Dentist Santa Fe

General and restorative dentistry involves the diagnosis of all issues relating to the health and function of the smile, including the treatment and repair of broken, infected, or otherwise damaged teeth, gums, and tissue. General dentists serve as the primary care provider for their patients, managing their oral health care needs and coordinating treatment with specialists when necessary.

There are a variety of services that can be performed by a general dentist, including everything from preventative care to the replacement of missing teeth.

Some of our services include:

ViziLite Plus:

  • Oral Lesion Identification and Marking System. There's one step in your dental visit you can't live without: Oral Cancer Screening.
  • Oral cancer screening is key. Early detection with ViziLite Plus makes it simple.
  • Oral Cancer is one of the most curable diseases when it's caught early.
  • That's why your dentist performs an annual ViziLite Plus exam, in combination with a conventional visual examination. ViziLite Plus uses technology that has been proven successful in identifying pre cancerous and cancerous abnormalities.
  • ViziLite Plus helps your dentist identify oral lesions at their earliest stage of development. When pre malignant lesions or early stage oral cancer is found, treatment is simpler, less invasive and more than 90% successful.

Are you at risk for oral cancer? Virtually everyone is.

         Those with increased risk are:

  • Patients age 18-39 without lifestyle risk factors
  • Sexually active (HPV 16/18)
  • Patients age 40 and older with lifestyle risk factors
  • Tobacco users (any age, any type)
  • Patients age 40 and older with lifestyle risk factors (tobacco use/alcohol consumption)
  • Patients with history of oral cancer

News you can't ignore: One American dies every hour from oral cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates a 5.5% increase in new cases of oral cancer and a 1.5% increase in deaths associated with oral cancer. And if you think you aren't at risk for oral cancer, think again: 25% of oral cancers occur in people who don't smoke and have no other lifestyle risk factors. Virtually everyone is at risk for oral cancer, including you. That's why your dentist recommends a simple, potentially life saving screening exam: an annual ViziLite Plus exam.

If your sexually active, here's another reason to think about oral cancer. The human papilloma virus (HPV) is an extremely common sexually transmitted infection and especially prevalent in young adults. Few people even know they have it. HPV has long been know to cause cervical cancer and now studies suggest it also plays a role more than 20% of oral cancer cases. For more information visit www.vizilite.com

 

Dental Crowns

For teeth that are badly damaged, dental crowns can be an effective treatment option. The dental crown procedure utilizes tooth-shaped coverings made of ceramic, or porcelain to restore strength and eliminate discomfort. In addition, dental crowns may be used to anchor a dental bridge or to cap a dental implant post.

Types of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are made of ceramic, or porcelain fused to metal. The type of crown utilized during your dental crown procedure will depend on your unique needs and goals, as well as the recommendation of your dentist.

All Ceramic Crowns

All ceramic crowns may be made of porcelain, resins, or dental ceramic materials. They create an extremely natural-looking appearance and are typically used on front teeth. The tooth-colored ceramic material is translucent, like the enamel of your natural teeth, and size and shade can be carefully matched to complement the rest of your smile. However, ceramic dental crowns are not as resilient as metal crowns and do not function as well on back teeth, which sustain a lot of pressure from biting and chewing.

Porcelain Crowns

Dental crowns made of porcelain fused to metal are stronger than all-ceramic versions and more aesthetically pleasing than those made of metal. However, their metal shell gives porcelain fused to metal crowns an opaque appearance. Because they lack the reflective quality of natural teeth, porcelain fused to metal crowns are not as discreet as all ceramic crowns. Additionally, over time, a thin metal band may be visible along the gum line with this type of crown.

Porcelain Crowns

Dental crowns made of porcelain fused to metal are stronger than all-ceramic versions and more aesthetically pleasing than those made of metal. However, their metal shell gives porcelain fused to metal crowns an opaque appearance. Because they lack the reflective quality of natural teeth, porcelain fused to metal crowns are not as discreet as all ceramic crowns. Additionally, over time, a thin metal band may be visible along the gum line with this type of crown.

The Dental Crown Procedure

Please refer to the Cerec page.

Lasers in Dentistry

Lasers are used successfully in Dentistry

Lasers have been used in dentistry since the 1990's. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has determined that lasers provide safe and effective treatment of a wide range of applications.

What is a Laser and How Does it Work?

A laser is an instrument that produces a very narrow, intense beam of lite energy that may or may not be visible to the human eye. When laser light comes in contact with soft tissue it causes a reaction. The beam of light produced by the laser has the ability to remove, vaporize or shape soft tissues such as the gums, cheeks and tongue.

What is Periodontal Disease (Gum Disease)?

Periodontal gum disease is caused by a bacterial infection that can irreversibly damage your teeth if left untreated. The word "periodontal" literally means “around the tooth.” Because periodontal disease is caused by a degenerative bacterium that harms the gums and the supporting bone structure beneath them, it requires treatment in its earliest stages. The main cause of gum disease is poor oral hygiene. If left untreated, the supporting bone is destroyed and the teeth may eventually become loose and painful.

How are Lasers Used to Treat Gum Disease?

There are a variety of lasers that can be used to treat periodontal disease. Lasers can be used to remove inflamed tissues within a periodontal pocket. Lasers can be used to trim away diseased gum tissue, increase the length of a tooth above the gum line so that crowns can be properly placed and can even remove muscle pulls and benign tumors.

What are the advantages of Laser Therapy Compared to Conventional Therapy in Treating Gum Disease?

Laser treatments may be more comfortable than treatment with conventional instruments. The gum tissue may be removed without bleeding and swelling because the powerful light beam seals blood vessels and nerve endings.

Will it Hurt?

The aspect of laser surgery that most people appreciate is its comfort. While no treatment is always painless, the laser may reduce the need for postoperative pain medication and may reduce swelling and bleeding.

Is a Laser Safe? Yes.

If a trained practitioner uses the dental laser according to accepted practices, it is at least as safe as other dental instruments.

Is any Precaution Necessary? Yes.

Just as you might wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from prolonged exposure to the sun, you will be asked to wear special eye-glasses to protect your eyes from the laser light beam.

When I Visit My Dentist, Will I Be Treated with a Laser?

Not necessarily. Although the laser is a very useful dental instrument, it is not appropriate for every procedure. It is frequently used in conjunction with other instruments. Please ask your dentist or hygienist about the role of laser therapy in your dental treatment.

How Can I Be Sure My Dentist is Competent to Use a Laser?

Ask questions about the extent and the location of your dentist's laser training. Many dental schools as well as the Academy of Laser Dentistry offer dental laser education.

 

About the Academy of Laser Dentistry

The Academy of Laser Dentistry is an international organization of leading clinicians, researchers and academicians devoted to clinical education, research and development of standards and guidelines for the safe and effective use of lasers. If you have questions about lasers in dentistry, you may visit the Academy's website at www.laserdentistry.org, or contact the Academy by phone at (954) 346-3776.