Posts for: November, 2021
Many patients experience dental anxiety when it is time to visit the dentist for treatment. Laser treatments can help reduce stress and the fear many patients have when undergoing some dental procedures. Laser dentistry is the best way to help patients in Homer, AK, decrease their anxiety about visiting a dentist. Dr. James Bourne at Eagle Dental recognizes the stress many experiences and is ready to help ease your stress when visiting his office.
Laser Dentistry Treatments
Many dentists in Homer, AK, have been using laser dentistry to help patients with different oral health conditions. Common oral problems treated with laser dentistry include:
- Cancer screening: Lasers can remove tissues and sores from the mouth
- Gum disease: The gums can be reshaped using the laser, and it kills bacteria
- Teeth whitening: Lasers can quickly whiten teeth
- Tooth decay: Cavities can be removed without causing more damage
Benefits of Laser Dentistry
Undergoing laser dentistry treatment offers many advantages, including more accurate treatment. Additionally, the use of lasers reduces the need for anesthesia, antibiotics, and sutures. In addition, because the lasers kill bacteria, it minimizes bacterial infections during treatments, such as root canals. Another benefit is that undergoing laser treatment is less stressful because there are no sounds or movements associated with traditional drilling methods.
Types of Lasers are Used
Dentists use two types of lasers - hard tissue or soft tissue lasers - depending on the treatment. Hard tissue lasers are strong enough to cut through the tooth’s structure. This laser is most often used to help prep a tooth for composite bonding, repair dental fillings, and eliminate tooth structure. A soft tissue laser is used when treating the gums or any other soft tissue in the mouth.
Laser dentistry treatment can help patients in Homer, AK, receive the treatment they need with less stress. Dr. Bourne understands visiting the dentist can be stressful and is ready to show you how laser dentistry can help treat your dental conditions with very little anxiety and stress. Call Eagle Dental at (907) 235-8574 today to schedule your consultation appointment.
Tenderness; headaches; difficulty chewing; excruciating pain. These are a few of the symptoms you could endure with a jaw joint or temporomandibular disorder (TMD or TMJ). This group of disorders disrupts the daily lives of millions of people around the world.
This month is TMJ Awareness Month, to shed light on these debilitating conditions and how best to manage them. Although controlling TMD isn't always easy, it can be done with the right blend of treatments.
The temporomandibular joint—actually a pair of joints connecting the lower jaw to the skull on either side of the face—is "ground zero" for TMD. These are ball-and-socket joints similar to the hip or shoulder, but with a unique addition—a cushioning disk that lies between the adjoining points of the two bones that temper the forces generated when you eat, speak or bite down.
Researchers believe TMD can arise from a variety of sources, including traumatic injury, psychological stress or mechanical dysfunction within the joint and cushioning disk. These problems can create blood flow constriction, which in turn causes the accumulation of chemical waste byproducts in the jaw muscles. This in turn and cause the muscles to spasm and become inflamed and sore.
Treatments are also as numerous as the possible causes of TMD. But for the most part, they range along a continuum of conservative to aggressive approaches.
On the conservative end, doctors treat TMD as a joint problem and borrow heavily from orthopedics. These types of treatments include the use of anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxing medications, icing or heating, stretching exercises, physical therapy and massage. Dentists may also provide mouth guard appliances for patients with clenching or tooth grinding habits to decrease biting forces.
On the more aggressive end are interventions like orthodontics or dental work. But, while these were common recommendations 20-30 years ago, it's no longer thought to be necessary for treating most TMD disorders and should not be recommended as a cure or solution for TMD. At the furthest extreme is actual jaw surgery to relieve symptoms or repair damage within the joints. The latter, however, has not yet amassed a solid track record, and should be considered as a last resort.
Finding the right combination of therapies to give consistent relief sometimes requires a bit of trial and error. Most doctors recommend starting first with the most conservative methods before considering more aggressive measures. You should also undergo a complete dental exam to see if teeth or gum problems are contributing to your symptoms.
TMD can make your life miserable. But with some persistence and patience, you can find what works for a life without pain and dysfunction.