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  • Is Laser Dentistry Really Pain Free?

    Most people would advise against sticking sharp metal things in your mouth, but then dentists come at you with a noisy metal drill and that’s supposed to be normal? No wonder people are afraid of going to the dentist when many dental procedures require anesthesia injections, stitches, and lots of recovery time. Fortunately, there is a new game in town that is helping highly skilled dentists in St. Louis take the “Ouch!” out of dental visits. Laser dentistry is a fast and effective method that uses heat and light to perform a wide variety of dental procedures. Most importantly, laser dentistry is virtually pain-free!

    How laser dentistry works

    How laser dentistry works

    A laser dental treatment works by honing an intense beam of light energy to perform precise dental procedures. They are easy to control and allow dentists to painlessly cut or vaporize tissue on contact, eliminate decay in teeth, and remove soft tissue from gums. Blood loss is minimized because the high-energy light beam cauterizes as it works, which drastically reduces recovery times and the need for over-the-counter pain killers. Lasers also prevent bacterial infections by sterilizing the area and minimizing damage to the surrounding tissues.

    What makes laser dentistry painless?

    If just the thought of a scalpel going near your mouth gives you the shivers, then laser dentistry is your new best friend. This high-energy light technology is vastly less invasive than traditional methods. It eliminates the use of drills and scalpels in many dental procedures, which also reduces the need for anesthesia. Even biopsies and cavity fillings are made painless with laser dentistry! All procedures are performed with pinpoint accuracy to protect the surrounding tissues, and there are no stitches to care for afterwards. As an added bonus, lasers sterilize as they go, which reduces the risk of painful bacterial infections.

    The Solea laser

    As the number one selling hard and soft tissue laser in the industry, the Solea laser is the epitome of painless dentistry. If you are an anxious dental patient, you may lean on anesthesia to get you through a dental visit, even if you hate the groggy or numb feeling you are left with after the fact. But with the Solea laser, most dental patients skip anesthesia all together because they just don’t need it! Solea is the first CO 2 laser that uses a unique wavelength guided by sophisticated computer controls to vaporize tissue and enamel from any angle with amazing speed and accuracy. With no pain-triggering vibrations and anesthesia-free results, you can now undergo several hard and soft tissue procedures in one comfortable dental visit.

    Painless dentistry really is possible with the revolutionary laser dental treatments provided by West County Dental. Our exceptional team is dedicated to making your time in the chair comfortable, and we are always happy to answer your questions or address your concerns to ensure the absolute best dental experience.

  • 4 Tips to Save Time and Money at the Dentist

    If you are one of the many people who have shied away from visiting the dentist because of time or money issues, you are definitely not alone. The huge cost of dental care can create financial hardships and take up countless sick days, but there are several ways to reduce your dental costs. Here are 4 tips that will help you save a lot of time and money on your next dental visit.

    Ways to reduce your dental costs

    Establish an effective preventative care routine

    First things first, not getting a cavity is always cheaper than the lowest-priced filling. Regular brushing and flossing sound like a no-brainer, but your family dentist will have a variety of tips and tricks to help you maximize your daily routine. West County Dental even uses intra-oral cameras to show you where to focus on brushing, thus helping you avoid expensive dental procedures and special trips to the dentist down the line.

    Visit the dentist regularly

    Routine checkups are also a key ingredient to lower dental care costs. An experienced family dentist can remove harmful plaque and tartar build-up, administer fluoride treatments and dental sealants to protect teeth between cleanings, and treat oral diseases at the earliest possible stage. High-tech dentists also streamline procedures by using 3D imaging for faster, more accurate diagnostics, which reduces patient costs and recovery times.

    Choose a family dentist that uses laser dentistry

    One of the best ways to ensure faster and less painful dental procedures is to select a dental care facility that utilizes laser dentistry. This technology accurately pinpoints certain areas that need work, removes tooth decay, prevents gum disease from progressing, and sterilizes areas for fillings all while leaving the surrounding tissue intact. Laser dentistry reduces the need for anesthesia and causes less bleeding and swelling, allowing for better results with less pain, time commitments, and out-of-pocket costs.

    Enquire about 3D printing services

    When it comes to crowns or dental implants, many dental offices have to order the materials from a lab, wait for the product to be produced, and then wait for it to be shipped back to them. Since this lengthy process is not cost-efficient, many practices like West County Dental have invested in 3D printers to print their own materials. This technology drastically cuts down on turnaround times and makes high-quality, same-day crowns and dental implants possible. 3D printing can also be done for a fraction of the price of traditional methods, which is reflected in lower dental fees.

    Faster, more affordable dental care is out there if you know where to look, especially when your search leads you to West County Dental. Our highly trained dental team uses the latest advances in technology to streamline dental procedures and eliminate extraneous costs, passing the savings in both time and money directly on to you.

  • How 3-D Imaging Will Change Dentistry Forever

    Typical dental x-rays can be a tedious and uncomfortable process. Numerous individual images are required to cover the entire mouth, which allows for too much cranial exposure to radiation. Also, traditional x-rays only focus on your teeth with no way to enhance the images, making it almost impossible to study the surrounding bone structure, bone density, tissues, and nerves for diagnostic purposes. But times are changing and the newest advances in 3-D imaging and digital technology are taking the dental industry by storm. Here are just a few of the remarkable ways 3-D dentistry is changing the way family dentists in St. Louis take care of your teeth.

    3-D dentistry

    Revolutionizing the way dentists gather information

    Instead of interpreting two-dimensional information to diagnose tooth and gum conditions, 3-D dentistry allows dentists to see a much clearer picture of what is going on in your mouth. All you have to do is sit in a chair while the scanner moves in a complete circle around your head, gathering data all along the way. Then, the dentist can instantly call up any image, view it from all angles, and enhance or modify it. These 3-D images can show fractured roots, accessory canals, nerve placements, the density and structure of surrounding bones, and even early signs of gum disease. With all of this information at their fingertips, dentists can more accurately diagnose any potential conditions and create a more effective dental treatment plan.

    Making dental visits as painless as possible

    Painless dentistry is within reach using the latest advances in 3-D imaging. In its simplest form, 3-D dentistry can show dentists where nerves are located, thus allowing them to steer clear during dental procedures. 3-D images can also help dentists pinpoint the appropriate size, type, and placement for dental implants, reducing the likelihood of painful problems further down the road. Tumors, oral diseases, or impacted teeth can be identified and dealt with in the early stages, and any necessary surgical procedures can be mapped out from start to finish in order to maximize efficiency and reduce recovery times.

    Transforming smiles in just one day

    Long gone are the days where dental implants and natural-looking crowns took weeks or even months to install. Now, an experienced dental team can transform your smile in just a day with the latest advances in 3-D dentistry. The transformation process begins with a non-invasive 3-D photo scan, which is then optimized or enhanced by the dentist and transferred to an on-site milling device. Since the entire process is completed in one day, there is no need for painful temporary crowns or messy impressions, and the end result is a custom restorative device made from color-matching ceramic that is indistinguishable from your existing teeth.

    Not only is 3-D dentistry giving dentists a more detailed view of the mouth and skull, but it has also led to more accurate diagnostics, advances in painless dentistry, and transformative same day crowns or dental implants. For more information on how West Coast Dental utilizes 3-D imaging in their outstanding dental services, give us a call at (314) 821-2712!

  • What You Should Know Before a Root Canal

    At your last dental visit, your dentist uttered two words that many people fear: root canal. While the procedure will eliminate your lingering tooth pain and hopefully reduce your immense sensitivity to hot and cold, the very idea of a root canal procedure can be a bit frightening. Here is a helpful guide that covers the most important things you should know before getting root canal therapy.

    Root canal therapy

    What exactly is a root canal?

    When the blood or nerve supply of a tooth, also known as the pulp, is infected, root canal therapy is necessary to remove the infected tissue. Unfortunately, a root canal cannot save the tooth, but by preserving its natural structure, you will be able to chew food and speak properly.

    What are some of the symptoms?

    There are several signs that you may need a root canal procedure, including:

    • Lingering or spontaneous pain in response to hot or cold drink
    • Positional pain that is worse when you lay down, stand up suddenly, or run in place
    • A white, yellow, or red pimple-looking blister on your gum
    • An abscess, which will show up on an x-ray
    • Pain in your jaw, ear, or surrounding teeth

    Why is root canal therapy needed?

    If an infection in the pulp of a tooth spreads to the underlying root canal system, it can lead to an abscess, which is an inflamed pus-filled pocket that causes swelling around the tooth. If a root canal is not done, the infection may spread to other areas of the face, you may suffer bone loss around the tip of the root, or the tooth may have to be extracted.

    What does the procedure entail?

    During root canal therapy, a dentist will remove the inflamed or infected pulp and carefully clean out and shape the inside of the tooth. Then, they will fill and seal the space to prevent further infection. The final step is for the dentist to place a crown on the tooth to protect its structural integrity. After a root canal procedure is completed, your tooth will function like any other tooth.

    Is the procedure painful?

    No, there should not be any root canal pain. With the use of a local anesthetic, the procedure should be no different than if you were having an ordinary filling done. Afterwards, you may feel a bit sore, but that will diminish over time.

    How long will the root canal procedure take?

    A root canal is a time-consuming procedure that often involves two or more visits to your dentist. The first appointment may be quite long as the dentist needs to remove the infected tissue and allow any abscesses to drain. Once the tooth is closed and shaped for filling, a temporary cap is put in and the tooth is left to settle. At the next appointment, the tooth is checked and if all is clear, it is permanently filled and capped.

    Is any special care necessary after treatment?

    Care instructions will be given out after each appointment, but good oral hygiene and regular dental visits are essential to ensuring the best results.

    If you are experiencing tooth pain, don’t suffer in silence! Instead, utilize the knowledge and expertise of the West County Dental team in St. Louis, MO to help you find relief.

  • 4 Ways Technology Has Improved Your Visit to the Dentist

    A dentist appointment may not be your idea of a good time, but taking care of your teeth is your number one ticket to lifelong oral health. Fortunately, dental visits are not what they used to be! Technology has revolutionized the face of dentistry as we know it by helping St. Louis dentists find new ways to reduce tooth pain and create faster, safer, and more comfortable dental procedures. From crowns in a day to laser dentistry, here are 4 ways technology is taking the fear out of going to the dentist:

    No more pain!

    If your fear of the dentist chair has prevented you from dealing with your tooth pain, then your day has come! Laser dentistry is virtually painless and can be used in a wide variety of dental procedures. The Solea system, for example, is a CO 2 dental laser that uses a unique wavelength guided by sophisticated computers to work on both hard and soft tissues. The resulting procedure is blood-free and anesthesia-free, and there are no needles, scary-looking drills, or bone-chilling noises. Best of all, you can go right back to work without the lingering numbing affects that often cause embarrassing drooling and slurred speech.

    Instant results

    In the past, those suffering from damaged, broken, or missing teeth needed numerous trips to the dentist, countless injections, and days or months spent recovering between procedures in order to achieve the results they were after. However, the latest advances in 3D imaging and crown printing have made effective same day dental procedures a reality. Using CAD-CAM (Computer Aided Design-Computer Aided Manufacturing) technology, a non-invasive 3D scanner captures an image of your damaged teeth and an on-site milling device prints a perfect match within minutes. No temporary crowns, no messy impressions, and more of your natural tooth saved, all thanks to technology.

    Interactive treatments at West County Dental

    Faster, safer diagnoses

    X-rays have always been an essential tool for diagnosing conditions of your teeth and gums, but traditional x-rays take time to create and expose patients to dangerous radiation. Modern digital X-rays have streamlined the diagnostic process. Since they immediately appear on computer screens, they can be digitally transferred to allow for faster communication between dentist and patient or enhanced for a more accurate diagnosis. Digital x-rays also provide greater comfort than traditional x-rays and reduce radiation exposure by 80-90%.

    Interactive treatments

    Have you always wondered exactly what the dentist sees when they look in your mouth? Well, now you can see for yourself with an intra-oral camera. This small device allows you to view the inside of your mouth in real time, giving the dentist an opportunity to further examine causes of tooth pain and discuss with you recommended dental procedures. The camera is also a great tool for pointing out where to focus on brushing, which allows you to maximize your dental hygiene routine.

    When it comes to cutting-edge technology and effective dental procedures, the experienced team at West County Dental is the best in St. Louis, MO. We always stay ahead of the latest tools and techniques to bring you specialized dental care and fast, comfortable results.

  • How Do Root Canals Work?

    Brief overview of how a root canal works

    If you have learned that you may need a root canal procedure, you may be wondering what exactly this procedure entails. Root canal technology has advanced significantly in recent years, and your St. Louis dentist will be able to provide you with a much more comfortable experience than dental patients of the past could expect. Here is a brief overview of how a root canal works.

    Accessing the Infected Tooth
    When you come to your dentist’s office for a root canal procedure, your dentist will begin by applying local anesthesia in order to ensure your comfort. A rubber dam is placed to keep the tooth dry. Then, your dentist will gain access to the inside of your tooth—that is, the root canal. At West County Dental, we utilize the Solea Laser to ensure precise and painless treatment during this procedure.

    Removing Infected Tissue and Pulp
    Once your dentist has gained access to the root canal, he will remove all of the infected tissue from your tooth’s interior. Patients can expect this step of the procedure to be painless and safe. Your dentist will continue cleaning the inside of your tooth until all of the pulp and nerve tissue has been taken out.

    Filling and Sealing the Tooth
    The final step of the root canal procedure is to fill and seal the tooth. This often takes place at a second appointment. After your dentist has finished cleaning out your tooth, he will seal it using a filling, then place a dental cap to ensure that the tooth stays stable and free from future infection. Your treated tooth may be sensitive for a period of time after the procedure.

    If you are experiencing any discomfort in your teeth, it’s time to visit Dr. Spalitto and his team at West County Dental. We will be happy to thoroughly answer your questions about oral care and address any concerns that you may have about root canals. Call us today at (314) 821-2712 to set up an appointment at our office.

  • Precise Dentistry with the Solea Laser

    Precise Dentistry with the Solea Laser

    Can you imagine going to the dentist and receiving painless treatment for tooth decay without anesthesia? With the Solea Laser, that dream has become a reality. Approved by the FDA in 1990, the Solea Laser allows your St. Louis dentist to perform procedures with greater precision and virtually no discomfort for the patient. The laser, which is less than one-eighth the diameter of a human hair, effectively replaces the dental drill. It does not vibrate or make any noise, and it results in no bleeding during soft tissue procedures. It’s the perfect solution for any patient who has ever dreaded a visit to the dentist, making even oral surgery a sensationless experience.

    At West County Dental, we are proud to utilize state-of-the-art dental technology, including the Solea Laser , to ensure the best possible care for our patients. Visit our website to learn more about our services, or call us today at (314) 821-2712 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Spalitto.

  • Reasons You Need a Dental Filling

    Reasons You Need a Dental Filling

    A dental filling is a straightforward procedure that can generally be performed in your dentist’s office during the course of one visit. There are a number of reasons why your family dentist in St. Louis may advise you that a dental filling is necessary. Keep reading to learn a few of the most common reasons why patients require dental fillings.

    During a routine cleaning, your dentist will examine your teeth to check for any signs of tooth decay. If your dentist discovers a cavity on any of your teeth, he or she will recommend either a filling or another course of action such as a root canal procedure. Toothache and sensitivity to hot and cold sensations are some of the most common symptoms of a cavity, so if you experience these symptoms, call your dentist.

    Tooth Fractures
    Fractured teeth can also be treated with fillings. If you have suffered a tooth fracture—whether because of trauma to your tooth, biting into a hard piece of food, or another incident—it is important to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Tooth fractures can become significantly worse if they are not addressed right away, and they can lead to bacterial infections in your mouth.

    Replacing an Old Filling
    All fillings may eventually need to be replaced. Pressure from chewing, as well as clenching or grinding your teeth, can take a toll on older fillings. Over time, these factors can cause fillings to chip, crack, or even fall out. Bacteria can also accumulate in the cavity left from a missing or improperly positioned filling and lead to infections.

    How long has it been since your last dental cleaning? If your teeth are in need of professional care, call West County Dental at (314) 821-2712 to make an appointment. You can always count on us for quality dental care using state-of-the-art technology. Dr. Spalitto and his knowledgeable team will ensure that your experience is comfortable, positive, and relaxing.

  • What Causes Bad Breath?

    Dr. Spalitto refers to bad breath as halitosis. As you will learn in this video, bad breath can signify an underlying dental problem.

    Chronic bad breath is a common problem in family dentistry. While occasional bad breath is no cause for concern, you should tell your dentist if your bad breath lasts longer than a few hours. Halitosis may be caused by gum disease or could signify a tooth abscess or infection. Cavities and gum disease require immediate treatment for the best possible prognosis.

    If you suffer from bad breath, seek treatment from dentist Dr. Spalitto by calling West County Dental at (314) 821-2712.

  • Treating Gum Disease with Lasers

    laser dentistry st. louis

    Laser dentistry is an increasingly popular way for Dr. Spalitto, a dentist near St. Louis, to treat gum disease. Gum disease can pose serious risks to your oral and overall health. When plaque accumulates between the teeth and along the gumline, it can solidify into tartar. Plaque causes both cavities and gum disease. If untreated by a dentist, gum disease leads to tender, red, and bleeding gums. It can also cause tooth loss. Fortunately, gum disease can be treated with laser dentistry. Read on to learn more how laser dentistry treats gum disease.

    Targeted Method
    Laser dentistry is preferred by many dentists who treat gum disease because it targets only the affected tissue. With traditional techniques, a dentist uses tools to treat problem areas. Unfortunately, these tools can cause damage to nearby tissues and lead to longer recovery times. With laser dentistry, a dentist is able to reshape the soft gum tissue. The entire procedure is almost completely pain free and requires substantially less recovery time.

    General Steps
    When it comes to treating gum disease or periodontal disease, laser dentistry is a four-step process. First, your dentist will pre-test bacteria to determine how far the disease has progressed. Next, he or she will use a laser to de-contaminate deep gum pockets. Finally, the laser dentistry treatment is executed with a microscope. At the end, your dentist will test your gums to make sure the gum disease has been resolved.

    Additional Benefits
    In addition to sparing nearby healthy gum tissue, laser dentistry offers various benefits for gum disease treatment. By using a laser, your dentist can eliminate gum bleeding immediately. Your dentist can also reduce or completely fix loose teeth. Laser dentistry ensures that healthy bone and ligament tissue regenerate. Finally, when compared with gum surgery, laser dentistry minimizes swelling.

    Find out more about laser dentistry by speaking with a dentist today. Call Dr. Spalitto at West County Dental at (314) 821-2712.