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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
June 11, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental crowns  

How dental crowns from your cosmetic dentist in Pittsburgh, PA, can enhance your smile

There are many ways dental crowns can enhance your smile. They can make your smile stronger by restoring your chewing function. They crown-and-bridgecan also make your smile more beautiful by replacing unnatural-looking metal fillings with crowns that blend perfectly with your smile. Dr. Gary W. Machiko in Pittsburgh, PA, offers a full range of dental services including crowns to give you the smile you deserve.

Dental crowns from your cosmetic dentist strengthen your teeth because they cover the entire tooth surface above the gumline, holding your tooth together. When you bite down on a dental crown, the biting pressure and stress is shared evenly across your entire tooth, preventing the tooth from breaking. A large dental filling can actually weaken a tooth by dividing the tooth into sections, so when you bite down, a section of tooth could break off.

One of the great benefits of dental crowns is that they can also make your smile visually appealing. Instead of seeing a smile full of unnatural-looking metal, dental crowns allow others to see a beautiful, white smile.

Today’s dental crown materials like porcelain enhance the natural beauty of your smile. Porcelain is one of the most popular crown materials because porcelain closely resembles the look of tooth enamel. It’s also light reflective, just like tooth enamel. The natural-looking appearance of porcelain allows your smile to look undamaged and beautiful.

In addition to porcelain, you can also choose porcelain attached to a metal underlay, known as a PFM crown. These crowns combine the beauty of porcelain with the added strength of metal, so they are a great choice for back teeth where you need increased strength for chewing.

Dental crowns are one of the most popular restorative treatments because they provide:

  • Excellent coverage and strength for teeth that are worn down or damaged
  • A beautiful, natural-looking alternative to large metal fillings
  • Increased resistance to stains because of the materials used
  • Increased chewing surface area so you can chew your food better
  • Long-lasting beauty and protection for your smile as you age

Both you and your smile can benefit from dental crowns. To find out more about why dental crowns are an excellent choice to restore your smile, call your cosmetic dentist, Dr. Gary W. Machiko, in Pittsburgh, PA, today!

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
June 10, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Wondering if dental implants are right for you? Learn more about this tooth replacement option.

When dealing with tooth loss the sooner you can turn to our Pittsburgh implant dentist Dr. Gary Machiko for treatment the better for the Dental-implanthealth of your smile. After all, untreated tooth loss can lead to long-term complications such as bone loss and shifting teeth. One way to prevent these issues is with dental implants. Luckily, Dr. Machiko is dual degreed and both his dental degree and his mechanical engineering degree, which gives his patients the advantage of precise measurement and placement of their dental implants. Curious to know more about dental implants? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

What is a dental implant?

An implant is truly the closest you can come to having a real tooth again. If you are missing one, several or even all of your teeth then dental implants could help you get your smile back. Despite the fact that an implant looks like a small metal post, it is an artificial tooth root that our Pittsburgh aesthetic dentist will place into the jawbone to provide a long-term foundation from which to support a dental crown or even multiple false teeth.

Does getting a dental implant hurt?

Despite the fact that patients will have to undergo surgery in order to get a dental implant, the procedure is minimally invasive and performed right here in our office under local anesthesia and sedation. Most patients don’t experience any discomfort during the procedure; however, it is not uncommon to experience some swelling and discomfort after the anesthesia has worn off. Our dentist can prescribe a pain reliever to reduce pain and swelling that you may experience during the healing process.

How long do dental implants last?

One of the biggest advantages to getting dental implants is that it is durable and resilient enough to last several decades. This means that depending on when you got your implant it could end up lasting the rest of your lifetime. Of course, this also means maintaining good oral hygiene and keeping your implant healthy so that it can last as long as possible.

What makes someone a good candidate for implants?

Most adults who are healthy and maintain good oral hygiene are ideal candidates for dental implants. It doesn’t matter whether you need to replace one, several or even an entire row of teeth; dental implants can help you. Before determining whether implants are right for you, our dentist will need to examine your teeth and gums and run X-rays to make sure that your jawbone is healthy and strong enough to support an implant.

Do you have questions about getting dental implants in Pittsburgh, PA? Ready to find out if you are the perfect candidate for this artificial tooth? No matter where you are in the decision-making process turn to our dental practice today to get the treatment and care you’re looking for.

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
June 07, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: smoking   dental implant  

Although costly in the beginning, dental implants often turn out to be the least expensive tooth replacement option. That's because their enviable record for longevity often outpaces dentures or bridges. Over the long-term you might spend less for implants than these other restorations.

But even with the high success rate of dental implants (greater than 95% survive the ten-year mark), we can't guarantee they won't fail. And if you're a tobacco smoker, the risk of failure might be even higher. One study, for example, found early implant failures were twice the rate for smokers over non-smokers. Although implant failures overall are low, smoking seems to be a factor in those that do.

There are a number of reasons to account for this. For one thing, inhaled smoke can damage salivary glands, reducing the flow of this important fluid. Saliva helps control bacterial growth and neutralize mouth acid, so without it you're more susceptible to tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Either infection could ultimately weaken implant-supporting bone.

The nicotine in tobacco can also restrict oral blood vessels and lower their ability to supply antibodies and nutrients to the teeth and gums. This slows healing, which could have one particular effect on implant durability.

During the intervening weeks between implant placement and crown attachment, the implant's titanium post attracts bone cells that grow and adhere to its surface. The effects of nicotine on healing, especially right after implant surgery, can interfere with this integration process so that the implant doesn't anchor in the bone as well as it should.

If you're a smoker, you can increase your chances of implant success—and have a healthier mouth overall—by quitting smoking beforehand with the help of a cessation program. Or at the least, consider stopping smoking for one week before implant surgery and for two weeks afterward.

And be sure to brush and floss your teeth daily and visit your dentist regularly to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Stopping smoking and practicing effective oral hygiene could make a big difference in the success or failure of your implant.

If you would like more information on smoking and your dental 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 “Dental Implants & Smoking.”

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
May 28, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   veneers  

What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.

"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."

But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.

"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."

What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.

Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.

To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.

Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?

"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.

For more information about veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
May 24, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

Discover the wonderful benefits you’ll enjoy when you get dental veneers.

Are you ready to alter your smile with help from cosmetic dentistry? If so, you may be wondering what porcelain veneers are and what they can do for your appearance. Don’t let cosmetic flaws in your smile affect your appearance. Our Pittsburgh, PA, aesthetic dentist Dr. Gary Machiko can help. Learn more about these popular restorations.

What are dental veneers?

Veneers are very thin shells made from a tooth-colored material such as porcelain or composite resin that is bonded to the front of several Big Smile teeth to alter the appearance of your smile while hiding common imperfections.

What are the benefits of porcelain veneers?

While veneers can be made from either porcelain or composite resin, our Pittsburgh, PA, dentist often uses porcelain because not only is the material very resilient and stain resistant but it also mimics that translucency and appearance of real tooth enamel.

What cosmetic problems can veneers improve?

Since veneers are designed to cover the entire front surface of a tooth you can imagine that it can do everything from changing the length and shape of a tooth to improving its color. Veneers are also great for hiding,

  • Internal stains and discolorations
  • Cosmetic chips and cracks
  • Irregularly shaped teeth
  • Uneven or worn teeth
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Minor crookedness, crowding or misalignments

What goes into getting veneers?

In order to get veneers, you will first need to come in for a consultation where we will examine your teeth and take X-rays to make sure that your teeth are strong and healthy enough to support veneers.

The second step is to prep the teeth for veneers. This involves removing a very small amount of enamel from the front of your teeth. Next, impressions are taken. Temporary veneers may also be placed over your teeth to protect them. During your next appointment, you’ll come back in so that we can remove your temporary veneers and bond your permanent veneers to your teeth. Dental veneers can be made and placed in as little as two visits.

How long do veneers last?

How well you care for your smile will impact the longevity of your veneers. With proper maintenance and care, veneers can last anywhere from 5-10 years.

If you are interested in learning more about dental veneers and whether they are right for you then call our Pittsburgh, PA, dental practice today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Machiko.