The Dental Oasis of Orange County employs state of the art treatments for all kinds of dental health issues, including periodontal (gum) disease. Brian Toorani, DDS, a graduate of the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, understands that your smile is a window to your character and the negative effects of gum disease can be harmful to more than just your physical well-being.
Luckily, along with SRP services, the Dental Oasis offers the cutting-edge technology of laser therapy for periodontal (gum) disease. If you have developed gingivitis or have just developed gum disease, you’ll want to understand the condition and how to treat it.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection that damages the bones and tissue that hold your teeth in place. The disease mainly affects adults in their 30s and 40s, and the CDC says that as much as 70% of adults over the age of 65 have the disease, which can be caused by:
- Poor oral/dental hygiene
- Diabetes or other chronic illnesses
- Certain medications (antihistamines, etc.)
While the aforementioned causes are considered the “big” risk factors, the development of gum disease can be a side effect of many illnesses. Even having higher levels of stress could eventually lead to early periodontal disease, since stress makes it harder for your immune system to stave off infections. And if you don’t take care of the disease, it can cause complications such as chronic inflammation, which is linked to serious conditions, like heart disease.
A common way to treat gum disease is with scaling and root planing (SRP). This procedure is a non-invasive way to clean your teeth and the surrounding gums and rid the area of tartar, plaque, and bacteria that cause periodontal disease. But unfortunately, much of the bacteria that causes gum disease are difficult to destroy and may resurface. According to Dr. Erica Migliorati, this means the patient will need to have multiple sessions of SRP just to make sure that there will be no further problems down the line.
One way to improve the benefits of SRP is to use laser technology as well. While laser therapy treatment cannot completely replace other procedures used for gum disease, it is an excellent adjunctive therapy.
How Does Laser Therapy Work?
Laser therapy is a very new advancement in the world of dentistry. Before a dentist begins, he or she will test bacteria in your mouth to determine how much infection needs to be treated and which kind of wavelengths the laser apparatus should be set to.
During the surgery, a skilled dental surgeon, such as Dr. Toorani, uses a precise dental laser to remove any inflamed gum tissue and bacteria from around the root of the infected tooth. Once the dentist has successfully removed the damaged tissue, he will begin the process of root scaling. This is when the surgeon scrapes off plaque and other hardened bacteria that have built up below the gum line and around the root of the tooth. After the tooth is clean, the dentist will go over it and make sure the tooth is smooth. This will lessen the chance of future infections and allow the tissue to easily regenerate.
After your gums have healed, it is very important to maintain good oral hygiene with prescribed rinses and a soft diet to prevent having to repeat the laser therapy. Patients may be worried because their gums are different colors (gray, yellow, blue, etc.) post-op, but this is a pretty common side effect and will fade. The patient will just have to keep the dentist updated.
Are There Any Risks Associated with Laser Therapy?
As with any medical treatment, the answer is yes and no. Because of the fact that this therapy is very new, some medical authorities don’t yet support it. And before you let a dentist do this treatment, you should assess his or her credentials. Because tissue can be damaged due to inappropriate power levels or wave lengths from the laser, you should only consent to this treatment if the operator is well-trained by the manufacturer and knows the treatment parameters due to experience, FDA guidelines, and previous studies.
If you take some precautions, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy the benefits of laser therapy. The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) has released a promising study that suggests that there are several benefits to using laser therapy as opposed to traditional, more invasive methods.
Some of these benefits include:
- No general anesthetic
- Precise and accurate targeting of the diseased area
- Less pain
- Shorter recovery
An article found at Dentistry IQ further supports these benefits by saying that when a laser is used along with SRP, there is better healing time, decreased gum pockets, reduced bacteria, reduced bleeding, and reduced inflammation. These improvements are due to the fact that the reported diode laser actually has anti-inflammatory effects that eliminate Porphyromonas gingivalis–a bacteria related to arthritis that also causes gum disease.
While there are still some opponents to laser usage, the FDA has approved the LANAP protocol (which stands for Laser-assisted new attachment procedure). LANAP has been used since the 90s for gum diseases and helps to regenerate tissue rather than excise it.
What Kinds of Laser Therapy Treatments Does our Huntington Beach Dentist Office Use?
If you think you’d like to try laser therapy, you are probably wondering what a dentist–like Dr. Toorani–uses at his appointments. To treat both gingivitis and periodontitis, he uses EZ Lase laser technology. This laser is incredibly safe because its optical fibers that send out high concentration of light are very precise. The device is also hand-held, meaning that the dentist can use it deftly to reach difficult areas and completely remove damaged gum tissue and bacteria. If you are worried about recovering after laser therapy, you should know that dentists using EZ lase see patients with less bleeding during post-treatment. Plus, pain is so minimal, you will probably only need over-the-counter medications.
I am thrilled that I found a wonderful dentist in Dr. Toorani and his team.
The office is aptly named. It really does look like a spa and is full of the latest gadgets in dentistry. It is located in the Bella Terra shopping center upstairs next to Bed, Bath & Beyond and right next to a Cost Plus. The location is easy to get in and out of and there is a parking garage if you are trying to avoid the often crowded parking lot.
Dr. Toorani is working on closing my open bite and alleviating some of my jaw pain so that I can avoid jaw surgery.
He is honest, fair and friendly. I would highly recommend Dental Oasis of Orange County to anyone in the market for a new dentist.Liz H.
“The Dental Oasis is focused on raising the bar of excellence with patient experience. Essentially by providing great customer service and exceeding expectations. Ultimately, it’s all about our patients and it is what we love to do. My passion is dentistry. My love is for my patients. This is why I come to the office every day. Our modern, tranquil, peaceful, and spa-like environment will make you forget that you are at the dentist’s office. We utilize all the latest technology in dentistry and offer many amenities that will make your visit a unique and relaxing one. Whether you need a teeth cleaning, crown, or dental implants, we are here to serve you. At The Dental Oasis you are family.” – Dr. Brian Toorani