Posts for category: Restorative Dentistry

By drscotto@drscotto.com
September 15, 2014
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Schenectady tooth lossWe often tie the concept of old age into certain medical ailments. After all, everyone over a certain age has to deal with dentures, right?

The perpetuation of this idea can be dangerous. If you think you’re going to lose your teeth anyway, what’s the point in keeping them in top shape? In reality, you may not need to face tooth loss. Of course, depending on your genetic predisposition, as well as some other risk factors, tooth loss may be more likely to be in your cards. But many patients who possess the right DNA and also take excellent care of their teeth will never need to undergo the tooth replacement process.

We want happy, healthy teeth for all our patients. That’s why we offer the tools and resources you need to preserve your teeth - in the near and distant future. The actions you take today will have resounding effects in the years to come. Oral health begins with your daily brushing and flossing - and ends with a gorgeous smile.

Fighting Tooth Loss - One Day at a Time

Studies of how many adults have lost their teeth are showing some good news. When looking at the last fifty years, dental health reports show that tooth loss is actually on the decline. So how do we keep it from experiencing a resurgence? By educating those around us, and making sure oral health is a universal priority.

If you’re already invested in your teeth and gums, then you can copy these tips and share them with a friend or family member. Let’s make tooth loss a distant memory.

Risk Factors

There are certain aspects of your health and lifestyle that can increase the chances of losing teeth. You should visit the dentist more regularly (and may need to take special precautions) if you are:

  • Older than 35
  • Male
  • Not having regular dental exams
  • Not brushing or flossing consistently
  • A tobacco user (or have been one in the past)
  • Diabetic
  • Arthritic
  • Experiencing high blood pressure

As you surely noticed, some things on that list are unavoidable. But others can be prevented. And if you need help taking charge with your oral hygiene, or scheduling your next exam, you should contact a dentist as soon as possible.

Gum disease is the top cause of tooth loss. It’s important that you do everything possible to avoid periodontal problems, and treat them as soon as you can.

Is Something Holding You Back from Dental Care?

Schenectady dental examIf there’s a reason why you haven’t been cleaning your teeth or scheduling your appointments as you should, then there’s also a solution to the problem. The first step is identifying what’s keeping you out of the office.

The most common cause of dental inattention is dental anxiety. As dental professionals, we understand how debilitating this can be. If nervousness about the office is something that’s a pressing force in your life, we can help you tackle it. Sedation dentistry is a huge tool in the battle against fear of the dentist. Engaging in open communication with your dentist and the office staff will also help you prepare for procedures, and know what to expect.

Already Missing Teeth in Schenectady?

If tooth loss is already present in your life, it’s not the end for your smile. Taking fast action will prevent you from losing bone, forming cavities or gum disease in the area surrounding the missing tooth, or seeing other teeth shift, compromising your bite.

The most comprehensive way to replace a tooth is with a dental implant. This titanium post sits in your jaw bone, forming a strong connection and acting as a foundation for restorations.

As always, we are here to help. Contact Us to schedule an appointment, or just get answers to your questions.

By drscotto@drscotto.com
February 12, 2014
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Schenectady dental implantsDentures have long been a less-than-ideal dental restoration for their lack of stability. When all of a patient’s teeth are missing, from where can a restoration draw support? The solution lies in creating new sources of security. Dental implants replace tooth roots to create new foundations for restorations, making it possible for patients to enjoy an unprecedented, natural-feeling denture.

Replacing Tooth Roots with Dental Implants in Schenectady

As we age, our teeth tend to fall into states of wear and disrepair. Damage, erosion, trauma, or infection can lead to the loss of a tooth. While it’s the portion of the tooth above the gum line that we (and others) really miss, the root of the tooth plays just as serious a role in oral function and health. Without a tooth root, that area of the mouth will begin to change; and the repercussions won’t be welcome.

Implants’ Effects on Oral Health

Dental implants help prevent your bone, bite, and neighboring teeth from deteriorating. You will enjoy health benefits you may not have expected, including:

  • Preserved bone density – Strong bone supports other structures in your body. But when you lose a tooth, the bone at that site begins to resorb, or dissolve. This weakens the area and can lead to changes in your facial structure. Dental implants connect to the jaw bone and prevent resorption.
  • Lowered risk of decay and gum disease – The mouth is already a welcome home for bacteria  - and some of those bacteria are important. But there are others that cause decay and gum disease. And when a tooth is missing, the gap left behind fosters bacterial growth and formation of plaque. Filling that space with an implant and a restoration will help prevent future caries and the chance of gingivitis developing.
  • Maintained occlusion – Occlusion is the relationship between the upper and lower jaws. The alignment of your teeth and your jaws determine whether your occlusion is balanced and your bite is correct. When you lose a tooth, the surrounding teeth begin to shift to fill the gap. This alters your bite and can lead to serious dental problems. Filling that space with an implant will keep each tooth in its proper place.

Pairing Dental Implants with Restorations

Schenectady dental implantsWhile implants are a boon for oral health, they’re also a means of placing dental restorations while keeping the work looking and feeling natural. Implants act as a means of support for restorations that formerly drew from the strength of adjacent teeth. Rather than weakening healthy teeth and hastening their failures, implant-supported restorations thrive. Dental implants integrate with natural bone through a process known as osseointegration, allowing them to act as the sturdiest possible foundations for restorations.

Implants may be paired with any of the following to replace single or multiple teeth (listed from least to most involved):

  • Dental crowns – Also known as tooth caps, crowns replace single teeth in an enviably natural-looking way. Porcelain crowns are especially aesthetic.
  • Bridges – A dental bridge, like its much larger counterpart, spans a gap. Consisting of crowns on either side of a pontic (false tooth), a dental bridge is typically bonded to remaining natural teeth. Implant-supported bridges may be connected without sapping the strength of other teeth.
  • Partials – Partial dentures replace spans of missing teeth by connecting to the gums or other areas of the mouth.
  • Dentures – Full sets of replacement teeth, dentures are the answer for patients missing most or all of their teeth. When connected to dental implants, dentures become more natural in appearance and in feel.

Restorative dentists are experienced with both implant placement and denture fitting. Dr. Robert Scotto offers both implants and restorations to help you receive streamlined restorative treatment. Schedule a consultation to discuss whether your mouth is ready for dental implants and learn more about your personal process.

By drscotto@drscotto.com
January 13, 2014
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Schenectady dental implantsIf you’ve decided to replace your missing teeth, you’re probably anxious to get started. We’re in the same boat – we want you to experience the joy of a newly whole smile as soon as possible. But with dental implants, there can be a few steps to take in the interim. In order to ensure that your implants succeed and the resulting smile stays with you for life, we may need to strengthen the area prior to placement. You’ll also want to talk to Dr. Scotto about your sedation options and just what the procedure will be like. Begin getting acquainted with the process by reading on for some pre-implant preparation tips!

Strengthening the Implant Site

  • Bone graft – If you’ve been missing the tooth/teeth in question for an extended period, the bone in the area may have resorbed. This will leave the spot unprepared for osseointegration (the natural bonding of the implant to the bone). A bone graft will add substance to the area so that the implant will be a success.
  • Periodontal treatment – Your mouth can be more likely to fall prey to periodontal disease when you’re missing teeth. If the treatment area is infected, we may provide a course of periodontal treatment to nurse it back to health.
  • Antibiotic treatment – Infections at the gum line could lead to implant failure. We may prescribe you antibiotics prior to implant placement.

Getting Ready for Implant Placement

You’ll want to be prepared for the big day so that you feel at ease during the procedure. Accomplish this by discussing the following with Dr. Scotto or our staff:

  1. Dental sedation – While anesthesia will be provided, anxious patients may also be interested in sedation. Talk about your options with our team.
  2. Steps of the procedure – You’ll feel better if you know exactly what will happen during implant placement. We’re happy to discuss the procedure in detail.

Please contact our office with any other implant-related inquiries. We hope to help you feel confident and comfortable with the process.

By drscotto@drscotto.com
November 04, 2013
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As November kicks off to a start, we’re diving headfirst into the holiday season. As we feast, party, and spend time with our loved ones, there are whole new opportunities for our teeth to come under fire. The extra snacking and sweets can lead to not only to cavities, but also to chipped teeth. During the holidays, patients are more likely to use their teeth as tools. Whether opening a present, cracking a nut, or opening a bottle, there’s a chance that the activity could lead to a chipped or broken tooth. If you suddenly find your tooth is missing a piece, don’t panic – Dr. Scotto and our Schenectady team are ready to tackle your dental dilemma.

Chipped Tooth Treatment

There are different levels of dental damage. But even if you feel that your situation isn’t extreme, there could be hidden, harmful aspects accompanying your chipped tooth. No matter the case, get in touch with our office right away so that we can evaluate your teeth.

Depending on your chip or break, we’ll recommend one of the following treatments.

  • Porcelain Veneers – Veneers are strong, v-shaped restorations that create a new, external tooth layer. Veneers aren’t always necessary for chipped teeth, but can be a very effective way to create new structure where it’s lacking. Porcelain veneers will last for many years, and look like a natural part of your smile.
  • Dental Bonding – Bonding applies dental resin to a tooth to add structure. The resin is tooth-colored and indistinguishable from your other teeth. Bonding is also direct, meaning it can be done chairside, during a single appointment. You’ll be back to celebrating in no time! Composite bonding is right for minor chips.
  • Dental Crowns – If your tooth has suffered more significant damage, we’ll recommend a dental crown. This is the most thorough way to add security and structure to a broken tooth. We’ll provide you with temporary crowns while you wait for the permanent crowns to be made, so you won’t spend any longer with a compromised smile.

Dealing with a Dental Emergency

If you’re in pain or your teeth have been damaged, contact us right away! We will help you get back on track, and back to your holiday activities.

By drscotto@drscotto.com
September 09, 2013
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As we age, our teeth wear in ways we don’t appreciate. Enamel thins and yellows, teeth become more sensitive, and our gums recede. There are solutions for different types of dental aging, with gum grafts stepping in to reestablish the support your teeth may have lost. Whether your gum recession was caused by bruxism, periodontal disease, or simply the passage of time, a simple gum graft will restore tissue to the area and stimulate new growth. Read on to learn more about the procedure and when a gum graft is the right plan.

Why do I need a gum graft? | Schenectady

Gum grafts may be performed for both aesthetic and health reasons. Significant gum recession will make a smile look less than perfect, and prematurely age your appearance. Recession also exposes tooth roots, which are sensitive and prone to decay. A gum graft will prevent that decay and the onset of periodontal disease, by covering an area where a periodontal pocket could develop. Gum grafts also provide extra support for teeth, preserve bone density, and reduce tooth sensitivity. And we think that’s a winning combination!

Schenectady Gum Graft Procedure

In order to receive a gum graft, that portion of soft tissue must be taken from elsewhere in your mouth. There are different types of gum grafts, with the most common taking tissue from the roof of your mouth. A flap may also be cut in the gums below the area of recession and flipped up to cover the exposed tooth root. You will be anesthetized during the procedure, and will not feel the tissue being removed or the graft placed.

Gum grafts prevent future disease and repair smiles. If you think a gum graft could be the right treatment for you, simply call our office to schedule a consultation. Great gum health and a happy smile are in your future.

By drscotto@drscotto.com
August 10, 2013
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When you’re first told that you need to have a root canal done on a tooth, you may react with disbelief. Even if you’re experiencing tooth pain, you could feel frustrated at the prospect of that dental undertaking, and wonder if there is a less drastic step to take. While root canals have a bad reputation, they are actually a conservative way to deal with an infected tooth. Root canals prevent extractions from becoming a necessity, and preserve your natural tooth structure. Don’t dread your root canal – read on to learn about when root canals are necessary, and why they are a positive step to take.

What A Schenectady Root Canal Does For A Tooth

Decay begins at the surface of a tooth. If the decay is allowed to spread, it reaches deeper into the tooth, through the outer enamel layer and through to the tooth’s pulp. When this pulp becomes infected, it causes you a great deal of discomfort. Additionally, the infection can progress through your tooth and through the tooth root – potentially reaching your bone and causing significant damage.

A root canal removes the infected portion of a tooth while allowing the tooth’s structure to remain. Without having a root canal done, you would need an extraction, which would be followed by a dental implant and a dental restoration to replace the missing tooth. A tooth that has had a root canal may not need a restoration at all, and if it does, it will only be a dental crown.

Schenectady Root Canals Save Teeth and Stop Disease

An infected tooth is a tricky thing to take on, and endodontic treatment gets right to (if you’ll pardon our pun) the root of the problem. The procedure is similar to having a filling done, and will not cause you discomfort. After a brief healing period, your pain will be over and your tooth will be healed.

If you think you may have an infected tooth, please contact our Schenectady dentist as soon as possible.

When receiving dental implants, many patients are required to seek out an oral surgeon and visit a new office. Our Schenectady dentist makes this unnecessary. When working with Dr. Scotto, you are able to receive implants from us, in our practice. This week’s blog post details the advantages of receiving dental implants from your own dentist. You may be surprised by the added comfort, convenience, and ease of treatment that having an implant and cosmetic dentist will provide you.

Advantages of Receiving Dental Implants With Your Own Schenectady Dentist

Dr. Scotto’s expertise in the areas of general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and implant dentistry allow him to provide a wide range of dental treatments and perform varied procedures. There are a few key advantages you gain by choosing a dental able to administer the full scope of your necessary treatments:

  • Comfort with the doctor and staff. When undergoing implant surgery, you’re already feeling nervous; there’s no need to heighten anxiety by adding a new dental team to the mix. You will feel more comfortable communicating openly and voicing any questions or concerns, because we have already established relationships with you.
  • Same office and facilities. You won’t have to negotiate the added stress of a new location and office space, and will experience a natural release of nerves by being in a familiar office.
  • A guided implant process. Rather than feeling adrift and having to work with multiple doctors, you will only be working with Dr. Scotto. He will give you instructions as to coming steps and be in communication with you throughout the implant process.
  • Simple coordination of treatment. Once your implant site has healed and you are ready to receive a restoration, Dr. Scotto will be ready to provide it. Having placed the implant himself, he will already be an expert on your case!

If you’re feeling concerned about choosing dental implants, consider these added comforts and call to schedule your appointment. We are looking forward to guiding you through the implant process.

Individuals who are missing teeth or have worn teeth should never feel like they are being punished by their dental treatments. Yet some patients have been made to deal with ill-fitting dentures or less than natural-looking restorations. Our Schenectady dentist will ensure that your dental restoration is both comfortable and aesthetically ideal. Replacement teeth can work with you and your mouth so that you are happy with the results. This week’s blog post details a few restorative treatments available, with an emphasis on their natural appearance once they are in your mouth.

Natural Teeth Replacements with our Schenectady Dentist

Listed below are the dental restorations available from Dr. Scotto. No matter your case, we will employ a collection of these restorations and other dental services to render your smile whole and beautiful.

  • Dental implants – While most dental restorations deal with creating new tooth structure above the gum line, dental implants delve below to build new tooth roots. Implants render other restorations more stable and strong than if they were unsupported. Implants also prevent bone resorption to preserve bone mass and facial structure. With dental implants, even full sets of dentures appear to be permanently connected to your gums and look like natural teeth.
  • Dentures - Modern dentures are carefully, painstakingly crafted to fit you like a glove and appear to be natural. Each tooth in a set of dentures will be individually created, shaped, and shaded to lend it an organic look.
  • Dental Bridges - Bridges consist of crowns on either side of a false tooth. They span gaps left by missing teeth to replace those teeth by relying on neighboring structures. Dental bridges built from porcelain crowns or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are tooth-colored and inconspicuous.
  • Dental Crowns - Dental crowns (tooth caps) paired with dental implants can replace entire missing teeth. Porcelain crowns are similar in appearance to natural enamel, making them indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

Ready to restore the missing teeth or worn that have held you back? Begin by scheduling a consultation with our Schenectady dentist so that we may determine your course of action together.



Robert M. Scotto, D.D.S.
615 Union St.
Schenectady, NY 12305
518-374-9770

  

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