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Posts for: January, 2017


With a 95%-plus success rate, dental implants are an effective and durable replacement for lost teeth. But we can't place them and forget them: if you don't clean and maintain them they could fail as a result of disease.

The inorganic materials that make up the implant aren't in danger of infection. But the living gums and bone that surround and support the implant are at risk. In fact, there's a particular periodontal (gum) disease involving implants called peri-implantitis (“peri” – around; implant “itis” – inflammation).

Peri-implantitis begins when the gum tissues around the implant become infected and inflamed. This happens most commonly because plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles, builds up on implant surfaces. Another less frequent cause is a buildup of excess cement used to bond the crown to the implant. We need to remove the built-up plaque or the excess cement during your dental visit.

If the infection isn't treated or you don't keep up effective, daily hygiene practices, the infection can grow and extend deeper into the tissues and finally the bone. This can destroy the all-important integration of bone and metal titanium post that has created the implant's strong hold. When that support becomes compromised the implant can lose its attachment and, if untreated, eventually fail.

It's important to keep an eye out for any indications you may have a gum infection around an implant. Look for redness, swelling, bleeding or pus formation. If the implant feels loose, this may mean that extensive bone loss has already occurred. If you encounter any of these signs, see us immediately for an examination.

The best approach, though, is to prevent peri-implantitis in the first place. So, brush and floss daily around your implant as you do your natural teeth. And be sure you keep up regular dental cleanings and checkups.

With proper care and maintenance you can avoid problems with disease that could affect your implant. Healthy gums and bone will ensure your implant will last for many decades to come.

If you would like more information on preventing disease involving your dental implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Valerin Dental Group
January 18, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Restorative dentistry is the treatment of diseased teeth in order to bring them back to their best health. This field of dentistry also includes restorative dentistrythe replacement or repair of defective or damaged teeth. Located in Peoria, IL, Valerin Dental is the go-to dental office for those seeking the latest in state-of-the-art dentistry. Dr. Manny Valerin is one of Peoria, IL's finest dentists. Here are six common restorative procedures to help your smile.

Dental Fillings

Even after trying your best to prevent decay, sometimes the dentist finds a cavity or two. Dental fillings are used to treat cavities and repair cracked or broken teeth. A dental filling is a way to restore a damaged tooth back to its normal shape and function. Many fillings last 20 years or more, and the highest-quality fillings — especially those that are well taken care of — may last a lifetime.

Onlays & Inlays

Dental onlays and inlays are used when old dental fillings need to be replaced. Dental onlays are more extensive and extend over the cusps of the treated teeth. Dental inlays are similar to fillings and fit inside the cusp tips of the teeth. Onlays and inlays preserve the maximum amount of healthy tooth structure while restoring damaged or decayed areas, helping to ensure functional longevity.

Dental Implants

Dental implants have become the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone beneath the gum line that allows your dentist to mount artificial teeth or a dental bridge into that area. Not only do dental implants end the embarrassment of an incomplete smile, but they also prevent the issues that are caused when the spaces are left unfilled.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges, like dentures and implants, are used to replace missing teeth. A fixed dental bridge is made up of two or more dental crowns for the teeth on either side of the gap and a prosthetic tooth/teeth in between. These prosthetic teeth are called pontics and can be made from alloys, porcelain, or a combination of these materials. A bridge will restore your ability to speak and chew and prevent your existing teeth from drifting out of position.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that are placed over teeth -- to restore their size and shape, strength, and improve their appearance. Crowns are made from several types of materials, including composite resin, porcelain, ceramic, or a combination of these materials. In the process of making a dental crown, the material is colored to blend in with your natural teeth.


A denture is a removable appliance that can replace your missing teeth. Full dentures are removable dental appliances that are used to replace a full set of teeth. A partial denture is used when some teeth remain. A denture will improve your appearance and make you look younger. Even a few missing teeth can cause your face to take on a sunken appearance but a denture will reverse that by giving your cheeks definition and shape.

Your smile, it defines you, it's a part of your unique personality. That's why it's important to take great care of your smile by flossing, brushing, and visiting the dentist. If you want to improve your smile, call Valerin Dental in Peoria, IL at (309) 693-2310 right now to schedule your next dental appointment. We believe that everyone deserves a healthy, beautiful smile!

By Valerin Dental Group
January 09, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

If we could go back in time, we all probably have a few things we wish we could change. Recently, Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors, shared one of his do-over dreams with Dear Doctor magazine: “If I [could have] gone back and told myself as a teenager what to do, I would have worn a mouthguard, not only to protect my teeth but also to help potentially reduce risk of concussion.”

What prompted this wish? The fact that as a teenage basketball player, Stork received an elbow to the mouth that caused his two front teeth to be knocked out of place. The teeth were put back in position, but they soon became darker and began to hurt. Eventually, both were successfully restored with dental crowns. Still, it was a painful (and costly) injury — and one that could have been avoided.

You might not realize it, but when it comes to dental injuries, basketball ranks among the riskier sports. Yet it’s far from the only one. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are some two dozen others — including baseball, hockey, surfing and bicycling — that carry a heightened risk of dental injury. Whenever you’re playing those sports, the ADA recommends you wear a high-quality mouth guard.

Mouthguards have come a long way since they were introduced as protective equipment for boxers in the early 1900’s. Today, three different types are widely available: stock “off-the-shelf” types that come in just a few sizes; mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” types that you adapt to the general contours of your mouth; and custom-made high-quality mouthguards that are made just for you at the dental office.

Of all three types, the dentist-made mouthguards are consistently found to be the most comfortable and best-fitting, and the ones that offer your teeth the greatest protection. What’s more, recent studies suggest that custom-fabricated mouthguards can provide an additional defense against concussion — in fact, they are twice as effective as the other types. That’s why you’ll see more and more professional athletes (and plenty of amateurs as well) sporting custom-made mouthguards at games and practices.

“I would have saved myself a lot of dental heartache if I had worn a mouthguard,” noted Dr. Stork. So take his advice: Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports — unless you’d like to meet him (or one of his medical colleagues) in a professional capacity…

If you would like more information about mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Athletic Mouthguards.”

By Valerin Dental Group
January 01, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants require a surgical procedure. But don't let your imagination run wild — the procedure is relatively minor and easy for most people to undergo.

Implants are unique among restorations because they replace a tooth's root. A metal titanium post, substituting for the root, must be surgically placed into the jawbone. While the procedure itself is simple and no more involved than a tooth extraction, it does require careful attention to detail before, during and afterward.

Our first step is to examine the target site with x-rays (often CT scanning) to pinpoint the best location for placement. This is critical because where we place the implant will have a huge bearing on how attractive and natural the implant finally appears. From this evaluation we frequently create a surgical guide.

Surgery begins with a local anesthesia to completely numb the site. You will feel no pain during the procedure and only minimal discomfort for a few days afterward. We then make small incisions in the gums to access the bone and create a small channel or hole.

Using the surgical guide, we then initiate a drilling sequence that gradually increases the size of the channel until it's the size and shape of the implant post. One thing we must do at this point is take our time: we use gentle pressure and water-cooling to avoid overheating and damaging the bone.

Once we're finished with drilling we remove the implant from its sterile packaging and imbed it directly into the prepared channel. It's then a matter of verifying the location with x-rays and then closing the gum tissue with self-absorbing sutures if necessary.

Most patients only need mild pain medication like aspirin or ibuprofen to manage discomfort afterwards. You won't even notice it in a week or less. After several weeks in which the bone grows and adheres to the implant (a process called osseointegration), you'll be ready for the final step, attaching the life-like porcelain crown to the implant.

Although the process can take several weeks to months, your discomfort should be minimal at any stage. In the end, your patience will be rewarded with a new, more attractive smile.

If you would like more information on the process of obtaining dental implants, 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 “Dental Implant Surgery.”