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Preventative Dentistry

Scaling & Root Planing

Gum disease is caused by a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. Plaque is always forming on your teeth, but is usually brushed away and kept at bay by brushing well two times a day. If it is not cleaned well, however, the gums can become red, boggy, and inflamed. These inflamed tissues  pull away from your teeth and cause pockets, where plaque can get trapped. This trapped plaque in your dental pockets cannot be cleaned away by regular brushing or regular cleanings. If these pockets become too deep, it means you need a deep cleaning, or scaling and root planing.


This procedure has two parts:

  1. Scaling - removal of all plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) above and below the gum line.

  2. Root planing - smoothing of the root surface to help the gums reattach to your teeth. 

It usually takes 1-2 visits and sometimes requires the use of local anesthetic. After SRP, you may experience tooth sensitivity and your gums may feel swollen and tender. Over the course of the next week, though, that sensitivity and tenderness should go away.

scaling and root planing
Laser Gum Treatment

Lasers have been proven to help in the detection and treatment of oral disease. They can precisely remove tissue, seal painful ulcerations like canker sores, and even treat small cavities. Lasers take advantage of the quantum behavior or electrons, tiny particles inside of atoms. By stimulating atoms with pulses of energy, and then using a method of optical amplification, they cause the atoms to produce a beam of coherent light. Essentially that means that they emit light which has a great deal of energy, yet can be precisely controlled. It’s the combination of high energy and precision that make lasers so useful.

We mostly use lasers for the treatment of soft tissue problems. The laser is minimally invasive and takes away less tissue than conventional methods. Used in gum surgery, for example, lasers can treat gum disease by killing harmful bacteria deep in pockets below the gum line, and removing the diseased tissue without harming the healthy tissue. They can also remove the tin layer of cells that inhibits reattachment of the gum and bone tissues to the tooth, while sealing off the adjacent blood vessels. This type of procedure generally results in less bleeding and pain. Lasers are also effective in treating ulcers and sores on the lips or gums. 

Lasers are even finding increasing use for hard-tissue procedures, like the treatment of dental caries/ cavities. Not only are they more exact in the amount of material they remove, but they eliminate the noise and vibration of the dental drill, which is uncomfortable for some patients.

laser gum treatment
Intra-Oral Scanning

An intra-oral scanner is a device that captures a direct optical impression of your tooth/arch/mouth. The image is captured by imaging sensors and are processed by a scanning software, which then produces a 3-D model. This allows for a much more accurate capture of your oral structures. Intra-oral scanning is used to fabricate prosthesis (crowns, bridges, occlusal guards, retainers, partial dentures) and also to monitor changes in your dentition (crowding, wear) over time.

intra oral scanner
Intra-Oral Pictures

Intra-oral pictures are photos taken of your teeth, gums, and oral tissue. These photos may be of a single tooth, a group of teeth, or an area of your mouth. They are taken with a small, high-quality digital camera that moves comfortably within your mouth. It allow us to show you where disease is present in your mouth, with a tool that is easily understood. It also allows us to visually track changes in your mouth and progression of disease over time. These IOPs are a great tool in diagnosing and explaining.

intra oral pictures
Digital X-Rays

Digital radiography uses digital x-ray sensors to replace traditional photographic x-ray film. This enhances the computer image of the teeth, bones, and other oral structures/ conditions. Digital x-rays are more efficient and safer than traditional film x-rays, emitting far less radiation. X-rays are the #1 tool dentists use to diagnose disease, and digital x-rays minimize the radiation exposure to the patient and enhance the quality of the x-ray for the provider.

digital xray
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