February 18, 2017
A few days a patient came into my Salem, Oregon dental office. It was the first time she had visited a dentist in years. She was a little embarrassed about her smile and needed some dental work. She expected us to tell her that part. What she didn’t expect was the experience. She had built up the dentist as a boogeyman, but she found out that times have changed. Procedures are no longer invasive or painful. Here’s why: technology and education.
Today I want to share a few ways in which dentistry has changed. Forget about all the old horror stories you’ve heard about the dentist. At Oregon Smile Care Center, we stay on the cutting edge of dentistry. We deal with a wide range of patients, and we understand the common dental concerns. Here are a few things you need to know about sour modern treatments.
No More Painful Metal Braces
If you’re older than 25, you might hear the word orthodontics and think about traditional braces. Many dentists work with orthodontics to correct crooked teeth. Braces can achieve radical tooth movement in the mouth and help patients develop a healthier jaw. The problem with braces is that they sometimes take more than two years. And, of course, they are an eyesore. Not everyone needs comprehensive orthodontic treatment. And not every wants to wear braces, especially adults patients.
That’s why we offer Invisalign, a treatment that uses clear aligners to guide your teeth into a better position. Instead of using metal brackets and wires, Invisalign uses plastic trays that resemble white trays. There is nothing fixed on the teeth. The aligners are removable and blend in perfectly with your smile. In fact, the aligners are virtually invisible. We’ve had patients start and finish treatments without even their closest family members knowing they were having work done on their teeth.
Additionally, Invisalign treatment only takes between 12 and 18 months to complete. Our adult Invisalign patients love that they can smile with confidence during their treatment.
No More Uncomfortable CPAP
Sleep apnea is a dangerous problem that can be fatal if left untreated. A common symptom is typically loud snoring, but that’s not the only characteristic. An apneic attack occurs when someone experiences pauses in breathing during sleep. People who suffer an apneic attack often wake up gasping for air throughout the night. Sleep apnea has been linked to serious problems like heart disease and diabetes. In some cases, people have died as a result of sleep apnea.
For years, the standard form of treatment to combat sleep apnea was a CPAP machine. This machine constantly pushes air into the lungs. The device includes a motor, hose, and mask. The mask needs to be worn the entire time you sleep to be effective. That’s part of the problem, though.
Many patients find the CPAP too uncomfortable to wear, so they don’t wear it. The compliance rate for a CPAP is low, but now we have a better way. Instead of a CPAP, we can use an oral appliance for patients who have obstructive sleep apnea, the most common form of sleep apnea. The appliance moves the jaw into a better position and keeps the airways open during sleep. The sleep apnea patients we treat with an oral appliance report that the device does not inhibit their sleep the way a CPAP might. They also find that their sleep apnea symptoms fade within the first few days of wearing the appliance.
Bring Lasers into the Mix
Lasers in dentistry? Absolutely. Laser dentistry is one of the newest advancements in all of dentistry. It’s now used as an alternative to traditional surgery. In our practice, we use lasers to treat gum problems like gummy smiles. A smile is exactly what it sounds like. It occurs when a patient has too much gum tissue covering the teeth. Some patients believe they need veneers to correct their gummy smile, but it can be much similar than than. We can use a soft-tissue lasers to better shape the gums and make them more unified. Traditional surgery requires the use of scalpels and stitches, but lasers require neither of those things, which drastically reduces the recovery time.
Some patients can’t seem to shake their fear of the dentist. They worry and worry about their treatments or avoid the dentist at all costs.
At Oregon Smile Care Center, we have invested in the latest technology to make sure our treatments are precise and comfortable. Dentistry is changing, and our practice is dedicated to provide modern and comfortable treatments. To meet with our staff, call the office today 503-837-2718 or use our online form to request a visit.