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

 

 



Posts for: October, 2017

Is your smile ideal for one of these simple cosmetic treatments?cosmetic dentistry

Sometimes you have a small chip in your tooth from crunching down on something too hard or you have a tiny gap between your teeth that bugs you because food often gets trapped in it. If you are dealing with these issues they may seem rather small compared to many dental problems people have, but if the issue bothers you then it’s certainly not something to ignore. With simple procedures like bonding and contouring, our Springfield, IL, cosmetic dentist Dr. John Luker can help improve the shape, size or color of one or more teeth.

What is dental bonding?

The same tooth-colored resin that’s used to restore a tooth after a cavity can also be used for cosmetic purposes, too. By applying this moldable material over problem areas, we can immediately mask them with this simple non-invasive procedure. The bonding resin is even matched to the shade of your tooth beforehand to ensure that it will blend right in.

From there, the bonding resin is shaped and hardened into place with a dental light. The procedure takes anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour for one tooth. The procedure is an easy way to improve the shape, size or color of a tooth.

What is cosmetic contouring?

Contouring and bonding often go hand in hand. During cosmetic contouring our Springfield, IL, dentist will painlessly remove a minor amount of enamel from one or more teeth to improve its size or shape.

What dental problems can bonding and contouring address?

Bonding is a great option for someone who is dealing with uneven teeth, gaps between teeth or small chips, cracks and discolorations. If these imperfections are minor then this treatment may be all you need to improve the appearance of a tooth.

Cosmetic contouring is a great option if you have teeth that overlap a bit, if you have teeth that are a little jagged or uneven, or if you have teeth that are too pointy. Bonding and contouring may even be used together to enhance your smile.

If you are ready to find out how bonding and cosmetic contouring can help you, then it’s time you scheduled a consultation with our Springfield, IL, family dentist. Call Luker Dental Care today!


FastFoodChainsTakeOneSmallStepforKidsTeeth

Eaten in a fast food restaurant lately? If so, maybe you’ve noticed some changes in the big, colorful signs behind the counters. Many have begun promoting a few “healthier” selections (like salads and grilled items) and giving a more extensive listing of nutritional information. But there’s one thing you might not have noticed on those displays: a listing for soda among the beverage choices in the kiddie meal packages. That’s because they are no longer there.

Recently, Burger King quietly removed sugary fountain drinks from the in-store and online menu boards that show what you get with kids’ meals. They were following the lead of McDonalds and Wendy’s, both of which made similar moves in prior months. You can still get a soda with your kiddie burger if you specifically ask for one, but we’re hoping you won’t; here’s why.

For one thing, youth obesity has nearly tripled in the past three decades. As the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has noted, it’s now an epidemic affecting more than one in six children and adolescents. Many of the extra calories kids get are blamed on sugary drinks: According to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health, children’s daily calorie intake from these beverages rose by 60 percent in recent years. Obesity makes kids more likely to get many diseases, and can lead to problems in psychological and social adjustment.

But that’s not all. As dentists, we’re concerned about the potential for soda to cause tooth decay, which is still the number one chronic disease in children around the world. The association between sugary drinks and cavities is clear. So is the fact that tooth decay causes pain, countless hours of missed school and work, and expense that’s largely unnecessary, because it’s a disease that is almost 100 percent preventable.

While the new signage at fast food restaurants won’t make soda disappear, it does tend to make it less of an automatic choice. Anything that discourages children from routinely consuming soda is bound to help — and let’s point out that the same thing goes for other sweet and acidic beverages including so-called “sports” and “energy” drinks. It’s best to try and eliminate these from your child’s diet; but if you do allow them, at least limit them to mealtimes, and give your mouth a break from sweets between meals. That gives the saliva enough time to do its work as a natural buffer and acid-neutralizer.

What else can you do to help keep your child’s oral hygiene in tip-top shape? Be sure they brush their teeth twice and floss once every day, and bring them in for regular checkups and cleanings. But if you do suspect tooth decay, don’t delay treatment: Left alone, decay bacteria can infect the inner pulp of the tooth, resulting in severe pain, inflammation, and possibly the need for root canal treatment.

If you would like more information about children’s oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips For Children.”


BoneLossCouldbetheReasonforYourLooseDentures

When you first received your removable dentures the fit was firm and comfortable. Lately, though, they’ve become loose, making it difficult to eat or speak without slippage.

The problem may not be with your denture, but with bone loss. Human bone goes through a natural cycle of dissolving (known as resorption) and new growth to take the lost bone’s place. The jawbone receives further stimulation to grow from the forces generated by natural teeth when we bite or chew.

When natural teeth are missing, however, the jawbone lacks this stimulation, which over time results in bone loss and gum tissue shrinkage. Traditional dentures can’t transmit this stimulating force to the jawbone either, so the bone and gum structure under a denture will also shrink. This results in a looser fit for the denture.

The simplest option to correct a loose-fitting denture (especially if it’s the first occurrence) is to reline the dentures with additional material to re-form the fit to the new conditions in the mouth. A permanent relining will require sending your dentures to a dental laboratory to apply the new material based on a mold of your current anatomy beneath the denture.

If, however, your dentures have already undergone a few relinings, or after examining your gums we determine a relining won’t provide the fit and stability needed, then it may be time for a new denture. Although this is more costly than a relining, a new appliance could provide a more accurate fit to the current contours in your mouth.

The latter option may also give you a chance to benefit from advancements in denture technology or materials since you received your current denture. One such advancement is a removable denture that’s supported by implants. It’s possible to achieve this new supporting foundation for the denture with as few as two strategically-placed implants in the lower jaw.

If you’ve begun to notice denture looseness, be sure to make an appointment for an examination. From there, we can advise you on what will work best in your particular case.

If you would like more information on your options regarding removable dentures, 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 “Loose Dentures.”