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Bicuspid Bliss: Best dentists in the Chicago area

Have dentophobia? Never fear. Here are 40 of the finest dentists in the Chicago area

(page 2 of 3)

Choosing specialists

A general dentist is your first line of defense, but who are all those other guys?

Endodontists treat the pulp of teeth, including root canal therapy.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons specialize in surgery of the mouth and face, including removing wisdom teeth, removing tumors, doing biopsies, and performing cosmetic reconstruction of the face after trauma.

Orthodontists specialize in the diagnosis, prevention, interception, and correction of malocclusion (bad bite), as well as neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities. They are best known for doing treatments with braces.

Pediatric dentists specialize in working with children from birth to 21 years of age, a period that usually gets patients through the time when dental growth ceases and the wisdom teeth are fully formed.

Periodontists (referred to as gum doctors) specialize in the tissues that support, attach to, and surround the teeth and the treatment and prevention of disease affecting these tissues.

Prosthodontists specialize in repairing and replacing teeth and oral structures, including especially complicated crowns, bridges, implants, and dentures.

Your general dentist will logically be your first source for a referral. You may also want to consider one of the specialists recommended by Checkbook based on its survey of general dentists in the Chicago area. A few of Checkbook’s recommended pediatric dentists and periodontists—those endorsed most often by surveyed general dentists—are listed in the chart.

 

Bills, Bills, Bills

Based on 252 evaluations in the Chicago area, Checkbook reports lowest, average, and highest prices for the most common procedures.

PROCEDURE

 

LOW

 

 

AVG.

 

 

HIGH

 

Routine examination and cleaning
$75
$117
$175
Routine examination and cleaning and four bitewing X-rays
$105
$172
$246
Initial examination (for new patients), cleaning, and full-mouth X-rays
$105
$250
$450
One two-surface amalgam filling
$111
$157
$235
Single root canal with porcelain crown using nonprecious metal, including core and post
$1,620
$1,938
$2,500

 

Which treatments are worthwhile?

Fluoride: recommended for children. Recommended for adults if there is a history of decay or periodontal disease.

Sealants: recommended for children as a long-term bargain. The picture is less clear for adults.

Gum disease: Don’t get surgery until you have exhausted nonsurgical alternatives such as scaling and root planing in combination with antibiotics.

Extraction: Avoid having a tooth removed if at all possible. It may seem economical in the short run, but it can cause larger long-term problems.

Bonding and veneers: Bonding resins (plastics) or porcelain veneers can be bonded to restore cracked, stained, or irregular tooth surfaces. But while less expensive, these solutions aren’t as strong as crowns.
 

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