Laugh Out Loud in 2014

By Dr. Matt VanderMolen

Advanced Dental Care of Springfield

Here is a story that is educational and motivational.  I sincerely hope it will help you, a friend, or a loved one to laugh out loud in 2014.

Jane liked to bowl and always scored well.  She joined a league, and she was on a winning team.   Her teammates were happy to have such a high scorer on their team.  But they found Jane to be too serious, and even unfriendly, while they played.  She rarely smiled or laughed.  They also found her to be antisocial because she always said “no” to their invitations to go out for a bite to eat after they bowled.  After several rejections to their invitations, her teammates quit asking.

Was Jane really a negative and antisocial person?   Years ago, in another community, Jane was the captain of her bowling team.  She was always smiling and quick to shout out words of encouragement to her teammates – even to the opposing team bowlers!  She usually organized all the parties and celebrations.

So what happened?  Jane lost her teeth to gum disease.  She got dentures that looked like dentures – not how her real teeth used to be.  The lower denture was very loose and hard to manage.  She had to limit herself to eating softer foods.  Jane was embarrassed that she had lost her teeth, and she was embarrassed about her smile.  She also was highly fearful of what embarrassing thing might happen while she ate in front of other people.  She suspected her current bowling teammates thought she wasn’t very pleasant and antisocial.  This hurt her because they were nice people.

Jane’s daughter encouraged her to see the dentist.  She told Jane a lot of things had changed in dentistry in the past twelve years since she had her teeth out.  Jane decided to come into the office and found there had indeed been some changes!  She was greeted with warm and friendly smiles.  She was embarrassed it had been so long since she had been to the dentist, but the dental staff seemed genuinely happy to see her and interested in how they could help her.  She learned how her teeth could be replaced so her smile would look natural again.  She learned that when you lose teeth you also lose bone in your jaw as well. She also learned how the bone loss made the lower part of her face shrink and how that made the corners of her mouth pull down into a frown.

Thankfully, she was offered the latest dental implant technology to bring back her smile.  Her frown lines were gone, and her face looked ten years younger. On top of all these benefits, she found out about dental implants. Dental implants could be placed in her jaws in a way that would allow her dentures to actually snap into place and stay put.  No more worries about loose dentures.  Jane could now eat what she wanted instead of only eating what loose-fitting dentures would allow.

Jane is back to being the happy extrovert she used to be, and everyone on her bowling team is impressed with the transformation.  Jane is laughing out loud and excited to see what 2014 will bring. Go Jane!

As a dentist, I am frustrated by how little the general population knows about what modern dentistry has to offer.  There are far too many “Janes” out there who are needlessly, quietly suffering.  Your smile defines you.  You adapt to your smile.  If your smile is broken, you adapt to it and become broken as a person.  The good news is broken smiles can be fixed.

Dentistry has amazing technologies and treatments to offer, and I want everyone to know most everyone can have a great smile.  Let me repeat that.  Most everyone can have a great smile.

If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, come see what you are missing.  At Advanced Dental Care of Springfield, we would be happy to have our fantastic staff show you our amazing technologies and the awesome results we achieve for our patients.  There has never been a better time to see a dentist.  Call 217-546-3333 or visit us at

Implant Dentistry: Preserving Natural Dentition

Preserving natural dentition

Dental implants have become one of the most comfortable and effective means of tooth replacement. The use of dental implants has become widespread because of the excellent aesthetic and functional properties they offer. Among the numerous benefits of dental implants, the most important is the preservation of natural dentition, or the natural array of the teeth.

Dental Implants Restore Your SmileWhen a tooth is lost, the surrounding bone loses support from the tooth and can undergo resorption, or bone loss. When a dental implant is placed into the same socket as the missing tooth, it provides support for the jawbone, helping to prevent unnecessary bone loss.

Tooth loss also creates an imbalance in the dental occlusion. The teeth that are near the missing tooth become functionally compromised. The rest of the teeth can drift, causing unnatural gaps between them. Food particles and debris can get trapped in these gaps and become difficult to remove. Trapped food particles can lead to tooth decay, gum disease or more serious dental problems if they are not treated correctly. Proper oral hygiene can become difficult when teeth lose their natural alignment, thus increasing the chances of periodontal disease. Dental implants can prevent these problems by providing a natural, functional replacement for the missing tooth.

In some other options for teeth restoration, such as bridges, the integrity of neighboring teeth can be adversely affected. This is mainly due to the fact that they derive their support from the adjacent teeth. The periodontal ligament and the bone of the adjacent teeth used as support have to bear extra stress which, over time, weakens them. This can eventually lead to loss of support teeth. Dental implants are inserted directly into the bone so they do not require support from the neighboring teeth. They function independently and look similar to your other teeth, leaving you with a natural, healthy smile.

Are you interested in learning more about dental implants? Dr. Matt VanderMolen and our staff would be happy to answer your questions. Call and make an appointment at Advanced Dental Care of Springfield today, 217-717-4551.

Keeping Current with Checkups as an Adult is Necessary

Preventative Dental Checkups Keep Your Mouth Healthy

Parents should develop a regular dental care routine for their children, including regular visits to the dentist. Once we reach adulthood, regular checkups are often overlooked.  Many of us think that we will maintain a healthy smile as long as we practice good oral hygiene. While good at-home-care is essential for a healthy mouth, regularly visiting your dentist is an essential part of preventative dentistry for both children and adults. 

Dental Visits Are Not Just for Emergencies

Only visiting the dentist when you have a problem or dental emergency is not good practice. Keeping your teeth healthy requires routine cleaning and evaluation. There could be more substantial issues developing with your teeth and gums that only your dentist will be able to notice.  Early signs of periodontal disease and alignment issues can be detected well in advance during a routine visit to the dentist. No one should wait until they experience pain to visit the dentist.  Without regular check-ups, tooth decay and gum disease can lead to costly procedures and additional appointments.  These can often be avoided all together if they are caught early enough. Preventative dental appointments help keep your mouth and body healthy.

Teeth Change as We Age

Throughout our life, our body goes through many changes. Many of us work hard to keep fit through regular exercise and a balanced diet. While we clean and floss our teeth daily in our own homes, we are unable to get the deep clean and plaque removal that a dentist can provide over the long term. Deep cleaning and plaque removal help to prevent the development of cavities which, if not detected early, can result in much more expensive and invasive procedures.

Periodontal disease is very easy to detect by a dentist, but not so simple to diagnose by someone without training. Early detection will result in fewer treatments, and in turn, less money spent. To avoid developing serious dental issues, be sure to schedule checkups and annual exams with your dentist.

If you have been putting off those regular check-ups you should act now by calling Dr. Matt VanderMolen at Advanced Dental Care of Springfield today – 217-717-4551.

5 Things You Should Know About Restorative Dentistry

5 Things You Should Know About Restorative Dentistry

Restorative dentistry works to address dental problems associated with diseases and structures of the teeth. Many patients seek restorative or cosmetic dentistry when they are missing a tooth. From filling cavities to dental implants, here are a few things you should know about dental implants and restorative dentistry.

There are many types of restorative dentistry. While simple fillings are a well-known restorative procedure, there are numerous other types of restorations available which can replace or repair a broken tooth. Crowns, bridges, implants and dentures are just a few of the common solutions available.

Restorative dentistry can improve your overall health. If you have missing or misshapen teeth, there are gaps and irregular spaces for bacteria and food to collect. This can deteriorate the health of the mouth by encouraging tooth decay and gum disease. Missing teeth can cause strain on existing teeth and allow them to fall out of alignment.

Dental implants are a very effective way to replace teeth. Dental implants are nowadays, a common procedure where a metal post is attached to the jaw bone and a natural looking crown is then attached to this post. Implants have little to no physical complications and if taken care of properly, can last a lifetime.

Dental implants may be more costly than other replacement options, but last longer. It’s true what they say, you get what you pay for. While dental implants are a substantially higher investment then dentures or other replacement options, they offer durable and long lasting results. The cost of implants will vary greatly depending on numerous factors. Talk with your dentist today to find out more about the exact costs and payment options.

Restorative dentists are not all the same.   It is important that you choose a dentist qualified and experienced in restorations and implants if you want to maintain a natural looking smile.  Not all products and procedures are treated the same.  Ask your doctor which oral restorative methods and products they use, ask for before and after photographs, and what type of experience they have in the procedures they are recommending for you.

If you are looking for a dentist with experience in restorative dentistry and dental implants, call Dr. Matt VanderMolen at 217-717-4551. The friendly staff at Advanced Dental Care of Springfield will be happy to answer all of your questions and help schedule a consultation today.

Repairing a Chipped Tooth with Dental Bonding

If you have chipped or cracked teeth, you will be happy to know there is a safe and easy solution. You no longer have to live with unsightly, damaged teeth. Dr. Matt VanderMolen provides dental bonding and other cosmetic dentistry services at Advanced Dental Care in Springfield IL to help make your smile something you can’t wait to share.

What is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding involves the placement of a plastic-based adhesive which cosmetically fixes flaws in the teeth. The adhesive is colored, shaped, and polished to match the contour of your natural teeth. The entire procedure is quick, easy, and painless. Anesthetics are rarely needed for dental bonding procedures. If you have several teeth that require dental bonding it may be necessary to schedule multiple visits to the dentist; the process requires approximately 30 minutes per tooth. 

The Dental Bonding Process

Dr. VanderMolen will perform a general cleaning of your teeth and gums before proceeding with the dental bonding process. A special tool is used to roughen the outer surface of any teeth requiring bonding. A conditioning solution will then be spread to help the bonding material adhere to the tooth. The bonding material, which has been shaped prior to the procedure, is applied on top of the conditioning solution. For long-lasting effects, the bond is then hardened with an ultraviolet light or laser.


If you practice good oral hygiene techniques, such as brushing and flossing twice a day and regularly visiting your dentist for check-ups, your dental bond will remain in good condition for many years. However, there are a couple of precautions to take after the procedure.

The material used for dental bonding is not quite as strong as tooth enamel; you should try to avoid biting on hard objects such as the tops of pens, ice cubes or your own fingernails as this can result in a chipped or lost dental bond. For the first 48 hours following the procedure, the resin used in the tooth bonding is particularly susceptible to discoloration. In order to prevent staining your new smile, avoid drinking liquids such as wine, coffee, and tea. Smoking can also discolor dental bonds and should be avoided.

If you have a chipped or cracked tooth and are interested in learning more about how dental bonding can give you back your natural smile, call Dr. VanderMolen at Advanced Dental Care of Springfield, 217-717-4551 to schedule an appointment today.