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Posts for: February, 2019


If you're considering dental implants to replace one or more missing teeth, you'll need to undergo a minor to moderate surgical procedure (depending on the number of implants) to install them. Depending on your current health status and medical history, you may need antibiotics before or after the procedure to help ensure a successful outcome.

Although implants have a high success rate (over 95%), they can still fail — and bacterial infection is a major culprit. Installing implants requires surgically accessing the bone through the gum tissues; you may also need other invasive procedures like tooth extraction or bone or gum tissue grafting. These disruptions to the soft tissues can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream.

In certain individuals, this can increase infection risk not only around the implant but also in other parts of the body. You may be at higher risk, for example, if you have serious health problems like cardiovascular disease or diabetes, a weakened immune system, you use tobacco or you're over or under normal weight. The American Dental and American Heart Associations both recommend antibiotics before dental implant surgery as a preventive measure against infection if you have a prosthetic heart valve, a history of infective endocarditis, a heart transplant or some congenital heart conditions.

For other patients with low to moderate risk for infection, there's vigorous debate on administering antibiotics before implant surgery. There are some side effects to antibiotic use, ranging from diarrhea to allergic reactions, and an increased concern in general to the developing resistance of many infectious agents due to the prevalent use of antibiotics. Many dentists and physicians are becoming more discriminate in the patients for which they prescribe antibiotics before surgical procedures.

It really comes down, then, to your particular case: not only the specific procedures you need but also your general health. After weighing these factors against the possible benefits for protecting your health and improving your odds of a successful outcome, we'll recommend whether antibiotic treatment for implants is right for you.

If you would like more information on the role of antibiotics in dental procedures, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Douglas Pennino, DDS
February 12, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Crowns and Bridges  

Don’t let damaged or missing teeth negatively impact your oral health.

While we know how frustrating it can be to end up dealing with a damaged tooth or tooth loss, know that our Barrington, IL, dentists, Drs. crown bridgeDouglas, Chase, and Connor Pennino are here to make sure that you get the restorative dentistry you need to achieve a healthy, confident smile. Crowns and bridges are just two of the most common dental restorations we place. Here’s what they do and how they can help you:


What is a dental crown?

A crown or dental cap is a hollow tooth-shaped restoration that is custom-made to fit over a tooth all the way to the gumline. It is cemented into place and designed to create a protective barrier around a natural tooth structure that has been damaged or compromised. Our Barrington, IL, dentist may recommend getting a dental crown if,

  • You have a weak tooth
  • You have a cracked or fractured tooth
  • You have to undergo root canal treatment
  • You have severe decay and a dental filling that can’t support the tooth
  • You have a severely malformed, misshapen, or discolored tooth
  • Your tooth has been excessively worn down over time by teeth grinding
  • You are getting a dental implant to replace a missing tooth
  • You are getting a dental bridge to treat your tooth loss


What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge’s purpose is to replace a missing tooth and fill in its gap so as to prevent the rest of your natural teeth from shifting out of place. A bridge, just like a crown, is custom-made to fit your smile. It is made up of two crowns that sit on either side of a false tooth, also known as a pontic. The crowns are placed over healthy teeth that sit on both sides of the gap, allowing the false tooth to fill the gap and restore your smile.


Interested? Give us a call!

No matter whether you are dealing with dental issues or you just need to schedule a routine cleaning, turn to the smile experts at Pennino Family Dentistry in Barrington, IL. We would be happy to talk to you about the different services we offer—just call (224) 655-6384 if you are a new patient, or (847) 381-6222 if you are an existing patient.

By Douglas Pennino, DDS
February 05, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: dry mouth  

When your mouth is dry, you know it: that sticky, uncomfortable feeling when you first wake up or when you're thirsty. Fortunately, it usually goes away after you eat or drink. But what if your mouth felt like that all the time? Then, it's no longer an irritation—chronic dry mouth could also increase your risk of dental disease.

Chronic dry mouth occurs because of inadequate saliva flow. Saliva plays an important role in preventing dental disease because it neutralizes acid, which can cause the mineral content in tooth enamel to break down and lead to tooth decay. The mouth becomes more acidic right after eating, but saliva can restore its normal pH levels in about an hour—as well as some of the enamel's lost mineral content. Without saliva, your tooth enamel is at greater risk from acid.

While a number of things can potentially interfere with normal saliva production, medication is the most common. More than 500 prescription drugs, including many antihistamines, diuretics or antidepressants, can cause dry mouth. Cancer radiation or chemotherapy treatment and certain metabolic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's disease can also increase symptoms.

If you are experiencing unusual dry mouth symptoms, see your dentist first for a full examination. Your dentist can measure your saliva flow, check your prescriptions and medical history, and examine your salivary glands for abnormalities. With this more accurate picture of your condition, they can help direct you to the most effective remedies and treatments for the cause.

If medication is the problem, you can talk to your doctor about alternative prescriptions that have a lesser effect on saliva flow. You can also drink more water before and after taking oral medication and throughout the day to help lubricate your mouth. Chewing gums or mints with xylitol, a natural alcohol sugar, can also help: xylitol helps reduce the mouth's bacterial levels, as well as stimulate saliva flow.

Easing your dry mouth symptoms can make your life more pleasant. More importantly, it can reduce your risk of future dental problems caused by a lack of saliva.

If you would like more information on dealing with chronic dry mouth, 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 “Dry Mouth: Learn about the Causes and treatment of this Common Problem.”