We encourage you to contact us whenever you have an interest or concern about cosmetic dentistry procedures such as pocelain veneers, dental implants, and tooth whitening in Bethel Park.

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Posts for: January, 2015

By John Sartorio, D.M.D.
January 28, 2015
Category: Oral Health

While the prevention and treatment of tooth decay has improved dramatically over the last half century, it continues to be a major health issue, especially for children. One in four children 5 and younger will develop some form of the disease.

Although tooth decay in children stems from the same causes as in adults — the presence of decay-causing bacteria in plaque, unprotected teeth and the right mix of carbohydrates like sugar left in the mouth — the means by which it occurs may be different. We even define tooth decay differently in children as Early Childhood Caries (ECC), “caries” the dental profession’s term for tooth decay.

ECC highlights a number of cause factors specific to young children, such as: continuous use of a bottle or “sippy cup” filled with juice or other sweetened beverages; at-will breast-feeding throughout the night; use of a sweetened pacifier; or regular use of sugar-based oral medicine to treat chronic illness.

If you noticed sugar as a common denominator in these factors, you’re right. As a primary food source for bacteria, refined sugar is a major trigger for the disease especially if it constantly resides in the mouth from constant snacking or sipping. In fact, it’s the primary driver for a particular pattern of decay known as Baby Bottle Tooth Decay (BBTD). This pattern is specifically linked to sleep-time bottles filled with juice, milk, formula or other sweetened beverages, given to an infant or toddler to help soothe them through the night or during naps.

All these factors cause a cycle of decay. To interrupt that cycle, there are some things you as a parent should do: perform daily hygiene with your child to reduce decay-causing bacteria; reduce the amount and frequency of carbohydrates in the diet, particularly sugar; and protect the teeth by having us apply fluoride or sealants directly to the teeth.

Early tooth decay could affect your child's oral health for years to come. With a little care and vigilance, you improve your chances of avoiding that encounter.

If you would like more information on preventing tooth decay in children, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”

By John Sartorio, D.M.D.
January 19, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Veneers  

Patients trust the Pittsburgh, PA cosmetic dentist Dr. John Sartorio, DMD when they're looking for smile makeovers. One common element of a successful cosmetic treatment is the installation of veneers. When you see how great your teeth can look by simply adding the veneers to your smile, it's only natural to wonder if they're right for you. 

The Process of Installing Veneers
Veneers lay on top of your teeth, giving them a whiter and more attractive appearance. The dentist must first do a bit of prep work to the teeth that will be covered (it’s less work than what's required for a crown). Next, an impression is taken of the teeth so that custom veneers can be made in a dental lab. Finally, the veneers are cemented to the teeth with a very strong bonding agent. Your dentist polishes and finishes the veneers so that they look absolutely stunning.

Are You a Candidate for Veneers?
As long as your natural teeth are healthy and securely rooted, you are likely to be a good candidate for veneers. Dr. Sartorio can evaluate you at his Pittsburgh, PA office using X-rays and a physical examination of your teeth. Remember that a veneer is a cosmetic dentistry solution that fixes the outer layer of each tooth, so the natural tooth underneath must be sound and free from decay to support it. 

How Long Do Veneers Last?
Patients like veneers because they look beautiful and can last a very long time. If you commit to twice-per-day brushing and once-per-day (minimum) flossing every day, plus maintain regular checkup appointments with the dentist, veneers can last for 15 or more years without needing to be replaced. 

Make Time for a Veneers Consultation
Once you go in for your first veneers consultation, you'll have a whole lot more confidence in starting this procedure. Visit the Pittsburgh PA office of Dr. John Sartorio, DMD, or call (412) 831-8700 to set up your initial appointment. He and his staff are committed to giving you a bright, shining smile that’s also healthy and long-lasting.


Many adults these days are opting for clear aligners to correct orthodontic problems that have long bothered them. Katherine Heigl is a perfect example. She had one tooth that was out of alignment, and wanted to have it fixed before her wedding day.

“I got them [clear aligners] because of this wonky tooth,” Heigl told In Style magazine not long ago. “It's awesome because every two weeks you switch to a new retainer. Pretty much the perfect way to describe Invisalign is Netflix for your teeth.”

That's actually a pretty good way to describe this highly user-friendly form of orthodontic treatment. Clear aligners are transparent, plastic oral appliances that are changed every two weeks so that your teeth can be moved a little bit at a time, according to a carefully staged sequence. Though they cover your teeth completely, clear aligners are barely noticeable.

In fact, when Heigl excused herself before taking out her aligners to eat, her In Style interviewer said, “Who knew you wore them? I guess that's the point of Invisalign.”

Being able to remove the aligners for eating and, more importantly, teeth-cleaning, is another major advantage of this method of straightening teeth. Successful orthodontic treatment for adults depends on good periodontal health (“peri” – around; “odont” – tooth), and the best way to keep your gums and the underlying bone that supports your teeth healthy is to keep up an effective daily oral hygiene routine.

Clear aligners have been improved in recent years to correct more complicated malocclusions (“mal” – bad; “occlusion” – bite) than previously; they can even work well for teenagers. But there are still some cases that call for traditional braces. We would be happy to explore all the different options for orthodontic treatment with you, whether you have crowded teeth, an overbite or underbite, or just one “wonky tooth.”

If you would like more information about clear aligners, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about clear aligners in general by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Clear Aligners For Teenagers.” Dear Doctor also has more on “Wedding Day Smiles.”