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



Posts for: August, 2017

By Luker Dental Care
August 16, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

These simple tooth-colored restorations could make all the difference for your smile.veneers

If you find yourself becoming jealous of other people’s smiles then you may wish that you had a smile that was straighter, whiter or just more attractive in general. You know that simple cosmetic options like dental bonding or teeth whitening just won’t cut it, but our Springfield, IL, cosmetic dentist, Dr. John Luker, is here to tell you just how dental veneers could possibly be the restoration you’ve been looking for.

What are dental veneers?

These high-quality porcelain shells are custom-made to cover over a tooth and are bonded to the front surface of one or more teeth to transform your smile and alter its shape, size, length or color. Veneers may be a great option for you if you are dealing with:

  • Cracked, chipped or broken teeth
  • Discolorations or severe stains
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Minor misalignments and crookedness
  • Malformed, misshapen or worn down teeth

There are so many different ways that getting dental veneers in Springfield can truly makeover your smile, from making your smile significantly whiter to finally getting you the straight smile you want.

What are the benefits of dental veneers?

If you are someone who wants to give your smile a cosmetic boost without having to go through invasive dentistry then veneers may be the best option. Consider dental crowns, for example. In order to get a crown, your natural tooth has to be reshaped in order to accommodate the restoration.

By getting veneers instead, most of your natural tooth structure remains intact. While our dentist will need to shave down a little bit of enamel from the front of your teeth before you can get veneers, this tooth modification is very minimal and can be a great alternative to getting crowns.

Veneers are also custom-made to fit your smile so you know that you’ll get a beautiful, natural-looking restoration. Porcelain veneers even offer the same light reflection and translucency that natural tooth enamel does, so no one will be able to tell that you have veneers. All they will notice is your beautiful smile.

It’s never too late to get the smile you want. Turn to Luker Dental Care in Springfield, IL, to schedule your consultation. Let us show you what porcelain veneers can do for your smile.


Porcelain crowns have been used to restore problem teeth since at least the early 20th Century. Crown technology has gradually progressed from the early use of precious metals like gold or silver to more life-like porcelain crowns, often with a metal interior for added strength. Today, most crowns are all-porcelain, made with newer materials that not only look attractive but can endure under the pressures of daily chewing or biting.

While crowns are often part of restorations for missing teeth, they’re also commonly used to cap or fit over a viable tooth with structural or appearance problems. Here are 4 situations where a crown could improve a tooth’s form and function.

Traumatized teeth. A significant blow to the face or mouth could generate enough force to chip away or fracture a significant amount of structure from a tooth. If the root remains healthy and firmly attached within the jaw, however, a crown can replace the missing structure and restore the tooth’s function and appearance.

Root canal treatments. Root canal treatments remove infected or dead tissue within a tooth’s pulp chamber, its inner core, and the root canals. The procedure rescues the tooth but can in the process significantly alter the tooth’s structure and appearance. A crown not only restores the tooth but also provides added protection against further decay or tooth fracture.

Teeth with multiple fillings. We can effectively treat cavities caused by tooth decay by filling them. But with each filling we must remove more of the decayed structure and shape the cavity to accommodate the filling. After a number of times, a tooth may not have enough structure left to support another filling. If the tooth is still viable, a crown could solve this dilemma.

Abnormally developed teeth. Teeth sometimes don’t erupt in the jaw as they should and may be only partly visible. The tooth not only looks out of place but it can’t fully function like a normal tooth. Capping an abnormally developed tooth with a crown will help normalize it and allow it to blend in with surrounding teeth.

If you would like more information on crown restorations, 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 “Crowns & Bridgework.”


It's no secret that many of Hollywood's brightest stars didn't start out with perfectly aligned, pearly-white teeth. And these days, plenty of celebs are willing to share their stories, showing how dentists help those megawatt smiles shine. In a recent interview with W magazine, Emma Stone, the stunning 28-year-old star of critically-acclaimed films like La La Land and Birdman, explained how orthodontic appliances helped her overcome problems caused by a harmful habit: persistent thumb sucking in childhood.

“I sucked my thumb until I was 11 years old,” she admitted, mischievously adding “It's still so soothing to do it.” Although it may have been comforting, the habit spelled trouble for her bite. “The roof of my mouth is so high-pitched that I had this huge overbite,” she said. “I got this gate when I was in second grade… I had braces, and then they put a gate.”

While her technical terminology isn't quite accurate, Stone is referring to a type of appliance worn in the mouth which dentists call a “tongue crib” or “thumb/finger appliance.” The purpose of these devices is to stop children from engaging in “parafunctional habits” — that is, behaviors like thumb sucking or tongue thrusting, which are unrelated to the normal function of the mouth and can cause serious bite problems. (Other parafunctional habits include nail biting, pencil chewing and teeth grinding.)

When kids develop the habit of regularly pushing the tongue against the front teeth (tongue thrusting) or sucking on an object placed inside the mouth (thumb sucking), the behavior can cause the front teeth to be pushed out of alignment. When the top teeth move forward, the condition is commonly referred to as an overbite. In some cases a more serious situation called an “open bite” may develop, which can be difficult to correct. Here, the top and bottom front teeth do not meet or overlap when the mouth is closed; instead, a vertical gap is left in between.

Orthodontic appliances are often recommended to stop harmful oral habits from causing further misalignment. Most appliances are designed with a block (or gate) that prevents the tongue or finger from pushing on the teeth; this is what the actress mentioned. Normally, when the appliance is worn for a period of months it can be expected to modify the child's behavior. Once the habit has been broken, other appliances like traditional braces or clear aligners can be used to bring the teeth into better alignment.

But in Stone's case, things didn't go so smoothly. “I'd take the gate down and suck my thumb underneath the mouth appliance,” she admitted, “because I was totally ignoring the rule to not suck your thumb while you're trying to straighten out your teeth.” That rule-breaking ended up costing the aspiring star lots of time: she spent a total of 7 years wearing braces.

Fortunately, things worked out for the best for Emma Stone: She now has a brilliant smile and a stellar career — plus a shiny new Golden Globe award! Does your child have a thumb sucking problem or another harmful oral habit? For more information about how to correct it, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Thumb Sucking Affects the Bite.”