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Diode Lasers in Dentistry

April 27, 2018

Filed under: Diode Laser — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 7:05 am

Diode Lasers in Dentistry – Are they Useful?

Diode lasers have improved the way we manage periodontal disease and gum disease.  Used during a tooth cleaning, the Diode Laser will help inflamed gum tissues heal faster.  But this is just one of many used for a diode laser!

Shown below is a Diode Laser being used for bacterial reduction during a cleaning.

Diode laser in action.

As you are probably aware, diode lasers can be used for a variety of soft tissue procedures including plastic surgery, tumor removal, uncovering teeth for orthodontics, reshaping the tissue around brackets or following orthodontic treatment, uncovering implants, and as an adjunct in our treatment of periodontal disease.  Procedures are performed quickly, often without anesthesia, and there is very little post-operative sensitivity.   We can even use diode lasers for treatment of lesions like cold sores and aphthous ulcers (canker sores).  Diode lasers are safe to use around metal like a dental implant or a crown.

Our office uses diode lasers for frenectomies (I can’t imagine going back to the scalpel for these!  Se a fun example below) gingival curettage, gingivectomies, laser bacterial reduction, laser assisted periodontal therapy, lesion removal, and treatment of canker sores and cold sores.

Cold sores before treatment. Diode lasers speed healing and decrease pain.

Cold sore area a couple days after treatment. with a diode laser.

 

 

 

 

 

If When diode lasers are used on a cold sore during its prodrome or initial tingling phase, the sore may be prevented from appearing.  If used during the active phase, the sore will immediately start to heal!  So we are trying to have patients call to schedule this low cost procedure as soon as they feel the beginnings of a cold sore.  Shown below are a couple frenectomy cases treated in our office with diode lasers.  Note the very thick, fibrous frenum or attachment that holds the tip of the tongue to a point very close to the lower front teeth.

Prior to Frenectomy

Imagine being instantly able to stick your tongue out when you haven’t been able to do this for years!

This patient is “tongue-tied” with a strong frenum attachment made it so our patient could not lick her lip or stick her tongue out. Easily treated with a diode laser.

Immediately after surgery – this procedure was done with topical anesthetic only!

 

 

 

 

We take great pride in our ability to provide dental care as comfortably as possible.  It is always nice to hear from you!

Yours for better dental health,

       Julie Gillis, DDS

Restoring Smiles/Restoring Health

I’ve been told that I am tongue tied. What is that?

February 21, 2017

Filed under: Dental Health,Diode Laser — Tags: , , — Dr Gillis @ 7:00 am

I’ve been told that I am Tongue Tied.  What is that?

Strong lingual frenum (see white tissue at the tip of the tongue) keeps the tongue from moving normally. She can't stick her tongue out at her brother!

Strong lingual frenum (see white tissue at the tip of the tongue) keeps the tongue from moving normally. She can’t stick her tongue out at her brother!

See blog photos under tongue

Now she can stick her tongue out at her brother and better enjoy an ice cream cone!

Now she can stick her tongue out at her brother and better enjoy an ice cream cone!

What does it mean to be tongue tied?  And is this a condition that requires treatment?

When your dentist or physician says that you are tongue tied it is a descriptive term that means that the ligament that holds the tongue to the floor or bottom of your mouth is attached very close to the lower anterior teeth.  The more correct term for this is ankyloglossia.

Possible concerns of being tongue tied:

  • Difficulty nursing as an infant
  • Difficulties with speech especially the pronunciation of certain sounds that require the tongue to position in a way that is not possible due to the extra attachment
  • Difficulty licking something off your lips
  • It may be more difficult to lick an ice-cream cone
  • Difficulty sticking your tongue out at your brother when needed!

 

Being tongue tied is usually not a problem.  Sometimes babies that are tongue tied have difficulty nursing because their tongue does not have a lot of freedom of movement.  If this is a concern, a small surgery is performed to remove this attachment so the tongue can move more freely.  It is also possible to have speech difficulties depending on the location of the attachment.  You may have trouble with “S” “F” and “Th” sounds.

The strong attachment (lingual frenum) that created the condition of being 'tongue-tied' was comfortably treated with a diode laser.

The strong attachment (lingual frenum) that created the condition of being ‘tongue-tied’ was comfortably treated with a diode laser.

One way to tell if you are tongue tied is to open your mouth wide and, without closing, try to touch the top of your mouth or your palate with the tip of your tongue.  In our office, we often diagnose tongue tied in patients who never knew that their tongue moved any differently than anyone else’s.  If there is a concern, we might offer to complete a conservative surgery with a diode laser that will free this attachment and offer improve tongue mobility.  The surgery is completed with local anesthetic and the recovery is swift.  There is little to no bleeding involved – which is one of the many things we love about the diode laser.

 

Dr. Julie Gillis and her dental team in Grand Junction, Colorado provide the highest quality dental treatment in a clean, caring and comfortable environment.  We appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Teeth/Restoring Smiles

– Patient Introduction to Laser Bacterial Reduction –

February 28, 2014

Patient Introduction to Laser Bacterial Reduction

Improving Your Cleaning in our office

 IMG_of laser2

Our office is constantly learning and striving to advance the standard of patient care in our office.  Because of this, we now offer an added procedure – laser bacterial reduction –  to your routine cleaning care to help fight periodontal disease and gingivitis.

 

Periodontal disease affects approximately 80% of adults and is a growing epidemic in our society.  Understanding of this disease has increased greatly over the last few years.  We now know that periodontal disease is a bacterial infection in the pockets around teeth.  Now, in addition to the removal of tartar and stain as we would during your normal cleaning, we are also addressing the underlying infection that causes periodontal disease by using a diode laser!  We recommend that all of our patients have their teeth decontaminated with a laser prior to cleaning appointments for three reasons:

 

  1. To reduce or eliminate bacteremias.  During the normal cleaning process most patients will have some areas that bleed, this allows bacteria that are present in all of our mouths to flood into the bloodstream and settle in weakened areas of our body such as a damaged heart valve or an artificial joint.  The latest research shows that mouth bacteria are linked to a number of other diseases such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, low birth weight babies, etc.  Needless to say anything that we can do to reduce or eliminate these bacteremias is a positive for our patients. The diode laser does this!

 

  1. To prevent cross contamination.  Disease causing bacteria present in one area of your mouth can be transferred to other areas.  The gentle, painless process of laser bacterial reduction can reduce the bacteria present under the gums by the millions – far better than any rinse – without the need for antibiotics.

 

  1. To kill periodontal disease bacteria and stop their infections before they cause physical destruction or loss of attachment around your teeth.

 

The diode laser decontamination process is painless and normally takes about 5-10 minutes.  We highly recommend that you take advantage of this service as part of your routine cleaning.use of laser3

 

Laser decontamination is $20 and is NOT covered by insurance.  Unfortunately, insurance coverage is almost always behind the leading edge in ideal health care.  Please ask your hygienist if you have any questions regarding this treatment.

Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado and we will continuously be on the look out for treatment that will benefit our patients.  Our office phone number is (970) 242-3635.  You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc!

Tongue Tied? Treatment Is Now Easy!

August 7, 2012

Filed under: Diode Laser,Patient Satisfaction — Tags: — Dr Gillis @ 7:43 pm

Reyna Can Now Happily Stick Her Tongue Out At Her Brother!

Being tongue-tied is a real term and the implications vary with the strength of the lingual frenum or the fibrous attachment that adheres the tongue to the floor of the mouth, and the adaptations of the patient to this somewhat common abnormality.

Strong fibrous attachemnt near the tip of the tongueAfter treatment with a diode laser

In a normal mouth, the tongue can move freely to lick both lips when the mouth is open and during the pronunciation of several words most notably those beginning with the letters ‘th’. Try this test to see if you are tongue-tied:  open your mouth wide and try to put the tip of your tongue on your palate or on the top of your mouth.  If you have to close your mouth a lot to do this, you may be tongue-tied! Sometimes, it is difficult for babies with this condition to nurse well and their diet is affected.  Sometimes speech is affected negatively.

Reyna and her family didn’t really think there was a problem until the strong fibrous tissue attachment of her tongue to the floor of her mouth was pointed out to her family by our office.  She was tongue-tied!  Reyna could not stick her tongue out at her brother and more importantly, the strong lingual frenum, or tissue attachment from the tip of her tongue to the floor of her mouth, prevented her tongue from extending to the top of her palate when her mouth was open, she could not lick her lower lip if something was stuck there, and her speech was affected. These are common symptoms of being tongue-tied. A lingual frenectomy can correct problems!

How can a person who is tongue-tied be treated?

Dr. Gillis used a diode laser to carefully remove a portion of the lingual frenum.  A lingual frenectomy is a relatively simple procedure with a laser.  Immediately after the procedure, Reyna could stick her tongue out of her mouth!  Because a diode laser was used, the surgery did not cause any bleeding and the treatment was as comfortable as possible.  Reyna’s healing was uneventful and she is pleased to now have a normal tongue that can move like all of her friend’s tongues.

Reyna can now stick her tongue out normally!

If you would like more information about this procedure to treat the condition of being tongue-tied or any other dental question, our office would be happy to help! Dr. Gillis does a number of procedures with our diode lasers and we are very happy with the results that we can now achieve.  Our office is located in Grand Junction, Colorado.  Our phone number is (970) 242-3635.  Please visit us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/juliegillisddspc) or call us if you have any questions or concerns.  You can also email our office at jmgdds@qwestoffice.net for further information.

Yours for better dental health,

Julie Gillis DDS

Restoring Smiles – Restoring Health

Upgrade Your Routine Dental Cleaning With Laser Treatment!

January 20, 2012

Patient Introduction to Laser Bacterial Reduction

Improving Your Cleaning in our office

We are constantly learning and striving to advance the standard of patient care in our office.  Because of this, we have recently added a new procedure to your routine cleaning care to help fight periodontal disease and gingivitis

 

Using the laser to destroy subgingival bacteria

 

Periodontal disease affects approximately 80% of adults and is a growing epidemic in our society.  Understanding of this disease has increased greatly over the last few years.  We now know that periodontal disease is a bacterial infection in the pockets around teeth.  Now, in addition to the removal of tartar and stain as we would during your normal cleaning, we are also addressing the underlying infection that causes periodontal disease!  We recommend that all of our patients have their teeth decontaminated with a laser prior to cleaning appointments for three reasons:

  1.  To reduce or eliminate bacteremias.  During the normal cleaning process most patients will have some areas that bleed, this allows bacteria that are present in all of our mouths to flood into the bloodstream and settle in weakened areas of our body such as a damaged heart valve or an artificial joint.  The latest research shows that mouth bacteria are linked to a number of other diseases such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, low birth weight babies, etc.  Needless to say anything that we can do to reduce or eliminate these bacteremias is a positive for our patients.
  2.  To prevent cross contamination.  Disease causing bacteria present in one area of your mouth can be transferred to other areas.  The gentle, painless process of laser bacterial reduction can reduce the bacteria present under the gums by the millions – far better than any rinse – without the need for antibiotics. 
  3. To kill periodontal disease bacteria and stop their infections before they cause physical destruction or loss of attachment around your teeth.

The laser decontamination process is painless and normally takes about 5-10 minutes.  We highly recommend that you take advantage of this service as part of your routine cleaning!

Laser decontamination is NOT covered by insurance.  Unfortunately, insurance coverage is almost always behind the leading edge in ideal health care.  Please ask your hygienist if you have any questions regarding this treatment.

Yours for better dental health, Julie Gillis DDS

This information shared with you by Julie Gillis, DDS PC.  Our office is located  in Grand Junction, Colorado.  We feel that your dental health is the top priority. and if we can make your smile more attractive while improving your health that is wonderful! Dr. Gillis practices restorative and cosmetic dentistry including porcelain veneers, tooth whitening, implants, crowns, bridges and periodontal care.  Our office website is www.juliegillisds.com.  For further information, please contact us at (970) 242-3635.

Yours for better health,

 Julie Gillis, DDS, “Restoring Smiles, Restoring Health”

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