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Posted by on Aug 17, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Lasers Are No Longer A Tool Of The Future – They Are Now In Your Dental Office

Depending on your age, you may be able to remember a time that lasers only appeared on Saturday morning cartoons, or on science fiction television shows. This is no longer the case; lasers are now being used in many different areas of your daily living, and they can now be found in your dental office. Laser dentistry offers your dentist a way to perform precise and effective treatments, and offers you more safety and comfort. Understanding how dental lasers work will give you more appreciation for the many procedures they can be used for.

Why Use Dental Lasers?

Although many dentists are now just starting to use Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (Laser) technology in their practice, dental lasers are nothing new. Lasers have been used in the field of dentistry since 1994. Instead of using a hard cutting surface such as a drill bit, lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light.

Laser light can then be used as a cutting instrument, as well as a tissue vaporizer. It can also be used as a heat source, a curing tool, or even a whitening agent. Dentist like lasers because they not only make many of their jobs easier, but they also provide a higher degree of comfort to their patients.

Procedures that are performed with dental lasers cause less pain than other traditional methods. This means certain procedures can often be performed without anesthesia, eliminating the need for needles and other pain management methods many patients find uncomfortable. By minimizing bleeding and swelling during certain treatments, recovery time is faster and discomfort is minimized. 

Because lasers do not emit the loud noises other dental tools can, patients have less dental anxiety when lasers are being used. Because of the speed and accuracy of lasers, patients spend less time in the dental chair.

What Are The Types Of Dental Lasers?

There are three basic types of dental lasers. They are:

Hard Tissue Lasers – These lasers are designed to be able to cut through bone and tooth materials. This makes them perfect for shaping teeth for various dental procedures. 

Soft Tissue Lasers – Also called dental diode lasers or Nd:YAG, these are created on a different wavelength than the hard tissue lasers. Soft tissue lasers are designed to penetrate the soft tissues of your mouth, while being able to seal blood vessels and nerve endings. 

Optical Coherence Tomography – A non-invasive type of laser that allows your dentist to see the inside of your teeth.

In addition to the separate lasers, there is dental laser technology on the market, which gives your dentist the ability to use the types of laser energy they need from one tool.

What Can Dental Lasers Be Used For?

By using one or more of these tools your dentist will be able to provide a wide array of procedures. Here are some examples of these procedures:

  • Lasers can be used for various periodontal treatments
  • These tools can be used to scale your teeth to remove the calcified plaque and calculus all the way down to the root plane, which is deeper than any other non-invasive tool.
  • Soft tissue lasers can actually help reduce bacterial growth related to periodontal diseases when used in conjunction with other types of treatment.
  • Lasers may also be used to help find your next cavity. They are able to do this by reading the by-products decay produces. 
  • Lasers may be able to seal your tooth tubules, which in turn will reduce the sensitivity of your teeth.
  • Your dentist will be able to use lasers to help to reshape your gum tissue, as well as related bone to expose healthier tooth structure. This process is most commonly known as crown lengthening. 
  • Dental lasers can be used to clip the frenulum, or the folds of tissue, of those who are tongue tied. 
  • Your dentist may also use lasers as a painless, suture-free way to remove benign tumors from various areas of your mouth.
  • Even if you do not have any dental issues, your dentist may choose to use a laser to assist with the bleaching process when they are helping you to have whiter teeth.

‚ÄčMake an appointment with your dentist for more info about all of the ways they are now using lasers in their dental office. You may be surprised to find out that lasers are no longer something of the future; their time has arrived. 

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Posted by on Aug 4, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Suffering From Migraine Headaches? Your Orthodontist May Be Able To Help

Do you suffer from migraine headaches? Have you taken measures to lower your stress, changed your diet, and learned how to avoid most sensory stimuli in order to thwart off those migraines, yet still find yourself overcome with frequent bouts of intense pain? If so, read on to learn how an orthodontist may be able to help.

About Malocclusions 

Ideally, your molars should sit flush against each other and your top front teeth should rest ever-so-slightly in front of your front bottom teeth. Unfortunately, very few people are blessed with perfect teeth alignment. When the teeth aren’t lined up perfectly, the condition is known as malocclusion. While most malocclusions are slight, don’t pose any risks, and don’t require treatment, others are severe and could lead to a variety of problems — including migraine headaches.

How Malocclusions Cause Migraines

When your teeth aren’t properly aligned, your jaw joints and masticatory muscles need to work a lot harder to perform ordinary tasks like chewing and speaking. Over time, your jaw joints can become strained and your jaw muscles can grow fatigued.

Worse yet, people with malocclusions tend to compensate for their crooked alignment by forcing their teeth into unnatural positions when they chew or speak, thus adding more strain on the jaw and worsening the problem. The constant state of stress a severe malocclusion creates can act as a trigger for migraine headaches.

Treatment Options For Malocclusions

In order to treat migraine headaches caused by a malocclusion, you must focus on correcting your bite alignment. There are several different reasons why your teeth may not be aligned properly, ranging from large or extra teeth overcrowding the mouth to irregular shaped teeth preventing a flush bite. In rare cases, malocclusions are the result of a birth defect in which the actual jaw bones are too large or not large enough to support the teeth. The severity of your malocclusion and its underlying cause will determine the correct course of treatment.

For those with overcrowded teeth, the problem may be as easy to fix as a simple tooth extraction. Freeing up a little space by removing a tooth will allow the remaining teeth to relax into their natural position, thus eliminating stress on the jaw. For malocclusion sufferers with a single irregularly-shaped tooth, that tooth can generally be reshaped with a special tool that grinds the enamel down. 

People who have moderately severe malocclusions may need to wear a dental appliance designed to gradually correct their bite, such as braces or a temporary anchorage device (TAD). These devices can be removed once the desired teeth alignment is achieved.

Finally, those whose malocclusion is caused by a deformity of the jaw bones may need surgery to shave down the bones or stretch and strengthen them.

Knowing If You Have A Malocclusion

Just because you don’t have an obvious overbite or under-bite doesn’t mean that you don’t have a malocclusion. In order to know for sure, you’ll need to visit an orthodontist. Your orthodontist can monitor your bite with electromyography (EMG) imaging and a computerized motion sensor to determine the precise location your jaw should sit in order to achieve the least amount of joint and muscle strain. From there, you’ll work with your orthodontist to design a treatment option that best suits your needs.

If you’re suffering from migraine headaches and have had little success with common treatment methods, it’s time to schedule an appointment with an orthodontist at a clinic like Crest Hill Family Dental. He or she can determine whether or not a malocclusion may be contributing to your headaches, and then perform measures to correct the alignment of your teeth if a malocclusion is present. 

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