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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

Saving Your Smile With Dental Lasers | Billings, MT

  • December 1, 2015

We are just weeks away from the one of the biggest events of the year. Children are excited about it, and in some places, adults dress up in outfits to get in the spirit.

Before you know it, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” will be out in theaters, and we’ll be anticipating duals with light sabers, the swords that appear to be made out of lasers.

We only mention the lasers because we use them, too, at Legacy Smiles in Billings.

We may not be fighting an intergalactic empire, but we are battling the bacteria trying to build plaque inside your mouth.

Keep reading to learn more about the dental lasers we use in our practice. We think they are pretty cool, and by the time you are finished reading this, you might think so, too.


The BIOLASE Waterlase is a dental laser we use to keep our patients’ teeth and gums healthy.

The Waterlase is exactly what the name implies — a laser that uses water. It can cut into teeth and reshape your gums without any pain and without the use of anesthetic.

We know it sounds like something out of science fiction, but it’s real and it’s here.

One way we use the Waterlase is gum reshaping. People with a “gummy” smile may have gums that are thicker than the average person. This affects how their lips open when they smile.

With the Waterlase, we can change the shape of their gums without surgery.

Lasers emit light, but they also give off heat. Passing the laser through water eliminates the heat and any pain it may cause.

The laser can then be used to remove gum tissue and seal it at the same time. This mean little if any bleeding and faster recovery times than you would need if you had gum surgery.

The Waterlase can also be used to treat periodontal disease.

Gum disease is a common problem, affecting 80 percent of Americans during their lives. Mild cases of gum disease can be treated with brushing, flossing, and routine professional cleanings. More advanced cases of gum disease (periodontitis) can be treated with our Waterlase.

The Waterlase is also a great tool to fight tooth decay and tooth infections. Believe it or not, this dental laser can be used to cut through teeth.

If you have decay in the crown of your tooth, we can use the Waterlase to remove the parts of that tooth that have been damaged.

This leaves behind more of the healthy portions of your tooth. Afterwards, we can bond a dental crown to restore the appearance and the function of your tooth.

What do you think when you hear the words root canal? You may think of a drill. You may think of pain. You may think of pain caused by a drill.

With the Waterlase, we don’t need the drill in most cases. We can use our dental laser to cut into your teeth without causing you any pain.

The Waterlase is a more precise instrument than a scalpel or a drill, too. This means when we use this dental laser, we can target the gum tissue or damaged tooth in a way that preserves more healthy tissue and cells.


The DIAGNOdent is a different kind of laser, and it serves a different purpose than the Waterlase.

Part of the reason dentists want their patients to come in for routine cleanings is so we can check the health of your teeth.

Your dentist or hygienist may use a dental explorer (a small probing tool with a hook on one end) to inspect the surface of your teeth. X-rays can help us find cavities between your teeth.

But the DIAGNOdent takes this process one step further. This dental laser gives off small pulses to probe your teeth. This helps locate cavities anywhere in your teeth.

That means we can find problems in the early stages, and we can treat those small issues before they become big concerns.

Better tools, better care

Our dental lasers are some of the most effective tools available in modern dentistry.

The DIAGNOdent can help us find cavities in the early stages that we may not have been able to find any other way.

The Waterlase is one of the most precise instruments available to treat gum disease, remove gum tissue, and cut into teeth when necessary. And unlike other cutting tools, we can use the Waterlase without anesthetic and without causing you any pain.

Dental lasers may not be as exciting as a light saber, but we hope you will agree that they are pretty cool in their own way.

To find out how our dental lasers can help you, call Legacy Smiles in Billings at 406-794-3114 or use our online form to make an appointment. If you are a new patient, we have a special form for you, too.


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