Friday, September 8, 2017

5 reasons to replace a missing tooth

Reasons to replace missing teeth include:

1) Your jaw bone around a missing tooth deteriorates  causing receeding gums 
2) Your neighboring  teeth will  leading to spacing, cavities, and gum disease
3) Your remianing teeth will work harder causing more wear and breakage
4) Your muscles of your jaw will work differently to compensate for changes in your bite
5) Missing teeth change support for your smile and lower face leading to a sunken in appearance

Millions of Americans are missing teeth

According to the American College of Prosthodontics:
More than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth. These numbers are expected to grow in the next two decades.
Tooth loss happens from decay and gums disease, and as a result of injury, cancer, or simply wear.
Edentulism affects our most vulnerable populations – the aging and the economically disadvantaged.
In the geriatric population the ratio of edentulous individuals is 2 to 1. About 23 million are completely edentulous and about 12 million are edentulous in one arch.
90 percent of those who suffer from edentulism have dentures.
The number of partially edentulous patients will continue to increase in the next 15 years to more than 200 million individuals. Partial edentulism affects the majority of adult Americans.
Consequences of missing teeth include significant nutritional changes, obesity, diabetes, coronary artery disease, and some forms of cancer. More than 36 million Americans do not have any teeth, and 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth. These numbers are expected to grow in the next two decades.

There are many options available to replacing missing teeth including implants, fixed bridges, removable partials and dentures

Dr Neal can go over these options with you and help you have a beautiful healthy smile at Crystal Lake Dental Associates

815 459 2202

Your comments are welcome

Phillip C. Neal DDS
Crystal Lake Dental Associates
280 B Memorial Court
Crystal Lake, Illinois 60014

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Stress and Your Teeth

Last week it was reported that actress Demi Moore had lost her two front teeth because of stress. Experts have said that the number one cause of tooth loss is gum disease, of which stress can be a factor. Here are 7 other ways stress could be taking it's toll on your teeth..

1. Translucent teeth
"If you notice that your teeth are becoming translucent or getting shorter this may be due to Bruxism (grinding) of the teeth. You should see your dentist as you may need a bite guard to protect the teeth from wearing further."

2. Achy jaw
"If you feel an ache or clicking in your jaw joint this may be a sign of stress. Seek advice from your dentist and you may need a treatment for the jaw, such as a special splint or even Botox to relax the muscle."

3. Bleeding gums
"If you notice your gums are bleeding more this can be a sign of gum disease (gingivitis or periodontitis), which can be caused or exacerbated by stress. See your dentist and you may need some gum treatment such as deep cleaning (root planing) under the gums."

4. Dental abscesses
"Dental abscesses can be caused as during times of stress your body can be unable to fight of gum infections. Seek advice from your dentist and you may need antibiotics or further treatment for this."

5. Root canal problems
Root canal problems can be caused by stress if the grinding becomes so severe that the nerves of the teeth are exposed. Root canal treatment may then be needed to remove the nerve from the teeth.

6. Bad breath
Bad breath can be a sign of stress. Stomach acids can build during times of stress and lead to reflux and other compounds that causes bad breath. You will need to see your GP for this and may need treatment with antacids or other medication. This may even require further investigation of the stomach lining."

7. Cheek biting
"Cheek biting is a sign of stress. For some people this is a habit that is developed to cope with stress. Acupuncture or hypnosis are some of the treatments that can be used to help relax and prevent this.

8. Shortened teeth
Shortening of teeth is a symptom of bruxism (tooth grinding). This most often occurs at night called “sleep bruxism”. Sleep bruxism has also been associated with Obstructive sleep apnea. It can also occur in the daytime during times of increased stress.

9. Broken teeth and broken fillings
Clenching of teeth at night or in the daytime  will bend teeth and fracture them and any fillings in them. This can lead to the need for fillings, crowns, root canals, and tooth loss over time if not corrected.

815 459 2202

Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about Stress and your teeth  at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.

Your comments are welcome

Phillip C. Neal DDS
Crystal Lake Dental Associates
280 B Memorial Court
Crystal Lake, Illinois 60014

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Autism Tests on Baby Teeth Promising

Autism and high lead. low zinc, and manganese

New test to identify babies with autism identify heavy traces of lead and lack of zinc and manganese...

crystal lake dental asociates
Laser detection of metals

A new study may have found a way to isolate genetics from environmental contributors to autism, allowing researchers to focus on the link between heavy metal levels and autism risk. The research was led by Manish Arora, PhD, an environmental scientist and dentist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, NY, and the findings were published in the journal Nature Communications.
Such studies have had to approximate the toxic metal exposure based on the metal concentrations in the bloodstream. However, this estimation was done after the children had already been diagnosed with ASD, rather than before.
Previous studies were not able to account for genetic factors that may have influenced the results; generally, separating environmental factors from genetic ones in the development of autism is challenging for researchers.
The method used in this new study manages to bypass many of these limitations. By looking at naturally shed baby teeth, the researchers explain, they have access to information that goes as far back as a baby’s prenatal life. And by studying twins, Prof Arora and colleagues were able to separate genetic influences from environmental ones.
To determine how much metal the babies’ bodies contained before and after birth, the researchers used lasers to analyse the growth rings on the babies’ teeth.
Laser technology allowed the scientists to accurately extract specific layers of dentine, which is the substance that lies beneath the tooth enamel.
In much the same way that we can tell the age of a tree by looking at the growth rings in a cross-section of its trunk, the scientists were able to see different developmental stages correspond to different rings by looking at a cross-section of the babies’ teeth.
This correspondence between growth dentine layers, their levels of lead, and the exposure to lead during different developmental stages, has been previously demonstrated by Prof Arora and team in research they carried out previously.
Cindy Lawler, PhD, head of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Genes, Environment, and Health Branch, explains the importance of using this scientific method for studying autism:
“We think autism begins very early, most likely in the womb, and research suggests that our environment can increase a child’s risk. But by the time children are diagnosed at age 3 or 4, it’s hard to go back and know what the moms were exposed to. With baby teeth, we can actually do that.”
The study revealed that children with ASD had much higher levels of lead throughout their development.
The greatest difference between lead levels in children with ASD and children without was noticed during the period after birth.
Zinc levels, on the other hand, displayed a more complex pattern. During the prenatal period, children with ASD had lower levels of zinc, but after birth, these levels increased to higher levels than those found in children without ASD.
Finally, manganese was found to correlate with ASD as well. Children with ASD seemed to have less manganese than children without, both pre- and postnatally.
Overall, the study suggests that either prenatal exposure to heavy metals, or the body’s ability to process them, may influence the chances of developing autism.
“A lot of studies have compared current lead levels in kids that are already diagnosed,” Lawler says. “[But] being able to measure something the children were exposed to long before diagnosis is a major advantage.”
David Balshaw, PhD, head of the NIEHS Exposure, Response, and Technology Branch, also weighs in on the scientific method used for this study, saying, “There is growing excitement about the potential of baby teeth as a rich record of a child’s early life exposure to both helpful and harmful factors in the environment.”

Prof Arora called the method “a window into our fetal life.” He and his colleagues note, however, that more large-scale studies are needed to replicate and confirm their findings.

 815 459 2202

Call us today to find out more about this great service

815 459 2202

 Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about Gum Recession at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.

Your comments are welcome

Sunday, May 28, 2017

20 Reasons for Straightening Teeth with Invisalign

Myth Buster #1...Braces are just for kids. 

I)  We can move teeth on children as well as senior citizens

II)  We have options of Invisalign clear aligners as well as clear ceramic brackets and tooth colored wires in additional to the traditional metal brackets.

Myth Buster #2... I am used to my smile, and braces are just to make my teeth look nice. 

 I)  Yes braces will make your teeth look nice and that is a plus.  Here are 20 reasons you should straighten your teeth. Did you know that people with straight teeth and nice smiles are judged by others to be:

      1)  Smarter
      2)  Happier
      3)  More Successful
      4)  More Attractive
      5)  Healthier
      6)  More Popular

II)  People with proper aligned teeth will actually be healthier  and spend less money at the dentist in the long run. They will have less:

     7)  Tooth Wear
     8)  Chipping of front teeth
     9)  Breaking of back teeth
    10)  Gum Disease
    11)  Cavities
    12)  Root Canals
    13)  Missing Teeth
    14)  Gum Recession and Sensitivity
    15)  Food Packing and Bad Breath
    16) Dental Visits and Emergencies
    17) Implants, Crowns, Bridges, Partials, Dentures, Dental Surgery
    18) Lower medical and dental bills
    19) TMJ issues
    20) Medical Issues Related to Poor Digestion

Myth Buster #3... Invisalign is only for simple adult  cases.

1) Invisalign works great on simple cases where only a few aligners are needed and is the preferred method of making minor corrections.

2) Invisalign has evolved quite a bit and works well on complicated cases.

3)  Invisalign Teen with special features works well on teenagers.

Call Today

815 459 2202

 Dr. Neal answers all of your questions about Braces and Invisalign at Crystal Lake Dental Associates.

Your comments are welcome

Sunday, May 14, 2017


Dental Implants are a great move forward in dental health. When first introduced in the 1960's they began a long slow journey into the daily art of dental care. Dental implant have evolved over the decades and are continuing to do so. Cosmetic advances and new materials are having a tremendous impact in people's lives.

Dental Implant are not teeth and a healthy implant will never decay of need root canal treatment.

Dental implants are imbeded in the jawbone and emerge through the gums where bacteria can attack. What we are finding is that a form of gum disease like periodontal disease can have a very detrimental effect on the health of an implant. 
proper pre planning of an implant site prior to placement as well as the health and hygiene of the patient are key to success. Dental implants must b meticulously cared for and cleaned along regular dental checkups are essential.

While a patient may be very healthy when an implant is first placed, it is likely that in time a person could develop certain conditions like diabetes and others which may lead to higher incidence of infections and slower healing.

Early diagnosis of implant mucositis (reversable gum inflamation around an implant), or peri-implantitis can lead to a good outcome.  Late detection is much more difficult to manage. Loss of an implant, of involved reparative care can be  frustrating for the patient.

healthy implant                       peri-implantitis

The following is an excerpt from an article published by the American Association of Periodontology.

Understanding of Their Diagnoses and Clinical Implications*
The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) periodically publishes reports, statements, and guidelines on a variety of topics relevant to periodontics. These papers are developed by an appointed committee of experts, and the Peri-Implant Mucositis and Peri-Implantitis: A Current
documents are reviewed and approved by the AAP Board of Trustees.

The use of dental implants has revolutionized the treatment of partially and fully edentulous patients today. Implants have become a treatment approach for managing a broad range of clinical dilemmas due to their high level of predictability and their ability to be used for a wide variety of treatment options. While in many cases dental implants have been reported to achieve long-term success, they are not immune from complications associated with improper treatment planning, surgical and prosthetic execution, material failure, and maintenance. Included in the latter are the biologic complications of peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis, inflammatory conditions in the soft and hard tissues at dental implants. It is the purpose of this paper to review the current knowledge concerning peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis to aid clinicians in their diagnoses and prevention. It is recognized that new information will continue to emerge, and as such, this document represents a dynamic endeavor that will evolve and require further expansion and reevaluation.

Peri-implant mucositis and peri-implantitis differ with respect to treatment. To date, evidence suggests that peri-implant mucositis can be successfully treated if detected early and when combined with effective nonsurgical efforts.6,7 Non-surgical therapy has not been shown to be effective for the treatment of peri-implantitis.2,68,72 Currently, different surgical treatment modalities have been proposed and have shown promising results.16,73-77 However, long-term controlled studies are needed to validate which treatment modality may be optimal, given the different clinical scenarios. It has been suggested, as with many inflammatory diseases, that the earlier the diagnosis and intervention, the better the treatment outcome. To that end, routine monitoring of dental implants as a part of a comprehensive periodontal evaluation and maintenance is essential.
To conclude, it is suggested to:
  • Identify risk factors associated with developing peri-implant diseases
  • Establish radiographic baseline at the time of implant placement
  • Establish clinical and radiographic baseline at final prosthesis insertion
  • Employ methods that monitor implant health and determine inflammatory complications as part of an ongoing periodontal maintenance program
  • Establish an early diagnosis and intervention, which will contribute to more effective management of peri-implant diseases
The entire article can be viewed here

Your Comments are welcome

Call for an appointment 815 459 2202

 visit our website at

Phillip C. Neal DDS

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Your Child's First Dental Visit

First dental visit is around age of 6 months or when the first tooth appears in the mouth.

Parents often ask me when their child should have their first dental visit. My answer may surprose you.

First a little background.

I)     Dental care is mandated by state laws and the Affordable Care Act

Children are required to make a dental visit in my state before entering certain grades in school. In addition, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare if you prefer) mandates that all children have dental insurance coverage.

II)     Many times the first visit for children is an emergency

This is because parents may not think of taking their child to the dentist till the child has fallen and injured a tooth, has a toothache, or they see a spot on a tooth. Pediatricians, who will be seeing the child right after birth, have never been taught about early dental care and the need for it.

III)     The best time for an infant to visit the dentist is around the age of 6 months.     

Why see the dentist so early in life?

We wish meet several objectives with early and regular visits

First, we want to establish a positive and healthy relationship with a child right away. Often irrational fears arise from a painful first emergency dental appointment, horror stories from other family members etc. In addition unpleasant visits to other doctors for vaccinations can color a child's perceptions of "doctor offices" perceptions for a lifetime. One early painful visit to a dentist or doctor often have people afraid for the rest of their lives.

Second, we want to insure that healthy hygiene (cleaning) habits for the child's teeth, gums are established right away with the child and parent. we will teach how to clean a child's teeth with and instill a regular routine right away.

Third, we want to help the parents develop good diet, and other habits for the child before damage is done. These include proper use of pacifiers, and contents of  bottles of fluid given to the child, and managing harmful habits like thumb and finger sucking. 

Fourth, tracking  growth and development of the teeth and jaws  and any abnormal growth patterns are noted as well as any advised interceptive treatment recommendations.

As you can see there s a lot going on in a growing infant that parents may not be aware of. Early preventive and interceptive care helps prevent fears, and more problematic dental issues as well as keeping cost down in the long run.

Get your child to the dentist early in life to develop good diet, hygiene habits, catch problems while they are easily corrected, to prevent fear, and  build rapport with you dentist.

Your questions and comments are welcome

Visit our website at

or call us now to make an appointment at 815 459 2202

Phillip C. Neal DDS

Monday, April 24, 2017

4 Ways to Keep Your Kids from Being Afraid of the Dentist.

4 Ways to Keep Your Kids from Being Afraid of the Dentist.

Interesting article from a Boston Pedodontic Office regarding Childrens detnal fear.

About Me

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Born in the Midwest. Married with 6 children and 3 grandchildren. Attended Maine West High School, Harper Jr College, Northern Illinois University, the University of Illinois College of Dentistry. Practice in Crystal Lake, Illinois.