Posts for: September, 2014

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
September 24, 2014
Category: Uncategorized

Without effective treatment, periodontal (gum) disease can eventually lead to tooth loss. That’s why it’s imperative to remove bacterial plaque and calculus — the main cause of the disease — from all teeth and gum surfaces. For moderate to advanced gum disease, this could require a procedure known as flap surgery to gain access to deeper infected areas.

This type of procedure involves making scalpel incisions into the gum tissue to create a flap opening. Through this opening we’re able to gain access to the deeper pockets that have formed because of the tissue detachment that occurs following bone loss. The flap opening allows for better access to the root surfaces for removal of plaque and calculus (tartar). Once we’ve finished, we then suture the flap back into place to reduce the pockets and allow the area to heal.

While effective, flap surgery is considered moderately invasive and may produce mild post-procedural discomfort. Recently, however, a specially designed laser for periodontal therapy shows promise of less invasiveness and patient discomfort than traditional flap surgery.

A laser is an intense and narrow beam of light of a single wavelength. A periodontal laser can pass without effect through healthy cell tissue (like sunlight through a window pane) but interacts and “vaporizes” the darkly pigmented bacteria in diseased tissue. The laser energy is delivered in pulses to minimize any heat-related damage to healthy cells.

The periodontal laser can precisely remove diseased tissue, even where it mingles with healthy tissue. Once it’s removed, the root surfaces can be cleaned with ultrasonic scalers and/or hand instruments. And because a medical laser seals the tissue it cuts, it doesn’t produce open incisions as with flap surgery that require suturing afterward.

Studies of post-operative recovery after laser surgery showed similar infection reduction and renewed bone and tissue growth as with traditional surgery. Patients, however, reported much less discomfort after the laser procedure. Although more research is needed, it initially appears periodontal laser treatments can effectively treat gum disease with minimal interference with healthy tissue and greater comfort for patients.

If you would like more information on the use of lasers for the treatment of gum disease, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
September 24, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Invisalign  
Invisalign ImageWe discuss the advantages of having clear braces!
While you may love the idea of getting a straighter smile, maybe you aren’t married to the idea of wearing metal in your mouth. You aren’t alone! There are countless reasons why someone might hold off on getting the smile they want. However, if you choose Invisalign in Lexington, you can get a straighter smile without all the fuss of dealing with metal. 
We’re here to tell you more about the advantages of a clear orthodontic system as a part of our dental practice in Lexington. 

Invisalign treats the same conditions as traditional braces

While not every patient is an ideal candidate for Invisalign, these clear braces can treat a variety of dental cases, from crowding and spacing to crossbites, overbites and even underbites.

Invisalign is more convenient

Some of the disadvantages of braces are that they can’t be removed, they make brushing and flossing a challenge, and there are dietary restrictions; however, all of these issues disappear with Invisalign. Since these clear braces are removable, you don’t have to worry about a change to your oral regime or diet. If you want a straight smile but you just aren’t ready to give up on some of your favorite foods during the process, Invisalign might just be the best option for you.

Invisalign is more comfortable

When you think about traditional braces, the first thought that comes to mind is metal. You might think that metal and your mouth don’t really go together, as the whole process just sounds uncomfortable. After all, metal braces can be known to irritate cheeks and gums; however, since Invisalign is made from a flexible, smooth plastic, you won’t have to deal with the irritation that comes with a mouth full of metal.
Plus, Invisalign is custom-made to fit your smile to a tee, so you won’t have to worry about generic clear braces that slide around on your teeth or rub against your gums. Invisalign also promises less office visits (only every four to six weeks).

Contact TLC Dentistry for Invisalign

So what do you have to lose but a visibly straighter smile? If you’re interested in getting Invisalign in Lexington, then you’ve come to the right place. Contact us today to setup a consultation to find out if Invisalign could help you.
Have you ever had Invisalign clear aligners? We would love to hear about your experience!

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
September 24, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Kids Teeth ImageIt’s that time of year again! Buses are out, summer is over, and kids are back to school. As the school year sets in, you as a parent understand that life tends to get much busier with activities, sports, concerts, etc. Now is the time to come to TLC Dentistry to get your child’s checkup out of the way. Your child’s dental health is important, and we don’t want you to get to busy and skip out on a cleaning and exam.

In-Office Cleaning and Exam

Getting your child’s annual cleaning and exam out of the way at the beginning of the school year is a smart move. Your child can start school with a perfect smile, and it will add confidence of having sparkling, healthy teeth as your child converses with friends and teachers. An in-office cleaning is quick and pain-free. It should also be done every 6 months so we can keep an eye on your dental health.

Keeping Your Teeth Clean at Home

Ensuring your child has a dental routine at home is just as important as visiting us for a checkup/cleaning. Listed below are a few tips for you to share with your child to ensure his/her dental health is in tiptop shape at home.
  • Brush twice a day
  • Floss daily
  • Repeat the routine in the morning and at night
Contact our office today for an appointment so you can get that cleaning and exam done and out of the way!
How do you make sure your children's teeth are healthy and clean? We would love to hear any tips you have so we can share them with other parents!

By Thompson Lee & Chalothorn
September 09, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   braces  

If Kristi Yamaguchi's kids inherit her figure skating ability, they might just be headed for the Olympics — after all, their mom won the gold medal for figure skating in the 1992 games. When it comes to teeth, however, she wouldn't mind if they inherited her spouse's instead. “My husband [fellow Olympian turned pro hockey player Bret Hedican] never had braces,” she recently told an interviewer. “I'm hoping they get his teeth.”

When you look at the elegant skating star's pearly smile, you'd never suspect she had dental problems. In fact, Kristi had four permanent teeth extracted to relieve the crowding in her mouth. She also wore braces to correct irregularities in both upper and lower teeth. Could orthodontics work the same “magic” for your kids — or yourself?

It just might. The first step toward finding out is having an orthodontic evaluation. For kids, the right time for an initial evaluation is no later than age 7. By then, the first molars are usually present and your child's bite pattern is establishing. Even though treatment may not begin for several more years, it's helpful to know what problems may arise in your child's individual situation — and to start treating them at just the right time.

Orthodontics has progressed a great deal in the two decades since Yamaguchi's braces came off. Today, small devices called palatal expanders are often used to create more space in the mouth, as an alternative to tooth extraction. There are also many new options for orthodontic appliances, in addition to standard metal braces. These include unobtrusive tooth-colored braces and lingual braces, which are applied to the tongue side of the teeth and can't be seen. In some cases, clear plastic aligners can be used instead of braces, for a look that's almost invisible.

Adolescence is often the preferred time to do orthodontic treatment. By then, the permanent teeth have mostly come in, but there's still some growing left to do. But age isn't a factor that should stop you from getting the smile you've always wanted. About one in five orthodontic patients today is an adult — and those less-visible appliances can fit in well with the more “professional” image of an older person.

Orthodontics can't help make someone an Olympic athlete — only lots of talent and practice can do that. But it can make a big difference in a person's appearance. “Once my braces came off, it was like — Wow! That looks so much nicer,” Yamaguchi recollected. And today, the mother of two, author, and philanthropist sports the same appealing smile she had on the podium at the Albertville Olympic Games.

If you would like more information on how orthodontics could help you get the smile you've dreamed about, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Early Orthodontic Evaluation” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

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