DentalInjuryIsJustaTemporarySetbackforBasketballStarKevinLove

The March 27th game started off pretty well for NBA star Kevin Love. His team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, were coming off a 5-game winning streak as they faced the Miami Heat that night. Less than two minutes into the contest, Love charged in for a shot on Heat center Jordan Mickey—but instead of a basket, he got an elbow in the face that sent him to the floor (and out of the game) with an injury to his mouth.

In pictures from the aftermath, Love’s front tooth seemed clearly out of position. According to the Cavs’ official statement, “Love suffered a front tooth subluxation.” But what exactly does that mean, and how serious is his injury?

The dental term “subluxation” refers to one specific type of luxation injury—a situation where a tooth has become loosened or displaced from its proper location. A subluxation is an injury to tooth-supporting structures such as the periodontal ligament: a stretchy network of fibrous tissue that keeps the tooth in its socket. The affected tooth becomes abnormally loose, but as long as the nerves inside the tooth and the underlying bone have not been damaged, it generally has a favorable prognosis.

Treatment of a subluxation injury may involve correcting the tooth’s position immediately and/or stabilizing the tooth—often by temporarily splinting (joining) it to adjacent teeth—and maintaining a soft diet for a few weeks. This gives the injured tissues a chance to heal and helps the ligament regain proper attachment to the tooth. The condition of tooth’s pulp (soft inner tissue) must also be closely monitored; if it becomes infected, root canal treatment may be needed to preserve the tooth.

So while Kevin Love’s dental dilemma might have looked scary in the pictures, with proper care he has a good chance of keeping the tooth. Significantly, Love acknowledged on Twitter that the damage “…could have been so much worse if I wasn’t protected with [a] mouthguard.”

Love’s injury reminds us that whether they’re played at a big arena, a high school gym or an outdoor court, sports like basketball (as well as baseball, football and many others) have a high potential for facial injuries. That’s why all players should wear a mouthguard whenever they’re in the game. Custom-made mouthguards, available for a reasonable cost at the dental office, are the most comfortable to wear, and offer protection that’s superior to the kind available at big-box retailers.

If you have questions about dental injuries or custom-made mouthguards, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”

By Dr. David L. Carlson
March 11, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Cosmetic Dentistry SmileCosmetic Dentistry Remakes Your Smile

How cosmetic dental procedures from your dentists in Wheaton, Illinois, can give you an outstanding smile

You can have the smile you want and deserve, even if you have damaged teeth. Cosmetic dentistry procedures can remake your smile, changing your smile from dull to dazzling. Whatever bothers you about your smile, there is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that can help. Dr. David Carlson and Dr. Michael Schuiling in Wheaton, IL, offer a wide range of cosmetic dental services to help you and your smile.

Not everyone is born with a great-looking smile. If you are one of the many people with a damaged, dull smile, you can remake it. Consider just a few of the many procedures available to rejuvenate your smile:

  • Professional Teeth Whitening: Professional teeth whitening treatment is effective and quick. In fact, the in-office treatment takes only about an hour, and you can whiten your smile up to 8 shades whiter. Your fantastic results can last up to 5 years too! Unlike over-the-counter whitening products, which may contain harmful chemicals, professional teeth whitening products have been rigorously tested and approved by the American Dental Association.
  • Tooth-Colored Fillings: If you have old, crumbly metal fillings that are ruining your smile; tooth-colored filling material can be matched to the color of your teeth and sculpted to match the natural contours of your teeth. The filling material is hardened with a dental light, giving you a filling that is virtually invisible. Tooth-colored fillings enhance your beautiful smile and protect your teeth.
  • Porcelain Veneers: If you have large or small chips, cracks, fracture lines, and other signs of damage; porcelain veneers can hide what everyday wear-and-tear and aging have done to your smile. Veneers are thin laminates of beautiful porcelain, which are cemented on to the front surfaces of your teeth. Porcelain veneers hide defects and damage, giving you a perfect smile!

To find out more about these services and other cosmetic dentistry procedures, call Dr. Carlson and Dr. Schuiling in Wheaton, Illinois, at (630) 653-9002 today and start remaking your smile!

4Common-SenseTacticstoLowerToothDecayRiskBetweenDentalVisits

If your dentist found tooth decay on your last visit, you might have been surprised. But tooth decay doesn't occur suddenly—it's a process that takes time to unfold.

It begins with bacteria—too many, that is. Bacteria naturally live in the mouth, but when their populations grow (often because of an abundance of leftover sugar to feed on) they produce high amounts of acid, a byproduct of their digestion. Too much acid contact over time softens and eventually erodes tooth enamel, making decay easier to advance into the tooth.

So, one important strategy for preventing tooth decay is to keep your mouth's bacterial population under control. To do that, here are 4 common-sense tactics you should perform between dental visits.

Practice daily hygiene. Bacteria thrive in dental plaque, a thin film of food particles that builds up on teeth. By both brushing and flossing you can reduce plaque buildup and in turn reduce disease-causing bacteria. In addition, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste can also help strengthen tooth enamel against acid attacks.

Cut back on sugar. Reducing how much sugar you eat—and how often –deprives bacteria of a prime food source. Constant snacking throughout the day on sweets worsens the problem because it prevents saliva, the body's natural acid neutralizer, from reducing high acid levels produced while eating. Constant snacking doesn't allow saliva to complete this process, which normally takes about thirty minutes to an hour. To avoid this scenario, limit any sweets you eat to mealtimes only.

Wait to brush after eating. Although this sounds counterintuitive, your tooth enamel is in a softened state until saliva completes the acid neutralizing process previously described. If you brush immediately after eating you could brush away tiny particles of softened enamel. Instead, rinse your mouth out with water and wait an hour for saliva to do its work before brushing.

Boost your saliva. Inadequate saliva flow could inhibit the fluid's ability to adequately neutralize acid or provide other restorative benefits to tooth enamel. You can improve flow with supplements or medications, or by drinking more water during the day. Products with xylitol, a natural sugar alternative, could give you a double benefit: chewing gums and mints containing it could stimulate more saliva flow and the xylitol itself can inhibit bacterial growth.

If you would like more information on staying ahead of tooth decay, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Dr. David L. Carlson
March 01, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: gum disease   smoking  
StopSmokingtoReduceYourRiskofGumDisease

Your risk for periodontal (gum) disease increases if you’re not brushing or flossing effectively. You can also have a higher risk if you’ve inherited thinner gum tissues from your parents. But there’s one other risk factor for gum disease that’s just as significant: if you have a smoking habit.

According to research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a little more than sixty percent of smokers develop gum disease in their lifetime at double the risk of non-smokers. And it’s not just cigarettes—any form of tobacco use (including smokeless) or even e-cigarettes increases the risk for gum disease.

Smoking alters the oral environment to make it friendlier for disease-causing bacteria. Some chemicals released in tobacco can damage gum tissues, which can cause them to gradually detach from the teeth. This can lead to tooth loss, which smokers are three times more likely to experience than non-smokers.

Smoking may also hide the early signs of gum disease like red, swollen or bleeding gums. But because the nicotine in tobacco restricts the blood supply to gum tissue, the gums of a smoker with gum disease may look healthy. But it’s a camouflage, which could delay prompt treatment that could prevent further damage.

Finally because tobacco can inhibit the body’s production of antibodies to fight infection, smoking may slow the healing process after gum disease treatment.  This also means tobacco users have a higher risk of a repeat infection, something known as refractory periodontitis. This can create a cycle of treatment and re-infection that can significantly increase dental care costs.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can substantially lower your risk of gum disease and its complications by quitting any kind of tobacco habit. As it leaves your system, your body will respond much quicker to heal itself. And quitting will definitely increase your chances of preventing gum disease in the first place.

Quitting, though, can be difficult, so it’s best not to go it alone. Talk with your doctor about ways to kick the habit; you may also benefit from the encouragement of family and friends, as well as support groups of others trying to quit too. To learn more about quitting tobacco visit www.smokefree.gov or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

If you would like more information on how smoking can affect your oral health, 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 “Smoking and Gum Disease.”

Dental Crowns And BridgesSaving a damaged tooth or replacing a missing one preserves a smile for best personal appearance and oral function. If you have smile gaps or worry about the health of a particular tooth, Dr. David Carlson and Dr. Michael Schuiling can help you with crowns and bridges. In their Wheaton dental practice, these highly skilled and experienced dentists see many patients who wish to improve their oral health and feel better about how they look.

Restoring teeth and filling gaps

Many times, your dentist restores a cracked, decayed, heavily restored or infected tooth with a dental crown, or he may fill a smile gap with a customized bridge. Both services aim to preserve smile appearance, boost self-confidence, restore full oral function or avoid problems with remaining natural teeth. A complete oral examination and digital X-rays help Dr. Carlson or Dr. Schuiling recommend the restorations just right for you.

The details on porcelain crowns

A crown is a tooth-shaped jacket which fits over the healthy portion of a damaged tooth. Oral impressions and a detailed instructions tell the dental technician how to shape and shade your porcelain crown. For proper fit and bite, your dentist removes the unhealthy enamel, shapes the tooth and places an interim crown to protect and support the tooth. When your new crown is finished (usually within a week or so), Dr. Carlson or Dr. Schuiling will cement it into place permanently.

Crowns function and look great for many years--ten or more--when you carefully brush and floss every day. You should see your dentist semi-annually for cleanings and examinations, too.

Finally, crowns restore dental implants and cover teeth spared from extraction by root canal therapy. This versatile restoration supports fixed bridgework as well.

The details on bridgework

Bridgework does just what the name implies: it bridges, or spans, a smile gap created by one or more missing teeth. Typically, the dentist utilizes one or more crowns on both sides of the gap to anchor the artificial, or pontic, teeth. The number of crowns depends on the number of pontics.

Just as with single-tooth crowns, X-rays, impressions and instructions from your dentist tell the dental lab how to customize your dental prosthetic. When it's ready, your dentist will bond it over your existing teeth, ensuring its proper fit and bite with the opposing arch of teeth.

Bridges require meticulous oral hygiene to avoid plaque and tartar build-up. So, follow American Dental Association guidelines for in-office and at-home cleanings, and enjoy your bridgework for many years.

Learn more

For more information on dental prosthetics, such as crowns and bridges, and on the other restorative services Dr. Carlson and Dr. Schuiling provide, call the Wheaton, IL office for an appointment: (630) 653-9002.





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