It’s no secret that West Lake Hills dentist Dr. Bell and his team are known for their use of the latest state-of-the-art technology to provide complete and accurate diagnoses of dental conditions, as well as patient comfort and safety, but many Austinites don’t know exactly what Dr. Bell’s arsenal of high-technology dental tools includes or the various benefits they bring to patients.
One of the many technologically advanced dentistry tools Dr. Bell has in his Austin office is the DEKA CO2 laser that makes it possible in many cases to perform dental implants without the use of a scalpel, which is the typical procedure. The CO2 laser by DEKA is the same laser dermatologists use, but the it has been specially modified for soft tissue in the mouth. In dentistry, the use of the laser allows very small incisions with minimal trauma, no bleeding, and shorter procedure time. Patients report much greater comfort levels as well as faster healing with the use of the laser.
The CO2 laser can also be used for biopsies, with benefits to the patient including no sutures or post-surgery antibiotics needed, faster healing time and no scarring.
“The CO2 laser is an amazing technological advancement for performing dental surgery and dental implants. The CO2 laser decontaminates the surgical area and creates an optimal environment for healing. This provides a great advantage to our patients,” says Dr. Bell.
In addition, there are no restrictions for the CO2 laser in cases of conditions including pregnancy, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, transplants, pacemakers, or any cardiovascular disease.
One of Dr. Bell’s patients, David Schuette, can testify to the dramatic difference between getting dental implants the old way and having the implants with the CO2 laser.
Dr. Bell’s patient David says: “I had the first implant one week with regular incisions, and a second implant two weeks later with the laser. The first implant was more painful, the area was swollen for several days, and in general had a bigger impact on my body.”
According to DEKA, the manufacturer of the $57,000 laser, the CO2 laser is the best choice for performing dental surgery on soft tissue. The laser energy makes it possible to cut and vaporize the soft tissues without any bleeding, rendering it extremely valid for surgery in highly vascularized areas, such as the oral mucosa, palate, and tongue.
With the development of microprocessors, the energy pulse of the CO2 lasers can be “super pulsed,” which gives the tissue recovery time to dissipate the laser energy. This allows a major improvement in working speed and efficiency on soft tissue, with minimal thermal damage to the treated tissues.
The result? Faster healing and more comfortable outcomes. Learn more about Dr. Bell’s other state-of-the-art dental technological devises, visit https://mbelldds.com/about-us/dental-technology/.
Getting sick does not mean taking a vacation from caring for your teeth. It may be more difficult, but it is an important part of getting better. You need to keep the germs in your mouth down, so it does not cause you to relapse and get sick all over again.
Plus, if you have been vomiting, you need to clean the acids out of your mouth as soon as possible. Here are a few things that can help keep your mouth clean and healthy when you get sick.
Brushing should go from two times a day up to three, as you are lying there trying to feel better, but moving, speaking, and eating far less than usual in most cases. This allows the bacteria to quickly multiply, so getting them out of your mouth quickly is essential.
If you have been vomiting, rinse with water right after, then after about 30 minutes, brush your teeth. This keeps the bacteria levels down, and lessens the chances of you getting sick all over again, or getting worse while already fighting this off.
Mouthwash is good to use at least 2-3 times per day when you are sick. It helps to rid your mouth of extra bacteria and any food particles you may have missed the last time you brushed. It can be used after brushing, or between brushing.
Make sure, if you get sick that as soon as you start to feel even slightly better, you replace your toothbrush. You do not want to put that dirty toothbrush back into your mouth with those bacteria and germs on it. It is nearly a guarantee that you will get sick again if you do.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us today.
So many ask why baking soda is a preferred at-home whitening method. Not only is this a natural product that so many people keep in their baking cupboards, but it is one that is also effective.
Understanding a bit how it works can give you some information on whether or not this is the best whitening method for you to use. Consider some of these aspects regarding baking soda and what it does for the teeth that might be stained in your mouth.
The makeup of baking soda is awesome. Not only does it work as a minor abrasive, but this means that it can scrub off those surface stains that are on the outside of the teeth. You don’t have to worry about scrubbing it in either.
Mix equal parts baking soda and water to create a paste. Add the paste over the top of the teeth and let it sit there for some time. This gives the person a way to whiten the teeth without having to worry about scrubbing any mixtures, using any lights or having to go through extensive, invasive treatments.
The baking soda is a natural component and just a little bit of sitting on your teeth, you will see whitening results in a matter of days. This is why so many people choose to use it over chemical methods available.
While baking soda is ideal for surface stains, sometimes other stains will not remove from the surface of the teeth. If this is the case, then it is important that the person call us to speak with our dentists regarding other whitening methods that we provide. We can ensure that your smile is whiter, healthier and happier in the end.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us today.
One of the healthiest drinks anyone can have is tea. This is especially true if you don’t add anything to it, like sugar. Tea has many good properties to it, most of which can directly improve your oral health simply by adding it into your daily diet. If you want to increase the levels of your oral health, tea may be the one small change you need to make to really increase how healthy your mouth really is.
All types of tea are known to help increase your oral health, but green tea is the most beneficial. Studies have shown that drinking green tea helps to reduce how many cavities you get. Tea protects against gum disease, showing signs that it can help reverse the effects of gum disease, too. Plus, tea helps to eradicate bad breath.
If you are replacing sugary or acidic drinks with the tea, you get even more benefits. Both sugar and acid do a lot of damage to your teeth. That is why it is so important to drink unsweetened tea. That way, you get all of the benefits without the detrimental effects. Let the tea replace everything you drink if you want, other than water. Even if you just drink one cup of tea per day, it still provides your mouth with the benefits that will help improve your oral health.
Talk with your dentist if you are considering changing all of your drinks to tea. They may suggest a specific type of tea that will do the most good for you specifically. Ask them what type of things to be on the lookout for as your mouth starts to improve from your change of beverage, then smile because you are doing a great thing for your mouth.
If you have any questions or please contact us today.
Tongue scraping isn’t something everyone has heard of. In fact, even brushing one’s tongue is not common practice for everyone. If you want to keep your mouth as healthy as possible, it is important you keep tongue scraping as a regular part of your oral hygiene routine.
This can help improve your oral health, plus it has benefits that can be applied to other parts of your life.
There are many benefits that come along with tongue scraping. The first is that you remove the bacteria and tartar that tends to coat the tongue. This means it is not sitting in your mouth as a breeding ground for bad breath. Plus, once your tongue is clean, you will be able to taste your food more fully than you may have been able to do in quite some time.
When that film is off of your tongue, it also means that it is not going down into your stomach when you eat or swallow. That can cause you to struggle with proper digestion. One of the lesser known benefits of tongue scraping is that it can also give you an immunity boost. By not having film coating your tongue, it can more efficiently fight off any germs that make their way into your mouth.
Tongue scraping may not be as popular as it should be, but it is gaining ground. If you want to get the most out of your daily oral health routine, make sure that tongue scraping becomes part of it. It only takes a few seconds, but it can make a significant impact on how healthy your mouth and body are. Ask your dentist what he or she thinks about it, and chances are, they will agree with these benefits!
If you have any questions please contact us today.
AGING BRINGS CHANGES. Some of those changes we love, and some drive us crazy. But every change is better when you have a caring professional on your side.
Many believe that lost teeth are inevitable with the progressing years. That’s simply not true! With proper care, your teeth can last a lifetime. And with modern techniques and technology, you can be proud of your smile for just as long.
Every patient, and especially those over age 50, need to care for their gums! Gum disease, not tooth decay, is the number one cause of missing teeth in adults. As we age, our resistance to infection (including infections that cause gum disease) lowers.
However, daily brushing and flossing, together with close care from our team, will keep your teeth and gums healthy. Some patients may need more frequent cleanings, special tools, or specific procedures like root planing and scaling, in order to maintain or restore gum health.
As we age, we understand the wisdom in taking good care of ourselves. Not just for our own sake, but for our loved ones, as well.
Your smile is integral to your health and happiness. Social interactions, the way we talk and eat, and the way we feel about ourselves are all affected by the state of our smile. A beautiful, cared-for smile is key for looking and feeling healthy as we age.
One more wonderful thing often comes with age: the time and ability to pursue our own interests and passions. Take this opportunity to invest in your smile, and enjoy the positive effect that it will have in all aspects of your life!
If you believe that you’ve missed your chance for a beautiful smile, take another look! Recent developments make the dentures of 10 years ago look like ancient history. Even small procedures can subtract years, and add to your health and confidence.
Thanks for your trust in our practice. We love our patients and we love seeing you smile. Let us know what we can do to protect, preserve, and restore your smile.
HAVE YOU EVER HEARD your favorite music performed live? You likely noticed things that often don’t come across in a low-quality recording—the exact texture of the instruments and richness of the sound, for example. The parts of our auditory system that pick these things up are delicate, and can be dulled by trauma or disease.
What does this have to do with brushing your teeth? A lot, actually! Research is making it clear how far-reaching the benefits of good oral health are, including links to reduced risk of hearing loss.
Our mouths are home to billions of microbes of many different species. Many of them aren’t anything to worry about, but some of the more harmful microbes in dental plaque cause inflammation and tooth decay. If not removed by regular brushing and flossing, these bacteria will work their way into the bloodstream through infected, irritated gums.
Once inside the circulatory system, they inflame and narrow blood vessels in other parts of the body. When blood vessels that feed the auditory system are restricted, the fragile “hairs” that pick up sounds in the inner ear—called stereocilia—can be damaged, leading to hearing loss. And here’s the kicker: stereocilia don’t grow back.
Hearing loss occurs naturally with age—in fact, it affects about one out of three people by age 65. But there are steps each of us can take to reduce the risk and severity of the problem. Here are three easy-to-remember points:
Hearing is just one part of life preserved or enhanced by good hygiene. It’s impossible to ignore how much oral care, or the lack thereof, affects day-to-day living.
We have a “big picture” view of dentistry as an essential component of overall health, so our advice and treatment is focused on making lasting improvements to quality of life!
WE ALL KNOW it’s possible to catch a cold from someone who’s under the weather. Did you know cavity-causing bacteria can be passed from person-to-person too?
While sugary treats often take the blame for causing cavities, the real culprits for tooth decay are bacteria. Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus are bacteria which stick to our teeth and eat food particles left behind from our last meal, producing acids which threaten gum health and cause tooth decay.
And just like cold-causing bacteria, these bacteria like to travel.
Whether it’s through sharing a drink or kissing a loved one, cavity-causing bacteria can be passed from person-to-person the same way many other bacterial infections can. Studies have shown that “catching a cavity” is not only possible, it happens far more often than you might think.
One of the most common transmissions is from parent and child. Cavity-causing bacteria is commonly passed along to a child when a mother or father tastes food to ensure it’s not too hot or when he or she “cleans” a pacifier by sucking on it before handing it over.
What can you do to reduce your risk of transmitting these cavity-causing bacterias to someone else?
Nobody wants to inadvertently “catch a cavity.” Our practice is committed to providing you with the best information possible to help you create a healthy and resilient smile. If you have any questions about this, be sure to ask us! We love visiting about your oral health. You can also comment below and reach out to us on social media.
WHEN DENTISTS SEE emerging wisdom teeth are going to cause dental problems, wisdom tooth removal is likely in the cards.
Wisdom teeth–also known as the third molars–received their nickname because they emerge during young adulthood, when a person has a little more wisdom. But why do we wait until the late teenage years to address the issue? In fact, if wisdom teeth so often cause complications, why has nature given them to us at all?
The most widely accepted theory behind wisdom teeth suggests we look to our ancestors in the distant past for answers. Early humans had a much different diet than we do today: roots, raw meat, tough plants—foods that would have required a lot of grinding. Big, wide molars were the perfect teeth for the job, and that third set of molars would have helped them immensely! They also had larger jaws to accommodate these extra teeth.
Today, we have smaller jaws and eat much softer foods, but our genes still produce third molars! When they don’t have enough room to emerge properly, wisdom teeth can begin erupting at angles of 45 degrees or more—even horizontally! When teeth grow where there isn’t space for them, they cause a lot of problems.
Wisdom teeth emerging at bad angles or crowding other teeth can damage oral health. They might not even emerge at all, becoming impacted below the gum surface. In either case, they can cause constant pain and infection, weaken bone structure, and undo orthodontic work.
You might ask why wisdom teeth aren’t addressed in early childhood. It’s because they actually don’t begin forming until around age 10! All teeth (adult teeth included) begin forming in the jaws during fetal development—except for wisdom teeth.
There are the lucky few that have no problems with their wisdom teeth. It is possible for them to emerge at the right angle, with enough space, and not have to be removed.
Each case is unique, and by getting to know your unique dental profile, we will prescribe the best dental health solution—without any unnecessary treatment. From diagnosis to wisdom teeth removal recovery, we’ll be there every step of the way to provide the best in advice and care.
WHILE JUICING IS ONE OF THE most popular health fads right now, how does it affect your smile?
Many juices contain high amounts of acid and sugar that can compromise healthy teeth. Frequently drinking juices with overly acidic and sugary ingredients can begin to wear away the enamel of our teeth, putting us at greater risk for cavities.
But, don’t fret—you don’t need to go throw away your juicer just yet! There are a variety of simple ways to make your juices healthier and still taste great.
Make your juices healthier by considering some of these options:
What you put into your juices is the important thing to keep in mind when juicing. Ask yourself when adding ingredients: Does this add nutrients to my juice? Will my teeth benefit from this or not? Is there too much sugar or acid in this ingredient?
Here’s a few recipes to get you started:
By being mindful and aware of the ingredients you add to your juices, you can begin making smart decisions for not only your teeth, but your overall health. If you have any questions about how the juices you enjoy affect your teeth, feel free to schedule an appointment to see us or leave a comment below!