We answer the most common questions about Dental Care.
What Is General Dentistry?
A general dentist can take care of all your basic tooth repairs and cleaning. This includes removing cavities, fillings, caps, braces, root canals, bridges, and many others. To be a general dentist you have to have an education and a license to do dental work. However, general dentist training doesn’t prepare a dentist for additional cosmetic treatments that they may or may not teach them in school. General dentistry is more about tooth pain and functionality.
What Is Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentistry is a special branch of dentistry that deals mainly with the oral health of children. It is very essential to maintain proper oral hygiene in children. If ignored, it can lead to dental conditions and they can develop serious problems in the later years. It is very essential to teach your children to maintain proper oral health by regularly brushing their teeth. It is also better to avoid foods rich in sugars. You should also take your child to the dental clinic regularly for routine checkups. Dental diseases can be controlled better if they are detected early. It is recommended to visit the dentist at least once every three months.
What Is Cosmetic Dentistry?
Cosmetic dentistry is not for pain or cleaning, but for appearance and glamour. You would see a cosmetic dentist if you were looking to get veneers, dental bonding, caps, teeth whitening, etc… To achieve this sort of expertise, a cosmetic dentist has additional training that not all general dentists do. They are usually also trained to do general dentistry, and offer cosmetic dentistry as well.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry, also referred to as sleep dentistry, is the practice of administering some form of sedation to a patient before completing a dental treatment. The level of sedation can be moderated to fit the needs of the patient. This type of dentistry works well for a lot of people who are apprehensive about getting dental treatments or who have special needs. For many people, sedation is a necessary component of dental treatments. This need can derive from an intense fear of dentists or dental treatments, or it can derive from special medical conditions. Fortunately, sleep dentistry is fairly safe and very effective at keeping patients unaware of the discomfort and pain that is associated with some dental treatments.
What is Implant Dentistry?
Implant dentistry is really an area of dentistry that is responsible for implantation of dental implants. Implant dentistry also handles other methods for example, tooth veneers and lumineers. General dental practitioners cannot perform implant dental methods because they are complicated and require additional abilities, accuracy and precision. Surgeons who perform implants have advanced levels and many years of training. Implantation methods are extremely expensive when in comparison with other dental methods.
What are Orthodontics?
Orthodontics includes treatments such as braces, Invisalign ‘invisible’ braces, clear and lingual braces and self legating braces.

These all work in similar ways to help straighten and improve your teeth, some are more aesthetically pleasing than others, but in the grand scheme of things, they all help towards creating a perfect smile that you have been waiting for.

Learn More About Abscessed Teeth
An abscess inside the tooth refers to an infection that was triggered by a pocket of pus residing in the tissue across the tooth. Abscesses are really serious circumstances, and can lead to significant matters if they aren’t treated quickly. When the pulp of a tooth dies because of damage or decay, bacteria will begin to develop from the dead tissue that’s left. This bacteria will eventually spread from the root of the dead tooth into the tissue which is below and develop a pocket of pus – the abscess.
Learn More About Bad Breath
Bad breath is a common health problem which greatly affects the day to day activities of many people. The offensive odor from the mouth is unpleasant to those who come in close contact with those who have bad breath. Bad breath can be caused by poor oral hygiene, food habits, biofilm, dental cavities, gingivitis, gum retraction, dental plaques, tartar deposits, ulcerative lesions & coatings, salivary gland disease, tonsillitis, abscesses, dentures, tobacco, and more.
Learn More About Braces
Dental Braces are the most common alternatives that you can have to attain beautiful smiles. The main function of braces is to straighten crooked and misaligned teeth and to create a perfect, straight and gap free smile. Dental Braces are the most common alternatives that you can have to attain beautiful smiles. The main function of braces is to straighten crooked and misaligned teeth and to create a perfect, straight and gap free smile. New technology over the years has brought about many different types of braces. Unlike the older versions, which caused much pain to so many, these new versions are not only 100% pain free but also invisible.
Learn More About Brushing & Flossing
Brushing and flossing help control the plaque and bacteria that cause dental disease. Plaque is a film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva that sticks to the teeth and gums.

The bacteria in plaque convert certain food particles into acids that cause tooth decay. Also, if plaque is not removed, it turns into calculus (tartar). If plaque and calculus are not removed, they begin to destroy the gums and bone, causing periodontal (gum) disease.

Plaque formation and growth is continuous and can only be controlled by regular brushing, flossing, and the use of other dental hygiene products.

Learn More About Cavities
Dental cavities are more commonly known as tooth decay. The factors that affect tooth decay are: dental hygiene, the kind of food we eat and the amount of fluoride in our toothpastes. It is now recognized that family history of tooth decay is another risk factor for poor dentition. This is very common, as many people inherit tooth problems that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Cavities are a serious medical condition and if neglected, can result in the loss of the tooth. This can also destroy the nerves as well, resulting in an abscess.

Learn More About Cleanings
Aside from aesthetic purposes, dental cleaning or prophylaxis can also prevent a multitude of dental problems. Dental cleaning involves the removal of plaque from teeth to prevent cavities and other diseases. While a lot of people don’t look forward to their dental cleaning appointments, they should know that the benefits far outweigh the discomfort. Having a regular dental cleaning schedule (at least twice year) is a good health habit that everyone should follow.

Regular dental cleaning wards off infections related to gum disease, tooth decay and loss of bone. These conditions can be reversed with proper care and treatment. It is a key weapon in the fight against tooth and gum diseases, along with proper oral hygiene that includes brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash.

Learn More About Deep Scaling/Root Planing
Periodontal scaling procedures include the removal of plaque, calculus and stain from the crown and root surfaces of teeth. Root planing is a specialized skill involving scaling of the root of the tooth, made up of cementum. Because cementum is softer than enamel, it is affected more by ongoing build-up and inflammatory byproducts. A smooth cementum provides less opportunity for bacteria to form calculus, so root planing is an important part of stopping periodontal disease where it is at, and preventing periodontal disease from getting worse, specially once deeper pockets have formed in the gums, which is really in the bone. So, root planing is a specific treatment that removes the roughened cementum and surface dentin that is impregnated with calculus, microorganisms and their toxins.
Learn More About Dental Bonding
Dental bonding is a dental treatment in which a tooth colored resin is used and hardened with a special light to make teeth look better. This is a procedure that is used to repair decayed or chipped teeth. Most people opt for this procedure if they want to ensure that the gaps between their teeth can be closed. It is also an option that people choose if they want to change the shape of their teeth.
Learn More About Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are objects made out of different available materials that cover up a problematic tooth. These coverings or wraps are shaped into an actual tooth to give an aesthetically-pleasing look. Usually such a procedure is necessary when a particular tooth is nearing decay or in certain instances when a tooth is broken or has severe shape or color inconsistencies. Dental crowns are usually administered by general dentists and in some cases by cosmetic dentist professionals. There are many different types of materials available if one should need a dental crown.
Learn More About Dental Examinations
Visiting your dentist’s office every few months is a great idea. As lifestyles change and eating patterns change with time, the state of your teeth and gums may also change. Eating different kinds of food affects your teeth differently, and consulting a dentist – letting a dentist gauge the state of your teeth and gums- is important to ensure continued and future dental health. The American Dental Association advises people to generally try to visit the dentist every four months at the very least. According to many sources, every one in four Americans has to deal with dental problems after the age of 30, with the ratio rising dramatically after 50 years of age. Preventing tooth decay and gum disease early on can prevent the need for expensive orthodontic treatment later in life.
Learn More About Dental Technology
In a time when modern technology makes everything easier for human living, it’s funny how some people still fail to see the light. And we’re not just talking about computers that make communication and information dissemination easier, or the fact that machines practically do all the basic things that people use to do. Modernization in dental technology has also rained upon us and yet people are still hesitant to undergo procedures that will be beneficial to them. With the amazing technology that they have innovated, going to the dentist is not painful anymore.
Learn More About Dental Plaque
Dental Plaque is a biofilm formed by colonizing bacteria trying to attach itself to a smooth surface of a tooth. It has been estimated that as many as 400 distinct bacterial species may be found in plaque. Calculus is hardened calcified plaque. It is sometimes called tartar. It sticks firmly to teeth. Generally, it can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist with special instruments.
Learn More About Dentures
Dentures are false teeth made to replace teeth you have lost. Dentures can be complete or partial. Complete dentures cover your entire upper or lower jaw. Partials replace one or a few teeth. Advances in dentistry have made many improvements in dentures. They are more natural looking and comfortable than they used to be.
Learn More About Dry Mouth
We have all experienced some degree of dry mouth. Normal dry mouth commonly occurs in the morning when we wake as our saliva flow decreases when we sleep. Saliva is produced by 3 main salivary glands and many minor salivary glands that are scattered throughout the mouth. Dry mouth occurs when these glands do not function properly.

If one suffers from persistent dry mouth, this can be debilitating and cause health problems. Saliva contains enzymes and proteins that help with food digestion, help control the balance of bacteria in the mouth and coupled with the dishwashing washing action of saliva, help in preventing tooth decay (cavities) and gum disease. Those with dry mouth have difficulty tasting, swallowing and even speaking properly. They are more susceptible to cavities, oral infections and Periodontal (gum) disease.

Learn More About Extractions
Exodontia, or commonly referred to as dental extraction, is the removal of a tooth or several teeth from the oral cavity. Before there were antibiotics, tooth diseases were frequently linked with a range of health problems. Today, the common reason for dental extraction is tooth damage caused by tooth decay or breakage. Another reason could be infection or severe tooth decay. Gum disease and fractured teeth can also be grounds for dental extraction. Another popular reason is the removal of the third molar or wisdom tooth. Although both American and British health authorities oppose the procedure unless wisdom teeth are impacted, this is still a very common and popular procedure.
Learn More About Gum Recontouring
A gum contouring procedure will help to eliminate excess gum tissue to reveal more of the patient’s tooth structure. This procedure can be done on one area of gum tissue or on an entire row of teeth, depending on the severity of the patient’s gum line problem. By creating a more even gum line, the smile can appear straighter and healthier.
Learn More About Invisalign
Invisalign is one of the newest ways to straighten your teeth and get the smile you’ve always wanted. Invisalign uses advanced 3-D computer-imaging technology to determine a complete treatment plan from the initial position of your teeth to the final desired position. Then, clear aligners are custom-made for your teeth based on these results. Each is a lot of effort for a couple weeks, and then replaced by the next block of effort in the series, so your teeth will gradually move to the final ideal position. The Invisalign aligners are nearly clear, so it’s likely people won’t even notice you’re wearing braces. And, unlike braces, you can eat and drink all of the foods you enjoy, and brush and floss as you normally would simply by removing the aligners. Finally, Invisalign doesn’t use any metal brackets or wires that could irritate your mouth – this also means you’ll spend less time in the dentist’s chair because you won’t need to come in for adjustments.
Learn More About Family Dentistry
Family dentistry much like general dentistry focuses on services related to the overall general maintenance of tooth health and oral hygiene. Though the two names are often considered synonymous, there is a difference between the two; mainly being that family dentistry will not typically have restrictive services in relation to one age group, but rather will provide services for an entire family.
Learn More About Fluorosis
If children take in too much fluoride before their permanent teeth have erupted, the tooth enamel can become pitted or stained with brown, black or grey spots. In milder cases, the teeth may seem to have some odd white spots or streaks on them. Sometimes only a dentist can tell that fluorosis has occurred.

Children may get an excess of fluoride if they drink water that is fluoridated and brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste that they then may swallow. Fluorosis can only affect teeth that are still under the gum. It does not affect other parts of the teeth; only the enamel, which in severe cases can become misshapen.

It is important to realize that teeth affected by fluorosis are not suffering from a disease. If the stains are only at the back of the teeth where it cannot be seen, no treatment is necessary. If the problem is at the front then cosmetic treatment can be done to make the teeth appear whiter. If the fluorosis is really bad, the teeth may be covered by bonding or crowns. Fluorosis will not fade away with time, but spots may become even darker. To prevent fluorosis, use non-fluoride toothpaste until you are sure your child can spit properly. Other conditions can cause similar symptoms so be sure to consult the dentist if your child’s teeth seem stained.

Learn More About Gingivitis
Gingivitis is a very common dental problem. In fact, gingivitis affects about 90% of all adults at one time or another. Gingivitis can cause bad breath, bleeding gums and mouth pain, and if left unchecked can eventually lead to serious periodontal disease. Once gingivitis has led to periodontal disease, victims are at risk of tooth loss and even heart disease. Gingivitis, quite simply, is a non-serious form of gum disease. It is mild, or non-serious in its early stages but can lead to more serious periodontal disease. Gingivitis has been known to cause swelling of the gums, but in many cases it is so mild that Gingivitis can be totally unperceived by you. The main cause of Gingivitis is Plaque, an invisible, sticky film, composed primarily of bacteria, that forms on your teeth when starches and sugars in food interact with bacteria normally found in your mouth.
Learn More About Gum Disease
Gum disease occurs in two progressive stages – gingivitis and then periodontitis. As plaque slowly accumulates on the teeth and below the gum line, gingivitis develops. At this stage, no irrevocable damage will have occurred. However, plaque below the gum line does affect the gum tissue, teeth, and bone by slowly breaking each of them down. As the gums pull back from the teeth, pockets appear which invite infection. The bone deteriorates, weakening the foundation for the tooth. With weakened bone and gum, the teeth become more prone to falling out. This is the periodontitis stage of gum disease.
Learn More About Oral Cancer Screenings
When your dentist performs an oral cancer screening, he is simply examining the tissues in your mouth to determine whether subtle signs exist that may point to a potential problem in the future. Oral cancer usually presents as a small, flat white or red spot or a sore that does not seem to heal. The screening itself will likely involve a visual examination during which your dentist will look for any spot or sore that seems out of the ordinary. If your dentist identifies a small spot that does not have a clear cause, he may perform a “brush test” to ensure that the spot or sore is not harmful.

If it is determined that precancerous or cancerous cells exist, the lesion may need to be surgically removed.

Learn More About Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral Maxillofacial Surgery is a unique discipline that marries medicine and dentistry. It entails a whole wide range of diseases and procedures from simple ones like impacted wisdom tooth and wisdom tooth surgery to complex complicated ones like jaw abnormalities and corrective jaw surgery. Complex reconstructive work like in a fibula free transfer graft also falls under the arm of oral maxillofacial surgery and may be done with the proper support and expertise.

Oral maxillofacial surgery as the name suggests refers to disease and procedures of the oral cavity and the region immediately surrounding it. It may even stretch as far up as the eyes and as low down as the neck. Simple diseases that fall under the branch of oral maxillofacial surgery include tooth decay warranting tooth extraction, and an impacted wisdom tooth or an impacted or buried tooth that requires wisdom tooth surgery in the case of a wisdom tooth or just dentoalveolar surgery in the case of other teeth.

Learn More About Porcelain Veneers
Porcelain veneers, also known as dental veneers or dental porcelain laminates, are ultra-thin shells made of porcelain bonded to the front of the teeth. This cosmetic procedure improves the condition of the tooth or teeth that are worn, misaligned, chipped, or discolored. Porcelain veneers have two great advantages that place them high above other types of cosmetic dental bonding.

The first advantage is that they create an extremely “life-like” tooth. The enamel of a tooth is nearly translucent which means the inner color is what gives them the color. When a porcelain veneer is placed on a tooth, the outer discoloring is removed, and the veneer allows the inner coloring that perfectly matches the other teeth to shine through.

The second advantage of porcelain veneers is that they resist staining. Many people seek this procedure because they have habits involving coffee, red wine, cigarettes, or others that discolor teeth. Porcelain is a glass-like material, and thus, not even slightly porous to cause new accumulating stains.

Learn More About Prevention & Care
Preventive dentistry is the practice of good oral hygiene starting at birth and lasting throughout a person’s life. Preventive dentistry is the best and simplest way to ensure continuing good oral health. This in turn, can have a huge impact on your general overall health. Good oral hygiene guided by a dentist can help prevent tooth decay, gum disease and protect your teeth.
Learn More About Root Canals
Root canal treatment, also known commonly as root canal therapy, is a procedure used to treat problems of the inside of the tooth, or the dental pulp. This is an effective treatment that is used to save the tooth when it otherwise would have had to be pulled out.

The treatment could involve from one to three visits to your dentist. During treatment, the diseased pulp is removed and the pulp chamber and root canals of the tooth are cleaned and sealed. The dentist will make sure the complete tooth is now clean and sterile to prevent further problems occurring.

Learn More About Sealants
A dental sealant is a professionally applied material that is put on the surface of the teeth in order to prevent decay caused by bacteria. Dental sealants are usually placed on the surface of the back teeth (molars) because they are the ones that suffer the most damage. Dental sealants can effectively separate bacteria from the enamel off the back teeth thus preventing the interaction of bacteria with the fissures on the surface of the teeth
Learn More About Smile Makeover
Cosmetic dentistry involves dental procedures with the aim of improving the overall aesthetics or “look” of your smile to make it appear more attractive. This is often referred to as a “smile makeover”, “Hollywood smile” or “Wedding smile”. Cosmetic Dentistry involves cosmetic dental treatments that enhance your appearance. People have cosmetic dentistry to improve their smile. You may be unhappy with the color, size or shape of your teeth or gums. You may also have gaps between your teeth or have crooked teeth. Some other common reasons for cosmetic dentistry are discolored teeth, discolored old white fillings, Amalgam (“silver”) fillings, broken or decayed teeth, gum disease (discolored, puffy, red, swollen gums with plaque and tartar build-up) etc. Professional cosmetic dentists have advanced training in many cosmetic dentistry procedures than can resolve these problems and improve the appearance of a person’s teeth, gums, mouth and smile.
Learn More About Teeth Grinding
Many people have a problem with grinding their teeth, and some don’t even know about it until a dentist notices evidence by the way their teeth are damaged. You can grind your teeth while you are sleeping as well as while you are awake and it often has been a long and unconscious habit. Your dentist can help you discover the reasons you have issues with teeth grinding.
Learn More About Teeth Sensitivity
Sensitive teeth, alternatively termed as dentin hypersensitivity, is a medical condition that leads to the nerve irritation in the teeth. It usually occurs when dentin – the middle layer or the layer beneath the enamel – is exposed thus causing pain or discomfort in the teeth, especially during certain situations when you intake something very cold, hot, sour, or sweet. It is estimated that about 50 million people in the US are affected by sensitivity of teeth.
Learn More About Toothache
A toothache, also known as odontalgia or, less frequently, as odontalgy, is an aching pain in or around a tooth. In most cases toothaches are caused by problems in the tooth or jaw, such as cavities, gum disease, the emergence of wisdom teeth, a cracked tooth, infected dental pulp, jaw disease, or exposed tooth root. Causes of a toothache may also be a symptom of diseases of the heart, such as angina or a myocardial infarction, due to referred pain. After having one or more teeth extracted a condition known as dry socket can develop, leading to extreme pain.

Toothache or tooth pain is caused when the nerve root of a tooth is irritated. Dental (tooth) infection, decay, injury, or loss of a tooth are the most common causes of dental pain. Pain may also occur after an extraction (tooth is pulled out). Pain sometimes originates from other areas and radiates to the jaw, thus appearing to be tooth pain. The most common areas include the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint or TMJ), ear pain, and even occasional heart problems.

Learn More About Tooth Colored Fillings
Tooth-colored fillings, or white fillings, are fillings that match your natural teeth in color, feel and translucence. Tooth-colored fillings are also referred to as composites because they are composed of a complex composite of plastic and zirconia/silica. Tooth-colored fillings were introduced in the 1960’s and have undergone continual improvements in durability, color stability, and aesthetics. Tooth-colored fillings are actually bonded to the teeth compared to the traditional metal fillings, which are not.
Learn More About Tooth Decay Prevention
Tooth decay is the process that results in a cavity (dental caries). It occurs when bacteria in your mouth make acids that eat away at a tooth. If not treated, tooth decay can cause pain, infection, and tooth loss. You can easily prevent tooth decay by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, seeing your dentist for teeth cleaning and checkups, and avoiding foods that are high in sugar.
Learn More About Tooth Whitening
Whitening/Bleaching options at the dentist can range from treatments exclusively at the office, prepared at-home treatment kits, or a combination of the two. Teeth whitening consists of efforts made to restore the tooth’s surface color whereas bleaching aims to whiten the teeth beyond their natural color. Peroxide-based bleaching treatments tend to be the method of choice for dentists. The gel is used in combination with a light, heat source, or laser to speed up the bleaching process.
Learn More About TMJ
The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. As with any joint there can be problems with the bone, cartilage, ligaments and muscles. Even the nerves and blood vessels around the joint can become involved. Common symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome or Temporomandibular Disorder are popping and clicking about the jaw, dull aching, pain about the temples which might be aggravated with chewing. The jaw at times can get stuck or locked in place, headaches and ear aches are associated with Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome. Also with obvious causes of Temporomandibular Disorder such as trauma (a punch, car accidents, fractures) many times Temporomandibular Disorder is associated with clenching and grinding of the teeth while awake and while asleep. The standard approach for Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome is to approach it with massage, physical therapy and medication. Often times splints (intra oral appliances) are made mostly by dentists to aid symptoms of Temporomandibular Disorder. More aggressive treatments for Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome can go as far as reconstructive surgery for the more difficult cases.
Learn More About Wisdom Teeth
A wisdom tooth, in humans, is any of the usually four hindmost molars. Wisdom teeth usually appear between the ages of 16 and 25. Most adults have four wisdom teeth, but it is possible to have more, in which case they are called supernumerary teeth. Wisdom teeth commonly affect other teeth as they develop, becoming impacted or “coming in sideways.” They are often extracted when this occurs. About 35% of the population do not develop wisdom teeth at all.

Wisdom teeth present potential problems when they are misaligned – they can position themselves horizontally, be angled toward or away from the second molars or be angled inward or outward. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone, or nerves. Wisdom teeth that lean toward the second molars make those teeth more vulnerable to decay by entrapping plaque and debris. In addition, wisdom teeth can be entrapped completely within the soft tissue and/or the jawbone or only partially break through or erupt through the gum. Teeth that remain partially or completely entrapped within the soft tissue and /or the jawbone are termed “impacted.” Wisdom teeth that only partially erupt allows for an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection, which results in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and general illness. Partially erupted teeth are also more prone to tooth decay and gum disease because their hard-to-reach location and awkward positioning makes brushing and flossing difficult.

Learn More About X-Rays
Dental x-rays are essential for a healthy smile and mouth. With x-rays, we can discover cavities, tumors, and bone disease. Otherwise, these problems would go unnoticed until you feel discomfort or worse. X-rays allow us to diagnose a problem early. Nearly all symptoms if left untreated cause serious health and dental problems. This can lead to tooth loss, disfiguring surgery, or even death. For example, if a dental x-ray reveals the early stages of a tumor, then treatment is more effective. Early detection is crucial in treating any issue, with minimal impact on you.

Need Help?

Call Now:

(847) 713-5916

Complete the form and get a FREE Dental Consultation:
*your information will never be sold or compromised in any way

Social Media


Help A Friend

Doreen A. Wascow, DDS Mundelein