Family Dental Center

Posts for: April, 2015

By Family Dental Center
April 27, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Veeners  

VeneersIf there were one thing you could improve about your personal appearance, what would it be? For many people, it's the appearance of their teeth. While their goal may not be a paparazzi-perfect smile, many individuals hide their smiles because of imperfections such as:

  • stains from food, beverages, smoking and simple aging
  • small cracks and chips
  • misshapen and/or uneven teeth
  • teeth that are too petite (for a man) or too large (for a woman)
  • minor crookedness and overlapping teeth
  • teeth biting together improperly

If this describes your teeth, your Glenview, Illinois cosmetic dentists urge you to come in for a smile analysis to see if porcelain veneers could change and brighten your smile at Glenview Family Dental Center.

What are porcelain veneers?

Dental veneers are a state of the art cosmetic treatment that can correct those minor imperfections in a comfortable, minimally invasive way. Unlike treatment with dental crowns, porcelain veneers are super-thin coverings of bright, durable porcelain that do not require extensive removal of tooth enamel.

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry recommends that the dentist and patient discuss what the individual would like to see change about his smile. After a thorough oral examination, the dentist and patient can decide if veneers are the right treatment. Veneers are not appropriate for people with extensive decay, gum disease or difficult orthodontic issues.

What does the veneer procedure involve?

To start off, the dentist removes just 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the front side of the teeth to receive veneers. Usually, patients do not require any local anesthesia. He then takes impressions of the teeth and sends them to a lab where a model is created. The technician uses this model and the doctor's instructions to create porcelain veneers that are the correct, shape, size and color to perfectly refinish the patient's teeth.

At a subsequent appointment, the dentist cements the veneers to the teeth, checking for shape, fit, color and bite. He cures the adhesive with a special hardening light. During follow-up, he checks to see how well teeth and gums have adapted to the veneers. Any residual tooth sensitivity disappears relatively quickly.

Are veneers hard to care for?

The answer to this question is no. While you should not chew hard candy or bite open plastic packaging with your veneers (or your natural teeth either), porcelain veneers are strong. With normal brushing twice a day and daily flossing, veneers should continue to improve a smile for many years.

Family Dental Center

In the Glenview, Illinois area, Sean W. Cullinan DMD and his associates, Dr. Alex Figueroa, Dr. Larry Zager and Dr. Michael Cullinan provide a wide range of cosmetic, restorative, surgical and orthodontic dental services for patients of all ages. They can evaluate your smile to see if porcelain veneers are the right choice for you. Call the office today for an appointment: 847-998-1281.

By Family Dental Center
April 23, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Australian heartthrob Hugh Jackman has won international recognition for his work on stage, screen and television, including his long-running portrayal of Wolverine in the X-Men film series, and his Academy-Award-nominated starring role in Les Miserables. Oh, and did we mention he was named the “sexiest man alive” by People magazine in 2008? So when Jackman once said “I have shocking teeth”… what did he mean?

“[My dentist] looked at my teeth and went, ‘Oh, my God, you've got gray teeth,’” the actor stated. The proposed cure: tooth whitening. But what if the action hero's teeth were brightened too much — would his look still convey his trademark rugged charm? To see how that issue was resolved, let's look a little closer at various methods of tooth whitening.

All Whitening Isn't the Same
Everyone has seen the kind of over-the-counter tooth whitening strips advertised in magazines and sold in drug stores. Most dentists agree that, given enough time, they can work in many cases. But there may be problems, too.

One is that unless you know what's actually causing the darkening, you can't be sure if there is an underlying issue that needs treatment — a root-canal problem, for example. Bleaching a diseased tooth is like painting over a rusty car: it camouflages the problem, but doesn't fix it. That's one reason why, before any whitening treatment is attempted, it's important to have a complete dental examination, with x-rays.

Another is that without professional supervision, it's more difficult to control the degree of whitening you will end up with. For safety reasons, over-the-counter whitening products have the least concentrated bleaching agent, and will probably require weeks of use to produce noticeable results. The next step up — a custom-designed, at-home bleaching kit from our office — will likely produce results twice as fast.

The Professional Advantage
At-home bleaching done under our supervision uses stronger whitening agents with a flexible plastic tray that's custom-made to fit your teeth. It's a cost-effective way to achieve several shades of whitening in a relatively short time. Plus, with the advantage of our experience and guidance, you can get excellent results safely and efficiently.

If you want the fastest and most controllable whitening, however, in-office whitening treatments are the best way to go. According to one study, using the most concentrated whiteners in a safe clinical setting produced a six-shade improvement in just three office visits! This would have required a week or more of at-home bleaching, or upwards of 16 daily applications of the over-the-counter whitening products!

In-office whitening also offers the greatest degree of control over the outcome. That's why it was the method Hugh Jackman chose for his treatments. By adjusting the concentration of the bleaching solution and the treatment time, Jackman's dentist made sure his teeth were pleasingly light — but still looked completely natural. And in our office, we can do the same for you.

So whether you're looking for a dazzlingly bright smile or a more subtle enhancement, the best way to start is to call our office for a consultation. For more information, see the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”


Dental implants are widely recognized as the best tooth replacement option available. For most people, though, it’s a long process: after a tooth is extracted the socket is allowed to heal and fill in with new bone before implant surgery: that can take anywhere from two to five months. Afterward, there’s usually a two– to three–month period after the implant is placed before the permanent crown (the visible tooth) can be attached.

Without adequate bone present the implant’s long-term stability might be compromised. Furthermore, the implant’s durability is dependent upon bone growth around and attaching to its titanium post after surgery in a process known as osseo-integration. These two considerations indeed serve a critical function in the implant’s ultimate success.

In recent years, however, a variation to this traditional implant process has emerged that allows for immediate implantation right after extraction. Besides combining extraction and implantation into one surgical procedure, immediate implants minimize the disruption to a person’s appearance (especially with visibly prominent front teeth) when combined with a provisional crown.

Immediate implants joined together that replace a full arch of teeth can receive biting forces and succeed. Individual implants that replace single teeth, however, won’t work in all situations and must be undertaken with care to ensure long-term success. Because there may be less available bone, the implant must fit snugly within the socket to maintain as secure a hold as possible. The surgeon must also take care not to damage too much of the gum and bone tissue when extracting the tooth, which could affect both the integrity of the implant and its appearance in the gum line.

Temporary crowns may be attached during the implant surgery, but they’re installed for appearance’ sake only. For individual crowns, they must be designed not to make contact with the teeth on the opposing jaw to avoid generating biting forces that will cause the implant to fail and stop the bone-healing process that occurs with osseo–integration.

If you’re considering dental implants, it’s important to discuss with us which type of procedure, traditional or immediate, would be best for you, and only after a comprehensive examination of your mouth and jaw structure. Regardless of the approach, our goal is to provide you with a smile-transforming restoration that will last for many years to come.

If you would like more information on the dental implant process, 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 “Immediate Implants.”