Posts for: November, 2015

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
November 21, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: jaw pain   tmj   tmd  

As many as 36 million adults in the U.S. suffer from some form of chronic jaw pain. What’s more, many of these may also experience other painful conditions like arthritis or chronic fatigue in other parts of their body.

Chronic jaw pain is actually a group of difficult to define disorders collectively referred to as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD or also TMD). TMD not only refers to pain symptoms of the temporomandibular (jaw) joints but also of the jaw muscles and surrounding connective tissue. Most physicians and dentists agree TMD arises from a complex range of conditions involving inheritable factors, gender (many sufferers are women of childbearing age), environment and behavior.

A recent survey of approximately 1,500 TMD patients found that nearly two-thirds of them also suffered from three or more related health problems like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, depression and problems sleeping. The understanding of TMD’s connection with these other conditions is in its early stages of research, but there’s avid interest among healthcare providers to learn more and possibly devise new treatments for TMD in coordination with these other related conditions.

In the meantime, TMD patients continue to respond best with the traditional approach to treatment, including physical therapy, thermal (hot or cold) compresses to the area of pain, medication and modifying the diet with more easier to chew foods. In extreme cases, jaw surgery may be recommended; however, success with this approach has been mixed, so it’s advisable to get a second opinion before choosing to undergo a surgical procedure.

Hopefully, further study about TMD and its connection with other conditions may yield newer treatments to ease the pain and discomfort of all these conditions, including TMD. You can stay up to date on these and other developments for coping with the discomfort of TMD at and through your healthcare provider team.

If you would like more information on TMD, 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 “Chronic Jaw Pain and Associated Conditions.”

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
November 10, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out more about this cosmetic procedure and what it could do to improve your smile.

It can be difficult to figure out what cosmetic procedures are right for you. Find out if it’s time to talk to your LaGrange, IL dentist Dr. James Cosmetic ContouringM. Maragos about dental contouring.

Q. Why might I want to consider dental contouring?

A. If you are unhappy with the shape and look of your smile and are looking to make subtle changes then your LaGrange dentist may recommend dental contouring, which could give you a more attractive smile quickly.

Q. What can cosmetic contouring do for my smile?

A. There are many issues that can be fixed through tooth contouring. If a tooth is longer than the rest, or if a tooth is jagged or too pointy this procedure can remove enamel to reshape the tooth. Many minor imperfections that affect the shape of the tooth can be altered with this procedure.

Q. What is the contouring procedure like?

A. After we examine your smile and not only determine that this procedure is right for you but that you also aren’t dealing with any cavities or infection (which will need to be treated first) we will use a polishing tool to remove small pieces of enamel from your teeth. By removing enamel from the tooth we can help to reshape the tooth or teeth to give you a more even smile.

Q. Is this cosmetic treatment painful?

A. This procedure is completely painless and non-invasive. The polishing tool we use is gentle and because we aren’t removing larger sections of enamel you won’t need anesthesia.

Q. Can this procedure change the surface texture of my teeth?

A. Yes, there are absolutely cases in which we can improve the texture of your teeth if the issue is minimal. If you have a pitted texture your LaGrange, IL cosmetic dentist may be able to smooth out the outer layers of the tooth. But those with more moderate to severe texture problems may need to consider other cosmetic treatments like veneers if cosmetic contouring can’t achieve the results you want.

Call our office today to schedule a consultation and let’s talk about cosmetic contouring. This could be the perfect treatment option for your smile. Let’s find out!

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
November 06, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Let’s say you’re traveling to Italy to surprise your girlfriend, who is competing in an alpine ski race… and when you lower the scarf that’s covering your face, you reveal to the assembled paparazzi that one of your front teeth is missing. What will you do about this dental dilemma?

Sound far-fetched? It recently happened to one of the most recognized figures in sports — Tiger Woods. There’s still some uncertainty about exactly how this tooth was taken out: Was it a collision with a cameraman, as Woods’ agent reported… or did Woods already have some problems with the tooth, as others have speculated? We still don’t know for sure, but the big question is: What happens next?

Fortunately, contemporary dentistry offers several good solutions for the problem of missing teeth. Which one is best? It depends on each individual’s particular situation.

Let’s say that the visible part of the tooth (the crown) has been damaged by a dental trauma (such as a collision or a blow to the face), but the tooth still has healthy roots. In this case, it’s often possible to keep the roots and replace the tooth above the gum line with a crown restoration (also called a cap). Crowns are generally made to order in a dental lab, and are placed on a prepared tooth in a procedure that requires two office visits: one to prepare the tooth for restoration and to make a model of the mouth and the second to place the custom-manufactured crown and complete the restoration. However, in some cases, crowns can be made on special machinery right in the dental office, and placed during the same visit.

But what happens if the root isn’t viable — for example, if the tooth is deeply fractured, or completely knocked out and unable to be successfully re-implanted?

In that case, a dental implant is probably the best option for tooth replacement. An implant consists of a screw-like post of titanium metal that is inserted into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Titanium has a unique property: It can fuse with living bone tissue, allowing it to act as a secure anchor for the replacement tooth system. The crown of the implant is similar to the one mentioned above, except that it’s made to attach to the titanium implant instead of the natural tooth.

Dental implants look, function and “feel” just like natural teeth — and with proper care, they can last a lifetime. Although they may be initially expensive, their quality and longevity makes them a good value over the long term. A less-costly alternative is traditional bridgework — but this method requires some dental work on the adjacent, healthy teeth; plus, it isn’t expected to last as long as an implant, and it may make the teeth more prone to problems down the road.

What will the acclaimed golfer do? No doubt Tiger’s dentist will help him make the right tooth-replacement decision.

If you have a gap in your grin — whatever the cause — contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation, and find out which tooth-replacement system is right for you. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implant Surgery” and “Crowns & Bridgework.”

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4727 Willow Springs Road
LaGrange, IL 60525

James M. Maragos, D.D.S.

Dr. Maragos’ commitment to his community parallels his commitment to his profession. In 2007, he was elected to... 

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