The Family Photo from a Dentist’s Perspective

Pretty Smiles for the family photo

Do you spend a great deal of holiday time stressing, not about Christmas shopping, tree decorating, or cookie baking, but simply on how you are going to get your kids or grandkids, or even your husband, to smile at your annual family photo session? Many moms feel frazzled during the holiday season, trying to achieve… Read more »

Relief for Your Jaw Pain

Relief for Jaw Pain

Have you been waking up with headaches, and feeling unrested? Maybe you have noticed a popping sound when you open your mouth wide, or a ringing in your ears. Are your teeth suddenly extra sensitive to cold foods and beverages? These may seem like unrelated annoyances, but they are actually common symptoms of temporal mandibular… Read more »

Gum Disease, 80% Of Americans Have It

Gum disease

Gum Disease (periodontal disease) is a chronic infection of the gums. It is caused by bacterial plaque that accumulates on teeth and destroys the gums.  Plaque can accumulate on teeth if proper oral hygiene habits are not observed, although some people are simply more prone to plaque buildup than others. Various medications and health conditions… Read more »

The Human Touch

A gentle human touch

It’s amazing just how far the field of dentistry has evolved thanks to modern day technology and science. For dental professionals today, it’s not enough to just keep your patients’ teeth clean. Continuing education courses and countless hours and dollars are constantly being spent to ensure that patients receive the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and high-quality… Read more »

Regular Dental Visits Allow us to Avoid Many Bad Things

Regular dental visits

If you’re careful about maintaining good dental health, then you may already be familiar with the importance of sticking to a schedule of regular dental visits and cleaning appointments. For instance, routine professional care is needed to keep harmful plaque and tartar at bay, which prevents harmful oral bacteria from damaging your teeth and gums…. Read more »

Types of Mouthwash

Types of Mouthwash

Did you know that there isn’t just one type of mouthwash? In fact, some mouthwashes have a specialized purpose and require a prescription for purchase. In other words, not all mouthwashes were created equal, and this blog is meant to explain the key differences. To teach his patients about the types of mouthwash, Dr. James… Read more »

Foods that make TMJ worse

Foods to Avoid with TMJ

Do you have TMJ pain? This article may prove beneficial for you because it lists foods to avoid if you have jaw joint pains. This disorder is a serious condition that affects the joints in your jaw. This causes patients great discomfort and pain, which is why managing it is incredibly important. Part of managing… Read more »

Does weak enamel run in families?

Weak enamel

Does weak enamel run in families? Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body. It protects your inner tooth (the dentin and pulp) from decay. Mature enamel consists of 96 percent minerals, 3 percent water, and 1 percent organic material. It is hard and tough, yet tooth decay or childhood caries remain a chronic… Read more »

Close the space between my teeth

Close the spaces between my teeth

Can my dentist close the space between my teeth without braces? Spaces between teeth, sometimes called diastemas are larger-than-usual spaces between two teeth (also known as gapped teeth). Even when it doesn’t pose a threat to your oral health, its appearance can often diminish your confidence in your smile. Because it’s technically an arrangement issue,… Read more »

Replace Teeth – What are the best ways?

Best Way to Replace Teeth

Do you need to replace teeth? Even the loss of one tooth can present a multitude of challenges, both restorative and cosmetic. Advanced age is a leading risk factor for tooth loss. Over years and decades, our jawbone density naturally lowers. The chances of gum disease or dental decay compromising the viability of a tooth… Read more »

All About Dental Cleanings

dental cleanings

Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once a day are certainly important steps to keeping your smile beautiful, but it’s also important to schedule professional dental cleanings and checkups every six months. Our Lake Forest dentist Dr. James Fondriest wants you to know the benefits of regular cleanings and examinations and how they… Read more »

Minimal Exposure to Radiation Isn’t Harmful

Dr. Fondriest and our team understand that about half of Americans avoid dental visits, but we’re here to relieve your fears and misconceptions. A common reason for avoiding dental visits is fear of being exposed to too much radiation during dental x-rays. Although this used to be a legitimate fear, technology has improved so much… Read more »

What Are No-Prep Veneers?

If you are exploring porcelain veneers to address your smile concerns, you should know that there are two major categories options: prep or no-prep veneers. If you’re not familiar with veneers, this may not mean much to you yet. It will, however, cause you to wonder which is going to be required for you, what… Read more »

Are veneers worth it?

Are veneers worth it?

So you want a completely new looking smile but you don’t know how you’ll possibly ever accomplish this feat without years and years of cosmetic dental work? Porcelain veneers are often called “instant orthodontics” because the cosmetic results are similar to those offered through orthodontic treatments. Unlike metal braces or Invisalign, veneers can reshape your smile… Read more »

What Can Be Done About A “Gummy Smile”?

gummy smile

Problems like dental discoloration or a prominent chipped tooth can have a negative effect on your smile. Generally speaking, when people think about poor smile quality, they think about issues with teeth. With that said, some patients will actually have issues because of their gums. Gum tissue forms the backdrop to our teeth. Heavy amounts… Read more »

Teeth Veneers

teeth veneers

For patients who need a convenient but effective method for improving their smiles, teeth veneers are often the most successful treatment option. Not only do they address a wide variety of cosmetic concerns, but they do so with minimal changes to your natural teeth. Today, we look at a few important facts about veneer teeth that make… Read more »

Plaque | How to remove plaque from teeth

How to remove plaque from teeth

Did your dentist ever really show you how to remove plaque from your teeth? Dental plaque is the sticky, uncomfortable biofilm that forms around your gum line just hours after brushing your teeth. It’s the product of hundreds of types of oral bacteria gathering in your mouth. When left unattended, it can quickly calcify into… Read more »

How Much Do You Know About Cavities?

Most of you probably think there is not much more to know about cavities other than that they’re caused by eating too much sugar, they are a black hole in your tooth, they hurt, and you have to have them filled. But there is plenty more to know about cavities than that. Take our true… Read more »

Bonding & contouring teeth

Bonding & contouring teeth

Smile improvement is an important aspect of professional dentistry because your confidence in your smile is as important as its overall health. However, when improving your smile’s appearance, it’s just as important to make sure that you preserve a maximum amount of healthy, natural tooth structure for the good of your long-term oral health. To… Read more »

Get a bright white smile!

Bright white smile

Do you want a bright smile? Stains and discolorations cause a lot of people to feel insecure about their smiles. Has insecurity about your teeth held you back in business or your personal life? It’s hard to muster confidence to try new things and meet new people, when you’re busy hiding imperfections in your smile…. Read more »

Zirconium Crowns | Which type of Zirconia is best for different teeth?

Zirconium crowns

Modern patients and dentists prefer realistic esthetics and frequently opt for beautiful zirconium crowns. There are two main types of zirconia crowns that are used for different situations. One type is for cosmetic situations and the other is for high stress situations. This type of porcelain has only been mainstream 6 years however they have… Read more »

What Does A Whiter Smile Mean For You?

Whiter Smile

You may think about how wonderful you would feel with a whiter smile. However, when you think about this term, you wonder: Is there some universal “white” that we aim for? What if it’s much brighter than you’d like, you wonder? What if you don’t really need to whiten everything, so you worry about trying… Read more »

How to Cure Bad Breath

to cure bad breath

Are you searching for ways to cure bad breath? When your breath is noticeably bad, it can be a seemingly endless source of embarrassment. When your bad breath doesn’t go away, that embarrassment can turn into worry about what may be causing your condition. While bad breath is sometimes no big deal (such as after… Read more »

What if Teeth Stains Don’t Respond to Whitening?

teeth stains that don't bleach

Tooth stains that don’t bleach Do you have tooth stains that don’t bleach? With today’s advanced cosmetic dentistry treatments, most smile concerns can be improved effectively and efficiently. For instance, if your teeth are stained, then you may be able to brighten them with professional teeth whitening. However, if your teeth are more stubbornly stained… Read more »

Dental Veneers

dental veneers

One of the best things about dental veneers is that they can fix your smile’s appearance in several different ways. They can save you from needing multiple procedures to address different issues. Besides appearance, veneers are also beneficial due to the fact that they don’t require extensive tooth preparation. They also can help your teeth… Read more »

Dental Bridgework

Dental bridgework

Tooth loss is one of the most destructive issues that can affect your smile. In some cases, it’s the worst-case scenario for aggressive dental disease, while at other times, teeth are lost to accidental damage that can’t exactly be prevented. Although tooth loss is common, it isn’t natural; with every tooth lost, your mouth’s ability… Read more »

Restoring a Smile Affected by Heavy Tooth Wear and Tear

Girl with heavy tooth wear

As time passes, some dental wear and tear can inevitably happen. As strong as our teeth can be, they still have a difficult job, and regularly experience biting and chewing pressure. What you should be wary of is the effect that poor dental care and habits like teeth grinding can do to your smile. If… Read more »

Bad Breath

Man with bad breath

Bad breath can be embarrassing, and if you’re aware of it, then it can cause you to limit interactions with other people or avoid face-to-face conversations altogether. But in many cases, bad breath is more than just embarrassing; it’s also a harbinger of dental health issues that could potentially become serious problems. If you have… Read more »

Hypodontia: Replacing Congenitally Missing Teeth

patient with Hypodontia

If you are someone dealing with hypodontia, then this is likely a term with which you’re already very familiar. In short, it means that due to heredity, you have not developed one or several permanent teeth. When teeth fail to grow, you are left with an adult smile with open spaces in it. Of course,… Read more »

Hairline Cracks in Teeth: How to Stop Them from Growing Worse

cracked tooth vector illustration

Healthy teeth are incredibly strong, and the enamel that protects them is the most resilient substance your body produces. Nevertheless, undue pressure or accidental trauma can still wear down or crack a tooth, and when that happens, repairing it is a time-sensitive process. As you continue to bite and chew, the crack will grow worse… Read more »

Cosmetic Dentistry when You Have Bruxism

teeth grinding diagnosis paper on clipboard

Smile improvement is something that most of us consider at some point in our lives. With today’s advanced techniques and dental technologies, more people can enjoy cosmetic dentistry when you have bruxism. However, some things can affect your smile’s appearance without you realizing it, or can impact the success of your cosmetic dental treatment. For… Read more »

Ask Your Dentist About White Fillings

white fillings

Cavities are common, and if you’ve never had one, then there’s a good chance that you still might at some point in your life. Fortunately, cavities aren’t typically difficult to deal with, especially if they’re detected and treated early. In many cases, treating cavities is even easier with the help of tooth-colored, white fillings, which… Read more »

When Morning Breath Lasts All Day

woman covers mouth with hand to mask bad breath

When it comes to your dental health, timing is everything. For instance, if your breath is less than fresh when you wake up in the morning. However, if your breath is bad throughout the rest of the day despite brushing and flossing your teeth, then you might want to visit Dr. James Fondriest to find… Read more »

Tongue Thrusting: How Does Your Child Swallow?

Tongue Thrusting: How does your child swallow?

Did you know that 20 to 80 percent of orthodontic patients throughout the U.S. present with some form of tongue thrust? Do you know what tongue thrusting is? Babies are born with this natural “extrusion reflex” for survival. When their lips are touched, they extend their tongue expecting the breast or bottle.  Within the first… Read more »

Care for bonded teeth

Care for bonded teeth

Cosmetic dental bonding is a simple and common way to improve the look of your smile. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, we typically use dental bonding to close spaces in teeth, replace worn enamel, re-shape crooked or misaligned teeth, repair broken teeth, and cover stains that tooth whitening treatments cannot remove. While dental bonding works… Read more »

Time for a dental appointment? How often should you see your dentist?

dental appointment time

So you haven’t seen a dentist in “Forever”! It may be time for a dental appointment. Life gets hectic, and we understand that things happen. So it’s not uncommon for some patients to not make it into an appointment for a year or maybe a couple years. If you haven’t seen a dentist in what… Read more »

Is Gum Recession Inevitable?

Gum recession can mean exposed teeth roots and painful symptoms.

Your gums are crucial for supporting the roots and crowns of your teeth. Their soft tissues offer protection from harmful oral bacteria in plaque and extreme temperature fluctuations. They also play an active role in keeping teeth firmly in place and aligned. Therefore, gum recession, or shrinking gum lines, is an issue that must be… Read more »

The Importance of Flossing Your Teeth

Flossing for healthy teeth and gums

Do you brush your teeth regularly? Perhaps you wouldn’t think of skipping a brushing. There are many people that brush religiously, yet do not floss. Less than half of Americans floss daily and 10 percent don’t floss at all. Both brushing and flossing are important to your dental health. Flossing helps prevent cavities, gingivitis, and… Read more »

What Causes Jaw Pain | How to Relieve Chronic Jaw Pain

chronic jaw pain

Chronic jaw pain or jaw pain when chewing is not as common as tooth discomfort. It is however common enough to be a serious chronic problem for millions of patients. If it is negatively affecting your quality of life don’t put off treatment. Unlike toothaches, causes aren’t always clear, and therefore, you might not immediately… Read more »

Tooth replacement | Good News About Tooth Loss

Tooth replacement

We may never be able to completely prevent tooth loss for everyone, but the good news is that today’s dentistry offers a wealth of preventive measures and tooth replacement options. It also offers highly lifelike materials and techniques for tooth replacement so that patients can regain their confidence in their smiles. While tooth loss can… Read more »

Coping with Tooth Loss

coping with tooth loss

Tooth loss can be a frightening thing as an adult. It can cause feelings from embarrassment to frustration, and leave you with a general sense of uneasiness. After all, do you know what caused the tooth loss, or if you will soon lose more? How will you be able to chew, and will it ever… Read more »

Cavity Prevention | Are You Immune To Cavities?

cavities occur without good cavity prevention

Is it Decay Immunity or just good Cavity Prevention? Tooth decay is an international chronic infectious health disease in industrialized and developing countries, especially in young children. Early Childhood Caries (ECC) begins early in life, progresses rapidly, and causes immediate and long-term effects. People suffering from tooth decay, particularly untreated decay, and especially children, can… Read more »

How to Clean a Dental Bridge

Many people do not know how to clean a bridge. Tooth loss is never an ideal circumstance, but when life happens, restorative dentistry can restore a full, functional smile. Thankfully, with the number of tooth replacement methods available, restoring your smile is relatively simple. One of the more common dental restorations is a dental bridge…. Read more »

Treating Black Triangles between Teeth

Take a look at any magazine photo or advertisement: uniform, straight teeth in cosmetically beautiful smiles usually don’t have discernible gaps. So if you have tiny black triangles between two or more of your teeth, you may feel self-conscious about their appearance, or maybe have wondered how they got there. Unfortunately, black triangles can indicate… Read more »

Black Line at Base of Crown

Do you have old crowns? If so, you could have noticed a thin black line at base of the crown? Is that darkness at the gumline decay? Plaque? Tartar? Before you worry that your tooth may be in danger, continue reading to learn what this dark line is, and how to remove it for a… Read more »

Natural looking crowns | Will my PFM crown look real?

Natural looking crowns

Do you need dentistry but really want to have natural looking crowns? When we see patients with damaged and misshapen teeth or serious oral health issues, we can often correct the problem with treatments in restorative dentistry. Because we know how important a beautiful smile is to our patients, Dr. James Fondriest offers lifelike, natural-looking… Read more »

TMJ and being tired

TMJ and being tired

There is nothing quite like a good night’s sleep to improve your attitude and your outlook on the world. But what happens when you wake up in the morning still feeling exhausted? Few things are as important to your overall health as getting adequate rest each night, which is why anything interfering with your quality… Read more »

Causes of Bad Breath

Causes of Bad Breath

Everyone deals with bad breath at some point in their lives (like morning breath), and many people experience chronic bad breath that doesn’t go away easily. While bad breath can be bothersome by itself, the fact that you can’t get rid of it can make the situation that much more stressful. Thankfully, dealing with bad… Read more »

Is it important to have straight teeth?

Is it important to have straight teeth?

Why straighten crooked teeth? Have you ever wondered why it is so important to have straight teeth?  Do your choppers really need to be straight? Are truly straight teeth attractive as well as necessary? The answer is yes to all of these questions. Making everything straight offers a multitude of benefits. Dr. James Fondriest in… Read more »

TMJ Dysfunction

TMJ Dysfunction

Problems with your bite can cause great discomfort. Allowing those issues to linger and not addressing them in a timely fashion, can lead to additional disruptions to your health. Millions suffer from TMJ Dysfunction (temporomandibular disorder). So, for the help you need with your TMJ issues, Dr. James Fondriest of Lake Forest Dental Arts in… Read more »

Evolution of the Human Jaw

man with hand on jaw

Many believe that individuals with underbites have weak jaws. Others believe that the human jaw is naturally weak in comparison to the jaws of a shark, dog, or even a cat. Although a human jaw may not appear to be as strong as the jaws of other mammals, it is quite powerful. Exactly how strong… Read more »

Cavity Repair Gel?

cavity repair gel in development

Wouldn’t it be great if your dentist could put a cavity repair gel on a cavity instead of drilling your teeth. If you have succumbed to cavities, then you are familiar with the process of getting them filled. Before filling the decayed tooth, your dentist will numb the area where the restoration will be placed…. Read more »

Types of Veneering Porcelains

Veneering porcelains vary in optics

Porcelain veneers are a wonderful cosmetic makeover restorations that can bring beauty and strength to imperfect teeth. Cosmetic dentist Dr. James Fondriest can create gorgeous, high-quality tooth covers in various styles with different veneer porcelains to fit the needs and desires of patients. Different Types of Veneering Porcelains Porcelain veneers are thin “jackets” or sheets… Read more »

Bad Breath and Dental Bridges

illustration of a dental bridge

Cleaning dental bridges can be cumbersome. The spaces between the pontics (or false teeth) and the gum line tend to be areas where bacteria and particles of food can gather. Because of such, a specialized flossing technique for removal is required. If those spaces are not cleaned properly, patients can experience severe bad breath or… Read more »

When was the toothbrush invented? History of the Toothbrush

history of the toothbrush

Do you know when was the toothbrush invented? Did you know that teeth cleaning apparatuses have been around for thousands of years? When you compare our modern toothbrush to the crude oral hygiene tools of past civilizations, we bet you will develop a new-found appreciation for your toothbrush. Toothbrushes come in a variety of colors,… Read more »

TMJ headache – The Headache that won’t go away

TMJ headache that won t go away with medicine

At the first sign of a headache, you probably reach for your preferred over-the-counter pain reliever or try a home remedy. What if you have the headache that won t go away with medicine? If these headaches become chronic, you may struggle to determine why. The answer may be a positive diagnosis of TMJ disorder,… Read more »

Tooth Covers / Teeth Covers

tooth covers

On television and in the movies, an ultra-bright “Hollywood-smile” is essential. Have you ever watched a favorite film on Netflix only to wonder if the editing made the teeth so perfect and gleaming? Digital movie magic can work plenty of wonders, but it cannot change smiles. Dental professionals play that role! And had it not… Read more »

Will Veneers Ruin My Teeth?

Will veneers ruin my teeth

Want to know a secret? Those perfect smiles shown off by celebrities on the red carpet during award season are not always natural. Many have undergone various cosmetic and restorative treatments to fix imperfections, from bite issues and misshapen teeth to discoloration and gaps between teeth. Here is another secret…celebrities are not the only ones… Read more »

Posture and TMJ Disorder: Improve Your Posture to Relieve Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

woman demonstrating good vs bad posture

If your mother drove you crazy with constant demands to “sit up straight”…you should thank her. Whether Mom knew the full effect of posture or not, the truth is, bad posture can be bad for your physical and mental health. Turns out, having a straight spine and correct alignment body can even help relieve symptoms… Read more »

Benefits and Disadvantages of Dental Plaque

digital illustration of dental plaque

Most dental patients only talk about the topic of dental plaque with their dentists. What they might not realize is that dental plaque has positive qualities, as well as downsides. If you have never considered the role that dental plaque plays in keeping teeth healthy, read on to discover some interesting facts that most individuals… Read more »

What Is A PFM Crown?

illustration of PFM crowns

Did something happen to your tooth that is far too severe for a dental filling? Perhaps you broke your tooth or are suffering from the effects of severe tooth decay. No matter the problem, a PFM crown is a wonderful solution to protect your remaining tooth, so you can avoid an extraction. In many cases,… Read more »

Whoopi Goldberg’s Struggle with Gum Disease

Whoopi Goldberg gum disease

Whoopi Goldberg has struggled with gum disease for many years. Sharing her problems has put light on a topic that many suffer from. Learning to brush your teeth is a right of passage for all children. We’re told about the importance of brushing your teeth twice a day and going to the dentist regularly for… Read more »

Migraines and TMJ

woman suffering from a migraine

Have you wondered if your headaches are caused by migraines or TMJ? If you suffer frequent headaches, you are not alone. The World Health Organization estimates that about 50% of adults (18-65) worldwide suffer from headache disorders. Of those who reported having headaches, about 30% had migraines.1 If you frequently experience the debilitating pain and… Read more »

Cracked Tooth Syndrome FAQs

cracked tooth syndrome

Symptoms of cracked tooth syndrome are sometimes difficult to distinguish from symptoms of other dental health issues. For instance, like bruxism or TMJ disorder, cracked tooth syndrome causes sensitivity to extreme temperatures. For example, eating ice cream, or drinking hot coffee may produce an aching sensation in your teeth. In severe cases, breathing hot or… Read more »

Cure Your Own Toothache? What is good for a toothache?

cure your toothache

What helps a toothache when you don’t have a dentist? They usually develop when it is least expected, and when it strikes, it strikes! It’s true sometimes a tooth pain may present as a dull throb. It may even go away for a period of time before it strikes again. But what happens when it’s a… Read more »

TMJ and tooth sensitivity | Can TMJ Disorder Make Your Teeth Sensitive?

TMJ and tooth sensitivity

Is there a connection between TMJ and tooth sensitivity? Though TMJ or TM dysfunction centers on your jaw’s joints, one of the many symptoms it can generate is the unconscious habit of grinding your teeth. When left untreated, TMJ disorder and resulting teeth-grinding can cause your teeth to hurt as well as the components of… Read more »

Do You Wake Up with Sore Cheeks and Temples?

sore cheeks and temples

Do you have frequent sore cheeks or temples? Some people experience cheekbone pain and tension in their facial regions after waking up. Sleep is supposed to rejuvenate your mind and body after a long day of work or school. Unfortunately, some people wake up with even more tension and pain. Headaches, dizziness, earaches, and jaw… Read more »

Cosmetic Changes: Things To Get Excited About

Cosmetic Changes

Have you considered having some cosmetic changes done to your smile.  about porcelain veneers, whitening, or other cosmetic care, one thing is certain: There is an awful lot to get excited about! However, if you have tried to learn about cosmetic improvements with other practices before or you are simply new to this field of… Read more »

Why We May Suggest PFM Over All-Porcelain

PFM vs porcelain crown

Unless you’ve dealt with receiving a dental crown before, you may not yet be familiar with PFM crowns. Good news: It might sound mysterious but we can explain very quickly. PFM simply stands for porcelain-fused-to-metal. This is a dental crown built on a metal base with a layer of porcelain baked over it. It’s like… Read more »

Unique dental problems? | You should seek a second opinion

Unique dental problems

Do you have unique dental problems? You know that seeking care for a whiter smile is common, so you would never think twice about approaching us to discuss cosmetic care options. However, when your smile concerns don’t seem to fall into a category you consider to be common, you may feel like it’s something you… Read more »

How Implants Can Improve Your Bridge or Denture

implants can improve a bridge or denture

The good thing about modern bridges and dentures is that they can be crafted to mimic healthy, natural teeth so well that they often remain unnoticeable when in place. However, despite their highly lifelike appearance and ability to fully restore your bite function, custom-designed dental bridges and dentures still lack a few important elements that… Read more »

Reasons for a Gum Lift

Reasons for a Gum Lift

You have heard multiple times that a gum lift can help with a “gummy smile.” However, you’re not convinced that this is your problem. As a result, you don’t really know if coming in to talk with us at our Lake Forest, IL practice is going to be the best idea or not. First, let… Read more »

What Makes Working With A World-Class Ceramist So Special?

world class ceramist

When you think about the restoration or cosmetic treatment you’re going to receive, you probably don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about who’s crafting it or where it is coming from. However, you may certainly dedicate some brain power to hoping it’s a good fit, that it looks beautiful, and that it’s everything… Read more »