Posts for: March, 2018

By James Pechloff, DDS
March 16, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Team USA figure skater Adam Rippon became one of the breakout stars of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea last month. But it wasn’t just his acrobatics on the ice that dazzled—it was also his bright smile. As it turns out, the 28-year-old skater had prepared for his big moment on the world stage not only by practicing his jumps…but also by whitening his teeth.

Teeth whitening is a great way to prepare for a special day: a wedding, graduation or any time you want to look your best. Compared to many other cosmetic dental treatments, teeth whitening is less expensive and takes fewer office visits to achieve noticeable results.  It all starts with a dental exam, where we will make sure your tooth discoloration is not the result of an underlying dental issue that needs treatment. We can also give you a better idea of what kind of results you can expect from various bleaching methods.

Professional in-office whitening treatments offer the fastest and most dramatic results. Using concentrated bleaching solutions, it’s often possible to lighten teeth up to 10 shades in a single hour! Yet we always take care to protect the sensitive soft tissues of your mouth (gums, lips, etc.) from the powerful bleaching solutions.

We can also prepare a take-home kit that will allow you to achieve similar results at home, though the process will take longer (usually a few weeks). We will provide you with bleaching trays that are custom-made from a model of your mouth for a precise fit, along with bleaching gel to use at home. What’s great about the trays is that you can give yourself a touchup treatment months (or even years) later by getting another tube of bleach from the dental office.

If you have questions about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered.”

By James Pechloff, DDS
March 09, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canals  

What your dentist in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin wants you to knowroot cana;

Your tooth hurts, and it’s keeping you up at night. You begin to ask yourself, do I need a root canal? Tooth pain can be tricky. Sometimes just a simple filling will make your pain go away, but sometimes, you need a little more. That’s where a root canal comes in. So, do you need a root canal? Dr. James Pechloff in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin wants to help answer that question.

There are some definite symptoms to pay attention to. You may need a root canal if you experience:

  • A stabbing, sharp pain when you bite and chew foods
  • Repetitive, throbbing pain and pressure
  • Continuing pain after eating or drinking hot or cold foods or drinks

There are also common signs to look for. You may need a root canal if you have:

  • A tooth that is noticeably darker than the teeth around it
  • A red or white bump on your gums near a tooth root
  • Bleeding, drainage, or pus draining from your gums near a tooth root

If you have noticed any of these signs or symptoms, it’s time for a visit to Dr. Pechloff. He will perform temperature and vitality testing on your painful tooth and take x-rays to determine if your tooth is infected and can benefit from root canal therapy.

Dr. Pechloff will create a small opening in the top of your tooth. Using ultra-thin instruments, he will go down through the small opening and remove the diseased, infected tissue inside your tooth. A sedative filling material is then placed inside your tooth. This material helps to eliminate infection, and reduce pain and pressure.

After painful symptoms subside and infection is eliminated, Dr. Pechloff will place an inert material inside your tooth and protect the tooth with a filling or dental crown. Your root canal treatment is complete!

If you have a painful tooth that doesn’t stop hurting, you may need a root canal. To find out more about root canal therapy and what it can do for you call Dr. James Pechloff in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Call today and save your smile!


Preventing tooth decay is mostly about the basics: daily brushing and flossing followed by regular dental cleanings and checkups. But there’s also a bigger picture: your own personal risk profile for decay based on factors you can modify directly — and those you can’t.

The first type of factor usually involves habits and behavior that either work with your mouth’s natural defenses to fight decay or against it. Besides regular hygiene, your diet is probably the most important of these you can modify for better dental health.

A diet rich in fresh vegetables, protein and dairy products boosts strong, healthy teeth resistant to decay. Conversely, bacteria thrive on the sugar in many snack foods, while sodas, sports or energy drinks elevate acid levels that soften and erode the minerals in your teeth’s enamel.

Lifestyle habits like tobacco use or excessive alcohol consumption also increase your decay risk. Not only do they promote plaque buildup (the thin film of bacteria and food particles that feeds the decay process), but tobacco especially can impede the body’s natural prevention and healing properties.

Conscientious hygiene practices, a dental-friendly diet and modified lifestyle habits all can help you prevent decay. But diligence may not be enough — there are other possible factors you can’t control or may find difficult to change. For example, you may have a genetic propensity toward certain bacteria that cause decay. You may have a condition like gastric reflux that increases the mouth’s acid level. You may also be taking medications that reduce saliva flow, the mouth’s natural acid neutralizer.

But if we know which of these indirect risk factors affect you, we can compensate with extra measures. If enamel strength is a problem we can topically apply fluoride; we can also reduce chronic bacterial levels with prescription rinses. If you have restricted saliva flow, we can attempt to modify your prescriptions through your doctor or prescribe aids that increase saliva.

The key is to investigate your complete risk factor profile through a thorough dental examination. Once we know everything about your mouth, life and health that increases your decay risk, we can put in place a balanced strategy of prevention and treatment just for you. Doing so will greatly increase your chances for keeping your teeth decay-free and healthy.

If you would like more information on preventing and treating dental disease, 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 “Tooth Decay: How to Assess Your Risk.”