Get to Know Jaw Joints

Good dental function is significantly associated with better brain function, better vision, better hearing, better lung volume, better heart volume, better muscle strength, better bone mineral content, less heart attacks and longer life.
(SOURCE: British Medical Journal — 1989 & Community Dental Oral Epidemiology — 1990)

[Read more…]

Dental Implants and 3D Imaging in Dentistry

CT Scan of Skull image courtesy Waldir

CT Scan of Skull
image courtesy Waldir

Since its introduction in the 1970s, CT Scan technology has been used to provide three dimensional images in medicine. A valuable supplement to xray and ultrasound technologies, it is used for preventive measures as well as diagnosing disease in areas such as the abdomen, lungs and head.

Most dental patients, however, would not expect to receive a CT Scan in their dentist’s office. This is partly due to the cost of the equipment. Yet, for dentists providing complete dental implant systems, this technology is extremely helpful. In fact, the dental implant is considered by some as the catalyst for bringing CT Technology into the dental office. According to Radiology, a monthly journal published by the Radiological Society of North America:

“What then, was the catalyst or motivating factor for the development of these programs? The catalyst was the dental implant.”

The journal explains:

“Dentists and oral surgeons were experiencing difficulty with the use of conventional radiographs to determine whether there was sufficient bone in the jaw to accommodate these implants. They also found it difficult to determine the exact location of the mandibular nerve and other important structures. As a result, dentists soon began to work with their colleagues in radiology, and a dental CT reformatting program was developed to resolve these issues.”

“Not only was a new method of evaluating the jaw developed, but also a new partnership was created between dentists and radiologists.”

While Dr Pagano has been successfully placing complete dental implant systems since 1999 with two dimensional imaging, the recent introduction of 3D imaging technology came about for two reasons. One is that patients increasingly favor implants over other tooth replacement options, such as dental bridges. So there is a higher demand. Second, because Artistic Dentistry provides all treatments involved in dental implant systems, it made sense to utilize the most updated technology.

One of the most important factors in determining implant success is proper treatment planning

The three dimensional image allows your dentist to see your bone density.  Why is that important? The success of dental implants is dependent on the quality of the bone into which they are placed. The dental CT Scan will reveal if you will need a bone graft.

Even though the percentage of nerve injury from dental implants is low, the three dimensional image reveals nerve tissue, and thus allows your dentist to avoid the nerves and sinus.  Although oral surgeons and dentists using traditional imaging are well within the standard of care, periodontists have been using CT Scans for years to avoid nerve injury.

Precise placement of your dental implant is important to ensuring longevity of use. Remember that the implant will replace your natural tooth roots and you want it to be secure enough to withstand the force of chewing. Dr Pagano began placing his own implants in 1999 so that he could control the outcome for his patients.

Additional advantages of 3D imaging include:

  • Provides greater chance for diagnosing conditions that can be missed on conventional x-rays;
  • Improves avoidance of unnecessary treatment.
  • Better diagnosis of wisdom teeth positioning to nerves and blood vessels; and
  • Enhances our ability to see what needs to be done before treatment is started.

Compared with the “medical” CT Scan, the dental CT Scan costs less and exposes the patient to far less radiation.





Why a Missing Back Tooth Matters ….

Missing Tooth, Creve Coeur Family Dentist, Cosmetic Dentist Creve Coeur, MO

“Ssshhh … my back tooth is missing!”


The American College of Prosthodontists reports that 178 million people in the US are missing at least one tooth. Delta Dental Northeast reports that nearly half of Americans ages 65 and older have lost six or more teeth, and 20 percent have lost all of their teeth. In our Creve Coeur practice, we fortunately don’t see averages this high.

When the missing tooth is toward the front of the smile, most people will replace it with a dental implant or other tooth replacement option.

However, when the missing tooth is a molar or toward the back, it can seem less important to do anything. The logic goes: “if no one can see it, it’s not as important as a missing tooth closer to the front.” 

Missing back teeth are common because the molars are the first adult teeth to erupt and unfortunately, often the first to be lost due to decay or fracture. And, as this post hopes to convey, the impact of a missing back tooth on your smile is equally as important in the long run as a front tooth.

Any missing tooth initiates this cascading series of events:

• Wrinkles appear around the mouth. Upper and lower lips lose fullness and appear thinner.

• Lips droop at corners of the mouth. Collapse of upper lip due to underlying bone loss and loss of fullness will make the nose appear larger than if the upper lip had more support.

• Decrease in facial height as the distance between the tip of the nose and chin reduces.

• The chin moves forward.

These changes occur over time due to bone loss triggered by a missing tooth.

When a tooth is missing and isn’t replaced, the jawbone supporting that tooth has no purpose and will begin to shrink. What follows is:

  • the teeth begin to shift;
  • chewing is shifted to other teeth, causing them to wear faster;
  • 20% of adjacent teeth will be lost within 4-8 years; and
  • the bone shrinks, leading to the collapsing facial appearance described above.

If you’re looking for a cosmetic dentist in Creve Coeur, Artistic Dentistry has been providing all cosmetic services for over thirty years. With advanced technology, including 3D imaging, state-of-the-art sterilization, laser therapy and the most natural dental materials available that are effective, we’ve become the Go-To Center for Tooth Replacement. In that we offer all tooth replacement services, we’re not partial to one or the other. Our approach is simply to find out which option works best for our patient, based on his/her dental condition, needs and budget.

Contact us today to learn more!

8 Steps to Prevent Cavities ……

….Get Healthier and Lose Weight.



Copyright: subbotina / 123RF Stock Photo1. Read Your Labels!

1. Read Your Labels!

From frozen pizzas to yogurts, sugars in the form of high fructose corn syrups, corn solids, and the myriad other names are found in foods. Choose foods with no added sugars – or at least no high-fructose corn syrup or corn solids. Sweeten with Stevia herb powder. You can find it on Amazon.

2. Stop Sipping Sodas and Munching Snacks Throughout the Day.

Sugar and cavities go hand in hand.When you eat something sweet, it takes the bacteria about 20seconds to convert it to acid, which then lasts for about 30 minutes.

3. Brush and Floss After Every Meal. 

The bacteria living in your mouth mixes with your saliva and feeds on carbohydrates left on your teeth. This is what causes plaque. And plaque is acidic, meaning it begins to eat away at your tooth enamel unless removed.

Although debris from healthy foods can also turn into plaque, foods like candy, breath mints, raisins and cereals can get stuck in the crevices of your teeth. That’s why sipping on sodas (even diet sodas, which contain acid) and munching on chips or sugary foods throughout the day causes tooth decay faster than higher amounts of sugar consumed at one time. It’s the pattern in which you eat it and not the quantity that determines the speed at which cavities take hold.

4. Get a tongue scraper and use it.

This handy device clears the “shmutz” off your tongue that bacteria can use to create plaque.

5. Get your teeth cleaned professionally every six months.

Just like your shower tiles need the crevices cleaned periodically with a toothbrush, your teeth need those crevices cleared of plaque buildup before it gets into your tooth enamel or under your gumline. Your x-rays can detect small cavities so you can get them filled before they really start to cause trouble.

6. Simplify your food choices.

High quality eggs, plain yogurt, vegetables and salads and lean meats, preferably raised on grass are healthier than the majority of foods in most supermarkets — even “health” supermarkets. 

7. Cut out the sugary drinks.

Once you switch from sodas and juices to unsweetened teas and water you might be surprised at how much better you feel.

8. Make your “pick me up” a healthy tasty treat, such as the shake recipe below.

It provides not only a high quality unprocessed protein, but it’s low carbohydrate, low- calorie and delicious.

High-Protein, Low-Sugar Chocolate Shake (about 250 calories, 20 gms protein)

• Raw organic whey from grass-fed cows (
• Cacao powder (
• Unsweetened almond milk
• Truvia or stevia (optional — it’s sweet enough with just the banana)
• ½ Frozen banana



Alive Magazine Article With Dr Peter Pagano


Peter J Pagano DDS

Peter J Pagano DDS

Artistic Dentistry: Peter J. Pagano D.D.S.

Our Specialties: Artistic Dentistry provides most dental services under one roof. With a multidisciplinary approach, we’re able to diagnose and deliver a complete treatment plan. We have offered traditional orthodontics since 1977 and clear braces since they first became available. We’ve also offered dental implant systems since 1999, which are even more popular today. Since a great many of our clientele are busy professionals, being able to get everything done under one roof is very attractive.

What We’re Known For: We are known by our patients as a high-tech practice with a high-touch, neighborhood ambience. Our scheduling system is designed around the needs of busy professionals, so we always aim to keep wait times under 10 minutes.

Embracing Technology: With 3-D cone beam technology, also known as Computerized Tomography (a “CT Scan”) we’re able to view images in three dimensions, as opposed to just two. This takes the guesswork out of diagnosis, and in the case of dental implants, allows for more precise placement of the implant. We also have digital intra-oral imaging technology, which reduces patient exposure to radiation to just a fraction of traditional X-rays. And with laser technology, we can recontour gum tissues for our aesthetic cases.

Expert Advice: Dentistry is the starting point for overall health. If your gums are bleeding or you’re experiencing tooth or jaw pain, there’s something wrong. Those conditions need immediate attention in order to preserve oral health, which goes a long way in maintaining an attractive appearance and a healthy body.

Services: Single-tooth and full-arch dental implants, TMJ, crown and bridge, periodontics, traditional orthodontics as well as clear braces, root canal therapy, oral surgery, composite and porcelain restorations, porcelain veneers, bone grafting and sinus lifts.

12334 Olive Blvd. | Creve Coeur, MO 63141
314.576.3000 |

5 Dangers of Sugar & Dental Cleaning Offer


The 5 dangers of sugar that don't just damage teeth; they compromise your health

Sugary treats don’t just damage teeth; they compromise your health

It’s common knowledge that sugar isn’t good for your teeth and can lead to cavities and tooth loss, but there’s many more reasons to overcome a sugar craving. 76 reasons, to be exact, are found in the book Lick the Sugar Habit, by Nancy Appleton, PhD.  If you’d like to end your relationship with sugar but need a little more incentive than knowing it’s not good for you, here’s 5 Dangers of Sugar from the list of 76:

5 Dangers of Sugar

1. Sugar can cause acidic saliva, tooth decay, and periodontal disease (which often leads to tooth loss).
2. Sugar causes food allergies (food allergies cause everything from skin rashes to indigestion to asthma).
3. Sugar can make your skin age by changing the structure of collagen.
4. Sugar can increase your body’s fluid retention (Hello?? Water weight anyone?).
5. Sugar is enemy #1 of your bowel movement.


If you’ve been consuming sugary foods or drinks and haven’t had a cleaning in over six months, call by December 30th to schedule your Cleaning, 5 Point Dental Exam & X-Rays for just $87. That’s over $200 in savings. CALL 314-576-3000.*

*This Limited Time Fee will be honored as long as you call by March 31, 2016 to reserve an appointment thru June 30, 2016.

Are Your Teeth Shrinking From Stress?


jaw clenching can shorten teeth over time

jaw clenching can shorten teeth over time

Daytime clenching and nighttime grinding will erode the height of your teeth over time. Most patients we see are not even aware of these habits. Typically, the grinding and clenching is caused by stress.

This article has some great tips to help relieve stress, however the first step is becoming aware of the habit.

Some additional reasons for clenching could include:

An unknown TMJ condition.

If you have clenching or grinding or even unexplained headaches, give us a call. Dr. Pete has treated such conditions for over 30 years.

Call 314-576-3000.







Do Your Kids Use Their Teeth Like a Swiss Army Knife?

Do You Use Your Teeth Like a Swiss Army Knife?

Do You Use Your Teeth Like a Swiss Army Knife?

Teeth are for chewing food.

Just like a Swiss Army Knife can’t chew food, so should the Swiss Army knife be left to perform functions like popping off bottle caps; tearing bags open; chewing ice or hard candy; gripping rope; cutting threads or any other imaginative use that isn’t chewing food.

Chipping or Breaking a Tooth

An impact dealt to a tooth in just the wrong way can cleave enamel off a tooth or break off a piece. You’ll want to see your dentist and depending on the severity, may not want to wait. Call your dentist and describe the situation to get exact instructions on what to do in your particular situation. Most dentist have emergency numbers and can be reached after hours.

If you or someone in your family has chipped or broken a tooth, call to find out the best course of action.

314 576-3000

Even the Mona Lisa Was Transformed With a Good Cleaning

Even the Mona Lisa was transformed with a good cleaning. Your regular dental checkup will keep your smile sparkling!

Even the Mona Lisa was transformed with a good cleaning.
Your regular dental checkup will keep your smile sparkling!

Has the Luster of Your Smile Faded?

One Good Cleaning Can Make All the Difference
(See Offer Below)

This duplicate of the Mona Lisa (on the left) was discovered recently in Madrid. It was created by an apprentice who sat next to DaVinci and copied each stroke as he painted. When cleaned, it revealed details not distinguishable on the original.

Our dental cleanings are so THOROUGH that even if their as dingy as the original Mona Lisa, we can still restore the luster and a smooth feel to your teeth. Your gums will be happier and your teeth more sparkly, making you want to smile more!


If you haven’t had your teeth cleaned in over a year, call to schedule your CLEANING, 5-POINT DENTAL EXAM AND X-RAYS by July 31 and pay an Introductory Fee of Just $87. That’s a savings of nearly $200. Just call by July 31 to schedule an appt.

Call 314-576-3000. Mention the MONA LISA Rate when you call.




Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure Explained

Different Ways Wisdom Teeth Can Be Positioned Under the Gum Line

Different Ways Wisdom Teeth Can Be Positioned Under the Gum Line

If you’ve been told you need your wisdom tooth removed or are having pain in that area and would like to be seen right away, give us a call at 314-576-3000.

Below is information that may be helpful in knowing what to expect during and after your procedure. You can also read about other patients’ experiences.

 Do Wisdom Teeth Always Have to Be Extracted?

Not always. If wisdom teeth are well aligned, they can be useful for chewing and may be left in place. However, in the majority of people, they do not completely erupt and remain “impacted” in the jaw. Dr. Pagano (Dr. Pete) will advise a wisdom tooth extraction when he sees any of the following:

1. The width of the jaws does not allow wisdom teeth to erupt in an alignment that is beneficial for chewing.

2. Wisdom teeth are partially erupted, which may allow bacteria to penetrate the gum, causing infection.

3. Wisdom teeth are not properly aligned causing crowding or damage to the second molars. This condition makes good oral hygiene difficult and increases the likelihood of cavities and gum disease.

4. Development of an operculum, Latin for “little lid,” which is essentially an extension of the gum. This can occur when wisdom teeth have not fully erupted. In many such cases, chewing on food can irritate this operculum causing infection. This condition, called pericoronitis, can result in redness, intense pain, a bad smell and a difficulty of opening the mouth.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Before having a wisdom tooth extraction done, Dr. Pete will administer appropriate pain prevention to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. Needle-phobes need not worry because his numbing procedure begins with a topical numbing agent the prevents the needle from being felt.

How soon after oral surgery can you resume your normal activity?

Dr. Pete recommends up to four to five days, but the time varies depending on how impacted the teeth are. Some patients return to work immediately after surgery while others need a few days for recovery.

See What Others Say About Their Wisdom Tooth Procedure With Dr Pagano:

After having 2 wisdom teeth pulled in one sitting, I am a happy camper. Dr. Pete was fast and efficient removing the two perpetrators. Afterward there was minimal discomfort in the affected areas, little swelling and complications that could only be attributed to the work done by a skilled professional. Thank you Dr. Pete and Staff.
Guy M.

Let me just first start off that I was freaking out about this dental procedure, especially because I was not going to be knocked out like everybody else I knew. I was shaking and crying before anything even happened but of course you heard all the horror stories and all I could think was the worst. Dr. Pete calmed me down and explained what he was going to do and why he wasn’t going to knock me out. His lovely assistant held my hand the whole time, poor girl, I thought for sure she would loose all circulation in it but she didn’t complain and smiled at me the whole time. After the 1st 4 shots, I really couldn’t feel much and the next million (I’m exaggerating, but I am very sensitive) nothing at all. Before I knew it, it was over. The very next day, I was walking over and running errands. My roommates couldn’t believe it. They said “you must have an awesome dentist”. I said, “I do, his name is Dr. Pete!”

EP posted on

When I first came to Dr. Pagano’s St Louis office, I was very apprehensive because he was a new dentist (to me). After my consultation and check-up Dr. Pagano informed me that I needed to pull my wisdom teeth, not 1, not 2 but all 3!! I was terrified because I had so many horrible experiences with dentists in the past. He assured me that everything would be fine. During the procedure he talked to me the whole time and kept letting me know what he was doing. This made me feel calm. He would ask me if I felt any pain and I did not. After my wisdom teeth were pulled I didn’t feel any pain nor did I need any pain medication! I’ve heard horror stories from people and their bad experiences with their wisdom teeth being pulled, but I had a good experience and that was due to Dr. Pagano’s skilled and talented hands. He knows what he’s doing and he’s the best! I recommend him to everyone I know and meet. Thank you Dr. Pagano.

Abby J.