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John D. Luker, DDS
997 Clocktower Drive
Springfield, Illinois 62704
(217) 546-8330

 

 



Posts for category: Dental Procedures

November 07, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Missing teeth are not just an aesthetic problem. They're a functional problem too. They make it difficult to chew, bite, or speak properly and Dental Implantcontribute to jawbone shrinkage. Dental implants from our Springfield dentist, Dr. John Luker at Luker Dental Care can restore your smile.

Here are some FAQs about dental implants:
 

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are the posts which support artificial teeth. Designed like a screw, a dental implant is secured under the gum and into the jaw bone, acting as the root of the tooth. The implant is permanent and is topped with an artificial tooth made to match the color and shape of your natural tooth. Dental implants are suitable for replacing single or multiple teeth.
 

What does the procedure consist of?

The dentist first places the titanium post in the area of the missing tooth. The surgical area is sealed and left for about 3-6 months so the dental implant can bond with the jawbone.

Once the implant has bonded, you will come back to our office, and the dentist will place an abutment on top of the implant and then place a crown that matches the rest of your teeth over the abutment. You're done and ready to enjoy a rejuvenated smile.
 

What are the advantages of dental implants?

One of the biggest reasons people prefer dental implants to dentures is permanence. Dentures require removal for cleaning, soaking and sleeping. Because they are designed to be taken in and out, dentures can move around in your mouth and make eating or talking harder.

Dental implants are easier to care for. You can brush and floss them like natural teeth, and they remain securely in your mouth. Dental implants are undetectable, blending in beautifully with your natural teeth.
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Who should I contact?

For more information about dental implants from our Springfield, IL, dentist Dr. John Luker, don't hesitate to contact Luker Dental Care. Call (217) 546-8330 today.

WhyemBigBangTheoryemActressMayimBialikCouldntHaveBraces

Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.

“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.

Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.

Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.

Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.

Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.

So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!

For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”

WithProperManagementDentalImplantscanbeaRealityforDiabetics

Many people with diabetes are hesitant about getting dental implants because they’re under the impression their chances of failure are greater than for non-diabetics. But if you’re one of the 26 million Americans with diabetes, that isn’t necessarily so — with a little extra precaution before, during and after implant surgery.

Diabetes is a group of diseases that affect how the body processes glucose. This simple sugar is used by the body to provide energy to cells, but can also cause damage if its volume level in the bloodstream is too high. The body normally regulates this through the hormone insulin produced by the pancreas.

The pancreas in people with Type 1 diabetes doesn’t produce insulin and so they must receive an outside source of the hormone through daily injections with careful daily monitoring of glucose levels. Those with Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, don’t produce a sufficient amount of insulin or the body no longer responds to the insulin produced. For either type, abnormal glucose levels — either too high or too low — can have adverse affects on the body, including blindness, nerve damage, gangrene, coma or death.

Diabetes can also slow wound healing, increase the risk of infection, and alter the body’s inflammatory response, all of which are major concerns when placing implants. Because implant placement involves minor surgery in which a wound results, there’s been wide concern that a slower healing process could increase the risk of implant failure.

Recent studies, though, are encouraging especially for patients who have their diabetes under control through medication, diet and exercise. Patients with poor glucose control are at higher risk, because it can take longer for the bone to heal around an implant after placement. For such individuals special considerations to guard against infection may be needed during implant surgery.

In fact, the implant success rate for most diabetics is about the same as for non-diabetic patients, 95%. With proper disease management and a little extra wound care, you can be among the many that experience a favorable outcome and a more attractive smile with dental implants.

If you would like more information on diabetes and dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

YoucanStillhaveImplantswithDiabetes-ifyouhaveitunderControl

If you're one of the more than 26 million people in the U.S. with diabetes, you know first hand how the disease impacts your life. That includes your dental health — and whether or not implants are a good tooth replacement option for you.

Diabetes is actually the name for a group of diseases affecting how your body processes glucose, a simple sugar that provides energy for the body's cells. The level of glucose in the blood is regulated by insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas. Diabetes causes the pancreas to either stop producing insulin (Type 1) or not produce enough (Type 2). Also in Type 2, the body can become unresponsive to the insulin produced.

The implications for either type are serious and can be life-threatening. If glucose levels are chronically too low or high the patient could eventually go blind, suffer nerve damage, or develop kidney disease. Diabetes also interferes with wound healing and creates a greater susceptibility for gangrene: diabetics thus have a higher risk for losing fingers, toes and limbs, and can even succumb to coma or death.

Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. Fortunately, most people with this type can effectively manage it through diet, exercise and regular glucose monitoring; if need be, prescription medication can help regulate their levels. Even so, diabetics with their disease under control must still be alert to slower wound healing and a higher risk of infection.

Because implant placement is a minor surgical procedure, the aspects of diabetes related to healing, infection and inflammation could have an adverse impact on the ultimate success of the placement. Implant surgery creates a wound in the surrounding gum tissues and bone that will need to heal; the body's immune response in a diabetic can interfere with that process. And if infection sets in, the risks of implant failure increase.

But research has shown that diabetics with good glucose management have as high a success rate (over 95% after ten years) as non-diabetic patients. That means the implant option is a viable one for you as a diabetic — but only if you have your disease under control.

If you would like more information on the relationship between dental implants and other health conditions, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Luker Dental Care
July 23, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Filling  

Do you need a dental filling? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that over 31 percent of adult Americans have unrestored cavities. This concerns your Springfield dentist, Dr. John Luker. He urges his patients at Luker Dental Care to come in for regular check-ups and cleanings and to know the signs which indicate you may need a dental filling.

What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay is a hole in your tooth enamel. When more extensive, this decay may infiltrate the inner dentin and even the pulp chamber, tooth roots and bone. So, your dentist in Springfield says to come into the office right away if you're experiencing signs you may need a dental filling.

What is a dental filling?

It's a patch in your tooth which restores a cavity. Dr. Luker may use composite resin, a durable and natural-looking mix of glass and plastic (today's preferred material for small to medium sized cavities). Your dentist will carefully remove the decay. The filling material is bonded right to the tooth structure and hardened with a dental light.

Signs you may need a filling

Fillings restore teeth to normal function, sensation and appearance. Your dentist may tell you you need one when you:

  • Have a noticeable crack or hole in or dark spot on your tooth
  • Report that your dental floss snags and frays on your tooth
  • Have a toothache or dental sensitivity to pressure, temperature or sugar
  • Have a broken, cracked or missing crown or filling

Also, fillings repair enamel worn due to age, poor dental bite and tooth clenching or grinding (bruxism). Dr. Luker will look at your tooth, probe it and take X-rays to evaluate the damage and recommend the right treatment.

Call us

If you think you have some decay, don't wait. Contact Luker Dental Care in Springfield, IL, for an appointment, and the office staff will get you in as soon as possible. Phone (217) 546-8330.