Dental Services in Pittsburgh, PA

Oral/Dental Appliances-Snoring.Sleep Apnea,CPAP Alternative,Tension,Migraine Headaches,TMJ pain Teeth Whitening, Dental Implants

Michael F. Hnat D.M.D. provides a full array of dental services for patients of all ages to help maintain your oral health and well-being.Special training and certifications enable our staff to provide additional revolutionary and innovative services. You can read more on this page about specific services.

  • Root Canal Therapy
  • Scaling and Root Planing
  • Periodontal "Gum" pocket bacteria culturing
  • Full and Partial Dentures
  • Pediatric Dental care
  • Sealants
  • Laser-assisted Gum Therapy
  • Laser frenectomy/ lesion removal
  • Teeth Bonding
  • Teeth Clenching/Grinding Appliances
  • Headaches
  • Teeth Grinding

Initial Oral Examination
Your initial oral examination is a thorough evaluation of the hard (teeth and bone) and soft (gums,tongue lips,palate,etc.) tissues that includes screenings for oral cancer,sleep apnea,gum disease, TMJ (jaw) and bite problems. A panoramic xray(shows all teeth,,jawbone and sinuses) and bitewing (between the teeth) xrays may be taken to aid the clinical examination. An intraoral camera is used to photograph areas of concern and the images are magnified and viewed on a computer monitor with the patient at chairside. A treatment plan of mandatory and elective concerns is then discussed with the patient based on the findings from the complete oral examination.

EMERGENCY CARE - Emergency care is focused on identifying the signs, symptoms and source of discomfort and using appropriate palliative therapy to obtain relief as quickly as possible. The treatment may require clinical care and/or prescription or OTC medication. Recommendations for follow-up care as needed are discussed.

TOOTHACHE - And Other Oral Pain - Certain important points are helpful to know for preparing to treat a patient in pain. Whether screening the patient over the phone or in the operatory, the patient should be able to tell us if the ache is: (1) brief or lingering to hot or cold temperature (2) when biting down or when biting on a food piece (3) dull or sharp (4) localized or radiating. We would also want to note whether there is swelling present in the gum or jaw. With this preliminary information, a visual exam and a few simple clinical tests supplemented by X-ray(s) are usually adequate to diagnose the problem.

DENTAL IMPLANTS - Implants are biocompatible, synthetic structures placed in the jawbone to take the place of the root of a natural tooth that is missing. After placement, implants normally require four to six months for the natural bone to integrate (ie heal) around the implant to make it secure. After that time the implant is typically restored with a crown although some implants are restored with a different attachment used to better hold a denture in place. Implants vary in width and length depending on the space available in the jawbone where it is to be used. Conventional implants are placed into the jawbone surgically but mini-implants- thinner structures used to retain dentures- can be threaded by hand into place. The loose denture can then be firmly fitted over the mini-implants at the same appointment immediately making it secure.

SLEEP APNEA - It has been estimated that 60% of men and 40% of women between the ages of 40 and 60 years of age snore. Snoring occurs when there is a partial obstruction of the airway which causes the palatal tissues to vibrate. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the airway is completely blocked for certain periods of time. As many as 20 million people in North America may have sleep apnea. Snoring is a social problem, particularly for the spouse, but obstructive sleep apnea poses a significant health risk for the patient in that it can lead to irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes.

HEADACHES - Tooth grinding or clenching (or parafunction) is typically the dental manifestation of stress, anxiety or hyperactivity. The signs and symptoms that are the result of parafunction range from the physical wear of the teeth at the edges and gumline to sore, tender muscles in the face, neck and shoulders to a sore jaw joint (TMJ) to debilitating headaches. Current research attributes the tension associated with parafunction as the trigger for 70% of migraine headaches.

TEETH WHITENING -Whitening procedures have effectively restored the smile of people with stained, dull or discolored teeth. A teenagers's smile is much easier to whiten then that of an adult. Teeth become harder to bleach as the person gets older. This is primarily due to the fact that as we age, debris and stain particles pack more and more firmly into the tooth layers.

SEALANTS - Sealants are hard coatings that are placed on the biting surfaces of a child's permanent posterior (back) teeth. They are comfortably placed without the need for anesthesia (numbness). Sealants virtually cover the narrow grooves and pits in these teeth protecting the underlying enamel. Sealants also contain fluoride that is released over time into the enamel, further strengthening it from breakdown. The best time to apply sealants is when the crown of the permanent tooth has just erupted.

ROOT PLANING AND SCALING (DEEP CLEANING) - A "deep cleaning" is the procedure typically performed by a dental hygienist to remove hardened deposits of plaque below the gum line of the teeth. The teeth and gums in the area of treatment are anesthetized so the procedure can be completed comfortably and thoroughly. Removing the plaque deposits allows the swollen and bleeding gums in the area to heal. Medicated antibacterial rinses are usually used at home after treatment to aid the healing process.

CROWNS - Crowns are restorations made of metal, porcelain or both, placed over a compromised tooth for long term strength. A tooth may be compromised in strength if it has a large filling, with or without an underlying root canal, leaving the remaining thinner tooth structure prone to fracture. The crown is made to fully cover the tooth from all sides giving it support and preventing any fracture from developing. A crown is also used to restore a dental implant. Crowns can be made to look and feel very natural.