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Posts for: March, 2018

By The Scarsdale Dentist
March 16, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

If you’re in the initial planning stages for a dental implant, you may already be encountering a number of options to consider. One that may come up is how the visible crown will attach to the metal implant imbedded in the bone.

Generally speaking, implants are composed of two parts: a metal post most often made of titanium placed into the bone that serves as the “root” for the new tooth; and a visible, life-like crown made of dental porcelain that attaches to an abutment on the titanium post. The crown can be attached in one of two ways: either with a small screw through the biting surface of the crown into a receiving hole in the abutment or cemented to it.

The major advantage of a screwed crown is that it allows for easy removal of the crown if needed. While the titanium post can often last a lifetime, porcelain crowns more often need repair or replacement since they receive the brunt of the biting forces in the mouth. A screw-attached crown is much easier to remove than a cemented one.

On the other hand, screwed crowns have a small access hole that must be restored with a tooth-colored filling to help the crown appear natural. This isn’t too great an issue with back teeth but does make achieving a natural appearance in the front more difficult. Cemented crowns look more like a natural tooth and are thus more flexible in achieving the desired appearance.

Besides the possibility the cement may cause gum inflammation or bone loss, the chief detraction from cemented crowns is the difficulty in removing them. Crowns are often damaged in this process so it’s highly likely it will have to be replaced rather than repaired. It’s possible to use weaker cement, but this raises the risk of the crown coming loose at some point from the abutment.

As we plan for your implant, we’ll discuss which type of attachment will work best for you, depending on the tooth to be replaced and other conditions with your oral health. The end result, though, should be the same — a new, natural-looking tooth that serves you well for many years to come.

If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 “How Crowns Attach to Implants.”

By The Scarsdale Dentist
March 01, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Some people have small gaps between their teeth, and the result is nothing more than a cosmetic problem. However, gaps which result dental implantsfrom tooth extraction cause bone loss, serious appearance problems, and reduced oral function. Dental implants from The Scarsdale Dentist in the Westchester area solve those issues. A highly trained dentist and member of the International Congress of Oral Impllantologists, Dr. Jeffrey Pike can advise you on these state-of-the-art tooth replacements and whether they could restore your smile appearance and function. Chances are they can!

What is a dental implant?

The single-tooth implant is composed of a titanium screw, a metal alloy post, and an all-porcelain crown. Dr. Pike inserts the implant screw into healthy jaw bone during an in-office surgery. The best-qualified candidates have "passed" an oral exam and X-ray imaging to see if they have adequate bone to support the dental implant.

After the placement procedure, the patient returns home for an extensive period of healing. During this time, the jaw bone bonds to the titanium implant through osseointegration. This process happens only with titanium metal, and it's responsible for the high success and retention rates of dental implants (about 95 percent) as documented by the Institute for Dental Implant Awareness and other research entities.

When the site has healed sufficiently, Dr. Pike can re-open it and finish the implant with the post and crown. Continued biting and chewing on the new prosthetic strengthens jaw bone density and helps retain its size.


Dental implants treat extensive tooth loss, too. Dr. Pike employs a procedure called All-on-4 in which a full denture is supported by four implants secured at load-bearing angles in the patient's jaw. Special three-dimensional imaging allows for precise placement of the devices. The dentist can place a full denture on these innovative devices immediately.

Implant care

Expect it to be as easy as brushing twice daily and carefully flossing. Additionally, see Dr. Pike semi-annually for your routine exam and hygienic cleaning. Good oral hygiene is imperative to keep implant sites healthy. While these artificial teeth cannot get cavities, they can develop something similar to gum disease (peri-implantitis) if the patient neglects oral hygiene or smokes. Tobacco contains toxins which deteriorate gums and bone.

Find out more in Westchester

You can close the gaps in your smile with something that resembles your natural teeth. Contact The Scarsdale Dentist in Westchester today to arrange a dental implant consultation. You definitely can trust Dr. Pike's expertise and experience. Call (914) 725-0707.

By The Scarsdale Dentist
March 01, 2018
Category: Oral Health

When you’re among the top players in your field, you need every advantage to help you stay competitive: Not just the best equipment, but anything else that relieves pain and stress, and allows you to play better. For top-seeded Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic, that extra help came in a somewhat unexpected form: a custom made mouthguard that he wears on the court and off. “[It helps] to not grind my teeth while I play,” said the 25-year-old up-and-coming ace. “It just causes stress and headaches sometimes.”

Mouthguards are often worn by athletes engaged in sports that carry the risk of dental injury — such as basketball, football, hockey, and some two dozen others; wearing one is a great way to keep your teeth from being seriously injured. But Raonic’s mouthguard isn’t primarily for safety; it’s actually designed to help him solve the problem of teeth grinding, or bruxism. This habitual behavior causes him to unconsciously tense up his jaw, potentially leading to problems with muscles and teeth.

Bruxism is a common issue that’s often caused or aggravated by stress. You don’t have to be a world-class athlete to suffer from this condition: Everyday anxieties can have the same effect. The behavior is often worsened when you consume stimulating substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and other drugs.

While bruxism affects thousands of people, some don’t even suspect they have it. That’s because it may occur at any time — even while you’re asleep! The powerful jaw muscles that clench and grind teeth together can wear down tooth enamel, and damage both natural teeth and dental work. They can even cause loose teeth! What’s more, a clenching and grinding habit can result in pain, headaches and muscle soreness… which can really put you off your game.

There are several ways to relieve the problem of bruxism. Stress reduction is one approach that works in some cases. When it’s not enough, a custom made occlusal guard (also called a night guard or mouthguard) provided by our office can make a big difference. “When I don’t sleep with it for a night,” Raonic said “I can feel my jaw muscles just tense up the next day. I don’t sense myself grinding but I can sort of feel that difference the next day.”

 An occlusal guard is made from an exact model of your own mouth. It helps to keep your teeth in better alignment and prevent them from coming into contact, so they can’t damage each other. It also protects your jaw joints from being stressed by excessive force. Plus, it’s secure and comfortable to wear. “I wear it all the time other than when I’m eating, so I got used to it pretty quickly,” said Raonic.

Teeth grinding can be a big problem — whether you put on your game face on the court… or at home. If you would like more information about bruxism, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”