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Woman having laser treatment at the crestwood dental group

Laser dentistry: reduced pain, faster recovery, and
safer treatment in St. Louis, MO

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Among all of the new technologies that have advanced the field of dentistry in the last few decades, laser dentistry ranks among the top in terms of its versatility and benefits for patients and dentists alike. At Crestwood Dental Group, we have equipped our practice with Waterlase Dentistry™ to enhance the care and comfort of a wide variety of dental procedures for our patients in the St. Louis, MO area and surrounding communities.

Waterlase Dentistry™

There are several types of dental lasers available for use. Some lasers are designed to specifically treat hard tissues (such as teeth and bone) and others are designed for soft tissues (such as gums). At Crestwood Dental Group, we have invested in and used Waterlase Dentistry™ for the last several years, which enables us to treat both types of tissues safely and effectively. What makes the Waterlase device unique is that it uses a patented technology called Hydrophotonics™ that combines laser energy – a focused beam of concentrated light – with a stream of water and air. When the laser hits the tooth or soft tissue surface, the water molecules become energetic, allowing the laser to make precise and comfortable cuts while the water maintains hydration in the tissue to avoid overheating and discomfort.

To treat your mouth with Waterlase, Dr. Maxwell first prepares the area and then directs the device onto the treatment area to perform procedures such as:

  • Cleaning out cavities and areas of decay
  • Treating periodontal disease by cleaning out the bacteria and debris from pockets and stimulating new gum growth
  • Repairing damaged teeth

Diode laser

At Crestwood Dental Group, we are also equipped with diode laser technology for a variety of soft tissue treatments.

This small, portable laser system can be used in place of scalpels in treatments, cauterizes nerve endings to reduce pain, and sterilizes as it treats. The diode laser can be used in procedures such as:

  • Gum disease therapy
  • Laser tooth whitening

Benefits of laser dentistry

Dental laser therapy offers many benefits over more traditional methods of performing dental procedures, such as scalpels and drills. Patients and Dr Maxwell love laser dentistry because it:

  • Is comfortable: in addition to being virtually painless, the Waterlase device does not have the noisy sounds or smells associated with traditional dental drills
  • Often does not require anesthesia: because treatment with Waterlase is so comfortable, most patients do not require local anesthesia – which means not “babying” the side of your mouth for hours after your treatment due to it being numb.
  • Makes treatment fast: most treatments with Waterlase can be performed more rapidly than with traditional drills or scalpels.
  • Does not require sutures: because the Waterlase device cauterizes as it cuts, sutures are typically not required.
  • Is safer and more precise: laser dentistry enables Dr. Maxwell to be more precise in his cuts and harms less of the surrounding tissue, and it sterilizes as it treats, reducing the chance of post-treatment infection.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Lasers perform many tasks in dentistry. Some are cleaning out cavities and decayed areas, repairing damaged teeth and treating periodontal disease by cleaning out the bacteria and debris from pockets and stimulating new gum growth.

Some lasers treat hard tissues like teeth and bone, while some treat soft tissues like gums. Waterlase Dentistry enables dentists to safely and effectively treat both types of tissues.

It is a small, portable laser system that can be used instead of scalpels. It reduces pain by cauterizing nerve endings and sterilizing the sites simultaneously. It can be used in a variety of soft tissue treatments like tooth whitening and gum disease therapy.

Laser dentistry is more comfortable and almost painless compared to traditional dentistry involving drills, scalpels, and sutures; often doesn’t require anesthesia; makes treatment faster, safer, and more precise; and there is less chance of bleeding and post-treatment infections as it sterilizes the wound site during treatment.

Yes, the patient, the dentist, and any assistants will have to wear special glasses to protect their eyes during the procedure.

Dr. James Maxwell

Dr. James Maxwell graduated from Allegheny College with a B.S. Degree in Biology in 1995, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine with a Doctor of Dental Medicine Degree in 2000. He stays abreast of developments in dentistry by following over 100 hours of continuing education courses each year, ex. Advanced Laser Dentistry courses and training at The Dawson Academy. He became the sole practitioner of Crestwood Dental Group in 2003.

Dr. Maxwell focuses on cosmetic, restorative, and preventative dentistry though he is skilled in all areas of general dentistry. A member of many professional organizations such as the American Dental Association, Missouri Dental Association, and the Greater St. Louis Dental Society, he has been nominated as a top dentist in St. Louis for five consecutive years by his peers. The list appears in St. Louis Magazine.

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