The Finest Dental Services, As Gently As Possible :: Greater Brainerd Area in Chattanooga
Amenities at Greater Brainerd Dental
Technologies and methods to make treatment more comfortable
Here at Greater Brainerd Dental we believe in using up-to-date, quality treatment methods to ensure that our patients are as comfortable as possible. Scroll down the page for information, or use these Quick Jump links:
Air abrasion is a relatively new technology used for treating cavities that can often eliminate the need for an anesthetic injection and the dental drill.
Air abrasion works like a precise sandblaster, where tiny, harmless particles of aluminum oxide are propelled against the tooth, removing a cavity. Although the concept of air abrasion originated decades ago, only recently have advances in technology and modern dental filling materials sparked new interest in the method.
You may be thinking, "No needle, no drill, this is too good to be true. How come every dentist in America isn't using air abrasion?" The reason is that air abrasion can only be used for a limited number of procedures, and its cost is relatively high. Air abrasion is primarily used for treating small to medium sized cavities, preparing teeth for protective dental sealants, and removing stains on the surface of the teeth.
Air abrasion prepares teeth that are ideal for the placement of the white "resin" fillings, and is not often used with silver (amalgam) or most other dental materials. Air abrasion cannot be used for preparing crowns, shaping the roots during root canal therapy, gum treatment, removing soft decay found in deep cavities and other procedures preformed in the dental office.
One of the advantages of treating cavities with air abrasion is the conservative nature of the procedure, where only a small amount of the tooth is removed at a time. A small to medium-sized cavity can usually be treated without anesthesia in minutes, silently (no disquieting whistle of the dental drill), and with little or no discomfort. There is a powdery residue after treatment, which is usually suctioned out or limited with the use of a rubber barrier, or dam, during treatment.
Most patients find the powder residue less of a nuisance th an the buildup of fluids that sometimes accompanies the use of a dental drill.
In my office, I use air abrasion for patient treatment about 15-20 percent of the time. I have found that air abrasion is most useful with anxious patients and children. Patients that are fearful are relieved if their cavities can be treated painlessly and without a needle or drill.
Children who are often apprehensive about many aspects of dental treatment are thrilled with the air abrasion alternative. Although air abrasion is not a panacea, it is certainly a useful addition to modern dental treatment, and a must for every dental office interested in patient comfort.
Nitrous oxide gas, often referred to as laughing gas or sweet air, is an effective anesthetic drug that has many benefits for patients seeking dental treatment.
To help with our patient's comfort we offer Nitrous Oxide, at the patient's request. The $35.00 charge is rarely a covered insurance expense. It is your responsibility to check with your insurance carrier regarding this option.
Nitrous oxide was first discovered by an English cleric named Joseph Priestley in 1774. Later, in 1800, Humphry Davy, an English chemist and physicist, picked up on his work. He subjected himself and animals to the gas, and made many observations -- most notably, that the gas produced a very pleasant sensation and reduced the sensitivity to pain.
It was not until 1844 that a young Connecticut dentist named Dr. Horace Wells saw a public demonstration of nitrous oxide at a carnival and realized the possibility of using it for dental treatment. The next day, Dr. Wells had nitrous oxide delivered to his office, and had a colleague extract his own infected tooth under the influence of the gas. The results were astonishing, and Dr. Wells continued to use nitrous oxide gas for patient treatment thereafter.
Nitrous oxide is used in roughly one-third of dental practices in the United States. The benefits of nitrous oxide are many, and the risks are few. The gas is admin istered with a comfortable mask placed over the nose, and the patient is instructed to breathe in through the nose and out through their mouth. As a precaution, patients should not eat anything for about two hours prior to use of the gas. The patient begins to feel a pleasant level of sedation anywhere from 30 seconds to three or four minutes. The cheeks and gums will also begin to feel numb in about a third of the patients.
After the gas is adjusted to the appropriate dose and the patient is relaxed and sedated, the dentist can comfortably give the injection (if needed) to the patient, and then proceed with dental treatment. After the treatment is completed, the patient is given pure oxygen to breathe for about five minutes, and all the effects of sedation are usually reversed. Unlike IV sedation or general anesthesia, the patient can almost always leave the office by themselves, without an escort.
Nitrous oxide has few side effects. High doses can cause nausea in some patients, and about 10 percent of patients do not benefit from it. Patients that are claustrophobic or have blocked nasal passages cannot use nitrous oxide effectively. Nitrous oxide is one of the safest anesthetics available. Interestingly, it is also routinely used by anesthesiologists for general anesthesia in combination with other more potent gases.
Dentists find nitrous oxide especially useful for fearful patients as well as young children. The effect of nitrous oxide is often remarkable. A patient that was anxious just a minute or two before treatment will become relaxed and calm. Because nitrous oxide is so effective, dentists rarely need to prescribe Valium for anxious patients before treatment. If you are nervous before or during dental treatment, ask you dentist if he or she has nitrous oxide available – it works wonders!
Oral cancer is one of the most curable diseases when it's caught early. That's why the ViziLite Plus exam has been developed. ViziLite Plus uses technology that has proven successful in identifying soft tissue abnormalities in other areas of the body. A ViziLite Plus exam is particularly important if you are at increased risk for developing oral cancer.
The ViziLite Plus exam can help your dentist or hygienist identify abnormal tissue, that might develop into oral cancer.
An annual ViziLite Plus exam, in combination with a regular visual examination, provides a comprehensive oral screening procedure for patients at increased risk for oral cancer. The ViziLite Plus exam is painless and fast, and could help save your life.
ViziLite Plus is performed immediately following a regular visual examination
Early detection is the key to reducing the devastating impact of oral cancer on victims and their families. Annual oral cancer screening of patients at increased risk for oral cancer, patients age 18 and older, and tobacco users of any age, is the only way to achieve the early detection of oral cancer necessary to reduce the death rate of oral cancer – a death rate that has remained unchanged for more than 40 years!
Death rates of other types of cancers have dropped with routine visual/manual screening examninations followed by annual examinations with an adjuctive screening technology. When patients at increased risk for breast cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer began receiving annual screenings with the mammogram, PSA test and Pap smear, respectively, there was a significant decline in the death rates due to these cancers.
As is the case with most cancers, age is the primary risk factor for oral cancer. Approximately 90% of oral cancer victims are age 40 and older, recent studies indicate that increasingly, patients younger than age 40 are being diagnosed with oral cancer. Though tobacco and alcohol use are the primary lifestyle risk factors that contribute to the development of oral cancer, 27% of oral cancer victims do not use tobacco or alcohol, and have no lifestyle risk factors. Oral cancer affects men more than women, 2:1, but oral cancer in women is on the rise nationwide.
Risk factors for oral cancer include:
Last year millions of people suffered with a cold sore. If you were one of them you know how it is. You probably suffered for about 10 days or more with pain and embarrassment.
What most people don't realize is that cold sores are actually a highly contagious herpes simplex virus infection (usually HSV-1, or oral herpes) on the lips. They are highly contagious and can be easily spread through kissing, touching, or secondary contact with objects that have come in contact with a cold sore, such as a shared eating utensil, drinking glass, lipstick or washcloth.
Viroxyn® can be used at the first sign of an outbreak. Prompt treatment can often result in stopping progression of the lesion. Viroxyn® works by direct germicidal action on the lesion. It does not just cover or numb the lesion. Viroxyn® is a single dose, single application medicine.
It is packaged in a safe, clean dispenser that is small enough to be carried in a purse or pocket. The treatment has proven effective. It relieves the pain in minutes. Viroxyn® has a direct germicidal action on the virus it comes in contact with. Proper application is very important to insure the medicine gets to the source of the infection. Many people report that swelling goes down quickly after proper application of the product.
Debacterol® is a liquid topical agent that is used in the treatment of ulcerating oral mucosal lesions, commonly referred to as canker sores or oral ulcers. It is a semi-viscous liquid chemical cautery agent. Debacterol® has unique chemical and physical properties that are particularly beneficial when performing topical cautery in the oral cavity. It is useful whenever a dental or medical procedure in the mouth requires controlled, focal debridement of necrotic tissues. Debacterol® is uniquely effective in the treatment of Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis (Canker Sores or Oral Ulcers).
Debacterol® is the only treatment for Aphthous Stomatitis that completely stops oral ulcer pain, seals damaged oral mucosal tissues and aids the natural healing process after just one application. Simply dry the lesion with a cotton swab and apply Debacterol. In only seconds, the pain is gone! Typically, the lesion is replaced by healthy tissue in three to five days.
Debacterol® is a FDA regulated product sold only to medical professionals in the United States and requires a Doctor's prescription.