Posts made in July 2018

Anatomy of a Tooth

Despite their small size, your teeth are actually very complex and constantly changing as you age.  All teeth, though different in shape, have the same anatomical parts. Each tooth has a crown – the part that is exposed to the oral cavity – and roots. The tooth is attached to the underlying alveolar bone with fibers known as the periodontal ligaments.

Each tooth is made up of the same components, including:

  • Tooth crown – This is the part of the tooth we see in the mouth.
  • Enamel –The hardest, semi-translucent outer part of the tooth. Enamel is mostly made of calcium phosphate, a rock-hard mineral.
  • Dentin – Dentin is the softer structure that comprises the majority of the tooth substance. It is full of tiny tubes that can transmit such signals as hot, cold, and painful stimuli to the pulp of the tooth where the nerves and blood vessels are found. It causes that yellow or blue/grayish color that we see in our teeth.
  • Pulp –The softer, living inner structure of teeth. Blood vessels and nerves run through the pulp of the teeth. It is often called the dental nerve. The nerves and blood vessels from the pulp are connected to the nervous and circulatory systems of the body.
  • Gums – Firm flesh around the roots of the teeth.
  • Root – Beneath the surface, embedded from the bone of the jaw, is the complex structure of the root of the tooth.
  • Cementum – A layer of connective tissue that binds the roots of the teeth firmly to the gums and jawbone.
  • Periodontal ligament – Tissue that helps hold the teeth tightly against the jaw.
  • Jawbone – The bone which forms the framework of the mouth and which holds the teeth.

Northwest Implant Dental Spa is dedicated to providing you with unparalleled and efficient care, including Chicago dental implants. Call our dental office at (847) 629-4875 today for a free consultation of your oral health.

Five Types of Teeth and Their Function

Your teeth are important for many reasons. They help you to eat, drink, talk, and give you that radiant smile. But beyond knowing those obvious advantages, many people don’t know enough about the anatomy of the mouth. Like a good sports team, there are many part and players that all work together to make up your mouth.

A normal adult mouth has 32 teeth, which (except for wisdom teeth) have erupted by about age 13. Each tooth has a specific job. Here’s an overview of the different types of teeth in your mouth.

Incisors (8 total) – The sharp, chisel-shaped front teeth (four upper, four lower) are used for cutting food.
Canines (4 total) – Sometimes called cuspids, these teeth are shaped like points and are used for tearing and grasping food.
Bicuspids (8 total) – Teeth between the canines and molars. These teeth have two pointed cusps on their biting surface and are sometimes referred to as bicuspids. The premolars are for crushing and tearing food.
Molars (8 total) – The flat teeth in the rear of the mouth are used for grinding and chewing food. These teeth have several cusps on the biting surface to help in this process.
Wisdom teeth or third molars (4 total) – These teeth erupt at around age 18 but are often surgically removed to prevent displacement of other teeth.

While the mouth is the smallest part of our overall anatomy, teeth are the hardest substance in the human body! They play an important role in not only chewing but speech as well. Taking care of your teeth means finding a dependable dentist in Wheeling, IL. The team at Northwest Implant Dental Spa provides you with reliable care services, making sure that your smile looks great and your mouth is at its healthiest!

Root Canal Treatment & Procedure

Oftentimes, anxiety is derived from fear of the unknown. Going into any dental procedure, especially a root canal or teeth implants in Chicago, can be scary for the first time. Let us help dispel some of the fear by outlining the process from start to finish.

If you’re experiencing tooth pain, this is the first indication something is wrong. The intensity of the pain can range from mild to severe; it may lessen or intensify throughout the day, or it may get worse only when you eat. If you notice this, contact your dentist.

When you come in for an appointment, our staff will examine your tooth and take X-rays in order to diagnose the cause of your problem. From there, we’ll determine if a root canal is the best course of action. A root canal is a treatment to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth.

If it’s determined that a root canal is necessary, local anesthesia is administered to the tooth. If you’ve ever had a filling, you’ll be familiar with this process. After that, the endodontist will drill an access hole into the tooth and use special tools to remove the damaged nerve and pulp tissue. Next, once the infected material is removed, your dentist will either seal the tooth or put in a temporary filling until a customized crown is ready. Finally, to complete the process, a crown, filling, or other tooth restoration completes the process of relieving your root canal pain.

Only your dentist or an endodontist can determine whether a root canal will adequately treat your problem. Don’t delay. If you’re experiencing persistent tooth pain, or gum or jaw sensitivity, contact our office immediately.

Why Do I Need A Root Canal?

If ever there were two words uttered by the dentist that invoked immediate fear in the hearts of patients, they would be “root canal.” No one wants one. Heck, we even cringe when we know someone else has to have one.

However, the fear and anxiety of getting a root canal is oftentimes the issue and not the procedure itself. If you’ve had serious tooth pain that has required root canal treatment, you know that you’ll do almost anything to make that pain stop immediately. Sharp, stabbing pains and an aching jaw can cause immense discomfort.

So, what precisely is a root canal and why do you need one? Millions of teeth are treated and saved each year thanks to root canals. This endodontic treatment is necessary when the pulp, the soft tissue inside the root canal, becomes inflamed or infected.

Common causes of root canal pain include:
Decay: Tooth decay that has penetrated the outer layers of the teeth which causes root canal pain.
Damage: Cracks or chips in teeth can cause tooth decay and root canal pain.
Disease: Risk factors for infection in the tooth pulp include severe tooth decay, trauma to the tooth, recent dental procedures, large fillings, and cracks or chips in the teeth.

Not all tooth pain means you need a root canal. Signs that imply your tooth may need a root canal include pain, sensitivity to heat or cold, tenderness to touch and chewing, or darkening of the tooth.

If you notice or experience any of the symptoms above, contact Dr. Kim and the staff at Northwest Implant Dental Spa. We’ll arrange for a dentist in Wheeling, IL, to examine you as soon as possible in order to have the problem tooth looked at.