Specific Dental Treatment Questions

What is laser dentistry?

Patient comfort and clinical efficiency in dentistry are constantly improving, especially with recent technological advances. We stay on top of innovative dental tools and treatments to bring patients the best dentistry has to offer. The Waterlase tissue laser combines laser energy (focused, concentrated light) and a stream of water to perform dental procedures and eliminate the need for dental drilling and anesthesia in many instances.

What can Dr. Bridgeford do to make my smile look more attractive?

After a comprehensive exam, we will develop a cosmetic plan to make your weak smile strong. Veneers, also called laminates, are long lasting, stain resistant, and require only two visits for the complete treatment. In fact, you’ll leave the first appointment with a set of temporary veneers while your custom final veneers are being crafted at a lab. A popular brand of veneers is Lumineers because they require no tooth reduction and are reversible.

Are you a candidate for a Bioliner?

Bioliners are excellent aligners that are used to rotate the front teeth. They are also used to close spaces, tip teeth, and move teeth forward or backwards. There are limitations so ask Dr. Bridgeford if it is right for you!

What is DIAGNOdent?

DIAGNOdent uses a small laser to accurately locate decay, as well as areas prone to decay. Studies show that DIAGNOdent is more accurate than X-rays, and it emits no radiation because it is not taking an image, but rather scanning the teeth. The process is completely comfortable and requires no anesthesia.

What is an intraoral camera?

We use intraoral cameras, so when you visit the dentist, you can sit comfortably back in the chair and get ready for the show. The dentist or hygienist will insert a pen-sized, camera-tipped wand into your mouth. Covered with a disposable plastic sheath for contamination prevention, the wand simply takes a video of the inside of your mouth and transmits the images via cable to a computing unit. The computing unit enlarges the full-color images and sends them to a TV screen that you can comfortably view from the dental chair. Aha! There it is – your mouth on the screen. The dentist can point out problem areas and explain his recommendations for treatment, so you’ll become an informed partner in your dental care instead of a clueless bystander.

What is a composite filling?

A silicon dioxide-filled, tooth-colored plastic mixture, composite resins can restore teeth to an attractive, healthy state. Because composite resins are not made of metal, we can blend and mix shades to find the perfect color to match your natural teeth. This means only you and your dentist will know you have fillings. Another pro is that the tooth/composite bond actually supports the remaining tooth structure, deterring breakage and insulating against temperature changes. Medium and small composites can last seven to ten years – that’s as long as the tried and true amalgams. Best of all, composite resins allow us to keep more of your natural tooth structure intact than amalgams. We believe in conservative dentistry – the more natural tooth structure you keep, the better teeth you’ll likely have in the future.

What are sealants?

A sealant is a plastic material that the dentist applies to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth — premolars and molars. It forms a barrier that protects teeth from plaque and acid attacks. It takes only a few minutes to seal each tooth. As long as the sealant remains intact, the tooth surface is protected from decay. Sealants hold up well under the force of normal chewing and usually last several years before a reapplication is needed. During your regular dental visits, your child’s dentist will check the condition of the sealants and reapply them when necessary.

Do you have acid reflux?

Acid Reflux and Dental Disease

Acid reflux is a result of incomplete sealing of the valve at the top of the stomach. This allows stomach acids into the esophagus and eventually into the oral cavity.

It is estimated that 20% of the population is affected to some extent, increasing as we get older. The result of this is that the acid destroys enamel on the chewing surfaces of lower molars, and the back of upper front teeth. This acid combined with sugary foods, sodas and acidic foods can cause tooth decay and worsening of gum disease.

What makes this worse is when someone suffers from “dry mouth”, the decrease or loss of saliva. The saliva tends to bathe the teeth in a protective coating, rinses away bacteria and neutralizes acid. Without saliva the teeth can quickly develop cavities.

What can be done to help avoid these problems?

– Have regular cleanings & exams
– Decrease soda and sugar consumption
– Avoid citric fruits
– Avoid starchy, spicy, fatty foods
– Weight reduction can reduce acid reflux

If you consume those acid or sugary foods:

– Avoid brushing for 1 hour after reflux episode
– Rinse mouth with baking soda dissolved in water, this will help neutralize acid
– Chew sugar free gum containing Xylitol

If severe, trays can be made to deliver fluoride on a daily basis.

One in four people have no symptoms of acid reflux, and people with sleep apnea are affected more often.

If any questions contact our office at (701)746-0485