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Posts for: October, 2016

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
October 26, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
NewFrontTeethforaTeenagedDavidDuchovny

In real life he was a hard-charging basketball player through high school and college. In TV and the movies, he has gone head-to-head with serial killers, assorted bad guys… even mysterious paranormal forces. So would you believe that David Duchovny, who played Agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files and starred in countless other large and small-screen productions, lost his front teeth… in an elevator accident?

“I was running for the elevator at my high school when the door shut on my arm,” he explained. “The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital. I had fainted, fallen on my face, and knocked out my two front teeth.” Looking at Duchovny now, you’d never know his front teeth weren’t natural. But that’s not “movie magic” — it’s the art and science of modern dentistry.

How do dentists go about replacing lost teeth with natural-looking prosthetics? Today, there are two widely used tooth replacement procedures: dental implants and bridgework. When a natural tooth can’t be saved — due to advanced decay, periodontal disease, or an accident like Duchovny’s — these methods offer good looking, fully functional replacements. So what’s the difference between the two? Essentially, it’s a matter of how the replacement teeth are supported.

With state-of-the-art dental implants, support for the replacement tooth (or teeth) comes from small titanium inserts, which are implanted directly into the bone of the jaw. In time these become fused with the bone itself, providing a solid anchorage. What’s more, they actually help prevent the bone loss that naturally occurs after tooth loss. The crowns — lifelike replacements for the visible part of the tooth — are securely attached to the implants via special connectors called abutments.

In traditional bridgework, the existing natural teeth on either side of a gap are used to support the replacement crowns that “bridge” the gap. Here’s how it works: A one-piece unit is custom-fabricated, consisting of prosthetic crowns to replace missing teeth, plus caps to cover the adjacent (abutment) teeth on each side. Those abutment teeth must be shaped so the caps can fit over them; this is done by carefully removing some of the outer tooth material. Then the whole bridge unit is securely cemented in place.

While both systems have been used successfully for decades, bridgework is now being gradually supplanted by implants. That’s because dental implants don’t have any negative impact on nearby healthy teeth, while bridgework requires that abutment teeth be shaped for crowns, and puts additional stresses on them. Dental implants also generally last far longer than bridges — the rest of your life, if given proper care. However, they are initially more expensive (though they may prove more economical in the long run), and not everyone is a candidate for the minor surgery they require.

Which method is best for you? Don’t try using paranormal powers to find out: Come in and talk to us. If you would like more information about tooth replacement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework,” and “Dental Implants.”


By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
October 18, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   braces   Invisalign  

What Invisalign from your LaGrange, Illinois dentist can do for your smile

You want a straighter smile, but you don’t want to wear metal brackets and wires for years. It’s time for you to discover the state-of-the-art invisalignmethod of straightening your smile; it’s called Invisalign! Dr. James M. Maragos in LaGrange, Illinois wants to help you straighten your smile without impacting your life.

Invisalign orthodontic appliances are different from conventional methods of straightening your smile. With Invisalign, you avoid metal brackets and wires; instead, you can straighten your teeth with aligners that are virtually invisible, with minimal time involvement, and far fewer visits to your dentist. Your dentist in LaGrange wants you to know about the many reasons people choose Invisalign. With Invisalign, you will experience treatment that is:

  • Virtually invisible, because the appliances are clear plastic
  • Speedy, because Invisalign treatment takes only 9 to 15 months
  • Comfortable, because Invisalign has no sharp metal parts, only smooth plastic
  • Convenient, because you can remove the appliance when you want
  • Enjoyable, because you can eat the foods you love without worry
  • Healthy, because you can clean your teeth normally, including brushing and flossing

Your Invisalign treatment in LaGrange begins with your first set of trays, called aligners. You wear this first set for two weeks and change to another set, which you wear for another two weeks. You change aligners every two weeks as your teeth slowly and comfortably move into perfect alignment. Your Invisalign treatment is complete after 9 to 15 months. That’s it!

Invisalign treatment may be different from conventional metal braces, but it can correct all of the same tooth alignment and bite issues as conventional braces, such as:

  • Crossbite or open bite
  • Underbite or overbite
  • Crowding, overlapping, or widely spaced teeth

You can straighten your smile without impacting your life. The answer is Invisalign! Why settle for old school, uncomfortable, unsightly metal brackets and wires when you can straighten your teeth easily and quickly. You deserve a great smile, and Invisalign can help. Call Dr. James M. Maragos in LaGrange, Illinois today and find out how Invisalign can improve your smile and your life!


By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
October 11, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: canker sores  
StopAnnoyingCankerSoreswithTheseEffectiveTreatments

Sometimes it's the little things that can be most annoying. Those occasional small sores that pop up on the inside of your mouth are a case in point. Although in most instances they won't last long and aren't anything to be alarmed about, they can still cause you some discomfort.

These small sores are called aphthous ulcers or more commonly “canker sores.” They are breaks in the skin or mucosa, the inner lining of the mouth, and occur most often on the inside cheeks, lips, tongue and occasionally on the soft palate at the back of the throat. They usually appear round with a yellow-gray center and an intensely red outer ring or "halo."

Canker sores often appear during periods of high stress or because of minor trauma, and usually last for a week or two. They often have a tingling pain that can be aggravated when you eat and drink acidic or spicy foods and beverages. About 20 to 25% of people have a form known as recurrent aphthous stomatitis (mouth inflammation) that occurs regularly with multiple sores and heightened pain.

It's possible to manage the discomfort of minor, occasional bouts with a number of over-the-counter products that cover the sore to protect it and boost healing, with some providing a numbing agent for temporary pain relief. For more serious outbreaks we can also prescribe topical steroids in gels or rinses, injections or other medications.

While canker sores don't represent a health danger, there are instances where you should take outbreaks more seriously: if a sore hasn't healed after two weeks; if you've noticed an increase in pain, frequency or duration of outbreaks; or if you're never without a sore. In these cases we may need to biopsy some of the tissue (and possibly run some blood tests) to ensure they're not pre-cancerous or cancerous.

In any event, we can work with you to reduce your symptoms and help the sores heal quickly. This particular “little thing” in life doesn't have to stress you out.

If you would like more information on mouth sores, 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 “Mouth Sores: Understanding and treating canker sores.”




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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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