By Dr. David L. Carlson
July 10, 2019
Tags: Veneers  

Chips and gaps. They plague your front teeth and your self-confidence. What's the solution to this cosmetic problem? It could be porcelain veneers from Dr. David Carlson and Dr. Michael Schuiling in Wheaton. These ceramic laminates permanently remake dental defects for a smile that's perfectly functional, perfectly lifelike and perfectly you.

Frequently asked questions about porcelain veneers

What are porcelain veneers?

Porcelain veneers, or laminates, are a permanent cosmetic dentistry treatment. Thin and tooth-shaped, veneers cover the front side of teeth which have substantial cosmetic defects such as gaps, mild crookedness or crowding, chips, stains, or cracks. They are custom-fabricated and colored one by one to be unique to your facial features and preferences and to blend in with surrounding teeth.

Does the process take a long time?

Counting the initial consultation, Wheaton veneers take two to three visits to your dentist's office. You'll talk about how you wish to improve the appearance of your teeth. Dr. Carlson or Dr. Schuiling will take photos and X-rays during your examination, noting the health of the teeth and gums and the nature of the defects you wish to address.

If you agree that veneers are right for you, the dentist will remove some enamel from each tooth so your veneers fit precisely and look right for your smile. Oral impressions and a care plan go to a trusted dental lab in the area where a ceramist precisely crafts each veneer. In the meantime, you'll wear temporary laminates.

When you come back to the office, the dentist removes the temporaries. He etches the teeth with a mild chemical and then bonds the new veneers in place. For a natural-looking match, the cement may be varied in color before your dentist cures it with a special UV light. With a final bite adjustment, you're ready to enjoy your new smile!

How long do veneers last?

With proper oral care, veneers can last for many years. They are a great investment in your oral health and smile appearance.

Are veneers difficult to care for?

No, they are not. Brush with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste of your choice. Floss daily as you normally do, and see your dentist twice a year for your usual examination and cleaning. If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, call Dr. Carlson or Dr. Schuiling, and they'll be happy to help.

Find out more about porcelain veneers

Dr. Carlson and Dr. Schuiling deliver the finest preventive, restorative and cosmetic dental services in the Wheaton, IL, area. Just ask their patients! If you wish to know more about veneers or the other aesthetic services this talented team offers, please contact our office for an appointment. We are open Monday through Friday every week and one Saturday per month for your convenience. Call (630) 653-9002.

By Dr. David L. Carlson
July 09, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral hygiene  

You're not just a patient to your dentist—you're also a partner for achieving your best oral health possible. And it takes what both of you do to achieve it.

No doubt your dentist always strives to bring their "A Game" when providing you care. You should carry the same attitude into your personal oral hygiene—to truly master the skill of brushing.

Like its equally important counterpart flossing, brushing isn't mechanically complicated—you need only a minimum of dexterity to perform it. But there are nuances to brushing that could mean the difference between just adequate and super effective.

The goal of both brushing and flossing is to clean the teeth of dental plaque, a built-up film of bacteria and food particles most responsible for dental diseases like tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. Brushing removes plaque from the broad front and back surfaces of teeth, while flossing removes it from between teeth where a toothbrush can't reach.

While a lot of cleaning tasks require bearing down with a little "elbow grease," that's unnecessary with brushing—in fact, you may increase your risk of gum recession if you brush too vigorously or too often. All you need is to apply a gentle, circular motion along all tooth surfaces from the gum line to the top of the tooth—a thorough brushing usually takes about two minutes, once or twice a day.

Your equipment is also important. Be sure your toothbrush is soft-bristled, multi-tufted and with a head small enough to maneuver comfortably inside your mouth. Because the bristles wear and eventually lose their effectiveness, change your brush about every three months. And be sure your toothpaste contains fluoride to help strengthen your enamel.

One last tip: while it may sound counterintuitive, don't brush immediately after a meal. Eating increases the mouth's acidity, which can temporarily soften the minerals in tooth enamel. If you brush right away you might slough off tiny bits of softened enamel. Instead, wait an hour before brushing to give your saliva time to neutralize the acid and help re-mineralize your enamel.

Unlike your dentist partner, your role in caring for your teeth doesn't require years of training. But a little extra effort to improve your brushing proficiency could increase your chances for a healthy mouth.

If you would like more information on best practices for personal oral hygiene, 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 “10 Tips for Daily Oral Care at Home.”

By Dr. David L. Carlson
June 29, 2019
Category: Oral Health

If you're one of the millions of people wearing an oral appliance, you already know how important it is to your dental health. Whatever the purpose—replacing teeth, stopping teeth grinding or guarding against injury—you want to get the most and longest service from it. That means showing your appliance some tender loving care on a regular basis.

It doesn't require a lot of time and effort to clean and maintain your oral appliance. But there are some pitfalls that could lead to greater wear and tear and just outright damage. Here are 3 things you should be on the alert for to keep your appliance doing its job for you.

Be careful how you clean it. Your appliance might resemble natural oral tissue, but it's not—so don't use toothpaste. Toothpaste contains abrasives, which are fine for tooth enamel but damaging to materials in your appliance. Instead, use dish detergent, hand soap or a specialized cleaner. Don't use hot or boiling water, which could soften any plastic and distort the appliance's mouth fit. Nix the bleach too, which can fade colored portions of the appliance that mimic gum tissue.

Don't wear them 24/7 unless your dentist advises. Depending on the type and function of your appliance, you shouldn't wear them around the clock unless your dentist advises otherwise. Dentures are usually removed at night while you sleep to help prevent bacterial growth. Keeping them out at night -and keeping them clean—will help lower your risk of dental disease. One caveat, though: there are some concerns today about the effect of keeping dentures out of the mouth at night on sleep apnea. It's a good idea, then, to discuss the issue with your dentist regarding taking dentures out at night.

Prevent accidental drops on hard surfaces. Chewing forces are considerable, but your appliance is designed to take it. The same can't be said, though, if they accidentally fall on a hard surface—the fall could crack or break them. To protect against this, be sure to put a soft towel or cloth in your sink basin while you're cleaning your appliance. And don't place it on a night stand or low surface where it could be knocked off accidentally by a child, a pet or you. A sudden accident like this could be costly.

If you would like more information on extending the life of your oral appliance, 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 “10 Tips for Cleaning Your Oral Appliance.”

By Dr. David L. Carlson
June 21, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

Teeth WhiteningIf you've noticed in recent pictures that your smile stands out for the wrong reasons—your teeth appear yellow or tan instead of white—you may have considered having your teeth professionally whitened. Asking questions about this popular dental treatment is the best place to start, so we have taken the liberty of providing the answers to two common concerns! Read on to learn some more about professional teeth whitening, and call Dr. David Carlson and Dr. Michael Schuiling, your dentists in Wheaton, IL, to undergo treatment!

Is whitening right for me?

Are your teeth healthy, yet discolored from frequent coffee drinking or tobacco usage? Are you interested in rejuvenating your smile? If so, whitening may be perfect for you! This cosmetic dental treatment is by far the most popular way to update your smile, and it will give you a confidence boost and help you make a great first impression on everyone you meet!

How do I maintain my whitened teeth?

After leaving our Wheaton office, you'll likely wonder how long your newly-whitened teeth will look that way. Dr. Carlson or Dr. Schuiling may provide you with some whitening products to use periodically at home to help keep your smile bright for a year or more. For daily cleaning, use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a non-abrasive whitening toothpaste or gel. Beverages that are notorious for staining, such as coffee and tea, should be sipped through a straw to minimize contact with the front of your teeth. Additionally, if you smoke or use other tobacco products, your bright new smile should hopefully convince you to quit!

Interested? Give us a call!

Ready to find out if whitening will work for you? Contact the dental office of Dr. David Carlson and Dr. Michael Schuiling in Wheaton, Illinois for a consultation! Our number is (630) 653-9002


In an instant, an accident could leave you or a loved one with a missing tooth. Thankfully, we can restore it with a dental implant that looks and functions like a real tooth—and the sooner the better.

But if the patient is a teenager or younger, sooner may have to be later. Because their jaws are still developing, an implant placed now could eventually look as if it's sinking into the gums as the jaw continues to grow and the implant doesn't move. It's best to wait until full jaw maturity around early adulthood and in the meantime use a temporary replacement.

But that wait could pose a problem with bone health. As living tissue, bone cells have a life cycle where they form, function and then dissolve (resorption) with new cells taking their place. This cycle continues at a healthy rate thanks to stimulation from forces generated by the teeth during chewing that travel through the roots to the bone.

When a tooth goes missing, however, so does this stimulation. Without it the bone's growth cycle can slow to an unhealthy rate, ultimately reducing bone volume.  Because implants require a certain amount of bone for proper placement and support, this could make it difficult if not impossible to install one.

We can help prevent this by placing a bone graft immediately after the removal of a tooth within the tooth's "socket." The graft serves as a scaffold for new bone cells to form and grow upon. The graft will eventually resorb leaving the newly formed bone in its place.

We can also fine-tune and slow the graft's resorption rate. This may be preferable for a younger patient with years to go before their permanent restoration. In the meantime, you can still proceed with other dental treatments including orthodontics.

By carefully monitoring a young patient's bone health and other aspects of their dental care, we can keep on course for an eventual permanent restoration. With the advances in implantology, the final smile result will be worth the wait.

If you would like more information on dental care for trauma injuries, 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 “Dental Implants for Teenagers: Factors Influencing Treatment Planning in Adolescents.”

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.