By drscotto@drscotto.com
May 27, 2014
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Schenectady gum diseaseOur teeth tend to get much more attention than our gums. Since the gums aren’t the prominent part of the smile, they can be overlooked. It's time to improve periodontal awareness! Your gums are actually an important source of support – and a crucial part of your overall oral health. 

When your gums are in trouble, they’ll start to show some signs of impending problems. Pay close attention to your gum line and you’ll be able to respond right away. Early periodontal treatment will help prevent serious damage from taking hold.

Early Signs of Gum Disease

When your gums are healthy, they should not look dark in color, swollen, or feel tender. They should be pink, smooth, and tight around the teeth. If you notice your gums bleeding when you floss, don’t panic: this is more likely a result of infrequent flossing, rather than disease. If you haven’t been flossing daily, your gums can bleed slightly when you take regular flossing up. The discomfort should fade within a week of consistent oral hygiene (and if it doesn't, then there may be a bigger problem).

Diseased gums are a different story. When your oral hygiene isn’t sufficient, plaque begins to build up on your tooth surfaces and tooth roots. The presence of additional bacteria causes your gums to become irritated and inflamed. At this point, you are experiencing gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. When your gums are beginning to suffer, you may start to see a few changes taking place in your mouth. If disease is allowed to progress, these will intensify. The most common include:

  • Red or purple gums
  • Tender, painful gums
  • Gums that bleed easily (often when you floss or brush)
  • Swollen, puffy gums
  • Loose-feeling teeth
  • Receding gums
  • Gums pulling away from your teeth, with pockets forming between them
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Pus at the gum line
  • A change in your bite

Gum disease is a particularly sinister dental problem because it can advance without betraying symptoms (taking a silent hold). For this reason, it’s absolutely necessary that you schedule regular dental exams. If the signs of disease aren’t apparent enough for you to notice them on your own, Dr. Scotto will be able to pinpoint problems and take action.

Why We Strive to Detect Periodontal Disease ASAPSchenectady periodontal treatment

As gum disease advances, it damages your teeth, gums, and bone. The gum line will recede and change, altering your smile. Your teeth will lose support and feel loose or shift, making your bite uncomfortable. If the disease becomes serious, tooth loss could occur. By catching gum disease early on, we can prevent these problems. Treatment will be less invasive, and there will be a lower chance of gum disease returning.

Periodontal Treatment in Schenectady

Exactly what does periodontal disease treatment entail? The first step will be something similar to a standard teeth cleaning. Scaling and root planing, also referred to as deep cleaning, remove plaque from teeth and tooth roots (below the gum line). SRP is typically accompanied by local anesthesia, so that patients don’t experience discomfort. Patients may also benefit from the use of antibiotics to help prevent the return of disease.

Post-periodontal disease, patients need to take a few extra precautions. There will be a certain oral hygiene regimen to follow that may involve medicated mouthwash or special flossing practices. We will outline everything you can do to fight recurring problems. You may need to visit our office more frequently in the future, so that we can monitor for signs of returning problems.

If you ever have questions about your periodontal health, we would love to help. Simply contact our office for answers.

Schenectady Periodontal Treatment | Schenectady Gum Disease | Schenectady Periodontal Disease
By drscotto@drscotto.com
May 08, 2014
Category: General Dentistry
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Schenectady mouth guardWe all want our smiles to last. The emotional, social, and professional benefits that stem from strong, gorgeous teeth are immeasurable. If there were a preventive step you could take today to see healthier teeth down the line, wouldn’t you choose to take it? That prevention is exactly what a mouth guard can offer. Depending on your habits and your dental needs, a guard could protect your enamel and keep your beautiful smile in place. Read on to learn more about whether a mouth guard has a role to play in your life.

When A Mouth Guard Makes Sense

The phrase “mouth guard” refers to any kind of apparatus that fits into your mouth to protect some aspect of your dental health. Different guards vary to fit the patient’s individual needs. They are typically made of plastic.

In general, a guard is recommended when your mouth is exposed to the potential for damage. What does this mean, exactly? If there’s a chance that your teeth could be harmed, then it’s wise to wear the guard before that can occur. Potential sources of dental trauma include teeth grinding, physical activity, and TMJ disorders. Different types of mouth guards accommodate the forces behind each of these problems. By protecting your enamel, stabilizing your jaw, or manipulating oral tissues in another way, a guard allows your to take control of the issue.

Common types of mouth guards include:

  1. Grinding Guard – Bruxism is a common problem among adults. Chronic teeth grinding and clenching affects quality of sleep, causes gums to recede, breaks existing dental work, and damages enamel. It most often takes place during the night, when you aren’t conscious of your jaw muscle contractions. Because grinding can be aggravated by stress, and because it’s an unconscious action, it’s tough to take control of your bruxing. A mouth guard will fit over the teeth, protecting them from the forces of grinding.
  2. Sports Guard – During athletic activity, your teeth are likely to get jostled or bumped. A guard protects your teeth from catastrophes, and can prevent the need for restorative surgery after an accident on the field.
  3. TMJ Splint – A TMJ disorder takes hold when your jaw muscles routinely behave in harmful ways. By stabilizing the lower jaw, a TMJ guard protects the jaw joint from becoming inflamed, exhausted, or damaged. This type of guard usually connects the upper and lower jaws to control jaw movement.
  4. Sleep Apnea Guard – A mouth guard can actually help assuage the effects of snoring and sleep apnea. Some types of sleep apnea can be treated with a guard that pulls the tongue slightly forward, leaving the airway unobstructed. 

Occlusal Guards Available at Our Schenectady Office

Schenectady mouth guardWhile patients choose to get over-the-counter (OTC) guards, we recommend custom-made guards. These are made by a dental lab from impressions of your teeth, and fit perfectly. Patients feel comfortable when wearing custom guards, and the guards are likely to be more effective at protecting against the target problem. A recent study published in General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry’s clinical journal, actually found that athletes using OTC guards were more likely to experience mild concussions than those wearing custom guards. Why not protect your teeth (and your brain!) as well as possible?

If you’re interested in getting a custom guard, schedule an appointment. Dr. Scotto will examine your mouth and determine the proper guard type. We will then take impressions to make a precise, well-fitting guard. Don’t hesitate to take the best possible care of your teeth, your jaw, and your well-being.

By drscotto@drscotto.com
April 23, 2014
Category: General Dentistry
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Schenectady dental sedationDoes your stomach flip whenever you realize a dental appointment is coming up? No matter your level of dental anxiety, there are ways to alleviate its effects on your dental attitude. Daily life is stressful enough without the thought of dental treatment heightening your nerves. With the aid of dental anesthesia, dental sedation, research, and dentist-patient communication, you can feel entirely at ease in the dental chair. Sound too good to be true? Read on for some tips.

Choosing Dental Sedation in Schenectady

Understanding sedation will help you gain awareness of why it’s so effective, and whether it’s the right choice. Let’s start with the basics: sedation vs. anesthesia. It’s likely that you’ve received dental anesthesia in the past, even if you’ve never had sedation. Anesthesia is administered to every patient who has the chance of experiencing discomfort during treatment. It blocks nerve communication to completely numb the treatment site (the teeth and gums that could feel twinges during treatment).

Dental sedation doesn’t numb you, and actually isn’t a painkiller at all. What sedation concerns itself with is your state of anxiety. Sedatives act as calming sources that slow your responses slightly, and ease your nerves. If you receive sedation for a potentially uncomfortable procedure, we will likely still administer local anesthesia to make sure that you don’t experience any pain.

Sedation and anesthesia offered at Dr. Robert Scotto’s office include:

  • Nitrous oxide (sedation) – Nitrous oxide is a gas that patients inhale for the duration of treatment. Nitrous causes a euphoric effect, and leaves patients completely relaxed in the dental chair. It is easily controlled, and the effects will wear off soon after the appointment. When receiving sedation, it’s necessary that you arrange transportation to and from the office, as it won’t be safe for you to drive. Let us know prior to your procedure if you’re interested in nitrous.
  • Oral conscious sedation - This anti-anxiety medication is taken in the form of a pill. It is usually Valium or a similar medication, and is prescribed prior to your appointment. You'll take it 1-2 hours before treatment so that you're relaxed by the time you're in the office.
  • Topical anesthesia – This is a mild numbing agent that is applied directly to your skin. Topical anesthesia is often used at the location where shots of local anesthesia will be injected, so that you don’t feel those pinches.
  • Local anesthesia – This type of anesthesia is delivered as injections. Dr. Scotto will place them at the most effective and appropriate spots to numb the necessary teeth and gums. Once you have received proper anesthesia, you won’t feel anything during treatment. Your mouth will remain numb for a brief period post-treatment; be careful eating and drinking so that you don’t bite your tongue or cheeks.

Schenectady sedation dentistLearning About Your Dental Treatment to Feel Comfortable in the Dental Chair

Being prepared extends to every area of life – even dental care. By researching your upcoming procedure before the big day, you’ll be ready for what comes. The unknown is often scarier than reality, and you may be surprised by the simplicity of the treatment once you learn more. The American Dental Association and Colgate have patient resource pages that detail steps of common treatments. Peruse these sites to learn more about what’s facing you.

Voicing Your Concerns to Ease Dental Anxiety

A source of information that’s even richer than the Internet is your dentist himself. If you have questions or concerns, Dr. Robert Scotto and our staff will be happy to listen. We value our patient relationships, and hope to play a role in helping you feel safe, comfortable, and calm in the dental chair. We’ll be able to discuss the specific steps of treatment, and will help you follow along so that you’re aware of what’s happening. This helps patients see dental treatment for what it is, rather than mentally inflating it to create something overwhelming or scary.

Just get in touch with any questions!

Schenectady Sedation Dentist | Schenectady Sedation Dentistry | Schenectady Dental Sedation
By drscotto@drscotto.com
April 09, 2014
Category: Dental Tips
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Schenectady general dentistTaking care of your oral hygiene isn’t always the most exciting part of the day. Make your brushing and flossing count in order to finish them as quickly and efficiently as possible – and see a cavity-free mouth at your next dental appointment. Even if you’re cleaning your teeth as often as recommended, your techniques may be a little bit off. We’ve compiled a list of common brushing and flossing methods to try (and to avoid) to help your daily teeth cleaning make a big difference.

10 Pieces of Dental Hygiene Advice

Chances are, your oral hygiene could benefit from one or more of these tips. Which ones are you already trying? Let us know in the comments!

  1. Use fluoridated products – Some toothpastes and mouthwashes contain fluoride. This is great for many patients; primarily, those who have problems with frequent decay. Fluoride remineralizes enamel to protect the tooth and reduce sensitivity. Ask Dr. Scotto for fluoridated product recommendations.
  2. Incorporate a mouthwash – We know - this tip isn't about brushing or flossing. But mouthwash helps give your regular oral hygiene a boost. Mouthwash accesses areas of your mouth that toothpaste and floss can’t quite reach. It’s especially wise to use a rinse if you’ve struggled with gingivitis or periodontal disease. There are several different types of mouthwash, including antiseptic, fluoride, and combination.
  3. Use fresh floss for each tooth – Some patients make the mistake of using the same section of floss for their entire mouth. This can spread bacteria and plaque from one area of your smile to another. It’s easily avoided: use a long strand of floss, and unroll more as is necessary, unwrapping the floss from around your finger.
  4. Schenectady general dentistUse the right products – We’re using “right” as a purposefully vague term, because there’s no universal answer. What is “right” is different for every patient. The floss, toothpaste, and mouthwash that are best for you are the ones in line with your personal preferences and needs. Find the flavors, brands, and product types that you feel comfortable with.
  5. Wait 30 minutes to brush after acidic foods/drinks – Right after you eat or drink something highly acidic or very sugary, your enamel is softened and prone to damage (even by a toothbrush). It is important to brush afterwards, but a good idea to wait about 30 minutes before doing so.
  6. Brush at different angles – Some patients brush their teeth as quickly as possible, and forget to angle their brushes to reach every tooth surface. Read up on proper brushing technique to make sure yours is effective.
  7. Cup each tooth when flossing – It’s harder to floss correctly than it is to brush, and your flossing could benefit from a refresher on flossing guidelines. Make sure to cup each tooth and slide your floss up and down against the gum line.
  8. Create a flossing reminder – Find yourself forgetting to floss? Set a phone alarm, put a note on your mirror, or coordinate your flossing with a family member’s.
  9. Find a flossing aid – If flossing is uncomfortable or difficult for you to perform (for coordination reasons), look into a waterpik or a floss holder.
  10. Ask your dentist for personalized tips – Dr. Scotto knows your mouth inside and out, and can offer the best possible advice, tailored to your own needs. Feel free to ask any questions you may have at your next exam.

In Schenectady? Schedule Your Next Dental Exam

It’s never too early to get your next appointment on the books. We’ll give you a reminder when the day rolls around. Contact us today to put it in place!

Schenectady General Dentist | Schenectady General Dentistry | Schenectaday Dental Exam
By drscotto@drscotto.com
March 26, 2014
Category: General Dentistry
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Schenectady mouth painWhen you’re in pain, you’re not yourself. And the longer that discomfort lasts, the more serious the effect it has on your life. Don’t ignore oral pain that could be a sign of a larger problem. No matter your aches, there’s a treatment that will soothe them. Dr. Robert Scotto will diagnose the problem and get you back on your feet.

Common Causes of Oral Pain

Many patients experiencing some kind of oral discomfort decide to wait it out. They believe that the problem can’t be anything too serious, and plan on seeing whether it subsides. It’s true that not every twinge mandates a call to the dentist, but some pains are signifiers of significant dental problems. The intensity and location of your pain can point to the culprit.

A few of the most common causes of mouth pain include:

  • Cavities – Also known as dental caries, cavities form when acids eat through enamel and cause tooth decay. Cavities destroy the hard tissues that make up the tooth. If treated in their early stages, cavities can be no big deal. But if they’re allowed to progress, the entire tooth may become infected. Treating an infected tooth involves root canal or even extraction. Pay attention to your teeth: if one is in pain, if you notice a new dark spot, or if you notice sudden bad breath, a cavity may be forming.
  • Gingivitis/periodontal disease – Plaque buildup causes more than just cavities. Your gums also suffer the consequences of increased oral bacteria. Once your gums become inflamed, they’re susceptible to infection. Pockets of bacteria may form between your teeth and gums, jeopardizing tooth stability and gum health. If your gums are tender, swollen, red or purple, or bleeding, give us a call so that we can get the inflammation under control.
  • TMJ disorder – Your temporomandibular joint is located on either side of your jaw. It connects the lower and upper jaws, and allows for the full range of jaw motion that you enjoy. Unfortunately, the TMJ doesn’t always work harmoniously. A damaged or aggravated TMJ may give rise to a TMJ disorder. Disorders cause stiffness, pain, and fatigue at the jaw joint.
  • Bruxism – Teeth grinding is an incredibly common problem, and one that many patients don’t actually recognize. Because most clenching and grinding take place at night, patients don’t realize what their jaws are up to. Chronic grinding will wear down your enamel and can cause problems with your jaw joint. Grinding-related pain is most often felt in the morning, in the jaw and across your teeth.
  • Aphthous ulcers – This term sounds alarming, but it’s actually the least damaging of this group – aphthous ulcers are canker sores. While canker sores cause discomfort, they rarely lead to larger problems. Use over-the-counter canker sore relief products to soothe the area.

Schenectady Treatment for Jaw Pain and Mouth PainSchenectady mouth pain treatment

The problems we’ve detailed above can be resolved with a visit to Dr. Scotto. One that bears special mention is TMJ disorder. Pain stemming from jaw disorders can be debilitating. Our office provides a variety of solutions for those experiencing TMJ-related discomfort. For some patients, wearing TMJ splints will help stabilize and realign their lower jaws. These mouth guards are worn at night, and they ensure that the jaws remain in a healthy relationship with one another. TMJ splints also allow the jaw joints to rest and heal. Night guards are equally helpful for patients struggling with bruxism.

If a TMJ splint isn’t adequate for your clenching, Botox therapeutic will persuade jaw muscles to relax. A precise injection at the jaw joint will help prevent forceful muscle contractions without robbing patients of their jaw function. Give us a call if you suspect that Botox could be helpful, or if you’re interested in learning more about Botox therapeutic. And, as always, get in touch if you have any questions about your oral pain or your dental health.

By drscotto@drscotto.com
March 12, 2014
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
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Schenectady cosmetic dentistryWhen you decide to make a change to your smile, you’re investing in new teeth. Naturally, you want that investment to last as long as possible. But our teeth (and dental work) can fall prey to damaging external forces. Fortunately, there are simple, daily steps you can take to ensure you reap the full rewards of your gorgeous, healthy smile. Put in a little extra work each day to see your efforts pay off – some forms of dental work will remain with you for decades.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Schenectady

Cosmetic dental work is both beautiful and functional. There’s no need to compromise tooth strength in order to change your smile’s appearance. Dr. Scotto will never make a cosmetic decision that weakens your grin – rather, the work will protect and preserve your natural teeth. Whether you get dental bonding, a porcelain veneer, or a porcelain crown, those treatments will support natural teeth by protecting your enamel and supporting the tooth’s structure.

Maintaining Brighter Teeth

Teeth whitening is incredibly popular and widespread. Different whitening systems offer various treatment experiences and results. No matter the whitening system you choose, you want to make sure that your brightened grin offers great longevity. Whitening results can only last so long, but there are home steps you can take to give them a boost.

  • Avoid staining habits. Some of the guiltiest staining agents are tobacco use and dark, acidic liquids (primarily coffee, red wine, and cola). If you must indulge, use a straw to drink, and rinse with water afterwards.
  • Watch out for grinding. The outer layer of your teeth is your enamel, a hard, protective surface that provides teeth with their white shade. Below the enamel is your dentin, which is naturally yellow. When patients grind their teeth and wear the enamel away, the dentin begins to show through. This darkens the smile’s appearance. Grinding has countless other unwelcome effects. Avoid them by asking Dr. Scotto whether you may benefit from a night guard.
  • Use fluoride products. Fluoridated mouthwash and toothpaste helps remineralize enamel, thickening its layer and protecting your teeth. Using fluoride prior to whitening can also help reduce tooth sensitivity.
  • Practice whitening upkeep. Using whitening trays at home will give your in-office whitening a boost! Follow Dr. Scotto's instructions to whiten at the appropriate frequency.

Preserving Dental Bonding

Schenectady cosmetic dentistryBonding applies tooth-colored dental composite to teeth. This has cosmetic and functional benefits. Bonding isn’t as strong as porcelain restorations, but accomplishes many of the same results. In order to make your bonding last as long as possible, it’s important to treat it well.

  • Brush and floss the area gently but thoroughly.
  • Don’t bite into anything other than food (teeth should never be used as tools, but doing so is especially harmful to dental work).
  • No grinding! As with whitening, teeth grinding will cause problems. Applying that unnatural pressure to your bonding will likely cause chips and breaks.

Caring for Porcelain Dental Restorations

Porcelain restorations are the hardiest cosmetic treatments. The porcelain material is incredibly durable, and allows for lasting changes to be made to your smile. Because the restorative process is more involved than whitening or bonding, it’s vital that you treat your restorations with respect. Care for them as you would natural teeth (daily brushing and flossing), and be sure to clean at the gum line. Avoid exposing your restorations to extreme force (like that associated with bruxing) and they will continue to enhance your smile for many years to come.

Interested in learning more about home care for dental work? Simply contact our office for more helpful tips. We will base your personalized advice off your own teeth and existing dental work to help you take an active role in the state of your smile!

Schenectady Cosmetic Dentist | Schenectady Cosmetic Dentistry | Schenectady Cosmetic Dentall Treatment
By drscotto@drscotto.com
February 26, 2014
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
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Schenectady cosmetic dentistryPreparing to dive into the world of cosmetic dentistry? Dr. Scotto and his team look forward to helping you get started. But there are some preparatory steps you’ll need to undertake before visiting our office. It’s important to start getting acquainted with what it is that you’d like to change about your smile prior to treatment. This will allow you to have a more detailed, informed discussion with Dr. Scotto, and will help the process result in your ideal smile. Read on for a few pointers to consider before your cosmetic consultation.

3 Things To Consider Before Beginning Cosmetic Treatment

Cosmetic dentistry isn’t just about the final result. Considering what you’d like the process to be like will help ensure it’s comfortable and satisfying. A few of the following factors are important to consider:

  • Your commitment level – Commitment level means a few different things. When you receive dental treatment, you’re investing time and energy in the process. There will also be the cost to consider, as many dental insurances don’t cover cosmetic procedures. At the same time, the commitment level tends to correspond with the endurance of the work. The more involved the procedure, the longer your new smile will last.
  • Your comfort with treatment – If you have dental anxiety, you may be interested in less invasive cosmetic treatments like teeth whitening or dental bonding. If you decide on more involved treatment, we will provide you with anesthesia and sedation to make your procedure both painless and anxiety-free.
  • Desired results – What do you want your future smile to look like? Take some time to consider the smiles around you that you admire, as well as the things about your own smile that you find lacking. Look at photos of famous smiles, as well as the smiles belonging to your friends and family. Dr. Scotto will help you decide on which changes will look the best with your facial structure and your entire grin.

Changes Possible with A Schenectady Cosmetic Dentist

Remember that cosmetic dentistry can bring about varied, diverse transformations. The categories listed below are just some of the most common ways that patients want to alter their smiles. Find one that appeals to you to see the corresponding treatment:

Stronger Teeth

Schenectady cosmetic dentistThis is both a functional and an aesthetic change. Teeth with worn enamel will look older and can be yellow, as the dentin beneath the enamel shows through. Damaged teeth may have visible cracks or chips, and should be repaired to ensure the teeth have long lives ahead. You’re likely experiencing sensitivity when you eat/drink hot or cold foods/beverages. Strengthening the tooth in question will change your dental comfort and the appearance of your smile. If the weakened tooth is a front tooth, a porcelain veneer will be the best bet. If it bears stronger forces, a porcelain crown will get the job done.

Straighter Teeth

Spent years wishing your smile were a bit straighter? There are options in front of you. If your malocclusion is mild and limited to your front teeth, porcelain veneers could actually straighten them. Dr. Scotto will prepare your teeth and then fit veneers over them. Once the veneers are bonded in place, you’ll possess a straighter smile.

Longer Teeth

The forces of time can wear away your enamel and shorten your teeth. Chronic grinding speeds up this unfortunate effect. And when your teeth are lacking in length, they age your entire face. Seeking a quick fix? Dental bonding will add structure. For a more durable option, choose porcelain veneers.

Brighter Teeth

A dull smile limits you in many ways. When you posses bright teeth, your smile stands out and you feel more comfortable in social and professional situations. A whiter, more noticeable smile is only one appointment away. In-office teeth whitening will produce dramatic results. If you’re too busy for an office visit, you’re also able to whiten at home.

Has this post inspired you to make a change? Contact Dr. Robert Scotto’s office to get started.

Schenectady Cosmetic Dentist | Schenectady Cosmetic Dentistry | Schenectady Cosmetic Dental Treatment
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 29, 2014
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
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Single-Appointment Transformations

Schenectady smile makeoverA “smile makeover” sounds like a serious overhaul. But the complexity of treatment doesn’t necessarily define a smile makeover; the results do. In fact, gaining a smile that is dramatically different from your present one can be achieved within the space of one appointment. An enduring, beautiful smile doesn’t have to come at the cost of multiple appointments, hours spent in the dental chair, and weeks spent wearing temporaries while waiting for restorations. Certain cosmetic treatments will revive your smile during just one visit to our office.

Candidates for Smile Makeovers

Being a candidate for a smile makeover is not belonging to an exclusive group. Really, anyone who isn’t completely satisfied with his or her smile is ready for a transformation. Depending on your teeth, aesthetic goals, and dental needs, we’ll determine which treatments are appropriate. Although the term “makeover” can inspire thoughts of the superficial, your new smile will be entirely functional and long lasting. It will not undermine the affected teeth – rather, many types of cosmetic work will strengthen them.

Single-Day Cosmetic Treatments

Dental Bonding

Consider fillings of old: big pieces of silver or gold that left marks on a smile. Today’s fillings are tooth-colored and blend seamlessly with your natural teeth, thanks to dental composite. Composite is a tooth-colored resin that bonds securely to teeth. It may be molded into nearly any shape, filling areas of teeth that are lacking in some way. Bonding may be used to

  • Fill gaps
  • Whiten
  • Lengthen
  • Reduce sensitivity
  • Reshape
  • Cover cracks or chips

…and it does so without requiring a dental lab. Dr. Scotto will select the right shade of composite, shape it, bond it to your tooth, and harden it – all chairside. You’ll enter our office with a flaw, and leave with a perfect smile.

Teeth Whitening

Schenectady dental bondingWe’re sure you know what teeth whitening is – but you may underestimate all that it can do for your smile. Some patients initially seeking more involved cosmetic work find that whitening accomplishes the level of dramatic change for which they had hoped. With whitening’s versatility, you’re also able to experience treatment as you wish. Whether you’d like to whiten at home or in the office, your options remain open. Struggle with sensitive teeth? Modern whitening methods help to minimize twinges and produce the results you seek.

Professional whitening will brighten your smile by several shades within 1-2 hours. With home touch-ups, you’ll enjoy a whitened smile for months to come.

Cosmetic Contouring

Contouring may be the simplest of the treatments listed, but it can also carry impressive results. Rather than adding anything to your teeth (as with whitening and bonding), contouring actually removes tiny portions of your smile – to great effect. Some smiles can suffer because of a jagged or uneven smile line (the curve where your upper and lower teeth meet). Jutting canines, asymmetrical incisors, and other structural flaws will detract from your overall smile. Contouring will smooth and reshape tooth surfaces to craft your ideal smile. Better yet, it’s likely that anesthetic won’t be required. That kind of simple, painless treatment is one that we’re proud to offer our patients.

What if these treatments aren’t right for me?

While smile makeovers can’t always be simple, they will always be completely natural looking and patient-oriented. If your teeth demand more than the treatments we’ve detailed here, we will walk you through the steps of the process to ensure you’re wholly comfortable and prepared. If you’ve ever spent time feeling ashamed or unhappy due to imperfect teeth, a smile makeover is something you should consider. Take the first step by getting in touch with our Schenectady practice.

By drscotto@drscotto.com
January 20, 2014
Category: General Dentistry
Tags: Untagged

Schenectady general dentistEvery day, you make hundreds of decisions – some so minute that you may not realize the effects of their outcomes. What you choose to eat is a serious matter. But we live such busy lives that we often forgo thoughtful foods for whatever’s the most convenient. Your diet not only affects your overall health, but plays directly into the state of your teeth. Interested in perking up your smile? Read on for some drinks, snacks, and other foods that will help you build beautiful, decay-free teeth.

Evaluate Your Diet to Identify:

Causes of Stained Teeth

Enamel is porous, and the foods and liquids you put into your mouth will have an effect on the brightness of your teeth. Staining compounds enter enamel and darken its shade. Cutting down on consumption of the following, or finding ways to reduce their effects (like rinsing after drinking or using a straw) will help keep your teeth bright:

 

  • Coffee
  • Red wine
  • Cola
  • Dark fruit juices

Many of these beverages are also acidic, lowering your mouth’s pH and making it easier for decay to form.

Causes of Tooth Decay

Acidic beverages aren’t the only cause of dental problems. Foods high in sugars or starches catalyze bacterial growth in the mouth, leading to the formation of plaque. Beware super sweet, carb-filled treats like

  • Candy (especially sticky candy, which becomes easily lodged between teeth)
  • Sweet baked goods
  • Other treats like potato chips or soft bread

While it is important to brush your teeth after indulging, if the snack was acidic, you should wait at least 30 minutes. Because your mouth’s pH is lower, your enamel is softer and could be damaged by brushing.

Healthy Alternatives

The foods you want to embrace are ones that help to naturally clean and strengthen your teeth. This includes nutrient-filled eating options, particularly those containing phosphorous and calcium. Pick up a few of the following the next time you’re grocery shopping:

  • Nuts
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Vegetables like celery, carrots, and broccoli

Embrace a few of these tips to see a healthier, happier smile!





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

  

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