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



Posts for: March, 2018


Waiting is part of life for a teenager: waiting to get a driver’s license, to graduate high school or to leave home and stretch their wings. A teenager with lost teeth may also need to wait until they’re older to obtain dental implants.

The reason arises from the differences in how implants and natural teeth attach to the jaw. Although natural teeth may seem rigidly set in the bone, they’re actually held in place by an elastic tissue between them and the bone known as the periodontal ligament. Tiny filaments that attach to the teeth on one side and the bone on the other hold the teeth in place, but also allow the teeth to move gradually in response to mouth changes.

A titanium implant post doesn’t have this relationship with the periodontal ligament — it’s attached directly to the jaw bone. Over time the bone, which has a special affinity with titanium, grows and adheres to it to form a durable bond without an attachment to the periodontal ligament. Because of this the implant can’t move like a natural tooth.

This is extremely important for implant placement because the jaws in particular won’t fully develop in most people until their late teens or early twenties: the upper jaw in particular will tend to grow out and down. Natural teeth accommodate to these changes, but the implant can’t — it will appear to retreat into the jaw. The gum tissues surrounding the implant also won’t conform to the continuing growth and may appear receded.

The best approach is to choose a temporary replacement option until the jaws and other facial bone structures have finished growing. One example is a bonded bridge in which we use a bonding agent to attach a bridge of artificial teeth to teeth on either side of a missing tooth — bonding won’t permanently alter them as with a traditional bridge. Once the jaws have finished growing, we can remove the bonded bridge and install the more permanent implant.

Ask any teenager: waiting can be hard. But with dental implants, waiting until the right time will help ensure the attractive result is a permanent one.

If you would like more information on dental restorations and teenagers, 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 “Teenagers & Dental Implants.”


Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.

First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.

How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all  Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.

What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.

Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.”  If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.

By Luker Dental Care
March 09, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

How dental implants from your dentist in Springfield, Illinois can complete your smiledental implants

Are you hiding your smile because of missing teeth? Are you embarrassed by the gaps in your smile? If your self-esteem and self-confidence are suffering because you’ve lost a few teeth, it’s time to close the gaps and get your smile back with dental implants! Dr. John Luker at Luker Dental Care in Springfield, Illinois wants to share how dental implants can help you and your smile.

Dental implants are the high-tech solution to achieving a beautiful, complete smile. They can replace a single or multiple missing teeth, filling in the gaps from lost teeth. If you’ve worn dentures for a long time, you’ve probably experienced a loose denture, a few reline procedures, and discomfort. The good news is you can replace a worn out denture with implant supported dentures.

People love dental implants because they are:

  • Stable because they are firmly surrounded by bone and won’t move around the way dental appliances sometimes can
  • Beautifully natural-looking because the dental implant crown is made of high-tech ceramic that reflects light, just like your natural teeth
  • Convenient because you brush and floss the implants just like natural teeth

Dental implants are the most successful surgical implant, with success rates over 95% according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Another great benefit of dental implants is they help to conserve jawbone strength.

Dental implants are made of titanium, a unique, biocompatible material that fuses with bone. The dental implant is inserted during a simple in-office procedure. Over a healing period, bone fills in and locks the implant in place permanently. After the implant area has healed, your implant is capped with a beautiful implant crown.

You deserve a complete smile, a smile without embarrassing gaps between your teeth. Now, you can restore your smile beautifully with dental implants. For more information about dental implants and other restorative and cosmetic dental services call Dr. John Luker at Luker Dental Care in Springfield, Illinois today!