Top Laser Gum Treatment Questions

As technology advances, so does the way that we treat periodontal disease. This ever-evolving technology has brought laser gum treatment. If you are suffering from periodontal disease and unsure what laser gum treatment is, whether it’s safe, how long it takes, etc. here are the answers to help you feel less anxious about the procedure:

What does laser gum surgery consist of?

A high-tech process, it uses lasers instead of the traditional periodontal tools to clean tartar from the roots, surface, gum pockets etc. In order to prevent the progression of periodontal disease and tooth loss, it’s important to have this treatment. The lasers will use energy to cut/vaporize the damaged tissue.

Is it safe?

Yes, laser therapy is safe. The Silberg Center For Dental Science will always stick to the strict guidelines with the lasers, ensuring that you are kept safe throughout the treatment. We will take the correct precautions necessary and will make sure that you are prepared completely for the procedure.

How long does the procedure take?

Unlike the traditional gum treatment for periodontal disease (which would be spread over a series of one-hour sessions), laser gum treatment can be completed over two, two-hour sessions. An important thing to consider, however, is that there will be ongoing care that will have to be taken in order to prevent your teeth from future damage.

Is laser gum treatment painful?

Similarly, unlike the more traditional methods, laser gum treatment will offer significantly less discomfort and pain. There will, of course, be a small amount of pain as the bacteria and damaged tissue is removed, but it will be virtually painless apart from that (local anesthetic is also used).

What is the recovery process like?

Laser gum treatment will allow you to get back to work, school, etc. the next day. You will be prescribed antibiotics for any soreness/pain that you are feeling.

How much does the surgery cost?

This will depend on how extensive and severe the periodontal disease has become. It is, however, comparable to the more traditional methods of periodontal disease treatment. It is also necessary for cases that are beyond another form of treatment. After a checkup, we will determine whether it is necessary for you to have this treatment, before discussing what the cost is with you.

Why you should contact us for treatment

If you’re suffering from periodontal disease and are looking for a solution, get in contact with The Silberg Center For Dental Science today and we will do what we can to help. An award-winning periodontics practice in PA, we have years of experience in dentistry and periodontal disease treatment. Ensuring that your oral hygiene is taken care of, your health is our utmost priority. Want to find out more about our laser gum treatment procedure? Contact us today or request an appointment online with our quick and easy form.

What’s all the HYPE about Smile Direct Club?

“My teeth are crooked-can I get them straightened at Walgreens or do it myself?Why do I need to go to an orthodontist-they are so expensive.”

Consider this: An orthodontist trains for 11 years to be able to straighten teeth and fix smiles. A periodontist trains for 11 years. A dermatologist trains for 12 years. A cardiologist trains for 14 years. Do you really think that there are short cuts to becoming a board certified specialist?  Let me tell you…there are not. Patients seek the care of a specialist to receive top notch medical care from highly skilled professionals to get the most predictable long term outcomes possible.

“But they are just crooked teeth. My regular dentist says they can straighten them. Or, I see on line there is a company called Smile Direct and both of them say they can straighten my teeth. What is the difference?”

Ok, here is the difference. If you go to a board certified orthodontist you will get a complete examination including a proper analysis that includes models of your mouth and a special x-ray called a ceph to evaluate the bone structure of your face and possibly a CT scan to check your airway, your TMJ and the bone structure around your teeth. Then you will get a diagnosis based your tooth positions, facial bone structure, and the overall health of your foundation. The diagnosis is the basis for a proper treatment plan.

Would you let someone you don’t know, someone whose qualifications you can’t check – pack your parachute, remove a skin cancer, or place your heart stent? Would you buy a “do-it-yourself kit” and mail it in for one of these procedures? If not, why would you ever want a do it yourself home tooth straightening kit? Would you let your dermatologist put in a heart stent? Why not? They both went to medical school.

Now, some Walgreens stores are offering the Smile Direct straightening. Some patients are going there and some are going straight to Smile Direct. What they do is the following: They make an image of your mouth either from a scan of your teeth or from a mold of your mouth that you create at home using their at-home impression kit.

Next, a dentist or possibly an orthodontist will make the clear aligner trays that will move your teeth.This will be done without the benefit of the completed exam and x-rays as described above.

“OK so now I understand that it is not the same but all I really want is straight teeth for the lowest cost and I want it to be convenient. Are there any downside risks with the short cut approach to straightening my teeth?”

Yes, there are. I am glad you asked. Any tooth movement can put you at risk for moving teeth outside of the bone foundation and that will cause your gums to drop and will expose the soft roots to the sugars and the acids that cause decay. Roots are not supposed to be exposed in the mouth. They decay easily and also wear away easily when exposed. When this happens sometimes gum surgery can fix it and sometimes it can’t. Also, if your jaws are not properly aligned and if you move the teeth to try to make the jaws lineup instead of dealing with the jaw issues this can also affect your jaw joints causing painful TMJ issues and help create severe headaches from misaligned bites.

Now, please consider this if you decide to use an at home do it yourself kit:

  • NO one has examined you.
  • NO one has seen x-rays of your teeth and jaws.
  • NO one has determined if you have foundation issues and whether your foundation can withstand teeth being moved safely. If not, you will lose gum and bone and weaken your teeth.
  • NO one has evaluated your TMJ health.
  • NO one has looked at your airway
  • Without a complete and thorough exam and without proper x-rays you may have foundation damage that is worsened by moving the teeth that cannot be corrected afterwards.

If this kind of treatment is predictable and if it is truly in your best long-term interest then I am a one legged parrot. Anyone see me with a crutch and a cracker? I don’t think so!


8 things to check out before you MOVE your teeth:

  • Measurements for bone health
  • Gum health measurements including any exposed roots (recession) and any signs of bleeding/inflammation
  • Cephalometric x-ray and evaluation of the facial bones
  • X-rays of the bone foundation around the roots of the teeth
  • Cone beam scan if needed
  • TMJ health
  • Airway evaluation
  • Education and qualifications of the person(s) responsible for moving your teeth



Complimentary Second Opinions!



“What do you mean I don’t have to floss? I’ve been told that I have to floss every day or my teeth will fall out and I will never be able to get into dental heaven!”

Well, I don’t know if this will be good news or bad news for you. What you’ve been told is only partially true. I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret. Floss is not a goal. Floss is a tool the way a screwdriver is a tool. The goal is to remove the film of bacterial deposits that we call plaque. Floss has a purpose just like screwdriver has a purpose. And, just like screwdriver is not the only tool in the toolbox …neither is floss. There are other tools that you can use.

“Plaque does not hurt so what’s the big deal if I have a little layer of nasty, filthy disgusting germs on my teeth? I can’t even see them so why worry about it?

You can’t see electricity either, but I’ll bet you won’t stick your tongue in a light socket because it will hurt you. Guess what? So will plaque/biofilm. When it piles up under the gum line and in between teeth it causes inflammation, infection, tooth rot and gum disease. If your gums bleed, then even brushing your teeth introduces the germs and the biofilm into your bloodstream. We have irrefutable scientific evidence that the germs from your mouth travel to your heart, your lungs and to your brain and cause issues like heart disease, low weight pre-term babies, erectile dysfunction and can even contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. If you have diabetes it makes your diabetes worse.

So, if that gets your attention then the next logical question you should ask is this:

“Since I hate to floss and, you say I don’t have to use it if I don’t want to, what else is there?”

Okay, I’ll say it again. Floss is not a goal it’s a tool. This is a tool that gets between the teeth since the toothbrush can’t clean between the teeth (even if you press real hard.)

The following is a list of other tools that can get in between teeth to remove the biofilm germ layer:

  • Stimudents
  • Rotopoints
  • Proxa-brushes
  • Opalpix
  • Gum soft pics
  • Water picks
  • Hydroflossers

Hate to floss? Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone I said, “You don’t have to floss to stay healthy.” You do however still have to clean between your teeth and you must remove the film of nasty little invisible bugs that cause damage and make you sick. You now have my full permission not to floss but you now have no excuse not to use another tool to keep yourself healthy. We will be happy to train you to use another tool and use it properly so that it gets the job done.


Remember, the decisions you make today will affect you for the rest of your life so make them carefully.

Signs That You Should See a Periodontist

Periodontal disease is one of the main causes of tooth loss in the adult population with millions impacted by it ever year. The issue is that many people develop this condition and have no idea they are experiencing a problem. Most of the signs are missed completely until it is too late and the damage has already been done. That’s why in this article we’re going to look at some of the signs that you should watch out for which you need to see a periodontist as soon as possible.

Red, Bleeding Or Swollen Gums

One of the most common signs of an issue is gums that are inflamed. You can tell this by the color and feel of the gums. Normal gums will be soft, subdued and a light pinkish in color. If they are a deep red, this suggests that there is an issue and you may notice this around particular teeth in your mouth. You may also spot bleeding when you brush your teeth or floss. Any issues like this should be investigated before they become more painful and problematic.

Another issue to watch out for is gums that are receding. While this can occur with age, it shouldn’t be too severe. You might look in the mirror and think that your teeth look longer than usual or previously. If that’s the case, it’s best to get things checked out sooner rather than later.

Loose Teeth

It is possible that you think your teeth feel loose. This can be your imagination and it’s even quite a common nightmare that haunts some people which might be seen as a subconscious warning or fear. However, if you press on your teeth and you actually think they are wobbling ever so slightly, make sure you see a periodontist like Dr. Silberg. He will be able to explore whether this is an early sign of bone damage.

Bite Changes

You might have noticed a change in your bite while chewing, talking or brushing. This can relate to specific issues which can cause long term problems if they are left untreated. A periodontist will investigate the reasons for these changes and suggest potential treatment options. The treatment provided here will always be relevant to the unique situation of the individual patient.

Bad Breath

You might find that you are suffering from an issue with bad breath. While this is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of underlying factors, it’s possible that it is due to a build up of bacteria. The toxins produced here then trigger the bad breath as well as an unpleasant bitter taste in your mouth. This can be specific to one section of your teeth or gums and it will not disappear by brushing. If you have this issue, make sure that you speak to a periodontist to find out what’s going wrong. This is an early sign and can usually be reversed with the right treatment plan.

We hope this helps you recognize the signs that you might need to see a periodontist. If you are having any of these issues, contact us for expert advice and professional care.

I Got A Cheapo “Knock off” Implant-When Will It Fail?

The top implant companies are constantly researching and testing. The materials are the best, the parts and pieces fit they way they are supposed to fit and they have a proven track record of long term success. The scientific studies that check the fit and finish of the parts and pieces under the microscope consistently find that the best companies make the best implants. Over time they hold up better and have fewer problems. This is a medical device being implanted in your body. Would you want a cheapo artificial hip, knee or pacemaker? No???? Then why would you want a cheapo dental implant?

Do you want an implant from a company that promotes being the low-cost leader in dental implants or one that is from a worldwide leading company with 20 years of research and science? Do you want an implant that was just released last week with 6 months of testing or a design that has been around for 10 to 20 years?

So, how long will the cheapo knock-off implant last? No one knows exactly because there are no studies on these implants. One thing is for sure: They will have more problems, fail sooner and create bigger and more expensive problems to fix later on in your life.

If you are contemplating spending the time, money and effort to get one or more dental implants then you most likely want the implant(s) to last a very very long time and be trouble free. So, if you want this investment to last for decades and be trouble free then get one of top rated implants being made in the world today because if you cannot afford to do it right how will you ever be able to afford to do it over again? The decisions that you make today will affect you for the rest of your life so make the best decision possible and do it right the 1st time.

At the Silberg Center we only place the world’s leading brands because that is what we would want for ourselves and our families.

Why Doesn’t My Dental Insurance Cover The Treatment That I Need? Does My Dentist Charge Too Much?

That’s an easy question to answer. It is because dental insurance is not insurance in the traditional sense. The best way to think about dental insurance is that it’s a rebate. With all dental insurance there are several guidelines that apply to almost every plan.

  1. Most dental plans are purchased by employers and not individuals. Most companies look for low cost options. Low costs mean lower coverage for you.
  2. All plans have annual maximums and the average is $1000. There are exceptions.
  3. Dental insurance is different than medical insurance. Medical insurance is good for big procedures like hip and knee replacements and even heart surgery. Dental insurance is good for small procedure and not for big expensive procedures. Dental insurance was designed to pay for small procedures on otherwise healthy people. It is good for tooth cleanings, routine x-rays, fillings, a crown or even an extraction. That $1,000 allowance was never designed to pay for care to rehabilitate your mouth. It was designed for people that needed minimum care.
  4. Most treatments are not covered at 100% or even 80% but at some secret percentage that varies from company to company and from geographic region to region. That means that your company will pay more for the exact same procedure that is done in Philadelphia Pa than is done 300 miles away in Pittsburgh. So, if your dentists charges $100 for a procedure the insurance company may decide to pay 60% of $80 in Philadelphia and 60% of $7o dollars in Pittsburgh  and not the $100 charge for reasons that they will make up to suit their bottom line because they want to pay out as little as possible. Each year this number is being reduced to increase their profit margins and decrease reimbursements to you and to your dentist.
  5. The premium that your employer pays for your plan is very low cost and since the cost is low they have $1000 maximums in place for a very good reason: ”There is no such thing as a free lunch!” The $1,000 maximum has been the same since around 1975 and has not kept up with inflation. The average cost of dental insurance is $45 a month. If you need an extraction and an implant and a tooth on top of the implant you will most likely get your $1000 towards the cost of your treatment and the rest will be out of pocket. If your plan excludes certain procedures, and many do, you may not even get the $1000.

The bottom line is this: If your employer provides dental insurance as a benefit it is a bonus. Most people have unrealistic expectations about what “dental insurance” is and what it should provide. Certainly, maximize the benefit and realize that any procedures that you need will most likely require additional out of pocket expenses.

You are the one that must determine the quality of life that you desire. We are living to 80 to 100 years these days and quality of life is critically important. Every birth, every funeral, every wedding and birthday celebration revolves around food and being able to laugh, chew, taste and enjoy that food. That can only happen if you have real teeth. The quality of your life…the life in your years is as important as the years in your life. You must be the one to make the decisions that will affect you for the rest of your life and not the insurance company, so make those decisions very carefully. If you don’t care about the quality of your life…who will?

Live long- Smile big -Eat well.

Gum Recession 101: What You Should Know

Sometimes gum tissue disappears and teeth appear to be getting longer. Since the destruction is rarely painful, patients do not complain until moderate to extreme sensitivity is present. Most often they don’t notice until it becomes advanced. Consider what is actually occurring when gums disappear. The issues are as follows

  • The gum tissue disintegrates and disappears
  • The supporting bone underneath disappears: lower bone means a lower gum level
  • Exposure of the soft root surface                                             
  • Root abrasion, root wear/ destruction
  • Sensitivity
  • Greater tendency towards decay
1) Loss of Bone= Recession | 2) Damage to Roots | 3) Recession Beyond Bonding | 4) Post Invisalign, Patient age: 20

Which patients have the greatest need to have recession treated?

Younger individuals definitely have a greater need for treatment. If we observe 3 mm of recession in both a 30 and a 70 year old, who is at the greater risk for continued destruction? Under similar conditions, it is clearly the 30 year old. What are the chances that the 30 year old will arrive at age 70 with the tooth still intact when there are 40 more years of chemical and mechanical stress that will be placed on the exposed root?

Note above photo: Patient age 20… apx.12 months after orthodontics was completed.

Can bonded restorations be successfully and predictably used to treat recession?

No. We must be clear about one important fact. Bonding exposed root surfaces does not treat or stop recession and merely attempts to cover the exposed root surface. As you can see in the photo above, recession most often continues beyond the bonding. Thus, there is more loss of gingiva, more bone loss and more root damage occurs.

Can we predictably recover exposed roots with reconstruction procedures?

Yes. Several different techniques have been developed over the past 60 years that can predictably reattach to the root surface and recover the exposed root. The key is to treat early before any bone loss occurs. The bone levels determine the height of tissue.  When bone levels drop we cannot regain lost tissue to the original level. Studies that have followed gum reconstruction for up to 20 years indicate remarkable stability.

Do we really know what causes recession?

What we do know is the result of observation and case study. CT scan studies now show that many people have roots that stick through the bone and that alone or combined with any kind of orthodontic tooth movement causes recession. Individuals with a thin tissue type are more prone to recession than people with thick tissues. When we treat recession with reconstruction procedures, the new gum is thicker tissue over the areas where recession has occurred and that helps resist future destruction.

How serious a problem is recession?

Recession gets too little respect as a real issue. Recession not only damages the supporting structures but also very often promotes the destruction of the root as you can see in the above photos. Since root structure is so much softer than enamel, our ability to predictably restore these teeth long-term is very limited. The key is early diagnosis and treatment.

3 Different Cases

Traditional Inside Approach


Traditional Outside Approach


Pinhole Technique


3 Different Cases

Why should I go to a specialist for dental implants?

woman smiling with her new dental implants from a pittsburgh periodontist

Dental implants have become a prominent service in the dental industry, but many patients assume that any general dentist can tackle the procedure. In fact, the quality of service can be extremely different if your dentist isn’t trained surgically to place dental implants or trained in the bone grafting procedure. You may even find that your implants fail and may have to be placed again, which takes more time and more expense. Fortunately, the Silberg Center for Dental Science makes finding a professional for dental implants in Pittsburgh extremely easy!

Located just 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, our dental implant specialist Dr. Silberg, is very experienced in providing this revolutionary dental procedure. Dr. Silberg placed his first dental implants in 1984, and those patients still have their implants functioning today! If you are looking for top-quality dental implants from one of the best implant specialists in the Pittsburgh area, look no further than The Silberg Center for Dental Science!

What Makes Us Qualified to Place Your Implants?

Periodontitis and Maxillofacial surgeons are the only two surgical specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. Dr. Silberg graduated from Syracuse University with a dental degree in 1978. After he earned his degree, Dr. Silberg earned his postdoctoral specialty training in periodontology, making him a capable (and certified) dental implant specialist. The extra years of specialty training is what sets Dr. Slberg apart from other dentists in the area.

Why Not Just Any Other Dentist?

If a dentist is interested in learning how to place dental implants, a majority of them attend a short 1-3 day course. The class time is short, and also barely provides dentists with a comprehensive overview of the procedure. Unlike a certified periodontist or dental surgeon, when taking the course, dentists are not trained to treat and foresee problems that could occur during surgery. When your dentist doesn’t know how to solve a problem when placing the implants, it can compromise your dental (and even overall) health. Instead of visiting any general dentist for your dental implant, visit our dental implant specialist in Pittsburgh. You and your mouth will be glad that you did!

Dr. Silberg and his team of highly trained, highly capable dental and surgical assistants are some of the best in the business, and some of the best in the Pittsburgh area. You’ll love the way your dental implants turn out, and you’ll love having an experienced specialist to guide you through your surgical and healing processes. Make an appointment with us today!

Top Pittsburg Dental Implant Specialist of 2017


Dr. Silberg is a Top Periodontist in the Pittsburgh Magazine for the 11th year in a row

If you are considering dental implants, there are numerous dental offices who will offer to place them. However, does each dentist receive the same training and education? General dentists may offer dental implants, but patients with difficult oral health problems, or those hoping for the best dental implants in Pittsburgh may not receive the outcome they’re expecting. Hiring a professional like Dr. Silberg can be one of the best decisions you can make thanks to his experience and work as a periodontist and long-time dental implant specialist.

Why Choose a Periodontist for Dental Implants?

Dental Implants from a periodontist like Dr. Silberg in Pittsburgh, PAA Periodontist specializes in the tissues that support your teeth. If you do not have healthy teeth and gum tissue, the success of a dental implant treatment lasting are slim. Periodontists like Dr. Silberg have years of experience dealing with gum tissue and has received intense training on how to best perform oral surgery procedures. Dr. Silberg has been awarded on of the Top Periodontists in Pittsburgh for the past 11 years. His in-depth knowledge and understanding of the mouth allow him to help patients receive the highest level of success for their dental procedures. Periodontists are trained and experienced in the following areas:

Reduce the Risk of Complications

Dental implants placed by Dr. Silberg have a high success rate, and this makes them a sought-after dental treatment for patients with missing teeth. A periodontist receives an additional three years of schooling to help them learn more complex information about the gum tissue and how it affects the rest of your mouth.

Dental implants are a large investment, but they are a permanent solution for missing teeth. Since patients will invest more into dental implants, you do need to seek out the best dentist in Pittsburgh that offers dental implant treatments. A dental implant specialist like Dr. Silberg will lower your risk of complications and increases the success rate.

Impressive Aesthetics

Don’t try to save money by going to a general dentist with limited training and experience related to complex dental procedures. Many aspects of the aesthetics can be controlled with advanced dental techniques to create natural looking teeth.  One area of concern surrounding dental implants is the bone health of your mouth. If you have a jawbone that is not strong enough to support the implant, the risk of the implant failing will increase.

Dr. Silberg can assess the bone density to determine if a bone graft is needed prior to implant surgery. Strengthening the area allows the jawbone to support the implant, and works along with your gum tissue to support the dental implant. Avoiding complications related to surgery are one of the key areas Dr. Silberg excels at because of his comprehensive knowledge of your jaw bone and gums.

Caring for Gums

Caring for your gums also has a large impact on the success rate of a dental implant. As a Periodontist, Dr. Silberg is an expert in the treatment of gum disease. If you have active gum disease, contact our Pittsburgh dental office to schedule an appointment so Dr. Silberg can give you the proper treatment you need. Failure to stop gum disease in its tracks will lead to serious oral health issues, which can include tooth loss. If you would like more information about gum disease and dental implants, schedule an appointment today!