Word of Mouth Archives

Dear Patients...

November, 2010

Greetings from Wilmette Dental.  I hope you had a wonderful summer.  Though it passed much too quickly, my family and I certainly enjoyed the warm months and time off from hectic school schedules.


While the weather didn’t always cooperate, I was able to get out on the lake quite a bit.  As many of you know, I love sailing, and I try to fit in as much sailing time as I possibly can in the summer.  I'm very fortunate to have beautiful Lake Michigan as my sailing territory.


At home, the children are piled high with schoolwork and activities.  You may well see Elise (now a sophomore) driving on the road.  She is working on her 50 hours of driving with a parent to qualify for her driver’s license.  Other than one incident of closing the garage door before the car was all the way out of the garage, she’s doing extremely well behind the wheel.  (No damage was done!)


Christopher, an 8th grader, is hard at work mastering the drums.   He purchased a used drum set off the internet.  The set is terrific – but it’s so big that we had to move the bed out of his bedroom.  Chris and I worked together to build a loft bed that actually goes over the drums.  Now he can sleep and drum all in the same room.


Anne, accompanied by her loyal sidekick, Wolfgang the schnauzer, chauffeurs everyone and keeps us all on schedule.  In August, she accompanied Elise on a sailing adventure out east.  As part of the Mariner girls’ sailing program, they spent a week aboard the Shenandoah, a 108-foot schooner.  It was very rugged – few creature comforts – but they loved it. 


I am still very active in my Dental Study Club, and last month, was able to bring a fascinating presentation on the future of “digital imaging” to my group. These 3-dimensional x-rays (similar to Cat Scans) may someday revolutions diagnosis in general dentistry.


Have a happy and healthy season, 

Dr. Neuhaus



Dental Treatment May Ease Arthritis Pain

The chronic aches and pains of rheumatoid arthritis may be lessened by dental treatment, according to a new study published in the Journal of Periodontology.  In the study, researches linked the inflammation of gum disease to the painful inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis. 


Researchers followed people with moderate to severe gum disease as well as severe rheumatoid arthritis to study the impact of dental treatments on pain.  Patients treated with anti-inflammatory drugs or receiving treatment for gum disease reported less arthritic pain.  Those patients who combined drugs with dental treatments had the best results. 


Stressed? Your Teeth May Be Too!

Worried about the economy?  You’re not alone, and the stress may be causing something very damaging to teeth:  night grinding.  According to a recent New York Times article, dentists are seeing as much as a 50% increase in teeth grinding symptoms. 


Night grinding (or bruxism) is usually the result of a release of stress-induced “flight—or– flight” hormones.  Those released hormones mobilize energy, and muscles involuntarily move to release the built up energy.  Because bruxism is a subconscious muscle activity, most grinders have no idea of the damage they’re doing to their teeth as they sleep.


The amount of pressure night grinding puts on teeth is huge,” says Dr. Neuhaus“ Night time grinding can exert as much as 200 pounds per square inch on their teeth — 10 times harder than normal chewing forces!”


Worse, some people grind up to 40 minutes of every hour of sleep.  This tremendous wear and tear can quickly erode enamel, fracture teeth and damage the jaw. 


Eventually, constant night grinding may result in broken teeth, jaw and face pain, headaches and even earaches.  Regular dental exams, however, can identify night grinding before symptoms become that severe. 


What’s the solution to nocturnal grinding?  First, don’t skip your regular dental exam, at which Dr. Neuhaus can spot night grinding signs -- before permanent damage occurs.


And if you are a night grinder, Dr. Neuhaus recommends wearing a night guard to prevent further damage.


"A custom-made night guard fits accurately on teeth and is comfortable to wear.  It allows the lower jaw to move around freely and prevents the top and bottom teeth from making contact – thus alleviating the effects of night grinding.”


Job Hunting? Start With Your Smile

Interested in learning about how Wilmette Dental can improve your smile?  Please give us a call and we’ll be happy to talk with you about the latest techniques to make your smile stand out as well as your resume.

If you’re in the market for a new job, along with polishing your resume, you may also want to polish your teeth!  A study conducted by an independent research firm concluded that an attractive, white smile has a direct effect on interpersonal interactions, both socially and professionally. 


In the 3-part study that included simulated job interviews and an online survey, 58% were more likely to be hired, and 53% were more likely to receive higher salary offers after their teeth had been whitened. 


According to Berkeley Professor of Psychology Dr. Dacher Keltner, the study points to the powerful benefits of having a whiter smile.  “Visible from 200 feet, it [a smile] is the intense focus of what other people look at and a sign of our warmth, confidence and health.”


In the simulated job interview portion of the study, participants were viewed to be more professional (65%) and more confident (61%) after their teeth had been whitened.  In the portion of the study that included an online survey of 1,006 people, individuals with whiter teeth were found to have more positive attributes, including financial and professional success, than people with stained teeth.


Dental Don'ts

Flossing with household items.  Don’t – use a needle, credit card, paper clip, rubber band or any other odd item to floss between teeth.  Such things can break off in your mouth, putting you at risk for injury and infection.  Stick to the dental floss!

The Chicago Dental Society recently polled member dentists to find out some of the worst (and weirdest) dental habits they’ve seen in patients.  Here are a few that really standout —and giveDr. Neuhaus nightmares!


Cleaning teeth with household cleaners  or bleach.  Don’t – besides being toxic, household cleaners are abrasive and will wear down enamel.


Using “crazy glue” for loose dental work.  Don’t – despite what the commercials advertise, super strong glues will wear away.  See Dr. Neuhaus for a permanent dental solution. 


Sucking on lemons.  Don’t – lemons won’t whiten teeth or greatly freshen breath.  The acid, however will break down enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to decay.


Filing teeth with a nail file.  Don’t – this may take off too much of the tooth.  If you’re unhappy with the shape of a tooth, let Dr. Neuhaus carefully reshape it with a proper dental instrument.


Chewing pens.  Don’t – this oral fixation can fracture teeth (and put you at risk for ingesting ink).  Try to relieve your stress by noshing on healthy, crunchy vegetables, talking a walk, or venting to a friend.


Kids Korner

People have been keeping their teeth clean for a very long time.


Early toothpaste, though, was very different from the nice-tasting kind we use today.  Long ago, people would use crushed bones and crushed egg or oyster shells to scrape teeth clean.  Eventually, tooth powders were created out of such things as charcoal and powdered tree bark!


Modern toothpastes (more like the kind we use today) were developed in the 1800s, and a key ingredient was actual soap (yuck).


Closer to 1900, the soap was replaced with other ingredients that made toothpaste better smelling — and definitely better tasting. 


In the 1960s, fluoride — a natural cavity fighter — was added to toothpaste.  And, more recently, a form of calcium has been added to help keep teeth strong (in the same way that calcium is good for strong bones).


Dr. Neuhaus says to use only a pea-size amount of toothpaste on your toothbrush.  Be sure to rinse with plenty of water and try not to swallow your toothpaste. 

(It's not really meant to be eaten.)


Most important — be happy that your toothpaste isn't made out of crushed egg shells or powdered tree bark!


Dear Patients:

April 2010

Greetings from Wilmette Dental....And welcome to our special 20th Anniversary Issue!  It seems as if it was only yesterday when I saw my first patient at Wilmette Dental.  Actually, it was March of 1990!  Up until that time I had been practicing general dentistry in a busy north side practice after graduating from the University of Illinois College of Dentistry in 1986.


Wilmette Dental was a great fit for me.  Having grown up on the North Shore, I was quite at home with the wonderful family of patients, a top notch staff and  Wilmette Dental’s beautiful surroundings. And the camaraderie I felt with my mentors, Drs. Gandley and Graham was extraordinary.


Over the past 20 years, we’ve made a lot of office improvements and technological enhancements. We've continuously upgraded our clinical equipment: modern, state-of-the-art x-ray machines, new more comfortable patient chairs, intraoral cameras, chair-side movie screens and much, much more.  In doing so, my goal has been to provide my patients with the highest quality, customized dental care in a friendly, relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.


We have carefully structured our dental hygiene department with the goal of using prevention to promote a good state of oral (as well as general) health for our patients. We did not know 20 years ago how significantly poor oral health can adversely affect many of the human body’s other systems.

Dentistry has changed dramatically since I graduated dental school in 1986.  Yes, there have been some fads and media-driven dental “exposé's,” but more so, there have been many positive advancements, which have made modern dentistry more comfortable, durable and less invasive.


Going forward, these advancements will continue to benefit our patients’ dental health and overall well-being.


And, we have remained keenly aware of the costs of dental care.  We're constantly seeking practical ways to improve efficiency and reduce our costs in order to keep dentistry affordable for all our patients.


Finally (and most importantly), over the past 20 years, I've had the pleasure of being a part of the lives of many, many wonderful patients.  I've literally followed children into adulthood, and had the pleasure of knowing about countless birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, marriages, etc… 


To each and every one in my patient family, I thank you for entrusting your dental care to me — and for making these past 20 years truly wonderful. 


Here's to the next 20 !!!


Dr. Neuhaus


The Next 20 Years at Wilmette Dental

Composite resins, today’s tooth “filling” material will continue to improve to better replicate tooth color and strength. 

What's does the future hold for dentistry?  Dr. Neuhaus predicts significant strides in the following areas:


The use of saliva and regular dental exams as a barometer of general physical health.


Enhanced, non-invasive techniques to cosmetically correct problem teeth.  Breakthroughs will reduce time in the chair — and cost to the patient.


Cavities will become a rarity thanks to innovations in bacteria-reducing oral varnishes and pastes. Use of new technologies containing calcuim phosphates appear to stimulate the regeneration of  tooth structure i.e. they can “repair” cavities.


Periodontal (gum tissue) Therapies in which "site specific" antibiotics will be used as an alternative to gum surgery.


Optical scanners will provide a digital map of the tooth and create a 3-D replica of the dental structure. This technology is already seeing wide-spread use in the crafting of precisely-fitting and natural-looking restorations, such as porcelain veneers, crowns and bridges.


Dental implant technology continues to improve, reducing treatment time and increasing success rates.  Already, dental implants are often  the standard of care if a tooth needs to be extracted or if there is a question as to whether a root canal procedure should be done.


On a Personal Note...

And, of course, Wolfgang the schnauzer, now 8, continues to supervise our busy household from the comfort of his basket in the kitchen.

When I began my practice at Wilmette Dental back in 1990, life was pretty simple:  I was a carefree bachelor in a small apartment.  Boy, did that change quickly!  In 1991, I married Anne...celebrated the birth of daughter Elise in 1993, and toasted the arrival of son Christopher in 1996.  


Elise  will soon be a junior in high school, loves to sing in the school choir, performs in plays, and is on the j/v lacrosse team.  She's earned her driver's license, and teaches swimming for the Glenview Park District.  She's an honor student, and is a joy to be around — that is when she's able to pry the cell phone off her ear!


Christopher will be a freshman this fall, and loves rock and roll music.  He's an avid drummer — and  actually sounds pretty good!   Chris also is an excellent student, can work my power tools better than I, and really holds his own on the tennis court. Now if we could just convince him to get a haircut…

Anne is constantly busy keeping track of everyone's schedules, finding lost homework, signing permission slips and making sure the refrigerator is well-stocked. 


Wilmette Dental…A Long Look Back

·       2010           Dr. Neuhaus celebrates 20 years with Wilmette Dental!!

While this issue celebrates the 20th anniversary of Dr. Neuhaus with Wilmette Dental, the practice actually goes back to long before many of our current patients had teeth!   Here’s a quick trip down memory lane (aka Linden Avenue)



·       1937 Dr. Gordon G. Chinnock opens practice above Lyman’s Pharmacy at corner of 4th and Linden in Wilmette.


·       1945 Dr. Paul B. Bass, returning from WWII, opens dental practice in the Brown Building, downtown Wilmette.


·       1956 Dr. Chinnock drafted, sent to Fort Bragg, NC, closes practice


·       1958  Dr. Chinnock re-opens practice at 4th and Linden location.


·       1978  Dr. Chinnock retires and Dr. Stephen Graham takes over practice


·       1978  Dr. James Gandley takes over Dr Bass’ practice following his retirement


·       1980  Fire destroys Lymann’s Pharmacy and Dr. Graham’s office.


·       1980  Dr’s Graham and Gandley join practices and open new office called “Wilmette Dental" at present location, 344 Linden.


·       1981  Dr. Robert Kent (formerly on Ridge in Wilmette) retires and Wilmette Dental acquires his patients (Dr. Kent moves to Florida)


·       1990  Dr. Gandley retires from dentistry and Dr. Neuhaus joins Wilmette Dental  (Dr. Gandley moves with his family to California and takes position with the Department of Public Health)


·       1993  Dr. Graham retires from dentistry and takes position with InfoSoft, a provider of medical and dental software.


·       1993  New "L" station debuts next to original (1912) stop at 4th and Linden.


·       2003  Wilmette Dental office undergoes complete "makeover" with new woodwork, furniture, decorating and equipment.


A Few Things You Didn't Know About Our Staff…

Lora, and husband Alex, are the deservedly proud parents of 2 lovely girls: Nataliy, who lives in Chicago and works in hotel marketing, and Lana, a grad student in New York City studying biology .

Wilmette Dental is fortunate to have an extremely dedicated, hardworking staff.  Patients certainly know that Kathleen is an expert hygienist, Lora is Dr. Neuhaus' "right arm," and Megan can recite insurance plans from memory.  But here are a few things you might not know about our wonderful staff:


Practice Administrator Megan Baker is an accomplished musician, and is a flutist with the North Shore Chamber Orchestra.  She's also studied other instruments, including the tin whistle and the Irish bodhran (a type of drum).  When she's not playing music, Megan is an avid reader — and actually has an extensive at-home library of nearly 3,500 books.  Megan is the only person we've ever met who, during the holidays, actually makes a gingerbread house from scratch (no kits here).  She also makes a "killer" chocolate truffle — and she's happy to share her recipe with patients.


Hygienist Kathleen Gilliland and her husband Ed live in the city.  Both thoroughly enjoy sailing and playing with their yellow lab, Chance.  Kathleen likes to bike and travel, and always tries to find the best art museums — some of her favorite are in Dublin, Ireland!  She loves to read historical fiction, and is a huge fan of the Chicago White Sox.  When not at a Sox game or reading, Kathleen and Ed love to eat, cook — and try new Mexican restaurants.


Wilmette Dental Assistant Lora Spivak has a passion for films and travel.  It's nice to have Lora on hand when you need a good movie—or vacation—recommendation!


...And a big congratulations to Lora

Congratulations, Lora!  And many thanks for all of your good work over the years

This year is also a big anniversary for Lora, who marks 20 years as a dental assistant with Dr. Neuhaus.


Toothbrush— The Greatest Invention!

The toothbrush has deep roots in history.  The Babylonians chewed on primitive tooth picks to clean their teeth.  The first bristled toothbrush originated in China — the handles were carved from cattle bone and the bristles came from the neck and shoulders of swine.


Thankfully, today's brushes are a bit more sophisticated (and don't involve animal bones).  Ask Dr. Neuhaus which style of brush is best for your oral health needs.

In a recent survey, the toothbrush was selected as the #1 invention that Americans could not live without...beating out the automobile, phone, microwave and even the personal computer. 


Drs. Gandley & Graham... An Update

Steve continues to ski and perfect his tennis game, and regularly visits Wilmette Dental.

Many patients ask about Dr. Neuhaus' predecessors:  Dr. Jim Gandley and Dr. Stephen Graham. Both doctors are well, and are enjoying their post-Wilmette Dental careers.


Dr. Gandley continues his "second career" as the Assistant Department Director of Health and Human Services for Placer County California, in the beautiful Lake Tahoe area where he oversees a staff of nearly 1,000.  His wife, Sue, continues as an oncology nurse, and son Matt recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a major in economics.  Jim and Sue are enjoying the good life in California, and when not working, try to escape to the Sierra mountains for hiking and fly fishing.


Dr. Graham is a very active alum for his alma mater, Lawrence University in Wisconsin.  He and wife, Marge, spend a lot of their time in California's San Francisco Bay area where daughter Cindy is a writer and editor for Oracle Corporation.   Steve reports that a highlight of his recent trip to California was a visit with old friend, Dr. Gandley.


Hey, Hey, Hey... Gum Fights Decay

Results also show that using chewing gum with sweeteners other than xylitol was ineffective in suppressing cavity causing bacteria. Used in conjunction with diet modification, fluoride, sealants and regular dental visits, a xylitol-sweetened chewing gum can have a beneficial effect in controlling cavities.

The chewing gum offered to patients (and the mailman) in our reception  room is there for more than a good chew...it's an effective cavity fighter!  A recent study by university researchers confirms that chewing gum containing xylitol, a sweetener with antimicrobial properties, temporarily suppresses bacteria that cause tooth decay.


Teeth Whitening… 30 Years of Research

At this year's  Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting, Dr. Neuhaus attended an informative clinic presented by an independent researcher who has amassed  30 years of research on the safety and effectiveness of dentist supervised teeth whitening.  Here are some of his findings:

Dentists have been helping patients improve their smile quickly and affordably with teeth whitening for nearly three decades.  In that time, teeth bleaching has become the gold standard for cosmetic enhancement.  Studies have shown that people who feel better about their appearance tend to be more confident and successful. 




·       Whitening has the best risk/benefit of any dental procedure.


·        Nine out of 10 patients can successfully whiten their teeth.


·       More than 300 published articles attest to the safety and non-toxicity of dentist dispensed whitening materials.


·       Sensitivity to cold is the most frequent side effect of whitening — and that can be alleviated with desensitizing toothpaste or a reduction in the concentration of whitening gel. Sensitivity disappears once whitening is discontinued.


·       Whitening overnight for 7 nights produces the same result as bleaching 2 hours a day for 14 days.



At Wilmette Dental, we have been  whitening teeth for over 15 years and have helped many patients significantly improve  their smile with this easy treatment.  If you would like to know more, please ask any of our staff — and ask to see some of our before/after pictures.


Did You Know...

Good oral care may help older adults keep their thinking skills sharp. 


According to a study of 2,300 men and women, age 60 and older, those with the highest level of a bacteria associated with gum disease were two to three times more likely to fail simple cognitive and memory tests.


While more research needs to be done, scientists feel these findings may point to an association between poor oral health and geriatric dementia.

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Wilmette Dental, Ltd

344 Linden Ave.

Wilmette, IL 60091




Office Hours

Monday: 8:00AM - 4:30PM

Tuesday: 8:00AM - 4:30PM

Wednesday: 8:00AM - 2:00PM

Thursday: 1:30PM - 7:30PM

Friday: Closed

Saturday: 8:00AM - 2:00PM (alternating)



Outside our regular business hours, please note our emergency care information.


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