Can You Naturally Repair a Cavity?

Serving Chicago, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and surrounding areas in Illinois

Let’s say you’ve gone to the dentist and your dentist has mentioned to you that they’ve noticed the beginning of a cavity. “Is it bad? Do I need to get this fixed now?” you ask. Depending on the stage that the cavity is in, your dentist will either say yes or no.

For those who have just a small cavity forming (we call that incipient decay), your dentist may tell you to wait about six months to see what happens. This is your queue to be extra diligent with your oral hygiene. Your dentist will most likely recommend preventative dentistry methods, such as an enamel building toothpaste and accompanying enamel strengthening mouthwash — both with Fluoride as the active ingredient. Fluoride is a mineral that prevents tooth decay from getting worse, and using products with this mineral included, along with regular brushing and flossing routines as well as reducing sugar intake can sometimes reverse these early stage cavities.

Keep in mind, however, that this reversal process is slow and arduous and often does not work for some patients even with improved dental hygiene. Fully developed cavities are a permanent damage and must be fixed by a dentist or cosmetic dentist.

Oftentimes if cavities aren’t filled in a timely manner by a professional dentist, the end result can be extensive tooth decay. Patients with tooth decay are often told that they will need the tooth in question removed, and a new synthetic tooth, called a dental implant, will be placed in its stead. At Chicago Smile Spa, Dr. Alfe provides full mouth reconstruction for those whose teeth are affected by tooth decay. Our cosmetic dental office focuses on conservative dentistry, which means Dr. Alfe will do everything she can to save your existing teeth. The first step to a health, beautiful smile is to repair the damage that’s been done, then improve the look and function of the teeth using cosmetic dentistry techniques such as porcelain veneers, crowns, and bridges.

If your family dentist has told you to seek the opinion of a local cosmetic dentist for options regarding how to save and improve your smile, contact Chicago Smile Spa today for a free initial consultation.

Reasons To NEVER Attempt DIY Teeth Straightening

Serving Chicago, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and surrounding areas in Illinois

As a society, we’re all about trying to be independent, resourceful and useful — which is why when it comes to projects, we try to take them on ourselves. However, there are a few DIYs that should never be attempted and are better left to the professionals, and for good reason as there can be detrimental effects if something goes wrong.

Dr. Alfe at Chicago Smile Spa, along with all orthodontists, warn that the rising trend of DIY teeth straightening is not a good idea. The American Association of Orthodontists states that 13% of it’s member orthodontists have seen patients who tried to straighten their teeth using DIY methods. DIY teeth straightening methods have led to serious damage to teeth, gums, and even the jaw bone which in turn results in more expensive cosmetic dental fixes.

The new trend has seen a spike due to recent social media posts and How To videos featuring amateurs using various home materials such as dental floss, rubber bands and wire. Unfortunately these methods have cost many patients their teeth and they now need cosmetic dentistry to repair their smile.

Achieving a healthy, beautiful smile should be left to the professionals such as Dr. Alfe at Chicago Smile Spa. Although the up front cost is much more than a rubber band, the end result appearance and the improved functionality of your smile far outweighs the risk of getting the job done yourself.

If you’re unhappy with your smile due to gaps, chips, stains or crowding, our cosmetic dental office can help you and we guarantee our cosmetic dentistry methods will work much faster and more effectively than attempting them yourself. All it takes is a simple phone call to our office and you can set up an appointment and be quickly on your way to a health and beautiful smile.

Dr. Alfe is capable of treating any cosmetic dental issue with techniques such as teeth whitening, dental bonding, Six Month Smiles and full mouth rehabs, porcelain veneers, and laser gum treatment.

Contact our office today and Dr. Alfe can help you determine what your options are!

Have Bleeding Gums? This is a Sign to Take Action

Serving Chicago, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and surrounding areas in Illinois

Almost everyone has experienced bleeding gums at some point in their life. Whether they lodged a popcorn kernel between their teeth, they were chewing on something they shouldn’t have been (pens, pencils) and poked themselves, or they noticed some blood while flossing.

Most of the time it isn’t a big deal and your gums will heal shortly.

However, if you start to consistently notice bleeding gums while brushing or flossing, then this is a cause for concern and you should contact your dentist and set up an appointment. Unfortunately what many people do is stop brushing or flossing in fear of aggravating the area and causing more pain and bleeding, while in reality more consistent dental hygiene needs to happen.

Why You Need to Contact Your Dentist

Bleeding gums are a sign of gum disease and gingivitis. These oral heal issues are caused by a lack of dental hygiene as well as diet and, to some extent, genetics. Periodontal disease occurs due to an over-abundance of bacteria which form plaque and tartar buildup around the gum line and between teeth which eventually leads to inflammation and bleeding. If the matter is not addressed by a professional dentist, tooth loss, bone loss and gum recession can occur.

How Chicago Smile Spa Can Help

Dr. Alfe has seen plenty of patients who are dealing with gum disease to some extent, which is why at Chicago Smile Spa she offers cosmetic dentistry solutions for those who need it. First things first, you will need a periodontal screening to determine the extend of the issue. Next, Dr. Alfe will sit down with you to discuss your treatment options. At Chicago Smile Spa it’s our goal to make sure that treatments are effective and as pain free as possible, which is why PerioProtect is usually the number one recommended course of action. PerioProtect is a laser gum treatment option which conservatively removes dead gum tissue in order to promote the growth of healthier gum tissue. This gum disease treatment coupled with better dental hygiene habits and regular dental visits in the future will prevent the return of these issues.

If you are worried about gum disease, contact our Chicago cosmetic dentist office today to schedule an initial appointment.

Don’t Trust Yourself Using Invisalign? Choose Six Month Smiles!

Serving Chicago, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and surrounding areas in Illinois

If the thought of having to remove a near invisible plastic tray to eat and remember not to throw it away with your lunch scraps is too much responsibility, you aren’t alone. If you’re worried you’ll be in a rush in the morning going to work and accidentally leave Invisalign on the bathroom sink, you aren’t alone either.

Mistakes happen when the option for removable adult orthodontics such as Invisalign are available. So you’re probably thinking that now you need to succumb to those unsightly wire braces we all associate with grade school students. Fortunately for adults in Chicago, our cosmetic dentist office provides adults with Six Month Smiles.

What is Six Month Smiles?

Hailed as one of the best adult orthodontic solutions available today, Six Month Smiles works in a similar fashion to traditional braces, yet with a few key differences. First, the wires and brackets used by Dr. Alfe here at our Chicago cosmetic dentist office are tooth colored, which means they are more difficult to see. Second, because Six Month Smiles works similarly to braces, this means the wires and brackets are attached to the teeth and cannot be removed until the end of your treatment. No more sulking into the office explaining that you have — yet again — thrown away your Invisalign tray.

The third major difference between Six Month Smiles and any other adult orthodontic treatment available is that the entire procedure takes six months or less to correct your bite! This means a quick and efficient solution for issues such as gaps, crowding, overbite, underbite, or crooked teeth.

Interested in learning more about the benefits of Six Month Smiles? Contact Dr. Alfe today to schedule your consultation appointment!

Get Your Smile Ready for Spring Break

Serving Chicago, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and surrounding areas in Illinois

Are you and your family getting ready to head somewhere warm for spring break? Or perhaps it’s just you and your significant other who have decided to escape reality for a week or so. We don’t blame you for leaving the frozen northern tundra of Chicago, but there are a few essential things you’ll need to take with you:

  • Sunscreen
  • Bathing suit
  • Sunglasses
  • Shorts and tee shirts
  • Your gorgeous smile!

3 Weeks to a Vacation-Ready Smile

You’ve probably been prepping for your vacation for awhile now. It can take time to book flights, find hotel rooms and plan an itinerary. However, don’t forget that a spring break vacation means pampering yourself, and what better way to do that than improve your smile with porcelain veneers? Porcelain veneers are a solution to cracked, chipped, or misshapen teeth. What’s great about this cosmetic dentistry option is that the entire process is quick, easy, and at Chicago Smile Spa it’s virtually painless due to Dr. Alfe’s commitment to conservative dentistry practices.

It’s natural to want to look and feel your best while on vacation, which is why porcelain veneers have always been a popular solution to improving the look and function of one’s smile. After talking with Dr. Alfe about your needs, she will custom-design your porcelain veneers to your specified shade and size. Most appointments only take 2 visits over the course of 3 weeks.

So, while you’re already in vacation planning mode, make a quick phone call to Dr. Alfe at (773) 348-2704 to schedule your initial consultation. In no time you’ll be on your way to looking your best at the beach!