Posts Tagged ‘dental laser’

Sleep Apnea Treatment through Nightlase Dentistry

Many people struggle with Sleep Apnea Disorder and don’t realize it, or are unaware of the successful treatment that can be done through“NIGHTLASE™” dentistry to help increase their quality of sleep.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder caused by the relaxation of the muscles in the back of the throat. When the muscles relax, a person’s airways close and so it becomes hard to breathe. When the brain recognizes this, it awakens the person to help them breathe properly. The awakening is usually so short that people don’t remember it, and it can happen from 5 to 30 times per hour, keeping a person from being able to reach the deep and peaceful sleep necessary for healthy functioning during the day. The symptoms of this disorder are drowsiness, loud snoring, abrupt awakenings, waking up with a dry or sore throat, headaches, and attention problems.

The various prescribed treatments for sleep apnea require the patient to wear a mask as they sleep, or a device which goes in the nose to help airflow. In more serious cases surgery may be required to remove tissue, reposition the jaw, or insert plastic rod implants.

As an alternative to these uncomfortable treatments, or to go alongside them, you should look into Nightlase laser treatment as a way to manage snoring and sleep apnea in a safe way without use of chemicals or surgery. Nightlase uses an Erbium:YAG laser to heat the tissue on walls of the mouth, which causes the collagen in the tissue to reorganize itself into a more firm form. What this means is that the muscles in the mouth and throat tighten, keeping them from relaxing during sleep, and opening the airways for better breathing altogether. The Nightlase treatment is a walk-in and walk-out procedure, done in 3 separate sessions over a course of 6 weeks. No anesthesia or special preparation is required, no device must be worn at night, and the results have been shown to last for up to a year. This is a safe and gentle way for you and your family to finally get a great night’s rest again!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles


Natural Relief from Pericoronitis

We learned a few weeks ago that crowded wisdom teeth are the most common root cause of pericoronitis because of their slow and inhibited, often incomplete, emergence. Since a lifetime of prevention is really the only “cure” for crowded teeth, we’re left to manage the consequences of malnourishment. Pericoronitis is just one painful, unfortunate result of the wisdom teeth not having enough room to come in properly.

Many, if not most, people have their wisdom teeth removed either out of necessity or recommendation by their dentists. A good number of people keep those teeth, however, for one reason or another. A few have wisdom teeth that come in normally and healthily. Regardless of where you stand, an oral irrigator is an indispensable tool for prevention and early treatment should your wisdom teeth become susceptible to an infection like pericoronitis.

An irrigator is an excellent appliance to keep by your bathroom sink. We can show you how to use it if you don’t have any experience with one. Oral irrigation is one of the best things you can do for your gums, whether it’s around your wisdom teeth or the rest of them. The clean feeling they leave behind is unbelievable. Particular to pericoronitis, though, it is one of the easiest ways to keep the large gum pockets around the wisdom teeth free of food particles, making it an inhospitable environment for infection.

Even if an infection does set in, an irrigator is good for keeping the area clean and hopefully speeding up the process. Of the two scenarios you want to be in, prevention is by far better; irrigating the area affected by pericoronitis will help, but will be incredibly painful.

What are some other ways of coping with a pericoronitis infection?

In my office, we can help with some ozone treatment or laser therapy. This is probably the most effective treatment.

At-home remedies include rinsing or irrigating with a solution of warm water and baking soda. This can be very soothing, but must be done frequently because the effect is temporary. It is helpful for keeping your mouth clean, however. Adding hydrogen peroxide to your oral irrigator is also a good idea.

Diluting top-quality clove bud essential oil in a carrier oil (like coconut oil, which is also healing to gum tissue) and applying it to the area can help. Start with a 1:30 ratio of clove bud oil to carrier oil and work your way up until you feel the numbing effect. You might receive compliments for smelling like pumpkin pie.

You are a trooper if you make it through a bout of pericoronitis without pharmaceutical assistance. Pericoronitis can develop into something more serious, so don’t completely mask the symptoms with painkillers. As I’ve said before, while you’re treating it, consuming only nourishing, well-cooked soft or liquid foods will ease the chewing burden on your teeth and will help your immune system fight the infection.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

LANAP Dental Laser Protocol

LANAP stands for Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure. It is a special protocol taken when treating patients with a dental laser. The LANAP method is designed not only so the need to cut into tissue is eliminated, but also so it biostimulates the body’s regenerative properties so that healing is quicker and completely natural. Dental lasers are mostly used for treating varying stages of gum disease, but can be applied to other procedures as well, such as implants or anything involving soft tissue.

Traditional invasive cutting, reshaping, and suturing when treating severe gum disease causes a lot of pain, bleeding, and slow healing. Treatment with a dental laser is gentle enough that it may allow you to go back to work the very next day! Lasers in dentistry are about as cutting-edge (pun intended) as technology gets right now, and the results are extremely satisfying for patients.

This video is a quick demonstration of the LANAP gum disease treatment process. It is animated, so the squeamish in the audience need not fear any gore. Seeing how it works will help you understand what goes on beneath the gums where you can’t see, and also why it is so important to proactively keep your teeth clean and healthy.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

Dental Laser Therapy for Periodontitis — What to Expect

There are different degrees of gum disease. Sometimes it’s mild, manifesting itself as soft tissue swelling, redness, or sensitivity. Other times it’s severe, probably a case that has been neglected too long. Recessed tissues, deep pockets, extreme pain, bad tastes/smells, and an ongoing infection are indicative of periodontitis.

If you have been diagnosed with periodontitis, your level of treatment will depend on the severity of your case. Obviously, mild cases will heal up quickly if you receive prompt treatment and you take care of yourself. A more serious condition of gum disease could take months to properly recover from. Diseased gums that have shrunken and shriveled off teeth need time and a clean, clean environment in order to grow back and fit snugly around them again.

Conventional periodontal therapy/surgery is effective but invasive. In order to remove diseased tissue, parts of the gums and teeth may be simply cut out instead of treated. Ironically, this kind of treatment leads to a longer, harder recovery and can weaken oral health permanently. Risk of mistakes on the dentist’s part increase as well.

In a holistic practice, however, where a laser is used in conjunction with ozone gas, surgery is almost never necessary. Dental laser wavelengths can be calibrated, in a sense, to perform many different functions ranging from gentle cleaning of diseased tissue — without damaging normal tissues in the same area — to cutting and reshaping of tissue. It is completely non-toxic and much less painful than regular slicing and dicing because of its inherent cauterizing properties. Bacteria cannot survive under a laser’s beam, so the process of sterilization is furthermore simplified, especially with additional blasts of ozone gas. Not to mention, recovery is faster and smoother because of minimal intervention and blood flow stimulation.

Perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease. During an initial inspection of your periodontal health, the degree of the disease will be evaluated and your individual prognosis will be determined. You’ll be instructed on the steps you must take in order to heal. At your appointment, your mouth and teeth will be cleaned and thoroughly prepared so the environment is in the best possible shape for a temporary “construction zone.”

At the site of treatment, the gum pocket(s) will be separated from the tooth with an instrument, and the laser will be used to clean away the infection and dead/decaying parts of the tooth and gums. All exposed surfaces of the tooth and gums are prepared to bond together again so healing may occur. Blood clotting stimulation may be administered to further speed up healing. The process is quite speedy; most cases can be taken care of in a single appointment and may also leave the patient in conditions good enough to return to work the next day.

As always, however, the best cure for a disease or infection is prevention in the first place. My laser adds a fantastic element of superior dental care to this practice, but as the patient, preventing gum disease by yourself in the first place is the best route to take.

Happy flossing!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

A Dental Laser for Treating Gum Disease

I recently purchased a PerioLase dental laser. It’s a fabulous tool.

Periodontitis, or gum disease, happens when a bacterial infection develops between the teeth and gums. Naturally, gums are supposed to fit around the teeth snugly. A shallow pocket, however, does exist between healthy teeth and gums, one that should not be deep, painful, or swollen.

The presence of these pockets is why it’s so important to floss. Too many people are lazy about flossing and/or irrigating. The truth is that food will get stuck in those pockets and literally rot right there in your mouth. Pathogenic bacteria will find that leftover food and feast on it. Unfortunately, surrounding tissues are victimized as well while the body’s immune system tries to eliminate the infection. Oral sensitivity, pain, and bad smells will ensue. It sounds disgusting because it is. So floss!

Treating periodontitis traditionally has required incisions and stitches; that means pain and bleeding. Surgical methods of gum disease therapy are still the norm. The vast majority of dentists don’t care for the cost and training involved in adding a laser to their practice. Their reasoning is that it cannot completely replace a drill, so why bother?

The beauty of laser therapy is that it is clean, quick, and virtually painless. There is little to no need for anesthesia (which, if needed, would be local) and it yields great results. One laser can be adjusted to different strengths for different uses. I’ll go over that and how we’d apply it to real-life situations in the next post.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles