My Blog

Posts for: July, 2017

By Douglas Pennino, DDS
July 24, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

When your smile is less than perfect, crowns and bridges can help. Barrington, IL, dentists Drs. Douglas and Chase Pennino explain how restorative dentistrycrowns and bridges can restore your smile.

Crowns restore, protect and improve your smile

Versatile crowns can be used in several ways. They protect teeth that are in danger of breaking, including cracked, fragile or weak teeth. Teeth can naturally become weaker as you age, but may also become more fragile if you have recently received a large filling or had a root canal. Hollow crowns slip over teeth after they've been reduced in size and prevent fragile teeth from fracturing. Crowns are made of materials that are tough enough to stand up to the wear and tear of chewing and biting, such as porcelain, resin, and porcelain fused to metal.

When your tooth has fractured, crowns offer the ideal restoration option. Although there might not be much left of your tooth, you can be assured that your new crown will look completely natural. Crowns are made using an impression of your entire upper or lower jaw to ensure that your restoration will match the length of nearby teeth and fill the gap in your smile perfectly.

Do you have a tooth that looks out of place in your mouth? Crowns offer a simple way to improve the appearance of pointed, crooked, twisted or bumpy teeth. They also cover discolorations and uneven surfaces.

If you've recently had a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, you'll need to visit our Barrington office to receive a crown to complete the implant process. The crown is attached to the implant, the part of your new tooth that replaces your tooth roots.

Bridges replace missing teeth

Bridges are an excellent solution if you've lost one or several teeth. Crowns anchor one or more artificial teeth and hold your bridge firmly in place. Bridges not only improve your appearance but also making eating easier and prevent your teeth from drifting. If you don't fill the gap in your smile, your teeth may eventually shift and overlap. Overlapping teeth not only look unattractive but make it difficult to clean your teeth thoroughly.

Protect and improve your smile with crowns and bridges. Call Barrington, IL, dentists Drs. Douglas and Chase Pennino at (224) 655-6384 to schedule an appointment.


Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.

He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”

Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.

There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.

The Science Behind the Magic

There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.

The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.

How’s that for a disappearing act?!

If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

By Douglas Pennino, DDS
July 06, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

All eyes were on Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas in Game 1 of the second-round NBA Playoff series against the Washington Wizards — and not just because he scored a game-high of 33 points! Even more dramatic was the moment his jaw collided with an opponent’s elbow, sending one of his front teeth flying out of his mouth and onto the floor.

Press reports said the Celtics’ team physician attempted to reinsert the tooth, but it didn’t remain in place when Thomas resumed playing the game. Over the next several days, he reportedly underwent a total of ten hours of oral surgery, and was fitted with a four-piece temporary bridge. A statement from the team noted that Thomas suffered “a complete fractured tooth and two other subluxed/shifted teeth… [He] will receive a permanent bridge at a future date.” So what does all that mean?

When we say a tooth is fractured, it means the crown (visible part) of the tooth has broken off from its roots, either above or below the gum line. Depending on the severity of the fracture, it is sometimes possible to save the natural tooth by performing a root canal to prevent bacterial infection, and then placing a crown (cap) on the tooth to restore its appearance and function. In more severe cases, however, the tooth can’t be saved and must be extracted.

Unfortunately, that isn’t Thomas’ only problem. He also has two subluxed teeth — that is, teeth that have shifted from their original position, but haven’t been knocked out of their sockets. Subluxed teeth often result from a severe blow to the mouth, and may be treated by stabilization or splinting. Team officials haven’t said exactly what was done during Thomas’ dental treatment, but it could very well have involved extracting the roots of any teeth that couldn’t be saved, and possibly placing dental implants in his jaw for future tooth restoration.

A dental implant is a small screw-shaped titanium post that is inserted directly into the bone of the upper or lower jaw in a minor surgical procedure. In time, it becomes fused with the bone itself, offering a sturdy anchorage for replacement teeth. One implant can support one replacement crown; two or more implants can support a number of replacement teeth joined together as a unit. This is called a dental bridge.

Bridges can also be supported by adjacent healthy teeth — but first, the outer surfaces of the crown must be prepared (reduced in size), so that the bridge can be attached over the remaining part of the crown. In many instances, implants are preferred because they do not compromise the structure of healthy teeth nearby.

Dental difficulties didn’t end Isaiah Thomas’ season — but an earlier hip injury that became aggravated finally did.  As unfortunate as this is, maybe now at least the NBA star will have a chance to let those injured teeth heal, and show up next season with a smile that’s as good as new.

If you have questions about treating injured teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.