Beyond the Chair – Get to know your dentist, Dr. Shefali Patel

We all know and respect Dr. Patel as a highly skilled dentist who cares deeply about her patients. Her chair-side manner is always professional and compassionate! Getting to know her though can be difficult – as a two-way conversation with hands and tools in your mouth – makes it difficult to communicate! So, we took a few minutes out of her busy day to ask her some pressing questions for you!

 

Us:       How long have you been practicing dentistry?

Dr. P:     15 years

 

Us:       Where did you attend school?

Dr. P:     I attended University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for my undergraduate degree and then    attended UIC Dental School.
Us:       Was there a defining moment in your life when you knew you wanted to be a dentist?

Dr. P:      No, there was not a particular moment. I just knew since I was a sophomore in high school that this is what I wanted to be!

 

Us:       What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Dr. P:   Seeing families grow from having their first dental appointment with us all the way to graduating high school is definitely very rewarding.

 

Us:       Other than teeth, what are your other passions?

Dr. P:    Cooking, traveling, spending time with my boys

 

Us:       So, how old are your boys??

Dr. P:    I have 2 boys, ages 9 and 6

 

Us:       What is the best thing that happened to you this week?

Dr. P:   My son ASKED me if he could do the dishes!

 

Us:       Deep dish or thin crust?

Dr. P:   Thin crust. But deep dish when I want to indulge.

 

Us:       Beach or mountains?

Dr. P:   BEACH!

CEREC – A New Smile, While You Wait

Yes, it’s true. You can renew your smile with a permanent crown (and/or fillings) in one appointment. The days of scheduling an appointment for impressions (yuck!), inserting a temporary crown and waiting two to three weeks for the permanent crown to come in and returning for a follow up appointment are GONE. At Ivory Dental, most crowns are made in-office at ONE appointment while you wait, saving you time and the expense of return visits by using CEREC technology.

CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEramic REConstruction) is the unique treatment for all-ceramic restorations in one dental visit. In one chairside treatment, we use an intraoral camera to take a digital impression of your smile and create a virtual model of your tooth. The software then creates a computer-based construction of your tooth, which we are able to modify and tweak if needed. We point, click and send it to the milling machine, which creates your new ceramic tooth, while you wait. Your crown is made with the same materials used in a dental lab and will be durable and stain-resistant. We paint and glaze your tooth accordingly to be sure it “matches” your smile before cementing. The entire procedure takes approximately 2 hours total.

CEREC Benefits

* Single-visit convenience

* Hi-tech accuracy

* Natural, tooth-colored restoration

* Biocompatible, anti-abrasive and plaque resistant ceramic materials

* Metal free – no silver-colored fillings

* Preserves more healthy tooth material

* Extremely precise for long-lasting, natural results

Call our Plainfield dental office today for a consultation or just schedule an appointment!

Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel

 

Take Advantage of Your Dental Benefits!

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Your dental insurance benefits run on a calendar year and expire on December 31! You may have unused funds that will disappear at the end of the year! Don’t LOSE IT…USE IT!

We at Ivory Dental are encouraging you to use up these funds. Now is the time to book dental appointments for your kids when winter break begins! Have a college student who needs a check-up or a cleaning? Call us right away to get on the schedule while they are home for the holidays. If you have been holding off on your routine dental exam or have been putting off dental work, please give our office a call. Even items such as mouth/night guards, x-rays, teeth whitening treatments, or other cosmetic enhancements can be covered and/or funded by your insurance or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) dollars.

Give our office today to schedule your appointment!

Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel

Make A Wish

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We are so grateful to have our health care practices in Plainfield – one of the most supportive communities around. This summer, we had an amazing opportunity to give back to the community that has given so much to us.

This summer AIM and Ivory Dental sponsored a fundraiser for the Illinois Make A Wish Foundation. We wanted to help make dreams come true for a local child who was in much need of some hope in a very desperate time.

We hosted a wonderful invitation-only evening for a fun night at Tommy Nevins at English Rows to raise money for a local Plainfield girl who is battling a life-threatening heart condition. Her wish…to meet one of the founding member’s of her favorite pop-rock band. Through the generosity of those in attendance, we were able to raise over $8,000 through raffles and auction items to make her wish come true. This young lady and her family were flown to New York City for a backstage meet and greet with her idol and tickets to their show. Hearing feedback from her mother after her rockstar experience warmed our hearts. We are delighted that we could help bring joy into their lives for a weekend.

You can help make wishes come true too by supporting Make A Wish Illinois. Donate your airplane miles, run for charity or simply make a financial contribution. Visit www.illiniois.wish.org and click on “ways to help” to find out more.

Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel

Professional Teeth Whitening vs. Whitening at Home

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Research has shown that 47% Americans say a person’s smile is the first thing they notice when they meet someone. The accessibility of home whitening products and professional treatment have made a dazzling white smile a possibility for everyone.

First let’s talk about what causes teeth to turn yellow: smoking, coffee, tea, colas, and acidic foods erode the enamel of your teeth, making them more porous and susceptible to absorption of food and colors. Genetics, age and health also play a role. If the damage is already done, there are many over-the-counter ways to whiten your teeth at home and in-office options to consider as well.

Whitening At Home
Over-the-counter whitening options are readily available at any grocery or drug store at affordable prices. Whitening strips, toothpastes, rinses and pens provide affordable and effective ways to brighten your smile at home. Whitening toothpastes have the ability to clear surface stains, while pens allow for more precise touch-ups on stubborn stains, especially between teeth. For the most effective whitening, many consumers turn to white strips, which offer varying levels of whitening options that can go deeper than surface level. These treatments are cost-effective and work as well as many in-office procedures, as long as the instructions are followed. But keep in mind that most people are not totally compliant, since it’s not comfortable or convenient to keep a goopy tray or white strips in their mouths for 30 – 45 minutes per day while saliva starts overflowing!

Professional Teeth Whitening In-Office
In-office treatments usually begin with an ultraviolet light procedure. Within an hour, you will see an immediate difference in your smile. The process is safe and fast, but is obviously more expensive than over-the-counter products.

Most dentists will send you home with customized plastic trays and whitening gels to supplement the ultraviolet light treatment. Dentists will know when you have reached your whitening “end point” and will tell you to discontinue treatment. You can always use these trays for “touch ups” and use whitening toothpaste to brush away any surface stains for maintenance. If you prefer to skip the ultraviolet light treatment, many patients will opt for the customizable trays and gels to whiten at home.

Our patients have told us that white strips are very convenient and affordable for this type of maintenance and work just as well as the customizable trays. One drawback to white strips is that the strips are a specified length, and may not whiten all of your teeth, leaving the back teeth yellow. This is true also for stock whitening trays sold in the stores. Since they are not customized to your mouth, you may have issues with them fitting properly and may miss a tooth or apply too much on a tooth and have sensitivity issues.

Get your dentist involved.
If you are considering a whitening treatment, make sure you are up to date with all necessary dental work before you begin. Your dentist can determine the type of staining that you have and determine which treatment would be the most effective. You may be able to use your FSA money with in-office treatments. If you are hesitant, there is no harm in starting the process at home. Confused? Give us a call, and we can help you get started!

Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel

Proper tooth brushing techniques

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If you have never been taught the proper way to brush your teeth, you might need a refresher! Incidentally, many people have never been taught the proper way to brush. Brushing incorrectly can damage your teeth and result in poor oral health and tooth erosion. Here is the 4-1-1 on proper tooth brushing techniques!

Your toothpaste needs to have one key ingredient: fluoride. All the other options on the market that contain additional ingredients such as whitening agents, tartar or plaque control and mouthwash are fine as well. If you have sensitive teeth, you might find the “whitening” toothpastes to be problematic. Instead, choose one of the many options created for tooth sensitivity.

The most common mistake we make when brushing our teeth is moving too quickly. The assumption that the harder we brush, the cleaner our teeth will be is false. In fact, brushing your teeth vigorously with a back and forth sweeping motion can wear away your enamel and cause your gums to recede. Instead, we suggest using a soft bristle toothbrush (or electric) and brushing with short circular motions. Visualize the bristles going in between your teeth and in all the crevices. Holding your toothbrush at a slight angle will help!

Use the same “pattern” when brushing your teeth. Mentally divide your mouth into 4 quadrants: upper inside/upper outside/ lower inside/lower outside and conquer each area one by one. Then take care to brush the chewing surface. Don’t forget to rinse…and floss. This entire process should take at least 2 minutes. Set a timer if you must, to be sure you are spending enough time on those pearly whites!

Other helpful hints:

•  Brush at least 2 times a day! Floss once a day.

•  Don’t brush your teeth immediately after breakfast. Instead, brush your teeth right when you wake up    or wait until you get to work/school before brushing. If you brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking something acidic, you will start to wear away the enamel on your teeth.

•  Chew sugar free gum with xylitol between meals.

•  Replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every 3-4 months.

•   Store your toothbrush off the counter, away from the toilet. Those germs can travel a great distance! If you must store them on the counter in a holder, be sure the toothbrush head is not touching another toothbrush head – more germs!

Share these tips with other family members and don’t forget to practice your new tooth brushing techniques tonight before bed!

Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel

Month by Month Reminders for 2016

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We cannot believe the holidays are over! Our 2016 calendars are quickly filling up and our resolutions are already becoming after thoughts. Don’t be discouraged! We can help you stay organized – at least from a dental perspective! Here are some easy monthly reminders to help you stay on track in 2016!

 

January
Like most people you probably made a resolution to lose weight or eat clean/healthier in 2016. Do your body and your teeth a favor and start by giving up pop and sugary treats. When cravings strike, chew some sugar-free gum to keep your mind and your mouth busy. Commit to brushing and flossing 2 times a day and you will be on your way to your best year yet!

 

February
Be sure you have your family’s oral exams scheduled. Don’t wait until there is a problem to come in and see us. Prevention is key. Back to school appointments fill up quickly. All Illinois children entering kindergarten, grade 2, and grade 6 (enrolled in public, private and parochial schools) are required to have an oral health examination and submit a proof of dental examination. www.isbe.net/research/pdfs/dental_information.pdf

We recommend you see us every 6 months!

 

March
Thinking about whitening your teeth for spring break, graduation parties or weddings? Call our office to schedule an appointment. There are a variety of whitening options available to make your smile brighter! Your smile is your best accessory!

 

April
It’s time for a little spring-cleaning. Out with the old and in with the new! This old adage also applies to your toothbrushes! Hit the store and buy everyone a brand new toothbrush or two. Or, consider purchasing an electric toothbrush with disposable heads!

 

May
Kick the habit! Smoking doubles your risk for gum disease, yellows your teeth and obviously puts you at risk for a myriad of other diseases including mouth, throat and lung cancer. Let us know if we can help you, or contact your primary care doctor for assistance.

 

June
It’s swimsuit and wedding season. Resolve to eat more fruits, vegetables and dairy. The fiber in the fruits and veggies help scrub away food bits and plaque while the calcium in dairy is great for your teeth.

 

July
Set up an appointment to have mouth guards made for your kids! Fall sports are right around the corner. It’s so important to protect their teeth and jaw!

 

August
Remember to stay hydrated this month! That means drinking enough water (stay away from sugary sports drinks) when working out or enjoying the outdoors. Don’t forget the SPF, especially on your lips!

 

September
Make September smile makeover month. If you still have old, silver fillings or have something that you would like to change about your smile, make an appointment to see us.

 

October
Your little trick or treaters will bring home pounds and pounds of candy at the end of the month. Restrict their treats and consider donating extras to the troops. Operation Support our Troops in Lisle will take your donations and send the candy to the troops serving overseas in special care packages. www.osotamerica.org

 

November
Now is the time to check the funds in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and schedule any additional appointments accordingly. Most FSAs have a ‘use it or lose it’ policy, so now is the time to consider some cosmetic treatments if you are up to date on your oral exams! Contact your insurance company directly if you aren’t sure of your balance.

 

December
Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus for fun facts about teeth and the occasional cat video. We promise to keep you smiling during the hectic holiday season!

Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel

Make your list and check it twice!

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You’ve made your list and checked it twice, but whether you’ve been naughty or nice, a holiday to-do list can be daunting. Staying organized is key to holiday survival, so here are a few reminders:

• Schedule any treatment you might need prior to the end of the year. Most Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) have a “use it or lose it” policy. Check with your insurance company to find your FSA balance and use it! Call today to schedule your appointment before year-end.

• If you have any nagging dental issues, see us prior to heading out of town. Also, if your holiday plans include staying local, we offer emergency care if the situation arises.

• Need a few stocking stuffer ideas? Fun electric toothbrushes, travel-sized toothpastes and cinnamon flavored floss are fun and healthy alternatives to chocolates and other sugary treats.

• Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus for oral health tips, fun facts and dental news.

• Please note that our office will be closed December 24, 25 and 26.

We wish all of you a happy and safe holiday season and a healthy 2016!

Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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It is October, and it’s National Breast Cancer Awareness month. The color pink accents just about everything this month from signs in the grocery store to shoe laces on our favorite professional athlete…all to raise awareness of this terrible disease that affects so many and most of us know too well.

The worldwide incidence of breast cancer is up 20% from 2008. In the United States alone, 1 in 8 women will be diagnoses with breast cancer in their lifetime. Chances are you know someone who is currently battling breast cancer. Maybe you know a survivor. When breast cancer is detected early and is still in the localized stage, the 5 year relative survival rate is 100%*. Early detection is key. Prevention is a must.

Breast Cancer Early Detection (via preventcancer.org)
• In your 20s and 30s, have a clinical breast exam (CBE) by a health care professional at least every three years.
• Beginning at age 40, have an annual CBE.
• At age 40, begin annual screening mammography.
• If you are at high risk (see below) talk with your health care professional about beginning annual screening mammograms at a younger age and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
• If you have a family history of breast cancer, talk with your health care professional about genetic testing.
• At menopause, talk with your health care professional about whether you should have hormone replacement therapy.
• Breast self-exam is one way that you can get to know what is normal for your breasts. If you notice changes, see your health care professional right away.

Risk factors we can’t control
Unfortunately, there are risk factors associated with breast cancer that we can’t control or reverse:
• Gender
• Aging
• Family history
• Personal history
• Dense breast tissue and/or pre-existing conditions

While we are still looking for a cure, there is evidence that lifestyle changes can have a positive impact on reducing the risk for breast cancer. Similarly, these lifestyle changes have a positive impact on one’s overall health, thus reducing the risks for other diseases as well.

Prevention
• Breastfeed your babies
• Drink more water (out of BPA free bottles!)
• Consume less sugar – It has been said that ‘sugar feeds cancer’.
• Eat less fat – high fat diets fuel tumor growth.
• Limit your alcohol intake – no more than one drink a day for women and two a day for men.
• Quit smoking. Don’t start.
• Get moving! (at least 30-60 minutes 5 times a week)
• Know your numbers – Talk to your doctor about your weight, blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose numbers. Get blood work done to determine a baseline and watch these numbers annually.

Several sources attribute the rise in breast cancer rates to better detection measures and others say it is the cause of toxic chemicals in our food and environment, especially those that mimic or resemble estrogen in their structure. Cosmetics, toiletries, cleaning agents, birth control pills can contain carcinogens or endocrine disruptors that can increase breast cancer risk. For a more complete list, visit
http://www.breastcancerfund.org/clear-science/radiation-chemicals-and-breast-cancer/

Remember, everything in moderation. If you are at risk for breast cancer, it might be wise to eat organic and try to eliminate sources of toxins in your daily life. By sharing this type of information with each other, we can stop this disease before it starts. We care about you and your overall health.

Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel

Sources:
*American Cancer Society
breastcancerfund.org
preventcancer.org
cancer.org

Bedtime, books and brushing!

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If your kids have been in school for a few weeks, you may have them back on a normal bedtime schedule after a summer of staying up late and sleeping in. If not, nightly rituals can help with this transition, establishing expectations for kids and providing them with the tools to help them fall asleep quickly and stay asleep, so they can perform better in the classroom.

To ensure your child is able to fall asleep earlier in the evening, avoid caffeinated beverages, soda and snacks high in sugar. Not only are they bad for your children’s health and young teeth, they also make the bedtime transition even more difficult. We also recommend limiting screen time for your children as “bedtime” approaches. Intense television shows and video games can stimulate your children and research has shown that the “blue light” from cell phones, iPads and other devices can interfere with the brain’s ability to “shut down” for the night.

Instead, use relaxing activities such a soothing bath or a nightly story as part of their nighttime ritual. Bedtime is the ideal time for reading and bonding with your child after a long day. And, most schools require elementary aged students to “log” their daily reading by pages or by a specific amount of time. So why not wind down with a good book? We love these picture books that encourage good oral health habits in children. Be sure to check them out, especially if brushing and flossing are a struggle at home. All are available on Amazon.

1. Brush, Brush Brush, by Alicia Padron
2. Open Wide: Tooth School Inside, by Laurie Keller
3. Melvin the Magnificent Molar, by Lara Jana
4. Pony Brushes his Teeth, by Michael Dahl
5. Clarabella’s Teeth, by An Vrombaut
6. The Tooth Book, by Dr. Seuss
7. Have You Ever Seen a Moose Brushing his Teeth? by Jamie McClaine & April Goodman Willy
8. The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums, by Edward Miller
9. Brush Your Teeth Please (pop-up), by Leslie McGuire
10. I know Why I Brush My Teeth, by Kate Rowan

So remember to set a nightly ritual, such as bath, brush, then into bed to cuddle and read a book. I find with my own children that even if they are dragging to brush their teeth at night time, the thought of the final step of reading and cuddling together gets them to brush more easily. We wish all parents and children a very healthy, restful and successful school year!

Keep Shining!
Dr. Patel

Source: babble.com
scholastic.com