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 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.


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.


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.

AlloDerm; Gum Repair at Silberg Center for Dental Science

Another procedure that can be given to fix gum recession is AlloDerm which helps to repair gum; regenerating and building back the gum that was lost. If your teeth feel extra sensitive and your gum line looks a little uneven, you might have gum erosion. Unfortunately, once gum tissues has been damaged or brushed away, it can be difficult to replace. Instead of those gums covering the roots of your teeth, you might be left with exposed dental surfaces, which contain a thinner level of protective enamel. In addition to being more sensitive to hot and cold, dental roots can also make it easy for bacteria to take hold and wreak havoc. However, Dr. Silberg might be able to correct gum erosion by performing gentle gum grafting with AlloDerm. Here is a little more information about this helpful procedure:

Why You Might Need Gum Repairs

Aggressive brushing can cause damage to gum tissue.

Aggressive brushing can cause damage to gum tissue.

Are you wondering if gum grafting is right for you? Check out this list of common reasons many people need gum repairs.

  • Genetics: If your mom and dad have a problem with gum erosion, you might have it too. Since everyone is different, there is a chance that your tissues will react differently, and your gums are no exception.
  • Smoking: Smoking can reduce the blood flow to your gums, leading to unsightly recession. If this condition is left unchecked, gums can become so badly damaged that they can lead to tooth loss.
  • Aggressive Brushing: Scrubbing hard might work well for your back deck or dirty bathtub, but it isn’t the right move when you are brushing your teeth. If you brush too aggressively, you can scrub away delicate gum tissue in an instant.
  • Ongoing Medical Conditions: Unfortunately, smoking and aggressive brushing aren’t the only problems that can lead to gum erosion. If you have ongoing medical conditions like diabetes or cancer, your gums can take a hit.

How AlloDerm Is Different Than Other Grafting Techniques

If you have ever talked with someone who has undergone gum grafting, you may have heard stories about painful tissue grafting and lengthy recovery times. However, here at the Silberg Center, we use AlloDerm grafts. Here are a few reasons we recommend AlloDerm to our patients:

  • Avoid Tissue Harvesting: During traditional gum grafting procedures, tissue is harvested from other places in your mouth, such as your soft palate or the area behind your jaw. Unfortunately, harvesting can be painful and make eating and drinking painful. However, AlloDerm is a product made from donated tissue, so that you won’t have to worry about tissue harvesting.
  • Reduces Pain: In addition to avoiding lengthy tissue harvesting procedures, AlloDerm also helps to reduce the overall pain levels of the procedure. Instead of having to worry about multiple wound sites, you will just need to keep an eye on the area where your gums have been grafted.
  • Safe: When most people hear the words “donor tissue,” they start getting worried about safety. However, AlloDerm donors are screened for serious diseases like oral cancer, HIV, and AIDS, so you won’t have to worry. After the tissue is harvested from donors, it is sanitized and processed to be even safer.

If you are wondering if you are a candidate for gum grafting, make an appointment with our office today.

Bone Loss and Overall Health

There have been many great advances in dentistry with new and modern practices. Some of these advances have even helped with our general life expectancy and quality of life. But when it comes to getting older, or some conditions in our medical history, we might often then lose some of our teeth. After a significant amount of time with the loss of teeth, there will be bone loss and with modern dentistry it can be reversed.

When we lose teeth for various reasons, the space where the tooth previously was, loses its stimulation and blood flow. In order to have a healthy jaw, it needs the constant stimulation of every day chewing. This creates stimulation to the muscles around the bone, and keeps the bone healthy as well. So when we lose our teeth, and don’t immediately have a graft or dental implant installed, that current structure might collapse due to atrophy. This type of bone loss was ignored in the past by traditional dentistry.

With the loss of teeth, the bone loss first starts with a decrease in width. This is a 25% decrease in width during the first year, and an inch decrease in height following multiple extractions. If a denture or partial is given, this can cause discomfort and pain because the thin gum tissue is laying over a narrow bone.

Nerves in the lower jaw that were previously protected by bone, end up becoming exposed and then sit on top of the ridge, right under the denture. This results in acute pain and/or temporary to permanent sensation loss or feeling. If you have bone loss in the upper jaw, it might cause pain and increase the chances of the upper denture moving during eating. Chewing with a denture that’s moving or is wrongly fitted does not cause stimulation, but instead reduces the blood supply and increases the chances or more bone loss.

Cosmetic Effects of Tooth/Bone Loss

The effects of bone loss are not only detrimental to your jaw, but it does cause your facial appearance to change. The loss of teeth can actually add a decade or more years to the face. Your facial height decreases, and causes several facial changes. With the loss of vertical bone, the bite relationship diminishes and as a result, the chin rotates forward giving a poorer appearance. It also causes the patient to look like they’re constantly frowning. Then the muscle that is lost, start to show in the upper lip and creates more long lines around the mouth, and a deepening of the groove next to the nose.

Health Effects

A recent study of denture wearers found that almost half showed a low chewing performance, which resulted in lower intakes of fruits and vegetables. Those patients also took significantly more medications compared to those with superior chewing ability, and almost 30% were taking medications for stomach or intestinal disorders. The study provides several reports that suggest that compromised dental function results in poor swallowing and chewing performance. This also results in illness favoring, debilitation, negative effects on overall health, and shortened life expectancy.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Now that modern dentists know about bone loss after tooth loss or removal, the main procedure to fix the gap where the tooth has been lost, is dental implants. When the dental implants are going to be surgically placed, sometimes a bone graft is need for those areas with bone loss or in the sinus cavity. After the bone grafting is successful, they install the post directly into the jaw bone. This stimulates bone growth and blood supply, and ultimately improves all of the disadvantages from bone loss.

So if you or anyone in your family have had tooth removal and/or loss, and are interested in dental implants, please contact us at The Silberg Center for Dental Science. Dr. Silberg can address any of your needs and get you on your way back to a healthy, beautiful smile.

Cleaning and Flossing Dental Implants

The advantages of dental implants are well known. They provide confidence and security for your new teeth and your new smile, support and maintain your jaw bone and facial structure, and they’re more reliable than other treatments. But once you’ve gotten your dental implants, maintenance is vital, just as it is for natural teeth. How can you maintain them so they’ll remain clean, safe and effective for as long as possible?

Believe it or not, the strategies to keeping your dental implants fresh and healthy are the same as the ones you use to take care of your natural teeth. And just like natural teeth, failure to properly care for them can cause gum disease, damage to the prosthetic teeth, or in more serious cases, loss of gum tissue or loss of bone. Severe damage can even necessitate the removal of the implants and surgical procedures to correct damage to the tissues and structure of the mouth.Dental implant

But all that can be prevented by simple hygiene and regular trips to the dentist. It is important to brush your teeth, natural and prosthetic, at least twice a day for about 90 seconds per brushing. When brushing, be sure to brush every surface, even hard to reach places in the back. Brushing by itself, however, won’t get all of the food remnants or plaque from between your teeth that will eat at the base of your teeth and possibly cause gum disease. Regular, proper flossing is necessary to remove the plaque and prevent infection. Use a long strand of floss or flossing tool to thoroughly scrape all tooth surfaces in the spaces between teeth. Using a water jet instead of floss can be easier to get gunk out and easier on the gums.

Another important aspect of proper dental care is regular trips to come see Dr. Silberg for both check-ups and cleaning. These visits should occur every six months at the very most. Dr. Silberg will x-ray your implants and probe the gums around them to ensure that the gums are healthy and everything is going well with the implants. He will also perform a professional cleaning, removing plaque you may have missed. You can also take the opportunity to review your hygiene habits and supplies and ask him any questions you may have.

With these simple steps, it’s an easy thing to keep your implants clean and your mouth healthy, which makes life a more pleasant place to be and helps you avoid the sorrow of oral disease or loss of implants. Schedule a checkup and cleaning appointment with us today so we can help keep your smile sparkling