Beware of Overbrushing!

If brushing twice a day is good for your teeth, scrubbing those pearly whites five or six times a day should produce a perfect smile, right? Although it might sound like brushing more frequently or aggressively would help to scrub your dental surfaces clean, Dr. Silberg explains that overbrushing is actually a common mistake that could permanently damage your smile. Here are four problems commonly caused by overbrushing and what you can do to avoid issues.  

Dental Problems Caused By Overbrushing

Gum Recession

When you brush your teeth too frequently or too aggressively, it can whisk away gum tissue, which tends to grow back very slowly, if at all. Eventually, most overbrushers experience severe gum recession, exposing underlying dental roots. In addition to giving your smile an aged appearance, gum recession can also lead to cavities in your dental roots, which are painful and jeopardize your entire tooth.

Dental Sensitivity

Another issue caused by overbrushing is extreme dental sensitivity, because aggressive brushing can remove protective dental enamel. Unfortunately, the more worn down the dental surface becomes, the easier it is for hot and cold foods and liquids to affect the nerves inside of your teeth, causing sensitivity. Additionally, since dental roots aren’t covered by protective enamel, they are especially prone to sensitivity.

Surface Changes

Aggressive brushing can also cause pits and grooves to form in the surfaces of your teeth, making your teeth look damaged, mottled, or matte. Surface changes can also make it easier for food particles and plaque to adhere to the teeth, paving the way for tooth decay.

Yellowed Appearance

When you remove hard, white dental enamel by overbrushing, you are exposing underlying dentin, which is naturally yellow in color. When aggressive brushing has damaged the dental surface to this level, protective crowns or veneers might be the only way to correct the color and functionality of the tooth.  

Avoiding Overbrushing

To prevent brushing too aggressively, only brush twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Make sure that you are flossing properly without damaging the gum tissue, and talk with your dentist if you have problems like bleeding or pain during your normal dental care routine. If you are using a manual toothbrush, switch to a power toothbrush with a pressure sensor. These brushes shine a light or emit a noise if you are applying too much pressure, preventing damage. Also, talk with Dr. Silberg about gum disease treatment in Pittsburgh if you think that you are experiencing oral care problems. Many patients who overbrush are trying to treat more serious dental care issues than they can help at home, which is why scheduling an appointment with Dr. Silberg is important.

How is a Dental Implant Made?

What are a dental implant?

Dental Implants in Pittsburgh, PA            

A dental implant is a metal post that is inserted surgically into your jaw in place of the original tooth root. It’s a tooth replacement that serves as an alternative to either dentures or dental bridges. Rather than other solutions that sit on the surface of your mouth, dental implants are inserted in place of the original root, making dental implants a more permanent option.

How is it made?

            Dental implants are commonly made from titanium, a metal that is not harmful to living tissue and is easily accepted by the body. A metal rod is formed from the titanium and inserted in place of the original root of the tooth. The rod then fuses with the bone and becomes like the original root. The implant serves as a durable foundation for a replacement tooth.

Pros of dental implants

  •         Longer lasting- other options for teeth replacement often don’t last as long, they can typically last 5-10 years before needing replacing. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime.
  •         Like natural teeth- because dental implants are inserted surgically in place of the original root they act like your natural teeth. So, you can retain your beautiful smile without needing to worry about the sliding that can be common with dentures.
  •         No cavities- You cannot get cavities in a dental implant. Although it is important to continue to take care of your mouth, have regular checkups with your dentist and keep your gums and mouth clean.
  •         Protect your natural teeth- Dental implants do not rely on surrounding teeth for support, they are a separate entity like your natural teeth. So, no grinding will occur with your natural teeth as needs to be done to insert a bridge.
  •         Best thing after your natural teeth- Other tooth replacements can lead to problems with your smile, eating, speaking, and other everyday activities. This is not the case with dental implants, they function and you can treat them as your other teeth.

            Dental implants are not commonly covered by insurance, so talk to your insurance provider and your Dr. Silberg before deciding if a they are an option you wish to go with. However, do keep in mind that dental implants are a cost-effective solution as it is a one-time procedure that won’t need to be redone or replaced in the future. Schedule an appointment with The Silberg Center for Dental Science if you are looking for dental implants in Pittsburgh, we can help you decide if they are right for you!

Pinhole Surgery; A Solution for Receding Gums

Years ago, gum grafting was the only way to cover exposed dental roots. Unfortunately, the surgery required cutting, stitches, scarring, an uncomfortable recovery and stitch removal, which is why pinhole surgery is such an incredible dental technique.

Pinhole Surgery: An Overview

Pinhole Surgical Technique in Pittsburgh

Instead of cutting flaps around the gum tissue and sewing grafts into place, pinhole surgery is all about pushing your existing gum tissue downwards to cover exposure. During pinhole surgery, a small incision about the size of a pinhole is made above the affected area after the mouth is numbed with a powerful anesthetic. Next, Dr. Silberg uses specialized tools to gently reposition the gum tissue. After the gums are in place, the doctor inserts tiny collagen strips into the tunnel to encourage healing and to keep the gums in place.  Effective immediately and minimally invasive, patients typically heal very quickly from the procedure and are happy with their long-lasting results.

Benefits of Pinhole Surgery

One of the greatest benefits of pinhole surgery is the fact that patients can avoid general anesthesia and multiple wound sites. Additionally, since Dr. Silberg can treat multiple teeth at the same time, the procedure is a lot faster than traditional gum grafting. The entire procedure is stitch-free, which means patients can avoid scars, hyper-pigmentation, and additional trips to the dentist to have sutured removed. Recovery is incredibly straightforward, and most people are eating and drinking normally after about 24 hours following surgery.  

Why Pinhole Surgery Is Important

Caused by issues like hormone deficiency, poor oral hygiene, smoking, bruxism, medications, and aggressive brushing, gum recession is more serious than most people realize. Although most people assume that gum recession is a minor cosmetic issue, receding gums can actually weaken the periodontal arch by loosening tooth sockets. Since gum tissue is responsible for stabilizing the teeth and lending to the aesthetics of the smile, recession can cause tooth loss, crooked teeth, and problems keeping the teeth clean. Fortunately, pinhole surgery is a simple, highly effective treatment that Dr. Silberg has been offering for years.

Schedule Your Gum Recession Consultation Today

If you have gum recession that is causing problems like sensitivity, schedule a consultation with your periodontist in Pittsburgh today to talk about pinhole surgery. Most patients are candidates for this minimally invasive procedure, and you won’t believe how incredible the results can be.

Drinks That Eat Teeth

Drinks that eat teeth

As the weather gets warmer and summer is here we start to crave some of our favorite summer drinks! It’s easy to quench our thirst with fruit juices and sodas on a hot day or after a fun summer activity, but so many of these drinks we crave are damaging our teeth! When we drink fluids that are acidic and sugary, we begin to activate erosion on the enamel of our teeth. When that happens, a whole host of problems can occur. We begin to expose the dentin of our teeth, making them appear yellowish. We can also make our teeth extra sensitive, rounded or transparent on the edges, and get lots of plaque build-up. The sugary drinks and treats will promote acid-creating bacteria, which will damage the teeth the same way acidic drinks will.

So, what does ‘acidic’ even mean? When something is acidic it has a pH level between zero and seven. Zero is the most acidic (battery acid has a pH of one) and seven is neutral (water has a pH of seven). Would you believe that grapefruit juice has a pH of three? That’s quite acidic!

Be sure and check out our new “Drinks that Eat Teeth” webpage about drinks that can damage teeth and look for tips on how we can prevent further damage.

Remember also that Dr. Silberg at the Silberg Center for Dental Science to help with detecting acidic erosion within your own mouth. Dr. Silberg’s extensive experience with cosmetic and restorative dentistry will help make your teeth look fabulous, and build your confidence 10 fold! Make an appointment with us if you have questions about what your options are for discoloration, teeth sensitivity, plaque build-up, or any other symptoms of erosion. Many of these symptoms are listed at our “Drinks that Eat Teeth” page.

As one of Pittsburgh’s top periodontists, Dr. Silberg is a great resource to give you a better and healthier smile. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Silberg today!

What To Do When A Root Canal Fails

Treating Root Canal Failure at Silberg Center For Dental Science.

If a tooth becomes infected and painful, a root canal is a common treatment. Root canals do not fail often, but when they do fail, it is important to get the right treatment. Root canals involve the use of specialized tools to remove the root of a tooth and clean it so it is free of bacteria. Bacteria left inside the tooth will continue to grow and infect the tooth. If bacteria does continue to cause issues, extracting the tooth might be the only option to stop the pain. However, extraction leads to another problem, a missing tooth.

What Causes a Root Canal to Fail?

Root canals will fail if there are undetected canal branches, cracks in the root, or an obstruction that makes it difficult to properly clean the root of a tooth. A failed root canal will begin to hurt and could cause pain through a noticeable abscess tooth. Regular dental cleanings and examinations can uncover a failed root canal. X-rays taken at the time of an appointment also can allow Dr. Silberg to examine the root of the tooth to see if there are concerns that need to be addressed, and if the root canal has failed.

What Can I Do If a Root Canal Fails?

If you are feeling any of the symptoms mentioned above, please contact Dr. Silberg if you suspect your root canal has failed. Root canals normally fail if the tooth has been treated several times. Caps or crowns on the tooth often need to be replaced every 7-10 years. Dental implants are one of the best options to replace a missing tooth. We of course will consider every possible option for our patients to help you save money and ensure you receive the right treatment for your condition. Call our office to schedule a consultation to discuss your failed root canal options.

Choosing Dental Implants

Dental implants are preferable as they are a long-term solution for a missing tooth. Dental implants will help the jaw bone to stay strong as the implant bonds to the bone, encouraging the body to continue nourishing the jaw bone instead of letting it deteriorate. Dental implants have a 97 percent success rate and are one of the best treatments for patients in need of a tooth replacement. If the tooth needs to be extracted and you believe that a dental implant is the best option to restore your smile, contact Dr. Silberg to schedule a consultation. He and our staff will work with you to build a beautiful smile that includes a dental implant and crown that will match the color and look of your existing teeth.

Are you caring for your dental implants?

Caring for your new dental implants

If you recently enhanced your smile with beautiful dental implants from Dr. Silberg, it is important to properly care for them. Caring for your implants will ensure that they will be able to serve their function as replacements for your natural teeth for many years to come. Dental implants are an investment and can take up 12 months to fully complete, and while they are quite tough, implants care not invincible. They can bend, break, or become infected if they are not cared for properly. Luckily caring for your dental implants is quite similar to caring for your actual teeth. Here are some tips and tricks from the Silberg Center for Dental Science to keep a strict regiment of good oral hygiene.

What can you do to care for your implants?

  • Brush your teeth twice a day, and after meals if necessary.
  • Remember to floss your teeth twice a day as well, and if you get any food particles stuck in your teeth. Use implant specific floss or unwaxed tape to protect your implants and surrounding gums.
  • Only use floss to remove food particles from your teeth, not your fingernails, string, etc.
  • Visit the dentist regularly to check on your oral health as well as the health of your implants. Right after you your implants, it is important to go to every follow up appointment your surgeon and continue to see your dentist about twice a year.
  • Avoid abrasive toothpaste ingredients (such as baking soda), and hard-bristled toothbrushes.
  • Rinse your mouth with mouthwash twice a day.

What can happen if you don’t care for your implants?

If you don’t take care of your implants, it is possible from them to develop problems such as bleeding (otherwise known as mucositis), infections, implant looseness, etc. Improper care of your implants can eventually lead to gum or even bone loss. Bone loss is irreversible, and it may be necessary to remove the implant if the problem progresses too far.

Remember that you can achieve optimal oral health with proper care. If you have any more questions about taking care of your dental implants or any other dental questions, call us today at (412) 888-0097 and you can set up an appointment with Dr. Silberg to help keep your implants and mouth happy and healthy

Why a Single Tooth Implant is Better Than a Bridge

Losing a tooth can be embarrassing and debilitating, especially if the tooth loss occurred in a visible area. Although many people are tempted to opt for a less expensive dental bridge to fill the void, a modern single tooth implant offers a better range of benefits.Getting a single tooth implant has many benefits over dental bridges.

Missing a Tooth? Problems With Bridges

Tooth loss does more than give your smile a gapped look. When you talk and chew with your natural teeth, they stimulate the area within the socket, which helps the jawbone to stay strong and healthy. Unfortunately, when a tooth goes missing, the jaw doesn’t receive this stimulation, and the bone can start to resorb, or melt away. Over time, this bone loss can weaken the rest of the periodontal arch, putting your other teeth at risk. However, Pittsburgh dental implants recreate this natural stimulation, keeping your jaw healthy and strong, which protects your arch and your face shape.

Another problem with dental bridges is that they can put extra strain on the neighboring teeth. Because they are typically supported with a retainer or permanent metal brackets, bridges put pressure on the supporting teeth when you chew or clench your teeth. But, dental implants are independently supported, allowing the neighboring teeth to stay strong and healthy.

For these reasons, a single dental implant is better than a bridge.

Single Tooth Implant: Other Benefits

Protecting your teeth isn’t the only benefit of dental implants. Here are just a few other reasons that dentists prefer dental implants for their patients.

    • Confidence

      Because removable bridges can slip or fall out, they can make some people worried about eating certain foods during the day—especially in social settings. On the other hand, dental implants are strongly anchored into your jawbone, improving your confidence.

    • Improved Appearance

      Specialists designed dental implants to mimic the contours, color, and opacity of your natural teeth. That way, nobody will know that you’ve had dental repairs.

    • Simpler, More Effective Dental Hygiene

      Dental implants don’t need any special care other than routine brushing and flossing. This means that you can keep the rest of your teeth clean and healthy—without adding chores to your daily hygiene routine.

Talk With Your Dentist About Dental Implants Today

If you need to have a tooth replaced, make an appointment with Dr. Silberg today to talk about dental implants. Besides enjoying a beautiful, stable smile, we might surprise you with how natural dental implants feel. Schedule your complimentary consultation today.

Spring Cleaning & A New Smile

Spring Cleaning Spring has sprung and it is time once again to crack down on your spring cleaning!

Here are some tips and tricks to help spring cleaning go more smoothly this year.

Start Small

It is easy to become overwhelmed when you take an inventory of everything you need to clean in your home and in your life.  Don’t let yourself become distracted with all of the many things you could be cleaning and focus on one task at a time.  It may be helpful to start in one room of your house and then move on to the next one after that room is finished.   

Make a List

Just like everything else in life, it is easier to accomplish your to-do list if you actually make a to-do list.  Sit down and analyze what exactly you want to clean this spring.  Once you have a plan in place, it will minimize stress and make it a lot easier to tackle everything one step at a time.  

Take 10 Minutes a Day

Instead of trying to knock everything out in a day or two (and consequently exhausting yourself) take a little bit of time each day to knock something off your list.  Save the larger tasks for days that you will have more time and take care of the smaller things when time is tight.  Just make sure that you take a little bit of time every day to get things done!

Think Creatively

While it is important to clean your countertops, bathrooms, etc. try to find a few things that normally get pushed to the side to add to your spring cleaning list. Here are a few ideas:

  • Your Smile – Oral hygiene is just as important as keeping a clean house.  If you have thought about improving your smile you can schedule an appointment with your Pittsburgh Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Silberg today! From Gum Depigmentation, Crown Lengthening, and more his expertise can take your smile, and confidence to a new level! Don’t put it off any longer! 
  • Your Relationships – Many of us have toxic friends in our lives that bring us down.  It may be time to “break-up” with a few of your friends.  Don’t waste your time on people who take more than they give.  At the same time, you may have a few relationships that need a bit of TLC.  Give extra time to friends and family this spring and try to rebuild forgotten relationships.  
  • Clean Up Your Phone – Take the time to go through your phone and delete any apps you don’t use.  While you’re at it, a look at your address book and delete the numbers of people you haven’t talked to in a few years and don’t plan on talking to in the next few.  

Why a Periodontist is Best For Dental Implants

Did you know that there aren’t any laws prohibiting dentists from practicing outside of their specialty in the United States? This means that the general dentist down the street might also offer complex endodontic procedures or dental implants—even if they aren’t qualified to do so. Unfortunately, when it comes to receiving dental implants, working with the right dental professional is crucial for your long term success. Here are just a few of the reasons you should only work with a periodontist to receive dental implants.

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Extra Training

General dentists receive four years of dental school training that covers a broad range of dental techniques, including dental implants. However, this training isn’t comprehensive and may not include all of the latest information about the procedure, which is why periodontists go to school for an additional three years outside of normal dental school to hone their skills.

During their periodontal residency, periodontists work alongside certified professionals to master the art of placing implants in the safest, most aesthetically pleasing way. To become a licensed periodontist, applicants have to pass rigorous physical and written exams to demonstrate their knowledge and skills. For patients, working with a periodontist means receiving the best level of dental care and giving your implants the best chance of success.  

More Implant Placements

Since Pittsburgh implant dentists specialize in the treatment planning, placement, and maintenance of dental implants, they are simply more familiar with the procedure than dentists who only handle the procedure once in awhile. Additionally, periodontists who specialize in dental implants may have a broader range of implants, abutments, and temporary crowns in stock, helping you to maintain your comfort and appearance throughout the process.

Familiarity With Treatment Planning and Complications

When general dentists fail to place implants successfully, they typically refer patients to periodontists, which means that dental implant professionals see and treat a wide variety of complications. In addition to helping these experts to understand dental implant risks and how to prevent them, familiarity with dental implants also allows professionals to plan treatments more effectively with new patients.

Prevention of Gum Disease

During their formal training, periodontists also study gum disease control, treatment, and prevention very carefully, helping these experts to protect the rest of your natural teeth. If you have lost teeth due to prior decay or problems with gum disease, working with a periodontist might help you to prevent ongoing problems or spot issues early.

If you are interested in meeting with a periodontist to learn more about dental implants, contact the Silberg Center for Dental Science. Dr. Silberg is currently accepting new patients, and would love the chance to help you to make over your smile.

What are Mini Dental Implants?

Mini dental implants in Pittsburgh are a less invasive alternative to dental implants.

When compared with other tooth replacement options, dental implants offer a wide range of benefits, including helping the jaw tissue stay healthy, making it easier for people to clean their teeth, and creating a much more realistic, beautiful smile. Unfortunately, because dental implants rely on fusion between the implant itself and the surrounding bone tissue, some patients may not be eligible for traditional dental implants.

Candidacy for Dental Implants

In addition to being committed to proper oral health and understanding the timeline involved with dental implants, candidates must also have an adequate amount of healthy bone tissue for implants. The bone that will house the implants needs to be wide, deep, and healthy enough to hold implants properly. Without healthy bone tissue, implants could be prone to failure. Patients who have taken bisphosphonate medications may not be eligible for dental implants for this very reason. Medications like Boniva change the way that your body develops bone tissue, which means that you could be more at risk for serious complications if you get implants. However, minimally invasive mini dental implants in Pittsburgh may be an alternative that could work for you.

Mini Dental Implants: A Minimally Invasive Alternative

Mini dental implants function the exact same way as traditional implants, but they are much smaller to accommodate less bone tissue. For example, while traditional dental implant posts were 3.75 mm wide, mini dental implants are between 1.8 mm and 3 mm wide, as small as half the size of typical dental implants. This smaller size enables dentists to place dental implants in bone tissue that might be unusually shallow or weak due to personal anatomical differences or prior disease.

Mini dental implants are much less invasive than traditional dental implants because of their smaller size. Typically placed in sets to improve the stability of the new teeth, some mini dental implants can be installed the same day damaged teeth are removed—helping you enjoy a beautiful smile sooner. Because they require less surgery to install, mini dental implants are also less expensive than other kinds of dental implants. Also, since mini dental implants in Pittsburgh can be used as anchors for dentures, your dentist may even be able to adjust your current dentures to grip onto mini implant anchors, improving their stability.

If you are interested in receiving mini dental implants, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Mark Silberg. As a certified periodontist with years of experience placing dental implants, Dr. Silberg can help you to enjoy the smile you’ve always dreamed of.