• What Is Periodontal Disease?
    November 19, 2019

    What Is Periodontal Disease?

    What Is It?

    Periodontal disease is another term for gum disease, and it refers to an infection of the tissue that surrounds and holds your teeth in place. There are two distinct stages to periodontal disease: The first stage, gingivitis, involves swelling and reddening of the gum tissue. The second, periodontitis, can mean the gums actually pulling away from teeth, bones deteriorating, and teeth loosening and potentially falling out.

    What Causes It?

    The simplest explanation for what causes periodontal disease is bacteria. The bacteria in the mouth, left unchecked, forms a film on the teeth called plaque that eventually hardens into tartar (calculus). This tartar spreads — sometimes below the gum line — and this infection causes inflammation and damage to teeth, gums, and bone.

    What Are Its Risk Factors?

    While bacteria is the main culprit behind periodontal disease, there are a number of behaviors or factors that can put a person at higher risk of it developing and progressing. Some of the leading risk factors are:

    • Smoking

    • Poor oral hygiene

    • Diabetes

    • Diseases that suppress the immune system

    • Medications that reduce saliva production

    • Hormonal changes in girls and women

    • Stress

    • Crooked teeth

    • Genetic predisposition

    What Are Its Warning Signs?

    Some of the most common and obvious signs of periodontal disease include:

    • Red/swollen gums

    • Tender/bleeding gums

    • Persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth

    • Sensitive teeth

    • Pain when chewing

    • Changes to your bite

    • Pulling away of gum tissue from teeth

    • Loose teeth

    How Is It Treated?

    Once the dentist or hygienist has diagnosed the periodontal disease, the first thing for patients to keep in mind is that the success of any treatment option is going to depend on their willingness to keep up good oral hygiene habits at home. That said, the early stage of periodontal disease — gingivitis — can be treated with regular cleanings from your hygienist in concert with daily brushing and flossing. More advanced periodontal disease might require more aggressive treatment options, such as deep-cleaning of the roots below the gum surface, antibiotics or other medications taken orally or placed below the gums, and even oral surgery.

    Additional Facts About Periodontal Disease

    According to the CDC:

    • 47% of all adults over 30 have some form of periodontal disease

    • 70% of adults over 65 have the disease

    • Periodontal disease is more common in men (56%) than in women (38%)

    • 64% of current smokers have periodontal disease



  • Why Would I Need A Dental Crown?
    November 8, 2019

    Why Would I Need A Dental Crown?

    Who Needs Dental Crowns?

    There are many people who can benefit from dental crowns, including those:

    • with teeth that have such extensive decay that fillings are not an option

    • with weakened teeth that need protection from breaking or cracking apart

    • with teeth that are already cracked

    • with teeth that are extremely worn down

    • who need to have a dental bridge held in place

    • who need to cover a dental implant

    • who want to cover or make a cosmetic improvement to their existing teeth

    Why Choose Dental Crowns?

    A properly fit and placed crown can last for decades, significantly longer than the average filling tends to last. Unlike fillings, a dental crown covers the entire tooth, protecting it against future tooth decay. Crowns are required for covering dental implants, and they are ideal in mirroring the exact color and shape of the teeth they’re replacing. Crowns can hold together cracked teeth and often prevent the necessity of extracting teeth. They can also be employed to close the gaps between teeth and correct minor problems with tooth positioning. Finally, dental crowns can cover stained or misshapen teeth, producing a much nicer smile and boosting one’s self-confidence.

    What Does a Dental Crown Procedure Involve?

    Tradition Dental Crowns

    With traditional dental crowns, a patient needs to come in for at least two separate visits, usually spaced out about two to three weeks. At the first appointment, the tooth to be crowned is examined and prepared. The dentist and his/her assistants will take X-rays of the tooth itself and the bone surrounding to check for the extent of decay or damage. In some cases, a root canal may have to be done before proceeding with a crown. The next step is to file down the top and sides of the tooth to accommodate the crown. If there is extensive decay and too much tooth has to be removed, the dentist will add a filling material to build up the remaining tooth structure. Once the shaping of the tooth structure is finished, an impression is made of that tooth (which will serve as the basis for the new crown), along with the tooth above or below to ensure that the patient’s bite is not affected. The dentist will send off the impressions to a dental lab and place a temporary crown over the tooth at the end of the first appointment — this will serve to protect the tooth during the 2-3 weeks it takes for the lab to create the permanent crown. At the second and final visit, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is checked for fit and color. When these checks are finished, the permanent crown is cemented into place, sometimes with the aid of a local anesthetic.

    Same-Day Crowns

    The process for same-day crowns is the same as for traditional crowns, right up until the point when impressions are taken. With same-day crowns, there is no need for the use of traditional gel tray impressions: A 3D scanning wand is placed inside the patient’s mouth that maps the shape of the teeth and sends this information directly to a CAD/CAM milling machine that will create the permanent crown in under an hour.

    How to Arrange Your Own Dental Crown

    If you have concerns about decay or damage to a tooth and believe that a dental crown might be the best course, please call our office at (608) 424-3222 to set up your consultation with Dr. Yakowicz, or reserve your preferred appointment time online.



  • Brushing Your Teeth – Are You Doing It Wrong?
    June 27, 2018

    Did you know that certain times of day might be better for brushing than others? While it’s always recommended to brush your teeth twice per day, and floss once per day, your timing is also important.

    If you love your pearly whites and want to keep them around as long as possible (because face it, life would be pretty difficult without your teeth), read more to improve your tooth brushing game. (more…)

  • What Happens in Your Mouth While You Sleep?
    June 13, 2018

    Ah, nighttime… the end of the day, the ceasing of work, and hopefully a good night’s sleep. But did you know things are still happening in your mouth all night long, even if you’re blissfully unaware of it? Dr. Yakowicz, Belleville dentist sheds some light on the world of your mouth and everything going on inside of it while you catch some zzz’s. (more…)

  • No Tradesies: Packing Mouth-Healthy Lunches for Kiddos
    May 27, 2018

    Breakfast is always being touted as the most important meal of the day—and for good reason! It’s important for Belleville families to kickstart their day with nutrients that will help them power through school, work, socializing, sports, homework… does anyone else feel exhausted just thinking about it all?

    The right foods in your child’s lunch can help boost their energy and keep those brains, bodies, and mouths going all day! Alternatively, lunches full of sugary, sticky, acidic foods and beverages can accelerate tooth decay and cause your child to feel sluggish both physically and mentally.

    Dr. Yakowicz of Neighborhood Smiles loves to share ideas on what to include in your child’s lunch to keep their smile safe and their health optimal… and perhaps what to leave out and have as an occasional treat for good behavior. (more…)

  • Bacteria: The Good, the Bad & the Neutral
    May 13, 2018

    Living in a land of antibacterial gels, soaps, plastics, and even fabrics, it might surprise you to hear that tons of bacteria live in your mouth every day, and they aren’t all bad! In fact, some play an important role in keeping up your overall health. Some oral bacteria, however, can cause serious problems and must be fought with good oral hygiene. Dr. Yakowicz from Neighborhood Smiles in Belleville would like to help you understand the role bacteria play in your health and wellness. (more…)

  • The Smoking Gun: Tobacco & Oral Health
    April 27, 2018

    They say not everything natural is good for you. Nature has many poisons that humans have experimented with and learned the hard way to avoid. Tobacco is a popular plant that we’ve learned can really do a number on your health. Using tobacco is a personal and communal practice that can be really hard to avoid, even if you know it’s bad for you. Working with your doctor and dentist will be essential if you’re concerned about your health and want to stop using tobacco. (more…)

  • What Are Those Bumps? Oral Tori
    April 13, 2018

    Unusual shapes and growths can be alarming anywhere in the body. If you’ve noticed hard bumps growing in your mouth, you might have oral tori.

    What are Oral Tori?

    Tori (or a single torus) are bumps in the mouth made of bone tissue covered by gum tissue. They grow slowly and some people have them without ever noticing them! There are three kinds of tori, each named differently based on their location:

    • Buccal exostoses: tori on the back, upper gums, on the cheek side
    • Maxillary/palatal tori: on the roof of the mouth
    • Mandibular/lingual tori: on the lower jaw, under the tongue


  • The Oral-Systemic Link: Risk Factors for Tooth Decay
    March 27, 2018

    Did you know the same plaque that decays your teeth can cause major heart problems? What if you could fight plaque and heart failure both by improving your oral health? Dr. Yakowicz in Belleville is here to tell you more!

    Someone dies from a heart attack every minute, according to the American Heart Association, and most heart attacks (and 85% of strokes) are caused by cholesterol build-up – aka plaque.

    But there is good news. You can work with your Belleville dentist and your doctor to understand and minimize your risk factors for developing plaque and tooth decay. (more…)

  • Orthodontics 101
    March 13, 2018

    A healthy, beautiful smile is important for your overall health and life satisfaction. If your teeth are too close to each other, too far apart, too crooked, or if they fit together uncomfortably when your mouth is closed, it’s likely you have malocclusion.

    From the root words “mal” for bad, and “occlusion” for closed, malocclusion refers to a poor position of your teeth when your mouth is closed. The solution for malocclusion is orthodontics to straighten your teeth. (The root word “ortho” means straight.)

    The specific position of your mouth when it’s closed is called your bite. Your bite can be either healthy or unhealthy, and an unhealthy bite can cause all sorts of problems. Kids and adults alike can benefit from fixing an improper bite.

    Needing orthodontic treatment is a good example of when cosmetic dentistry is both beautiful and practical. Belleville dentist, Dr. Yakowicz shares all you need to know about getting orthodontic treatment at Neighborhood Smiles. (more…)

Call Today

(608) 424-3222

1 Step 1
Schedule an Appointment
Preferred Appointment Time

Do not include sensitive personal, financial, or other confidential information (social security, account number, login, passwords, etc.).

FormCraft - WordPress form builder