Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dental Humor Crystal Lake Dentist

·         A little boy was taken to the dentist. It was discovered that he had a cavity that had to be filled. " Now, young man," asked the dentist, " what kind of filling would you like for that tooth?" " Chocolate, please," replied the youngster.

" I came in to make an appointment with the dentist." said the man to the receptionist. " I'm sorry sir." she replied. " He's out right now, but..." " Thank you." interrupted the obviously nervous prospective patient. " When will he be out again?"

·         A patient sits in the dental chair with severely fractured front teeth. After discussing how they will be restored and what the fee would be the patient says," Before we begin, Doc, I gotta know: Will I be able to play the trumpet when you are finished? " The dentist replies " Sure you will!" The patient replies " Great, I couldn't play a note before!"

   ·         "Open wider." requested the dentist, as he began his examination of the patient. "Good God !" he said startled. "You've got the biggest cavity I've ever seen - the biggest cavity I've ever seen." "OK Doc !" replied the patient. "I'm scared enough without you saying something like that twice." "I didn't !" said the dentist. "That was the echo."

Your Comments are welcome.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Smile Makeover Crystal lake Dentist

Who could benefit from a smile makeover? 
I have many patients who come in admitting that they do not smile or cover their mouth because they are embarrassed. Smiling changes your attitude, whether you realize it or not. You can’t help but have a better attitude when you smileSmiling also raises your confidence. Smiling affects our emotions because of a brain-body connection. If you are self conscious about your smile, you need a smile makeover.

What is a typical smile makeover?
A smile makeover consists of changing the shape, position and/or color of the teeth in the smile creating harmony with the face. A smile makeover can include many techniques to get the right balance of white (tooth) and pink (gums) for a pleasing effect.

What is involved?

Collect information

Someone comes in to see me saying they hate the look of their teeth and are afraid to smile. I find out what about their smile bothers them. Let’s say they have dark, crooked teeth. I determine what their goal is, what the budget is, and what time frame need (is there a special event coming up). I collect take the needed records.

Develop a plan
After reviewing the records and patient goals, I will come with a few ideas to give the patient a plan. I go over the steps in order with the patient, review the cost, and get consent to proceed.

Execute the plan


Susan's story

Susan works in the public and hates her smile. She does not like the color of her teeth and they are crooked. Sue also wants to have the treatment done in a less than a year because she has a special trip planned next year. Susan has researched different cosmetic solutions and knows she wants veneers.

My assessment

After listening to Susan, I agree that veneers will give her the best color and long term wear. Susan's teeth are too crooked for veneers alone to correct. I suggest  braces to align the teeth first so veneers can be placed properly. I also suggest whitening the teeth to help blend the teeth not receiving veneers. I tell her that I will place clear braces. Susan is concerned about the length of time she would be in braces. Short term braces will correct just the upper teeth which are less crowded. At the same time one of her lower teeth is completely crowded. I can remove it and close the space with veneers. I tell her that I will place a tooth colored filling  to fill in the area while it heals. 

1)       Place braces and extract lower tooth.
2)       Place composite filling in extraction site.
3)    Remove braces and whiten teeth, give pt invisible retainers.
3)       Place veneers.
4)       Make bite-plane to wear at night continue clear retainer in daytime for 1 year on top.
5)      Wear bite plane at night only.

Treatment time 7 months.

We begin treatment

I place clear braces on the upper teeth, extract the lower tooth and fill in the space with composite. Six months later, the upper teeth are straight, the braces are removed, and Susan wears clear retainers. Susan does home whitening for two weeks and the color improves on all of the teeth. I prepare the teeth for veneers and place temporary veneers. For the first time Susan can see what the new smile is going to look like.

Finishing the smile makeover
Two weeks later the veneers are placed. I take impressions for a bite-plane to wear at night. Susan wears a clear retainer in the daytime for 1 year. She wears a bite-plane at night to protect her teeth and prevent shifting and protect the veneers from any night bruxism..

Susan has a great new smile, and renewed self confidence. The treatment time is less than one year and she is able to go on her trip with her smile makeover complete.

Dr. Neal Crystal Lake Dental Associates

Do your homework and find the right cosmetic dentist
Dentists do not receive much cosmetic training in dental school. Dentist are not required to learn cosmetic  dentistry in order to treat patients. Not every dentist has the skill and experience to offer a cosmetic solution that will be right for you. All of these fine services are available at Crystal Lake Dental Associates, and Dr. Neal has had extensive training in Cosmetic Dentistry.

Your Comments are welcome.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Anthony Weiner photos reveal a bruxer.

Anthony Weiner

Anthony Weiner's squared off jaw line

Anthony Weiner has some strong facial characteristics that we commonly see in people who are bruxers.
Congressman Weiner has a squared off jaw line. This bony feature is the result of over development of the masseter muscles. The masseter muscles are very prominent in bruxers. Most notably a person who clenches their teeth tightly or chews gum excessively can develop these muscles.

Weight training

It is clear that congressman Weiner stays in shape. I do not know if he uses weights to workout. Some people who workout regularly with weights can develop exaggerated jaw muscles. This is due to clenching the teeth during heavy body strain. 

A weight lifter clenching

Close-up of clenching

Night bruxism

Some people who suffer from night bruxism will slide their teeth against each other creating a squeaking sound. Often a person does not know that they are a clencher as there is no sound associated with it. Night bruxism is a common problem. Night bruxism has been associated with Sleep Apnea. 

Problems with clenching

The intense pressure created on the teeth can cause them to fracture, and enamel to peel off. Ultimately, a bruxer who does not protect their teeth will destroy them. In addition, bruxism can damage the jaw joint (TMJ) and lead to muscle pain and headaches. In almost every picture of Anthony Weiner, you cannot see his upper teeth. This leads me to conclude that Congressman Weiner's upper teeth have already been damaged by bruxism, or clenching.

Diagnosing clenching

Heavy clenching can be easily diagnosed by a dentist. I have the patient relax and alternately clench the teeth  these muscles will pop out when clenching and you can feel them protrude. In addition, when the person clenches, the muscle will be rock hard. I have the patient do this exercise while feeling the masseter when they clench. I then have them feel the same muscle on my face when I do the same thing. Since I am not a bruxer, my muscle does not bulge and become rock hard. Now they can feel and see the difference. 

Feeling (palpating) the masseter muscle.

Preventing damage the teeth, muscles, and TMJ

The wearing of a protective mouth-guard during weight-training and/or a bite-plane at night is recommended to prevent damage to teeth, gums, the TMJ, and muscles. These appliances should be made by a dentist to ensure proper fit and function. 

In conclusion …wear an appliance

Congressmen  Anthony Weiner certainly has his problems with the Twitter Sex email Photos and tweets. I hope Anthony Weiner is at least protecting his teeth and TMJ by wearing a mouth-guard when exercising and/or a bite-plane when sleeping. It is inexpensive insurance against damaging your mouth.

Dr Neal answers all of your questions about bruxism.

Leave a comment.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Temproary partial denture Crystal Lake Dentist

Temporary partial denture 

Before and after

Temporary partial denture

 A wonderful option for many dental patients in a pinch is a temporary partial denture. It can be used in emergency, and long term complex care situations. It provides good aesthetics at low cost.

What is a temporary partial denture?

A temporary partial denture or” treatment partial” is an oral appliance used to replace one or more missing teeth. Historically these temporary partial dentures were called “flippers”. The temporary partial is usually made of pink plastic to mimic the gum tissue. It is removable and, will have one or several teeth set in the plastic, and usually a few wire clasps that clip onto back teeth.

Why does someone need a temporary  partial denture?

If a permanent dental restoration will be made later, a temporary partial helps to maintain the position of the remaining teeth and provide esthetics and function. Since it is made of plastic, the temporary partial will not be sturdy enough to last through several years of wear.
Another version of a temporary partial is called an "Essex” appliance are made of a clear material that fits over the remaining teeth like a clear glove. It has plastic teeth  embedded in it. The Essex is less sturdy. 

What types of situations would benefit from a temporary partial.

When teeth are missing and cannot be immediately replaced such as :
  • After tooth extraction
  • After implant placement
  • A child still growing and developing
  • A complicated treatment plan requiring multiple phases of treatment over time
  • Financial reason preventing a patient from completing all treatment

 A temporary partial denture is very adaptable to changing dental situations while still offering function and aesthetics. You can trim it back, add teeth,  and repair it rather easily. It can be made quickly and is fairly inexpensive.

Does a temporary partial denture affect your speech or eating?

At first, a temporary partial will feel strange in the mouth. You will have more saliva for a few days as you get used to it. Your tongue will need to learn a new position for certain sounds, and practicing reading our loud will help you adapt. Food will feel different, especially when you have an upper flipper. These sensations can usually be handled within a short period of time.

What if you have a gag reflex?
Your dentist will try to design a temporary partial denture that does not rest in areas that cause gagging. You may need a few adjustments to fine tune it. One solution that I have recommended is the eating mints to distract your mouth.

How do you care for a temporary partial denture?

Here are some do’s and don’ts:

  •  After meals and before going to bed, rinse and brush the temporary partial. Also rinse out our mouth and brush if possible at this time.
  •  Keep it in a soak with a denture cleaner to keep it fresh.
  •  Keep it well away from areas where pets can reach it (dogs will chew it up).
  • Be Careful with the clasps as they are easily bent out of shape and will often require a visit to the dentist to correct.
  •  DO NOT soak it in  alcohol based mouthwash as this will dry it out.
  •  DO NOT keep it in your pocket unless you want to lose or break it.
  • When placing it in your mouth, DO NOT drop it in the general vicinity and bite it into place (you will bend a wire or break it).
  • DO NOT flick it in and out of your mouth with your tongue as this will cause wear of it and your teeth.
  • DO NOT attempt to repair or adjust it yourself as improper adjusting may result in you buying a new one or paying for a repair.
  •  DO NOT attempt to repair it with “Super Glue”. Take it to the dentist.

Does dental insurance cover a temporary partial denture?

Insurance rarely covers “temporary restorations”. Be careful because if they do cover the temporary partial, they may not cover the final restoration. Discuss this with your dentist and get clear direction from your insurance company.

Dr Neal answers all of your questions about temporary partial dentures.

Leave a comment.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Check Out Our Other Blog!

Visit Crystal Lake Dentist New Blog at:

We love helping people

Crystal Lake Dental Associates is dedicated to improving every person's health, beauty and comfort. In the process, we encounter many patients with unique and powerful stories. We love helping these people and consider them part of our family. Constantly we  hear from grateful patients who are no longer afraid, have a new confident smile, and are pain free. Dr. Neal loves sharing stories of how a person was helped and how their life improved.

We started a new blog of patient's stories

So, we started a new blog dedicated to telling these stories.You will be able to see how a patient's problems and desires are translated into a plan and solution. These writings will be derived from actual patient's experiences. In order to protect patients privacy, real names and personal facts are altered. A new topic of interest is highlighted in each post. You can leave comments, and ask questions about any dental conditions or topics.

Begin the journey Today!

Visit Crystal Lake Dentist Blog at:

 P.S. I will continue to post on anything health or oral care related topics in detail on this blog.

Have a great day.


About Me

My photo
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.