My Blog

Posts for: March, 2017

By Douglas Pennino, DDS
March 30, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   crowns  
DentalCrownsfortheKingofMagic

You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:  He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.

“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”

Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?

In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.

There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.  Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.

If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”


By Douglas Pennino, DDS
March 28, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

What your dentists in Barrington want you to knowteeth whitening

Are your teeth stained from smoking or drinking coffee? Does your smile look dark and dull? Are the years showing in your smile? If you answered yes to these questions, it’s time to consider professional teeth whitening. Your dentists Dr. Douglas Pennino and Dr. Chase Pennino at Pennino Family Dentistry in Barrington, IL, want to share how teeth whitening can enhance your smile.

For many years, over-the-counter whitening methods were the only choice to whiten your teeth. Many of these products don’t whiten as much as you need, and the results don’t last as long as you want. Some products also contain harmful chemicals which can make your teeth sensitive.

Now, thanks to modern whitening methods, you can have a smile that is up to 8 shades whiter, with results that last for years! Professional teeth whitening is inexpensive and quick, the perfect choice if you have a special event coming up like a wedding, reunion or even an important job interview.

At Pennino Family Dentistry, you can choose from two effective whitening treatments:

In-office whitening, which is a simple procedure performed in the office; the entire process takes about an hour. This whitening method is perfect for busy people who want a dazzling white smile in a minimal amount of time.

A take-home whitening kit, which contains everything you need to whiten your teeth at home, when the time is right for you. This whitening method is perfect for people who want convenience and privacy.

It’s natural for teeth to become stained and yellow, and for your smile to look dull. Lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking coffee or red wine, or even eating deeply-pigmented foods like berries can stain your smile. The normal aging process can make your teeth look yellow because your tooth enamel becomes thinner as you age.

You don’t have to let stains or aging take control of your smile. Thanks to professional whitening, your smile can be whiter and brighter than you ever thought possible. Get the white smile you deserve by calling your dentists at Pennino Family Dentistry in Barrington, IL. Call today to find out more about professional teeth whitening!


By Douglas Pennino, DDS
March 15, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  
DontLetSmokingIncreaseYourChancesofImplantFailure

There are plenty of good reasons to quit smoking. Here's one more if you're considering replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant: smoking increases your risk of implant failure.

By and large, dental implants are the most reliable and durable tooth replacement option, with more than a 95% success rate after ten years. But that still leaves a small percentage that fail — and twice as many of those failures are in smokers than in non-smokers.

To understand why, we need to look at how smoking affects oral health. Besides burning and thickening the surface skin cells inside the mouth, inhaled smoke can also damage salivary glands and lead to dry mouth. Reduced saliva creates an environment friendly to bacteria, which increases the risk of infection and disease.

The nicotine in tobacco also restricts the myriad of blood vessels that course through the teeth and gums. The resulting reduced blood flow deprives teeth and gums not only of nutrients but disease-fighting antibodies. The mouth takes longer to heal and can't fight infection as well.

The key to an implant's success lies with its titanium post imbedded in the jaw bone to take the place of the tooth root. Titanium attracts bone cells, which grow and adhere to the post over a period of time and create a stronger hold. But the health effects of smoking inhibit this process. Furthermore, slower healing caused by smoking increases the risk of infection, the number one cause of early implant loss.

If you want to improve your chances for a successful implant — not to mention improve your overall health — you should quit smoking. The prospect of a dental implant could be a useful incentive to enroll in a smoking cessation program.

At the very least we suggest you stop smoking a week before implant surgery and then for at least two weeks after to help promote good healing. And you should pay close attention to your daily oral hygiene — brushing and flossing at least once — and regular, semi-annual dental visits for cleanings and checkups.

Smoking can harm your health. If you're considering an implant, it could also harm your chances of a successful outcome.

If you would like more information on dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants & Smoking.”