Posts for: April, 2017

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
April 25, 2017
Category: Oral Health

For many people the loss of teeth is associated with aging, however, others may have issues with their teeth because of ignored signs of gum diseaseperiodontal disease. Don’t be that person! One of the best ways to avoid developing gum disease is through preventative dental care from your LaGrange, Illinois family dentist Dr. James Maragos. Many times, individuals don’t even know they have any symptoms of the disease. This makes regular dental examinations and cleanings imperative.

Signs of Periodontal Disease

If someone doesn’t follow regular oral hygiene routine, they will develop early signs of the disease known as gingivitis. If this is left untreated, it can progress to periodontitis, which causes bone loss around the teeth. After this bone tissue is lost, the gums will detach from the teeth and form pockets that can lead to infection. As the disease gets worse, it can lead to more bone loss and later, tooth loss. The good news is that it can be controlled with professional dental care from your Lagrange, Illinois family dentist Dr. Maragos.

Knowing the signs of periodontal disease is very important. Some of the most common ones include (and not limited to):

  • Receding/bleeding gums
  • Abscesses
  • Redness/swelling of the gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Teeth sensitivity

Treatment for periodontal disease includes plaque removal, scaling or root planing from a dental professional. In the most severe cases, surgery may be required. Ultimately, the type of treatment that is used to treat periodontal disease will depend on the severity and the stage of the gum disease as well as the patient’s existing tooth/gum structure.

In order to schedule an important appointment with your family dentist Dr. Maragos, call his office in LaGrange, Illinois today at (708) 352-7358. A dental professional can help you from progressing to dangerous stages of gum disease that can lead to tooth loss.

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
April 17, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Everyone loves a concert where there's plenty of audience participation… until it starts to get out of hand. Recently, the platinum-selling band Fifth Harmony was playing to a packed house in Atlanta when things went awry for vocalist Camila Cabello. Fans were batting around a big plastic ball, and one unfortunate swing sent the ball hurtling toward the stage — and directly into Cabello's face. Pushing the microphone into her mouth, it left the “Worth It” singer with a chipped front tooth.

Ouch! Cabello finished the show nevertheless, and didn't seem too upset. “Atlanta… u wild… love u,” she tweeted later that night. “Gotta get it fixed now tho lol.” Fortunately, dentistry offers a number of ways to make that chipped tooth look as good as new.

A small chip at the edge of the tooth can sometimes be polished with dental instruments to remove the sharp edges. If it's a little bigger, a procedure called dental bonding may be recommended. Here, the missing part is filled in with a mixture of plastic resin and glass fillers, which are then cured (hardened) with a special light. The tooth-colored bonding material provides a tough, lifelike restoration that's hard to tell apart from your natural teeth. While bonding can be performed in just one office visit, the material can stain over time and may eventually need to be replaced.

Porcelain veneers are a more long-lasting solution. These wafer-thin coverings go over the entire front surface of the tooth, and can resolve a number of defects — including chips, discoloration, and even minor size or spacing irregularities. You can get a single veneer or have your whole smile redone, in shades ranging from a pearly luster to an ultra-bright white; that's why veneers are a favorite of Hollywood stars. Getting veneers is a procedure that takes several office visits, but the beautiful results can last for many years.

If a chip or crack extends into the inner part of a tooth, you'll probably need a crown (or cap) to restore the tooth's function and appearance. As long as the roots are healthy, the entire part of the tooth above the gum line can be replaced with a natural-looking restoration. You may also need a root canal to remove the damaged pulp material and prevent infection if the fracture went too far. While small chips or cracks aren't usually an emergency (unless accompanied by pain), damage to the tooth's pulp requires prompt attention.

If you have questions about smile restoration, please contact us and schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers: Strength & Beauty As Never Before” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”

By Dr. James M. Maragos, DDS, PC
April 09, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: pediatric dentistry   x-rays  

X-ray imaging is a routine part of a child's dental care — and it undeniably makes a difference in preventing and treating dental disease. It's so routine, we can easily forget they're being exposed to an invisible form of electromagnetic radiation.  And just like other sources of radiation, too much x-ray exposure could increase the risk of cancer.

But while it's possible for your child to be over-exposed to x-rays, it's highly unlikely. That's because healthcare professionals like dentists adhere to a standard known as ALARA when considering and administering x-rays. ALARA is an acronym for “as low as reasonably achievable.” In other words, we only want to expose a patient to the lowest and safest levels of x-ray dosage and frequency that will achieve the most benefit.

To achieve that standard, professional dental organizations advocate the use of x-rays only after a clinical examination of the patient, as well as a thorough review of their medical history for any usage of x-rays for other conditions. If x-rays are warranted, we then take further precautions to protect the patient and staff, and only use the type of x-ray application that's absolutely necessary. For most children that will be a set of two or four bitewing radiographs, which are quite effective for detecting decay in back teeth.

This dosage of radiation in a session of bitewing radiographs is roughly a fifth of the background radiation in the environment a child may be exposed to every day. By spacing these sessions at least six months apart, we're able to achieve a high level of decay detection at a safe and reasonable amount of x-ray exposure.

On top of that, the digital advances in x-ray imaging have reduced the amount of radiation energy needed to achieve the same results as we once did with film. These lower exposure levels and the ALARA standard helps ensure your child's exposure to x-rays will be well within safe limits.

If you would like more information on the use of x-rays with children, 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 “X-Ray Safety for Children.”

Call Today (708) 352-7358

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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