Happy Thanksgiving!

iStock_000021905716_XXXLarge compressedWe hope that all our patients enjoy their holiday plans! This is a great time of year to stay warm at home during the cold weather, to get closer to family and loved ones you don’t see often, to celebrate the good things in life–and, of course, to eat a whole lot of good food!

Just make sure that, after you finish your Thanksgiving feast, you are extra careful to clean your teeth thoroughly. Bacteria LOVE sugar, and several of the traditional Thanksgiving foods you’ll be eating have a high sugar content. Pie, cranberry sauce, and candied yams are especially sweet, which tastes great but can be hard on your teeth. While you’re having your meal, the bacteria will be enjoying a meal of their own, one which can cause the growth of plaque and put your teeth in danger of decay. In addition, teeth can be stained by wine and coffee–both of which you’re more likely to have during the holidays. So be sure to brush and floss carefully to keep your teeth healthy and bright.

At Silberg Center for Dental science, we want you to be proud of your smile. Make sure to take good care of it–especially during the holidays, when there’s so much to smile about! No one wants a toothache as a holiday gift, and

We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and an excellent end to the year!

Sincerely,

All your friends at the Silberg Center for Dental Science

Taking Care of your Dental Implant

shutterstock_109993853_compressedDental implants are often utilized when a patient is missing one or more teeth. It acts as a substitute for the missing tooth; restoring function to the patient’s mouth while improving the aesthetics of the patient’s smile. Just like your regular teeth, dental implants require special care in order to keep your oral health in good standing. We’ve provided some dental implant care tips to help our patients get a better understanding of how to care for them!

Dental Implant Cleaning and Caring

You ultimately need to care for your dental implants like you would your natural teeth. This means that you’ll need to practice good oral hygiene in order to prevent diseases from occurring. You will need to utilize standard home oral care like teeth brushing, flossing, and mouth rinsing alongside regular dental visits and professional cleanings. When brushing and flossing at home, make sure you are using proper technique so that you don’t harm your natural teeth.

Beyond that, you’ll need additional dental tools to properly take care of your dental implants. There are numerous products out there that can assist you with cleaning your dental implants. We can recommend some of these products for you based off of your own individual needs. For example, there are water picks and toothbrushes that have various attachments with angled necks or also they can apply a different kind of pressure to allow for the utmost cleaning. There also are flossing tools that can help clean around the dental implant and prevent infection for stuck food particles. Infection around the base of your dental implant can cause it to loosen and ultimately fall out.

Once you have a dental implant placed, it is very important that you maintain it properly. In the end, you want to be sure that you are not only using the right cleaning techniques, but that you also have the right dental tools that you need to care for them.
You’ll want to remember these key pieces of information when practicing proper dental implant care:

  • Utilize proper technique: when it comes to your dental implants, you need to exercise proper dental care. This includes flossing and brushing in the right way.
  • Use the right tool for the right job: dental implants can require additional dental tools beyond floss and a toothbrush. Speak with a Dr. Silberg and he’ll be able to recommend any specific tools that you’ll need for your dental implants.
  • Get help: If you need to reach out and ask some questions about your dental implant visit with Dr. Silberg and make sure you get the help that you need. This includes regular checkups with Dr. Silberg and cleaning appointments.

Questions?

Taking proper care of your dental implants is the most important thing you can do for your oral health. Your dental implants serve a major role in your overall well being and the aesthetics of your smile. Should you have any questions regarding dental implant care, please do not hesitate to contact us!

A Crown Restoration

iStock_000020869654_XXXLargeIn the past, getting a crown was a lengthy procedure, involving weeks of waiting. The process of taking a cast of your tooth, sending it to an outside lab, waiting for them to complete the crown, getting it delivered to your dentist’s office, and finally having it placed in your mouth was a major inconvenience. And the wait for tooth replacement was even worse: a standard wait time between placing the post of an implant and actually installing your custom crown was six months. But thanks to the use of new technology, we are able to offer you teeth in an hour: custom crowns and replacement teeth which can be installed in a single visit.

At the Silberg Center for Dental Science, we understand both the value of your time and the importance of a healthy smile. Working with Dr. Silberg, you can have both. We use computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) to provide you with crowns and replacement teeth that are ready in minutes and a perfect fit for your mouth.

When you come for your appointment, your existing tooth will be ground down and shaped to receive a crown. Then, instead of taking a physical cast, we capture images of the tooth using a tiny camera which relays the data to a computer. The computer creates a 3D model of your tooth and uses that to determine the final shape of your crown. The crown is then milled on-site from a block of porcelain, using delicately calibrated machinery to produce a perfect fit, and can leave our office with a complete, healthy smile. If you are receiving a dental implant, the procedure is much the same; but instead of taking pictures of a ground-down tooth, the crown will be fitted to the post of your implant. The porcelain crowns we produce mimic the shape and shine of a natural, healthy tooth and will leave your smile at its best.

If you are experiencing tooth decay or damage, or are in need of a tooth replacement, call us or request an appointment online. We will be glad to help repair your smile with a dental crown.

What is a Perioscope?

If you are suffering from gum disease, cleaning of the periodontal pockets—the space between your gums and your tooth roots—is essential to recovery. In a patient with gum disease, the periodontal pockets deepen and provide homes for harmful bacteria which infect the gum tissue and damage the teeth. In some cases, surgery has been the method of choice for treating gum disease; but the Silberg Center for Dental Science now offers an alternative in the form of perioscopy.

PeriodontitisA perioscope is a tiny camera attached to the end of a dental probe. The perioscope can be inserted below the gumline to allow your dentist to see inside your periodontal pockets, assessing and treating your gum disease without the need for surgery. A perioscope offers up to 48 times magnification, providing a clear view of details that might otherwise be missed. Using a perioscope allows Dr. Silberg to clean your periodontal pockets thoroughly, giving your gums the chance to heal.

What are the advantages of perioscopy?

Visibility: The use of a perioscope allows Dr. Silberg to examine the inside of your periodontal pockets, an area which is normally invisible without surgery.

Magnification: The magnifying power of the perioscope allows examination at a level of minute detail that was previously impossible, making flaws, cracks, perforations, and accumulations of bacteria visible.

Avoid surgery: While other treatments for advanced gum disease often require surgical solutions, perioscopy can in many cases eliminate that need and allow treatment without the pain and inconvenience of surgery.

Quick and thorough: Treatment using a perioscope can usually be completed in one to two hours, only slightly longer than an ordinary dental checkup.

Cost effective: Perioscopy generally costs the same or less than surgery to treat the same condition.

Little pain: Our patients report little or no discomfort even when being treated without anesthesia.

 

The next step in the treatment of gum disease

 

Perioscopy represents the most recent advancement in the treatment of periodontitis. At the Silberg Center, we are excited to be able to offer you this new procedure. If you believe you may be suffering from gum disease or have other concerns about your teeth, please call our office today or request an appointment online with Dr. Silberg.

The Effects of Tooth Loss

When most people lose a tooth, they start thinking about how it will affect their appearance. Unfortunately, most people imagine gap-toothed photos instead of life-altering bone loss. Believe it or not, if your teeth go missing and they aren’t replaced the right way, you might be left suffering with more negative consequences than you think.

Tooth Loss Can Affect More Than Your Teeth

In addition to helping you to chew your food, your teeth also help to stimulate your jawbone and keep your mouth healthy. Unfortunately, missing teeth can cause these problems:

  • Missing Jaw Tissue: Your teeth are held in place by strong ligaments that are rooted in your jawbone. As you talk and chew, the impact stimulates these ligaments, which keeps your jawbone strong. Unfortunately, after a tooth is lost, your jaw won’t receive this stimulation, and the bone will actually start to shrink away. In fact, most people lose about 25% of jawbone width within the first year of missing a tooth.
  • Altered Face Shape: Once your jawbone has started to melt away, it can start to affect the shape of your entire face. Over time, a smaller jawbone might make the lower part of your face look caved in, like someone who is elderly.

How Dental Implants Can Help

iStock_000019922655SmallFortunately, you don’t have to let a missing tooth destroy your physical appearance. Because dental implants are anchored directly to your jaw with a strong abutment, they stimulate your bone tissue just like your natural teeth.

However, keep in mind that dental implants need to be placed soon after you lose your teeth to avoid problems. If your jawbone has melted away, your dentist might have to place bone grafts near the area of the missing tooth to properly anchor your implant. Without this graft, your implant might not be as strong as surrounding teeth.

To avoid problems, meet with your dentist as soon as one of your teeth falls out. In addition to patching up your smile with a temporary bridge or false tooth, your dentist can start making plans for how your implant should be placed.

The Cosmetic Benefits of Dental Implants

Are you worried that your dental implant will stick out like a sore thumb? Believe it or not, dental implants look even more natural than porcelain veneers, since the surface is level with the rest of your natural teeth. Dental implants can even be dyed to match surrounding teeth, so that you won’t have to worry about color inconsistencies.

A New Tooth Made To Order

shutterstock_111721961In the past, getting a crown was a lengthy procedure, involving weeks of waiting. The process of taking a cast of your tooth, sending it to an outside lab, waiting for them to complete the crown, getting it delivered to your dentist’s office, and finally having it placed in your mouth was a major inconvenience. And the wait for tooth replacement was even worse: a standard wait time between placing the post of an implant and actually installing your custom crown was six months. But thanks to the use of new technology, we are able to offer you teeth in an hour: custom crowns and replacement teeth which can be installed in a single visit.

At the Silberg Center for Dental Science, we understand both the value of your time and the importance of a healthy smile. We use computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) to provide you with crowns and replacement teeth that are ready in minutes and a perfect fit for your mouth.

When you come for your appointment, your existing tooth will be ground down and shaped to receive a crown. Then, instead of taking a physical cast, we capture images of the tooth using a tiny camera which relays the data to a computer. The computer creates a 3D model of your tooth and uses that to determine the final shape of your crown. The crown is then milled on-site from a block of porcelain, using delicately calibrated machinery to produce a perfect fit. You’ll be in the chair less than an hour, and can leave our office with a complete, healthy smile. If you are receiving a dental implant, the procedure is much the same; but instead of taking pictures of a ground-down tooth, the crown will be fitted to the post of your implant. The porcelain crowns we produce mimic the shape and shine of a natural, healthy tooth and will leave your smile at its best.

If you are experiencing tooth decay or damage, or are in need of a tooth replacement, call us or request an appointment today.

Dental Procedures that Revitalize Your Teeth

iStock_000072615759_LargeThere are several dental procedures that will revitalize your teeth. Many of these procedures are cosmetic dentistry, enhancements to your teeth that are done beyond preventative care. Cosmetic dentistry can enhance the appearance of your teeth. Certain procedures may involve bonding materials to your teeth or using a whitening procedure to help remove stains that have built up over time.

Whitening

Whitening is perhaps the most basic type of cosmetic dental care. Tooth whitening can remove stains from either soda or coffee. Many people call tooth whitening bleaching. In-office whitening usually involves placing a gel on the teeth that will remove stains. The gel contains a buffer solution that prevents damage to your tooth enamel. In some situations, your teeth can become five shades whiter with in-office dental whitening. There are also over-the-counter products that you can purchase. Dr. Silberg may also provide prescriptions for whitening solutions.

Bonding

Sometimes, your teeth might not be even. Dr. Silberg can bond certain substances to your teeth that will make them appear straighter. Sometimes, your teeth will need an extension to help them appear even. In addition to good appearance, bonding substances can also help with your bite.

Dr. Silberg can affix certain materials directly to your teeth. These materials can augment the appearance and function of your teeth. Veneers are one type of tooth extension that can make a smaller or shorter tooth match the immediate surrounding teeth. If you have a chipped tooth, we can fill in the chip with a substance that enhances your tooth structure.

Orthodontics

Sometimes, your teeth may not be even or one jaw may be uneven. This problem can create an overbite. Braces and retainers are the traditional way for dentists to make your teeth align easily. Braces and retainers can take a certain amount of time to work, while also being a pain to take care of. Advances in orthodontics include invisible braces, made out of molded plastics. These new types of orthodontics can be easily removed for brushing and flossing, while not being noticed by your family and friends.

Dental Implants

Sometimes, we may need to have a tooth removed because of damage. One of the ways to overcome missing teeth is to get dental implants. Dental implants are the ultimate solution to dentures. Dental implants are highly effective. When you get a dental implant, the implant is placed directly into your jaw in the old tooth socket. The implant is then molded to match your other teeth, giving you the ideal cosmetic and functional solution.

Covering Up a Root Canal

Dr. Silber will primarily strive to keep your natural teeth. After a cavity has significantly damaged the interior of your tooth, you may need to get the pulpy center removed. Root canals are often covered up with a filling. However, a cap or bridge may make your root canal look less unsightly. Caps and bridges are typically made out of porcelain or metal and can have a white exterior to help mask your root canal. Bridges and caps can also have the added benefit of protecting your remaining tooth.

Cosmetic dentistry practices go a long way towards maintaining the overall efficacy of your smile. Dentists have developed many treatments that are aimed towards helping your overall appearance. Some of these treatments have the added benefit of increasing your overall dental function. Cosmetic dentistry increases your dental health, while giving you the added benefit of a great appearance. Cosmetic dentistry enhances your teeth while helping you maintain a high level of self-esteem. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Silberg today!

Anxious? Sedation Dentistry Works

It’s not uncommon for the word “dentist” to conjure up ideas of painful drilling or surgical procedures, or feelings of anxiety and stress. While it’s true that some of the procedures that correct serious oral health issues can be uncomfortable or unpleasant, that’s no longer a valid reason to avoid the dentist altogether. While regular and thorough oral hygiene practices are the best way to maintain good health in the mouth and teeth, there will always be conditions that require a dentist’s help to treat. Even without health problems, regular trips to the dentist for checkups and cleaning are a vital part of maintaining oral health. If you avoid the dentist when you do have a dental condition, that condition will only deteriorate and become a major health problem.

relaxSo, how can you ease the anxiety that comes with a trip to the dentist’s office, especially if that visit is to treat a problem using an intimidating procedure? Sedation dentistry at The Silberg Center offers a whole host of options to either help remove anxiety or induce numbing or unconsciousness to take away the pain from dental procedures. Some of the flavors of sedation dentistry include:

Analgesics – Non-narcotic analgesics are the most commonly used drugs for relief of toothache or pain following dental treatment. This category includes such drugs as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. If anti-inflammatory drugs cannot be taken, medications containing Acetaminophen may also be prescribed. Narcotic analgesics, such as Lortab, Vicodin, or Tylenol are used to relieve more significant discomfort.

Anti-anxiety agents – Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is one example of an anti-anxiety agent that does not anesthetize but helps to calm and relax you during stressful dental procedures. You can still hear and talk to your dentist, and since this sedation method does not induce unconsciousness or impair you, you can drive yourself home after the procedure.

Local anesthetics – Dr. Silberg uses both topical anesthetics to numb painful wounds or sores in the mouth or prepare an area for a procedure, as well as injectable anesthetics that numb just the mouth, leaving you awake for a simple procedure but protecting you from serious pain. Local anesthetics are commonly used for smaller treatments such as filling cavities, treatment of gum disease or preparing teeth for crowns.

Conscious sedation – For the most serious and invasive procedures, relaxing and numbing agents can be administered directly through an IV to the bloodstream. Dr. Silberg works directly with Dental Anesthesia Associates when this kind of sedation is required, experts who can keep you both safe and comfortable during serious dental procedures.

Don’t let fear of the dentist or fear of painful procedures keep you from getting the care and attention your mouth needs! Come on down to our office and let Dr. Silberg keep your smile heathy and clean. He will work with you to help you determine exactly what kind of sedation dentistry is right for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

Periodontal Disease and Laser Gum Treatment

The Problem: Periodontitis – or gum disease – is a polymicrobial infection. There are various types of periodontitis, but all of them result from an interaction between your immune system and bacteria. Many of these bacteria are found in plaque (biofilm) that collects on the gum line. This is usually a result of improper dental hygiene.

The lining of the gum tissues become inflamed, and sometimes even get ulcerated in response to the bacteria. This inflammatory response can cause the breakdown of the periodontal tissues and tooth-supporting bone. The worst outcome is tooth loss.

Solving the Problem: You might be wondering what options there are to eradicate this problem. The traditional treatment would be scaling and root planning. This removes the plaque (biofilm) by scaling the root surfaces and then they are disinfected. But now, since we live in the age of technology and medical advances, there is a new treatment for gum disease called laser therapy.

Laser Therapy removes bacteria and diseased tissue, and healing occurs.

Laser Therapy removes bacteria and diseased tissue, and healing occurs.

Laser Therapy: When using the traditional method of scaling and root planning, the gums would be cut during the procedure, but with laser therapy you don’t have to worry about bleeding, stitches, or post-treatment infection because your gums won’t be cut. This therapy is also less time consuming and traumatic, because it only takes two two-hour sessions as opposed to eight to ten one-hour sessions with surgery.

The recovery is immediate with this procedure, due to the laser’s ability to seal blood vessels, lymphatics, and nerve endings. Your tissue obviously needs time to recover, and heal over time but after the procedure you don’t need to worry about being stuck in bed because you can go back to work, drive your car, or anything else.

How Does Laser Therapy Work? The laser fiber, which is only about as wide as three human hairs, is inserted between the gum tissue and your tooth where it painlessly removes the noxious elements that cause gum disease. This removes inflamed pocket linings by physically interacting with the bacteria and killing it by absorption of laser energy. This significantly, if not totally, decreases sub-gingival bacteria. It’s also shown to remove calculus and biofilm from root surfaces. The laser is then inserted once more to remove any remaining diseased tissue at the bottom of the pocket. This last pass of the laser sterilizes the tissues and prepares the root surface to enable healthy gum attachment and helps seal the pocket closed.

If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with periodontal disease and are interested in LANAP laser therapy, please contact us at The Silberg Center. Dr. Silberg and the rest of our team would be more than happy to help you.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum Disease can be prevented and controlled with good oral hygiene habits and regular dental cleanings and check-ups.

Gum Disease can be prevented and controlled with good oral hygiene habits and regular dental cleanings and check-ups.

When you hear about or read about gum disease, several different terms are thrown around like plaque, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. Are these terms interchangeable? What do they all mean? More importantly, what do they mean for you?

Gum disease is a broad term that describes the damage done to teeth, gums and bone tissue by plaque, which is the film of bacteria and acidic bacterial waste that forms on the teeth. The bacteria in the mouth eat the remains of food left on your teeth and build up over time, which is why it’s so important to brush and floss regularly. Good oral hygiene prevents this bacterial build up, which can delay or even prevent gum disease.

Gingivitis is the first, mild stage of gum disease, in which the gums surrounding the teeth become swollen and tender due to the body’s reaction to the bacteria on the teeth. The gums will frequently bleed during brushing and flossing, but this is not a reason to stop brushing and flossing. Using a soft bristled brush and flossing gently but thoroughly will clean your teeth while protecting your swollen gums. When gingivitis occurs, it’s a sign that it’s probably been too long since you’ve seen your dentist for a checkup and routine cleaning.

Periodontal disease describes the more advanced and much more serious stage of gum disease. If gingivitis, or swelling of the gums, lasts for too long and plaque continues to affect the gums, the constant swelling will begin to degrade the bones underneath. These bones will slowly dissolve and the gums will recede, which has several detrimental effects. First, gaps will open between teeth and gums, which allows more plaque to build up, sometimes out of reach of normal brushing and flossing. This worsens gum disease. Second, as the bone continues to dissolve, the teeth they support will become loose and will eventually fall out or have to be removed. Loss of too many teeth will cause the bones that support the jaw and structure of the face to weaken, leading to sagging facial features.

Gum disease can be prevented and controlled with good oral hygiene habits and regular trips to the dentist for cleaning and checkups. Once gum disease starts, however, it’s very important to consult with your dentist so he or she can examine the extent of the disease and discuss possible treatments.

Dr. Silberg at the Silberg Center for Dental Excellence is an expert in the treatment of gum disease. If you are in the Pittsburg area, contact us or click here to request an appointment. Let him examine your teeth and help you treat or prevent gum disease before it’s too late.