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John D. Luker, DDS
997 Clocktower Drive
Springfield, Illinois 62704
Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Restoring damaged teeth can be as simple as adding dental crowns. Versatile crowns not only improve the way that your teeth look, but they also work to restore normal function! Read on to learn how your Springfield, IL, dentist, Dr. John Luker of Luker Dental Care, helps patients care for their smiles with crowns and other procedures and services!
How crowns help your smile
Crowns are hollow porcelain, ceramic, or resin restorations that slip over the top of teeth, covering them completely. The first step in the crown process involves reducing the size of your tooth to ensure that the crown fits properly.
Your Springfield dentist will also make an impression of your mouth during your first crown visit. This impression helps the technicians who create your new crown to ensure that it fits well and looks perfectly natural. In most cases, you'll need to wear a temporary crown for a few weeks until your permanent crown is ready.
Crowns can improve your smile by:
- Repairing Damage: Broken teeth are unsightly and make eating difficult. In fact, it can be nearly impossible to chew with them. If you do attempt to chew or bite, you may accidentally cut your mouth, tongue, or lips when you eat. Crowns cover the broken ends of teeth, restore their normal function, and improve the way they look. Once your crown is added to your mouth, no one will ever be able to tell that your tooth was damaged.
- Preventing Fractures: Teeth can become fragile if they're cracked or a root canal or large filling has weakened them. Unfortunately, these teeth are likely to break if you don't protect them. Crowns absorb biting forces when you chew, protecting the fragile teeth underneath.
Broken teeth are often painful if the fractured ends are exposed to the air. Placing a crown over the tooth not only improves your appearance but also ends your pain!
Crowns are also used to change the appearance of an undamaged tooth. Do you have a crooked tooth or one that just looks a little different? Crowns can alter the shape or height of your tooth. They also hide discolorations due to tooth trauma, large fillings, or childhood use of the antibiotic tetracycline.
Give us a call!
Transform your smile with dental crowns! Call your Springfield, IL, dentist, Dr. John Luker of Luker Dental Care, at (217) 546-8330 to schedule an appointment!
The long-running hit show Dancing with the Stars has had its share of memorable moments, including a wedding proposal, a wardrobe malfunction, and lots of sharp dance moves. But just recently, one DWTS contestant had the bad luck of taking an elbow to the mouth on two separate occasions—one of which resulted in some serious dental damage.
Nationally syndicated radio personality Bobby Bones received the accidental blows while practicing with his partner, professional dancer Sharna Burgess. “I got hit really hard,” he said. “There was blood and a tooth. [My partner] was doing what she was supposed to do, and my face was not doing what it was supposed to do.”
Accidents like this can happen at any time—especially when people take part in activities where there’s a risk of dental trauma. Fortunately, dentists have many ways to treat oral injuries and restore damaged teeth. How do we do it?
It all depends on how much of the tooth is missing, whether the damage extends to the soft tissue in the tooth’s pulp, and whether the tooth’s roots are intact. If the roots are broken or seriously damaged, the tooth may need to be extracted (removed). It can then generally be replaced with a dental bridge or a state-of-the-art dental implant.
If the roots are healthy but the pulp is exposed, the tooth may become infected—a painful and potentially serious condition. A root canal is needed. In this procedure, the infected pulp tissue is removed and the “canals” (hollow spaces deep inside the tooth) are disinfected and sealed up. The tooth is then restored: A crown (cap) is generally used to replace the visible part above the gum line. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise be lost.
For moderate cracks and chips, dental veneers may be an option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells made of translucent material that go over the front surfaces of teeth. Custom-made from a model of your smile, veneers are securely cemented on to give you a restoration that looks natural and lasts for a long time.
It’s often possible to fix minor chips with dental bonding—and this type of restoration can frequently be done in just one office visit. In this procedure, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to fill in the parts of the tooth that are missing, and then hardened by a special light. While it may not be as long-lasting as some other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can produce good results.
If you would like more information about emergency dental treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor articles “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries” and “Knocked Out Tooth.”
Dental implants are among the most popular tooth replacements with their high success rate, durability and life-like beauty. But obtaining them is a process that requires commitment, planning, and coordination — it takes a team.
Your general dentist is often the first team member you’ll encounter: because they’re most familiar with your mouth’s condition the implant discussion naturally begins here. They can help you determine if you’re a good candidate for implants, such as if you have sufficient bone mass at the intended site or if you have dental disease that must be treated first. They’ll also continue monitoring your general dental health throughout the process.
Your general dentist may also have the special training for surgically placing implants. If not, he or she may refer you to your next team member: an oral surgeon or periodontist skilled in implantation procedures. This step first requires careful planning, including developing a surgical guide for precise placement of the implant. These specialists may also contribute to other aspects of the implant process such as tooth extraction or bone grafting.
A few weeks after surgery bone will have grown and adhered to the implant to form a solid bond. It’s time for you to go back to your dentist who will work in conjunction with another member of your team, a dental lab technician. Together, your dentist and laboratory technician will guide the development, manufacture and placement of the implant’s life-like porcelain crown. The technician will take their specifications from the surgeon and your general dentist and, with his or her skill and artistry, form a crown that will blend well in color and shape with the rest of your teeth.
We also can’t forget another important team member: you. Without your input, especially in the early planning stages, your expectations for a more attractive smile might not be met. The rest of your implant team depends on you communicating your desires and wishes to balance with the technical requirements they must achieve.
The process for dental implants can take months. But with the coordinated efforts of your implant team you’ll be able to enjoy results — renewed function and a more attractive smile — that could last for decades.
If you would like more information on dental implants, 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.”
Multi-platinum recording artist Janet Jackson has long been known for her dazzling smile. And yet, Jackson admitted to InStyle Magazine that her trademark smile was once a major source of insecurity. The entertainer said, “To me, I looked like the Joker!” It was only after age 30 that the pop icon came to accept her unique look.
Jackson is not alone. A study commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists found that more than one third of U.S. adults are dissatisfied with their smile. But there’s good news—modern dentistry can correct many flaws that can keep you from loving your smile, whether you’re unhappy with the color, size, or shape of your teeth. Here are some popular treatments:
Professional teeth whitening: Sometimes a professional teeth whitening will give you the boost you need. In-office whitening can dramatically brighten your smile in just one visit.
Tooth-colored fillings: If you have silver-colored fillings on teeth that show when you smile, consider replacing them with unnoticeable tooth-colored fillings.
Dental bonding: If you have chipped, cracked, or misshapen teeth, cosmetic bonding may be the fix you’re looking for. In this procedure, tooth colored material is applied to the tooth’s surface, sculpted into the desired shape, hardened with a special light, and polished for a smooth finish.
Porcelain veneers: Dental veneers provide a natural-looking, long-lasting solution to many dental problems. These very thin shells fit over your teeth, essentially replacing your tooth enamel to give you the smile you desire.
Replacement teeth: Is a missing tooth affecting your self-confidence? There are several options for replacing missing teeth, from a removable partial denture to a traditional fixed bridge to a state-of-the-art implant-supported replacement tooth. Removable partial dentures are an inexpensive way to replace one or more missing teeth, but they are less stable than non-removable options. Dental bridges, as the name implies, span the gap where a tooth is missing by attaching an artificial tooth to the teeth on either side of the space. In this procedure, the teeth on both sides of the gap must be filed down in order to support the bridgework. Dental implants, considered the gold standard in tooth replacement technology, anchor long-lasting, lifelike replacements that function like natural teeth.
After coming to embrace her smile, Jackson asserted, “Beautiful comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors." If you don’t feel that your smile expresses the beauty you have inside, call our office to schedule a consultation. It’s possible to love your smile. We can help.
For more information, read Dear Doctor magazine article “How Your Dentist Can Help You Look Younger.”
Do you feel comfortable with how your smile looks? If the answer is no, you could join the millions of Americans who have improved their personal appearance and self-confidence with lifelike porcelain veneers. Also called dental laminates, these translucent shells of high-grade ceramic completely camouflage laws in tooth enamel so you look and feel great. At Luker Dental Care in Springfield, IL your dentist, Dr. John Luker, can give you all the details on this outstanding cosmetic dentistry treatment.
Porcelain veneers freshen up smiles
Tooth-shaped and naturally colored, porcelain veneers disguise defects which detract from your smile appearance. Because your Springfield dentist bonds them permanently in place, veneers add a good measure of resiliency as well.
Common dental flaws addressed by laminates include:
- Deep stains from fluorosis (excessive fluoride exposure), tobacco or some prescription drugs
- Discoloration from oral trauma or root canal therapy
- Craze lines
- Small gaps and mild crowding
- Odd shape and size
In general, veneers transform healthy but flawed, teeth. Dr. Luker customizes veneers so they compliment a patients facial features, smile width and more.
Can you receive porcelain veneers?
You and Dr. Luker will decide what cosmetic services would benefit your smile. Both your teeth and your gums must be healthy to receive veneers.
In addition, you must be willing to undergo some minor enamel resurfacing which allows for proper placement and fit of your veneers. This simple process needs only local anesthetic.
Finally, if you conscientiously take care of your teeth--brushing twice a day and flossing daily as the American Dental Association recommends--you'll do well with veneers. Of course, six-month cleanings and examinations at Luker Dental Care extends veneer life, too. Most quality porcelain veneers stay in place and look true to life for 10 to 20 years, says the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.
Change your smile for the better
Come to Luker Dental Care for your personalized cosmetic dentistry consultation. Learn your options for a renewed smile, and be sure to ask about stunning porcelain veneers. Phone the office at (217) 546-8330.