Dental Exams and Cleanings
To keep your teeth looking and feeling great, visit your dentist in Chicago every six months. During your initial visit, Dr. Guerrero typically takes X-rays of your teeth to assess the structure and health of your teeth, gums and jaw. She also asks about your dental history and home-care habits to get a full picture of your oral care needs.
Routine checkups involve scraping tartar buildup from your teeth, polishing surfaces with a fluoride paste and testing each tooth’s strength and health. Dr. Guerrero will also give you a personal oral hygiene consultation, teaching you the skills you need to prevent tooth decay and gum disease at home.
Dr. Guerrero, Chicago dentist, uses X-rays to evaluate the internal structure of your teeth and your jaw alignment. You’ll be asked to bite down on a piece of plastic so that your teeth and jaw are easily viewed. X-rays are recommended for new patients or for those whose cases need further analysis, such as for those seeking root canals.
X-rays allow the Dr. Guerrero to detect a number of otherwise hidden conditions, such as:
- Tooth decay
- Signs of gum disease
- Changes in the ligaments and bones that keep your teeth in place
Sealants are a plastic material that is placed on the teeth to serve as a barrier against food particles and other debris. Dentists in Chicago typically paint the sealant onto the molars in the back of your mouth that can be difficult to clean. As it dries, the liquid sealant bonds to the tooth enamel.
Sealants last five to ten years and save you the time, money and headaches associated with repairing tooth decay. They are strong and durable, but can be easily reapplied if needed, such as when resealing after filling a cavity. Children typically receive sealants, but adults can also benefit from the protection they offer.
Our dentist in Chicago uses fluoride treatments to defend your teeth from tooth decay, which can contribute to periodontal diseases. Found naturally in water and in many foods, fluoride helps teeth resist the acids in plaque bacteria and sugar. Fluoride is applied using gels or varnishes. It is painted on, used as a polish or poured into a mouth guard that is worn for two to four minutes.
Like sealants, fluoride treatments in Chicago are typically thought of as treatments that only children receive. However, adults can also greatly benefit from the protection that fluoride offers. In addition to gels and varnishes, fluoride can also be taken in pill or liquid form as a supplement, just like any other vitamin.
We take the utmost care to make the experience as fast and comfortable as possible. Dr. Guerrero performs extractions when the tooth is damaged beyond repair from decay or injury; extractions are also needed for crowding. Local anesthesia is used at the removal location, so you might feel pressure but no pain. We sometimes refer patients to oral surgeons for removing wisdom teeth.
Sometimes, implants are inserted after extraction, as are bridges. Extractions also pave the way for dentures, which are placed on top of the exposed gums.
Root Canal Treatment
Root canals save damaged teeth from extraction by removing the diseased tissue deep within the tooth. Root canals can be used to treat a variety of problems, including gum disease, tooth decay, severe pain, chipping, loosening or cracking.
Dr. Guerrero typically needs two appointments to fully perform a root canal. During the procedure, you are given an anesthetic at the treatment point. An opening is made at the top of the tooth to allow the infected soft tissue to be removed from the space in the root. Once it is cleaned, the tooth is filled and sealed. If necessary, the dentist in Chicago performs cosmetic restoration to the outside of the tooth.
Dentures are a set of replacement teeth that are custom-fit to your mouth. Patients with multiple missing teeth can opt for a full set of dentures or a partial set. Full dentures serve as a replacement for all of the teeth on the top or bottom of the jaw. Partial dentures fill a smaller gap of a few missing teeth and can be attached to existing teeth, or removable. Dentures increase the functionality of your mouth while restoring the appearance of a full set of teeth.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
Periodontal disease is a chronic infection of the gums. The two stages of periodontal disease, gingivitis and periodontitis, both cause swelling, redness and bleeding. These conditions occur when tooth decay or gum disease goes untreated. In addition to pain and inflammation, periodontal disease can cause the gums to separate from the teeth.
Dr. Guerrero treats periodontal disease using surgical and non-surgical procedures. The simplest treatment is removing plaque deposits above and below the gum line and smoothing rough surfaces. Surgical treatments are needed when the infection has advanced far enough to separate the tooth from the gum. Crowns may be needed to close gaps created by gum disease.
Athletic Mouth Guard
A properly fitting mouth guard can dramatically decrease the chance of dental injury while playing sports. According to the Massachusetts Dental Society, athletes are 60 times more likely to suffer an injury to the mouth if not wearing a mouth guard during sports activity. To get fitted with a custom-made mouth guard, schedule a consultation with Dr. Guerrero.