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Posts for: February, 2017

By John Sartorio, D.M.D.
February 13, 2017
Category: Oral Health
NoahGallowaysDentallyDangerousDancing

For anyone else, having a tooth accidentally knocked out while practicing a dance routine would be a very big deal. But not for Dancing With The Stars contestant Noah Galloway. Galloway, an Iraq War veteran and a double amputee, took a kick to the face from his partner during a recent practice session, which knocked out a front tooth. As his horrified partner looked on, Galloway picked the missing tooth up from the floor, rinsed out his mouth, and quickly assessed his injury. “No big deal,” he told a cameraman capturing the scene.

Of course, not everyone would have the training — or the presence of mind — to do what Galloway did in that situation. But if you’re facing a serious dental trauma, such as a knocked out tooth, minutes count. Would you know what to do under those circumstances? Here’s a basic guide.

If a permanent tooth is completely knocked out of its socket, you need to act quickly. Once the injured person is stable, recover the tooth and gently clean it with water — but avoid grasping it by its roots! Next, if possible, place the tooth back in its socket in the jaw, making sure it is facing the correct way. Hold it in place with a damp cloth or gauze, and rush to the dental office, or to the emergency room if it’s after hours or if there appear to be other injuries.

If it isn’t possible to put the tooth back, you can place it between the cheek and gum, or in a plastic bag with the patient’s saliva, or in the special tooth-preserving liquid found in some first-aid kits. Either way, the sooner medical attention is received, the better the chances that the tooth can be saved.

When a tooth is loosened or displaced but not knocked out, you should receive dental attention within six hours of the accident. In the meantime, you can rinse the mouth with water and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication (such as ibuprofen) to ease pain. A cold pack temporarily applied to the outside of the face can also help relieve discomfort.

When teeth are broken or chipped, you have up to 12 hours to get dental treatment. Follow the guidelines above for pain relief, but don’t forget to come in to the office even if the pain isn’t severe. Of course, if you experience bleeding that can’t be controlled after five minutes, dizziness, loss of consciousness or intense pain, seek emergency medical help right away.

And as for Noah Galloway:  In an interview a few days later, he showed off his new smile, with the temporary bridge his dentist provided… and he even continued to dance with the same partner!

If you would like more information about dental trauma, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries.”


By John Sartorio, D.M.D.
February 08, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Changing the way you look has become a popular occurrence with the rise of dermatological cosmetic procedures like Botox or dermal cosmetic dentistryfillers. However, did you know you can take advantage of cosmetic dentistry procedures to improve the way your teeth look as well? Find out how cosmetic dentistry could be helpful for you with Dr. John Sartorio at Sartorio Dental in Pittsburgh, PA.

How can cosmetic dentistry benefit me? 
Unlike other cosmetic procedures you may find at your dentist's office, cosmetic dentistry procedures can help you get a smile you love while, in many cases, improving its functionality as well. While cosmetic dentistry procedures focus mainly on the aesthetic side of the smile, some procedures, like crowns or bridges, actually help strengthen the teeth and help prevent future damage. Additionally, cosmetic dentistry can help provide the confidence boost you need to help make your first impressions stronger and face-to-face interactions more enjoyable.

Am I a good candidate for cosmetic dentistry? 
While the specifications for a good cosmetic dentistry candidate vary somewhat by procedure, patients should always be in good dental and general health with no signs of tooth decay or gum disease prior to their procedure. Additionally, some procedures, like dental implants, require that patients have adequate bone volume in their implant site to hold the implant in place. Teeth whitening requires that patients do not have any visible porcelain dental restorations as the whitening treatment will not lift the color of their restorations.

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures in Pittsburgh, PA 
Your dentist is your best source of information when it comes to determining the best cosmetic dentistry procedure for you and your smile and the best treatment plan to achieve your final goal. Your new and improved smile could be just a phone call away. For more information on cosmetic dentistry, please contact Dr. Sartorio at Sartorio Dental in Pittsburgh, PA. Call (412) 831-8700 to schedule your appointment for a cosmetic dentistry consultation with Dr. Sartorio today!


By John Sartorio, D.M.D.
February 05, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental injuries   root canal  
SevereDentalInjuriesMayRequireEndodonticTreatment

If you regularly participate in sports or other physical activity, you’re at a higher risk for dental injuries. While chipped teeth are the most common result of these injuries, a few may result in more serious trauma — dislodged, cracked or knocked out teeth. In these cases, the core of the tooth — the pulp — and the root may have been damaged. Saving the tooth may require endodontic treatment and possibly the expertise of a specialist in the field, an endodontist.

Endodontics, from the Greek words for “within” and “tooth,” is a specialty of dentistry that treats disease or damage affecting the inner parts of a tooth, particularly the pulp chamber, the root canals, and the root. While all dentists are trained in endodontic procedures, an endodontist has advanced training, experience and specialized equipment to address complex cases.

The type of endodontic treatment needed for an injured tooth will depend on the extent of damage. A mature, permanent tooth with pulp damage, for example, may require a root canal treatment. In this procedure the pulp chamber and root canals are thoroughly cleaned out, and then are filled with a special filling to prevent any future infection. Later the tooth should be crowned to permanently seal it. Although a general dentist may perform a root canal, more complex cases, such as a tooth with an extensive root canal network, may need to be performed by an endodontist using microscopic equipment.

A tooth that has undergone severe trauma, especially a knocked out tooth, will need extensive follow-up care by a general dentist and possibly an endodontist to improve its chances of long-term survival. Because of the severity, the tooth may lose viability and the body ultimately may begin to reject it. For this reason, the tooth should be monitored on a regular basis and may need further treatment from time to time, even up to five years after the injury.

One final word: if you participate in sports or exercise activity, you can significantly reduce your risk of dental injury with a mouthguard. There are various types, but the best protection is one custom designed to fit the specific contours of your mouth. We’ll be glad to advise you further on how to protect your teeth from injury.

If you would like more information on dental injury prevention and treatment, 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 “Trauma & Nerve Damage to Teeth.”