4 East Rolling Crossroads
Suite #205
Catonsville, MD 21228

Affinity Dental Associates Services

Services

Cosmetic Dentistry

Creating the Smile You Want.

You may have endured discolored, chipped, or unevenly spaced teeth since childhood. You may have recently lost a tooth to trauma or periodontal disease. But now with the latest technology and techniques, you can have a dazzling smile easier than ever. There are numerous options for improving your smile. And each one looks so natural that only you (and your dentist) will know.

Ceramic and Porcelain veneers are ultra-thin shells of ceramic material, which are bonded to the front of teeth. This procedure requires little or no anesthesia, and can be the ideal choice for improving the appearance of the front teeth. Porcelain veneers are placed to mask discolorations, to brighten teeth, and to improve a smile. Highly resistant to permanent staining from coffee, tea, or even cigarette smoking, the wafer-thin porcelain veneers can achieve a tenacious bond to the tooth, resulting in an esthetically pleasing naturalness that is unsurpassed by other restorative options.

The Procera .4mm white and translucent coping allows our dental laboratory’s highly accomplished ceramist more room to layer Procera All Cream porcelain … achieving remarkable aesthetics for anteriorly challenged cases, and although the Procera 0.6mm coping (available in aluminum oxide or zirconia) is recommended for posterior cases, its clinical success in anterior and posterior placement rivals that of PFM’S.

We understand the importance of offering you restorative treatment options that will satisfy you. After fabricating hundreds of Procera crowns to restore natural teeth and implants, we are confident that its beauty, precision and function has a permanent place in Dentistry.

Bridge

A bridge is a dental appliance that replaces one or more natural missing teeth, thereby "bridging" the space between two teeth. Fixed bridges are cemented into place next to the "abutment" teeth — the surrounding teeth on either side of the space, or "span." Unlike removable partial dentures, fixed bridges cannot be taken out of the mouth by the patient. A fixed bridge is a device that typically consists of three units—a pontic (a false tooth) fused between two crowns that are cemented onto the abutment teeth.

Who should get a bridge?

If you are missing any teeth and are committed to maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you may be a good candidate for a bridge. A bridge is the most natural choice to fill the space in your mouth left by missing teeth. If left unfilled, this space can cause the surrounding teeth to drift out of position and can cause teeth and gums to become more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease that can cause further tooth loss. Fixed bridges not only correct an altered bite, improve your chewing ability and speech, but they also safe­guard your appearance by preventing the collapse of your facial features that can cause premature wrinkles and age lines.

Denture

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals. Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position. Complete dentures are either "conventional" or "immediate." A conventional denture is placed in the mouth about a month after all the teeth are removed to allow for proper healing, whereas an immediate denture is placed as soon as the teeth are removed. The drawback behind an immediate denture is that it may require more adjustments after the healing has taken place.

Who needs a denture?

Candidates for complete dentures have lost most or all of their teeth. A partial denture is suitable for those who have some natural teeth remaining. A denture improves chewing ability and speech, and provides support for facial muscles. It will greatly enhance the facial appearance and smile.

Tooth Whitening

Teeth darken with age, becoming more yellow or gray as one becomes older. Coffee, tea, cigarettes, teriyaki sauce, etc. hastens this process. If you are considering whitening your teeth, you should do it before any plastic fillings or porcelain crowns are replaced. The teeth whitening process will not whiten these restorations. Our in office and home teeth whitening systems are much more effective than "over the counter" systems. Our home whitening process involves fabricating a tray which specifically fits your mouth and can only be fabricated by a dental professional. A well constructed bleaching tray has reservoirs built into it to hold larger volumes of whitening gel. It’s possible to have whiter teeth in 3 to 30 days. Our in office whitening service takes approximately one hour, in which a whitening gel is applied to the teeth 3 times to achieve the at-home results in a fraction of the time.

Is Tooth Whitening for you?

Generally, whitening is successful in at least 90 percent of patients, though it may not be an option for everyone. Consider tooth whitening if your teeth are darkened from age, coffee, tea or smoking. Teeth darkened with the color of yellow or brown respond better to whitening. Other types of orange or gray stains caused by fluorosis, smoking or tetracycline are lightened, but results are not as dramatic. If you have very sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, or teeth with worn enamel, your dentist may discourage whitening.

Improving Your Smile

From subtle changes to major repairs, your dentist can perform a variety of procedures to improve your smile. There are many techniques and options to treat teeth that are discolored, chipped, misshapen or missing. Your dentist can reshape your teeth, close spaces, restore worn or short teeth or alter the length of your teeth. Common procedures include bleaching, bonding, crowns, veneers, and reshaping and contouring. These improvements are not always cosmetic. Many of these treatments can improve oral problems, such as your bite.

Pediatric Dentistry

Our Pediatric Patients are very important to us. A lifetime of good dental health begins in childhood.

We prefer to reach children early, before cavities develop. We like to informally meet children around 18 months of age. When a parent or sibling is having a check-up, we can introduce ourselves to your child. Your child can see what happens at the Dentist, and we can give your child a quick and informal examination. Then, when your child returns in six months, he or she will be much more comfortable for the formal examination and cleaning.

Of course, anytime you see a dark spot on a child’s tooth, you should schedule an appointment, no matter what the age of the child. If we do find cavities, we try to enlist the child in their treatment. Most children want to help us "clean the germs out" of the hole in their tooth. By relating to children with understanding and patience at a level they can understand, we find that most children will accept the necessary treatment. Of course, not all children are mature enough to cooperate. Sometimes the necessary treatment is too intense or extensive (even for adults). For those children or procedures, we have different levels of sedation available.

Children’s Oral Health

What foods cause tooth decay in children?

Many different types of food can cause tooth decay, not just candy. Foods that are high in carbohydrates, as well as some fruits, liquids, peanut butter, crackers and potato chips are culprits. Factors that cause tooth decay include the frequency in which the foods are eaten and the time they remain as particles in the mouth.

Can decay affect infants?

Yes. Tooth decay in infants and young children most often occurs in the upper front teeth, but also may affect other teeth. Sometimes parents do not realize that a baby’s teeth can decay soon after they first appear. The decay may even enter the underlying bone structure, which can hamper development of the permanent teeth. This problem is frequently referred to as baby bottle tooth decay. This kind of decay is caused by long-term exposure of a child’s teeth to liquids containing sugars. When a child consumes a sugary liquid, acid attacks the teeth and gums and causes decay.

Are children safe from soda and other beverages?

Dentists believe that kids who consume too much soda and not enough nutritional beverages are prone to tooth decay in addition to serious ailments later in life, such as diabetes and osteoporosis. Drinking carbonated soft drinks regularly can contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel. Soft drinks contain sticky sugars that bacteria in our mouths use as an energy source. They break down into acids and adhere to tooth surfaces.

How do bacteria hurt teeth?

Decay is caused by bacteria that feed on any food that contains sugars and carbohydrates. Decay occurs when solid or liquid food particles are left un-swallowed and cling to the teeth or gums for long periods. Bacteria in the mouth use sugars to produce acid that attacks the enamel of the teeth, softening and then eroding them. Enamel breakdown leads to cavities. If erosion spreads beneath the enamel, pain and sensitivity may eventually result. This can cause nerve infection, which can result in the need for a root canal.

My children rarely drink soda. Are they still at risk for tooth decay?

Yes, any prolonged exposure to soda can cause damage. Sipping a soft drink all after­noon is more harmful to your teeth than drinking a large soda with a meal and then not drinking any soda for the rest of the day. While many dentists advocate drinking nutritional beverages, such as milk, many agree soda should be consumed from a can rather than a bottle with a replaceable cap to discourage prolonged exposure to soda.

How can children prevent damage to their teeth?

Children at school should rinse their mouth with water after meals, leaving their teeth free of sugar and acid. Children also should seek sources of fluoridation. If you purchase bottled water, be sure that it is fluoridated. Encourage children to drink tap or fountain water. Use a straw when drinking soda to keep sugar away from teeth. Remember, bottled juices are not a good alternative due to the high sugar content. Regular dental check-ups, combined with brushing with fluoride toothpaste also will help protect children’s teeth.

How can you help your child prevent tooth decay?

Parents should take their infant to the dentist just after the first tooth appears. Brushing teeth after meals, regular flossing and fluoride treatments are the best ways to prevent tooth decay. Children should also be supervised as they brush. A good rule of thumb is that when children can dress themselves and tie their own shoes, then they are ready to brush unsupervised. Children should be supervised in proper flossing techniques until the age of 10. If you have any concerns about your child’s dental health or want some tips on preventing tooth decay, ask your dentist.

Mouth Guards

Let Them play rough…especially if they’ve got a professional grade, custom mouth guard! Mouth guards are designed to prevent oral traumas that are common in Elementary, High school and College athletes. Every mouth guard we fabricate is custom laminated for a perfect fit… so speaking and breathing are virtually unaffected.

Our light mouth guard is designed for wrestling, volleyball, & mountain biking.

Our medium mouth guard is designed for soccer, rugby, basketball, softball, rollerblading, skating & skateboarding.

Our heavy mouth guard is designed for football, baseball, racquetball, ice/field/roller hockey, kick boxing, martial arts, and heavy contact sports, where orofacial injury is likely.

Dental Sealants

A dental sealant is a thin plastic film painted on the chewing surfaces of molars and premolars (the teeth directly in front of the molars). Sealants have been shown to be highly effective in the prevention of cavities. They were developed through dental research in the 1950s and first became available commercially in the early 1970s. The first sealant was accepted by the American Dental Association Council on Dental Therapeutics in 1972.

How effective are sealants?

Scientific studies have proven that properly applied sealants are 100 percent effective in protecting the tooth surfaces from caries. Because sealants act as a physical barrier to decay, protection is determined by the sealants’ ability to adhere to the tooth. As long as the sealant remains intact, small food particles and bacteria that cause cavities cannot penetrate through or around a sealant. In fact, research has shown that sealants actually stop cavities when placed on top of a slightly decayed tooth by sealing off the supply of nutrients to the bacteria that causes a cavity. Sealant protection is reduced or lost when part or the entire bond between the tooth and sealant is broken. However, clinical studies have shown that teeth that have lost sealants are no more susceptible to tooth decay than teeth that were never sealed.

How are sealants applied?

Sealant application involves cleaning the surface of the tooth and rinsing the surface to remove all traces of the cleaning agent. An etching solution or gel is applied to the enamel surface of the tooth, including the pits and grooves. After 15 seconds, the solution is thoroughly rinsed away with water. After the site is dried, the sealant material is applied and allowed to harden by using a special curing light. Other sealants are applied and allowed to harden much the same way nail polish is applied to fingernails. Sealant treatment is painless and could take anywhere from five to 45 minutes to apply, depending on how many teeth need to be sealed. Sealants must be applied properly for good retention.

How long will a sealant last?

Sealants should last five years, but can last as long as 10 years. One study reported that seven years after application, an impressive 49 percent of treated teeth were still completely covered. Sealants should not be considered permanent. Regular dental check-ups are necessary to monitor the sealants’ bond to the tooth.

Who should receive sealant treatment?

Children, because they have newly erupted, permanent teeth, receive the greatest benefit from sealants. The chewing surfaces of a child’s teeth are most susceptible to cavities and the least benefited by fluoride. Surveys show that approximately two thirds of all cavities occur in the narrow pits and grooves of a child’s newly erupted teeth because food particles and bacteria cannot be cleaned out. Other patients also can benefit from sealant placement, such as those who have existing pits and grooves susceptible to decay. Research has shown that almost everybody has a 95 percent chance of eventually experiencing cavities in the pits and grooves of their teeth.

Are sealants covered by insurance?

Insurance benefits for sealant procedures have increased considerably. Coverage is typically based on the age of the patient. Most insurances provide sealant coverage for patients 16 and under, but individual plans will vary in coverage. The trend is toward expanded coverage of this benefit, especially as companies start to realize that sealants are a proven preventive technique. This preventive measure can help reduce future dental expenses and protect the teeth from more aggressive forms of treatment.

Dental Hygiene

Our experienced dental hygienists provide a variety of services to our patients including "dental cleanings" (prophylaxis), "deep scaling" (scaling and root planing), "dental Xrays", patient education, oral cancer screenings, dental product recommendations, fluoride and local antibiotic therapies and personalized homecare instruction. Call today and make an appointment with Sharon, Emily, Tammy or Donna for an exceptional dental hygiene experience!

Dental Implants –
Substitute Tooth Roots

Benefits of Dental Implants

A dental implant is a substitute or replacement tooth root, which provides a stable foundation for a replacement crown. The bone actually forms a biological bond with the new root (implant) giving your new crown a stable foundation similar to the natural root.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root (synthetic material) that is surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. The benefit of using implants is that they don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support, they are permanent and stable. Implants are usually the best solution to tooth loss because they look and feel like natural teeth. Implant material is made from different types of metallic and bone-like ceramic materials that are compatible with body tissue. There are different types of dental implants: the first is placed directly into the jaw bone, like natural tooth roots; the second is used when the jaw structure is limited; therefore, a custom-made metal framework fits directly on the existing bone.

Can anyone receive dental implants?

Talk with your dentist about whether you are an implant candidate. You must be in good health and have the proper bone structure and healthy gums for the implant to stay in place. People who are unable to wear dentures may also be good candidates. If you suffer from chronic problems, such as clenching or bruxism, or systemic diseases, such as diabetes, the success rate for implants decreases dramatically. Additionally, people who smoke or drink alcohol may not be good candidates.

What can I expect during this procedure?

The dentist must perform surgery to anchor the "artificial root" into or on your jaw bone. The procedure is done in the dental office with local anesthesia. Medications may be prescribed for soreness.

How long does the process take?

The process can take up to 9 months to complete. Technology, however, is trying to decrease the healing time involved. Each patient heals differently, so times will vary. After the screws and posts are placed surgically, the healing process can take up to six months and the fitting of replacement teeth can take between 1–2 months.

What is the success rate of implants?

The success rate for implants depends on the tooth’s purpose and location in the mouth. The success rate is about 95 percent for those placed in the front of the lower jaw and 85 percent for those placed in the sides and rear of the upper jaw. The success of the implants also weighs heavily on the compliance and homecare of the patient.

How do I care for implants?

Your overall health may affect the success rate of dental implants. Poor oral hygiene is a big reason why some implants fail. It is important to floss and brush around the fixtures at least twice a day, without metal objects. Your dentist will give you specific instructions on how to care for your new implants. Additional cleanings of up to four times per year may be necessary to ensure that you retain healthy gums.

What is the cost of implants?

Since implants involve surgery and are more involved, they cost more than traditional bridge work. However, some dental procedures and portions of the restoration may be covered by dental and medical insurance policies. Your dentist can help you with this process. Contacting your insurance company for a better understanding of your medical/dental coverage may be helpful.

Benefits of Implant Treatment

Dental implants allow replacement of the entire missing tooth, which was never before possible.

  • Virtually stops bone deterioration
  • Restores mouth to natural state
  • Look, feel and function of natural teeth
  • Does not compromise adjacent teeth
  • Increased stability
  • Eliminates pain and dentures
  • Improved appearance
  • Improved ability to bite and chew
  • Dental implants offer many treatment options, including removable partial dentures, tooth-supported bridges, and implant-supported crowns.

Teeth Whitening

Your teeth can be whiter in just 1 hour!

Restore your smile to its natural beauty. Venus Chairside Whitening System has been clinically proven to whiten teeth up to 10 shades! It is safe, effective, and formulated to prevent sensitivity.

Q: What causes tooth discoloration?

A: Discoloration may be the result of genetics, medication, poor oral hygiene, aging, smoking, certain foods and beverages, or a combination of these factors.

Q: Are you a good candidate for tooth whitening?

A: People with most types of discoloration can achieve lighter teeth through Venus Whitening Systems. The type of stain you have will affect how much whitening you will experience. Ask us to evaluate your smile.

Q: What is Venus Chairside Whitening?

A: Venus Chairside Whitening Gel is a chemically activated 38% hydrogen peroxide formula. This amazing system eliminates the need for an Ultraviolet light used in other systems, which may be irritating to those with sensitive skin, or patients who prefer to avoid unecessary UV rays.

Q: Is this whitening procedure safe?

A: Absolutely! When used under the supervision of your dental professional, the procedure is safe and will not harm teeth or gums.

Q: What is involved in the procedure?

A: It is always performed by an experienced dental professional, so you can be assured that the procedure is safe. We place a bite guard in your mouth so you can rest comfortably while your teeth are isolated and the gel is applied directly to your teeth. You can eat or drink again as soon as the procedure is complete!

For more information please visit: www.AltaWhite.com

Invisalign

Now You Can Go Wireless!

Now nearly everyone who needs straighter teeth can be treated with Invisalign. Invisalign is the invisible way to straighten teeth using a series of custom-made, nearly undetectable aligners. And it’ been proven effective in both clinical research and in practices nationwide.

Upon examination, the dentist will decide if Invisalign is right for you. Your doctor will write a treatment plan and take an impression of your teeth, which are submitted to Invisalign. Using the latest advances in 3-D computer technology, Invisalign carefully translates your doctor’s instructions into a series of precisely customized aligners. You then wear each set of aligners for about two weeks, moving your teeth gradually — week by week, millimeter by millimeter — until you’ve achieved the intended result: straighter teeth. Generally, you visit the doctor no more often than you would with braces, and the length of treatment is about the same.

Because there are no metal wires and brackets, Invisalign is comfortable. And because it’s remove able, eating, brushing and flossing are no problem. You can still enjoy your favorite foods and smile without holding back. With Invisalign, there’s nothing to hide!

Our Orthodontist now participating with the Maryland healthy Smiles Program.

Periodontics

During your first appointment, your teeth and gums will be evaluated and the state of your periodontal health will be diagnosed. After your periodontal health has been diagnosed, recommendations for further treatment will be made if necessary. Otherwise, you will be scheduled for a prophylaxis (cleaning). While there are many forms of periodontal disease, the most common types are gingivitis and periodontitis.

Gingivitis

The earliest stage of periodontal disease affecting only the gums. The earliest and most common signs of having Gingivitis is blood on your toothbrush or dental floss, remember it is never normal for your gums to bleed while brushing or flossing, this stage is readily reversible in most people However, if left untreated gingivitis can lead to a more severe condition.

Five Warning Signs of Periodontal Disease

  • Gums that bleed when you brush or floss your teeth
  • Gums that are red, swollen or tender
  • Infection including purulence (pus) between the teeth and gums
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or separating
  • Bad breath

Periodontal Disease:

Gum disease or periodontal disease, a chronic inflammation and infection of the gums and surrounding tissue, is the major cause of about 70 percent of adult tooth loss, affecting three out of four persons at some point in their life. Periodontal disease results from a long-term accumulation of plaque and tartar between the teeth and the gums, this is a severe form of gingivitis in which the inflammation of the gums extends to the supporting structures of the tooth such as the surrounding bone. Extensive treatment may be required and or teeth may have to be removed in the more advanced stages of periodontal disease.

Perodontitis Stages:

Gingivitis – your gums maybe irritated and swollen

Early and moderate Periodontal Disease – periodontal pocket deepens and fills with more bacteria. Supportive ligaments and bone start to show damage

Advanced Periodontal Disease – the gums severely recede (pull away from the tooth), bone loss increases. The teeth lose support so much so that, they could have to be removed to preserve the overall health of your mouth.

What causes gum disease?

Bacterial plaque — a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on the teeth — is recognized as the primary cause of gum disease. Specific periodontal diseases may be associated with specific bacterial types. If plaque is removed each day by brushing and flossing, it hardens into a rough, porous substance called calculus (also known as tartar). Toxins (poisons) produced and released by bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. These toxins cause the break­down of the fibers that hold the gums tightly to the teeth, creating periodontal pockets which fill with even more toxins and bacteria. As the disease progresses, pockets extend deeper and the bacteria moves down until the bone that holds the tooth in place is destroyed. The tooth eventually will fall out or require extraction.

How to prevent Periodontal Diseases

  • Brush your teeth twice a day (with a fluoride toothpaste), time yourself and see how you do. An effective brushing takes 2–3 minutes.
  • Floss once a day.
  • Make regular visits to your dentist for a checkup and cleaning
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Don’t use tobacco products.

Brushing Your Teeth

Brush your teeth twice a day, with a soft-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth, allowing you to reach all areas easily. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps protect your teeth from decay. When brushing you should have your toothbrush at a 45 degree angle, against the gums, move the brush in short (tooth-wide) strokes, make sure to brush the outer tooth surfaces, the inner tooth surfaces, and the chewing surfaces of your teeth, Use the "toe" of the brush to clean the inside surfaces of the front teeth, using a gentle up-and-down stroke, and then brush your tongue to remove the bacteria and freshen your breath. Follow with flossing or inter dental cleaners, it is essential in preventing periodontal(gum) disease.

Facts on Flossing

Floss and Water picks: Plaque is a sticky layer of material containing germs that accumulates on teeth, including places where toothbrushes can’t reach. This can lead to gum disease. The best way to get rid of plaque is to brush and floss your teeth carefully every day. The toothbrush cleans the tops and sides of your teeth. Dental floss cleans in between them. Some people use waterpiks, but floss is the best choice.

If you have difficulty keeping your mouth clean, let us help you. We can offer recommendations for patients suffering arthritis or other conditions limiting the ability to brush and floss.

Oral Surgery

Oral surgeons place implants, extract teeth, reconstruct faces during orthognathic surgery, biopsy and excise oral lesions, perform apicoectomies and retrograde fillings, using IV-sedation and/or local anesthesia.

Dental Implants offer a permanent solution for replacing a single missing tooth or even replacing a set of complete upper and lower dentures. In most cases, dental implants are the best answer for replacing missing teeth.

Causes and Treatments for Temporomandibular Disorders

What is the Temporomandibular Joint?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a joint that slides and rotates just in front of your ear, consisting of the temporal bone (side and base of the skull) and the mandible (lower jaw). Mastication (chewing) muscles connect the lower jaw to the skull, allowing you to move your jaw forward, sideways, and open and close.

The joint works properly when the lower jaw and its joint (both the right and left) are synchronized during movement. Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) may occur when the jaw twists during opening, closing or side-motion movements. These movements affect the jaw joint and the muscles that control chewing.

What is Temporomandibular Disorder?

TMD describes a variety of conditions that affect jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and nerves associated with chronic facial pain. Symptoms may occur on one or both sides of the face, head or jaw, or develop after an injury. TMD affects more than twice as many women than men and is the most common non-dental related chronic orofacial pain.

Normal function for this muscle group includes chewing, swallowing, speech and communication. Most experts suggest that certain tasks, either mental or physical, cause or aggravate TMD, such as strenuous physical tasks or stressful situations. Most discomfort is caused from overuse of the muscles, specifically clenching or grinding teeth (bruxism).

These excessive habits tire the jaw muscles and lead to discomfort, such as headaches or neck pain. Additionally, abnormal function can lead to worn or sensitive teeth, traumatized soft tissues, muscle soreness, jaw discomfort when eating, and temporal (side) headaches.

What TMD symptoms can I experience?
  • An earache without an infection
  • Jaw pain or soreness that’s more prevalent in the morning or late afternoon
  • Jaw pain when you chew, bite or yawn
  • Clicking when opening and closing your mouth
  • Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
  • Locked or stiff jaw when you talk, yawn or eat
  • Sensitive teeth when no dental problems can be found
What can I do to treat TMD?

The majority of cases can be treated by unloading (resting) the joint, taking a non-aspirin pain reliever and practicing stress management and relaxation techniques. It’s important to break bad habits to ease the symptoms. Most treatment for TMD is simple, often can be done at home, and does not need surgery. For example, control clenching or grinding during the day by sticking your tongue between your teeth. If you still experience pain, you may be grinding or clenching your teeth at night. So see your dentist for a mouth guard.

Most people will experience relief with minor treatment. More severe cases may be treated with physical therapy, ice and hot packs, posture training and orthopedic appliance therapy (splint). Eating soft foods and avoiding chewing gum also help relax the muscles.

Is TMD permanent?

The condition is often cyclical and may recur during times of stress, good or bad. As the patient, you should be active in your treatment, by being aware of the causes of your jaw problems after seeing a dentist for a diagnosis regime. Make routine dental appointments, so your doctor can check TMD on a regular basis.

Wisdom Teeth

What are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are third molars. Normally people have three permanent molars that develop in each quadrant of the mouth; upper, lower, right and left. The first molars usually grow into the mouth at around six years of age. The second molars grow in at around age 12. The third molars usually will try to grow in at around age 18 to 20 years. Since that is considered to be the age when people become wiser, third molars gained the nickname, "wisdom teeth." Actually, they are no different than any other tooth except that they are the last teeth to erupt, or grow into the mouth. They are just as useful as any other tooth if they grow in properly, have a proper bite relationship, and have healthy gum tissue around them. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.

Orthodontics

Orthodontic treatment is not only an investment of your time and money, it is an investment in self-improvement that can benefit you for a lifetime. Most orthodontic treatment is designed to correct bite and facial irregularities. Dr. DeRoo utilizes the Bio-Progressive Technique, which involves repositioning your teeth by simultaneously moving the teeth and the roots, rather than sequentially, thereby shortening the treatment period. Orthodontic treatment with Dr. DeRoo is a positive experience with the goal of providing the finest orthodontic treatment possible in a caring and warm, patient-oriented environment.

The Right Time for Braces

What is "orthodontics," and why do people get braces?

Orthodontics is a special discipline of dentistry concerned with aligning the teeth and jaws to improve one’s smile and oral health. "Ortho" means correct or straight, and "Odont" means tooth. A dentist usually recommends braces to improve the patient’s physical "orofacial" appearance. Through orthodontic treatment, problems like crooked or crowded teeth, overbites or under bites, incorrect jaw position and disorders of the jaw joints can be corrected also.

When is the right time for braces?

Patients with orthodontic problems can benefit from treatment at nearly any age. An ideal time for placement of braces is between 10 and 14 years of age, while the head and mouth are still growing and teeth are more accessible to straightening. However, because any adjustments in facial appearance can be traumatic to a child during these sensitive years, parents should discuss the matter with their children before braces are applied. And braces aren’t just for kids. More and more adults are also wearing braces to correct minor problems and to improve their smiles.

What kind of braces will I have to wear?

Your dentist will know what appliance is best for your particular problem, but the patient often has a choice. Braces generally come in three varieties: The most popular type are brackets, metal or plastic, that are bonded to teeth and are far less noticeable. The "lingual" type of braces is brackets that attach to the back of teeth, hidden from view. Bands are the old-fashioned type that covers most of your teeth with metal bands that wrap around the teeth. All use wires to move the teeth to the desired position. Some patients may have Invisalign as a treatment option instead of traditional braces.

How long will I have to wear braces?

That depends upon your treatment plan. The more complicated your spacing or bite problem is, and the older you are, the longer the period of treatment, usually. Most patients can count on wearing full braces between 18 and 30 months, followed by the wearing of a retainer for at least a few months to set and align tissues surrounding straightened teeth.

Will treatment be uncomfortable?

The interconnecting wires are tightened at each visit, bearing mild pressure on the brackets or bands to shift teeth or jaws gradually into a desired position. Your teeth and jaws may feel slightly sore after each visit, but the discomfort is brief. Keep in mind also that some teeth may need to be extracted to make room for teeth being shifted with braces and for proper jaw alignment.

Do I have to avoid any foods or personal habits?

Yes. Cut down on sweets, chips and soda. Sugary and starchy foods generate acids and plaque that can cause tooth decay and promote gum disease. Cut healthy, hard foods like carrots or apples into smaller pieces. Sticky, chewy sweets like caramel can cause wire damage and loosen brackets. Avoid hard and crunchy snacks that can break braces, including popcorn, nuts and hard candy. More don’ts: ice cube chewing, thumb sucking, excessive mouth breathing, lip biting and pushing your tongue against your teeth.

What about home care of my teeth with braces?

With braces, oral hygiene is more important than ever. Braces have tiny spaces where food particles and plaque get trapped. Brush carefully after every meal with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse thoroughly and check your teeth in the mirror to make sure they’re clean. Take time to floss between braces and under wires with the help of a floss threader. With traditional braces we recommend you have your teeth cleaned every three months to keep your gums and teeth healthy. Insufficient cleaning while wearing braces can cause enamel staining around brackets or bands.

Who will provide my orthodontic treatment?

Your family general dentist is responsible for coordinating your dental treatment, and this could encompass any orthodontic treatment plan, including diagnosis, examinations and some orthodontic procedures. Your dentist may, however, refer you to an "orthodontist," Dr. DeRoo is the orthodontic specialist here at Affinity Dental Associates.

Sedation Dentistry

We understand that not everyone can sit through all dental procedures or even sometimes the numbing process. In order to offer comprehensive dental treatment to as many patients as possible, our office is licensed by the State of Maryland for the use of General Anesthesia for general dentistry. This allows us to offer a great range of options to minimize the fear and discomfort of dental visits.

Dental Anxiety

Why am I anxious in the dental office?

People are anxious about going to the dentist for different reasons, including worrying about the effectiveness of localized anesthetic and feeling like the dentist is rushed or is neglecting your concerns. Other factors include anticipation of pain, the cost of the procedure, past experiences, and even the sterile smell of the dental office. Interrupting the normal day’s routine to visit the dentist also is a factor in general anxiety.

What does my dentist do to relieve my anxiety?

Your dentist works to reduce your anxiety before you ever step foot in the dental office. This process begins on the phone, while making appointments. Your dentist’s office staff has been trained in caring patient services; and they will inform you of what to expect and answer your questions to ensure your confidence and comfort during your visit.

Once you arrive for your appointment, your dentist has done a lot to ensure that every aspect of your visit is designed to create optimal comfort. He or she has made sure to keep the waiting room neat and clean, and filled it with magazines and dental health information and resources. Some dental offices set aside a small portion of the waiting room as a play area for children. Others offer distractions such as television, music and even virtual reality glasses in the operatory.

An understanding of your dental health and the dental services or treatment that you and your dentist have discussed and decided will help to relieve dental anxiety. Ask questions and request informational materials.

How will my dentist handle my child’s anxiety?

Some children are anxious because they are visiting the dentist’s office for the first time. This experience into the unknown is a common reason for nervousness. The dentist or a member of his or her staff will talk directly with the child to make him or her more comfortable. Ask your dentist to take your child on a tour of the office, explaining some of the equipment along the way. For young children, especially those under three years, a parent or relative may accompany the child throughout the procedure. Older children are encouraged to show independence.

What can I do to relieve dental anxiety?

Knowledge is the greatest defense against anxiety. Avoiding caffeine before a dental appointment can make you less anxious. Eating high-protein foods produces a calming effect, unlike sugary foods.

During the procedure, focus on breathing regularly and slowly. When you are nervous you tend to hold your breath, which decreases oxygen levels and further increases feelings of panic. If you have specific fears, talk to your dentist about them. He or she can go a long way to dispel any negative or frightening images you may have.

If you are seeing a new dentist for the first time, schedule an appointment for a visit. Take the opportunity to ask this dentist a few questions and be sure to address your concerns. You’ll find that dentists who take the time to speak with you about these matters will understand when it comes to addressing your fears.

Anesthesia Types

Topical anesthesia – A numbing medication can be placed on the skin before local anesthesia. Topical anesthesia can also be placed between the tooth and gum before cleaning or periodontal scaling.

Local anesthesia – Computer controlled "wands" are available to minimize the discomfort of local injection.

Analgesia – By breathing nitrous oxide through a nasal mask, the feeling of pain is reduced to the equivalent effect of morphine. Nitrous oxide is called "laughing gas" because it also reduces fear and anxiety. While not as effective as sedation, some find it makes the dental experience almost enjoyable.

Sedation Types

Oral sedation – By swallowing certain relaxing and memory blocking medications, many anxious patients will find the ability to not only comfortably "endure" an otherwise fearful experience, they will have little if any memory of the visit.

Intramuscular sedation – Small children and special patients that cannot hold still or tolerate intravenous injections can be sedated with a muscle injection.

Intravenous sedation – By placing the sedative medication directly into the bloodstream, the sedation dose can be more closely optimized to the patient’s metabolism and needs. Titration consists of giving small doses of medication until the patient is comfortable or asleep.

Any and all of the above techniques can be combined with each other as needed for each or our patient’s unique needs. We can even use hypnosis.

Our office is licensed and equipped to sedate and treat:

  • Patients that avoid going to the dentist due to anxiety or fear of dental pain or dental procedures.
  • Patients who are physically or mentally challenged and unable to cooperate in their dental care.
  • Patients that have time constraints and need to have their dental care performed in as few visits as possible.

Laser Dentistry

What is Laser Dentistry?

It uses laser energized water to safely perform dental procedures. The laser energy is produced by combining a spray of atomized water with laser energy. The energized water gently and precisely removes a wide range of human tissue including tooth enamel and soft tissue (gum) without heat or vibration. Since there is no heat or vibration the laser reduces the need for needles and anesthesia. The laser can make cavity preparations, numb teeth and gums and remove soft tissue without needles or numb feeling. It can also help relieve painful canker sores and accelerate their healing.

What are the benefits of Laser Dentistry?

No needles or numbness in most cases. (Kids won’t chew their lip and can eat right away) The laser’s pinpoint accuracy precisely allows our dentists to leave as much healthy tooth structure as possible. Gently performs numerous soft tissue (gum) procedures with little or no bleeding.

What procedures can be performed with the laser?
  • Aids in removal or decay
  • Gum recontouring
  • Relieve painful canker sores and accelerate their healing
  • Soft tissue procedures
  • Cavity preparations

What is Diagnodent?

Diagnodent is a non-invasive, painless tool used to detect tooth decay that is not yet visible and would otherwise go undiagnosed by conventional methods. Dental researchers agree that when used by themselves the traditional methods of detecting tooth decay are inadequate and outdated for modern dentistry.

How Does Diagnodent Work?

Diagnodent works by scanning your teeth to measure fluorescence within your tooth structure. Healthy teeth will have little or no fluorescence. Teeth that have decay present will have higher levels of fluorescence, which are proportionate to how extensive the decay is. Diagnodent translates these fluorescence readings into a digital numeric output.

How Can Diagnodent Benefit Me?

Because you can’t treat what you can’t see, we could diagnose decay and prevent extensive damage to your teeth. Diagnosing decay in advance also saves you, the patient, both time and money by helping you to avoid the costly and time-consuming dental treatments that pervasive decay requires. Diagnodent provides us a significant diagnostic advantage and helps us to monitor and protect your teeth where they are most vulnerable.

Does it hurt?

No! Diagnodent is completely painless. It’s energy level similar to that of a laser pointer, the laser beam is harmless to surrounding tissues.

Lumineers®

Have you ever wondered…

  • How can I have straighter teeth?
  • How can I have permanently whiter teeth?
  • How can I have a brighter smile? and finally and most importantly,
  • Can it be painless?

There’s a solution now available that can answer the above — LUMINEERS® BY CERINATE! LUMINEERS® Gives an "Extreme Makeover" Smile in an Extremely Pleasant Way.

NO REMOVING SENSITIVE TOOTH STRUCTURE! NO SHOTS! NO PAIN! LUMINEERS® porcelain veneers may be your answer — a safe, painless, permanent cosmetic solution for stained, chipped, discolored, or misaligned teeth. Unlike traditional porcelain veneers that require removal of sensitive tooth structure, no anesthetic is required for LUMINEERS®.

The porcelain used to create LUMINEERS® is extremely strong, allowing LUMINEERS® to be much thinner than traditional porcelain veneers. Since the porcelain veneer is thinner, it closely resembles natural teeth and doesn’t require removal of sensitive tooth structure. If tooth reduction is needed, often only minimal amounts of enamel are removed and the sensitive part of the tooth is not touched. This eliminates the need for a shot during the procedure and the possibility of sensitivity afterward.

And, that means you can correct a wide variety of unsightly dental distortions or conditions, such as:

  • Tooth discoloration
  • Noticeable gaps
  • Permanent stains
  • Broken or misshapen teeth
  • LUMINEERS® can even bond to existing crowns and bridgework without having to replace them

LUMINEERS® porcelain veneers combine a bonding system with patented LUMINEERS® technology, the only system proven to last over 20 years. LUMINEERS® can be as thin as a contact lens and placed over existing teeth (even unsightly crowns!) without removing any tooth structure. Only a LUMINEERS® Smile is made from Cerinate porcelain and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Let the smile of your dreams come to reality! The most significant development in over 9,000 years of dentistry! If you have an interest in improving your smile, we encourage you to read the plethora of positive comments on the following pages from patients and dentists who have received and placed LUMINEERS® smiles.

Q: What is LUMINEERS® BY CERINATE?

A: LUMINEERS® BY CERINATE is thin porcelain shields that are bonded to the front of your teeth to create dramatic changes in your smile.

Q: Is there any pain involved?

A: No! Because LUMINEERS® BY CERINATE require little to no preparation; there is no need for shots or drilling with no removal of painful tooth structure.

Q: How long will it take to change my smile?

A: While some people may need other dental treatments, LUMINEERS® BY CERINATE typically requires two dental visits.

Q: How do I know if LUMINEERS® BY CERINATE is right for me?

A: Schedule a consultation with your dentist, who can show you how your smile can be improved with LUMINEERS® BY CERINATE.

Q: How long does LUMINEERS® BY CERINATE last?

A: Long-term clinical research with LUMINEERS® BY CERINATE (over 20 years) shows 100% retention with no discoloration.

Q: What if I have questions?

A: If you have further questions, ask your dentist today or visit www.LUMINEERS®.com.

PAINLESS and PERMANENT!

So what if nature didn’t give you a perfect smile? Now you can get the look you’ve always wanted with LUMINEERS® BY CERINATE®. What makes a natural-looking smile more possible than ever before is the innovative technology behind Cerinate Porcelain. LUMINEERS® can be made as thin as a contact lens and are translucent enough to look like your real teeth. And, even better, there’s no painful fitting because your dentist doesn’t need to use a drill or anesthetic to prepare your teeth. In other words, getting a new smile now is…well, something to smile about.

  • Permanently Whiten
  • Fix uneven spacing
  • Lengthen short teeth
  • Reshape awkward teeth

Waterlase

A Waterlase Dentist cares so much about your comfort that they have invested in the ultimate in dental lasers, the Waterlase or Waterlase MD™ from BIOLASE — absolutely number one in dental lasers. The Waterlase laser’s gentle combination of laser energy and water works without heat, vibration or pressure — the things that make a drill hurt. That means fewer shots, less anesthetic. So you can enjoy a comfortable, no-fear visit to the dentist.

Patient Comfort

Heat, vibration and pressure are the primary causes of pain associated with the use of the traditional dental drill. Since cutting both hard and soft tissues (teeth and gums) with the Waterlase® does not generate heat, vibration or pressure, many dental procedures can be performed with fewer shots, less need for anesthesia, less use of the drill and fewer numb lips! Additionally, using the Waterlase® for gum procedures reduces bleeding, post-operative pain, swelling and the need for pain medication in many cases.

Accuracy and Precision

Waterlase® dentists are able to remove tooth enamel decay (the hardest substance in the body), bone and gum tissue precisely while leaving surrounding areas unaffected. This conserves and allows you to keep more of the healthy tooth structure.

Reduced Trauma

High speed drills can cause hairline cracks and fractures in the teeth that eventually lead to future dental problems. Waterlase® reduces damage to healthy portions of the tooth and minimizes trauma.

Improved Cavity Fillings

Waterlase® cavity preparations can increase bond strength of tooth-colored restoration resulting in longer lasting fillings.

Less Bleeding and Swelling

Due to its conservative, gentle cutting action and coagulating capabilities, the Waterlase® performs many soft tissue (gum) procedures with little or no bleeding and less post-op swelling.

Fewer Dental Visits

Since you often do not need shots or anesthesia, a Waterlase® dentist can perform cavity preps in all areas of the mouth in just one visit. This technology also gives trained Waterlase® dentists the ability to perform many procedures that were previously referred to specialists.

Versatility

The Waterlase® is extremely versatile. It can be used for a wide range of hard and soft tissue procedures. From decay removal, cavity preparation, root canals, smile design, gum and bone surgical procedures and many others.

Why Waterlase?

Waterlase® is fundamentally transforming the way patients experience their dental visits.

Patented Hydrophotonic™ Technology

Waterlase® Dentistry uses a patented technology combining YSGG laser energy and a spray of water, a process called HydroPhotonics™, to perform a wide range of dental procedures on teeth, gum and bone more comfortably. Typically, Waterlase Dentists use fewer shots and less anesthesia reducing patient anxiety and providing a more relaxing dental experience.

Fewer Shots & Less Anesthesia

Waterlase® is a versatile tool that allows dentists to cut teeth, bone and gum tissue with less trauma and do procedures that can’t be done with traditional tools such as the drill and scalpel. Your Waterlase® dentist will determine what type of treatment is appropriate for your needs.

Proven Technology, Comfortable Care

Lasers have long been the standard of care in medicine for many surgical and cosmetic procedures such as LASIK, wrinkle removal, hair removal and many others. The Waterlase® was approved for hard tissue procedures in 1998 and since has been cleared for numerous additional dental procedures. Thousands of dentists around the world have performed millions of procedures with less need for shots, anesthesia, drills and post-op numb lips.

The HydroBeam™ Illuminated Handpiece

Featuring the most advanced, state-of-the-art design ever introduced in laser dentistry, the Waterlase® MD’s handpiece is built using aerospace materials for extreme durability and complete comfort. The all-new HydroBeam™ handpiece is a 360&geg; fully rotating instrument with exclusive contra-angle design and an ultra-low-mass head for maximum visibility in the surgical field. Plus, laser dentists can take advantage of an exclusive ultra-white, shadow-free LED illumination system.

The HydroBeam™ Features
  • Ultra-white, shadow-free illumination from the handpiece based on cutting-edge, bulb-free LED light technology — a first for dental lasers. This new feature significantly enhances visibility in the surgical field
  • Contra-angle, 360° rotatable handpiece for supreme comfort and easier access to all areas of the oral cavity
  • ComfortJet™ air/water delivery system for maximum patient comfort, enhanced visibility for the clinician and improved clinical results
  • Advanced materials and components based on NASA and aerospace technology — improved reliability and ergonomics
  • Ultra low-mass handpiece head design, greatly maximizing visibility and access

The SensaTouchT Laser Control System

The Waterlase® MD features a dazzling, new high-resolution control system, using Windows® CE with intelligent touch-screen navigation for complete on-the-fly control. Whether you need advice for choosing a tip for a procedure, or suggestions for power settings, the Waterlase MD’s new LaserPalT help system is at your service.

SensaTouchT uses high-resolution screens to adjust aiming beam intensity, handpiece illumination intensity, air/water spray., and much more.

SensaTouchT Features
  • 10 to 50 hz selectable pulse repetition rate for expanded versatility across all tissue types Touch-screen control system features Windows® CE
  • Unique, selectable pulse modes for hard and soft tissue, with enhanced coagulation capabilities 0.1 to 8.0 watts of power for precise, rapid tissue ablation
  • 16 optimized, factory-loaded pre-sets for new users and completely customizable for experienced laser dentists
  • On-the-fly LaserPalT help system to enhance training and suggestions for proper tips and settings

Oral Surgery

Annual dental exams are important for screening more than just your teeth!

When oral cancer is detected early, the chances of survival are increased.
One American dies every hour from oral cancer.

Are you at risk?

Patients at increased risk for oral cancer:

  • patients age 40 and older (95%) of all cases
  • patients ages 18–39 years of age combined with the following:
    • tobacco use
    • chronic alcohol consumption
    • oral HPV infection

Patients at the highest risk for oral cancer:

  • Patients age 65 and older who use tobacco, and or consume alcohol regularly
  • Patients with history of oral cancer

25% of oral cancers occur in people who don’t smoke and have no other risk factors!

The typical risk factors for oral cancer such as tobacco use and chronic alcohol consumption are commonly known, however, a newly recognized risk factor known as HPV, is changing the face of oral cancer. HPV has long been known to cause cervical cancer in women, and may play a role in more than 25% of oral cancer cases. The human papilloma virus is a common sexually transmitted virus that is thought to be causing oral cancer in an increasingly younger patient population. Few people if any, even know they have it. That is why it is so important to see your dentist for annual examination.

Visilite Plus

Is an oral lesion identification and marking system used during oral examination to help dentists and dental hygienists find abnormalities in your mouth that could be precancerous or even cancer. When oral cancer is found early, treatment may be less invasive and the prognosis far better. This is a painless exam. The patient simply rinses with a indicating solution, and the dentist or hygienist re-examines the patient with the Visilite penlight. If a suspicious lesion is found, it wil be documented in your chart, and your dentist will advise you if any further treatment or referral is required.

For more information about Visilite Plus, visit: www.visilite.com

Patient Instructions

Which procedure did you have?

  • Filling
  • Root Canal
  • Crown
  • Bridge
  • Veneer
  • Implant
  • Tooth Extraction
  • Oral Surgery
  • Orthodontics (Braces)

If you have any questions about your treatment, please call us and let us help you.

State-of-the-Art Technology

Dentistry has come a long way in making patient check- ups more comfortable. With today’s technology, dentists are better equipped to detect and treat decay and perform other procedures with maximum comfort. We have added some of the relatively newer technologies to our office to help provide quality care and service to our patients. Below is a brief list of some of the tools available.

Air abrasion

Air abrasion is a conservative procedure used to remove small areas of decay or to prepare a tooth for the placement of restorations or sealants. This procedure works with an air compression device that delivers, under pressure, tiny particles of aluminum oxide to the surface of a tooth structure to blast away decay. This is similar to sandblasting a building in order to clean it.

Air abrasion is good with early decay and helps to preserve tooth structure. Discomfort is minimized and many patients do not need any anesthesia. Children and adults who are fearful of needles, noise or the vibration of a regular dental handpiece may prefer this option if it is available. Air abrasion cannot be used as an alternative for every procedure. For more details, see our article on air abrasion.

Intraoral cameras

First developed in 1987, the intraoral camera is a wand-like device with a tiny magnifying lens that projects a picture from a patient’s mouth onto a screen. The image, which is magnified up to 40 times its original size, allows the dentist to see fractured enamel, gum recession, fracture lines in teeth, and breakdowns of restorations, and then also allows the patient to see the images. After these pictures are taken, dentists are better able to diagnose and recommend treatment plans for their patients. The pictures also can provide documentation for insurance companies.

Digital radiography

Similar to traditional x-ray systems, digital radiography allows dentists to detect decay, bone loss, and help with root canals. To take an x-ray, dentists will place a sensor on the tooth that looks like a piece of film. The process is a little faster than a traditional x-ray system, so patients exposure to radiation is decreased. Once the picture is taken, dentists can adjust the contrast and brightness and enlarge/magnify images to optimize diagnosis to find even the smallest decay. The time to develop photos is reduced and eliminates treatment disruptions.

Diagnodent

We use laser technology to help diagnose small cavities that sometimes can not be detected clinically or radiographically. A digital read out lets the dentist or hygienist know if that little brown groove in your tooth is a real cavity or not.

Venus

Using the Venus Professional Whitening System, we can whiten your teeth in just one hour in the office. Instead of taking 3 to 6 weeks to whiten your teeth, you now have the choice to whiten them in one hour with Venus! See more details on our cosmetic page.

Invisalign

Now patients can choose the nearly invisible way to straighten your teeth. Using the latest advances in 3-D computer technology, Invisalign translates the dentist’s instructions into a series of nearly undetectable aligners. You wear each set of aligners for about two weeks, moving your teeth gradually week by week, millimeter by millimeter until you’ve achieved the desired result. They are more cosmetic, comfortable and hygienic than traditional braces. For more details, see our Orthodontic page!

Visilite Plus

Is an oral lesion identification and marking system used during oral examination to help dentists and dental hygienists find abnormalities in your mouth that could be precancerous or even cancer. When oral cancer is found early, treatment may be less invasive and the prognosis far better. This is a painless exam. The patient simply rinses with a indicating solution, and the dentist or hygienist re-examines the patient with the Visilite penlight. If a suspicious lesion is found, it wil be documented in your chart, and your dentist will advise you if any further treatment or referral is required.

Computerized Charts

Our office uses Dentrix Computerized Charts to be able to efficiently document the patients record. This insures patients that we are properly documenting clinical data, diagnosis, treatment plans, progress notes, periodontal charting, radiographs, etc in a manner that is accurate, efficient and so that everyone can clearly understand your chart.

Waterlase

A Waterlase Dentist cares so much about your comfort that they have invested in the ultimate in dental lasers, the Waterlase or Waterlase MD™ from BIOLASE — absolutely number one in dental lasers. The Waterlase laser’s gentle combination of laser energy and water works without heat, vibration or pressure — the things that make a drill hurt. That means fewer shots, less anesthetic. So you can enjoy a comfortable, no-fear visit to the dentist.

Heat, vibration and pressure are the primary causes of pain associated with the use of the traditional dental drill. Since cutting both hard and soft tissues (teeth and gums) with the Waterlase® does not generate heat, vibration or pressure, many dental procedures can be performed with fewer shots, less need for anesthesia, less use of the drill and fewer numb lips! Additionally, using the Waterlase® for gum procedures reduces bleeding, post-operative pain, swelling and the need for pain medication in many cases.

Waterlase® dentists are able to remove tooth enamel decay (the hardest substance in the body), bone and gum tissue precisely while leaving surrounding areas unaffected. This conserves and allows you to keep more of the healthy tooth structure. Waterlase® reduces damage to healthy portions of the tooth and minimizes trauma. Waterlase® cavity preparations can increase bond strength of tooth-colored restoration resulting in longer lasting fillings. Due to its conservative, gentle cutting action and coagulating capabilities, the Waterlase® performs many soft tissue (gum) procedures with little or no bleeding and less post-op swelling. Since you often do not need shots or anesthesia, a Waterlase® dentist can perform cavity preps in all areas of the mouth in just one visit.

Additional Office Technology

In addition to the many clinical technological advances in our dental office, the front desk communications, billing and reception area are no exception. We are utilizing a system called Demandforce which allows patients to communicate, request or confirm appointments via email or text. This system is also linked with our website for ease of access for new patients. Our front desk provides an ebilling service. For all patients who wish to enroll, $1.00 is credited to the patients account in exchange for recieving and ebill in place of a paperbill, increasing our efforts to be a "greener" office. In our reception area, we have provided cable television and WiFi for our guests.

View Full Site

Home | Schedule | Curriculum | FAQs | About Us | Contact Us

410-719-7900 • 4 East Rolling Crossroads • Suite #205 • Catonsville, MD 21228