The Laser Revolution is Changing the Dental Healthcare

laser-dentistry-300Lasers have transformed our everyday lives, especially in healthcare. These intense beams of light of a single wavelength have revolutionized all manner of diagnostics and treatments, from general surgery to cosmetic therapy.

Dentistry has also been influenced by the laser revolution. Here are just a few of the areas where they’re growing in use and popularity.

Early disease detection. Laser instruments can take advantage of “fluorescence,” the tendency of bacteria to “glow” when exposed to certain wavelengths of light. This is proving more effective in detecting early tooth decay in pits and fissures (very tiny areas in a tooth’s biting surface) than traditional needle-like probing instruments called dental explorers. Newer lasers can now detect the same fluorescent qualities in soft tissues, which may reduce the detection time for oral cancer and make the difference between life and death.

Dental caries treatment. Lasers have become an alternative to the dental drill in treating teeth with dental caries (decay). Although with larger cavities lasers are somewhat slower than the conventional drill, they truly shine when it comes to early enamel caries and small cavities because they can be quite precise in the amount of tooth structure they remove. This feature allows them to be less invasive than a dental drill.

Periodontal treatment. Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection caused mainly by bacterial plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) that have adhered to tooth surfaces. Lasers are emerging as an alternative to conventional periodontal (gum) surgery to treat voids or spaces below the gum line called periodontal pockets that have formed because of gum tissue detachment as supporting bone is lost. With their ability to target and destroy infected tissue without damaging nearby healthy tissue, lasers can achieve similar outcomes as traditional techniques but with less tissue damage and discomfort to patients afterward.

Research and development into laser technology continues to perfect these and other applications that promise to make dental procedures less invasive and more comfortable for patients.

If you would like more information on the use of lasers in dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

What are Cavities?

Find out more about cavities and what your Romeo, MI dentist recommends for reducing your chances of developing them.

Cavities might seem like a normal part of life. After all, just ask anyone around you and they’ve probably had to deal with a cavity at some point in their lives. In fact, about 19 percent of children between the ages of two to 19 have untreated cavities and a whopping 92 percent of adults between the ages of 20 to 64 have had cavities.

So what exactly is a cavity and what can you do to stop them from happening to you? Your Romeo, MI dentist Michael DeLaura, DDS, has the answer.

What are cavities?

A cavity is a hole within a tooth that is caused by tooth decay that occurs over time, eroding and destroying the tooth’s enamel. Our mouths are naturally teeming with bacteria that live on the teeth and soft tissues.

While some bacteria are important for a healthy mouth some can be detrimental to our smile, resulting in tooth decay. These harmful bacteria use the sugar found in the foods we eat and turn them to acid. This acid then begins to wear down and erode tooth enamel. Over time, these acids can cause a cavity to form.

How can I prevent cavities?

cosmetic-dentistryWhile cavities are extremely common and might seem impossible to avoid, it is actually possible to stop or reverse this process from happening so you can prevent a cavity from forming. Might sound like magic but here are some things you can do to keep cavities from ruining your smile:

  • Fluoride can go a long way to prevent tooth decay from getting worse. This means using fluoridated toothpaste every day to clean your teeth. If you are concerned about the amount of fluoride you are getting, talk to your Romeo, MI dentist Dr. DeLaura.
  • Eat a balanced, smile-healthy diet that is rich in lean proteins, milk, fibrous vegetables and crisp fruits. Try to stay away from sugar and starches, which produce the harmful acids that damage teeth.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day: once in the morning and then again at night. Ideally, though you want to aim for brushing your teeth after every meal. Also, brush for a minimum of two minutes each time you brush.
  • Floss every day. Your Romeo, MI dentist can’t preface this enough. Did you know that almost 20 percent of people haven’t ever flossed in their lives? This is a shocking statistic, since flossing is one of the most important habits you can adopt for your smile.
  • If you want to protect your child’s smile, then talk to your Romeo, MI dentist about dental sealants to reduce the chance of decay in molars, which can be tougher to clean properly.

Another way to ensure that your teeth remain healthy is to keep up with your six-month dental cleanings. If it’s time you had your teeth examined and cleaned by your Romeo, MI dentist then it’s never too late to schedule an appointment. Call Dr. DeLaura at Delaura Dental today.