Posts for: November, 2013
- Dr. Michael Cullinan: As the founding father of the Family Dental Center, Dr. Michael Cullinan can still be seen occasionally at the office. Dr. Cullinan opened Family Dental Center in 1980 and began as one general dentist providing patients with the most advanced, comfortable care available to several dentists and specialists. Dr. Cullinan graduated from Loyola University School of Dentistry in 1969 and served in the United States Army as a dental officer in Germany for four years. He returned to Chicago in the mid 1970s and worked in private practice before establishing the Family Dental Center. He officially retired in 2008.
- Dr. Sean Cullinan: In 2008, Dr. Sean Cullinan assumed ownership of the Family Dental Center, after his father, Dr. Michael Cullinan retired. Dr. Sean Cullinan graduated in 2006 from Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He is committed to providing high quality dentistry by incorporating the latest dental technologies in a friendly and comfortable environment. Since graduating in 2006, Dr. Cullinan continues to take advanced continuing education courses in cosmetic dentistry, orthodontics and endodontics to ensure the best care is available at Family Dental Center.
- Dr. Antonia Petrosino: Born in Chicago, Dr. Antonia Petrosino moved to Italy at the age of 10. She lived in Italy for more than 20 years and attended dental school in Rome. While she was in dental school, Dr. Petrosino found her love for orthodontics and pediatrics, and became a teaching assistant to the head of Orthodontics. After practicing in Rome for a year, Dr. Petrosino decided to move back to the United States in 1999, despite the need to go back to dental school. In 2002 she graduated from the UIC dental school and completed a one year internship with the Department of Orthodontics.
- Dr. Garry Gryotis: Originally from New Jersey, Dr. Garry Gryotis has lived in Chicago since 1974. After graduating from the Temple University School of Dentistry and Rutgers University, Dr. Gryotis served in the United States Navy and is a Vietnam War Veteran. Dr. Gryotis is trained in full mouth rehabilitation, including dental implants, fixed and removable bridges, complete dentures, and cosmetic techniques.
- Dr. Larry Zager: Born in Chicago, Dr. Larry Zager received his dental degree at Loyola University Dental School in 1978 and his oral and maxillofacial surgery training at Cook County Hospital in 1981. And in 1985, Dr. Zager became Board Certified and is also a diplomat of the American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons, in addition to numerous other memberships.
Perhaps you've heard about dental implant surgery — or maybe you've been told you are a candidate for the procedure. You may already know that today, implants are the “gold standard” of tooth replacement options. It's no wonder why: They have a documented success rate of over 95%, and can last a lifetime. But if you're put off by the thought of implant surgery, then it may be reassuring to learn the following five facts.
1. The entire implant process is planned before surgery is done.
This usually involves taking radiographs (X-rays), and sometimes CT scans, as precision guides to implant placement. Before the minor surgical procedure begins, we have already examined the bite and the bone structure, and determined exactly where the implant will fit in. There should be no surprises during the surgery — which is only one phase of the implant process.
2. Implant surgery uses the highest-quality materials and state-of-the-art techniques.
The implant itself is fabricated of commercially pure titanium, or a titanium alloy. This metal has a unique property — it's capable of osseo-integration, which means it can actually fuse with bone. During the implant procedure, the bone is handled with utmost care: it's gently prepared to receive the implant, and cooled with water to prevent tissue damage. If you don't have enough of your own bone tissue to support an implant, it has even become routine to restore bone with grafting techniques.
3. The surgical procedure itself is generally painless.
Almost all implants are placed using local anesthesia — typically, a numbing shot. If you're especially anxious about the procedure, it's possible to be given sedatives or anti-anxiety medications beforehand. Of course, we will make sure you don't feel any pain before we begin! Some mild vibration is generally all that you may experience during the procedure, but it's very rarely a cause for concern.
4. There is little discomfort following the procedure.
On the day of surgery and perhaps the day after, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) of the aspirin or ibuprofen family is usually all that's needed to control minor discomfort. You may also be given a prescription for antibiotics and/or a mouth rinse to aid healing.
5. The result: Natural-looking teeth that can last a lifetime.
Implants have become dentistry's premier option for replacing missing teeth. Their placement involves minimally-invasive techniques, and has a success rate higher than any other tooth replacement system. And, given proper care, they can last for the rest of your life. Could you ask for more?
If you have questions about dental implant surgery, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Dental Implants.”
Before she began hosting the long-running TV competition Top Chef, Padma Lakshmi was a well-known model and successful cookbook author. (Appropriately, she is said to have been “discovered” by a modeling agent while sitting in a café in Madrid.) Yet the Indian-born beauty's striking look — at once exotic and familiar — doesn't come from any cookie-cutter mold.
So when Lakshmi had cosmetic work done on her teeth, early in her career, her dentist didn't use a cookie-cutter approach either: Instead, her smile was carefully designed, using small amounts of bonding material to brighten her teeth and to bring their shape and spacing into harmony with her facial features.
Dentistry by Design
What exactly is smile design — and what could it do for you? Essentially, it's the process of evaluating your smile in concert with the appearance of your entire face, and visualizing the changes — some dramatic and some subtle — that will make it really shine. Some aspects we consider include the face's shape, the proportion or “balance” of facial features, the complexion, eye and lip color and form, and the overall dimensions of the smile.
Based on dental aesthetics and clinical experience, we will probably have a number of suggestions to make on how you can improve your smile. Your input will also be very important; while some individuals prefer perfectly even teeth and a sparkling “Hollywood white” smile, others are looking for a result that's more in keeping with a “natural” look: slight irregularities in tooth shape, spacing, and even color.
There's no right or wrong answer here: Having a “perfect” smile means what's perfect for you, so it's very important for dentists and patients to communicate openly during the smile design process. But sometimes, words alone just aren't enough to convey the subtle dimensions of beauty.
The Trial Smile
Fortunately, it's now possible to preview your “perfect” smile using a number of different techniques. Advances in computer imaging make this the first step in previewing your new smile — you can see the changes before a single tooth is touched! Still, many people find that having a more concrete picture is helpful. The next step is to make a 3-D mock-up the proposed dental work on an actual model of your mouth. That way, you can see a physical representation of the final results — and even turn it around and hold it in your hands.
There's still one more way to really experience the difference cosmetic treatments can make without committing to a permanent change: the provisional restoration. Here, tooth-colored bonding material and other techniques are used to actually create the new smile — temporarily. This gives you time to “live with it,” and see if the proposed changes work for you. If everything goes well with the provisional work, the permanent restoration is guaranteed to please.
So if you want holiday treats, get out the cookie cutter — but if you're looking for a smile that's uniquely yours, and one that enhances your own individual appearance… call our office and ask about a smile design consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Great Expectations — Perceptions in Smile Design” and “Beautiful Smiles by Design.”