Dental Health Problems for Seniors

on May 21, 2023

Dental Care for Older Adults at Stephens Dentistry

Last month we began a four-part series of blog posts dealing with the particular oral health problems and needs of our senior citizens. This month we continue that series with a look at some of the more common dental problems faced by adult seniors.

A number of factors often put seniors at higher risk for oral health problems. These include the failure to maintain good oral hygiene, medical conditions and medications, and the lack of professional dental care, often because of limited income and/or the absence of dental insurance.

If you are a senior citizen, or you are the caregiver for a senior, you should keep a watchful eye out for some of the more common dental issues affecting older adults.

Common Dental Problems for Seniors

Tooth Decay

Commonly known as cavities, tooth decay occurs when the enamel of teeth wears away, leaving them exposed to damage. Failure to treat cavities when they are small can lead to serious dental issues as the decay spreads, affecting multiple layers of the teeth.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal (gum) disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth and gums, something that commonly occurs when seniors fail to get regular professional dental care. In addition, poor nutrition can also contribute to gum disease. Symptoms will often include sore, swollen, painful, and bleeding gums.

Tooth Loss

This often occurs when a lifetime of poor dental hygiene causes irreversible damage to the root of the tooth. On occasion, removal is necessary to remove a painful and badly decayed or damaged tooth.

Mouth Lesions

For seniors, painful sores in the mouth can have a number of causes. Dry mouth, certain medications, and infections can all contribute to this issue, and diabetes can complicate matters by making wound healing more difficult.

Oral Cancer

This affliction usually shows up as sores that don’t heal, especially on the tongue, gums, or cheeks. About 48% of those diagnosed with some form of oral cancer are 65 or older, and poor nutrition, a lifetime of smoking or the use of smokeless tobacco, and the long-time consumption of alcohol are all contributing factors to oral cancer among older adults.

Comprehensive Dental Care for Seniors at Stephens Dentistry

Whatever your age may be, at Stephens Dentistry our goal is to do all we can to promote your dental health. We also know that as people age their dental needs change, and if you are the caregiver for an older person, finding compassionate dental care for them should be one of your primary concerns.

That kind of care, using the latest technology and methods to make dentistry as comfortable, efficient, and inclusive as possible, is what we provide at Stephens Dentistry. If you are a senior looking for dental care or you’re a caregiver seeking dental care for a loved one, we invite you to contact our clinic to schedule your initial consultation.

We accept payment from a large number of dental plans, and we offer a variety of finance options to conform to your budget. We never want dollars to stand in the way of the dental care you need!

Please don’t hesitate. Contact Stephens Dentistry today to schedule your initial consultation and become a member of our dental family.

Dental Health Problems for Seniors

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An Explanation of Oral Surgery and Common Surgical Procedures

on May 21, 2023

At Stephens Dentistry we take pride in offering a wide range of treatment options, including a number of oral surgery procedures to help you achieve your oral health goals and your overall well-being.

Oral Surgery Briefly Explained

The term “oral surgery” refers to any procedure on your teeth, gums, jaw, or any of the surrounding oral and facial structures. It also includes a wide range of procedures, including, among others, the extraction of teeth, periodontal (gum) grafts, bone grafting, and corrective jaw surgery.

You may be a candidate for oral surgery if you have any of the following:

  • Widespread tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Broken teeth
  • Bone loss in the jaw
  • Missing teeth
  • Impacted teeth
  • Non-cancerous lumps or bumps
  • Oral cancer

Oral Surgery and Common Surgical Procedures

Common Oral Surgery Procedures

Some of the more common oral surgery procedures include the following:

Tooth Extraction

Almost all dentists prefer to save your natural teeth when possible. There are times, however, when an extraction is necessary and this is, in fact, the most common form of oral surgery. Extraction may be necessary if you have severe tooth decay, gum disease, or some form of dental trauma. Additionally, extraction is sometimes necessary to prepare patients for dentures.

Bone Grafting

A dental bone graft becomes necessary when you have lost a significant amount of bone in your jaw. If one or more of your teeth have been missing for some time, bone loss can occur in the adjacent area. That’s because there are no roots present to stimulate the nerves to send messages to the brain to provide nutrients to that area.

In this situation, a bone graft restores volume and density to the afflicted area of the jaw bone so that dental implants can eventually be placed there.

In other cases, gum disease has caused a significant amount of bone loss around the affected teeth. In this situation, a bone graft can be used to provide stability and keep the teeth strong and healthy.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are considered the longest-lasting and most reliable option for the replacement of missing teeth. During this procedure, small, threaded posts – made of medical-grade titanium or zirconia – are embedded in your jaw. Once the affected area has healed, a dental crown, a dental bridge, or dentures can be attached to the implant.

Periodontal Surgery

In cases of moderate to severe periodontitis, this form of oral surgery may be needed to allow the dentist to thoroughly clean tooth roots of the plaque and bacteria that have accumulated under the gums. In cases of severe gum loss, a gum graft may be needed, using tissue taken from the roof of your mouth or acquired from a certified gum tissue bank.

Following Your Procedure – Things to Do and Things Not to Do!

Following your procedure, there will be some discomfort that can usually be controlled with OTC medication. As with any surgery, there is also the risk of infection, though very slight. Still another complication is a dry socket that occurs when a blood clot does not form, leaving your bone and nerves exposed and leading to dry-socket pain.

These risks can be minimized if you do the following after your surgery.

  • Rest – Your body needs time to recover. If you lie down, keep your head elevated to promote blood flow to your head and minimize swelling.
  • Ice – Use ice on your face to reduce swelling, usually 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off.
  • Eat soft foods – For a couple of days after surgery it’s advisable to consume only liquids and soft foods, like mashed potatoes, yogurt, and soups.
  • Keep a clean mouth – For a couple of days after surgery, it’s advisable to rinse your mouth out with warm salt water several times a day, especially after eating to remove any lingering food debris.

On the other hand, following oral surgery things not to do include”

  • Do not brush or floss around the surgical area for the period of time recommended by your dentist.
  • Do not consume hot foods and drinks.
  • Don’t eat hard, crunchy foods.
  • Don’t consume alcohol for at least 24 hours after surgery.
  • If you’re a smoker, don’t smoke for at least 48 hours.

Oral Surgery at Stephens Dentistry

If you’re suffering from any of the dental issues we’ve discussed and think you may be a candidate for oral surgery, your search for an Evanston dentist to perform oral surgery can end with a simple phone call.

We offer a full range of preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental procedures, along with oral surgery, and we urge you not to delay. Call us today at (847) 864-8151, or if you prefer, contact us online to schedule a consultation with our dentists at Stephens Dentistry.

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Dental Care for Older Adults – Part 1

on May 21, 2023

Dental Health for the Elderly and the Risk of Oral Health Problems

While as kids we might have gotten a certain squealing delight seeing our grandparent’s false teeth deposited in a bedside glass, the oral health of senior adults is nothing to be taken lightly. While dentures are still common among older adults, they’re also an indicator of the serious oral health concerns faced by millions of seniors, including decay and tooth loss, as well as other health issues related to those problems.

It’s essential to remember that oral health is about far more than aesthetics and appearance. Oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease can contribute to the onset of other very serious health issues, including heart disease and bacterial infections.

The sad truth is that 68% of older adults suffer from some form of gum disease, and almost 20% suffer from untreated cavities.

At Stephens Dentistry, the dental health of our seniors is a major concern, and with this blog we’re beginning a four-part series dealing with the dental health challenges faced by older Americans. We will begin examining some of the specific dental health challenges confronting many of the nation’s senior citizens.

The Unique Dental Health Challenges Faced by American Seniors
Millions of our senior citizens face special challenges making it difficult for them to maintain healthy teeth and gums, and as we’ve said, this lack of proper oral care can lead to other very serious health problems.

The following are some of the common reasons older adults often don’t get the dental health care they need.

1) Lack of Access

A 2014 study by the National Library of Medicine of a group of 184 older adults found that 89% of them needed dental treatment of various kinds, but almost half of them had not gotten it.

This study found that one of the main reasons for this neglect was the lack of access.

Lack of access to dental care comes in two forms, the absence of transportation and the dearth of dental insurance. Many elderly Americans can no longer drive themselves to dental appointments and lack other means of reliable transportation.

As to dental insurance, a lot of the private dental plans for seniors provide only very limited coverage. Further, Medicare does not provide dental coverage, and fewer than half of state Medicaid plans provide coverage for comprehensive dental care.

All this means that seniors will often be required to pay out of pocket for dental care, and there are many who simply cannot afford to do this.

2) Cost of Dental Care

As stated, without dental insurance, seniors have to reach into their own pockets to pay for dental visits, something many of them simply cannot afford to do. A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that seniors on Medicare spent on average $922 annually on dental care, while almost 20% paid out over $1,000. For many seniors on fixed incomes, this expense is beyond their means.

3) Poor Dental Care Extending Over a Lifetime

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in five older adults has an untreated source of tooth decay. The problem may well have started but neglected when they were younger, and now that they’re older, their limited income works against getting proper treatment.

Unfortunately, the longer dental problems go untreated, the worse they tend to get. A neglected dental issue that may have been easily treated in years past, over time may develop into a serious dental problem leading to gum disease, root damage, and the loss of teeth.

4) Medical Conditions Affecting Teeth and Gums

We know, of course, that as we age we run an increasing risk of developing serious health issues. Some of these have a direct effect on our oral health, while others indirectly contribute to dental issues.

The National Institutes of Health, for example, tells us that both hypertension and diabetes increase the risk for oral health problems.

At the same time, health issues like rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s disease can make it more difficult for seniors to brush and floss, while cognitive problems like dementia and Alzheimer’s may cause seniors to neglect their oral hygiene.

5) Medications Affecting Teeth and Gums

Millions of senior citizens must take a host of medications to deal with everything from blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, overactive bladders, and depression, to name just a few.

One of the unfortunate side effects of many of these medications, however, is dry mouth, which is more than just a nighttime nuisance. According to the National Health Service, dry mouth can lead to a host of related issues, including difficulty speaking, eating, and swallowing, mouth infections, and tooth decay and gum disease.

Coming Next Month

From this summary, you can see some of the particular challenges seniors face when it comes to maintaining their oral health.

Next month, in Part 2 of this series, we will examine some of the most common oral health problems faced by older adults.

Appointments for Seniors

In the meantime, if you know a senior needing dental care, we urge you to do everything you can to assist them in getting the treatment they need.

At Stephens Dentistry we always welcome new patients, and we want to do all we can to protect the dental health of our senior citizens.

Please call us, or have your senior relative or friend call us, as soon as possible to schedule their initial appointment at Stephens Dentistry.

Dental Care for Seniors in Evanston, IL

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Health and Dental Trends to Avoid

on March 20, 2023

To Protect Your Dental Health, Here Are Some Things You Should Not Be Doing

In this age of social media, free advice on health and health trends abounds. Whatever your personal goals may be – a stronger, healthier body or a brighter smile, among others – you should exercise caution before taking any of this free, online advice. In fact, there’s a very good chance that some things you may be doing, or thinking of doing, could be bad for your dental health.

Things to Avoid

Below are a few examples of the kinds of things we’re referring to. To protect your health, including your dental health, the following dental practices are things you should avoid using and doing.

Using Charcoal Toothpaste

Using toothpaste containing activated charcoal has been one of the hottest social media trends lately, touted for whitening your teeth, but should you use these kinds of toothpaste to brighten your teeth and your smile?

According to the American Dental Association, the answer is a most emphatic no! Activated charcoal comes from burning wood and it tends to be very gritty and abrasive. Over time, using it to brush your teeth wears away the enamel and leaves your teeth looking yellow.

Rather than using activated charcoal on your teeth, ask your dentist to recommend safe, non-abrasive ways to brighten your smile.

Brushing with Baking Soda and Lemon Juice

This is another definite no! While baking soda is prized for its cleaning properties, it’s very abrasive, especially when mixed with highly acidic lemon juice. Professional teeth whitening under your dentist’s supervision is a much safer option.

Oil Pulling

This is the ancient practice of swishing various oils – coconut, sesame, or sunflower – around in your mouth for up to 20 minutes. Supposedly, this practice combats bad breath and destroys the bacteria that contribute to gingivitis. There is, however, no scientific evidence to support these assertions. On the contrary, using oil pulling to replace daily brushing and flossing can contribute to serious dental problems.

Shots of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is given credit for doing all sorts of beneficial things, such as helping you lose weight or promoting gut health. There is not a lot of scientific evidence behind these claims, and the daily consumption of apple cider vinegar can wear away tooth enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity and decay.

If you’re convinced of the health benefits of apple cider vinegar, dilute it with water before consuming it. Do not swish it around in your mouth, and wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.

Rinsing with Hydrogen Peroxide

This is another DIY remedy for teeth whitening, but hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant and can lead to gum irritation and an upset stomach if swallowed. Again, better to follow your dentist’s directions for teeth whitening.

Using Toothpaste That’s Fluoride-free

Unfortunately, it has become trendy in some circles to use toothpaste that does not contain fluoride. While it’s true that too much fluoride may cause some cosmetic issues with young children, for most people brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste is one of the best things you can do for your dental health.

Dental Care in Evanston from Stephens Dentistry

Admittedly, it takes a certain amount of caution and dedication to maintain your oral health, and Stephens Dentistry is here to help you. We offer a wide array of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental services, and new patients are always welcome.

For the very best in dental patient care in Evanston, contact Stephens Dentistry to schedule your appointment.

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How Sleep and TMJ/TMD Are Related

on February 15, 2023

How To Sleep With TMJ Pain

The Relationship Between Sleep and TMJ Pain Explained

Getting a good night’s sleep – approximately 7 to 8 hours for adults – is one of the keys to good health. Yet for millions of Americans suffering from the pain associated with TMJ/TMD, getting restful sleep can be a real challenge.

What is TMJ/TMD?

The letters TMJ stand for the temporomandibular joint that connects your jawbone to your skull, allowing your jaws to open and close. When the jaw muscles and joints making up this connection malfunction, this situation can lead to a chronic condition known as TMJ disorder, or simply TMD. 

The pain associated with TMJ/TMD can make many of your daily activities quite painful. These include chewing, swallowing, and yawning. This pain can also make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. 

The Causes of TMJ/TMD

Determining the exact cause of TMJ/TMD can sometimes be difficult because it can be triggered by any number of things. These include trauma you may have suffered in the past or having an uneven bite. The misalignment of your neck and spine caused by the position in which you sleep can also be a contributing factor.

Still another possible cause is the condition known as bruxism – the habitual  clenching of your jaws and grinding of your teeth that can occur during the day or while you are sleeping and totally unaware of the grinding that’s occurring..

Over time, the clenching and grinding associated with bruxism can damage both your teeth as well as any dental restorations you may have, leading to a misaligned bite. 

If, because of a misaligned bite, your upper and lower teeth are not closing and coming together properly, the muscles in your jaw may move the temporomandibular joints out of their proper position to force your teeth to come together. The end result can be the pain to the face and jaws associated with TMJ/TMD.

Sleep Apnea – A Possible Complicating Factor

 It’s estimated that approximately 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Briefly explained, this is a disorder that causes repeated interruptions in breathing from an obstruction in the upper airway, often caused by the collapse of the soft tissues at the back of the mouth.

Can sleep apnea cause facial pain? That certainly seems to be the case. According to recent research, about 43% of those with TMJ/TMD have sleep-related issues. 

Basically, when the airway collapses, the automatic response of the body is to push the jaw forward. And this constant back and forth motion can cause tension and stress on the jaw joints and pain.

Help is Available at Stephens Dentistry

The symptoms of bruxism and TMJ/TMD are very similar and include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the jaw or face 
  • Frequent neck pain.
  • Frequent and severe headaches.
  • Pain in and around the ears.
  • Difficulty opening and closing your mouth. 

If you’re suffering these symptoms, bruxism could well be the root cause, and at Stephens Dentistry we can provide the help you need. 

To provide relief from bruxism and protection for your teeth, our doctors recommend a custom-designed NTI device.

NTI (nociceptive trigeminal inhibitor) is a type of mouth guard that prevents the clenching action associated with bruxism. No clenching, in turn, means not just less grinding of your teeth, but less tension on your jaws, less pain, and a more restful night’s sleep.

If you’re constantly suffering from the symptoms we have described, we urge you to schedule an appointment with us at Stephens Dentistry. Our dentists will be glad to explain the benefits of a custom-designed NTI device and help you determine if this is the right treatment option for you. 


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How to Choose the Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste

on February 15, 2023

How to Choose the Right Toothbrush and Toothpaste

Are you struggling to figure out which toothbrush and toothpaste are best for you and your family? Do the endless choices in the store leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin? 

The importance of proper dental hygiene can’t be understated – it affects our overall health, well-being, and self-confidence. But, with guidance, picking out these tools can be easy and stress-free! Read on to learn more about how to choose the right toothbrush and toothpaste for you.

What Type of Toothbrush is Best for You?

Manual toothbrushes come in various shapes, sizes, and bristle types. Dental professionals recommend soft-bristled toothbrushes as they are gentle on gums and teeth and effective for removing plaque. However, opt for a toothbrush with extra-soft bristles if you have sensitive teeth and gums.

Electric toothbrushes also have been proven to be effective. They are an excellent option for people with arthritis or other conditions that make it difficult to hold a manual toothbrush.

How to Choose the Electric Toothbrush Right For You

Electric toothbrushes come in many different styles with various features, so it is vital to choose one that is right for you.

Some toothbrushes have multiple brushing modes, such as a sensitive mode for people with sensitive teeth or a whitening mode for people who want to brighten their smile. Look for an electric toothbrush that moves at least 30,000 strokes per minute, and look for one with non-slip grips.

Consider the battery life and charging options of the toothbrush. Rechargeable electric toothbrushes are a good choice, as they’re easy to refill and don’t require frequent battery changes.

Does it Matter What Toothpaste You Use?

The toothpaste you use is just as crucial as the toothbrush you choose. Fluoride toothpaste is a must, as fluoride helps to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities.

Some toothpaste contains additional ingredients for specific oral health needs, such as sensitivity or whitening. For sensitive teeth, look for toothpaste containing ingredients that reduce pain and discomfort. To whiten your teeth, look for toothpaste with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or other whitening agents.

Be sure to choose a toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA ensures that toothpaste is safe and effective for use in oral hygiene.

It’s also important to consider the flavor of your toothpaste. The flavor should be pleasant so that brushing is something you look forward to every day.

By taking the time to research and choose the right toothbrush and toothpaste, you can ensure that your teeth stay healthy and your smile stays bright. With some knowledge, you can find the perfect toothbrush and toothpaste for you and your family!

Take the Next Step to Achieve a Brighter and Healthier Smile

Now that you know to choose the right toothbrush and toothpaste for your needs, it’s time to take action. Schedule an appointment with Stephens Dentistry in Evanston, Illinois, to discuss your oral health needs and receive a professional cleaning. We look forward to meeting with you and helping you achieve optimal oral health.

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Difference Between a Routine Dental Cleaning and Deep Cleaning?

on February 15, 2023

The Difference Between a Routine Dental Cleaning and Deep Cleaning?

Do you ever feel like your smile isn’t as bright and shiny as it used to be? Do you find yourself constantly dealing with bad breath and gum pain? Taking care of your oral health is essential and can save you from expensive treatments down the line.

Regular dental cleanings are essential to maintain good oral health, but did you know there’s a difference between routine cleanings and deep cleanings? Keep reading to learn more about the differences and better understand how to care for your teeth.

What is a Routine Dental Cleaning?

Regular dental cleaning is a quick, easy, painless procedure that helps maintain good oral health. The hygienist will use specialized tools to remove plaque and stains from your teeth, polish them with a paste or powder, floss around the area, and give you a fluoride treatment.

This professional dental cleaning can help prevent cavities, gingivitis, and other serious dental issues. Aside from the cleaning procedure, dental check-ups may also include nutrition advice and instructions on how to brush and floss your teeth properly. Regular cleanings are recommended every six months or as advised by your dentist.

How Long Does A Dental Cleaning Take?

The time a dental cleaning requires can vary depending on your oral health. For example, if you practice good oral hygiene and don’t have cavities or tartar build-up, the procedure should take around 40 minutes. 

However, if you have existing dental issues like cavities and tartar build-up, the cleaning may take closer to an hour. So, to reduce your time in the dentist’s chair, you must maintain your dental hygiene and regularly visit your dentist for check-ups and cleanings.

What Is A Dental Deep Cleaning?

A deep dental cleaning, also known as scaling and root planing, is an in-depth procedure that targets plaque and tartar below the gum line. It is recommended for patients with gum disease signs, like receding or bleeding gums.

During a dental deep cleaning procedure, your dentist will use specialized tools to remove plaque and tartar from beneath the gum line, clean and smooth the roots of your teeth, and use antibiotics to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. You can do a deep teeth cleaning in two visits, with the first focusing on scaling and the second on root planing.

How Long A Dental Deep Cleaning Take?

Similar to regular dental cleanings, the time a deep cleaning requires can vary depending on your oral health. For example, if you don’t have existing dental issues and your gums haven’t receded, the procedure should take about an hour. However, if you have extensive tartar build-up and your gums have receded, or you have gum disease, the procedure may take closer to two hours.

It is important to note that you may still need to return for additional visits even after a deep cleaning. That is because the bacteria in your mouth can regrow and cause future gum problems.

No matter your current oral health, it’s essential to keep up with routine visits to the dentist and take care of your teeth. Regular dental cleanings and deep cleanings can help you maintain a healthy smile and keep your oral health in excellent condition. 

In addition, taking the time to learn about these procedures can help you make informed decisions about your oral health, so you can keep smiling for years to come.

Schedule an Appointment with Stephens Dentistry in Evanston, IL

If you’re looking for a quality dental office, Stephens Dentistry in Evanston is here to help. Our experienced staff is dedicated to providing top-notch dental care in a comfortable, friendly environment. 

Whether you need a routine dental cleaning or deep cleaning procedure, we’re here to help keep your smile healthy and beautiful. So contact us today at (847) 864-8151 to schedule an appointment to help get your teeth sparkling and healthy.

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Can Vomiting Cause Tooth Decay?

on February 15, 2023

When illness strikes, it can often cause us to forget about our oral health. But did you know that vomiting can lead to tooth loss and decay? Continue reading as we explore the connection between vomiting and your teeth and discuss how you can prevent tooth loss and decay during an illness.

The Dangers of Vomiting and Tooth Decay

We’ve all had to face the occasional bout of sickness. Illness can be incredibly disruptive and taxing to our bodies, whether it’s a stomach bug, the flu, or even COVID-19. 

Unfortunately, infections like these can also affect oral health if you don’t take the necessary steps after vomiting. Likewise, COVID-19 can be incredibly disruptive to your oral health. It can even lead to COVID tooth loss if proper dental hygiene is not practiced.

Additionally, pregnant women are at risk for the same oral health complications if they suffer from morning sickness. The sometimes daily bouts of sickness can take a toll on teeth and gums that may already be extra sensitive during pregnancy

When you vomit, stomach acids come in contact with your teeth. These acidic substances can erode the outer layer of your teeth, called the enamel, and cause tooth decay. They can also weaken the jawbone and cause tooth loss if left untreated.

Preventing Tooth Loss and Tooth Decay During Illness and Pregnancy

Thankfully, there are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of tooth decay and loss when you’re ill or suffering from morning sickness. First, rinse your mouth with a water and baking soda mixture as soon as you’re done vomiting. This will help to reduce the effects of stomach acid on your teeth.

Next, rinse your mouth with mouthwash that contains fluoride. Doing this will help reduce bacteria in your mouth and protect your teeth from further damage.

Then, brush your teeth gently with a soft toothpaste containing fluoride – this will help to prevent any further damage to your teeth and will help to reduce the risk of tooth loss or decay.

Additionally, it’s essential to drink plenty of water while ill to reduce the amount of acid in your mouth that can lead to cavities and erosion.

Be sure to brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste to help protect your enamel from erosion. Lastly, visit your dentist for regular check-ups and exams to catch any cavities or other issues that an illness may have caused before they become serious. Doing this ensures that any cavities or other issues an illness may have generated can be caught early and treated correctly.

Take Care of Your Teeth and Visit Stephens Dentistry 

Taking special care of your teeth during an illness or pregnancy can help prevent tooth decay and loss. You can keep your teeth healthy even when you’re under the weather by brushing your teeth after vomiting, drinking plenty of water, and seeing your dentist regularly for check-ups. If you have any questions or want to schedule a visit with your dentist, don’t hesitate to contact Stephens Dentistry at (847) 864-8151 in Evanston, IL, today!

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We celebrated Dental Hygiene Month at Stephens Dentistry!

on November 3, 2022

In addition to Halloween, October was also designated as Dental Hygiene Month, a time when we celebrate the fantastic work done by dental hygienists. It’s a time to raise public awareness of the hygienic practices that are needed to maintain our oral health.

What Our Hygienists Do

At Stephens Dentistry our hygienists play a vital role in treating our patients and representing our dental office. Just some of the services they perform include:

  • Promoting overall oral health and oral hygiene education
  • Periodontal scaling and root planing
  • Detection of cavities and gum disease
  • Performing teeth whitening
  • Applying fluoride treatment

A recent national survey found that the overwhelming majority of dental hygienists were satisfied with their careers, and at Stephens Dentistry we’re more than satisfied with our team of outstanding hygienists. Thank you to Lauren, Grace, Florcy, Vanessa, and Teresa!

We want to express our gratitude for the fantastic dental services each of them provides at Stephens Dentistry. That’s ultimately why we are grateful for all the work our dental hygienists complete within our practice and caring for our patients most of all.

Welcome The Newest Additions To Our Team

Dental Hygiene Month is also an appropriate time to introduce and welcome the newest dentists added to our team at Stephens Dentistry: Dr. Marcos Montoya and Dr. Rares Raibulet.

Dr. Marcos Montoya

Dr. Montoya smiles at the camera.

A native of Glenview, Dr. Montoya grew up in a medical family: his mother is an internist and his aunt is a dentist. While pursuing his undergraduate studies in molecular and cellular biology at the University of Illinois at Champaign, he decided to shadow his aunt at her Chicago dental practice. While there he discovered a love for the “vibe” of dentistry and the excitement of working in a dental practice where you can get to know the patients you’re treating.

That new-found love of dentistry led him to earn a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and as a member of our team at Stephens Dentistry Dr. Montoya enjoys providing total patient care, with an emphasis on nutrition, pain management, and sleep. He fervently believes that our bodies have tremendous healing capacity when healthy nutrition is coupled with a consistent sleep pattern.

Dr. Montoya and his wife Magali have two beautiful daughters, Sofia and Olivia, and in addition to his dental practice he has a passion for ice hockey which he has played since age five. Despite the demands of his professional life, he plays the game every week and also makes time to coach younger hockey players as well.

Dr. Rares Raibulet

Dr. Raibulet smiles at the camera.

Dr. Raibulet was born in Romania but grew up in Indianapolis and now loves his new home in the Chicagoland area. He did his undergraduate studies at Indiana University-Purdue University and received his Doctorate of Dental Medicine degree from Midwestern University in Downers Grove.

Dr. Raibulet’s attention to detail applies not only to his skills and technique but also to his “bedside manner.” His commitment to his dental practice is evident through the great amount of time he has devoted to continuing education to expand his knowledge and skills in cosmetic dentistry, implant placement, oral surgery, and root canal therapy.

Outside of dentistry, Dr. Raibulet and his wife Nedina and their daughter Liv enjoy traveling, trying new culinary experiences, sampling new coffee shops, and spending quality time with their families.

Along with Dr. Robert B. Stephens – or Dr. Bob as he is known to his patients – our dentists at Stephens Dentistry are dedicated to providing the very highest quality dental care to our patients, in a caring and nurturing atmosphere.

It’s an honor to welcome the new hires to be part of the team at Stephens Dentistry. Congratulations on joining our team and we look forward to working with you for years to come!

Discover The Best Dentists In Evanston and The North Shore

While October is Dental Hygiene Month, dental care is a year-round process. In addition to your twice-daily brushing and flossing routine, regular cleanings and dental checkups are essential to maintaining good oral health.

If it’s been some time since your last cleaning and checkup, contact us at Stephens Dentistry to schedule an appointment. To ease any anxiety you might have regarding a dental visit, we offer a tranquil and judgment-free approach so you can have the best dental experience possible.

We look forward to serving you and doing all we can to promote your dental health. Please contact our front desk to schedule your next appointment.

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SDUserWe celebrated Dental Hygiene Month at Stephens Dentistry!

Dental Veneers – Beware the Dangers of Turkey Teeth

on October 18, 2022

Dental veneers can hide your uneven or crooked teeth, and offer you the possibility of having that bright, beautiful “Hollywood smile.”

In case you’re not familiar with them, a veneer is a very thin layer of porcelain placed over the front surface of your teeth to improve their appearance and/or protect them from further damage.

Because most cosmetic dental procedures like this can be quite expensive, some patients will seek veneers from a non-medical specialist. While this might initially cut the price of this cosmetic dental procedure, there are plenty of horrific and expensive stories that explain why this is a bad idea.

A woman smiles as she gets a porcelain veneer to match her discolored tooth.

Veneers gone wrong – Let the patient beware

Before we discuss veneers and how important the preparation process is, it’s essential to understand the difference between a veneer and a crown. Porcelain veneers are bonded to the front of your teeth for cosmetic effect, while a crown is thicker than a veneer, it goes over the entire tooth to restore or protect it, and crowns tend to be more permanent than veneers.

In addition to understanding the difference between veneers and crowns, it’s also extremely important to know that proper veneer preparation and application takes time and extensive medical training to do. Not every dentist is a “veneer specialist” with the training and experience necessary to place veneers successfully on your teeth, but they should be able to recommend you to one who can.

Please be cautious of the medical or dental background of someone who claims to be a Veneer Specialist outside of a clinical setting.

You should be particularly wary of the cut-rate treatment offered in foreign countries.

Many social media platforms are awash with pictures of people who have gone abroad – traveling to Turkey or other countries with inexpensive cosmetic dentistry procedures for inexpensive dental treatment that sometimes ends in disaster.

The usual dental procedure is to grind the front teeth down to peg-like points, producing what is referred to as “Turkey teeth”, and these are then covered with crowns, not veneers.

Those who have undergone this procedure often put their smiling pictures on social media platforms, proudly showing off their so-called “veneers” that are actually crowns that have been placed with little to no treatment of the teeth.

Unfortunately, these procedures are often done so hastily and sloppily performed, that the end result can be ill-fitting crowns, intense pain, serious infections, gum disease and potentially, the loss of your teeth.

You can go here to read the account of a woman in the UK who suffered unrelenting pain, an extremely serious infection, and the expense of three trips to Turkey. Eventually the woman’s bad veneer experience finally came to an end when she was fitted with a set of crowns that were more durable.

Unfortunately, it cost her the security of her original tooth structure and a huge financial burden.

Veneer Specialists at Stephens Dentistry in Evanston

Achieving the perfect smile can be done without damaging your oral health or wallet.

If you need veneers to improve the appearance of your smile, you can lay your concerns aside when you come to Stephens Dentistry. We’re proud to be one of the top practices for porcelain veneers in Evanston, IL. With us, you will receive the very finest care that modern dental science has to offer.

We create the very highest quality veneers using our CEREC® milling machine or the use of one of our top rated dental laboratories. Using our scanner, our dentists will take a digital impression of your teeth. This impression is used to design your custom-made veneers, milled from a single block of eMax, providing you with the strongest restorations available.

Don’t run the risk of developing ultra thin “Turkey teeth” by seeking a cheaper, non dental option.

For the very best and safest in dental veneers, schedule an appointment with the board certified and cosmetic dentists of Stephens Dentistry. If needed, we’ll be glad to provide payment options to fit your budget.

We want to give you that perfect “Hollywood smile” while also protecting the surface of your teeth and gums. Contact Stephens Dentistry to schedule a free consultation with our experienced dentists today!

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SDUserDental Veneers – Beware the Dangers of Turkey Teeth