The Benefits of Laser Decay Removal
Maintaining a healthy smile is a lifelong journey, and at Reflection Ridge Dental, we're committed to making that journey as comfortable and effective as possible. One of the cutting-edge technologies we employ in our Wichita family dental practice is laser decay removal. In this blog post, we'll explore the remarkable benefits of this innovative technique and how it can enhance your dental experience.
What is Laser Decay Removal?
Laser decay removal is a modern dental procedure that utilizes advanced laser technology to remove decayed tooth tissue. Traditional dental drills have long been the norm, but lasers are changing the game by offering numerous advantages that benefit both the patient and the dentist.
Less Pain and Anxiety
For many people, the mere thought of a dental drill can send shivers down their spines. The high-pitched whirring and vibrations can be anxiety-inducing, especially for children. Laser decay removal, on the other hand, is considerably less intimidating.
The laser's precision allows for minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue, resulting in less discomfort and reduced pain during and after the procedure. This makes it an excellent choice for patients of all ages, particularly those who may be apprehensive about dental visits. At Reflection Ridge Dental, we understand the importance of a stress-free experience, and laser decay removal helps us achieve just that.
Preservation of Healthy Tooth Structure
One of the standout benefits of laser decay removal is its precision. Traditional drills often require the removal of slightly more healthy tooth structure than necessary to access and remove the decayed area. Laser technology, however, allows our skilled Wichita family dental team to target only the affected area, leaving as much of the healthy tooth structure intact as possible. This preservation of healthy tissue not only ensures a stronger tooth but also minimizes the risk of future dental issues.
Reduced Risk of Sensitivity
Traditional drills generate heat as they operate, which can sometimes cause sensitivity in the surrounding tooth structure. Laser decay removal, on the other hand, operates without generating heat, reducing the risk of sensitivity. This is particularly advantageous for patients with sensitive teeth or those who are prone to dental anxiety.
Safe and Effective
Laser decay removal is a safe and effective procedure when performed by experienced professionals like those at Reflection Ridge Dental. The laser's precision ensures that decay is thoroughly removed and minimizes the amount of filling required.
Reflection Ridge Dental is Here for You
At Reflection Ridge Dental, your dental health is our top priority. Laser decay removal is just one of the many innovative techniques we employ to provide you with the best possible dental care. Its benefits including reduced pain, preservation of healthy tooth structure, and quicker recovery make it an excellent choice for patients of all ages.
If you're looking for a dental experience that is efficient, comfortable, and tailored to your needs, look no further than Reflection Ridge Dental. Our commitment to staying at the forefront of dental technology including laser decay removal, as well as same-day milling for crowns ensures that you receive the highest standard of care.
Contact us today to schedule your next appointment and experience the benefits of laser decay removal firsthand. Your smile deserves the best, and at Reflection Ridge Dental, we're here to deliver just that.
Oral cancer signs & screening
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Therefore, it’s important to know the risks, signs, and symptoms of various types of cancers and how you can protect yourself. As always, it’s important to check for any abnormalities and changes in your oral health and see a dentist for a medical diagnosis.
Risk factors for oral cancer
There are many factors that can put you at risk for developing oral cancer. For example:
- The use of tobacco products can put you at higher risk for developing mouth and throat cancers.
- Heavy alcohol use is also a contributing factor for many cancers.
- Previous history of cancer or cancer diagnosis.
Warning signs & symptoms
Oral cancer can appear in a variety of forms and locations in or around the mouth. For instance, cancer can develop on your lips, cheek lining, gums, on and under the tongue, and at the roof of the mouth.
Be aware of the following symptoms that can appear and visit your dentist if it’s not resolved within two weeks.
- Red or white patches on the tongue or cheek lining
- A sore or lump that doesn’t go away
- Difficulties with chewing, swallowing, or speaking
- Changes in your normal oral health
What does a cancer screening entail?
The screening procedure for oral cancer at Reflection Ridge Dental is a fast and non-invasive exam. Your dentist will examine your mouth and tongue and will feel around for any lumps. Then, our dental team will proceed with your routine cleaning and address any questions you have about your oral health.
Preventative dental services by Reflection Ridge Dental
If you are concerned about your risk for developing cancer, or if you need a screening or other preventative dental services, we invite you to book an appointment with us. A new patient appointment includes x-rays, screening for diseases, and a cleaning.
Gum recession happens when gum tissue that surrounds the teeth wears away and exposes more of the tooth. In some cases, receding gums can lead to exposure of the tooth’s root. As a result, gaps can form between the teeth and gum line which creates a space for bacteria to harbor.
If left untreated, the tissue, tooth, and bone can sustain serious damage which can lead to disease and tooth loss.
Causes of receeding gums
Gum recession is a fairly common dental problem—most people are unaware they have receding gums because it occurs over time.
- Periodontal disease: Bacterial infections are known for destroying gum tissue—gum disease is the leading cause of gum recession.
- Aging/genetics: Some populations are more susceptible to gum recession, and gums often recede slightly with age.
- Improper dental care: Aggressive brushing and inadequate dental care can lead to gum disease or recession.
- Grinding/clenching: Putting too much force on your teeth can cause recession.
Treatment for receding gums
While gum tissue does not grow back, there are professional treatment options and preventative steps you can take. Mild gum recession can be treated by your dentist with a thorough exam and deep clean. During this appointment, your dentist will remove plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth.
In more serious cases, surgery for your recession may be necessary. This treatment can include bone regeneration, tissue graft, or gum graft to address the issue.
Prevent receding gums with proper oral care
The best way to prevent receding gums is to visit your dentist twice yearly for routine exams and cleanings. At your appointment, your dentist can easily identify early signs of gum disease. In addition, exercising smart oral health habits can prevent gum problems from developing.
Contact your dental provider for treatment
If you notice signs of your gums receeding, you should act quickly to address the problem. Contact your dental office for an immediate appointment to prevent further damage from spreading.
Foods for a healthy mouth
Maintaining your oral health entails much more than flossing, brushing, and visiting your dentist on a regular basis. However, a healthy and well-balanced diet also plays an important role in your oral health. In some cases, a well-balanced diet can help prevent tooth decay from forming and gum disease from developing.
Whether you’re starting a new year’s resolution or making changes to your existing diet, this list is a great resource!
Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are both high in fiber, vitamins, and nutrients that are good for you. Moreover, fruits and veggies have high water content which provides additional hydration. Produce like cucumbers, celery, broccoli, apples, and carrots are crunchy and can clean or remove particles from your teeth. Additionally, fruits and vegetables help produce saliva to protect your teeth from decay. Vitamins and nutrients found in produce are essential to healthy gums, which can also help restore tooth enamel.
Foods high in calcium are a staple for your oral health. Dairy products like cheese, milk, and yogurt are rich in calcium and phosphate work to help build enamel and strengthen the teeth with essential minerals.
Protein is what keeps us satisfied—but did you know that it’s also a great source of phosphorus? Look to lean meats, fish, and eggs for protein-packed food sources.
Whole grains and nuts
Not only are whole grains and nuts heart-healthy, but they also offer benefits to your oral health. For instance, they are loaded with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants that work to protect your mouth and keep it healthy. Vitamins like magnesium and vitamins B and E can help protect against cavities, build strong enamel, and fight gum disease and inflammation.
Schedule your routine checkup
What we choose to consume has a direct impact on our bodies and oral health. Following a well-balanced diet along with visiting your dentist for regular checkups can help keep your smile healthy and happy. Contact us today to schedule a routine dental checkup at our West Wichita office!
Overcoming Your Dental Anxiety
Do you fear going to the dentist? You’re not alone. Dental anxiety is an extremely common condition to experience—and is a serious situation.
Signs of dental anxiety
Those who fear going to the dentist tend to avoid dental visits at all costs. In some cases, patients who suffer from dental phobia may only go when forced to or while experiencing extreme pain.
If you commonly experience any of the following, you might have a dental phobia.
- Feeling nervous before/during your appointment
- Trouble sleeping the night before
- Physical illness when visiting your dentist
Dental phobias can be caused by:
- Fear of needles and injections
- Fear of experiencing physical pain
- Loss of personal space and/or control
- A negative past experience
Coping with dental anxiety
The first step in addressing your fears is to identify that you have a phobia. The next most important measure you can take is to discuss your anxieties with your dentist. Once we are aware of your fear, we will take every necessary step to help you feel more comfortable and less anxious about your visits.
Our approach to individualized care includes a treatment plan unique to your needs without skimping on exceptional dental care. We will walk you through each step of your appointment to help you prepare for what to expect.
Caring for your dental health
At Reflection Ridge Dental, our goal is to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to each of our patients. If you are experiencing dental anxiety, talk with our dental team about your reservations and how we can help ease your tensions. We provide an array of dental services to residents in the Wichita area, including cosmetic dentistry, restorations, laser decay removal, and more.
Call our office at (316) 721-2024 to schedule a new patient consultation today. We look forward to meeting you!
How to Perfect Your Flossing Routine
Flossing is an important habit to incorporate into your everyday oral hygiene routine. Moreover, flossing keeps your gums and teeth clear of debris and bacteria. If flossing isn’t part of your everyday dental routine, it can lead to the development of plaque and other dental issues and diseases.
As a general rule of thumb, the American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once per day and brushing twice per day. Incorporating flossing into your daily routine is not only good for your teeth, gums, and oral health, but also for your overall health.
3 steps to achieve proper flossing
- First, wind about 18 inches of floss around your fingers, leaving a couple inches of floss to work with.
- Second, hold the floss taut between your thumbs and index fingers, sliding it between your teeth gently.
- Lastly, curve the floss around each tooth and be sure to reach your gum line.
What type of floss should I use?
- Nylon or multifilament floss – this type of floss is available waxed or unwaxed in a variety of flavors. It can be prone to shredding or tearing between tight teeth.
- Polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) or monofilament floss – this material is more expensive but less likely to shred, making it easy to slide between the teeth.
- Floss picks and water flossing is also available if traditional floss is difficult to use.
Excellent oral hygiene goes beyond brushing your teeth twice a day. Additionally, it involves flossing properly to reduce the likelihood of developing tooth decay and gum disease.
Book your next appointment with our team
Talk with your dentist about your dental hygiene routine and oral care products that are most effective for you. At Reflection Ridge Dental, we personalize appointments based on each patient’s needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!