New Smiles Welcome!
Vincent A. Gasparaitis, D.D.S.
Plaza Dental Group, LTD.
Welcome to Plaza Dental Group!
We appreciate your time in becoming acquainted with our office. We look forward to providing you and your family with the quality dental care that you deserve. Whether you have a specific dental problem or are in need of regular dental care, we will work with you in addressing your problems and concerns.
We would like to take a moment to familiarize you with our office practice and philosophy.
Our practice philosophy centers around providing quality patient care in all aspects of general dentistry. Our services are available to patients of all ages. We are committed to providing our patients with a comfortable and pleasant dental experience.
We place a strong emphasis on achieving and maintaining the best oral health for our patients.
We believe that regular preventive care is the most effective means of maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Our Doctor: Vincent A. Gasparaitis, D.D.S.
Dr. Vincent Gasparaitis is a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Dentistry in 1987. He completed his general practice residency training at Mount Sinai Hospital Medical Center in Chicago and served on the faculty until 1990.
Dr. Gasparaitis has been in private practice since 1991. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the Illinois State Dental Society and the Chicago Dental Society.
Our practice is pleased to present flexible payment plans through Lending Club Patient Solutions. Enjoy a selection of flexible plans with low fixed rates and monthly payments, no upfront payment, and no prepayment penalty. It’s easy to calculate your potential monthly payments. Simply complete a short application which displays fixed rates and monthly payments available for Extended Plans, all without impacting your credit score. For more information, simply ask a team member or visit lendingclub.com/patients
Flexible Payment Options
Plaza Dental Group invites you to take an introductory tour of our facility. On this day, touring junior visitors and their parents meet Dr. Gasparaitis, a practitioner with a warm personality and reassuring approaches which make every visit relaxing, comfortable and fun. Introducing children to the world of dentistry in an enjoyable environment creates a positive attitude towards oral health and creates an eager office and home care participant!
Dr. Gasparaitis and his staff really enjoy working with children. We begin seeing children as early as 2 years old. We believe that starting dental visits at an early age helps to get your child used to the dentist and also helps to prevent small problems from developing into larger problems. Proper maintenance and care of your child’s baby teeth are important in the development and positioning of the permanent teeth. Primary teeth, or baby teeth, are just as important as permanent teeth for chewing, speaking, and appearance.
Pit & Fissure Sealants
At Plaza Dental Group, we utilize sealants. Sealants are a protective barrier bonded to the chewing surface of a tooth. It prevents bacteria from accumulating into tiny grooves on the surfaces of the teeth. This does not eliminate the need for proper dental care but is recognized as an effective and valuable asset in the prevention of tooth decay. The application of sealants does not require anesthetic or drilling of the tooth.
Your teeth are composed of two main parts: The Crown is the part visible above the gum. The Root is the part below the gum that holds your tooth firmly in your jaw bone. If the crown of your tooth becomes weakened by decay or fractures, it can be restored and strengthened by an artificial crown. Artificial crowns are covers which fit over a damaged or badly stained tooth. They look natural and require only the same care necessary for your natural crowns. Speak with a team member today if you would like more information.
A bridge is an artificial tooth used to replace one that is missing. It is attached to your neighboring teeth. One of the benefits of using a bridge to replace a missing tooth (or teeth) is how natural it looks and feels. With proper care, bridges can last for years. See us today if you would like to “bridge the gap” in your smile!
Dentist-prescribed home whitening is a new whitening alternative. It combines the convenience of at-home whitening products with the assistance and expertise of your dentist. Here’s how it works: We take a model of your teeth and use it to make custom-fitted trays. Then we provide you with instructions for application of the trays, which contains whitening gel. You wear your whitening trays each day for as little as one hour per day, only returning to have the procedure monitored. Patients often see results after the first day. A significant change can be noticed in as little as 3 days. Maximum results will be achieved with use over a 3 to 4 week period. We also offer one-hour whitening in the dental chair, using a special high- intensity light to activate the whitening gel that we apply directly to your teeth. Whether you choose to use whitening trays, or our one-hour chairside whitening or a combination of both treatments, you will see a significant improvement with your smile. For further information, please speak to a team member today!
Porcelain Veneers are one of the ways many people obtain a beautiful white smile. Veneers are custom-made, ultra-thin, porcelain shells that are bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth. They are durable and can match the existing color or whiten your natural teeth. In as little as two visits, you can have custom-made veneers permanently bonded to your teeth. Veneers are a great way to correct crooked, cracked, discolored, and misshapen teeth.
Bonding is a painless procedure used to restore damaged, discolored or misaligned teeth. Dr. Gasparaitis applies a plastic putty called Composite Resin to the surface of the tooth, shaping it to cover chips or other problems. The resin is then exposed to a bonding light until hardened. When it has been smoothed and polished, your teeth will look better and feel great!
For many years, silver amalgam has been the standard restorative choice for molar teeth. With the advent of modern technology, composites that match the shade of your tooth are now a great alternative. Composites offer strength, durability and give you a beautiful white smile! If you would like to replace your unsightly amalgam fillings, speak with a team member from Plaza Dental Group today!
If you have lost your natural teeth, whether from tooth decay, injury or periodontal disease, dentures can replace your missing teeth and restore your smile. Replacing your missing teeth will not only improve your appearance, but also your ability to eat and speak.
Dentures are used to replace either a full set of teeth, or a partial set of missing teeth.
Complete dentures are artificial teeth set into a framework called a denture base, which rests on your gums. The plastic framework is customized to fit your mouth. For a more secure fit, complete dentures may also be attached to dental implants, which are titanium fixtures attached directly into the jawbone.
Partial dentures are used to replace several missing teeth. The framework is made of metal or plastic and is supported by your healthy remaining natural teeth with “clasps” that fit over these teeth. Partial dentures may also be attached to dental implants for a more secure fit. Due to the fact that changes in your mouth occur over time, a denture will need to be checked and re-fitted periodically.
If you experience discomfort because of your dentures, the following measures may ease your discomfort. Rinse your mouth with either salt water or a mixture of peroxide and water. Leave the offending denture out as much as possible to reduce irritation. Brush your gums, palate and tongue with a soft-bristled toothbrush after every meal and before going to sleep. A sore mouth, if irritated, could lead to further complications. If your problem persists or recurs, call Dr. Gasparaitis today to schedule an appointment to inspect your mouth and dentures.
Dental implants can also be used to help secure dentures. A secure fit is a major concern for denture wearers. Dentures can affect a person’s ability to speak and chew. Loose-fitting dentures that slip can be uncomfortable, unattractive and aggravating.
Implant-retained dentures can be either removable or non-removable. A removable denture utilizes special attachments that “snap” over several implants. In most cases, two to four implants are placed into the jawbone to secure the denture in place. Non-removable, or “fixed” dentures, utilize four or more implants to hold either a denture or bridge in place. The “fixed” denture or bridge is then held in place by screws that are placed into each dental implant. These screw-retained implant dentures are very secure and stable. If necessary, the screws can be removed periodically by the dentist to clean the denture or, if necessary, repair the denture or bridge.
Also, in some cases, an existing denture can be fitted over newly placed implants and retrofitted to work with the implants to stabilize an old, loose-fitting denture.
Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Gasparaitis to see which implant option
is best for you!
The knowledge gained from dental x-rays can be invaluable to your health. If you are uneasy about x-rays, the following information may put you at ease.
Dental x-ray machines focus carefully on one exact location. To reduce radiation exposure to your body, a protective covering containing lead is placed over your body. This protective “lead apron” shields your body to protect your thyroid gland and chest from excessive radiation exposure. X-ray exposure time is very short due to the use of high-speed film and precise timers. The equipment used in performing x-rays is regularly checked to ensure its safety. Our x-ray technicians have received expert training and have years of experience taking x-rays.
Our office uses Digital X-rays, which is state-of-the-art technology. The digital dental x-ray system is much more sensitive compared to traditional x-ray film. Because digital x-rays do not require as much radiation exposure as conventional x-ray film, a patient’s exposure to radiation can be reduced by as much as 70 percent!
Patient Benefits from Digital X-rays Include:
Also digital x-rays do not require the use of harsh processing chemicals that are harmful to the environment!
A dull continuous ache is not considered a dental emergency or urgent. However, a toothache should not be ignored because it generally means there is something irritating the nerve root of the tooth. Schedule a dental appointment at your earliest convenience.
You have just had your tooth prepared for a new crown. However, the temporary crown has come off. Keep the tooth as clean as possible and contact the office to have it re-cemented.
Do not attempt to repair your denture on your own, as you could cause additional damage to the denture or your mouth. Call us for an appointment, or a referral to a denturist.
Sensitivity to either hot or cold could be caused for various reasons. It could indicate an infection. Call for an appointment as soon as possible.
A fractured tooth may be a dental emergency depending on the degree of fracture and pain to the area. If the fracture is severe you should seek emergency treatment. If the fracture is more of a chip, keep the area as clean as possible until an appointment can be arranged.
If you are experiencing sudden, severe discomfort, accompanied by swelling, there may be an infection in your mouth. If an infection is present, your dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics right away before attempting to perform root canal therapy or other restorative procedures.
If an abscess is present, a localized pus formation might be seen at the root end of the tooth. If the condition is acute and there is an infection present, your dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics prior to attempting any further treatment.
If your tooth is knocked out, control the bleeding by applying direct pressure with a cold compress. Recover the tooth that has been knocked out (without touching the root) and very gently place it back in the socket. It is possible to re-implant the tooth within 30 minutes of being knocked out. If you are uncomfortable with this, or if you see debris on the root surface, place your tooth in a glass of cold milk and bring it to your dental office immediately.
A facial fracture is an injury that results in broken bones to the face.
Immediately go to the emergency room at your nearest hospital.
A tooth extraction is usually performed when the tooth cannot be repaired due to severe decay, fracturing, or periodontal disease.
Here are a few other reasons why a tooth extraction may be necessary::
If you are missing one or more teeth, you may be particularly aware of the importance to your appearance and your dental health. A missing tooth just doesn’t feel right. It can be uncomfortable, making it difficult for you to chew. Perhaps worst of all, it can affect your smile. All of your teeth work together to help you chew, speak and smile. When teeth are missing, it is difficult to do these things. Even the loss of a back tooth may cause your mouth to shift and your face to look older. Missing teeth are not only an esthetic problem, but they can lead to bone loss, changes in facial structure and drifting of the adjacent teeth.
Whether teeth are lost due to an accident, disease or infection, or have been missing since birth, dental implants are the next best thing to natural teeth.
Benefits of Dental Implants Include:
What is Involved in the Dental Implant Process:
Placing an implant is generally a three-part process that can take several months.
The First Step involves placement of the implant into the jaw, with the top part of the implant slightly above the bone. A special screw is inserted into the top of the implant to prevent gum tissue and food debris from entering the implant while it heals. The gum tissue is secured over the implant for approximately 3 to 6 months until the implant has fused with the jaw bone.
The Second Step involves uncovering the implant by removing the attached screw and replacing it with a special post called an abutment. The abutment is placed directly into the implant and will serve as the foundation or anchor for the new tooth. An impression is taken of the implant abutment and is sent to the dental laboratory to fabricate your implant crown. The crown is made based on the size, color, shape and fit that will best blend with your adjacent teeth.
The Third and Final Step involves placement of your new crown and securing it to the dental implant. The dental implant and crown are very strong and provide the best long-term option to replace your missing teeth.
When a tooth and root are missing, bone loss can occur. After the implant is placed, bone will grow and integrate onto the surface to hold it securely. A metal abutment connects the implant to a final crown that matches your natural teeth.
What is Invisalign®?
Invisalign® is the clear way to straighten teeth without braces. Invisalign® is a clear solution, so you can smile confidently both during treatment and after. Using a series of clear removable aligners, Invisalign® gradually moves your teeth to create the smile you’ve always wanted. Almost no one will know you’re wearing them unless you tell them.
How Does Invisalign® Work?
Invisalign® uses a modern approach to straighten teeth. Using advanced 3D computer imaging technology to simulate tooth movement, Dr. Gasparaitis uses a series of clear, custom-made “aligners” that gradually move your teeth. These aligners are made of smooth, comfortable and clear plastic that you simply wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements that Dr. Gasparaitis plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach or wires to tighten. You wear each aligner for about two weeks, moving from one set to the next until your treatment is complete and you achieve the confident smile that you’ve always wanted. The best part of the whole process is that most people won’t even know you’re straightening your teeth.
How Long Does Treatment Take with Invisalign®?
As with traditional metal braces, treatment time will vary according to the complexity of your case. The average Invisalign® treatment time is about one year. You visit Dr. Gasparaitis every month or two to check your progress and to get new aligners. Aligners should be worn day and night except when eating, brushing and flossing.
How Much Does Invisalign® Cost?
In most cases, Invisalign® treatment is comparable to the cost of traditional orthodontics. As with other orthodontic options, the cost of Invisalign treatment is based on the complexity of your case and length of the time involved.
Dr. Gasparaitis offers a free, complimentary Invisalign® consultation to discuss your treatment options. Typically, a dental insurance policy that covers orthodontics will cover Invisalign® treatment as well. Our office also has financing options available.
What are the Benefits of Invisalign®?
Invisalign® is used to successfully treat a broad range of cases, including overly crowded teeth, spacing, overbites and deep bites, misaligned teeth and open bites.
Does Invisalign® Really Work?
Over 1.3 million patients are smiling with confidence thanks to Invisalign®. Without brackets or wires, Invisalign® takes a modern approach to teeth straightening and is clear. Also, Invisalign® is approved by the FDA for orthodontic treatment.
Please contact Dr. Gasparaitis today to arrange for your free, complimentary Invisalign® consultation to discuss custom Invisalign® treatment; you will love your results!
For more information, visit the Invisalign website.
Sport Mouth Guards are for recreational, professional or competitive sports and should be worn in practice, as well as games. You have probably seen mouth protectors used in contact sports, such as hockey, football, basketball and boxing. Even youth sports programs, such as little league baseball, require players to wear mouth guards. Mouth guards offer protection that cushions blows to the mouth that would otherwise cause broken teeth, injuries to the lips and face and sometimes even jaw fractures. Without a mouth guard, any child or adult runs the risk of acquiring a toothless smile.
A custom-made mouth protector is individually designed - just for you! First,
Dr. Gasparaitis takes an impression of the patient’s teeth. Using a specialized material, Dr. Gasparaitis and the dental laboratory construct the mouth guard from an exact mold of the teeth. Usually, mouth guards fit the upper teeth only. In some cases, such as the presence of braces or a protruding jaw, the mouth guard may also cover the lower teeth.
Although custom mouth guards are more expensive than store-purchased “boil and bite” mouth guards, their exceptionally good precision fit, comfort and superior quality make them well worth it. A custom-made mouth guard is easily retained in the mouth and does not interfere with breathing or speech. For these reasons, professionally- designed mouth guards are preferred by sports enthusiasts and amateur athletic programs and are highly recommended by dentists.
Protect your smile and ask Dr. Gasparaitis about a custom-made mouth guard for you and your child!
Fortunately, most oral “sores” or “lesions” are not harmful, but a small number are dangerous, and if not identified early, they may progress to a more advanced stage.
Oral cancer is a devastating disease when detected in its late stages. Late stage treatment usually involves major facial surgery, with only half of these patients surviving past five years. When oral cancer is found early, treatment can be successful 82% of the time. Unfortunately, when compared to the survival rate of other cancers of the body, the survival rate of oral cancer has not significantly improved over the last 30 years.
Because harmful oral lesions often look identical to those that are harmless, it is important to see your dentist regularly to be checked for oral cancer. An oral lesion may be a persistent sore or irritation, a small flat red or white patch, or a growth, lump, rough spot or crust.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer Include:
Chronic Alcohol Consumption
Oral HPV infection
The typical risk factors for oral cancer such as tobacco use and chronic alcohol consumption are commonly known. However, a new risk factor called HPV, is now recognized as an increasing cause of oral cancer. HPV, or human papilloma virus, is a common sexually transmitted virus that is thought to play a role in more than 25% of oral cancer cases. HPV has long been known to cause cervical cancer in women. An increasing number of young people are coming into contact with HPV and few people realize that they have it. Also, 25% of oral cancer occurs in people who don’t smoke and have no other risk factors!
It is important to see your dentist at regular, six-month intervals so that any oral lesions found can be quickly evaluated. There are several tests that are quick and painless that can accurately identify which oral lesions need further treatment.
If you have mouth sores that do not resolve within two weeks or if you are concerned about oral cancer, please call Dr. Gasparaitis to schedule your oral cancer screening today!
Even if one of your teeth becomes injured, diseased or infected, it can often be saved through a specialized procedure called root canal (endodontic) treatment.
What is Root Canal Treatment?
Root canal treatment involves removal of the nerve, also known as the pulp, from within the tooth. Years ago, diseased or injured teeth were often extracted. Today, the infected or injured pulp can be removed so that the tooth can be saved.
When the pulp is diseased, it is unable to repair itself, causing increasing pain. Eventually, an abscess can develop. The most common causes of pulp death are a traumatic injury to the tooth, a cracked tooth, or a deep cavity. Bacteria and its products can then enter the pulp, resulting in an infection. If the injured pulp is not removed, the tissues surrounding the root of the tooth become infected, resulting in pain and swelling. Without treatment, the tooth may have to be removed.
What Does Treatment Involve?
Root canal treatment usually involves one to three visits. Treatment involves making an opening in the center of the tooth to expose the pulp chamber. The pulp is than carefully removed from the pulp chamber and the roots of the tooth. The root canal is then cleaned, enlarged and shaped to a form that can be filled and sealed.
If the infection inside the tooth is not severe, the root canal is filled and permanently sealed with a natural, biocompatible material, called gutta percha. This procedure can usually be done at either the first of second appointment. However, if the infection is severe, placement of the root canal filling may be postponed until the infection has resolved. Antibiotics are prescribed to help the infection to heal more quickly. If necessary, pain medication is also prescribed.
1) An abscessed (infected)
tooth caused by tooth decay.
3) The pulp is removed, and the root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped.
2) An opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
4) The root canals are filled.
5) A metal post may be placed in the root canal for structural support
6) The pulp chamber is sealed; then the crown of the tooth is restored.
As we age, we expect our appearance to change. Teeth will darken, lips will sag, gums will recede and teeth may need to be replaced. Not anymore! You don’t have to have an aging smile.
In addition to preventing some of the effects of aging through excellent oral hygiene and frequent dental visits, we can even reverse some once they have occurred! Veneers, Tooth Whitening and Bonding are three easy, relatively inexpensive ways to regain the youthfulness of your smile. So don’t let an aging smile add unwanted years to your appearance. Talk to Dr. Gasparaitis today!
How do the Chewing Muscles and Jaw Joints Work?
The muscles, ligaments, bones and discs of your TMJ are very specialized structures that work together when you chew, speak and swallow. A number of muscles are involved in allowing you to open and close your mouth. These muscles also control forward, backward and side-to-side movements of your lower jaw. Both jaw joints are also involved in these movements. Each joint has a disc that cushions the load when the jaw opens widely or performs rotation and sliding movements. Any problem that interferes with this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working together properly may result in a TM disorder. When muscles and joints do not work properly, the muscles will often go into spasm. This spasm, or cramping, becomes part of a cycle that leads to further tissue damage, pain, muscle tenderness and more spasm.
While some cases of TM disorders, or TMD, may be due to trauma, arthritis, or severe stress, most cases are due to a combination of factors. The discs in the jaw joint often slip forward, causing clicking, popping and even causing the joint to “lock” open temporarily. Oral habits such as clenching or grinding of the teeth, also known as bruxism, may develop in response to stress or as part of a sleeping disorder. Often, you may not be aware of nighttime bruxing, but you may catch yourself clenching or grinding during the day. Bruxing will cause your jaw muscles to go into spasm, which leads to pain. Eventually, chronic jaw muscle spasms can affect the joint, which starts the complex cycle of pain and improper jaw function. It is important to understand that while many of the above- mentioned factors are believed to cause TMD, the exact causes of TMD are unknown and sometimes it is not possible to determine the causes of the symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of TMD:
Treatment For TMD:
Some patients may have symptoms, but have no pain or loss of function. They can eat and speak normally. However, other patients slowly get worse and will require treatment to relieve their pain and restore function to their jaw joints.
If you are concerned about TMD or have any signs or symptoms, please call
Dr. Gasparaitis for a consultation today!
By the age of 13, teenagers have most of their permanent, or adult teeth. The last of the permanent teeth to erupt into the mouth are known as third molars, or wisdom teeth. “Wisdom teeth” usually begin to erupt between the ages of 17 and 21 years old.
When wisdom teeth are properly positioned, they pose no problems. However, for some teens, one or more of the four wisdom teeth are not in proper alignment. In many cases, wisdom teeth are impacted. An “impacted” wisdom tooth remains packed or trapped beneath the gums and bone. A wisdom tooth can also be “partially impacted,” which means that only a portion of the tooth is visible above the gum tissue. Both impacted and partially impacted wisdom teeth may be tilted sideways, causing them to push against the adjacent, healthy teeth causing damage. An examination and x-ray can determine if your wisdom teeth are aligned properly or whether they should be removed. Because wisdom teeth are so far in the mouth, they are not really necessary for chewing and they are often difficult to keep clean.
Early removal of impacted or partially impacted wisdom teeth may be recommended to prevent the following potential complications:
Please do not wait until you are in pain! If you have any questions or concerns about your wisdom teeth, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Gasparaitis today!
ORAL CANCER SCREENING
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Sunday closed | Monday 9:00am-6:00pm | Tuesday 10:00am-7:00pm | Wednesday closed
Thursday 9:00am-6:00pm | Friday 9:00am-1:00pm | Saturday 9:00am-2:00pm
773.637.8696 / 3338 N. Harlem Avenue, Chicago, IL 60634
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Oral Cancer Screening