Laser Dentistry

Lasers have been used in the field of dentistry since 1994 and their applications continue to expand.  As a result, many innovative dental practices throughout the United States are now offering laser dentistry.  Currently, dental lasers are being used for the following dental applications:

•  Laser Cavity Detection – dental lasers can be used to detect tooth decay that cannot be detected during a dental examination or using X-rays

•  Treatment for Tooth Decay – dental lasers can be used to remove decay within a tooth and to prepare the space for a filling

•  Curing Dental Fillings – dental lasers can be used to “cure” or harden composite fillings (inlays and inlays)

•  Treatment for Gum Disease – dental lasers can be used to remove bacteria and to reshape the gums

•  Dental Biopsies – dental lasers can be used to remove a portion of gum tissue to be tested for oral cancer and other problems

•  Dental Lesions – dental lasers can be used to remove lesions in the mouth

•  Cosmetic Dentistry – dental lasers can be used to whiten teeth

•  Oral Surgery – dental lasers can be used in a variety of oral surgery applications including LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure and Pocket Sterilization

The use of lasers in dental applications provides a number of benefits to both dentists and their patients.  In oral surgical applications, dental lasers result in less bleeding, less inflammation, reduced infection rates and shortened recovery times.  Benefits to dentists include increased efficiency, improved accuracy and more personalized treatment planning.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.

 

 

 

 

 

Bacterium That Causes Gum Disease Also Destroys Bone In The Jaw

For years we have known that bacteria in the mouth causes gum disease or periodontitis.  However, the specific bacterium was not identified until recently.  Recently, this bacterium was identified as NI1060.  A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan and published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe, reports that NI1060 not only causes gum disease but also destroys bone in the jaw.  This bacterium triggers normally protective proteins in the mouth to actually destroy more bone.  This has important implications for patients with periodontal disease as bone loss can lead to other serious dental health issues and greatly limit their options for tooth replacement.  Researchers are hoping that understanding what causes periodontitis at the molecular level will help dental professionals to develop personalized therapy for their dental patients.

Currently there are a number of available treatments for periodontal disease ranging from anti-microbial rinses and medications to deep cleaning (scaling and root planing) to oral surgery.  Since gum disease can vary widely in severity from case to case, the treatment plans also vary widely.  If you have periodontal disease, your treatment plan will depend upon the cause and the severity of the infection.

If you have gums that are red, swollen and/or bleed easily, this could be a sign of periodontal disease.  You should seek treatment from a qualified dentist as soon as possible to avoid serious dental health issues including tooth loss.  Women who are pregnant or Menopausal are more at risk for developing periodontal disease due to hormonal changes in the body.  Smokers are also more at risk.  The best way to prevent periodontal disease is to practice good oral hygiene at home and to visit your dentist regularly for routine cleanings and examinations.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.

Dental Implants: A Gift For Dad That Will Last A Lifetime

Happy Father’s Day: a time to celebrate fathers all over the world.  If your father is like most fathers, he probably sacrificed a lot for you.  He made sure that you had everything that you needed, supported you and even disciplined you when necessary.  If you are a father, you know what a challenging and rewarding job it can be to parent children.  For most of us, when we become parents, we put our children’s needs first and our own needs last.  It is just part of the deal.  Unfortunately, many fathers neglect their own dental health due to lack of finances or lack of time;  maybe even lack of access to healthcare.  If your father has neglected his own dental health and as a result is missing one or more teeth, maybe you should consider giving him a gift that will last a lifetime:  dental implants.

Dental implants are prosthetic screws that are placed in the jawbone to take the place of missing tooth roots. Once the screws have fused with the bone and are tightly secured into place, they can provide support for crowns, bridges or dentures.  This revolutionary tooth replacement system holds many advantages over other tooth replacement options and allows for replacement teeth that look, function and feel like natural teeth.  Perhaps most importantly, unlike dentures, dental implants do not cause bone loss.  Dental implants have been life-changing for many people all over the world.  If you want to give your Dad a gift that will enable him to eat the foods he loves and once again laugh, speak and smile with confidence, consider giving him the gift of dental implants.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.

 

BPA Exposure May Be Harmful To Children’s Teeth

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical compound that is used in the composition of plastics and resins.  It is currently used in the manufacturing of many brands of plastic cups, food containers and baby bottles in the United States and many other countries.  Many public health officials have become concerned that exposure to BPA may cause health problems in humans, specifically: problems with reproduction and development.  As a precautionary measure, Europe has prohibited the manufacturing and/or sale of baby bottles containing BPA.  France will extend this ban to all food containers in 2015.  As a result, a number of BPA-free products have been developed and can be found in popular retail outlets.  Now there is even more concern about exposure to BPA and the possible negative effects on dental health.

A recent study published in the Journal of Pathology, suggests that exposure to BPA may harm the enamel of certain children’s teeth. The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the Université Paris-Diderot and Inserm Unite 872 “Centre des Cordeliers.”  It looked at the effect of low levels of daily exposure to BPA on the tooth enamel of incisors of rats.  Microscopic observation of the enamel of the incisors showed a significant reduction in Ca/P and Ca/C ratios in affected teeth making them more fragile and brittle.  Analysis of the rats’ teeth showed numerous characteristics that are common with a tooth enamel pathology that selectively affects first molars and permanent incisors.  This condition known as Molar Incisor Hypomineralization, (MIH), affects roughly 18% of children between the ages of six and eight.

Clearly, more research is needed on this very important topic.  If you have questions about BPA exposure and your dental health, talk to your dentist today.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.

Children and Untreated Cavities in the U.S.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 19% of children between the ages of two and nineteen have untreated dental caries (cavities).  The statistics show that approximately the same percentage of boys and girls have untreated cavities and that the percentages of cavities is higher in black and Hispanic children as compared to white, non-Hispanic children.

Untreated cavities can lead to a variety of more serious dental health issues including infected teeth, abscessed teeth, periodontal disease and even tooth loss.  For this reason, it is imperative that children visit the dentist at least every six months for a routine dental cleaning and checkup.  During your child’s dental examination, your dentist may take X-rays.  X-rays can be used to visualize decay that cannot be detected during a routine examination.

The best way to avoid cavities in children is to educate them about their oral health and ensure that they are practicing good oral hygiene at home on a daily basis.  To prevent tooth decay, children should have an adequate intake of fluoride and should brush their teeth thoroughly at least twice daily.  They should also floss their teeth before brushing them at least one time per day.  Making wise food choices and avoiding sugary foods and candies as well as limiting the amount of acidic beverages (energy and sports drinks) is also important.  Your dentist may also recommend sealants to prevent decay in the back molars.

If your child has not had a dental cleaning and checkup in over six months, schedule one today!  If you teach your children to take good care of their teeth and gums while they are young, it will increase their chances of maintaining good oral health, for life.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.

Get A Whole New Look With Porcelain Veneers

What do Miley Cyrus, Heidi Klum, George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Zac Ephron, Jessica Simpson, Demi Moore, Katie Holmes and Catherine Zeta Jones have in common?  Well, besides their fame, great looks, popularity and wealth, theses actors and celebrities have something else in common:  they all have porcelain veneers!  That’s right, none of these celebrities were born with the perfect smiles they have today.  You just have to Google the before and after pictures to see what a dramatic affect porcelain veneers has had on their overall appearances.  It is truly amazing!

Well, guess what?  You do not have to be a Hollywood celebrity to get a Hollywood smile.  Porcelain veneers are available to all of us and can be used to improve the appearance of teeth that are too short, severely stained or discolored, misaligned, misshapen, chipped or broken.  And, they can be closely matched to the color of your natural teeth so you will be the only one who knows that you were not born with that smile!  But what about the cost?  Actually, porcelain veneers have become much more affordable than you might think.  And, many cosmetic dental practices offer flexible and/or in-house financing options to assist individuals in paying for cosmetic dental procedures that are not covered under dental insurance plans.

Very few aspects of your appearance matter more than your smile.  In fact, your smile is often the first thing people notice upon meeting you.  This can have a dramatic affect during job interviews, on dates, during sales presentations and during everyday social interactions.  If you are currently unhappy with the appearance of your smile or if you think it could be improved, contact a qualified cosmetic dentist in your local area to find out if porcelain veneers are right for you.

Posted on the Behalf of Pure Dental Health.