Dental Tips Blog


Is Tartar Really Bad for Teeth?

Posted in Laser Dentistry

You hear lots about dental products that prevent plaque and tartar. Not to mention your hygienist telling you to brush and floss to fight the buildup.

But do you know what’s so bad about having tartar in the first place?

What Is Tartar?

Tartar is a term for dental “calculus.” Calculus isn’t the math course you took in high school. In this case, it refers to a substance that naturally grows on teeth over time.

Calculus is a rock-like gritty deposit. It occurs when minerals in saliva mix with plaque that contains bacteria and food debris. How fast you develop tartar depends on the minerals in your saliva and how much plaque is on your teeth.

Typically, tartar forms in small amounts within a matter of weeks. Several months after a dental cleaning you may notice the pale rough calculus developing along your gum line.

What’s So Bad About Calculus?

Dental calculus is just a collection of minerals and dead germs. It’s also porous, which allows it to absorb stains from smoking and dark-colored foods. So for one thing, it makes teeth look gross.

Although it’s sometimes a protective defense against damage to the underlying enamel, it can harbor live bacteria. This tends to irritate gums and triggers recession. It also serves as the perfect platform for another kind of bacteria – the one responsible for periodontal disease and bad breath. If you let calculus develop freely for long enough, you won’t even be able to floss anymore since it would fill in the gaps between teeth.

Fight that tartar! Visit your dentist for regular checkups to avoid unhealthy dental calculus.

Posted on behalf of:
Precision Digital Dentistry
674 US-202/206
Suite 7
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
(908) 955-6999


What’s New With Laser Dentistry?

Posted in Laser Dentistry

Are you seeing a dentist who uses dental lasers in their practice? You might be wondering “What are dental lasers?” or when they might be appropriate for a treatment such as yours.

Although many types of dental lasers are used today, they each hold different uses and purposes. In addition to laser cavity detection, here are a few examples of the types of laser dentistry that you may come across from one dental office to the next:

Drill Free Dental Fillings

Hard tissue lasers are able to reshape tooth enamel, so that a drill or even a shot isn’t always necessary. Most drill-free fillings are used on very small cavities, as the laser takes more time to prepare the tooth than a conventional method would. 

Periodontal Therapy

Gum disease is the #1 reason why adults lose teeth. Using a laser, your dentist or hygienist can decontaminate diseased gum pockets and eliminate infectious bacteria. Once the area is sterilized, your remaining healthy gingiva has the opportunity to reattach to the tooth, reversing the entire disease process. 

Cold Sore Treatments

Canker sores and cold sores can ruin your day…or week, rather. Once you feel one popping up, your dentist can use a laser to treat the area and speed up recovery. Most people see the time they have a cold sore cut by as much as 50%. 

Gum Recontouring / Sculpting

“Gummy” smiles or uneven gingiva can take away from beautiful teeth. Adjusting or sculpting them into healthy contours can be done without any painful surgery or recovery time, thanks to dental lasers.

Ask your dentist if lasers are something they use in their treatments, and why.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123


How Lasers Are Changing Your Dental Experience

Posted in Laser Dentistry

Wait, lasers? Yes, that’s right – they aren’t just for sci-fi movies! Lasers are actually playing a big role in dental care these days. They’re just one part of a whole wave of new technology that’s improving the your treatment experience.

Laser Cavity Detection

Digital dental x-rays use radiation to spot cavities in their early stages. But you usually only get a few x-ray exposures per year. To check for suspicious spots in the meantime, your dental hygienist may use a cavity-detecting laser.

This device looks like a little box with a pen attached to it by a wire. The pen tip shoots out a low-energy laser beam that picks up on abnormal tooth structure. Pretty neat, right?

Surgery With Lasers

In addition to laser cavity detection, lasers are also frequently used on gums and other soft tissues in areas like:

  • Disinfecting periodontal pockets
  • Gum surgery
  • Removing cold sores and growths
  • Cutting tongue-ties

All of these procedures can be done quickly and painlessly and quickly removed with the help of a laser. Energy from lasers is powerful enough to sanitize surgical sites while cauterizing blood vessels. This leads to a tidier procedure and faster healing.

Swap The Drill For A Laser

Lastly, lasers are being used more and more for treating teeth themselves:

  • Desensitization
  • Cavity removal
  • Filling preparation

Some procedures skip the scary drilling portion altogether because of using a laser. Laser dentistry could make it much easier for you to tolerate treatment if you struggle with dental anxiety.

Who knows what further technology will come about thanks to lasers?

Ask your local dentist about how lasers are currently raising the standard of dentistry in your community.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725


Canker Sores – Why They Happen and How to Treat Them

Posted in Laser Dentistry

You usually don’t notice it until you take a refreshing swig of icy lemonade. Or it may be right as you chomp into Nana’s famous spaghetti and meatballs. Whatever the occasion, the pain is recognizable beyond a doubt: the acid zing of an angry canker sore.

Why oh why do these small little lesions cause so much pain?

Causes of Canker Sores

When it comes down to it, no one really knows exactly what causes these sores. People may experience them for different reasons such as:

  • Exposure to spicy or acidic foods
  • Stress
  • Hormones
  • Nutritional deficiency
  • Injury
  • Irritation from a sharp dental appliance
  • Underlying medical conditions

When to Seek Help for a Canker Sore

Recognizable as a crater-like ulcer with a pale center and red border, a canker sore usually resolves on its own within a week.

You can often dull the pain and speed up recovery by:

  • Avoiding spicy and acidic foods
  • Taking a pain killer
  • Rinsing your mouth with water after eating
  • Applying a topical benzocaine gel like Orajel
  • Cutting out toothpaste that contains sodium lauryl sulfate (some people are allergic)

But what if your sore gets bigger or more show up?

If your sore starts to spread, it’s time to see your dentist. Some canker sores, while not serious, can be extremely painful and make it impossible to eat or talk normally. Your dentist may be able to treat the spot with laser therapy.

You should especially plan a visit to your doctor if a sore is accompanied by a fever or results in dehydration. It could indicate that you have something more serious going on.

Contact your general dentist for more tips on getting relief from these painful ulcers.

Posted on behalf of :
Prime Dental Care
417 Wall St
Princeton, NJ 08540
(609) 651-8618


Drill Free Laser Fillings

Posted in Laser Dentistry

Is it possible to have a filling done without your dentist ever needing a drill – or even a shot? Yes!

Thanks to the advancements in laser technology, some types of dental fillings can now be done with the use of drill-free equipment. The process is very comfortable and ideal for both adults and children with small areas of tooth decay.

Lasers are most effective for treating cavities in their earliest stages. They take a bit longer to prepare the tooth than using a drill, so the size of the cavity plays a role in determining whether or not the laser is appropriate. Early diagnosis makes it possible to catch the decay sooner rather than later, which equates to a much smaller restoration. The key is to schedule regular check-ups with digital x-rays to identify cavities in their very beginning stages.

Smaller fillings mean that your dentist can limit the amount of tooth preparation necessary during the process. That’s why laser fillings are usually much less-invasive than a traditional metal restoration. After the cavity is removed, a small, white filling is placed within the prepared space. Your dentist will match the material so that it blends in with your tooth.

With many types of lasers on the market, more and more dentists are beginning to implement them into their private practice. Not only can lasers be used for fillings, but other types are useful for procedures like gingival recontouring, treating cold sores, tongue ties, and even to manage periodontal disease.

Find out if a laser filling is the best way for you or your child to enjoy a comfortable, shot-free, drill-free dental appointment!

Posted on behalf of:
Touchstone Dentistry
2441 FM 646 W Suite A
Dickinson, TX 77539
(832) 769-5202


Non-Surgical Laser Gum Treatment

Posted in Laser Dentistry

Did you know that among adults, the most common cause of tooth loss is preventable?  It’s thought that nearly half of all American adults suffer from some form of gum disease, yet without treatment, a moderate case can become severe, causing infection and eventually loss of teeth.

Due to fear of painful, invasive interventions, some people ignore their initial symptoms of gum disease. If you have periodontal disease, non-surgical LANAP (Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure) treatment can provide effective, gentle treatment for healthier gums.

What is Gum Disease?

Periodontal or gum disease is simply an infection of the gum tissue that extends into the bone. This not-so-simple disease begins when tartar accumulates on your teeth, allowing bacteria to flourish and attack the soft tissues around your teeth. If this first stage of gum disease, known as gingivitis, goes untreated, periodontal disease can develop. As it spreads into the jawbone, it eventually leads to the loss of teeth.

Why Choose LANAP?

LANAP offers many benefits over traditional gum surgery:

  • LANAP is quick and convenient. Your LANAP treatment can often be accomplished in one or two visits. It is often combined with other periodontal therapy appointments, such as deep cleanings.
  • LANAP is less invasive than traditional gum surgeries, which means less discomfort, swelling and a shorter recovery time.
  • Results from LANAP therapy are often better than other methods.

LANAP easily removes diseased, bacteria-ridden areas that line the inside of your gums and slowly destroy your healthy gum attachment. It also encourages the tissue to reattach to the surface of your tooth’s root, creating an environment that bacteria and debris can no longer enter.

If you’re suffering from gum disease, call your dentist for early intervention and ask whether LANAP treatment is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Springhurst Hills Dentistry
10494 Westport Rd Suite 107
Louisville, KY 40241
(502) 791-8358


Is Laser Dentistry Safe?

Posted in Laser Dentistry

Lasers have been used in dentistry for over 20 years.  A Laser uses an intense, narrow beam of light energy.  Laser stands for the acronym: Light Activated by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.  When the laser beam comes in contact with tissue in the mouth or a tooth, a reaction is caused that can reshape or remove tissue.

Dentists are using lasers on gum disease (to remove gum tissue around the root of the tooth that is inflamed), tooth whitening (speeds up process), tooth decay (to remove small cavities and to make filling set after being placed in to tooth) and for biopsies (removal of suspicious lesions.)

In many cases, Lasers can be used in dental procedures and eliminate the need for shots to “numb” the teeth.  A valid question many people have is, “How safe is laser dentistry”?

In 1997, Lasers were approved by the FDA to be used in adults and children.  The FDA is in charge of regulating the use of lasers as medical devices.  Many surgical procedures have been performed by Lasers with removal of cavities and surgery of soft tissue.

In these procedures, Lasers have been proven effective and safe over the past 20 years.  It’s important to note that the patient and dental team must wear shielded protective eyewear when using lasers in dentistry, since lasers can cause permanent damage to your eyes if not used properly.

If you are interested in Laser Dentistry, call your dentist to see if Lasers in Dentistry is available.  Your dentist can examine your teeth, discuss Laser treatment options and answer any questions or concerns you might have.  Contact your dentist now!

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336


How Lasers Can Gently and Effectively Help You Treat Gum Disease

Posted in Laser Dentistry

The methods for treating and managing gum disease are constantly evolving to reflect the latest advances in medical technology. What does this mean for you? Let’s take a minute to discuss how laser technology can improve your gum therapy experience.

Decrease Levels of Bacteria

Gum disease is characterized by the presence of destructive bacteria in the gums around the teeth. The bacteria are what make the condition difficult to manage. Lasers can be used in conjunction with a special rinse after a deep cleaning procedure to reduce the bacterial population in the pocket around a tooth. This may also eliminate your need for an antibiotic. Doing this makes it easier for you to keep your teeth and gums clean.

Improved Healing

Some lasers used in periodontal (gum) therapy can help to reduce bleeding and inflammation. Discomfort after a procedure is significantly reduced when lasers are used. Whether you need a procedure that requires the use of metal instruments or not, lasers can give you a shorter time for healing.

Less Scaling with Metal Instruments

A laser could even be an effective alternative to the use of traditional metal hand instruments in a scaling and root planing procedure. Lasers have proven to be very efficient at removing traces of tartar and bacterial toxins embedded in the roots.

Periodontal treatment may be essential not only to saving your teeth but also to protecting your overall health. If your dentist recommends gum therapy to treat your periodontal condition, you don’t need to worry that it will be an uncomfortable procedure. Ask your dentist about the ultra modern and efficient tools and technologies used to manage periodontal disease.

Posted on behalf of:
Smiles by Seese
610 Jetton St #250
Davidson, NC 28036
(704) 895-5095


Laser Cavity Detection

Posted in Laser Dentistry

Traditionally, cavities had to be identified through careful inspection by the dentist, or by taking dental x-rays to assess areas between the teeth or deep under the outer layer of enamel. If not diagnosed quickly, those cavities can rapidly spread deeper into the teeth and even jump to adjacent teeth. The larger the cavity is, the more complex it is to treat it. What if there were a way to find cavities long before they were visible on x-rays or through a clinical exam?

With laser cavity detection – you can! Using advanced sound wave and light technology, your dentist can identify changes in density of your tooth enamel. This is an indication that tooth demineralization and decay is beginning to take place. First, the laser is calibrated in several areas of healthy tooth enamel for a baseline reading. Then, the laser is scanned over areas including deep grooves and pits in the chewing surfaces of the back teeth – areas that have a high risk of decay. As the digital readout changes, your dentist or hygienist can identify areas where the decay process may be starting. An audible alert may be noted on the machine if density changes are outside the parameters of a healthy range. If caught soon enough, an extremely small filling can be placed that will result in less tooth preparation. Or, the area can be sealed off completely to prevent the condition from advancing.

Laser decay detection doesn’t eliminate the need for important exams and x-rays, but it does help to preserve the integrity of your smile, keep your cost of care down, and limit the invasiveness of necessary treatments.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725


Uses for Lasers in Dentistry

Posted in Laser Dentistry

Dental lasers are making dental care more efficient, more effective, and even more comfortable than ever. The types of lasers vary from one design to the next, with some used solely for hard tissues like teeth, while others are for soft tissues such as the gums. Here are some of the ways dentists are using lasers to improve your smile and your oral care experience:

Drill Free Fillings

Imaging being able to have a cavity removed and your tooth filled without ever hearing or feeling a drill. It’s a reality! Some types of dental lasers allow tooth alteration and preparation for purposes like fillings or bonding. 

Perio Therapy

Managing gum disease used to mean surgery for some patients. Now, lasers can be used in conjunction with deep cleaning appointments to create a sterile environment around the tooth, destroy bacteria, and aid in tissue reattachment. Patients that elect to have laser perio therapy often experience greater results from their treatment. 

Gingival Contouring

If gummy smiles or excessive gum tissues make your teeth look shorter or uneven, laser recontouring only takes a few seconds to complete. Recontouring will reshape the gum tissues around the tooth, making it appear even with just the right amount of tooth exposure. 

Cold Sore Treatments

Are you a person who frequently battles aphthous ulcers or cold sores? If you feel a sore popping up, a quick trip to the dentist could prevent it from flaring up altogether. Lasers quickly destroy the bacteria in these wounds and speed up recovery time, so that you don’t have to wait a week or longer for it to go away on its own.

Posted on behalf of:
Kennesaw Mountain Dental Associates
1815 Old 41 Hwy NW #310
Kennesaw, GA 30152
(770) 927-7751

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