My Blog

Posts for tag: dental implants

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
December 19, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
JohnnysTeethArentRottenAnyMore

Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.

In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.

For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.

Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.

It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.

That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”

We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
October 29, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out whether or not you should get dental implants in Pittsburgh, PA.

Dental ImplantThere is a reason so many people are turning to dental implants to replace one or more of their missing teeth. After all, dental implants are the next best thing you can have to a real tooth, as they don’t just look like real teeth, but function just like them too. So, what makes you an ideal candidate for getting dental implants from our Pittsburgh, PA, aesthetic dentist Dr. Gary Machiko?

Before we answer this question, it's important to note that there are multiple factors which determine whether dental implants are truly the best way to replace your missing teeth. While there are many adults out there who can benefit from implants, just like with any dental treatment, implants aren’t right for everyone and it’s important that our Pittsburgh, PA, implant dentist helps you find the right tooth replacement to fit your needs.

Some factors that influence your candidacy for dental implants include:

Your Age

The ideal candidate for implants will be an adult, and you’ll be happy to hear that there is no age cap on when you can get dental implants. Adults of all ages are able to enjoy a brand new smile thanks to dental implants. However, implants are not ideal for children and most teens.

This is because a child’s jawbone is still developing. Placing an implant into the jawbone during this time would halt the jawbone’s growth. If you have a child or teen who is dealing with tooth loss, talk to our Pittsburgh, PA, dentist about other tooth replacement options.

Your Health

Your health is paramount to whether or not you are an ideal candidate for implants. After all, you will have to undergo surgery, meaning that you will need to be healthy in order to heal efficiently. During your consultation, we will examine your mouth and take X-rays to make sure that there isn’t significant jawbone loss.

We will also go through your medical history. If you have any chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t get dental implants, but we will want to make sure that you have your condition under control with the proper medications or treatments before we get started.

Your Lifestyle

Certain habits can affect the success and health of your dental implant. One such habit is smoking. If you are a smoker, this won’t just impact the healing process after your implant surgery, but it can also greatly increase your risk for implant failure. Therefore, it’s a good idea to quit smoking prior to getting implants.

Find Out if You Qualify!

Are you interested in taking the next step toward getting dental implants? If so, then call our Pittsburgh, PA, dental office today at (412) 367-1319 to schedule your no-risk consultation. We want you to feel confident smiling again.

SurgicallyAccessingSinusescanHelpGrowNewBoneforImplants

Dental implants are by far the best way to replace missing teeth. But they do more than improve your smile: they can restore your ability to eat, chew and talk properly, especially if the teeth replaced are in the back of your mouth. What’s more, they can improve the entire look of your face by restoring facial height and cheek support lost because of the missing teeth.

There is, however, one obstacle to overcome before receiving dental implants — a lack of sufficient bone at the implant site. Bone loss usually occurs when teeth have been missing for some time. This is because when we chew the forces generated by the teeth stimulate continual bone growth to make up for older bone that has dissolved (resorbed). This stimulation doesn’t occur after teeth are lost, which slows the rate of bone growth. Over time the amount of healthy bone diminishes.

Without enough bone for support, implants can’t be placed properly. Fortunately, some of the bone can be regenerated through techniques that place bone grafting material at the site to stimulate and serve as a scaffold for new bone.  The new bone will eventually replace the graft.

For missing upper back teeth with bone loss, we can take advantage of facial anatomy to grow the bone needed for implants. This area of the face is where the maxillary sinuses, air spaces lined with a tissue membrane, are located on either side just above the upper jaw. After determining their exact size and location through detailed x-ray imaging, we can surgically access the area inside the mouth just above the missing teeth.

The sinus cavity is an area where bone growth can occur by placing a bone graft between the floor of the sinus and the sinus membrane. Sometimes bone growth enhancers are used to stimulate and speed up regeneration. The procedure can usually be performed with local anesthesia (much like a routine tooth filling), with only mild discomfort afterward for a few days managed by an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen and a decongestant for sinus swelling.

After six to seven months, we re-evaluate the area to see if sufficient bone has returned for implant surgery. If so, you will be well on your way to achieving a new look and better function through dental implants.

If you would like more information on building new bone through sinus surgery, 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 “Sinus Surgery.”

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
September 24, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental ImplantsFor a complete smile, see Pittsburgh dentist, Dr. Gary Machiko, about dental implants--actual artificial teeth in every sense of the term. Set directly into the jaw bone, dental implants close gaps, improve bone structure and give you the oral function so close to real teeth it's amazing. Get a second chance at a great smile.

Becoming gap-free

Self-confidence suffers when you lose teeth. Your remaining teeth migrate toward the empty spaces, and gum tissue and supporting bone degrade almost immediately, changing how your face looks. Sure, traditional bridges and dentures work well as far as they go; however, they slip, change speech, create sore spots, wear down neighboring teeth and more. Plus, they do not exercise the jaw bone.

Alternatively, dental implants from Dr. Machiko in Pittsburgh improve jaw bone structure through osseointegration. After implant insertion, the jaw bone adheres to the titanium metal screw, creating a bond which improves with time. Osseointegration is exclusive to dental implants. No other tooth replacement claims this superior strength and natural functionality.

Are implants right for you?

If you have enough bone in your jaw and your overall health is good, you probably qualify for implants. To confirm this, Dr. Machiko will do a complete examination, check your medical history and do some digital X-rays and three- dimensional imaging. If you lack sufficient bone, you may be eligible for bone grafting procedures which Dr. Machiko can do right in the office.

Dr. Machiko and his professional team also execute every other phase of implant placement from the insertion of the device to restoration with an alloy post and custom-crafted porcelain crown. Additionally, if you are missing several or even all of your teeth, you may qualify for implant-supported "teeth in a day", bridgework, or "All-on-4" dentures. All of these tooth replacements owe their durability and stability to state-of-the-art dental implants and Dr. Machiko's extensive expertise.

Implants change it all

From how you look, to how you eat and speak and even to how you take care of your teeth, dental implants revolutionize dental prosthetics patient by patient by patient. Remember, dental implants only require twice daily brushing and once a day flossing to stay healthy and plaque-free. However, if you smoke, you do increase the chances of implant failure quite dramatically. So take this opportunity to begin a smoking cessation program through your primary care physician.

Are you ready for a gap-free smile?

The American Academy of Implant Dentistry says that about three million people in the United States have at least one dental implant. That number grows annually, too. Would you like to be one of the many happy implant patients Dr. Machiko has helped? Then, contact his office in Pittsburgh, PA to arrange your own implant consultation. Call today: (412) 367-1319.

By Gary W. Machiko, DMD
August 27, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental Implants Replace Missing TeethPeople suffering from tooth loss also often suffer from self-esteem issues. Are you missing a tooth and want an aesthetically more attractive smile? If you need dental implants, speak with your Pittsburgh, PA, dentist, Dr. Gary Machiko, about dental implants.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are made up of a titanium post that is surgically inserted into your jaws to replace your missing tooth root. Dental implants help stabilize, strengthen, and prevent weakening and shrinking of your jawbone. Dr. Machiko is dual degreed, both his dental degree and his mechanical engineering degree offering his patient's the advantage of precise measurement and placement of their dental implants. The next step involves sealing your gums and allowing 3 to 6 months for osseointegration, the process in which the titanium post fuses to the jawbone, to occur.

You will then need to come back to the dentist's office in Pittsburgh so that Dr. Machiko can re-open the area above the titanium post, insert a screw, place an abutment above the screw, and secure a crown on top that matches the rest of your teeth.

What are dental implant advantages?

Having a great smile isn't the only advantage dental implants provide:

  • A dental implant can restore one tooth, a few teeth or all of your teeth.
  • Unlike dentures, dental implants are fixed in place, so they don't fall out.
  • The dental implants can last a lifetime.
  • They can restore bite and chewing function.

How do you care for dental implants?

Like the rest of your teeth, make sure you brush your teeth and floss every day. You have to brush at least twice a day and, for at least two minutes each, and floss at least once before bedtime.

Also, a change in diet may benefit your dental health. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and avoiding sugary foods to prevent accumulation of plaque is good preventative dentistry. Make sure you drink plenty of water that will remove food debris and help avoid cavities.

Need a consultation?

Dental implants are a great investment that can last a lifetime. If you have more questions about dental implants, call Dr. Machiko in Pittsburgh, PA, at (412) 367-1319. Dr. Machiko is dual degreed in both dentistry and mechanical engineering, offering his patients the advantage of precise measurement and placement of their dental implants.