My Blog

Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
March 04, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that 69 percent of adult Americans between the ages of 35 to implants44 have at least one missing tooth, and that figure grows with age. Those who seek a replacement option often default to denture devices, but dental implants are another viable solution to consider. When it comes to dental implantation surgery, you’re in very capable hands when you visit the office of Dr. Gary Machiko in Pittsburgh, PA. Find out more about this tooth-replacement procedure and decide if it’s the right choice for you.

About Dental Implants
When a foreign object is placed into the body so that it can serve some functional purpose, it is called an implant. Dental implants are titanium posts inserted into the jaw to help improve your chewing function and to fill in unappealing smile gaps. Healthy bone tissue surrounds the implant and anchors it to the jaw. When it sets and heals, a process which can take several months, it is ready for a crown restoration.

Rebuilding Your Smile
After tooth loss, dental implants can rebuild your smile giving it more stability and keeping your gums healthy. The implant makes use of the remaining bone tissue in your jaw—without it, the bone will diminish in density and absorb into the body. So in addition to restoring the cosmetic and functional appeal of your smile, having an implant installed by your Pittsburgh, PA, dentist can also help maintain your jawline and facial structure.

More Dental Implant Benefits
The number of dental implantation surgeries performed are growing steadily each year according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. Explore a few reasons why many patients prefer to have their smiles rebuilt using dental implants:

- You won’t have to remove your implant to clean it.
- Implants will last for 10 or more years when you have good hygiene habits.
- You can have a partial or full denture device fit with implants if you have more than one missing tooth.

Have Your Implants Installed by Dr. Machiko
When you visit Dr. Gary Machiko for dental implants, you can count on getting the best possible result. He has a dual degree in dentistry and mechanical engineering, which means his patients have the advantage of precise measurement and placement of their dental implants. Call (412) 367-1319 today to schedule an appointment at his Pittsburgh, PA, office.

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
February 27, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental ImplantsLeaving a missing tooth untreated can cause serious issues with your smile. Luckily, dental implants provide a permanent and highly-effective solution to this problem. Implants can replace both your missing tooth and its root to give you back your smile and allow you to eat, speak, and chew normally. Read below to learn more about dental implants, and for treatment, call the Pittsburg office of Dr. Gary Machiko. Dr. Machiko is a dentist with dual degrees in dentistry and mechanical engineering, a background that allows for extremely precise implant measurement and placement.

What is a dental implant?
Dental implants are a cosmetic dental procedure which focuses on replacing a missing tooth and its root. The treatment uses three main components: the implant’s fixture, the abutment, and a prosthetic tooth. Implants take several dental appointments to complete and require an adequate amount of time to heal between initially placing the implant’s fixtures and completion of the procedure.

Can a dental implant help me?
If you have a missing tooth, you can probably benefit from a dental implant. However, some patients are not good candidates for this procedure. Someone who has significant bone atrophy in the implant site or who does not have a strong at-home oral care routine may not qualify for the implant procedure. However, these maladies can be fixed through care from your Pittsburg dentist, leading to eventual implant qualification.

Are dental implants safe?

Though there is a risk to any dental or medical procedure, the risk associated with dental implants is a low one. In use for decades, dental implants have come to be known as a safe, effective tooth replacement option in dentist’s offices around the world.

Dental implants in Pittsburgh, PA
A consultation with your dentist can help ensure that you receive the best implant care possible. In some cases, a patient may require other dental treatments prior to being considered for dental implants, such as bone grafts, fillings, or root canals. A consultation with your dentist can help you determine if this procedure is the best treatment for your dental situation.

For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. Gary Machiko in Pittsburgh, PA, at (412) 367-1319!

TreatingGumDiseaseImportanttoSavingtheUnderlyingBone

If you've had periodontal (gum) disease, you've no doubt experienced gum inflammation, bleeding or pain. But your gums may not be the only mouth structures under assault — the disease may be damaging the underlying support bone.

Although easing soft tissue symptoms is important, our primary focus is to protect all your teeth's supporting structures — the gums, the attaching ligaments and, of course, the bone. To do so we must stop the infection and reduce the risk of reoccurrence.

Stopping gum disease depends on removing its source — plaque, a thin biofilm of bacteria and food particles accumulating on tooth surfaces, due to poor oral hygiene. We must remove it mechanically — with hand instruments known as scalers or ultrasonic equipment that vibrates the plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) loose.

It's not always a straightforward matter, though, especially if the diseased gum tissues have pulled away from the teeth. The slight natural gap between teeth can widen into voids known as periodontal pockets; they fill with infection and can extend several millimeters below the gum line. We must thoroughly cleanse these pockets, sometimes with invasive techniques like root planing (removing plaque from the roots) or surgical access. You may also need tissue grafting to regenerate gum attachment to the teeth.

One of the more difficult scenarios involves pockets where roots divide, known as furcations. This can cause cave-like voids of bone loss. Unless we treat it, the continuing bone loss will eventually lead to tooth loss. Besides plaque removal, it may also be prudent in these cases to use antimicrobial products (such as a mouthrinse with chlorhexidine) or antibiotics like tetracycline to reduce bacterial growth.

Perhaps the most important factor is what happens after treatment. To maintain gum health and reduce the chances of re-infection, you'll need to practice diligent daily hygiene, including brushing, flossing and any prescribed rinses. You should also keep up a regular schedule of office cleanings and checkups, sometimes more than twice a year depending on your degree of disease.

If you would like more information on treatments for gum 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 “Treating Difficult Areas of Periodontal Disease.”

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
January 29, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Unlike other facets of dentistry, cosmetic dentistry focuses on making your smile more beautiful rather than increasing its functionality. However, with many options to choose from, selecting the best treatments for you and your teeth can prove to be tricky. Learning the basics of some common cosmetic dentistry procedures can help you in understanding these treatments. Find out more about cosmetic dentistry with your Pittsburgh, PA cosmetic dentist Dr. Gary Machiko.

Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments Available in Pittsburgh, PA

  • Zoom Teeth Whitening: Zoom teeth whitening is a fast and noninvasive way to give your smile a boost. Lift the color of your teeth up to ten shades in a single sitting with teeth whitening.
  • Porcelain Veneers and Lumineers: Veneers and Lumineers cover the teeth to provide a new appearance. Made from porcelain, these restorations can treat anything from a chip or crack in a tooth to discolorations and small misalignments.
  • Dental Implants: Dentists use dental implants to replace a missing tooth by surgically implanting a small, titanium post into the jawbone under the missing tooth to replace its root. Then, a porcelain dental restoration covers the implant to replace the missing tooth itself.
  • Orthodontics: Orthodontics focus on straightening misaligned teeth and correcting a misaligned bite to provide a more beautiful, more functional smile. There are several types of braces to choose from, such as traditional metal braces or plastic aligner trays.
  • Cosmetic Contouring and Bonding: Cosmetic bonding uses a composite resin material to reshape a chipped or otherwise misshapen tooth. Contouring uses a dental drill to reshape the resin, finishing the procedure.
  • Porcelain Crowns and Bridges: Crowns fit over a tooth to stabilize or protect it from harm. Bridges replace a missing tooth by attaching to the healthy teeth surrounding a gap using dental crowns. Both restorations are made from porcelain for a natural look.

Feeling good about the way you look is priceless. If you think you can benefit from a cosmetic dental procedure, do not hesitate to talk to your dentist to ensure that this is the best treatment plan for you. For more information on cosmetic dentistry, please contact Dr. Gary Machiko in Pittsburgh, PA. Call (412) 367-1319 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Machiko today!

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
January 18, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental specialists  
ComplexMouthConditionsCallforDentalSpecialties

Hopefully, you’ve developed a long-term care relationship with your family dentist. Better known as a general dentist, these professionals are the central players in maintaining your oral health, and your first stop when you have a problem with your teeth or gums.

But there are times when a particular dental situation calls for a specialist, a dentist with additional training (as much as three years or more in their area of specialty) and the equipment and advanced techniques for your particular need. Here, then, are some of the other kinds of dental professionals your general dentist may refer you to if you need specialized care.

Periodontist — From the Latin peri (“around”) and dont (“tooth”), this dentist cares for the supporting structures of the teeth, particularly the gums and bone. Besides treating advanced cases of periodontal (gum) disease, they’re also adept at reconstructive and cosmetic gum procedures or the placement of dental implants.

Orthodontist — Although known commonly as the “braces” doctor, orthodontists have a much wider concern: the interaction and alignment of teeth and jaws. With a keen understanding of growth and development, orthodontists can employ a number of treatments, including braces, to bring teeth into better positions that will improve function and appearance.

Endodontist — Teeth damaged from disease or injury may need treatments that involve the interior of the tooth — the pulp and root canals. While your general dentist can perform basic root canal treatments, an endodontist has the added knowledge and equipment to treat more difficult cases.

Prosthodontist — As with a prosthetic limb that replaces a lost arm or leg, prosthodontists specialize in replacing lost teeth (prostho means “artificial”). Prosthodontists can skillfully create functional, life-like dentures, as well as natural tooth and implant crowns to replace portions of visible teeth.

Oral Surgeon — These dentists are skilled in the diagnosis and surgical treatment of conditions involving the head and neck (the “maxillo-facial” region). They often work in consultation with general dentists and other specialties for treating complex mouth conditions. Besides tooth extraction and other dental procedures, oral surgeons can also surgically correct jaw alignment or treat trauma to the face and neck area. They also place grafts to stimulate bone growth for future implants.

If you would like more information on how dental specialties can benefit your health, 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 “The Dental Universe.”