We LOVE Invisalign and the results it can offer our patients, so you can imagine how excited we were when we found a supplemental treatment that could get patients results in half the time. Introducing Propel Orthodontic Treatment, a new treatment that allows us to complete many Invisalign cases twice as fast!
How does Propel treatment work?
We use two Propel treatment aids in our office: the Excellerator and the vPro5. The Excellerator is typically applied during your first Invisalign visit by the doctor and uses a technique called micro-osteoperforation. The micro-osteoperforation process temporarily weakens the bone which allows us to accelerate the movement of the teeth with the Invisalign aligners. We do recommend getting numb for this micro-invasive treatment, but completing this 20-30 minute process will stimulate the bone allowing for straight teeth in a fraction of the normal time.
The vPro5 is an easy to use at home aid. Worn for 5-15 minutes every day, the vibrations stimulate alveolar bone growth while improving how aligners sit on the teeth, making for better, more predictable treatment results in less time. It has also been shown to reduce the already minimal discomfort of new aligners and reduce the possibility of needing additional treatment after the initial Invisalign case. And as an added bonus for all those data lovers out there, the vPro5 records compliance and tracks results that your doctor can download at your visits.
How much time does Propel save me?
When used consistently in office and at home, Propel treatments can reduce the time in each aligner by over 50% - Each aligner is typically worn for 5 days instead of the normal 14 days.
Can everyone use Propel?
Unfortunately not every case, due to varying complexity and treatment objectives, can be helped by Propel. It can help in a wide range of cases, however; if a shortened treatment period makes Invisalign a more realistic option for you, talk to us today to see if you’re eligible!
Most folks don’t think to look for Sodium Laureth or Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) until they start having an issue, and then they realize it’s everywhere: soaps, shampoos, toothpastes, and mouthrinses, just to name a few. While many people don’t notice the presence of these chemicals, for some it can cause significant irritation. Let’s dig deeper into SLS to see how it might be affecting you!
What is SLS?
Sodium Lauryl Ether (Laureth) Sulfate and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, both commonly referred to as SLS, act as detergents and surfactants in many toiletries. They are both excellent emulsifying, foaming agents that behave similar to soap and are cheap to produce, making SLS a go to for cosmetic manufacturers.
What are the symptoms of a SLS allergy/sensitivity?
The properties of SLS can cause already sensitive or dry skin to itch, flake or crack more dramatically. Oral health care products that contain SLS are likely to cause cracking at the corners of the mouth and canker sores. Additionally, some findings indicate that residual SLS levels may be linked to a hormonal imbalance.
What’s this about a link between SLS and cancer?
While there has been a good amount of public debate about the status of SLS as a carcinogen and its link to cancer, it’s important to note that there’s no scientific evidence to date that supports a connection between the two. This lack of evidence has been backed up by the American Cancer Council, OSHA, and the National Toxicity Program. It’s worth noting, however, that the process by which Sodium Lauryl Sulfate becomes Sodium Laureth Sulfate can produce the byproduct dioxane, which is a suspected carcinogen and believed to linger longer in our system.
What dental products can I use if I’m trying to avoid SLS?
SLS can be tricky to avoid; because these chemicals can be derived from coconut oil, many companies will boast “natural” and “eco-friendly” products that still contain them. The only way to be certain is to fully read the ingredient list on the product in question. For SLS-free oral health products, we recommend the following:
We recently added a truly comprehensive whitening option to our menu, and we’re pretty stoked. Let’s take a look at what this new system can do!
How does whitening work?
Every whitening product uses the same basic science to achieve results. Tooth discoloration is caused by large pigment and stain molecules that become trapped inside the tooth’s structure: the larger the molecules, the darker the teeth appear.
All bleaching gels break down to hydrogen peroxide in the end, which in turn breaks down into free radicals that attach to and lift stains from the teeth.
So what makes KöR Whitening different?
For whom do we recommend KöR Whitening?
This whitening program is not for the casual user - it definitely requires a commitment! Every small step matters in this process, so compliance is key. We think KöR’s program is especially well suited to the following cases:
If you think KöR might be right for you, set up a consultation today!
Photos credit of KOR website and used with their permission.
We all know the negative effect of smoking cigarettes on oral health - and on all other aspects of your health, for that matter! But what about vaping? Since its rise in popularity, e-cigarettes have been widely seen as a “healthier” alternative to their predecessor. Yet the research is thin on vaping (the action of inhaling the vapors produced by e-cigarettes) and its actual effect on oral health; what’s more, the evidence that is out there doesn’t look great. Let’s take a closer look at some of what we do know about vaping:
Why does my tooth hurt?
There is no question more pressing when you are in pain, and it’s often a hard one to answer. Tooth pain can be attributed to a number of factors, but here are the most common:
Are there home remedies for tooth pain?
The best and safest bet when experiencing tooth pain, especially sudden or unexplained, is to make an appointment to see your dentist. There are, however, a few things you can try to ease your discomfort while you’re waiting to get into the office:
You wouldn’t think what you drink would have as strong an effect on your teeth as what you eat - after all, doesn’t the liquid wash straight over where food would stick and damage? But certain drinks can linger on the surfaces of teeth and do just as much, if not more, harm than their solid counterparts. Let’s take a look at the worst, and best, drinks for your oral health:
Now, we understand that abstaining from the above list entirely isn’t reasonable - we wouldn’t want to either! Here are some tips on lessening the effects of teeth-damaging beverages:
Take a look at our list of Acid and Sugar Levels in Common Food and Drink for more details on what common consumables contain!
Many companies celebrate the turn of the year by switching insurance policies on you. As 2016 speeds toward its end, let’s take a look at 3 common questions about dental insurance so you know what to expect!
What will dental insurance cover?
It varies from policy to policy, but there are some benefits you can expect to see in most plans, which fall into three categories:
Does it make sense to pay for dental insurance?
That all depends on the insurance options available to you and your general level of oral health. If you have a history of poor health, multiple dental restorations or gum disease, dental insurance will almost certainly save you money in the long run. This is especially true if you have access to a subsidized plan through your employer.
If you don’t have a subsidized option and are in relatively good health, however - needing only your bi-yearly cleanings and the occasional filling - dental insurance might not be for you. At that point you’d want to weigh the cost of these common dental services against your yearly premium to see where you come out on top. Some dental offices, including ours, also offer dental savings plans that give the uninsured a discount on common services.
What type of dental insurance should I choose?
When shopping for self-funded plans or looking over options from an employer, you may be asked to pick between an DHMO and a PPO, the two most common types of dental insurance. There are a couple of key differences between the two:
Our admin team works hard to stay up to date on the ins and outs of our patients’ policies. We’re always happy to answer any questions you may have about your benefits; email or call us today and let us know how we can help!
Well, 2016 has been one for the record books! For our country with the unprecedented election, for our city with the historic Cubs win, and for our practice as well. We’ve had quite a few changes and some exciting additions, and as always this time of year gets us in the mood to reflect!
For the first time in our 83 years, THREE of our staff were expecting at the same time! Our dental assistant, marketing coordinator and hygienist each welcomed their precious bundles in April, May and August respectively. While we were thrilled with each new addition to our Strobel family, it did mean saying good bye to a wonderful assistant and administrator (thankfully our hygienist Ali is still with us part time!).
Outgoing staff means one exciting thing, though - talented new hires! Visit our staff page to learn about our new dental assistants and members of our administrative team. We’re excited for the group we have going into the new year and the ways in which we can serve our patients as a team!
As our staff has been changing and growing, so have our services. After extensive training, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Dan has begun placing implants in office! This means we can offer many of our edentulous patients a start to finish implant restoration in house. Dr. Isabella has been hard at work as well, training in the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea to help the many patients we meet that have problems with breathing at night.
We’re constantly striving to better serve our community and are grateful for all the opportunities we’ve had this year. As 2016 winds down to a close, we look back with appreciation for all we have had and forward with eagerness to be even better in the new year. May this season bring you a happy, healthy smile and precious time with the ones you love!
To begin, let’s start with a little tonsil 101:
What are tonsils? Your tonsils are masses of tissue that live on either side of the back of your throat. They are a type of lymph node and are a part of your immune system.
Why do we have tonsils? Good question! They are there to filter out bacteria, viruses and foreign objects that might otherwise slip into the lungs. They also produce antibodies and white blood cells. They may be more of a vestigial organ, however, as many experts agree that they don’t do their job very well - in fact sometimes they can be more of a bane than a blessing!
Now on to the problem at hand - the tonsil stone.
What is a tonsil stone? Tonsils have deep crevices, referred to as crypts, that accumulate debris and bacteria. Occasionally, these crypts are so deep that these particles get stuck and harden or calcify, forming a tonsil stone (aka tonsillith). This is more common in people with chronic tonsil inflammation and infection.
Are there symptoms? Not always, as many stones are too small to be much trouble. Symptoms of the larger stones include:
How can I remove a tonsil stone? For stones that are causing you discomfort, there are a couple of options:
Can tonsil stones be prevented?
Often you can keep tonsilliths at bay by committing to good dental hygiene! Brushing, flossing and using an antiseptic rinse regularly are the best ways to keep your mouth clean and healthy, and to remove bacteria that might otherwise get stuck in the tonsil crypts. However, if your hygiene routine is on point and tonsil stones are still an issue, removal of the tonsils may be the only way to prevent future occurrences.
When you’re a new parent, you’ll take pretty much anything that gets that baby to sleep! Very often that includes nursing or bottle feeding until your little one is out for the night. But what happens when your child starts to develop teeth? Is it time to break those bedtime habits?
There is little evidence to suggest that breast milk alone does anything to promote tooth decay. In fact, some studies suggest that the lactoferrin in breast milk may actually help to kill S. Mutans, the bacteria responsible for much of tooth decay. Breast milk also does not lower the pH of the mouth in the way that other liquids can; a low pH environment can encourage the proliferation of this bacteria.
Given that, there is no rush to wean a child from nighttime feeding immediately upon the appearance of that first tooth - especially since that can happen as early as 3 months! However, breast milk does contain sugars, as does formula (which can also create a more acidic oral environment). Allowing baby teeth to be bathed by sugary liquids for prolonged periods can increase the risk of tooth decay, especially if an older child is drinking juice or a similar high-sugar drink out of their bottle.
Baby bottle tooth decay can have some serious consequences for primary teeth, including crowns and extractions in extreme cases. Wondering why baby teeth are so important? They are crucial to the proper development of your child’s permanent teeth and jaw, as we’ve discussed on this blog before. Failure to take care of them can result in the misalignment of a child’s bite, malformed permanent teeth or painful infection.
Here are some tips to avoid excessive decay and keep that night feeding going longer:
Start with good oral hygiene right from the beginning!