Our Periodontal Blog
By Alan M. Timko, DMD
December 08, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out whether this surgical dental procedure could improve the shape and even health of your smile.

You might not have heard of crown lengthening before, but it’s a fairly common procedure that requires our Pittsburgh, PA, periodontist, crown lengtheningDr. Alan Timko, to remove bone, gum tissue or a little of both to make a tooth more visible. Find out why we might recommend getting get crown lengthening surgery and how it is performed.

Why might I need crown lengthening?

Crown lengthening might be an option if you are dealing with a damaged tooth. This is often the case with a tooth that breaks or fractures at or below the gum line. A crown lengthening is also a great option if there isn’t enough of a tooth above the gums to actually support a dental restoration like a filling or crown. In order to place one of these restorations, our Pittsburgh gum specialist will need to expose more of the tooth by removing bone or gum tissue from that area.

If you have a “gummy smile” this aesthetic issue can also be addressed with crown lengthening.

What is involved in this dental surgery?

Before you even get surgery you will need to go through a thorough consultation with our periodontist to make sure that this is the right procedure for you. We will discuss your medical history and take X-rays. A professional cleaning will also be done before your surgery.

Crown lengthening is done under local anesthesia and the length of your procedure will depend on how many teeth we need to treat. Of course, whether we just need to remove tissue or both tissue and bone will also affect the length of your treatment.

We will make small incisions in the gums to pull them away from the teeth to expose the bone and roots of the tooth. Sometimes just removing some gum tissue is all that’s needed to expose as much of the tooth that we need to fully support a crown or filling. However, there are some cases in which bone will also need to be removed. Once the tooth is fully exposed, we will stitch the gums back up.

Do you have questions about crown lengthening? Wondering if it’s right for you? If so, then it’s time you called our Pittsburgh, PA, dental office to schedule a consultation today.

By Alan M. Timko, DMD
October 07, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Find out how we can manage your gum disease with less invasive techniques.

When you find out you have gum disease, it can feel rather defeating. Fortunately, our Pittsburgh, PA periodontist, Dr. Alan Timko, also gum diseaseoffers non-invasive treatments for controlling your gum disease without the need for surgery. Find out more about this non-surgical gum disease treatment and whether it’s right for you.

While surgery is most often recommended for patients with severe forms of gum disease, if you are dealing with only mild to moderate forms then non-surgical treatments may also be available to you. One of the most common treatment options for treating gum disease in Pittsburgh is scaling and root planing.

While scaling and root planing may just seem like a regular dental cleaning, it’s a lot more in depth than that. A regular dental cleaning that you get every six months only cleans the part of your teeth that you are able to see when you smile. However, if you have gum disease, issues such as tartar, plaque and bacteria are lurking under the gums where you can’t see it. When you get scaling and root planing we will use both manual and ultrasonic instruments to remove tartar and plaque buildup from teeth and under the gums.

Once the teeth have been thoroughly cleaned, we will start on the gums and the tooth roots. Since gum disease causes infected pockets within the gums we will want to remove plaque and tartar from these areas, as well as clean the tooth roots and smooth down the root surface to prevent bacteria from reattaching to this area. This nonsurgical treatment is the only way to remove buildup and bacteria from tooth roots.

For many people in the early stages of gum disease, scaling and root planing is an amazing way to reverse the effects of this chronic disorder and improve the health of the gums. Of course, once scaling and root planing is finished it doesn’t mean your dental treatment in Pittsburgh is over. While most people won’t need additional scaling and root planing treatments they will need to come into our office more often for maintenance cleanings to make sure that everything is still looking and feeling its best.

Do you have questions about scaling and root planing? Ready to find out if it could treat your gum disease and get rid of your symptoms? If so, then it’s time you called our Pittsburgh, PA periodontal office to schedule an appointment with us. Your gums deserve only the best care.

By Alan M. Timko, DMD
August 11, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Periodontist  

What your periodontist in Pittsburgh wants you to know about periodontal services

When you think of a periodontist, do you usually think of treating periodontal disease? It’s true that treating periodontal disease is a big Periodontistpart of a periodontist’s work, but your periodontist does so much more. Today’s periodontists perform state-of-the-art treatments to make your smile look beautiful too.

Many people suffer from excessive or uneven gum tissue, which can mask your beautiful teeth. Dr. Alan M. Timko, your periodontist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania wants you to know about how your periodontist can help your smile.

Excessive, bulky gum tissue can be caused from a variety of things including certain classes of medications, genetics or poor oral hygiene. Your periodontist in Pittsburgh can treat excessive gum tissue, but first you must make sure you are doing your part by establishing an excellent oral hygiene routine including brushing after meals, before bed, and flossing every day. If you don’t remove bacteria-laden plaque, your gums will continue to be swollen and red, even with treatment.

Your periodontist in Pittsburgh offers effective treatments to correct excessive, bulky gum tissue. Consider:

  • Gingival resculpting, using a laser to trim excess gum tissue and improve the contours of your gums. Laser treatment takes about an hour.
  • Gingival recontouring, if you want your gumline to be higher, so you can show off more of your beautiful teeth. This procedure surgically removes excess gum tissue and reshapes your gums.

Many people also suffer from receding gums, when your gums recede downward, exposing the roots of your teeth. Receding gums are mainly a result of genetics, but can also be caused by poor tooth brushing habits, such as brushing with a hard toothbrush.

Your periodontist in Pittsburgh offers gum grafting to treat receding gums. It is a procedure to add gum tissue, even out your gumline, and cover the roots of your teeth. Gum grafting uses a piece of tissue from your palate, or medically treated lab tissue.

Your periodontist can give you a smile to be proud of. People should notice your beautiful teeth, not your uneven gums. If you are embarrassed by the look of your smile, don’t be! Instead, call Dr. Alan M. Timko, your periodontist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for help with excessive, uneven gums. Call today, and find out how he can help your smile!

By Alan M. Timko, DMD
June 03, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Gum Disease  


Your Pittsburgh, PA periodontist restores infected and receding gum tissue to full health. Possessing advanced training in periodontics, Dr. Alan Timko dedicates his practice to the many people who suffer from periodontal (gum) disease and related oral health issues and treatments. He and his professional staff are pleased to offer patients state-of-the-art periodontal surgeries not widely available through out the United States.

Gum Disease Signs and Effects

Unfortunately, gum disease, depending on its severity, can wreak havoc on oral health and even overall health. Someone with mild gingivitis to advanced periodontitis may exhibit symptoms such as:

  • gum redness, swelling, tenderness and bleeding
  • bad breath
  • tooth loosening and loss
  • gum recession
  • jaw bone loss

Concerning systemic health, individuals with periodontal problems often experience what physicians call co-morbidity. In other words, their what is happening in the mouth seems to affect the rest of the body with:

  • osteoporosis
  • arthritis
  • respiratory diseases
  • dementia and Alzheimer's disease
  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • hypertension
  • low birth weight babies
  • pregnancy complications

Standard Treatments and Innovations in Pittsburgh

Hand scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line frequently takes care of milder forms of gum disease. Some dentists also instill antimicrobial medications into gum pockets to quell infection and encourage re-attachment of gums to root surfaces.

Skilled, board-certified periodontists, however, such as Dr. Timko, offer new methods of handling periodontitis. One such treatment is LANAP surgery. LANAP stands for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure. Its objective is to debride and heal areas of gum infection and recession.

Instead of old-fashioned cutting, grafting and suturing, LANAP uses an FDA-approved YAG laser instrument to remove infected tissue, eliminate plaque and tartar and seal gum tissue back on root surfaces. This procedure is fast, comfortable and involves no scalpels or suturing. Patients recover right away.

Another advancement in periodontics is the Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique. This in-office surgery uses no stitches or scalpels, but instead uses a special, tiny instrument to move healthy gum tissue over areas of recession. There's little bleeding, and natural collagen anchors the transplanted gum tissue in place.

Prognosis for healthier, fuller gums is very good after these periodontic procedures in Pittsburgh and across the country. Dr. Timko always advises periodic exams and cleanings plus good brushing and flossing at home to keep gums strong and healthy.

Your Gums and You

The American Dental Association asserts that gum disease is one of the major causes of tooth loss among adults in the US. Could you be one of them? If you suspect gingivitis or periodontitis, contact Dr. Timko today to arrange a personal consultation. Call the office in Pittsburgh, PA at (412) 364-6777 today!

The American College of Prosthodontists, an organization of dental specialists expert in reconstructing and replacing teeth, estimates dental implantsthat 178 million American adults have lost at least one tooth. Common causes are injury, decay and gum disease. When tooth loss happens, replacement is essential. Today's best replacement option is the dental implant.

Pittsburgh dentist, Dr. Alan M. Timko, places dental implants for qualified candidates. He carefully educates his patients on the benefits of this modern dental service, fully believing that tooth loss cannot go unaddressed.

The Dental Implant is the Best Solution

Traditional tooth replacements, such as fixed bridgework and partial and full dentures, restore an acceptable amount of oral function and facial appearance to the individual who has lost one or more teeth. However, because these replacements simply set on top of gums and jaw bone, they cannot overcome the soft tissue recession and bone resorption created by tooth loss.

The dental implant addresses all three factors--oral function, facial appearance and tissue integrity. Plus, while initially costing more than traditional prosthetics, dental implants, placed singly or as support for dentures, stay in place for decades while bridgework and dentures typically last seven to 10 years.

In addition, the dental implant features an amazing process called osseointegration. The titanium implant device, surgically placed into the jaw bone, actually melds with the bone. After healing and placement of an extension post and crown, the physical forces of biting and chewing actually strengthen the bone, making it dense and retaining its size.

The Implant Procedure

While many people can receive dental implants the best candidates:

  • are in good overall health
  • have sufficient bone to accept the device
  • have healthy remaining teeth and gums
  • don't smoke
  • have good at-home dental hygiene habits
  • wear a mouth guard if they tend to grind and clench their teeth at night (bruxism)

After an oral exam, x-rays and other kinds of imaging as needed, Dr. Timko incises the gums and screws the implant into the jaw. He closes the site, and after some weeks of healing and integration, he revisits it to place a metal alloy abutment and crown.

Dental Implants are Successful

The American Academy of Implant Dentistry estimates that more than 90 percent of implant procedures succeed. Of those implants, more than 90 percent stay in place permanently. With twice a day brushing and once a day flossing, Dental implant sites stay healthy and strong. Semi-annual cleanings with Dr. Timko are a must, too.

Get More Information From Our Pittsburgh Dental Office

To learn more about dental implants, and to find if they could help your smile gaps, contact the Pittsburgh offices of Alan M. Timko, DMD. Call (412) 364-6777.

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