More Dental Technology

The connotations of being past the year 2010 bring about thoughts of futuristic concepts as suggested by movies, the Internet, and a vast array of media. Movies and books, set in a time period only a few decades forward, have portrayed a life filled with advanced medicine, travel, engineering, manufacturing, and even rapid and simple food production. Yet, when we reach that future date, we observe that technology doesn’t change as fast as our minds imagine. Does dentistry today — often termed “digital dentistry” — represent the high-tech, easy-to-implement solutions that were imagined and written about 30 years ago or even last year?

Clinicians with decades of experience or the student of dental history can look back at the advances in dentistry and state clearly that the dental profession has experienced an exciting amount of technological growth. Yet in comparison to medicine, biomedical engineering, automotive and aeronautics, rapid manufacturing, electronics, and others, dentistry appears to be more than a decade behind in adopting or integrating new technologies on a widespread basis. Although this statement may frustrate some early adopters and manufacturers of the new, available technologies in dentistry, a comparison of the technologies used in other advanced industries on a routine basis clearly demonstrates this chasm. If other industries have adopted newer and better technologies (including sharing them among one other), why does dentistry lag behind? Where does our profession stand with new technologies, and where might we be going?

Endolase™

Smiling is one of the simplest pleasures around. But tooth pain can turn happiness into horror fast. While you can (and should) do things like brush and floss your teeth every day, a dentist is the only one who can effectively diagnose and treat tooth pain. Fortunately, many dentists now use advanced dental lasers like Endolase to make cleaning and disinfecting root canals faster and more effective than conventional methods. That means less time in the dental chair for you!

What sets the Endolase root canal laser apart is its unique design. Laser energy radiates from what’s called EndoTips™, fine tips just 2-3 times wider than human hair, which allow for pin-point precision while cleaning, shaping and disinfecting the root canals.

Here’s how Endolase works: The EndoTips emit laser energy in a radial pattern to clear away the infection-harboring smear layer, reaching deep into the root canal to eliminate bacteria. Unlike conventional methods, Endolase protects and preserves tooth structure.

And because of its remarkable laser capabilities, Endolase can flush away bacteria in just 2-3 minutes per canal (traditional methods take about 20-30 minutes). That means you can have a complete root canal treatment without totally disrupting your day. Plus, you’ll feel great again, and nothing beats that!

About 5 percent of root canals require endodontic retreatment — basically, a root canal “redo.” Retreatment is necessary when the tooth doesn’t heal after a root canal treatment. This can happen for a few reasons: a cracked dental crown can allow new infection to seep in; the roots were contaminated by saliva during the procedure; some roots were either not cleaned enough or missed altogether during the first dental treatment, which can happen because some roots are curved, making them difficult to reach or even see.

With Endolase, your risk of endodontic retreatment is greatly reduced. Here’s why: the EndoTips™ system is designed to target and destroy hidden bacteria.

One specific type of bacteria — E.faecalis — is known to make repeat appearances, but the Endolase laser has proven to be a mighty deterrent. In fact, experts who have used Endolase say that it reduces bacterial counts by 99.7 percent!

GALILEOS 3-D Imaging System

X-rays have entered a whole new dimension with the GALILEOS 3-D imaging system. GALILEOS is a state-of-the-art dental technology that delivers superior quality images of your teeth with one of the lowest possible doses of radiation.

One of the reasons why patients love GALILEOS is because 3-D imaging capability translates into more precise, more natural-looking dental restorations. While traditional 2-D imaging is limited in its scope, with GALILEOS your dentist can measure things like bone density, which is essential for placing dental implants.

To determine whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants, one of the primary things your dentist must evaluate is the thickness and quality of your jaw bone. This is important because dental implants are permanently attached to your jaw, and it’s essential that your jaw is dense enough — and healthy enough — for implants to be possible and successful. With 3-D scans, your dentist can also gauge the thickness of your bone structure to determine what size dental implants are appropriate for your mouth. In essence, the more information your dentist has about your mouth, the better your dental implants will look and feel!

Dentists love GALILEOS because it helps them make a diagnosis quickly, easily and accurately. Simply put, 3-D scans capture much more data than traditional X-rays. This gives your dentist an in-depth picture of your jaw, mouth and teeth. Your dentist can use this information to determine whether certain problems such as cavities, abnormal growths, sinus problems, sleep apnea or nerve damage exist — conditions that aren’t evident from a traditional 2-D image.

One of the best things about the GALILEOS 3-D imaging system is how comfortable it is for patients and how quickly it delivers comprehensive information to your dentist. According to Michael Augins, president of Sirona, you will need to stand still for about 14 seconds while GALILEOS travels around your head and takes about 200 images. That’s it! The computers then take about 2-3 minutes to reconstruct the data in order to provide your dentist with high-resolution images. If you’ve ever had a panoramic X-ray done, your experience with GALILEOS won’t be much different.

Interactive Patient Education System

If you’re reading this, it means you know how to use technology to learn about your dental health. Many dentists now offer one more tool to help: an interactive patient education system. This type of dental technology brings the latest dental treatment information to you on the small screen — right in your dentist’s office!

More screen time may mean better dental health for you down the road. When you know just how serious things can get without attention, you’re likely to visit the dentist early, when dental problems are less severe. Plus, when you understand your dental treatment, how procedures will be performed and how to care for yourself at home, you’ll probably feel less dental anxiety.

Watch and Learn

An interactive patient education system isn’t as complicated as it sounds. This type of dental technology allows you to watch a video to learn about your proposed treatment. The system usually comes in a DVD format and can be shown on a TV or computer monitor in your dentist’s office. Some dentists set up viewing in the reception area, where you can learn about the types of dental services offered in that particular office. More specific content related to your dental care is chosen by your dentist and can be viewed chairside. All you need to do is sit back, relax, watch and learn!

There are several companies offering some type of interactive patient education system, each providing different features. The more complex dental patient education systems feature videos, animation, still photos and even 3-D graphics. All kinds of dental topics are covered — from a dental bridge, dental crown and dentures to services provided by a pediatric dentist, orthodontist and cosmetic dentist. The videos usually explain why a certain type of dental procedure is needed, treatment options, what the treatment entails and self-help techniques for at-home care.

If you’re not sure if your dentist uses an interactive patient education system, ask about it the next time you visit the office

Intraoral Camera

In a nutshell, an intraoral camera is a small video camera that takes an X-ray of the outside of the gum or tooth. The intraoral camera resembles an oversized pen and although usage varies depending on the model-type, this image-taking device is typically outfitted with a disposable protective sheath for each new patient. While simultaneously viewing a monitor, the dentist inserts the camera into a patient’s mouth and gently shifts it about so that images can be taken from a variety of angles.

First used in the early 1990s, the intraoral camera is still a relatively new piece of dental equipment. Not so long ago, only a handful within the dental community used this tiny camera to take pictures of the teeth and gums. Today, use of the intraoral camera is widespread. For those dentists who do use this device, the intraoral camera has been, and continues to be, extremely handy both in diagnosing dental conditions such as tooth decay and cracked teeth and in educating you, the patient.

It’s not difficult to understand why many patients have misgivings about dental diagnoses that aren’t accompanied by pain or any visual cues that the naked eye can see. Since the intraoral camera is used in tandem with a computer screen or television monitor, your dentist can easily show you, in real-time, if you have a fractured tooth need gum disease treatment. In the case of the intraoral camera, a picture may be worth more than a thousand words!

The intraoral camera is especially useful during dental restoration procedures. For example, if you were to have an amalgam tooth filling replaced with a composite resin filling, your dentist could use the intraoral camera to take “before and after” pictures and display the results simultaneously for you to see!

In addition to being a great diagnostic tool, the intraoral camera is a fantastic educational aid. Instead of merely explaining to you what’s happening inside your mouth, your dentist can actually show you. And, unlike conventional X-ray images that require processing time, there is no development time associated with intraoral cameras: The immediately available images that this tool renders can be a great time-saver for both you and your dentist.

Technological advances are alive and well in the dental community. Despite this, not all dentists use the intraoral camera. Are you interested in utilizing the most recent dental technology? Find out what type of equipment your dentist employs in the office. Should you discover that your dentist is using tools from yesteryear, it just may be that a simple suggestion from you is all it takes to get your dentist up-to-speed technologically.

Laser Cavity Detection

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to detect tooth decay in the mouths of Americans. Why? The fluoride that’s widely used in drinking water and toothpastes hardens tooth enamel. Tooth decay, consequently, is forced to find microscopic tears in this enamel. Once these tears are found, the decay quickly spreads itself into the softer surface underneath. Seemingly healthy teeth, even according to conventional X-ray machine results, can hide (in the minds of some dentists) what’s hidden underneath the surface.

It’s believed by some that most tooth decay is not evident to dentists until it’s one-third the width of the tooth. The tooth filling that such a large dental cavity requires can weaken the tooth structure and ultimately cause a never-ending cycle of dental problems. Early cavity detection may mean less repair work and better enamel integrity. Historically, dentists have relied on probing teeth with fine picks and taking X-rays every few dental visits; this method is effective in finding only 57 percent of cavities, and by contrast, the laser cavity detector is believed to be 90 percent accurate in finding dental cavities or suspicious areas.

Laser cavity detection is based on the fact that healthy tooth structure reflects light differently than it does decayed tooth structure. More simply, light easily penetrates healthy teeth. And on the flipside, light has a tougher time passing through dental cavities.

Dentists perform laser cavity detection by beaming laser light onto the chewing area of your teeth. The pen-like instrument that’s used to probe the mouth in laser cavity detection is similar to a light wand. As your dentist scans the chewing area of your teeth with this light wand, the attached readout portion of the laser cavity detection machine checks the density of your tooth structure and calculates the possibility of tooth decay. When increased light wavelengths register, your dentist is notified of a possibly compromised area from the readout, as well as the machine’s auditory signaling system.

Some of you may know people (you may even be one of these people!) who have had differing cavity counts between dentists who use traditional X-rays and those who use laser cavity detection. While the machinery is indeed different, the real difference lies in the dentist who operates that machinery. One dentist may decide that treatment is in order for a vulnerable area that can only be seen using laser cavity detection, another dentist may see the same area and decide to leave it alone, and another dentist may rely on traditional X-ray machines because of a belief about when dental cavities should be treated.

If your dentist offers both traditional X-rays and laser cavity detection, open a discussion about the best choice for you. The price between the two shouldn’t differ, but early dental cavity detection can mean money saved. On the flip side, there is sometimes an issue of how early is too early: When in doubt, ask questions. A dentist will be happy to answer them.

Oraqix®

Anyone who’s ever had gum disease should know that gum disease treatment is a must. But sensitive or fearful patients may experience some roadblocks when it comes to getting their dental problems treated. Some dentists may feel local anesthesia isn’t necessary for a deep cleaning — but patients who experience sensitivity would beg to differ! And for patients who don’t like needles, the possibility of using local anesthesia for minor procedures isn’t even considered. Dentsply has come up with a needle-free solution for patients who require dental anesthesia for scaling and root planning treatment.

Oraqix® is a needleless form of local anesthesia used for gum disease treatment, specifically, scaling and root planning. In fact, Oraqix is the first and only FDA-approved needle-free subgingival (below the gum line) dental anesthetic intended for scaling and root planning procedures.

Scaling and root planning is often the first step in treating gingivitis and most stages of gum disease. During the procedure, a scaling instrument is used to remove dental tartar from below the gum line then smooth the tooth’s roots so plaque cannot easily reattach itself. While this type of gum disease treatment is not painful, it can be difficult for sensitive patients. While local anesthesia is optional, it creates a numb feeling in your lips and tongue that can affect normal functioning of your mouth long after your procedure is over. And for a non-surgical procedure that often lasts only a few minutes, the resulting hours of numbness may not be worth it.

Oraqix is not injected. Rather, it is dispensed through a blunt tip applicator directly onto and under your gums. Once your dentist starts the process, it will literally take a minute before gum disease treatment can begin. First, Oraqix is applied at gum line. Your dentist will wait 30 seconds then dispense the liquid in your periodontal pocket until it reaches the gum line. After an additional 30 seconds passes, your dentist can start your scaling and root planing treatment.

The effects should be a numbness that prevents you from feeling sensitivity during this type of dental treatment. Unlike local anesthesia, which can last for 3-5 hours, the effects of Oraqix should last for approximately 20 minutes. Not only will you eliminate the invasive use of a needle, but the numbness often associated with local anesthesia will wear off much faster so you can eat, speak and drink normally again.

The active ingredients of Oraqix are lidocaine and prilocaine, which are common local anesthetics used in dentistry. Oraqix is non-invasive and easy to administer. In many states, it can be applied by a dental hygienist prior to scaling and root planing treatment.

Oraqix has been deemed safe for use in adult patients by the FDA. Regardless, medications can affect individuals differently, so be sure to inform your doctor about your medical history, prescription drug use and any allergies you might have before using Oraqix. According to Dentsply, the most common side effects during clinical trials included site reactions, headaches and aversion to taste.

Keep in mind that Oraqix is meant for gum disease treatment, not prevention. To help prevent periodontal disease and other dental problems, follow a routine dental care plan that includes excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits.

OraVerse™

If you’ve ever had a dental treatment that required a local anesthetic, you’re probably familiar with its side effects. While local anesthesia is necessary to prevent pain during dental procedures, it does produce one major drawback: Dental anesthesia creates a numbing affect that can take hours to wear off. Lingering numbness leaves you with little control over your lips and tongue, making it difficult to eat, speak, drink or smile and even causing some patients to drool. Some patients even go as far as being treated without local anesthetic to prevent having to endure the numbing sensation long after treatment is over.

From the makers of Novalar Pharmaceuticals, OraVerse is the first and only product known to rapidly reverse the effects of local anesthesia. Novalar describes OraVerse as a “local anesthesia reversal agent that accelerates the return to normal sensation and function for patients who want to avoid the unwanted and unnecessary numbness in the lips and tongue after routine dental procedures.” OraVerse relieves numbness quickly so you can get on with your day soon after receiving a tooth filling, dental crown or gum disease treatment!

On average, it takes 3-5 hours for local anesthesia to wear off completely. OraVerse decreases residual numbness twice as fast, allowing you to regain full sensation of your mouth soon after you leave the dental office. The active ingredient in OraVerse is phentolamine, which opens blood vessels to increase blood flow.

Administering OraVerse is no different than giving you an injection of local anesthesia. OraVerse is immediately injected following the dental procedure in the same location and manner in which your dental anesthesia was administered. Since you will already be numb, you won’t have to worry about feeling pain at the injection site.

The same drug used in OraVerse has been utilized in other aspects of medicine for over 50 years. The makers of OraVerse have conducted extensive clinical trials involving pediatric, adolescent and adult patients to ensure your safety. OraVerse is FDA-approved and has been demonstrated to be safe and effective for dental patients ages 6 and older who weigh no less than 33 lbs.

Primarily geared towards reducing numbness in your lips and tongue, OraVerse should not accelerate or increase any discomfort or inflammation at the treatment site. Local anesthesia affects your tooth and soft tissues differently — while the numbness in your tooth can subside in less than an hour, it lingers in the lips and tongue for much longer. OraVerse should have little to no effect on reversing tooth numbness, as it will have almost all but worn off by the time it is injected. If you’re worried about feeling pain after the numbness wears off, your dentist may choose to prescribe a pain medication.

Many patients are choosing OraVerse so they can get back to their daily activities without incident. But not every dentist offers OraVerse for local anesthesia reversal. If OraVerse sounds like it would be beneficial to you, we can help you find a dentist who uses this new dental technology!

Panorex X-ray

If you’ve had dental X-rays, you know how beneficial they can be in finding cavities. But what about dental problems not pertaining to your teeth? Now there’s a dental X-ray that can help your dentist see other areas of your mouth. Much like a panoramic picture, the Panorex X-ray provides a full view of the scenery — in this case, your entire oral cavity!

The Panorex X-ray is a single picture of all your teeth and surrounding bones. Sometimes referred to as a single FMX, or full mouth X-ray, the Panorex provides a two-dimensional panoramic view of your mouth. The resulting X-ray includes more than just a couple of teeth at a time — and is an excellent alternative to the tiny pictures your dentist has to piece together to see a complete set of your teeth.

The Panorex X-ray also exposes parts of your jaw that can’t be seen with traditional dental X-rays. With a Panorex single FMX, your dentist can view:

  • – Your entire upper and lower jawbone
  • – Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ), or jaw joints
  • – The nasal sinuses and their surrounding bone
  • – The mandibular nerve, which provides sensation to the teeth and gums of the lower jaw

If you haven’t had a Panorex X-ray yet, you should know it’s nothing like you’ve experienced before. While you’ll still wear a lead apron to protect yourself from radiation, you’ll stand in the center of the machine. The camera rotates in a half circle around your head, staring at one side of the jaw and ending at another. For a clear picture, you’ll need to remain still; don’t worry — it only takes a few seconds for the process to complete.

The Panorex X-ray is an excellent way for dentists to check for problems with the jaw — but as the Panorex X-ray provides an overall view of your mouth, it is not as precise as traditional dental X-rays and may not detect some dental cavities. Your dentist will use bite wings or other types of X-rays to help diagnose dental problems pertaining strictly to your teeth.

The Panorex X-ray is often used in the following areas of dental care:

  • Early Detection of Oral Cancer — Physical symptoms of oral cancer may not become evident until it’s advanced. A panoramic X-ray makes it easier to see cysts and tumors, whether benign or malignant.
  • TMJ/TMD — A better view of the TMJ makes it easier to diagnose temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD.
  • Jaw Bone Problems — Your dentist can locate fractures or trauma to the jaw bone. Diseases of the jaw bone are also more evident on a Panorex X-ray.
  • Gum Disease — Receding bones, a sign of gum disease, can also be seen. Your dentist may be able to recommend the correct gum disease treatment upon viewing your Panorex X-ray.
  • Tooth and Jaw Development — Your pediatric dentist may use a Panorex X-ray to determine whether your child’s permanent teeth are developing correctly beneath his or her baby teeth. It is also used to check for a malocclusion in adults.
  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth — Dentists can see the location and angle of which wisdom teeth are impacted, which may help them determine an oral surgery treatment plan.
  • Dental Restorations — With a Panorex single FMX, your dentist can determine the need for dentures or dental braces and determine the placement of dental implants.
  • Sinus Problems — Sometimes sinus problems can trigger tooth pain. Diagnosing a sinus condition as the source of your toothache can help prevent the need for unnecessary dental treatment or toothache remedies.
  • Preparation for Dental Surgery — A panoramic X-ray is often used to locate the mandibular nerve so as not to puncture it during the procedure.

Prophy-Jet

That fresh feeling you get when you leave the dental office after professional dental cleanings is like no other. Ever wonder why you can’t achieve it on your own?

Dentists have special tools that remove deposits from our teeth, leaving our mouths feeling cleaner than when we practice good oral hygiene at home.

During your dental cleaning, a dentist or dental hygienist will polish your teeth using either a conventional hand piece or a Prophy-Jet. The Prophy-Jet is an air polishing system that combines water and baking soda to remove stains and debris from teeth.

The Prophy-Jet is a high-tech alternative to the instrument dentists have been using for years. Whereas traditional polishing relies on a rotating rubber cup containing abrasive paste to clean your teeth, the Prophy-Jet sprays high-pressured water to blast away soft deposits such as dental plaque. Baking soda acts as a pumice to scour off extrinsic tooth stains caused by foods, drinks or smoking.

Many dental offices are replacing traditional polishing with Prophy-Jet polishing, as it tends to be more effective. Plus, it’s well-liked by patients who prefer the Prophy-Jet to the rotating hand piece for several reasons. For one thing, there’s no unnerving sound with the Prophy-Jet — and no vibrations either. Even better is the fact that patients don’t experience that icky aftertaste from the sticky paste often associated with prophylaxis. You may not even need to rinse following your dental cleaning!

Dentists may recommend Prophy-Jet polishing prior to dental bonding or attaching dental braces. Removing dental plaque and debris from teeth will give them a “clean slate,” lessening the chances of trapping irritants under the composite resin or brackets. Before teeth whitening, a cosmetic dentist may use Prophy-Jet polishing to remove surface stains. This not only helps the dentist better determine the natural color of your teeth, but the patient will also receive better results from the teeth whitening procedure.

Over time, stains can also form on your dental appliances. The Prophy-Jet can be used to remove deposits from your dentures, orthodontic appliance, mouthguard or night guard. While it’s important to take care of your dental appliance at home, if it starts to lose its luster, you can take the appliance to your dentist for a thorough cleaning.

Regardless, incorporating dental cleanings into your oral hygiene routine is essential to maintaining good dental health. Whether your dentist uses the exciting new Prophy-Jet or time-honored hand piece for your professional dental cleaning, the important thing is that you make regular dental visits every six months.

The Dental Button™

For most people, feeling a loss of control is a hot button issue. That feeling may be especially heightened while sitting in a dental chair – sitting face up with a light shining down on you while surrounded by dental instruments is enough to make anyone feel helpless. In fact, even though only about 50 percent of the American population sees a dentist regularly, about 85 percent of those who do admit to feeling at least some dental phobia, dental fear or dental anxiety.

Fortunately, The Dental Button system puts control back into your hands! With The Dental Button, all you have to do is press a button if you’re uncomfortable and the drill will stop. This way, you can sit up and take a sip of water, take a deep breath, rinse your mouth or simply take a minute to regain your composure. It sounds simple, but it works. Patients who’ve used The Dental Button say that they felt a reduction in dental anxiety by 50-80 percent!

Whether someone has dental phobia, dental fear, dental anxiety or fear of dentist visits, most people react the same way — by skipping out on regular dental visits. This is the start of a negative cycle that can be hard to break. Many people feel riddled by guilt for avoiding the dentist. Worse, it could mean that you endure pain for longer than you have to. It can also result in dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, root canal infection and oral cancer escalating to levels that are costly and complicated to treat.

So where does dental phobia come from? Many dental professionals and psychologists agree that dental fear usually stems from a bad experience or negative conditioning at an early age. For example, if you started seeing a dentist during a time when dental anesthesia and open communication were the exception and not the rule, you may have developed a fear of dentist visits. Or if at a young age your parents talked about their own dental anxiety in front of you or warned you that visits “might hurt,” you may equate dental visits with pain.

But dentistry has come a long way. Laser dentistry has made dental treatments like root canals, gum disease treatment and even a tooth filling more comfortable and less time-consuming for patients. Sedation dentistry offers a wide range of possibilities for anxious patients, including conscious sedation, which helps patients feel relaxed without going under.

Dentists today also recognize the importance of patient-dentist communication. Many dentists emphasize building friendly, long-lasting relationships with patients and taking the time to explain dental treatments. More and more dental offices are also providing comforting amenities like pillows and blankets, headphones, movies and toys for kids to create a cozy, home-like atmosphere. Dental spas go the extra mile, offering everything from paraffin hand treatments and warm face cloths to manicures, pedicures and even massages!

While many patients who have dental phobia appreciate comforting amenities, that feeling of helplessness may still exist. The Dental Button system addresses this head on. Rather than distract patients, The Dental Button system is designed to engage patients in their treatments. With the press of a button, patients are given the power and confidence to control the pacing of their treatment based on their level of discomfort. That means no more missed hand signals and muffled pleas – just smooth, clear communication between you and your dentist.

Today you have more choices than ever to help you deal with dental phobia, dental fear, dental anxiety or any kind of discomfort that might keep you from getting the dental care you need. The Dental Button system is one of the latest tools to keep you relaxed – and one of the simplest!

h3>Vizilite® Plus

Oral cancer may be one of the least discussed cancers, but the facts are worth talking about: Research shows that more than 30,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer every year. And contrary to popular belief, about 25 percent of those diagnosed are not tobacco users. The mortality rate for oral cancer is higher than many types of cancers, including Hodgkins disease, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer and cancer of the brain.

Fortunately, some oral cancer statistics are encouraging. When caught early, oral cancer is one of the most treatable diseases – in fact, with early treatment there is a 90 percent success rate! And use of new light technology like Vizilite® Plus makes early detection of oral cancer fast, easy and pain-free. Vizilite Plus is an oral cancer detection system that identifies soft tissue abnormalities that may eventually turn into oral cancer. With the help of Vizilite Plus, your dentist can “see” abnormal tissues that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

It’s understandable if the thought of an oral cancer exam makes you nervous. But before you let fear talk you out of getting checked for oral cancer, keep in mind that a Vizilite Plus exam is painless and fast! Typically, your Vizilite Plus oral cancer screening is combined with a regular dental exam, performed just after your dentist completes a visual examination of your mouth.

Here’s what to expect from your Vizilite Plus oral cancer screening:

  • – You’ll rinse your mouth with a cleansing solution
  • – Your dentist will dim the overhead lighting
  • – Using ViziLite Plus your dentist will look for abnormal tissue

As the ViziLite Plus light passes over your mouth, healthy tissues appear dark and problem areas white under this specialized light technology.

If you receive a positive reading for abnormal tissue after your oral cancer screening, keep in mind that it’s not necessarily an indication of oral cancer. Vizilite Plus identifies both serious and benign abnormalities. That means a positive reading could signal tissue that’s been damaged from things as harmless as cheek bites or food irritations. So try not to get too worked up, but rely on your dentist’s prognosis. He or she will review the results and decide on next steps – whether that means an additional evaluation to rule out benign causes or a visit to a specialist for a final answer. In the interim, avoid tobacco, alcohol and foods that irritate the mouth (nuts, hard candies) until your next exam.

Those who wear dentures may notice their dentures starting to fit loosely. Others may notice their voice changing. If any of these symptoms of mouth cancer persist for more than two weeks, see your dentist or physician as soon as possible.

Waterlase ®

Are you scared of going to the dentist because you’ll hear the dreaded drill screeching in your ear? Or maybe you are terrified of the needle — and who likes leaving the dental office with a droopy or puffy face? These dental fears can be minimized with a WaterLase dentist. The WaterLase is a dental laser that enables the dentist to use minimal and in some cases even no anesthetic or drills to perform many routine dental procedures!

The WaterLase combines water, air and laser energy for safe use on human tissue in the mouth. Our teeth are partially made up of water and when the laser makes contact with the tooth it excites the water molecules to cut through the tooth. Since the laser continuously sprays out water it keeps the tooth hydrated preventing heat and giving you a virtually pain free experience!

Even for those who floss, brush and use fluoride regularly, sometimes you still end up with a cavity. Between work, school, and children, plus everything else, there is no time to schedule another dental appointment. Now you don’t have to worry because your WaterLase dentist can do it all at the same time. Since it’s less likely you will need an injection to fill your cavity, your dentist can do multiple simple procedures in a single visit! A WaterLase dentist can save you the hassle of going to a specialist because they can perform a wide variety of procedures.

Lasers for use in dermatology, ophthalmology and cosmetics have been around for years and so has the WaterLase. The WaterLase is cleared for numerous dental applications which can be performed on both pediatric and adult patients.

What is great about the WaterLase is how precise it is! Regular dental drills rely on removing large amounts of tooth to get the job done, and the constant grinding and spinning of a drill bur can cause cracks and pain. The WaterLase, on the other hand, removes very precise amounts of tooth, without damaging or cracking the rest of the tooth! And because it is so precise, you will rarely need anesthetic!