My Blog

Posts for: May, 2016

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
May 27, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

Beautiful teeth, in most cases, don't come naturally. Genetics or human error can result in stains, breakage or misalignment. However, veneersporcelain tooth veneers from Dr. Gary Machiko, your cosmetic dentist in McCandless, PA, can reverse all of these problems and more. Here, Dr. Machiko explains why tooth veneers are the premiere cosmetic dental restoration offered at his cosmetic dentistry practice.

How do veneers work?

Veneers offer a versatility unlike any other cosmetic dentistry procedure available. They correct discolorations, fill in chips or cracks, correct misshapen teeth and straighten out overlaps, all in one tiny, wafer-thin porcelain overlay. Your teeth become the epitome of bright, straight and even once your veneers are in place! After careful measurements are taken, each veneer is custom-designed in a dental laboratory to be cemented over the corresponding tooth by your McCandless cosmetic dentist. The natural teeth underneath the veneers must be buffed to ensure a strong bond, a process that takes place prior to your veneer fitting. In some cases, you may have temporary veneers to wear in the interim.

How long do veneers last?

Your McCandless dentist, Dr. Machiko, sees patients who can wear their tooth veneers as long as twenty years. However, the longevity of your veneers will depend quite a bit on the care and attention you give them. While veneers cannot develop decay, the natural teeth underneath them are still vulnerable to problems if regular brushing and flossing isn't part of the patients' daily oral care routine. It's also imperative that you visit Dr. Machiko at least once a year so he can check your veneers and treat any potential problems.

Are you interested in learning more about how tooth veneers can make over your smile? Contact the dental office of Dr. Gary Machiko in McCandless, PA. We'd be glad to give you more information that can make a huge difference in your smile and self-confidence!

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
May 18, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: gummy smiles  

You’re a bit self-conscious about your smile. But not because of your teeth — it’s your upper gums, which seem too prominent when you smile. While “too much” is a matter of perception varying from individual to individual, it’s generally accepted that a smile is “gummy” if four or more millimeters (a bit more than an eighth of an inch) of the gums are visible.

The good news is there are ways to improve the appearance of your gums. Which method we use, though, will depend on the underlying reason why the gums are prominent. The amount of gum tissue, in fact, may not be the problem at all, but could be the size of the crowns (the visible parts of teeth), the upper lip’s range of motion, the upper jaw’s position in relation to the face, or a combination of any of these.

For example, if your teeth didn’t erupt and develop properly, the gums might not have moved back to their proper position and stabilized as they should in your late teens or early twenties. A normal crown (the visible part of a tooth) is about 10 millimeters long, with a ratio of width to length of about 75-85%. Below those measurements the teeth can appear smaller, making even normal gum tissue appear larger. In another scenario, the upper lip may rise too high when you smile (hypermobility), which reveals too much of the gums.

If tooth size is the problem, we may recommend a periodontal surgical procedure called crown lengthening that reveals more of the tooth. A hypermobile lip can be treated with Botox shots to temporarily restrict the movement (it must be repeated every six months) or by surgically repositioning the lip muscles that control movement. Similarly, surgically repositioning an overlong upper jaw to make it appear shorter may be the right course.

That’s why our first step is to determine why your gums are too prominent with a complete dental examination. Knowing exactly why they stand out will help us devise a treatment plan that will greatly enhance your smile.

If you would like more information on improving a gummy smile, 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 “Gummy Smiles.”

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
May 03, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   bonding  

So you’re tearing up the dance floor at a friend’s wedding, when all of a sudden one of your pals lands an accidental blow to your face — chipping out part of your front tooth, which lands right on the floorboards! Meanwhile, your wife (who is nine months pregnant) is expecting you home in one piece, and you may have to pose for a picture with the baby at any moment. What will you do now?

Take a tip from Prince William of England. According to the British tabloid The Daily Mail, the future king found himself in just this situation in 2013. His solution: Pay a late-night visit to a discreet dentist and get it fixed up — then stay calm and carry on!

Actually, dental emergencies of this type are fairly common. While nobody at the palace is saying exactly what was done for the damaged tooth, there are several ways to remedy this dental dilemma.

If the broken part is relatively small, chances are the tooth can be repaired by bonding with composite resin. In this process, tooth-colored material is used to replace the damaged, chipped or discolored region. Composite resin is a super-strong mixture of plastic and glass components that not only looks quite natural, but bonds tightly to the natural tooth structure. Best of all, the bonding procedure can usually be accomplished in just one visit to the dental office — there’s no lab work involved. And while it won’t last forever, a bonded tooth should hold up well for at least several years with only routine dental care.

If a larger piece of the tooth is broken off and recovered, it is sometimes possible to reattach it via bonding. However, for more serious damage — like a severely fractured or broken tooth — a crown (cap) may be required. In this restoration process, the entire visible portion of the tooth may be capped with a sturdy covering made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to a gold metal alloy.

A crown restoration is more involved than bonding. It begins with making a 3-D model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors. From this model, a tooth replica will be fabricated by a skilled technician; it will match the existing teeth closely and fit into the bite perfectly. Next, the damaged tooth will be prepared, and the crown will be securely attached to it. Crown restorations are strong, lifelike and permanent.

Was the future king “crowned” — or was his tooth bonded? We may never know for sure. But it’s good to know that even if we’ll never be royals, we still have several options for fixing a damaged tooth. If you would like more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Crowns and Bridgework.”