The Importance of Screening for Oral Cancer | Hazel Crest IL Dentist

family dentist in hazel crest

Like with every form of cancer, early diagnosis can have a profound impact on the success of your treatment. Regular screenings are your first line of defense against oral cancer and our dentist is thoroughly trained in screening for oral cancer.

During your screening, we will check your lips, tongue, gums, mouth, and throat for any abnormalities that could be or become cancerous. We will give careful consideration to any symptoms you may be experiencing. If you have experienced any oral cancer symptoms for more than two weeks without improvement, schedule an appointment and tell your dentist immediately. Symptoms that could indicate oral cancer include:

●Ear pain

●Mouth sores that don’t heal

●White or red patches in your mouth

●Dramatic weight loss

●Lumps or swelling in or around your mouth

●Sore throat without other sinus symptoms

●Sensation of something caught in the back of your throat

●Pain or difficulty in swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue

One adult American dies of oral cancer every hour. Though anyone can develop oral cancer, some factors can increase your risks. Some of the most common risk factors include: genetic predisposition, prolonged sun exposure, unhealthy diet, smoking, chewing tobacco, and excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. Oral cancer is more common in men than women. 

Whatever the cause, the success of treatment depends on the size, type, and stage of the cancer. Early detection can play a critical role in your successful recovery. When found in early stages,oral cancers have an 80–90% survival rate. Oral cancers that are found in early or precancerous stages can often be removed and require less invasive procedures to treat. Later stages of cancer are likely to be larger and more complex and often have spread far beyond your mouth.

If you would like more information about oral cancer and oral cancer screening, contact our office for a consultation or to schedule a comprehensive dental exam.

Artistic Family Dental of Hazel Crest
Phone: (708) 799-1300
cash, credit card
17500 Carriageway Drive Suite B
Hazel Crest, IL 60429

5 Mistakes You Might Be Making While You Brush | Best Dentist in Hazel Crest IL

Brushing your teeth can feel like a no-brainer after decades of practice, but are you aware of the mistakes surrounding home care that you might be making? Keep your oral health top-notch by 

reading our quick list and see how you fare. 

  1. Timing – Make sure you don’t brush immediately after consuming sugary or acidic drinks. You can demineralize the enamel on your teeth by doing this. Rinse your mouth with water, then wait for 30 minutes to an hour before you brush. 
  2. Borrowing a Brush – Sharing is caring, but not when it comes to toothbrushes. When you share toothbrushes with somebody, you can spread illness and germs through oral contact. Make sure to get your own toothbrush, and label it or keep it separate to ensure you don’t get them confused. 
  3. Distance from the Toilet – Flushing a toilet can spread bacteria through the air. Make sure to place your toothbrush as far as possible from your toilet, or put a cover on your brush to protect it from contamination. 
  4. Rinsing after Brushing – Most toothpastes contain fluoride, which can help strengthen the enamel in your teeth. It takes time to work, however, so make sure you don’t rinse your mouth right away after brushing. This can wash away the fluoride before it can do its job. 
  5. Brushing Too Much – When you brush too frequently, you run the risk of wearing down the enamel on your teeth. Focus on brushing all facets of your teeth instead of how vigorously you can brush. 

There is more to brushing your teeth than you might think. These tips can help keep you aware of mistakes you might be making. Remember, daily brushing and flossing are only the foundation for optimal oral health – professional dental care is important, as well. For more advice or to schedule your next visit, contact our office.

Artistic Family Dental of Hazel Crest
Phone: (708) 799-1300
cash, credit card
17500 Carriageway Drive Suite B
Hazel Crest, IL 60429

How to Keep a Healthy Tongue | Hazel Crest Family Dentist

When it comes to oral health, protecting your teeth and gums are often the focus. However, did you know that your tongue needs proper care as well? Your tongue is responsible for many essential functions like swallowing, tasting, and talking, but it can harbor bacteria that harms your oral health. Learn how to keep your tongue healthy by following these four treatment tips. 

Practice Optimal Oral Hygiene 

Brushing and flossing twice a day will protect your mouth from pesky bacteria, but make sure to brush your tongue as well. As an alternative, try using a tongue scraper once a day. Tongue scrapers will scrape away any build up that has formed on your tongue. 

Drink Plenty of Water 

If you are dehydrated, it’s possible for your tongue to lose moisture and become uncomfortable. Drinking water ensures your hydration and will wash away food particles and bacteria from the surface of your tongue. Proper hydration can also prevent bad breath. 

Maintain a Healthy Diet 

Your tongue is a muscle, and what you eat can affect its health. Fill your diet with foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, calcium, lean protein, and fiber. Avoid eating processed foods and treats that are filled with sugar. 

Visit our Dental Office 

By visiting your dentist at least twice a year for a routine cleaning and examination, you can protect your tongue, teeth, and the rest of your mouth. During these visits, we will thoroughly check all aspects of your oral health. We will then work with you to create an oral health plan that is tailored to your needs. 

Don’t let your oral health slip by neglecting proper care for your tongue! Put these four tips into practice so you can enjoy a bright and healthy smile. Contact our office today to learn more about proper oral care or to schedule your next appointment

Artistic Family Dental of Hazel Crest
Phone: (708) 799-1300
cash, credit card
17500 Carriageway Drive Suite B
Hazel Crest, IL 60429

Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks | 60429 Dentist

Many sports drinks contain electrolytes which can be helpful to maintain energy levels when engaging in physical activities. You may believe that sports drinks are healthy but the truth of the matter is, they are not healthy. Energy drinks are those like Monster and Rockstar. Sports drinks and energy drinks are also seen as a tasty alternative to water when it comes to staying hydrated. It is important to know the negative effects and damage that these drinks do to your teeth.  

Up to 62 percent of children of the same age drink at least one sports drink per day and between 30 and 50 percent of teenagers in the United States drink these types of beverages regularly. With these numbers being so high it is important to take notice on the negative effects these drinks can have on teeth. The danger to both children and adults in sports drinks and energy drinks comes not only from the sugar content but also from the acidity. These types of drinks contain a significant amount of acid that they begin destroying the teeth of the person drinking them in as little as five days. 

There is a lot of damage being done to your oral health when consuming sports drinks and energy drinks. Energy and sports drinks can damage tooth enamel, increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. These drinks erodes or thin out the enamel of the teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. Athletes drink these beverages to remain hydrated and sip them frequently during exercise. This increases the time that teeth are exposed to the acidity and high sugar content of sports drinks, leaving them vulnerable to decay. 

While sports drinks and energy drinks can be an alternative to water, there are ways to promote great oral health. The best way to promote oral health is to keep yourself hydrated with water to prevent negative effects that sports and energy drinks bring. If you feel that you must use sports drinks, rinse your mouth with water afterwards and do not brush your teeth right after you have consumed a sports drink. Also, read the ingredient labels before you consume drinks. Avoid high amounts of acid and sugar, especially if you already have teeth problems. 

Getting healthy is great for your body and your mouth, but sports and energy drinks are not a necessary part of well-being. There are many alternatives, it’s just a matter of finding what works best for you. One must maintain oral health to make sure to have a lasting smile. Talk to your dentist about preventative care for your oral health.

Artistic Family Dental of Hazel Crest
Phone: (708) 799-1300
cash, credit card
17500 Carriageway Drive Suite B
Hazel Crest, IL 60429

I Chipped a Tooth! What Can I Do? | Dentist Hazel Crest IL

It usually starts pretty innocently. You’re biting into your favorite hard candy and suddenly you realize that there’s one little hard piece in your mouth you can’t seem to dissolve. You check it out and fear overcomes you when you see it’s a little chipped piece of a tooth. 

Enamel may be one of the hardest substances in the body but like most things in life, it has its limit. Whether you are chewing on ice or grinding your teeth at night, there’s always a chance of putting your teeth at risk. If you have chipped your tooth, there’s no need to panic. Here are a few things we can do to restore your beautiful smile: 

Tooth Bonding 

Tooth bonding has many structural uses, and it can be very helpful for repairing chipped teeth. Tooth bonding is a simple procedure that doesn’t require any numbing. The bonding materials and porcelain used are natural in color and can be designed to perfectly match your teeth. Your smile will look good as new, and people will have a hard time noticing you ever chipped a tooth to begin with.  

Dental Crown 

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that helps protect your teeth, while at the same time improving its appearance. An AACD (American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry) dentist will likely use a tooth colored crown made out of porcelain or zirconia to look identical to your teeth. Crowns will also provide the durability and strength your teeth need to withstand daily use. You may only need a partial crown if our dentist sees that the chip doesn’t affect the entire tooth.  

Porcelain Veneers 

Porcelain laminate veneers are made up of several thin layers of ceramic used to repair chipped teeth. They will be bonded to the teeth to replace the original enamel of the tooth with a special adhesive. Dental veneers are a fantastic way to get your tooth to look whole and healthy again.  

If you have a chipped tooth and would like more information on these methods, or to schedule a consultation, contact our office today.

Artistic Family Dental of Hazel Crest
Phone: (708) 799-1300
cash, credit card
17500 Carriageway Drive Suite B
Hazel Crest, IL 60429

What Kind of Technology Do Endodontist Use? | Best Dentist in Hazel Crest IL

First, What Does an Endodontist Do? 

Unlike general dentists, endodontists do not clean teeth—they focus solely on diagnosing and treating infection with the dental pulp. Endodontists are the experts for pulp inflammation, infection, and root canal treatments. In addition to the four years of undergraduate and four years of dental school required, endodontists undergo an additional two to three years of training in specialized programs preparing them in their field. The advanced training Dr. Figuera received prepared her to work in the microscopic environment inside the teeth.  

Endodontic Technology 

Endodontists utilize NASA technology and state-of-the-art tools to work inside the teeth.  

Operating microscopes. Endodontists utilize magnification and fiber optic illumination to view and work inside the tooth’s tiny interior. They also can use a small video camera attached to the operating microscope to record images of your tooth. 

Ultrasonics. Endodontists use high-frequency ultrasonic instruments to irrigate root canal spaces and remove debris to help clean and prepare during endodontic procedures. 

Nickel titanium. Endodontists use nickel titanium technology used by NASA in satellites to ensure flexibility and memory of instruments, ensuring more precise and efficient movements. More precise movements mean better results and less risk for the patient. 

Dental dam. At first glance, the dental dam may not seem impressive, but this thin square sheet—usually made of latex or nitrile—is imperative for cleaning the effected tooth and keeping it clean and dry during dental procedures. Dr. Figuera uses the dental dam to prevent microorganisms found in saliva from contaminating the site, and it helps keep filling materials dry during placement and curing. A dental dam can also help some patients feel more relaxed and comfortable during endodontic procedures since it creates a layer of separation from the drill and other tools and may help them feel more disassociated from the procedure. While some patients may find comfort in using the dental dam, some may feel claustrophobic or vulnerable with reduced access to the care provider. Dr. Figuera will regularly check in with you to ensure your comfort. 

If you are concerned about infection, contact Dr. Figuera to schedule an in-office visit. 

Artistic Family Dental of Hazel Crest
Phone: (708) 799-1300
cash, credit card
17500 Carriageway Drive Suite B
Hazel Crest, IL 60429

Effective Prevention for Healthier Smiles | Best Dentist Hazel Crest IL

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease for children and adolescents. About ¼ of children and more than half of teens currently have this illness. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 90% of adults over age 20 have some amount of tooth-root decay. However, tooth decay is highly preventable. By providing effective dental care during childhood, better long-term oral health may be achieved. 

Here are some practices that can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health issues at every age: 

Hygiene 

Brush teeth twice each day with a soft-bristled brush. Clean your tongue gently with your toothbrush or a tongue scraper. Use fluoride toothpaste to help strengthen enamel. Children should use only toothpastes designed for kids’ use. Replace toothbrushes every 2-3 months. 

Clean between teeth daily. Use dental floss or another interdental cleaner. Talk to your hygienist for a recommendation and instructions for effective use. 

Diet 

Eat healthy foods and limit sugary and acidic foods. Drink plenty of water. 

Sealants 

A recent study on the effectiveness of sealants was published jointly by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). They found that sealants can prevent up to 80% of tooth decay in permanent molars when used for children and teens. Adults may see similar benefits from use, as well. Additionally, no adverse effects have been reported with use of sealants on patients of any age. Talk to our dentist about whether dental sealants may help you prevent tooth decay. 

Fluoride 

Fluoridation of public water has been listed by the CDC as one of the great achievements in public health in the 20th century. Studies have shown tooth decay in children who have fluoridated water sources is reduced by up to 40%. If you have concerns about tooth enamel weakness or if you live in an area without fluoridated water, ask our dentist whether supplemental fluoride may be right for you. 

Dental Care 

Visit our office for a professional cleaning and thorough exam at least twice each year, or as instructed. Seek treatment right away if issues are identified. 

Effective preventive care saves time and money and can help ensure a lifetime of healthy, beautiful smiles. For more information about tooth decay prevention, contact our office

Artistic Family Dental of Hazel Crest
Phone: (708) 799-1300
cash, credit card
17500 Carriageway Drive Suite B
Hazel Crest, IL 60429

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