Posts for: January, 2016


There’s really no secret to keeping your child’s teeth healthy — good, daily hygiene habits, regular dental visits and early treatment for emerging problems. It’s a lot easier for those things to happen if your child feels comfortable with dental care and visiting the dentist. Sadly, that’s not always the case: many children develop an unhealthy fear of the dentist because the initial relationship may have been mishandled.

Here, then, are 3 tips that will help you foster a healthy relationship between your child and their dentist.

Visit the dentist before their first birthday. From a health standpoint, dental visits should begin soon after your child’s first teeth emerge (erupt) in the mouth. Visiting the dentist by their first birthday also improves the chances they’ll develop a sufficient level of comfort with the visits, more so than if you waited a year or two longer.

Choose your dentist with your child’s sense of security and comfort in mind. When you’re looking for a dentist to care for your child, think of it as looking for a “new member of the family.” It’s important to find an office environment that’s kid-friendly and staff members that work well with children. Some dentists specialize in pediatric dentistry and many general dentists have additional training in working with children. The key is a dental team that has a good, trust-building rapport with children.

Set an example, both in the home and at the dentist. Children learn quite a bit watching what their caregivers say and how they react in potentially stressful situations. If dental care is important to you personally, it’s more likely to become important to your child. And when you visit the dentist with your child, be sure to project calm and a sense that it’s routine — if you display tenseness or nervousness your child may take that as a sign that visiting the dentist is something to fear.

You want your child to learn that the dentist is their friend who’s there to help them. That lesson should begin early with the right dental team — and by making dental care a priority in your own life.

If you would like more information on dental care for your child, 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 “Taking the Stress out of Dentistry for Kids.”

By Dr. Mazhar M. Butt, D.M.D.
January 14, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  

Can a Crown Save My Tooth? How a dental crown can fix a damaged tooth.

Years ago, if you had a tooth that was damaged, your only real option was to have the tooth taken out, but dentistry has changed a lot since then. Now there are many options available to you to fix your teeth, but you need the help of a professional, like Dr. Mazhar Butt of Carbondale, Illinois, your neighborhood expert on dental crowns.Crowns

Now, instead of creating a hole where your tooth used to be, you can strengthen your damaged tooth with a dental crown. Sometimes, a tooth is just too badly damaged to restore with treatment, but most often a tooth can be strengthened by inserting posts, and a strong amalgam (silver) framework which supports the final crown.

Dental crowns are made of different materials, and each has its own advantages. The main types of crowns are:

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal- the least expensive, this type of crown has both compressive strength and beauty; usually reserved for your premolars (bicuspids) and molars.
  • Porcelain jacket-  the most beautiful, this type of crown is used for your front teeth, which don’t require as much chewing strength. It is virtually indistinguishable from the teeth around it.
  • Full gold- the most expensive--due to the cost of the crown and the price of gold the day it is cast--but also it has the best compressive or chewing strength; this type of crown is typically reserved for your back teeth.

You will typically require two appointments to place a crown. During the first appointment, your tooth will be prepared to receive the crown, and an impression will be made of your teeth for your final crown. Dr. Butt will color-match your teeth with the crown, to give you the most natural look possible. The impression is then sent to a dental lab, where dental technicians will custom-make a crown just for you. At your second appointment, Dr. Butt will cement your beautiful, new, custom crown.

Crowns have many advantages over dental fillings because they are less likely to break or need replacing, and with proper care, they can last for your lifetime. If you have a damaged tooth and are thinking about a dental crown, stop by and talk with Dr. Mazhar Butt of Carbondale, Illinois. He can get your poor tooth back in shape, so call today!

By Mazhar M. Butt, D.M.D.
January 07, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

As a member of the best-selling pop group Spice Girls, Mel C (AKA Sporty Spice) enjoyed her share of musical superstardom. At the band’s peak in the Nineties, the young singer’s signature look featured baggy sweatpants, an assortment of tattoos, a nose stud and a gold-capped incisor, front and center in her mouth. Today, Melanie Chisholm is still singing — but now she’s a mom, an amateur triathlete… and that gold tooth is just a memory. Not only that, her smile looks more evenly spaced and whiter than it did when she was referred to as the “tomboy” of the group.

What happened? In our view, it all boils down to changing tastes — plus a little bit of help from dental professionals. As the “wannabe” singer proves, there’s no single standard when it comes to making your teeth look their best. Your own look is unique to you — and your smile can reflect that individuality.

For example, crowns (caps) are substantial coverings that may be placed on teeth when they are being restored. They are available in three types: gold, all-porcelain, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. The latter two are tooth-colored, while the gold is — well, shiny like gold bling. Which one is right for you? In many cases, it’s your choice.

Likewise, dental veneers — wafer-thin shells that can correct cosmetic issues by covering the surface of your teeth — can be made in a variety of shades. Their hues may range from natural ivory to Hollywood white, and everything in between. What’s the best color for you? Only you can say.

Some people opt for a “smile makeover” that uses small irregularities in the spacing and color of teeth to create a more “natural” look. Other folks want a perfectly even, brilliant white smile that dazzles the eye. Still others are looking to match or restore the smile they once had — perhaps even re-creating a signature gap between the teeth. As long as there are no other dental issues involved, the choice is yours.

So if you’re unhappy with your smile — or if you feel it doesn’t reflect the person you “wannabe” — why not talk to us about a smile makeover? Just call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”