Laser Dentistry at Smile Innovations

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When we think about lasers, we think James Bond or Star Trek where a laser can zap you or kill you.  Dental lasers are used in a very different way. They both are used to save the world.( Just Kidding)
          People are constantly changing, and the way we think, our beliefs and behavior have changed. Our diets have evolved, and so has our dentistry. We are consuming more and more sugars, eating more meats and processed foods, drinking more soda and alcohol, and smoking. Growing trends in our society are increases in obesity, depression, sleep apnea, heart disease, and hypertension just to name a few. These behaviors correlate to more cavities and periodontal/dental disease.
          A few weeks ago, I attended an amazing conference on dental lasers in Seattle to improve the quality of dental care for my practice and my patients. I met many knowledgeable and respectable dentists who have dedicated and made commitments to improve the way we practice dentistry. Dentistry has come a long way with new techniques and procedures using lasers. From low level laser therapy, to laser bacterial debridement, and simple fillings and baby root canals with no anesthesia, desensitizing teeth, or treating herpetic lesions and ulcers, whitening, releasing tongue ties on babies so they can breast feed and have a normal facial development, and sleep apnea and its consequences was pretty awesome. Here is a glimpse of what I learned.
  • Lasers promote significant healing for patients with periodontal disease. From a microbiological standpoint, studies have shown that bacterial counts are reduced significantly, and the body is able to regenerate bone and tissue attachment. Bacteria in the mouth that produce endotoxins and biofilms are seriously destroyed.
  • Releasing Lingual ties on newborn babies that make it virtually impossible for them to breast feed to develop a good palate and maxilla for facial development, allow our kids to grow up with betterlooking faces and less neurological complications such as ADHD and obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Treating cold sores, ulcers and herptic lesions to promote faster healing. Patients will have less pain.
  • For patients who have small cavities and are fearful, it is comforting that we can place a filling without an injection and the terrifying sound of the drill.
  • Whitening teeth with a laser produces less sensitivity and a fast result.
  • This list goes on for procedures preformed with a dental laser.
          I am grateful that I can practice dentistry in a day a age where my treatment can make huge difference on overall well being of my patient. Dentistry is no longer just filling and drilling. We can produce better outcomes with the use of new technology. Dentists can promote the overall health and wellness of our patients by making patients look better, feel better and live healthier longer lives.

 

Happy New Year! From Smile Innovations

I hope everyone had a wonderful new year!  I would like to thank everyone has helped us get to where we are today. Our patients have always made our day better and brighter. Our friends and family, give us the motivation and the inspiration to help us grow and do what we do. We love and respect everyone who has believed in us and made Smile Innovations possible.

We are excited with all the new changes and would like to share our enthusiam . Our favorite and beloved dental assistant Maria has moved to Virginia to be closer to her husband, is now expecting a baby. Yeay! Angie is persuing her dreams to become a nurse, and take care of all you sick people, and we wish her the best. And Mikey , Joe, Lluna, and Sandy has joined our team to improve the daily lives of others. Hip hip hooray. 2013 is going to be amazing! We will be having more fun and creative adventures.

See everyone soon!

Dr. Linda Ma

Crowns in One day at Smile Innovations

Going to the dentist is not a fun adventure. If you had ever had a dental crown placed, you know that the procedure is sometimes long and grueling. First you get and injection, then the tooth is prepared, an impression is taken, a temporary is made and temporarily cemented, and you have to come back for a second visit to have another injection and then cement the crown which is not always porcelain. Then through time, you may see a black collar around the bottom of the tooth because the metal is showing because your gums are receding. And who knows what that metal is made of?

At Smile Innovations, we are proud to offer CEREC crowns. These crowns are custom made, full porcelain or ceramic crowns that can be fabricated in the same day. Once we prepare the tooth, we take a digital impression and design the tooth. After designing the tooth, the material and color are selected then placed in a milling unit where the final crown is made. All of this is accomplished in one single visit. No need to take addition time off of work, and coming back for the second injection.

CEREC crowns are amazing because they look and feel great. They are metal free. The computer helps design and replicate what your tooth looks like. This procedure is fast and efficient, and most importantly, it is very comfortable for the patient.  Come visit us at Smile Innovations, 6323 S Rural Rd #101 Tempe, AZ 82583. Call 480.820.7777 to schedule and appointment. Our goal is to help you have the best teeth that you can. Have an amazing day!

Dr. Linda Ma

Invisalign, The Clear Alternative to Braces

Linda1Is there something that you don’t like about your smile? Have you ever considered having straight teeth? Well, invisalign is a clear alternative to braces. Invisalign is a series of clear trays that reposition teeth to make your teeth look straighter and better.

I am excited to say that I am currently in Invisalign. Hip hip hooray! I have had in braces twice in my life, and the third times a charm, right?  Most people who see me say “Dr. Ma, your teeth look straight already”. But I know that my teeth have repositioned itself. The first time I had braces was in 7th grade and the second time was 10 years later in dental school, and now 10 more years later, I am in invisalign. And yes, I did wear my retainer AND I had a lingual bar on the backs of my teeth. Teeth will continually move throughout your life and the wire in the retainer will not last forever. If your body changes, your teeth will too!

I remember my metal braces in grade school because my teacher gave one of my classmates detention for calling me brace face. I remember looking goofy, food getting stuck in my braces and my lips and cheeks getting scratched from the w

ires. I carried wax with me to cover the areas where the wires would rub. I constantly brushed my teeth after every meal because food would be stuck everywhere. The second time, in dental school, I had clear braces.  I looked like a teenager. LOL

Treatment times for braces was 2 years each time, so being that I had braces twice, I spent 4 years of my life in braces. This time my Invisalign treatment time is six and a half months. Was I happy the the first time in 9th grade when my braces were removed? No, my teeth were flared, straighter than before I had braces but not quite straight. My mom accused me of not wearing my retainer because the orthodontist said my teeth relapsed from not wearing my retainer. I did wear my retainer.  There are great orthodontists but not all of them have the same skill level. My orthodontist in dental school, however, was great. She made my teeth perfectly straight. But after a few years, my teeth shifted again. Now flash forward to the present time, I am in invisalign. I love this product because it is very predictable. I have a short treatment time, it is barely noticeable and is very comfortable after you get used to it.

Having straight teeth is a constant battle, and maintenance is the key. Invisalign offers a retainer after treatment and should be changed every few years. Invisalign is a great way to align teeth, and can help most people. Come visit us to see if you are a candidate. I will help you align your teeth so that you will have a beautiful smile.

 

Dr. Linda Ma DMD

 

 

 

Straight White Teeth is Amazing

I wonder why, when I see a gorgeous looking person that does not smile because they do not like their teeth or smile. You know who those people are, the ones that cover their mouths when the speak, or have bad breath, or never smiles. You can look at their photographs, and see that the picture is a missing smile. I hear excuses like I’m too old, or I don’t have money, or I don’t care, or I don’t have time, or I’m afraid of the dentist. These excuses prevent people from being happy, feeling good and looking their best.

I feel when people have decay, gum disease, bad breath, or missing or crooked teeth, they are embarrassed, discouraged, or lose confidence and feel less attractive. They stop smiling, talk less, and avoid eye contact and become old. These behaviors can lessen their chances for a better job, a good relationship, or new friendships.

It is also unhealthy when there is an infection in the mouth. It is extremely painful when the tooth’s infected. Many women tell me that they rather give birth than have tooth pain. Then why wait to go to the dentist? Being healthy should be a powerful motivator to see the dentist.

I notice that when people whiten their teeth, or get veneers, or get dental implants, or finish their invisalign treatment ( the clear alternative to braces), they smile much more. I think they have more self confidence, more self esteem, and feel more attractive. Dentistry has revolutionized in the last ten years. With all the technologies and new innovative products, dentists can give their patients a great smile. A great smile goes along with a great attitude. People who finish their dental treatment and maintain their oral hygiene are healthier and happier. They are perceived to be friendlier, kinder, younger, intelligent and more successful because they smile more frequently. If you would like to improve your smile, you will always be welcomed at Smile Innovations, your Tempe Cosmetic and Family Dentist

Don’t let those excuses prevent you from living a great life. Find an awesome dentist who can create that beautiful smile so that you can smile in your pictures, and not have bad breath and gum disease.

Love your Dentist and Dental Team

Its very exciting and interesting when I meet new people and they find out I’m a dentist.  They either try to run away, ask ten thousand dental questions,  or cover their mouth.  Once in a blue moon, someone will say ” I love the dentist!”.  People either have bad experiences, are embarassed, self concious, or curious about their teeth.  Many people are unhappy and don’t like their teeth or smiles.  They tell stories of how bad their old dentist tramatized them or did something bad to them or how expensive it is.  People fail to realize that dentists help stabilize your teeth, make sure that your teeth are healthy and that you can smile till the day you die.

Dentistry has changed dramatically within the last ten years. We have digital x-rays, anesthesia, lasers, clear braces such as invisalign, dental implants,whitening and so forth. Dentists help people smile more by keeping teeth looking good, strong and healthy.  If you had a negative experience with a dentist, you should not let it discourage you from going to a great dentist. There are thousands of great dentists that will help you with the dental treatment you need.  It is also your responsiblily to take care of your teeth when you are at home. 

Let’s talk about expense. Dentistry is expensive when you do not take care of your teeth. What you are paying for is the cost to maintain your teeth.  Dental materials, dental supplies and the dentist’s and staff’s time is all part of maintaining your teeth. Once cavities and infection are removed, you are responsible to take care of your teeth.  Maintaining a healthy diet and excercise, and brushing and flossing are the keys to good oral health.  So simple, yet people blame the dentist for their dental problems. 

Dentists can help you achieve your goals, whether it is whitening your teeth, getting dental implants to replace missing teeth, straightening your teeth, cleaning your teeth and so much more.  The bottom line is that dentists are here to improve your smile and help you eat better. The final note is to remember to treat your dentist well.  Find a dentist who will listen and address your concerns.  He/she should be working on your behalf.

Dr. Linda Ma

 

This is How We Whiten and Brighten Teeth

HX9332_05-RTP-global-001_lowresI love bright, white teeth.  White teeth makes your smile look better, gives you more self esteem, and makes you look younger.  White teeth changes people’s attitude and personality by making them look good and feel good about themselves. Pictures always look amazing when you have white teeth.  Teeth can discolor as we age, take medications and develop tartar and stains. One rule I tell my patients is “whatever stains your white shirt can stain your teeth”.  For example, broccoli and rice will not stain your teeth, but a blueberry or a glass of wine will.  If you drink coffee and tea, like myself you will develop stain.   A solution to this problem would be to invest in a sonicare toothbrush and a good quality toothpaste such as opalesence.  I love my sonicare, and I am the perfect example that it works. Come check my teeth out for yourself if you’d like.

How do you get white teeth you ask?  Excellent question.  If you are in rush, have a special event or need instant gratification, you can do a one hour dental office treatment. You can use custom dental whitening trays for an hour for a few days. You can brush daily with a professional quality whitening toothpaste such a opalensce and a sonicare toothbrush.  You can get crowns and veneers to achieve the exact shade, shape and size of your tooth. Everyones circumstances, committments and desires will be different so your local dentist can help you choose which treatment is best for you.

For the best results, you should do the combination of the three whitening processes.

1. One hour in office whitening.  This is to kick start the whitening process. It’s fast, convinient and you see the results right away.   The teeth are polished to remove stains and tartar, the gums are then isolated to be protected from the bleaching solution,   a solution of 28%-40% carbamide peroxide is place on the teeth for 3-4 intervals of 10-15 minutes.  Our bleaching solution is very concentrated so it cannot be done at home and it can burn your skin, eyes and mouth.

2. Take home bleaching trays.  Solutions range from 8%-20%. Every few weeks or months, you have to touch up, or re-whiten your teeth. Like dying you hair, you have to maintain the color. The trays are worn for about an hour per day and the bleach is placed only on teeth that are visible when you smile.  The gel should cover only your teeth.  If you place too much solution on the tray and it overflows to your gums, you can irritate the gums and cause yourself discomfort, so be careful not to get the gel on your gums. You will just be wasting your product.

3. The sonicare toothbrush with opalensce toothpaste.  Daily brushing twice a day with this toothpaste creates amazing results.

For more questions and answers about teeth whitening visit http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/teeth-whitening-faq and http://www.teethwhiteningreviews.com/faq.php

Your Family and Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Linda Ma DMD

Fluoride Is Good For You

What’s all the commotion about fluoride being bad for you? Fluoride is an awesome mineral which helps prevent cavities and reduce tooth sensitivity. Fluoride is found in toothpaste, rinses, water and food. It is unfortunate how many people are misinformed about the dangers and toxicity of fluoride. Anything in large doses can be considered toxic. For example, sugars in large amounts may lead to obesity, diabetes and many other diseases. Calcuim in large amounts can lead to kidney disease and hypercalcemia. High salt intake can lead to hypertension. Overconsumption of alcohol can lead to death. I can name numerous toxic minerals and chemicals if not taken in moderation can cause damage.  Fluoride is safe and effective when used as directed.

There are many dental companies, dentist schools/universities, and dental researchers who have done many studies, spent countless hours, and spent millions of dollars to make sure that fluoride has more benefits over disadvantages.  Fluoride is safe and cost effective. Fluoride reduces tooth decay, prevents needless infection, suffering and loss of teeth, and saves alot of money in dental treatment cost. The United States Centers for Disease  Control, CDC,  has reports that  advocate fluoride.  For more information, click http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm. The FDA , Food and Drug Admistration and EPA, Environment Protective Agency has not issued warnings, so why are people saying that fluoride is bad?

So how does fluoride work you ask?  Fluoride prevents bacteria that cause plaque from sticking to and demineralizing teeth which causes tooth decay and sensitivity. Fluoride helps the calcium and phosphate molecules on your tooth to become more difficult for bacteria to adhere to. It is like a thin seal  or coating around the enamel. For more information go to  http://fluorideinfo.org/

Overall, fluoride is safe and beneficial to people of all ages when used as directed. At Smile Innovations, our team actively  promote healthy smiles and teeth, so make sure you are brushing and flossing twice a day for at least two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste.

Dr Linda Ma DMD

Gum Disease and Prevention

Have you met a person whose breath you can smell a mile away?  Are the teeth moving and have loads of plaque and tartar on it?  Are the gums red and bleeding?  If the answer is yes, you have gum disease.

People often tell me that they have bad teeth, their parents had bad teeth and grandparents had dentures when they were 30 years old.  They are fearful and sad because they feel will lose their teeth and be in a denture.  Bad teeth are due to neglect, poor oral hygiene, and poor eatting habits.  Too much sugar, little or no brushing and flossing, and overgrowth off bacteria will lead to decay and tooth loss.  The bacteria in the mouth cause gingivitis and periodontitis, gum disease. Gingivitis is inflamation of the gums. Through time, the gingivitis will develop into an infection which leads to gum diseaseGum disease means bone loss, bleeding gums and bad breath. The bone in your mouth is what supports the teeth. Without bone, the teeth will eventually fall out. The bleeding gums and the smelly breath is caused by the bacteria on the surfaces of the teeth.

To prevent and control gum disease, a dental hygienist will do a scaling and root planning which means cleaning the teeth below and around the gum. Bacteria, tartar, and plaque will be removed. In some cases a medicine is placed on the gums to further kill the bacteria.  After the treatment is done, it is your responsibility to brush, floss, eat properly and maintain your oral health. The hygienist will schedule you back to help you maintain the gum disease and keep it under control. If you stop the maintaining your hygiene, the disease will come back.  To maintain healthy teeth and gums, go regularly to the dentist for routine check ups and maintainence. This will save you lots of time, money, and pain.

Dr. Linda Ma DMD

Your Tempe Cosmetic and Family Dentist

Hello world! This is Dr Linda Ma DMD,  from Smile Innovations, your local  family dentist. I would like to thank our team and patients for helping us build our new office at 6326 S. Rural Rd suite 101, Tempe Arizona, 85283. If you would like to contact us, please click here. This is my first blog so bear with me. I will be discussing new and interesting topics in the future. Enjoy our new website. I will be looking forward to updating everyone on their dental health and concerns. Please email me at smileinnovations@hotmail.com for topics you would like me to talk about.

Dr Linda Ma and Dr Boyd Patummas