As a dental office that offers comprehensive care, we will often recommend additional services for our adult patients at routine dental cleanings. These services typically include the application of fluoride and laser bacterial reduction.
Often thought of as only necessary for children (and still considered this way in most dental insurance plans), adult fluoride treatments have been shown to help protect teeth from the demineralization process that occurs when acids from plaque and sugars in the mouth attack the tooth enamel. It also helps with the remineralization process of restoring minerals to strengthen the tooth enamel. In addition to strengthening developing teeth in children, fluoride is just as important in fighting tooth decay as you age, especially for adults who have dry mouth, gum disease, a history of frequent cavities or the presence of dental work (crowns, bridges, or braces). The application of fluoride only takes a couple minutes and is an out-of-pocket cost that generally ranges from $20 – $30 depending on the contracted rate with your insurance company.
Similarly, we believe in using technology to improve our patients’ health. Laser bacterial reduction (LBR) is the process of using a diode laser to safely and comfortably decontaminate the gum tissue and pockets around the teeth prior to the dental cleaning. The laser emits concentrated light energy, which vaporizes unhealthy bacteria. During the professional cleaning process, and during normal brushing and flossing, most patients will have some areas that may bleed. This allows bacteria that is present in all of our mouths to flood into the bloodstream and sometimes settle in weakened areas of our body. Research shows that these bacteria that cause periodontal disease have now been linked to a growing number of other diseases. Using the laser prior to your cleaning allows us to remove the bacteria and reduce the bacterial flow into your bloodstream. Additionally, infections in one area of your mouth can be transmitted to other areas. LBR minimizes the chance that we may inadvertently pick up the bacterial infection in one area of your mouth and move it to others. Lastly, LBR is used to kill periodontal disease bacteria and stop their infections before they cause physical destruction or loss of attachment around your teeth. The LBR process is painless, only takes a few minutes and has an out-of-pocket cost of $30.
While fluoride and LBR may be recommended, our patients always have the option to decline these services. We will always recommend and explain what we feel will improve each patient’s oral health however it is ultimately up to the patient to decide what services they would like to have done.
If you have a question about the recommendation of fluoride or the use of laser bacterial reduction in our cleanings, contact us at 303-779-2797 to speak with one of our dental hygienists.
Source: willowcreekdds.com Blog