There are actually two different types of lasers used at our practice. The first one, the Solea laser, is strictly used by the dentist and can be used on both hard and soft tissue (teeth and gums). The second one, the diode laser, is used by our hygienists mainly to treat periodontal (gum) disease. Both Dr. Meachum and our hygienists are certified in laser therapy through the Academy of Laser Dentistry.
Solea Laser (for teeth and gums)
We understand that some of you feel very nervous and avoid dental treatment. To ease some of those fears, we have invested in truly revolutionary CO2 laser technology that will make your visits even more comfortable and relaxed. The Solea laser is fast, precise and uses technology that is entirely different from any other laser on the market. Its unique wavelength provides a natural anesthetic effect which means no shots about 95% of the time!
In most cases…
No need for needles or anesthesia.
No time in the chair waiting to get numb.
Multiple cavities can be filled at a time without additional appointments.
No bleeding, faster healing, and no down time.
No waiting for the numbness to wear off – especially beneficial for kids!
Now, the Solea doesn’t replace the drill for every procedure we do, but we’re very proud that we can offer this really cool and amazing technology. As a matter of fact, Dr. Meachum is the second dentist in all of Michigan to own one. We hope you’ll love spending less time in the dental chair, getting more done in fewer visits, and missing less time from work and play!
Diode Laser (for gum disease)
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection caused by bacterial plaque, a thin, sticky layer of microorganisms (called a biofilm) that collects at the gum line in the absence of effective daily oral hygiene. Left for long periods of time, plaque will cause inflammation that can gradually separate the gums from the teeth - forming little spaces that are referred to as "periodontal pockets." The pockets offer a sheltered environment for the disease-causing bacteria to reproduce. If the infection remains untreated, it can spread from the gum tissues into the bone that supports the teeth. Should this happen, your teeth may loosen and eventually be lost.
When treating gum disease, it is often best to begin with a non-surgical approach consisting of one or more of the following:
•Scaling and Root Planning. An important goal in the treatment of gum disease is to rid the teeth and gums of disease-causing bacteria and the toxins they produce, which may become incorporated into the root surface of the teeth. This is done with a deep-cleaning procedure called scaling and root planning. Scaling involves removing plaque and hard deposits (calculus or tartar) from the surface of the teeth, both above and below the gum line. Root planning is the smoothing of the tooth-root surfaces, making them more difficult for bacteria to adhere to.
• Laser Therapy. Use of lasers as an adjunct to scaling and root planning (SRP) may improve the effectiveness of this procedure. Our office uses a diode laser which has been shown to remove diseased, infected and inflamed soft tissue, reduce bleeding, and stimulate healthy tissue to form. Both Dr. Meachum and our hygienists are certified through the Academy of Laser Dentistry.
• Antibiotics/Antimicrobials. As gum disease progresses, periodontal pockets and bone loss can result in the formation of tiny, hard to reach areas that are difficult to clean with handheld instruments. Sometimes it's best to try to disinfect these relatively inaccessible places with a prescription antimicrobial rinse (usually containing chlorhexidine), or even a topical antibiotic (such as tetracycline or doxycyline) applied directly to the affected areas. These are used only on a short-term basis, because it isn't desirable to suppress beneficial types of oral bacteria.