My Blog

Posts for: June, 2015

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
June 24, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental Implants Can you name a wonder of modern dentistry? Many patients would choose the dental implant.

A true prosthetic tooth from root structure to crown, the dental implant has a reported success rate of up to 98 percent. Whether a patient needs to replace one tooth with a single implant, multiple teeth with implant-supported bridgework or a full arch of fixed or removable dentures, implant dentistry is usually the treatment of choice in Pittsburgh for tooth replacement.

How Implants Work

When a specially-trained implant dentist such as Gary W. Machiko DMD LLC considers placing an implant, he first ensures that the patient has healthy gums and sufficient jaw bone width and density to accept the titanium screw which anchors this restoration. This is confirmed through x-rays and state-of-the-art imaging techniques.

The implant is then screwed directly into the jawbone. After healing, a metal post is attached to the implant, and an individually-crafted crown is glued to the post. The patient now has a beautiful new tooth that looks and works like a natural tooth.

Dental Implants Last with Good Care

Dental implants can last for the rest of the individual's life, but excellent aftercare is critical to the longevity of the device. While implant failure is not common, an infection called peri-implantitis can occur if you don't take good car of your implant.

Peri-implantitis resembles a serious gum condition called periodontitis. In layman's terms, this is advanced gum disease where oral pathogens attack gum tissue and bone, literally destroying both and loosening teeth. Bacteria similar to those associated with gum disease are present in peri-implantitis.

How can peri-implantitis be avoided? Take care of your implant! The American Academy of Implant Dentistry maintains that taking care of implants is much the same as caring for natural teeth. This involves 5 simple things:

  1. Eat a healthy diet, limiting sugary foods. While implants don't decay, they do collect harmful plaque and tartar at the gumline just as natural teeth do. Limiting unhealthy carbs helps curb the accumulation of plaque.
  2. Brush your teeth twice daily, and carefully floss at least once a day. Some people prefer small interdental brushes to remove food particles from around their implants.
  3. Stick with a semi-annual exam and cleaning schedule at the dentist's office. Small dental problems can remain small with routine preventive dentistry.
  4. Don't smoke. It's not good for overall health, and it's a major factor in your likelihood to suffer from peri-implantitis.

Gary W. Machiko DMD LLC

Dr. Machiko in Pittsburgh is expert in all phases of implant dentistry. From diagnosis to planning treatment to placing the implant and crown, Dr. Machiko aims to give you a fabulous looking and forever smile. He and his staff would be happy to explain how best to care for dental implants. For more information, call the office at (724) 719-2866.

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
June 15, 2015
Category: Oral Health

When Entertainment Tonight host Nancy O’Dell set out to teach her young daughter Ashby how to brush her teeth, she knew the surest path to success would be to make it fun for the toddler.

“The best thing with kids is you have to make everything a game,” Nancy recently said in an interview with Dear Doctor TV. She bought Ashby a timer in the shape of a tooth that ticks for two minutes — the recommended amount of time that should be spent on brushing — and the little girl loved it. “She thought that was super fun, that she would turn the timer on and she would brush her teeth for that long,” Nancy said.

Ashby was also treated to a shopping trip for oral-hygiene supplies with Mom. “She got to go with me and choose the toothpaste that she wanted,” Nancy recalled. “They had some SpongeBob toothpaste that she really liked, so we made it into a fun activity.”

Seems like this savvy mom is on to something! Just because good oral hygiene is a must for your child’s health and dental development, that doesn’t mean it has to feel like a chore. Equally important to making oral-hygiene instruction fun is that it start as early as possible. It’s best to begin cleaning your child’s teeth as soon as they start to appear in infancy. Use a small, soft-bristled, child-sized brush or a clean, damp washcloth and just a thin smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice.

Once your child is old enough to hold the toothbrush and understand what the goal is, you can let him or her have a turn at brushing; but make sure you also take your turn, so that every tooth gets brushed — front, back and all chewing surfaces. After your child turns 3 and is capable of spitting out the toothpaste, you can increase the toothpaste amount to the size of a pea. Kids can usually take over the task of brushing by themselves around age 6, but may still need help with flossing.

Another great way to teach your children the best oral-hygiene practices is to model them yourself. If you brush and floss every day, and have regular cleanings and exams at the dental office, your child will come to understand what a normal, healthy and important routine this is. Ashby will certainly get this message from her mom.

“I’m very adamant about seeing the dentist regularly,” Nancy O’Dell said in her Dear Doctor interview. “I make sure that I go when I’m supposed to go.”

It’s no wonder that Nancy has such a beautiful, healthy-looking smile. And from the looks of things, her daughter is on track to have one, too. We would like to see every child get off to an equally good start!

If you have questions about your child’s oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Taking the Stress Out of Dentistry for Kids” and “Top 10 Oral Health Tips for Children.”