Soft Tissue Laser
For nearly two decades, lasers have been used for restorative and cosmetic purposes in dentistry. Today, lasers are approved for safety by the Food and Drug Administration, and they have become much more prevalent and standard in dental offices across the country. Lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. This energy can be used to achieve accuracy and precision when shaping the gums, biopsying oral tissues, removing tooth decay, and killing bacteria during a root canal. Lasers are even being used for elective procedures, such as to expedite in-office tooth whitening.
Did you know…
that dental lasers offer a long list of benefits for patients and dentists? Specifically, laser dentistry has grown in popularity among patients because it is highly effective for reducing inflammation, bleeding and swelling during and following dental procedures. Many patients also report experiencing less pain when lasers are used as opposed to drills. For this reason alone, many patients experience less anxiety and apprehension before and during their dental appointments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Could I benefit from laser dentistry?
Possibly. Laser dentistry is generally not used in examinations and cleanings. However, if you need a filling, root canal, biopsy, periodontal treatment or tooth whitening, a dental laser could provide a better overall experience and recovery. To find out if laser dentistry is right for you, schedule an appointment to meet with your dentist and discuss your options for treatment.
What should I expect during a laser dental treatment?
Your experience will be similar to those you may have had before, only without the pressure, vibrations and sound of a dental drill. Just as with traditional dental treatments, you will be anesthetized before having laser treatment. However, because dental lasers may help minimize pain, you may not require as much anesthesia as you would with a non-laser treatment.
Do I need to follow any special care instructions after being treated with a dental laser?
Your post-treatment care will not differ from the instructions you would have from a dentist using a drill or other dental tool. However, you may find that your recovery time is shorter and that bleeding is minimal immediately following your treatment.
Digital Intra-oral & Panoramic X-Ray Machines
Digital x-rays are a more streamlined way of taking dental radiographs. Like traditional x-rays, digital versions provide an in-depth view of the structures of the mouth, helping dentists detect complications and develop effective modes of treatment. Digital x-rays are capable of revealing hidden caries, bone erosion, and even tooth decay hiding beneath restorations.
Requiring less radiation and no film to process, digital x-rays have become the standard for oral imaging. These systems produce instant digital images that can easily be enhanced and enlarged for a more accurate diagnosis. The images are captured, stored, and even transmitted via in-office computers. In fact, dentists can easily print or email copies of x-rays in just seconds.
Dental x-rays make for a better and more efficient patient experience. Office visits are faster, patients are exposed to less radiation, and radiographs can be sent to a specialist for review in a fraction of the time necessary for traditional film x-rays.
Dental imaging is a foundation of oral health diagnostics. Intra-oral cameras play a key role in office imaging, with many dentists using intra-oral cameras to detect the tiniest grooves, pits, cracks, and carries. Using a chairside unit and hand-held photographic wand, dentists can acquire images of the teeth from angles not previously available. These images can be used in treatment planning and also stored digitally for quick reference and easy transfer between care providers.
Did you know…
intra-oral cameras are capable of magnifying the teeth by 25 times or more? Images are displayed on an in-office screen, making it possible for patients to finally see the same views their dentists are seeing. For some patients, intra-oral camera images are the first time they have seen the inside of their mouths. Many patients enjoy becoming a part of the examination and treatment process, and they can better understand treatment recommendations and the importance of good oral care in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can a visit to a dentist with an intra-oral camera benefit me?
By choosing a dentist with an intra-oral camera, you could be increasing the chances that you will find decay early enough to pursue conservative treatment options. Furthermore, you are more likely to leave your dental appointments feeling informed and aware of your oral health and how it is impacted by your daily habits.
What should I expect from intra-oral images?
Intra-oral images are painless and take only seconds to capture. Your dentist can take photos of an entire mandibular or maxillofacial arch in just two minutes or less.
Will I need more photos in the future?
If the early signs of decay are found on your intra-oral images, your dentist may obtain additional photos at subsequent visits for comparison. Monitoring the progression of decay can help determine whether treatment is necessary.