Learn About Our Cosmetic Dentistry in Chicago IL Office

Chicago Hyde Park Cosmetic Dentistry

Our clinic performs a wide variety of services to help you get the smile you deserve. By leveraging today's advanced techniques and technology, Chicago dentist Dr. Louis Kaufman and our amazing staff can restore your beautiful smile to help you maintain your youthful appearance. Whether you need to get a tooth filled, have crooked teeth, or need a complete Chicago smile makeover, we can offer a treatment plan that's right for you. Read below to learn more about some of the procedures we offer.


Invisalign

We can help straighten your teeth with Invisalign.

Your Invisalign treatment will consist of a series of aligners that you switch out about every two weeks. Each aligner is individually manufactured with exact calculations to gradually shift your teeth into place. And since your Invisalign system is custom-made for your teeth and your teeth only, with a plan devised by you and your Woodlawn Invisalign dentist or orthodontics of Chicago specialist, you know you'll end up with a smile that truly fits.

If you're ready for a smile that transforms your appearance, Invisalign is your answer. Although there are many choices out there, no other works as effortlessly as the Invisalign system.

Invisalign is the best way to transform your smile without interfering with your day-to-day life.


Six Month Smiles

6 Month Smiles is a revolutionary orthodontic service for adults who have, until now, felt like they would need to wait 2 years with fixed braces. Until now, if you had crooked teeth, there was a choice between Porcelain Veneers and traditional long-term braces (orthodontics).

Traditional long-term adult orthodontics may take one to two years, or even more in some cases, to straighten all your teeth. Understandably, many adults simply don't want to wear braces for that long. However, traditional braces still have their place. Six Month Smiles Adult Braces is an easy choice to make compared to the two previous alternatives in many cases.

What Do 6 Month Smiles Braces Look Like?

You may remember the "train track metal mouth" look from years ago. 6 Month Braces uses tooth-colored (white) brackets and wires. They're barely visible! Six Month Smiles Braces are appropriate for correcting spaces, gaps, crooked, or crowded teeth. If the teeth that show in your smile aren't straight, 6 Month Braces may be the perfect solution for you.

Are 6 Month Braces the Same As Regular Braces?

6 Month Braces are very similar to conventional adult orthodontics as it pertains to brackets and wires being used. The mechanism of moving the teeth is the same. The difference between Six Month Smiles Braces and conventional braces are the focus of the treatment. With 6 Month Smiles, the focus is only on the teeth that show in your smile. The goal of 6 Month Braces is to give you a smile you can be proud of in a reasonable amount of time. It addresses the cosmetic issues of orthodontics.

Most people have no trouble chewing. Their teeth function well, and their bites work fine. Six Month Braces can be finished more quickly than traditional braces because the focus is not on changing your bite. Traditional long-term adult orthodontics go beyond that, to perfecting your bite in your back teeth

Will It Really Take Only 6 Months?

Most Six Month Braces cases will take about 6 months. Some may take less. A few may take more than 6 months. A "long" case may take up to 9 months to achieve the goals. The vast majority of cases take 6 months.

Does 6 month Smiles Move Teeth Faster Than Normal Braces? Does it Damage Them?

6 Month Braces uses very light and safe forces to move teeth at the same rate as traditional braces. The teeth are not being moved faster. The difference between Six Month Braces and traditional braces is that the treatment is completed sooner. Your front teeth (that show when you smile) move faster than your back teeth. Traditional braces take longer because there is an additional goal of perfecting the bite in your back teeth. 6 Month Braces is not concerned with perfecting the bite in your back teeth, so the treatment stops once the front teeth are positioned in a cosmetically pleasing arrangement. So, the rate of tooth movement is the same, but the total treatment time is faster - about 6 months.


Clear Correct


Getting Started

Your doctor will take impressions, photos, and x-rays of your teeth that ClearCorrect uses in manufacturing your custom aligners.

Your Custom Treatment Plan

Your doctor sends your records—your impressions, photos, and x-rays—to ClearCorrect with a prescription for your custom aligners. ClearCorrect uses your records to create exact 3D models of your teeth. Then working with your doctor every step of the way, and following the precise instructions provided on your prescription, ClearCorrect maps out a complete treatment plan of gradual adjustment that takes your teeth from where they are currently to where you and your doctor want them to end up. Once completed, you and your doctor will be able to preview the projected results of your treatment in your "treatment set-up," a computer representation of your teeth before and after treatment.

Your Aligners are Computer-Crafted

When you and your doctor are satisfied with the projected results shown in your treatment set-up, the manufacturing process begins. Using the latest digital mapping and molding technology, ClearCorrect creates your custom aligners with computer precision. ClearCorrect then sends your aligners to your doctor for delivery to you.

Progress Wearing Your Aligners

You'll wear your aligners all the time, except while eating and drinking or during daily tooth care, such as brushing and flossing. Your ClearCorrect aligners are so clear they are barely noticeable so they won't have an impact on your day to day life. Aligner by aligner, you'll be able to see the difference as your teeth slowly adjust and align to your target smile. You'll visit your doctor periodically for checkups to see how you're progressing until you eventually have the straight smile you've always wanted.


Lumineers

Dr. Louis Kaufman is an (877) LUMINEER approved doctor with 20+ years experience placing LUMINEERS, and is even a patient of the procedure himself!

"I am very pleased with the results of the Lumineers that were placed on my existing teeth my smile is 200% better than before. I will definitely recommend family and friends."


— Mr. Donald Hudson 5/13/16


What are LUMINEERS?

LUMINEERS are thin porcelain shields that are bonded to the front of your tooth to create dramatic changes in your smile.

Is there any pain involved?

No! Because LUMINEERS require little to no preparation, there is no need for shots or drilling.

How long will it take to change my smile?

While some people may need other dental treatments, LUMINEERS typically require 2 dental visits and they are placed in only an hour.

How do I know if LUMINEERS are right for me?

Call for a free LUMINEER consultation and we will show you how your smile can be improved with Lumineers.

How long do Lumineers last?

Long-term clinical research with LUMINEERS (up to 20 years) shows 100% retention with no discoloration.


Snap on Smile

What is Snap-On Smile?

Snap-On Smile is a comfortable, removable dental appliance that involves no drilling, filing down of existing tooth structure, injections, cementation nor adhesives. Its patented design is flexible, incredibly strong, and functional. The slightly flexible material (acetyl resin) used in the fabrication of Snap-On Smile allows it to expand over the teeth and hug them tightly so the patient can eat and speak without the appliance coming loose or shifting.

Snap-On Smile does not impinge on the gum tissue nor cover the palate, as its retention is completely tooth-borne. Snap-On Smile is non-invasive and easily removable, making it completely reversible.

Of what kind of material is it made?

Snap-On Smile is made of a crystallized acetyl resin, which makes it more durable and stain resistant, as opposed to acrylic. This material also allows the Snap-On Smile® appliance to be as thin as .5mm without compromising its strength. It is the only appliance that can be fabricated with varying thicknesses to afford a more natural contour and look. The non-toxic material is also used in heart valve replacements and other minor applications in dentistry. In fact, NASA uses it in craft cabinetry for its durability. Snap-On Smile is durable, resists stains from cigarettes, wine and coffee, and allows patients to eat while wearing it. It is very strong and polishes beautifully.

Does Snap-On Smile® come in different shades like crowns and dentures do? Can it be customized?

Your dentist in Chicago and patient can choose from several shades and smile shapes, providing an array of choices for this custom fitted appliance. It can be made to cover a quadrant, or full upper and/or lower arches to fit almost any patient’s needs. Upper and lower appliances can be worn simultaneously.


Who is a candidate for Snap-On Smile?

Patients looking for a non-invasive, reversible, affordable approach to permanent restorative and cosmetic dentistry are excellent candidates for Snap-On Smile. It’s an easy, quick and affordable solution for patients who want to quickly feel better, look better, and function better.

For many patients, Snap-On Smile gives them options they never had before. It is a great solution for patients who are unable to receive permanent improvements, such as crowns, veneers, and implants because they are medically compromised, their age precludes them from extensive treatments, or they are simply afraid to have extensive dental work done. Older patients with medical conditions such as cancer or heart disease may not be candidates for implants or bridges. Snap-On Smile can alleviate dental issues and help these patients achieve a more pleasing smile in the interim or long-term. In some cases of periodontal disease, it can be used as a temporary splint for mobile teeth while the patient undergoes treatment. Patients going through implant surgery can use it as a temporary retainer. With Snap-On Smile®, patients can easily maintain excellent oral hygiene. Snap-On Smile is also ideal for those patients considering a more permanent restoration like veneers, as the appliance allows them to preview their new smile.

How do I get a Snap-On Smile?

After a brief consultation in your Chicago dentist’s office, your clinician will take photos and impressions of your teeth. You choose from different smile shapes and shades for your Snap-On Smile®. In about two weeks, the exclusive lab at Snap-On Smile will create and send your dentist your new appliance for final insertion. Snap it in and wear it home.

What is the turnaround time for a custom-made Snap-On Smile® appliance?

The custom-made Snap-On Smile will be delivered to your Chicago dentist’s office within 14 days of our lab’s receipt of the completed order from the dentist.

What is a Snap-On Smile® Care Kit?

Snap-On Smile® Care Kit is a line of care products for cleaning and maintaining the Snap-On Smile® appliance:

Snap-On Smile® CLEANING POWDER

This solution removes all superficial stains including coffee, tea, plaque, and calculus build up. To use, pour half a capful of powder into a half cup of cool water. The water should cover the appliance. Soak appliance in the mixture for 15 minutes. Then remove the appliance and rinse thoroughly under running water. If there is remaining residue, brush the inside of the appliance lightly with a soft toothbrush and water. For best results, use the Snap-On Smile® Cleaning Powder daily.

Snap-On Smile® ANTI-BACTERIAL GEL

Use this easy-to-apply gel every day to help prevent tooth decay and freshen breath. Apply a small bead of gel into the individual tooth compartments of your Snap-On Smile® appliance before inserting into the mouth. For best results, apply after each meal.

Snap-On Smile® CARRY/STORAGE

The carry/storage case is a compact container with a built-in mirror for transporting or storing the appliance when it is not being worn.

How and with what do you clean the Snap-On Smile?

Always remove the appliance using both hands, gently rocking it side to side, and never squeeze or flex the appliance. Remove and rinse the appliance after meals. Then use Snap-On Smile® Anti-Bacterial Gel to help prevent tooth decay and freshen breath. Apply a small bead of gel into the individual tooth compartments of your Snap-On Smile® appliance before re-inserting into the mouth.

Gently brush the inner parts of the appliance twice a day using a soft toothbrush. Do not use regular toothpaste as it can dull the finish. Use plain water instead. To remove superficial stains including coffee, tea, plaque, and calculus buildup, use the Snap-On Smile® Cleaning Powder daily. To use, pour half a capful of powder into a half cup of cool water. The water should cover the appliance. Soak appliance in the mixture for 15 minutes. Then remove the appliance and rinse thoroughly under running water. If there is remaining residue, brush the inside of the appliance lightly with a soft toothbrush and water. Always store your appliance in the Snap-On Smile® carrying case to protect it when not in use.

What is the cost to the patient for a Snap-On Smile® appliance?

Pricing is determined by your Chicago cosmetic dentist and depends on the difficulty of the case and the amount of technical time or material required. Many patients find the cost of the Snap-On Smile® appliance to be surprisingly affordable.

What is the warranty coverage?

Snap-On Smile is a custom-made appliance, therefore it is not returnable for a refund at any time. Snap-On Smile can be remade at no additional cost for up to 60 days from when the case is delivered to your Chicago cosmetic dentist.

Are any foods off limits while wearing a Snap-On Smile?

Patients are not limited to what they can eat and drink with their Snap-On Smile –however, we recommend starting with a softer diet and working up to harder foods.

Is speech affected?

Speech can be affected for the first several hours of wear though this varies by patient. The instructions that come with a custom-made Snap-On Smile include a list of verbal exercises to help speed up the patient’s acclimation process.

How long is a Snap-On Smile® appliance expected to last?

The Snap-On Smile® appliance is expected to last about 3 to 5 years and possibly longer with proper care, the same length of time as other removable appliances such as partial dentures, brux guards or night guards.

Can you sleep with a Snap-On Smile?

For normal dentition, we do not recommend sleeping with the Snap-On Smile in place. However, one of the indications for Snap-On Smile is that it can be used as a brux guard so a patient with permanent restorations like veneers can protect them during sleep with the Snap-On Smile. Your Chicago cosmetic dentist will determine if this is right for you.

Will the Snap-On Smile look bulky compared to the natural teeth?

No. Snap-On Smile is the only appliance that can be fabricated with varying thicknesses to afford a more natural contour and look. As with veneers or a partial denture, in some cases the teeth may feel bulky but they will look natural. Snap-On Smile is made of a crystallized acetyl resin, which allows it to be made as thin as .5 mm without compromising strength.

What is the range of thickness for the appliance?

The Snap-On Smile can be made as thin as .5mm and as thick as 1 mm or more.

How does the Snap-On Smile attach in the mouth?

The appliance literally snaps over and holds on to a patient’s natural teeth using the natural curvature of the teeth to hold it firmly in place.

Can you wear the Snap-On Smile every day? Will it break?

Snap-On Smile can be worn every day, all day. We suggest that the patient remove and clean the appliance before going to bed unless your Chicago cosmetic dentist advises to wear it while sleeping as a brux guard.

Proper care is required just like any other dental appliance. The specially formulated resin makes it long lasting, but it will break if enough force is placed on the appliance. We instruct patients to insert and remove the Snap-On Smile® appliance using both hands to avoid any unnecessary twisting or bending of the appliance.

Is the Snap-On Smile heat tolerant?

Yes, Snap-On Smile can tolerate heat up to 200° C.

Does Snap-On Smile maintain its color?

Yes, it maintains its color. Snap-On Smile is non-toxic and hypo-allergenic and is made out of a non-porous material that prevents stains from adhering to it. The crystallized resin which is used in the fabrication of the appliance does not absorb food debris, bacteria or become discolored. It is durable, resists stains from cigarettes, wine and coffee as well, and allows patients to eat while wearing it.


Porcelain Crowns

Where fillings are utilized to just cover a small portion of a tooth, a crown (or cap) encases the entire visible portion of a tooth. In effect, the crown acts as the tooth's new outer surface.A dental crown is used when a tooth is decayed or broken to such an extent that fillings aren't able to repair the problem. The crown is able to provide a protective shell around the damaged or decayed tooth to strengthen it, as well as to improve the appearance of the tooth. They can also help restore a tooth to it's original shape, and are used commonly for teeth that have been broken. While crowns come in different materials, the most common crowns typically have some mixture of porcelain in them to give them a look and feel similar to a natural tooth.

How it's done:

The first visit to your top provider of cosmetic dentistry in Chicago IL will involve reshaping the tooth and taking impressions to create the crown. Typically a portion of your tooth will have to be removed for the crown to fit properly. After the tooth is reshaped, a special material will be used to create an impression of it. This impression will be sent to a dental laboratory to be made into a permanent crown. Before sending you home this visit, a temporary crown will be provided to cover your tooth in between visits.

When you return, the permanent crown will have been received from the laboratory. The temporary crown will be removed and a fitting will be done for the new permanent one. Before cementing the permanent crown in place, the permanent crown's fit, comfortably and matching color will be assured.


Botox

BOTOX® Cosmetic is a simple, nonsurgical, physician-administered treatment that can temporarily smooth moderate to severe frown lines between the brows in people from 18 to 65 years of age. It is the only treatment of its type approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

BOTOX® Cosmetic is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, which reduces the activity of the muscles that cause those frown lines between the brows to form over time.

Facial Treatments

One 10-minute treatment, a few tiny injections, and within days there's a noticeable improvement in moderate to severe frown lines between the brows, lasting up to 4 months.

Laughter, sadness, anger and surprise – your face shows all of your emotions to the world. And a lifetime of emotions means your facial muscles have been put to the test, leading to wrinkles, crow's feet, and laugh lines.

All these signs of emotion can leave you looking older than your years – but thanks to today's technology, we can significantly reduce their appearance on your face. With BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment, you will be able to see a visible improvement to the wrinkles on your face – and you'll have smoother skin for up to four months.

We administer small injections directly into the area you'd like to improve. If you have sensitive facial areas, we'll be happy to apply an ice pack or anesthetic cream to the area we'll be working on.

The purified protein from the injection goes to work immediately on the facial muscles that are causing wrinkles. You will begin to notice visible improvements over the next month.

BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments can improve:

  • Worry lines in forehead
  • Lines between the eyebrows
  • Smile lines
  • Laugh lines, from nose to mouth
  • Crow's feet

We welcome you to come in and talk about if BOTOX– Cosmetic treatment is right for you, and we'll be glad to answer any and all of your questions.


Dentures

We all hope our natural teeth will last a lifetime. But when this isn’t possible, the best dental office in Chicago can offer a number of options to restore oral function and appearance. Thanks to advances in polymer science, the vast majority of dentures are now made with extremely high-quality, durable plastic, and are stronger, more comfortable, and more natural looking than ever before. In short, these are not your grandmother’s dentures!

Denture Basics

A wide variety of dentures is available for individuals who are missing some or all of their teeth. Complete dentures replace all of the teeth on the upper and/or lower jaw and rest on the gums that cover the jawbone. These dentures can be made more secure when attached to one or more tooth roots (overdenture) or to dental implants (implant overdenture). Some implant overdentures can be removed by the wearer and others can be removed only by a professional.

Partial dentures replace only some of the teeth and attach to the remaining natural teeth with clasps or mechanical components known as attachments (precision and semi-precision partial dentures, also called attachment partial dentures.) Your Chicago cosmetic dentist or prosthodontist (a dentist who specializes in restoring and replacing teeth) will help you decide what type of denture and treatment plan are best for you.

Denture Types Defined

Conventional dentures: Replace all missing teeth in a jaw and rest on the gum tissue Conventional overdentures: Replace all missing teeth, rest on the gum tissue, and are also supported with attachment to one or more tooth roots Implant overdentures: Replace all missing teeth in a jaw and connect to surgically placed dental implants Conventional partial dentures: Replace some missing teeth and are held in place with clasps that wrap around adjacent teeth Precision and semi-precision partial dentures (also called attachment partial dentures): Replace some missing teeth and are held in place with mechanical components called attachments

Getting your Dentures: The Process

The types of treatments needed before dentures can be placed and the amount of time those treatments take will vary depending upon a person’s overall oral health, the number and location of missing teeth, and the type of denture selected to replace those teeth. These treatments can include:

  • Impressions or molds of the contour of the mouth, used as a model for the denture
  • Extractions to remove any unhealthy teeth
  • Implant surgery for those receiving implant overdentures
  • Adjustments to achieve the best fit and level of comfort once dentures are placed.

Individuals who require extractions or implant surgery will need to wait several weeks for the mouth to heal before dentures can be placed. For some people, a temporary or “immediate” denture can be placed in the mouth on the same day extractions are performed, and worn until the permanent denture is fitted.

What to Expect: Getting Used to Your Dentures

It takes some time to get used to the feeling of dentures in your mouth, after which you should be able to comfortably eat, speak, and smile. The following is normal when complete dentures are initially placed in the mouth:

  • A feeling of fullness in the mouth, face, lips, and/or cheeks, which will subside quickly.
  • Temporary minor changes in speech sounds, which will be more apparent to you than to others.
  • Tip: Speaking slowly and enunciating precisely helps the tongue and facial muscles adapt more quickly.
  • Changes in chewing patterns while getting used to the jaw movements required for chewing with dentures, which may take several weeks.
  • Tip: Start with small pieces of soft food, gradually increasing the food’s firmness, and chew food on both sides of the mouth simultaneously with only your back teeth. A small amount of denture adhesive may help to stabilize your dentures.

Precision Partials

When a patient has some healthy teeth left, but is missing several, a partial denture can restore their smile by providing a complement piece for their existing teeth.

Traditional partial dentures are held in place by metal clasps that go around existing teeth to hold the partial ones in place. While this can be a much less expensive and simpler solution than removing the remaining teeth for a full denture, there is the drawback that those metal clasps are often visible when you talk or smile.

We can solve this problem of wire or clasp visibility using what are called precision partial dentures.


Teeth Whitening

Tooth whitening (or bleaching) is a simple, non-invasive dental treatment used to change the color of natural tooth enamel and is an ideal way to enhance the beauty of your smile.

Because having whiter teeth has now become the major aesthetic concern of most patients, there are a number of ways to whiten teeth. The most popular method is using a home tooth whitening system that will whiten teeth dramatically. Since tooth whitening only works on natural tooth enamel, it is important to evaluate replacement of any old fillings, crowns, etc. Replacement of any restorations will be done after bleaching so they will match the newly bleached teeth.

Tooth whitening is not permanent. A touch-up maybe needed every several years, and more often if you smoke, drink coffee, tea, or wine.

Reasons for tooth whitening:

  • Fluorosis (excessive fluoridation during tooth development).
  • Normal wear of outer tooth layer.
  • Stained teeth due to medications (tetracycline, etc.).
  • Yellow, brown stained teeth.

What does tooth whitening involve?

This type of tooth whitening usually requires two visits. At the first appointment, impressions (molds) will be made of your teeth to fabricate custom, clear plastic, trays.

At your second appointment, you will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The trays are worn with special whitening solution either twice a day for 30 minutes or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching.

You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your Chicago cosmetic dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.


Dental Bridges

A dental bridge is a false tooth that is used to fill the gap created by a missing tooth or teeth. A gap between your teeth can be potentially dangerous to your dental health, as it can cause your teeth to shift resulting in a change in your bite that could be painful. Dental bridges help alleviate this problem by using the two surrounding teeth as anchors to hold a false tooth in the place where the gap is. Typically, porcelain crowns are placed over the surrounding teeth, and the false tooth, known as a pontic, is fused between them.

Types of dental bridges

There are three types of dental bridges that are commonly used today

  1. Traditional fixed bridge - This is the most common type of dental bridge, in which porcelain crowns are placed over the two surrounding teeth and used as anchors to hold the false tooth in place. The false tooth is usually made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.
  2. Cantilever bridge – A cantilever bridge is used when teeth are present on only one side of the gap. These are used typically in areas of your mouth that doesn’t experience an intense chewing load, such as your front teeth.
  3. Resin-bonded bridge - In a resin-bonded bridge, metal bands are bonded to the surrounding teeth with resin and used to hold a plastic false tooth in place. This type of bridge is typically used in areas of the mouth that undergo less stress, such as the front teeth.

How it's done:

A minimum of two visits to our dental office in Chicago are required for placing a dental bridge. At the first visit, three important steps are completed. First, the surrounding teeth are prepared to be fitted with a crown. This may including filing down the tooth so that the crown can fit over it. Second, an impression is taken of your teeth which will be sent to a laboratory to prepare the bridge and crown. Finally, your Chicago dentist fits your teeth with a temporary bridge to protect them while the bridge is prepared at the laboratory.

At the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the new bridge received from the laboratory is fitted and adjusted. Multiple visits may be necessary to check and adjust the fit.


Dental Veneers

Dental veneers are one of the most versatile restorative treatments in dentistry. It’s no coincidence that most people associate veneers with the idea of a “Hollywood” smile, as dental veneers were invented by a California dentist in 1928 for the purposes of temporarily changing the appearance of actors’ teeth in movies. Today, veneers are still associated with achieving a perfect, bright white smile, but their application actually goes beyond aesthetics. Understanding the unique nature of dental veneers helps clarify the many different ways they can be used to enhance a person’s smile.

What is a Dental Veneer?

A veneer can be thought of as a “cousin,” so to speak, of another very common dental treatment: crowns. A dental crown is a restoration that entirely covers a tooth, for purposes of strengthening the tooth or for prevention of decay. In order to achieve this, all sides of the tooth are shaved down slightly to make room for the crown, which is usually made of porcelain, metal, or a combination of the two.

A veneer is much like a crown, except that it only covers the outer surface of a tooth. It is for this reason that veneers are usually applied to front teeth and why their primary purpose is considered to be aesthetic enhancement.

Like crowns, veneers are made of porcelain. Porcelain is a type of ceramic that has several physical properties that make it an ideal restorative material. First, porcelain is very strong and durable, meaning most modern veneers can be expected to hold up against many years of wear and tear. In addition, porcelain will not stain the way natural teeth do. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, porcelain has a high degree of translucency. Translucency is the property that allows light to penetrate through the material. Because natural teeth are translucent, porcelain is an obvious choice for creating lifelike restorations.

Certain types of veneers are designated as “no prep” or “low prep” veneers, reflecting the amount of tooth alteration required. Although these veneers are appropriate only in unique cases, they can be an excellent choice for patients desiring veneers without the irreversible alteration of natural teeth.

Another variant of dental veneers is known as “direct veneers,” since they do not require fabrication by a dental laboratory the way porcelain veneers do. Direct veneers are ones that are composed of tooth-colored filling material and are applied and bonded directly to a tooth. Like “indirect” veneers, direct veneers typically require some alteration of the tooth.

What Are Some Reasons For Getting Porcelain Veneers?

Veneers are very flexible and can treat a number of dental problems. Outlined below are the different applications of veneers.

  • Cosmetics. Obviously, aesthetic issues are the most common reason that dental veneers are applied. Due to their highly cosmetic properties, as well as the ability to customize their appearance, they are an excellent choice for patients who are unhappy with the appearance of their smile. Porcelain is very adaptable in terms of its color; veneers can be matched to the exact shade of natural teeth. Different colors can even be blended together, and different shades can be used on different areas of the veneer. The bottom line is that no matter the appearance of your natural teeth, veneers can either be made to match them perfectly, or can be customized to create an entire new look. This is especially useful for patients with severely stained teeth that do not respond to whitening treatments.
  • Crooked teeth. You might be surprised to learn that veneers can correct crooked teeth, but in many cases they can. This is possible by altering the shapes of the crooked teeth in such a way that allows veneers to be bonded on in a straight line, creating the appearance of perfectly straight teeth. By the same token, veneers can be used to close gaps in teeth.
  • Misshapen teeth. Similarly, veneers can be used to change the appearance of a tooth that is naturally misshapen, or one that is over or under-sized.
  • Worn, chipped, or broken teeth. For front teeth that have been subject to wear or are chipped or broken, veneers can be used to mask these imperfections. Often times, dental bonding or tooth-colored fillings are used to repair these issues, but filings can stain over time and may break off during everyday wear. Veneers are a much more aesthetic and durable choice.

What is the Process for Getting Veneers?

Getting veneers from your Chicago cosmetic dentist typically involves two appointments a few weeks apart. At the first appointment, the teeth are prepared for veneers. This may or may not require anesthesia, especially if very little tooth structure needs to be removed. Once the teeth have been altered to accommodate the thickness of the veneers, an impression is taken of the teeth so that a stone model can be made. A dental laboratory will use this model to fabricate the veneers. Your Woodlawn dentist can help you customize the shade of your veneers, ensuring you get the exact smile you want. In between appointments, temporary veneers may be worn, depending on the situation.

At the second appointment, the temporary veneers are removed and the teeth are cleaned thoroughly to facilitate a strong bond. The veneers will be tried in place andchecked for fit, the ability floss properly, whether or not the bite pattern is correct and, of course, to ensure the appearance is satisfactory. At that point, bonding cement is placed on the veneer and it is seated on the tooth. A specialized light is shined on the cement which causes it to “cure,” or harden, holding the veneer in place. You will be given instructions on proper care of your veneers in addition to specific measures you can take to ensure their longevity.

If you are unhappy with the appearance of your smile, dental veneers should be near the top of your list of potential treatments. Their versatility, combined with their superior physical characteristics makes them an excellent choice for correcting a wide variety of dental problems.


Dental Bonding

Dental Bonding is a restoration procedure in which a tooth-colored resin is bonded to a tooth and cured with an ultraviolet light. Bonding is faster and less expensive than veneers or crowns, and can thus be a good option to make small cosmetic improvements to your teeth. Unlike veneers and crowns, bonding can be done within one Chicago dental office visit since nothing has to be custom made by a dental laboratory. Additionally, the procedure typically requires removing less of the tooth enamel compared to veneers and crowns. However, since bonding typically doesn’t last as long as other forms of restoration and is less resistant to stains, it is used more often for small cosmetic touch ups rather than major restorations.

How it's done:

The bonding procedure typically requires between 30 to 60 minutes to complete for each tooth. First your dentist in Chicago determines exactly what color shade your teeth are to select a resin that will blend it naturally. Once this is done, the tooth will be prepared so that the bonding material will adhere easier. This involves roughening the surface of the affected tooth and applying a liquid conditioner. Once this is complete, resin will be applied to the tooth, and cured in place using an ultraviolet light. Finally, your Chicago cosmetic dentist will apply the finishing touches by shaping and polishing the resin for a good fit.


Retainers

After your orthodontics in Chicago treatment, we will begin the retention stage of your treatment. The retention phase lasts for a minimum of 12 months. Your final orthodontic result depends on your retainers, so follow through with the hard work you’ve put in so far.

Remember to remove your retainer before brushing, and brush your retainer before placing it back in your mouth.


Dental Inlays and Onlays

Dental inlays and onlays are a more conservative approach to tooth restoration than full crowns. The are used to repair rear teeth that have mild to moderate tooth decay, or for cracked teeth where the damage does not warrant a dental crown. Porcelain, composite resin and sometimes gold are used to create inlays and onlays. Inlays refer to those procedures where the bonded material is limited to the center of the tooth while onlays refer to those procedures where the bonded material can extend further to one or more cusps of the tooth.

What are the benefits of inlays and onlays?

  • Natural look: Inlays and onlays have a natural tooth color that makes them virtually invisible compared to metal fillings.
  • Great fit: Inlays and onlays will not expand or contract based on temperature like metal fillings.
  • Longevity: Inlays and onlays can last up to thirty years, longer than any other type of filling.
  • Minimal tooth structure removed: Inlays and onlays require the minimal removal of a tooth’s surface, helping to preserve the maximum amount of healthy tooth structure while restoring decayed or damaged areas.

How it’s done:

Typically, two visits to our dental office in Chicago are required for the placements of inlays and onlays. In the first visit, an impression of your tooth will be taken, which will be sent to a lab to create the permanent inlay or onlay. Before you leave, your Chicago cosmetic dentist will fit your tooth with a temporary inlay / onlay to keep the tooth protected between visits.

During your second visit, the temporary protective material will be removed and you will be fitted for your permanent inlay or onlay received from the lab.


Athletic Mouthguards

Wearing mouthguards while participating in sports protects more than your teeth:

Do dentists recommend mouthguards?

Yes. The Academy for Sports Dentistry recommends that male and female athletes in any sport — including football, basketball, softball, and soccer — wear a custom-fitted mouthguard made by a Chicago dentist. The advantages of wearing a mouthguard are that the device can protect the jawbone, teeth, lips and cheeks from injury.

Thicker mouthguards can also help absorb shock, and in certain circumstances, may help prevent a concussion.

Custom-fitted appliances are designed for the upper teeth and are comfortable to wear. The Academy's position is that for mouthguards to be effective, they need to be "properly fitted and properly worn." If this is done, an athlete should be able to fully participate in the sport.

Are mouthguards mandated for sports?

According to the Academy, mouthguards are mandated in every state for high school football, hockey, men's lacrosse, field hockey and boxing. Some states also have mandated the appliance for other sports. There are a growing number of youngsters competing in sports. The number of female athletes has increased ten-fold since 1972. Mouthguards have proven to be an effective device in protecting the upper front teeth, which are most often injured during sports.

What types of mouthguards are available?

There are three different types of mouthguards available for the consumer:

  • Over-the-counter mouthguards are pre-made, inexpensive and available in stores. Your dentist in Chicago does not recommend them because they are often uncomfortable and don't fit properly.
  • Boil and bite mouthguards are available in stores and are fitted to an individual's mouth. Also inexpensive, they are customized by dropping the device into hot water and molding it to the mouth. The drawback to this mouthguard is that a person may get burned by hot water and they don't always fit properly.
  • Custom mouthguards are only available from your Chicago IL dental professional. They are the only protective mouthpieces recommended by the academy. Custom mouthguards are the most expensive of the three options but fit the best because a dentist takes a mold of the athlete's mouth. They generally last about one year in young adults.

Can individuals with braces wear mouthguards?

Mouthguards are very effective in protecting the teeth and oral tissue in individuals who wear braces. They are also recommended for individuals who wear partials or dentures. Individuals who wear a partial or dentures should not wear them during sports because they could swallow it and asphyxiate, or it could crack in the mouth. Rather, a custom mouthguard is developed to fill in the spaces of the partial or denture.

Kaufman & Kaufman SMILE DESIGN STUDIO

1525 East 53rd Street, Suite 734 | Chicago, IL 60615 | (773) 643-6006 | office@chicagodentistry.com | Schedule An Appointment

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