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Dr. Michael W. Stuart

Dr. Craig E. Stannebein

2700 Grand Avenue, Suite D. Billings, MT 59102

Monday - Thursday 8am-5pm
Friday by Appointment Only

(406) 794-3114

How Water, Lasers Help Treat Dental Problems

  • January 21, 2016
Gum Reshaping 3 | Legacy Smiles - Billings, MT

When you think of the dentist, do you think of cool lasers?

Maybe you should. At Legacy Smiles, we use one of the coolest dental lasers available today in our general dentistry practice.

The laser can make your treatment simpler, more effective, and — here’s the kicker — pain-free.

It’s just one of the ways that we use state-of-the-art technology at our dentist office. If you live in or near Billings, MT, then it can help you, too.

Keep reading to find out how the BIOLASE Waterlase could help you now or in the future.

Wait, Aren’t Lasers Used As Weapons?

Well, they are used that way in science fiction movies (including one which you may have heard about recently), but that’s not how we use lasers in our dentist office.

Instead, we use our Waterlase to cut into your teeth.

You also may have read somewhere that lasers generate heat. That is true. A laser can burn into things, including your teeth.

So why doesn’t it hurt? That’s where the water comes in. The laser passes through water, which makes the water molecules move faster.

This allows the laser to cut into your teeth, yet still feel cool at the same time.

How We Use The Waterlase?

Let’s say you were having a severe toothache. (Hopefully this won’t happen to you because you are brushing, flossing, and having routine cleanings at Legacy Smiles, right?)

If your toothache was caused by an abscessed tooth, then we may have to perform a root canal. Years ago, we may have had to use a drill to make a hole so we can reach inside your tooth.

Instead, we can use the Waterlase to create an opening with little if any pain to our patients. This makes treatments like root canals easier on our patients, which allows them to stay comfortable during the procedure.

The Waterlase is valuable for working on soft tissues like your gums, too.

Let’s say you have gum disease … which there is a good chance that you might. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of American adults 30 and older have some kind of gum disease. As you get older, that risk increases. The CDC also reported that around 70 percents of adults 65 and older have gum disease.

In many cases, this is a mild form of the disease, but if you do have a more advanced gum disease, then the Waterlase may be part of your treatment.

We can use our dental laser to remove infected gum tissue, again with little if any pain for our patients.

Are There Other Uses For the Waterlase?

Indeed, there are.

In cosmetic dentistry, we use the Waterlase as part of gum reshaping.

This is safer than doing this treatment with a scalpel, plus your body is able to heal much faster. The Waterlase also gives our dentist greater control, which means he can more accurately target the tissue to be removed while saving as much healthy tissue as possible.

We also can use the Waterlase to help with a much more serious issue — oral cancer.

If we notice something during an examination that suggests that you or someone you love might have oral cancer, we could perform a biopsy. By adjusting the Waterlase settings, we can use it to remove a sample of the affected tissue so it can be tested.

Our hope is that we’ll never need to do this, but it’s nice to know that we have the tools to help you get diagnosed faster if necessary.

Pain-Free Procedures

For many people who experience dental anxiety, pain is one of their biggest worries.

With the Waterlase, we are able to perform a number of procedures without any anesthetic and without causing our patients any pain.

This can be a great thing for patients who have a fear of needles. We can perform something as complicated as cutting into a tooth or removing gum tissue without shots or needles.

That’s the kind of science fact that everyone can celebrate.

Dental Lasers To The Rescue

Our Waterlase may not be as cool as a space battle between good guys and bad guys. It is, however, just one example of how we are using technology to help our patients at our dentist office in Billings, MT.

If you’d like to see how the Waterlase could help you, call Legacy Smiles at (406) 794-3114 or use our online form to make an appointment.

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