Sometimes, however, the problem is avoided or not addressed until much larger issues occur. If you haven’t removed your wisdom teeth and are experiencing any of the following symptoms, it’s recommended you have your wisdom teeth checked and potentially removed.

Signs That You May Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

  • Pain in the Back of Mouth
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Extensive Tooth Decay
  • Cysts
  • Infection of Gums In the Back Teeth

While some don’t ever find cause to remove their wisdom teeth, the majority of healthy adults will need to have theirs’ removed. If your wisdom teeth are beginning to emerge or have appeared and are causing you issues, we recommend contacting your dentist to help take you through the proper steps of wisdom teeth removal.