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Posts for: October, 2017

By John Sartorio, D.M.D.
October 27, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Since their introduction over thirty years ago, dental implants have become the most popular choice for dental restoration. Their large variety of shapes and sizes — a far cry from the limited choices of the 1980s — has only served to increase their popularity.

In recent years there's also been an expansion in their applicability. Most people recognize them as replacements for individual teeth — but they can do much more. They're now playing a pivotal role in other dental restorations or situations.

Here are 3 of those “cutting edge” ways implants could change your dental health and smile for the better.

Fixed bridgework. In a traditional bridge, prosthetic (false) teeth use the natural teeth on either side of the empty space for support. In this updated version, implants become the support base for the bridge. For example, a bridge as small as three crowns can be supported by two implants attached to the outside crowns of the bridge. Four to eight implants can support a bridge as large as an entire arch of teeth.

Over-dentures. In cases of significant bone loss, a full or partial denture may be a better option than a fixed bridge. Traditional dentures, though, can contribute to even more bone loss, which can cause the dentures to eventually lose their fit. Implants not only can help stop further bone loss but can also stimulate increased bone density. Two or more standard or mini-sized-sized implants can support a full or partial denture.

Orthodontics anchorage. People with missing teeth aren't the only ones who can benefit from implants. While most bite repairs only require the back teeth to provide anchorage for braces, certain complex bites may need a different point of anchorage. Orthodontists can create a more feasible anchorage point with an implant or a temporary anchorage device (TAD) imbedded in the jaw. This can help isolate teeth that need to be moved from those on the arch that don't.

If you would like more information about how dental implants could improve your dental health and appearance, 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 “Dental Implants: Your Best Option for Replacing Teeth.”

By John Sartorio, D.M.D.
October 16, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Missing teeth can make you feel embarrassed of your smile and drag down your entire look. In some cases, replacing your teeth may dental implantseem like an impossible task, especially if you have given up on overhauling your smile. Luckily, dental implants can help you replace your teeth whether you have one gap or are missing all the teeth on an arch. Find out more about dental implants and what they can do for you with Dr. John Sartorio in Pittsburgh, PA.

How do dental implants work? 
Dental implants have two main parts and an abutment which connects them. The implant’s fixture lies within the jawbone under the gumline. Your dentist surgically implants this piece into the jawbone and, during a process called osseointegration, the bone grows around the implant to hold it securely in its place, replacing the missing tooth’s root. The implants prosthetic fits onto the fixture via the abutment, replacing the missing tooth or teeth. The implant is permanent and non-removable.

Am I a candidate for dental implants? 
Patients considering dental implants should be in good dental health, with any cases of teeth decay or gum disease cleared up before beginning their implant process. It is also important that the area of the implant has a sufficient amount of bone volume to provide a good foundation for the implant’s fixture. Patients with bone atrophy may require a bone graft procedure prior to placing their implants. Your dentist can help you determine if you require this procedure using imaging techniques like x-rays. Dental implants require a strong oral care routine to remain healthy in your mouth. Brush twice daily, floss at least once, and see your dentist at least twice a year for examinations and cleanings to adequately care for your implants and natural teeth alike.

Dental Implants in Pittsburgh, PA 
If you think dental implants could benefit you, take a step forward by scheduling a consultation visit with your dentist. This will give you the chance to address any questions or concerns you may have or get help in fully understanding the procedure. For more information on dental implants, please contact Dr. John Sartorio in Pittsburgh, PA. Call (412) 831-8700 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sartorio today!

By John Sartorio, D.M.D.
October 12, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: saliva  

Saliva probably doesn’t rate high on your amazement meter. You’re more likely to notice its absence and the dry irritation that results.

But you might be more impressed with this unsung bodily fluid if you knew all the things it does. It’s definitely a multi-tasker, performing a number of jobs (including aiding in digestion) that not only keep your oral health on track, but your general well-being too. And there are even new testing methods where saliva may even tell us when you’re not doing so well.

Here are 3 more tasks your saliva is doing for your mouth right now that truly makes it amazing.

Cleansing. Your teeth’s chewing action shreds food so it’s easier to digest. But that also leaves behind tiny particles in your mouth. Bacteria feast on these particles (especially carbohydrates like sugar) and produce acid as a byproduct, which can increase your risk of tooth decay. Saliva serves as a kind of “rinse cycle” for your mouth, helping to wash a good bit of these errant particles down your throat and away from hungry bacteria.

Defense. Speaking of bacteria, your mouth is home to millions of them. While most are harmless or even beneficial, a fraction can harm your teeth and gums. Saliva is your first line of defense, emitting an antibody known as Immunoglobulin A that targets these bacteria. Saliva also produces an antibacterial substance called lyzozyme that prevents bacteria from growing.

Enamel Protection. Although it’s the strongest substance in the body, your teeth’s enamel can’t withstand the effects of mouth acid, the by-product of bacterial feeding and growth. Acid levels naturally rise after eating; but even this sudden rise can begin the process of demineralization where minerals in enamel dissolve. Saliva saves the day by first neutralizing the acid and restoring the mouth’s normal pH in about thirty minutes to an hour. It also helps restore minerals in enamel, a process called remineralization. It’s all in a day’s work for this remarkable fluid.

If you would like more information on the importance of saliva to oral health, 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 “Saliva: How it is used to Diagnose Disease.”