The 10 Best Smiles in Pittsburgh

Plus - we poll dentists included in our 2016 list of topDentists for their opinions and tips gleaned from years of experience in their profession.



 

 

 

 

 

photos courtesy pittsburgh penguins, pittsburgh steelers, pittsburgh pirates, wtae-TV, WPXI-TV, kdka-tv

 

Keep Smiling

Please note that not all topDentists responded to our questions. Those who participated did not necessarily respond to each question, and some provided more than one answer per query. Some answers have been condensed.
 

Electric or manual? Which toothbrush is better?

  • They’re all effective. It’s how you use it. Brain and hand are most important. 
     
  • Manual with soft bristles.  
     
  • Softest manual toothbrush available.
     
  • Electric. Most people don’t brush for two minutes, and the electric [version] makes them realize that.
     
  • Oral B. 
     
  • It depends on the individual. I’m a manual user, but I do recommend electric to some patients. 
     
  • We definitely endorse Philips Sonicare because it removes much more plaque than a manual. 
     
  • Oral B. I tell people to get a kid’s brush — the adult brush is so big that people can’t get it past their back molars. 
     
  • I personally use an electric toothbrush, but it’s more important to actually brush correctly. 
     
  • I’m a fan of manual with the right technique. People get comfortable with the power toothbrushes, and they think the toothbrush will do the work for you, but you still need to brush properly. 
     
  • We do a combination of manual and battery-operated. 
     
  • Oral B.
     

How do you put your patients at ease?

  • Putting them in control and educating them.
     
  • Make them feel at home. 
     
  • Use the best local anesthetic and create an open atmosphere in the office [in which] they aren’t enclosed. 
     
  • Good chair-side manners, explain everything and put them in charge. 
     
  • Office location is a house rather than an office building. 
     
  • Open operatory — there’s not much with this in orthodontics. 
     
  • I had a little girl once who needed [to have] a tooth extracted, and we did a lot of yoga breathing. It worked; it distracted her enough to get the tooth out. 
     
  • Sedation, [and] talk to them.
     
  • Treat them like they’re a guest rather than a patient and talk to them like we’re two people having a conversation, and after a few minutes they relax a little bit.
     
  • Mainly a personal-touch approach and getting to know the patient before we know their teeth.
     
  • A reassuring word or reassurance that we’re going to be as gentle as we can. Ultimately they’re in charge, and they just have to raise their hand and we’ll stop and take a break if they need. That usually puts them at ease. 
     
  • Always joking gets people [to forget] where they’re at. Some pretty funny jokes and some I can’t even repeat. Some people have a different sense of humor than I do. I was humming and singing while I was doing a crown, and the patient said to me, “Doctor, I pay you to do dentistry, not to sing.” 
     
  • I try to be as welcoming and friendly as possible when people walk in the door and thoroughly explain everything I’m going to do. 
     
  • I reassure patients a couple of different ways. One is by explaining everything very well. The other way is to make them laugh and keep them relaxed by telling jokes. 
     
  • Make them laugh and feel as though they are family.
     
  • Being honest.
     

What’s IN and OUT in the world of dental care?

  • Implants are exciting, as is the bigger focus on and awareness about the connection between traditional medicine and dentistry. 
     
  • CAD/CAM [computer-aided design and manufacturing] technology. 
     
  • Intraoral scanning; it’s still a bit costly, but it provides convenience. Fewer impressions are needed. 
     
  • Old silver fillings are out, resin fillings in. Removable partials out, implants in. 
     
  • Implants versus bridges are definitely becoming the standard of care. 
     
  • In the past, white fillings were not comparable to the strength of silver, so they didn’t last as long, but even within the past five years they’ve become so wear-resistant and comparable to the strength of the silver filling that in most cases I recommend them. Also, implants are the new standard of care. 
     
  • Impression materials, temporalization materials, cement materials — they’re all changing. Implants are the best thing that has happened to dentistry during my career. 
     
  • The biggest thing is Invisalign [clear braces]. It’s here to stay ... it’s really a wonderful product, and it’s gaining more and more popularity.
     
  • Laser dentistry is a new trend. You can do fillings without getting people numb. It’s not for everyone and every filling, but you can do a lot of things for little kids without getting them numb.
     
  • Nothing. Dentistry is very complicated, and there are so many options. 
     
  • Definitely implants would be high on the list.
     

Top foods that are BAD for your teeth (including some Pittsburgh favorites)

  • Energy sports drinks 
     
  • Sweets/junk food  
     
  • Anything acidic and junk food, such as Clark Bars
     
  • Krispy Kreme doughnuts 
     
  • There is a big problem right now with an overabundance of soft drinks and sports drinks, coupled with bottled water that doesn’t have fluoride with it.  
     
  • Anything super-acidic. Those iced teas that everybody drinks — those little cartons of iced tea. How people just sip on those all day is awful. 
     
  • I just see so many people drinking [containers of] iced tea in general. People love that tea, and their teeth are just bathing in sugar. Any sugary or sweet liquid is going to feed that bacteria that causes tooth decay, and it’s going to just wreak havoc. 
     
  • Lozenges and sugary things  
     
  • Eat anything you enjoy, and make sure your teeth are clean. 
     
  • Anything very high in sugar and very acidic. A lot of juices and coffees, especially if you put creamers in. They’re OK to have in moderation. It’s important that you don’t slowly sip on them all day because that’s just continuing to put your teeth in an acid bath. 
     
  • It’s festival and fair time. Funnel cakes. In the summertime, beware of the funnel cakes. 
     
  • Clark Bars — but nothing is bad if you have a good dentist. 
     
  • Anything that’s consistent. A can of Coke on your desk — that kind of thing. Something [in which] you’re consistently bathing your teeth.
     

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and head outdoors for 10 great walks for spring.
412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

Local nonprofit organization 412 Food Rescue is taking food that otherwise would be tossed aside and connecting it with those in need through-of-the-moment technology.
Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Fashion is white haute this spring with the best looks from local stores.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy's Meg Cheever To Step Down

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy's Meg Cheever To Step Down

The nonprofit's founding President and CEO will leave her position early next year.
Pittsburgh Pens' Spouse is ‘Hockey Wife’ On and Off Camera

Pittsburgh Pens' Spouse is ‘Hockey Wife’ On and Off Camera

After a Stanley Cup-winning season for the Pittsburgh Penguins, one player’s wife is working on her own claim to fame.
What to Do with Unused Churches in Pittsburgh

What to Do with Unused Churches in Pittsburgh

A Pittsburgh preservation group says there are approximately 30 unused churches in Allegheny County.
How Would You Make Pittsburgh's Liberty Avenue Better?

How Would You Make Pittsburgh's Liberty Avenue Better?

This week, your suggestions could have a significant impact on one of Downtown’s busiest streets.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

Top 10 Things to Do in Pittsburgh in April

This month's best bets in the ’Burgh.
Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Take a Hike: 10 of the Best Trails in the Pittsburgh Area

Lace up your sneakers or hiking boots and head outdoors for 10 great walks for spring.
412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

412 Food Rescue: Revolutionary Repurposing

Local nonprofit organization 412 Food Rescue is taking food that otherwise would be tossed aside and connecting it with those in need through-of-the-moment technology.
Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Spring Fashion: The Height of White

Fashion is white haute this spring with the best looks from local stores.
Restaurant Review: Pork & Beans

Restaurant Review: Pork & Beans

The latest restaurant from the Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group brings Texas-style smoked meats and more to Downtown.
Daytripping: Brave the Cave

Daytripping: Brave the Cave

Go subterranean at Laurel Caverns, the largest cave in Pennsylvania.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy's Meg Cheever To Step Down

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy's Meg Cheever To Step Down

The nonprofit's founding President and CEO will leave her position early next year.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Kamayan Feast Coming To Kaya in the Strip District

Kamayan Feast Coming To Kaya in the Strip District

Executive Chef Ben Sloan will offer a festive, eat-with-your-hands spread on Tuesday nights.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


The (Very Good) Brewery You Should Be Patronizing in Homestead

The (Very Good) Brewery You Should Be Patronizing in Homestead

Voodoo Brewery is an enticing alternative to the many chains in and around the Waterfront.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Steelers’ Philosophy Back on Display After Hightower Flirtation

Steelers’ Philosophy Back on Display After Hightower Flirtation

Even as they entertained Dont’a Hightower for nearly seven hours during a free-agent recruiting trip to the South Side, the Steelers never lost sight of who they are or what they’re all about.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Turn Your Bath into a Spa with These Oils

Turn Your Bath into a Spa with These Oils

The miniature bath- and shower-oil collection from Aromatherapy Associates makes every shower a luxury experience.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The CMU Film Fest Opens with One of 2016's Best

The CMU Film Fest Opens with One of 2016's Best

Reviews of two films appearing at the 2017 Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival: "I, Daniel Blake," and "The Eagle Huntress." Plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
#Wedding: What’s Trending in the Wedding World

#Wedding: What’s Trending in the Wedding World

Married couples talk hashtags — and why they used them at their weddings.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Get the Scoop Behind One of Pittsburgh’s Most Unique Condos

Get the Scoop Behind One of Pittsburgh’s Most Unique Condos

The Carnegie Museum of Art’s new exhibit features the works of architect Arthur Lubetz and Front Studio, including the vibrant Glass Lofts Building in Garfield.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
New Club is a Hit at Thiel College

New Club is a Hit at Thiel College

The Outdoor Recreation Club becomes the newest student organization at the college.

Comments