My Blog

Posts for: April, 2015

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
April 24, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Implant Surgery  

Do you have one or more badly damaged or missing teeth that need to be replaced? If so, dental implant surgery from Gary W. Machiko, DMD in Pittsburgh may be just right for you. Read on to learn more about this fantastic procedure and the many benefits it could provide you.Dental Implants

What are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a dental device used to replace one or more missing or badly damaged teeth. Implants consist of three parts: The crown replaces the visible portion of the missing tooth, the abutment acts as a connecting piece and the titanium implant secures the entire device into the jawbone.

What Advantages do Dental Implants Offer?

Dental implants are the gold standard of tooth replacement. They are safe, effective, durable and resilient. They look and feel completely natural, they don't come with any eating restrictions, and they are easy to clean and maintain. Plus, dental implants should last a lifetime as long as you care for them properly.

How Long Does Getting Dental Implants Take?

The process of getting dental implants generally takes up to five visits to Dr. Machiko in Pittsburgh (including the initial consultation and the follow-up visit). The visits are generally spread out over the course of three to eight months as each piece of the implant needs to be placed separately with time for the jaw and gums to heal in between. The implant surgery itself should take around one hour for a single dental implant or two to three hours for multiple dental implants.

Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?

Not everyone who wants dental implants can have them. You should have one or more missing or badly damaged teeth. You should be free of gum disease, oral cancer and any other medical conditions which would reduce the chances of surgical success. You should be a nonsmoker, and you should be committed to your oral health.

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

Dental implants should last a lifetime if taken care of properly.

How Can I Take Care of My Dental Implants Properly?

Thankfully, taking care of dental implants is easy - simply care for them like you would your normal teeth. Brush, rinse and floss daily and keep regular appointments with Dr. Machiko in Pittsburgh after your dental implant surgery is complete.

Dental implant surgery from Dr. Machiko in Pittsburgh is a fantastic way to get a smile that is both functional and truly beautiful. Call and set up an appointment for an initial consultation today!

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
April 24, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   oral hygiene  

The most important thing you can do for your dental health is to develop a daily habit of removing plaque, the bacterial film that builds up on your teeth and the leading cause of tooth decay and gum disease. You know you need to do better — but as with other daily habits that require discipline, it can be a challenge.

One way to make it easier is to develop a plan — a step-by-step process you can use to keep your hygiene habits on track. Here’s a suggested template for such a plan.

Step 1: Partner with us for hygiene training. As with other habits, going at it alone can be daunting. As your dental office, we have the knowledge and experience to advise you on the right toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and other products to use, and to train you on the best techniques for brushing and flossing.

Step 2: Develop an evaluation system. It helps to know if your hygiene efforts are effective. You can evaluate for yourself how well you’re doing by running your tongue across your teeth (does it feel smooth?), rubbing floss against the sides of your teeth (does it make a squeaky sound?), or looking for signs of bleeding or bad odor. We can also perform tests, such as using disclosing solution dyes to reveal plaque or regular dental exams to identify any indications of disease or decay.

Step 3: Maintain the change in your behavior. The biggest obstacle for sticking with a new habit is discouragement — if you don’t eventually see progress you can easily give up. Our regular interaction with you and your own evaluations will provide valuable insight as to how you’re progressing. These tangible indications build confidence and help you cement your new habit into place.

Every new habit starts with a burst of enthusiasm. To become permanent, however, it must continue on once the “newness” wears off. By developing a plan like the one described above, you’ll be more apt to continue practicing your new hygiene habit until it becomes a permanent part of your daily life. The dividends can be healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime.

If you would like more information on an oral hygiene plan, 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 “Oral Hygiene Behavior.”

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
April 09, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Some train intensively for months ahead of time, so they can achieve peak performance during the season; others simply enjoy occasional pick-up games with friends. But here’s something all athletes, both amateurs and professionals, should know: Dental accidents in sports can happen at any time, and the consequences of not wearing the proper protective equipment can be serious.

Don’t believe us? Just ask American Idol season 5 winner Taylor Hicks. Before his singing career took off, Hicks was a high-school basketball star; he lost his two front teeth during a championship game.

“It was just one of those collisions that happen in sports,” Hicks recently told Dear Doctor magazine. “I never wore a mouthguard in basketball. Obviously I should have.”

We agree. And we want to remind you that basketball isn’t the only game that poses a risk to your teeth (although statistics show it’s the leading cause of sports-related dental injuries). Soccer, bike riding, and equestrian sports — along with some two dozen other games and physical activities — are all on the American Dental Association’s list of sports in which participants should wear a mouthguard.

What’s the best kind of mouthguard? The answer is: the one you actually wear. For the maximum comfort and protection, there’s nothing like a custom-fitted mouthguard provided by our office. This is a piece of protective equipment that’s individually crafted just for you — in fact, it’s made from a model of you own teeth! Not only will it fit your mouth perfectly, but it’s also strong, lightweight and easy to wear.

It’s true that off-the-shelf mouthguards are available from big-box retailers in limited sizes (like small, medium and large); also available are the so-called “boil and bite” types, which you soften in hot water before molding them into shape with the pressure of your fingers, teeth and tongue. Either one of these options is probably better than nothing — but neither provides the level of protection and comfort that a custom-made mouthguard offers.

When you consider the potential cost of tooth replacement — not just its hefty price tag, but also the lost time, trouble and inconvenience it can cause — we think you’ll agree that a perfectly fitted mouthguard, made by our office, is a piece of sports equipment you really can’t afford to do without. Best of all, its cost is quite reasonable.

So if you’re the active type, come in to ask us about fitting you with a custom mouthguard. For more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Athletic Mouthguards” and “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry.”