Fagan Family Dental


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Chicago Heights - 708.755.0433
Homer Glen - 708.301.2211
"Not Just Your Neighborhood Dentist"
Our Services include:
  Preventative Oral Hygeine
  Cosmetics & Bleaching
  Root Canal Therapy
  Gum Treatments
  Removable Dentures
  Occlusal Guards
The Decision-Making Tree

When your dentist tells you that you need a crown or a veneer, how does he come to that decision? What about an overlay or even a root canal? How exactly does the decision-making process work when dealing with oral health?.

Dr. Fagan wants all of his patients to understand the steps involved in making these sort of decisions. Below is what we call THE DECISION-MAKING TREE. This step-by-step walk-through is a perfect window into your understanding of WHY & WHEN certain procedures are necessary.
Keep Your Own Natural Teeth
Healthy tooth structure
Sound and maintainable gum and bone support

Require tooth, bacteria and food for the bacteria to grow to have a problem.
- Bacteria can be controlled with proper oral hygiene both at home and professional cleanings.
- Food for bacteria can be controlled with proper diet relating to sugar and acidity as well as the time these food resources remain in contact with the teeth and gums; i. e. succors and life savers are worse than a candy bar which is eaten and swallowed.

Prophylaxis > Deep Cleaning > Periodontal Surgery
  Gum Treatments are designed for your ability to maintain health with your home care
  - Gingivitis, gum disease only in the tissue itself, will usually just require a thorough professional cleaning, in depth oral hygiene instructions and committed home care to get back to health.
  - Early bone involvement may just need deep cleaning to thoroughly clean the impacted areas of tissue and bone. Following this treatment is an evaluation of the return to health. Non-responsive areas may require surgical intervention.
  - Advanced bone involvement requires deep cleaning and evaluation but will usually also need surgery to provide a mouth you can care for at home.

Filling > Overlay/Onlay > Crown

- Fillings are indicated when less than half of the biting surface is lost because of decay or
previous fillings. These fillings are usually going to be made from tooth colored resin, silver or gold. Fillings require strength in the tooth to hold them in place. The longevity of a filling of any type is shortened the larger the amount of tooth structure that is missing

- Covering the biting surface is necessary when more than half the biting surface is lost from decay, broken tooth structure or large fillings. An Overlay/Onlay will replace the biting surface while at the same time preserve sound tooth structure closer to the gum line. Overlays/Onlays will impart some strength back to a tooth

- Crown will replace the biting surface and all other exposed outer tooth structure. Crowns are necessary when most of the remaining tooth structure requires strengthening. Crowns can be made from all porcelain, a metal substrate with porcelain covering the whole tooth or all metal. Most back teeth benefit from the porcelain and metal type.

  Extraction => Root Canal

- The Ideal is to have your own teeth. Assuming healthy gum and bone tissue, at least 50% root in bone and enough tooth remaining to restore, then a root canal is indicated to keep the tooth.

-This option still has the best long term success and function.


Implant => Fixed Bridge=> Removable Partial Denture=> Full Denture

- The best replacement for a missing tooth today in dentistry is an implant supported crown.

- A fixed bridge replaces a missing tooth by placing crowns on remaining supporting teeth on either side of the space and having a replacement tooth connected as one piece. This is permanently cemented in place.

- A partial denture is one which replaces teeth, attaches to some remaining teeth by means of a clasp and is removable. It requires some sound teeth remaining for this attachment.

- The last is line of favorability is the full denture. Retention and function are the biggest question marks with a full denture.