The Biolase ezlase Dental Laser: How Dental Lasers Transform Our Practice

2020-07-16T16:58:26+00:00January 14th, 2019|Carolina's Dental Choice, Dental Bonding, Dental Trends|

Laser technology is all around us, whether in a small, handheld cat toy, a medical procedure such as laser eye surgery, impressive light shows at concerts, or high-powered laser weaponry. A dental office is no exception, and the practice of lasers in medicine and science are here to stay! In fact, lasers become safer and more practical each year, and patients receive top-of-the-line care as a result of lasers, transforming traditional procedures into faster, pain-free dental experiences.

First, let’s take a step back and have a closer look at the Biolase ezlase Dental Laser.        

Biolase, Inc. has led the field of laser dentistry, developing, manufacturing, and distributing laser systems in dentistry. This has transformed dental practices, where dentists and clinicians are better able to repair and restore dental conditions, while alleviating pain and reducing anxiety associated with dentistry. Biolase lasers have changed dental practices globally, setting the standard of care and quality in laser-based solutions.

Both dental professionals and patients have praised this innovative technology in dental practices for being:

  • Effective
  • Comfortable
  • Efficient
  • Pain-Free
  • Quiet
  • Less invasive than traditional dentistry

How it works

Albert Einstein wrote to a friend in 1916 that “A splendid light has dawned on me about the absorption and emission of radiation.” While having stated this revelation, Einstein didn’t create the laser, but he did theorize the concept of stimulated emission—otherwise known as the scientific basis for the creation of laser light. After the first laser was developed in 1960, many more lasers were created, enabling dental researchers to investigate lasers’ potential. By 1965, two researchers found that a laser could vaporize enamel. More studies followed over the decades, finding soft and hard tissues applications for dental lasers.

Laser is actually an acronym that stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers deliver energy by light. Generating light is nonionizing and does not produce the same effects as X-radiation, or the more harmful side effects from X-rays. The lasers function with light energy and water.

Now, lasers in dentistry provide precise procedures without local anesthesia, bone cutting ability with minimal trauma to other oral tissues, and an increased healing response with minimal pain post-procedure. Between the different types of lasers used in dentistry, they have become minimally invasive instruments that deliver excellent results.


Here’s what’s special about the Biolase ezlase Dental Laser

Biolase ezlase delivers the best advanced-laser technology for your dental care. Carolina’s Dental Choice uses lasers to speed up different kinds of procedures, as well as, reduce recovery time and overall invasiveness. The efficiency of Biolase means that your CDC dentist can diagnose and treat dental problems to ensure healthier teeth and gums. Biolase also doesn’t use heat or vibration, making your dental experiences more enjoyable, precise, and painless.


How lasers are used in dentistry

We might think of lasers as being groundbreaking technology, however, lasers have been used in dentistry since 1994. They are now well-established instruments in the modern dentist office, and ongoing research is continuing to show the many benefits of laser therapy, laser dental work, and laser surgical assistance.

To put it simply, drills and handheld dental instruments simply aren’t as accurate as laser technology. To patients, it’s likely less about what the laser technology can do, and much more about how the laser technology can make them feel.  

The light from the lasers emits energy that interacts with the tissues in your mouth, like tooth enamel, dentin, or gengiva (from gingivitis). Lasers can be used to remove decay from a tooth, reshape gums, and remove bacteria, or to prepare surrounding enamel for a filling or other procedures.

There are a number of lasers used in dentistry, but two main lasers include soft tissue lasers and hard tissue lasers. Soft tissue lasers treat and clean soft tissue areas, like your gums, and hard tissue lasers are mainly for cutting tooth enamel. The water-energized laser is able to cut through that enamel, which is the hardest tissue found in your body. 

The following only scrape the surface (no dental imagery intended) of laser uses in dental practice:


Laser Teeth Cleaning:

You read that correctly. We love and trust our gentle hygienists, but you may want to consider this highly effective alternative method: cleaning your teeth with laser dentistry. Instead of scraping away at tartar and plaque with dental instruments, the laser technology removes far more. What’s even more impressive is that regardless of age or dental history, laser cleanings are a great fit for patients to make cleanings more efficient and accurate. 



This is the most common procedure in laser dentistry, perhaps because of how sensitive the gum tissue is. Lasers can be used to precisely cut at gingiva for restorative, cosmetic, and periodontal work. In comparison to traditional gingivectomy, post-operation patients rarely need packing or sutures, and experience rapid healing and reduced pain.


Biopsy or lesion removal:

Biospsies take a small piece of tissue from the mouth so that it can be examined for cancer. Some smaller lesions can be removed with a topical anesthetic only, and sutures are rarely needed. Laser wavelengths are also capable of performing a very precise biopsy. If needed, laser dentistry can also aid in removing benign oral tumors from the mouth.


Oral Pain Management:

39 million adults, or 22% of Americans, experience dental pain. 5-12% experience pain from their temporomandibular joint (TMJ), also known as Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD), which causes pain and stiffness and is aggravated by clenching or teeth grinding. Traditionally, TMD is treated with injections, physical therapy, night guards, and anti-inflammatory drugs. Did you know that lasers can be this much help?

Lasers provide a non-invasive and therapeutic way to treat oral pain. Biolase works as a therapeutic device to increase blood circulation and relax your muscles, temporarily relieving joint pain and stiffness. It’s also a quick procedure, taking only 5-10 minutes for each pain area, and repeat treatments can occur as needed.

Lasers can relieve the pain of canker sores through penetrating therapeutic warmth in only 5-10 minutes. Although this temporarily relieves minor pain, it is a fast procedure and can be repeated as needed.


Teeth Whitening:

White smiles are everywhere we look and products, for both retail and take-home, are flooding the markets. Teeth whitening is one of the most sought-after cosmetic procedures. In-office whitening treatments are highly recommended to achieve the results that you want, and fast.

In fact, lasers can speed up in-office teeth whitening procedures. The whitening begins with a peroxide bleaching solution applied to the tooth surface. The dentist then activates the solution with laser energy, which speeds up the whitening process. Biolase lasers are able to deliver 6-12 shades in less than 20 minutes, finding tooth shade matches based on the patient.


Laser-Assisted Root Canal Treatment:

As one of the most feared procedures in dental practice, root canals are a dental procedure that have also been touched by laser technology. Over 24 million root canals were performed in America last year alone, so the chances of feeling the affects of laser technology are pretty likely.

Root canal therapy treats the soft inner tissue of the tooth, or the pulp, when it is diseased or damaged. A traditional root canal removes the diseased tissue from the tooth and its roots, followed by an irrigation of disinfectant. The dentist would then place a filling material, typically some kind of latex substance, into the canal to preserve the natural tooth.

With Biolase, lasers can be used to clean and shape roots during the root canal, as well as, to disinfect the roots after treatment.


Non-Surgical Periodontal Treatment:

Non-Surgical Periodontal treatment can include scaling, planing, and other minimally invasive procedures. During a standard cleaning, the hygienist will scrape the surface of the tooth to help remove excessive plaque build-up. Scaling is a common procedure for patients with gum disease, where the cleaning goes beneath the gum line to remove plaque. This procedure often works in conjunction with root planing, which smoothes the tooth rot and aids in reattaching the gums to the tooth.


Oral Surgery:

Lasers are becoming more popular in oral surgery for their precision and superior results, when compared to traditional surgical approaches. They may be used for surgical extractions, pre-prosthetic procedures (e.g. ridge preparation, tori removal, vestibuloplasty, etc.), or work alongside traditional procedures to provide effective, yet simple incision and drainage.


This all sounds great! Now let’s talk safety

Dental lasers meet FDA approval, and regulate dental lasers as medical devices. This means lasers come with their own set of safety standards and precautions. Higher-powered lasers can be a hazard to the eyes and skin, and thus require precautions, such as special protective eye wear. All of our staff have been trained to ensure that these standards are met, as well as, to see that the following practices are abided by:

  • Eye Protection: Protective eye wear must be worn by the patient and staff, depending on the wavelength of the laser being used.
  • Disposal: Lasers develop scored tips of quartz fibers, and will be disposed of following use.
  • Matte-Finished Instruments: Reflective surfaces like instruments, mirrors, or even glass from a picture on the wall can reflect laser energy. Matte-finished instruments avoid this reflection.
  • Warning Signs: Practices are required to display visible warning signs of laser use and limit access to areas where lasers are being used and operated.

Lasers in pediatric dentistry

Reducing needles, drills, and time in the dentist chair sounds like a sweet deal for the kids, parents, and pediatric dentists. Lasers are safe to deliver comfortable and quick procedures in dentistry with minimal risk. If children are being treated for tooth decay, lasers could replace loud, vibrating equipment, minimize anesthesia, reduce bacteria, and speed up the overall procedure. Behavior management definitely improves at the dentist when children have a more positive experience, and fewer frightening devices are being used. From infants to teens, lasers provide comprehensive care for your kids, and aid in common pediatric procedures such as pulpotomies and other orthodontic surgical needs.


Training is needed for use

Dentists and dental hygienists must complete specific training to qualify for laser use in dental practices. Training is very important, as lasers are very powerful tools, especially when used around the soft, sensitive tissues of the mouth. Our qualified dentists have a detailed understanding of how the laser technology works, how to use it safely, and how to precisely choose and implement the lasers and wavelengths for different procedures. Depending on what the local and state regulations permit, dental hygienists will typically handle teeth whitening, non-surgical periodontal treatment, and dental pain therapy with lasers.


Lasers versus more traditional methods

Broadly speaking, the dental procedures in which lasers are used have traditional methods with traditional dental instruments already in place. The benefit to lasers is they can provide more therapeutic, precise, and effective options for those procedures.

However, there are a few cases in which laser dentistry cannot be used:

  • Lasers can’t be used on teeth that have fillings
  • Some laser procedures may still require anesthesia
  • Lasers can’t be used to fill cavities between teeth, prepare large cavities for a crown, or work around old fillings

It’s also worth noting that many dental lasers are used alongside traditional dental procedures, so even if lasers are being used, it doesn’t mean drills won’t also be used to shape, adjust, or polish.


Innovative Practice at Carolina’s Dental Choice

Improving dentistry practices is always at the heart of Carolina’s Dental Choice, which is why we implement and recommend the Biolase use for procedures and treatments. If you’re interested in learning more about the latest pain-free dental technology with the best results, give us a call today. We’re happy to talk over your options with you, whether you’re looking for cosmetic work, therapeutic treatments, minimizing pain at the dentist, or ditching the drill to find a dentist using Biolase technology.

Be assured, between our expertise of traditional dentistry, and expert training with Biolase, Carolina’s Dental Choice will give you a reason to smile!


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Why Dental Implants May Be the Right Choice for Your Oral Health

2020-07-16T16:59:46+00:00June 28th, 2018|Carolina's Dental Choice, Dental Bonding, Dental Crowns, Dental Implants, Dental Trends, Dentures, Fixed Bridges, Implants, Teeth Whitening, Veneers|

Carolina’s Dental Choice is committed to the philosophy of restorative dentistry, which is reproducing or repairing teeth and adjoining bones and tissue, through the use of metal and ceramic materials. Though dental implants have been around, in some form, for more than 40 years, it’s surprising how many people today don’t know the procedure is an option to replace a missing tooth or even multiple teeth. Implants are the closest in comparison to natural teeth. They are just as secure, long lasting, and easy to manage.



An implant is a titanium “root” which is placed into the jawbone in order to support a crown, bridge or denture. Ceramic crowns, onlays or veneers address the appearance of the “new tooth.” Over time, the human body completes the process, by growing bone and tissue around the tooth. This provides the artificial implanted tooth with even more stability and permanence.

Treatment generally is a three-part process that takes several months, according to the American Dental Association:

Step 1) The dentist surgically places the implant in the jaw, with the top of the implant slightly above the top of the bone. A screw is inserted into the implant to prevent gum tissue and other debris from entering. The gum then is secured over the implant. The implant will remain covered for approximately three to six months while it fuses with the bone, a process called “osseointegration.” There may be some swelling, tenderness or both for a few days after the surgery, so pain medication usually is prescribed to alleviate the discomfort. A diet of soft foods, cold foods and warm soup often is recommended during the healing process.

Step 2) The implant is uncovered and the dentist attaches an extension, called a post, to the implant. The gum tissue is allowed to heal around the post. Some implants require a second surgical procedure in which a post is attached to connect the replacement teeth. With other implants, the implant and post are a single unit placed in the mouth during the initial surgery. Once healed, the implant and post can serve as the foundation for the new tooth.

Step 3) The dentist makes a crown, which has a size, shape, color and fit that will blend with your other teeth. Once completed, the crown is attached to the implant post.



Dental implants can be an option at just about any age, as long a patient has healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant and is committed to maintaining basic oral care. Implants do not require any further care than one would provide for natural teeth, such as rinsing, flossing, and brushing a few times a day.

“Dental implants are very successful and long lasting but as with any surgical procedure, there might be complications,” writes Dr. Anveeta Agarwal, a consultant oral pathologist. “The best way to avoid dental implant failure is to make sure you practice good dental hygiene and visit your dentist regularly for dental check-ups and cleanings.”

Dental implant care tips include:

Practice good oral hygiene – brush twice a day and floss once daily. Using interdental brushes, brushes that slide between teeth, can help clean the hard to reach areas around your implant.

  • Quit smoking – smoking can weaken the bone structure and can contribute to implant failure.
  • Visit your dentist – cleanings and exams every six months can help ensure your implant is in good condition, and that it stays that way.
  • Avoid chewing on hard foods – don’t chew on hard items such as ice and hard candy because they can break the crown and your natural teeth.

The American Dental Association considers two types of implants to be safe. They are:

Endosteal implants — these are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone. Once the surrounding gum tissue has healed, a second surgery is needed to connect a post to the original implant. Finally, an artificial tooth (or teeth) is attached to the post-individually, or grouped on a bridge or denture.

Subperiosteal implants — these consist of a metal frame that is fitted onto the jawbone just below the gum tissue. As the gums heal, the frame becomes fixed to the jawbone. Posts, which are attached to the frame, protrude through the gums. As with endosteal implants, artificial teeth are then mounted to the posts.

Though some patients may be reluctant to undergo dental surgery — as well as the idea of having titanium pieces implanted to the jaw — dental implants offer a viable tooth replacement option when other attempts have failed. Patients may have tried bridges or dentures and been unhappy with the results, but dental implants are a healthy alternative.

“For some people, ordinary bridges and dentures are simply not comfortable or even possible, due to sore spots, poor ridges or gagging,” states Colgate. “In addition, ordinary bridges must be attached to teeth on either side of the space left by the missing tooth. An advantage of implants is that no adjacent teeth need to be prepared or ground down to hold your new replacement tooth/teeth in place.”

Additionally, implants serve a cosmetic function. Missing teeth may impact a person’s ability to get a job. 

How Dental Implants Can Improve Your Ability to Get a Job

“Poor oral health can significantly diminish quality of life in a number of ways – the most obvious being a person’s ability to eat, sleep and speak,” according to a 2016 report from the North Carolina Oral Health Collaborative. “However, there are also social and economic consequences that can impact a person’s job readiness and performance, and ultimately the economic stability of communities. A survey of North Carolina adults revealed that the impact of oral health on job readiness is greatest among those from low-income households.”



Because dental implants can be used for one or more teeth, and the replacement teeth can vary in size and complexity, assigning a cost-point for the procedure can be challenging. At Carolina’s Dental Choice we usually see prices fluctuating anywhere from the $1,000 to the $3,000 range. Before making any final decisions on payment though, it is a good idea for a potential patient to consult with a dental practice and insurance company in order to clarify how much of the cost may be covered. 

At Carolina’s Dental Choice we provide information about payment, including insurance, Medicaid, and our in-house saving program online, and we are happy to discuss this information with you in person or over the phone.



In addition to dental implants, Carolina’s Dental Choice offers traditional dentures, bridges, partials, which replace teeth. Cosmetic options we offer include teeth whitening and veneers, which are porcelain and permanently bonded to your natural teeth. They can enhance tooth shape, color, length and size. Dental bonding repairs teeth with a tooth-colored resin (stable plastic material) that enhances your smile and can be done in one quick and easy visit.



It is our practice to have private consultations with our patients to discuss your teeth, your options, and your treatment. Our dental practice embodies family dentistry by treating our patients like family and working with you to make you smile!

You may find information including new patient forms on our website. Contact us today at 704.239.9519 to schedule your appointment!

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Seven Ways To Get Your Smile Ready For Summer!

2020-07-16T17:11:15+00:00April 30th, 2017|Dental Bonding, Dental Crowns, Dental Implants, Fixed Bridges, Implants, Teeth Cleaning, Teeth Whitening, Veneers|

With a whole season of fun events ahead you’ll want to make sure you look your best. Whether you are posing for that summer beach picture or smiling at a wedding you want your teeth to look their best. Make an appointment at Carolina’s Dental Choice to have your teeth cleaned or perhaps get a quick fix for a problem tooth.

Teeth Whitening Wilmington


Here are quick ways to improve your smile for the summer:
1   Teeth Whitening
Do you drink several cups of coffee in the morning or eat foods that stain your teeth?  Dr. Vaghani or Dr. Luckhardt can remove those stains with a simple, inexpensive teeth whitening procedure within a few weeks.  Using a carbamide peroxide gel that stays active for up to 6 hours you should notice a dramatic difference within a day.  Our dentist use Opalescence tooth whiten gel.  It has a good track record and can safely be administered at home.  The gel can stay on for short periods of time or over night. Patients often find this form of teeth whitening easy to use. The Opalescence gel comes in three different flavors and prevents dehydration. The gel works by bleaching your teeth to get rid of stains or discoloration.
2   Teeth Cleaning
Sometimes all it takes is a deep clean to do the trick! A deep clean at Carolina’s Dental Choice is an easy way to give your teeth a lift and help prevent dental issues. It is recommended that patients make it a routine to have their teeth cleaned regularly.

During a routine clean, patient’s teeth are brushed diligently, flossed, and examined for cavities and other dental formalities. This teeth cleaning removes plaque and tar that form on the teeth that can be hard to see and difficult to remove. The dentist will clean each individual tooth and remove all unwanted materials on the tooth through brushing, flossing, scrapping, and special dental techniques.

3   Dental Crowns

Uneven teeth? Discolored teeth? Or a week tooth? That’s where dental crowns can help. Dental crowns are designed to help restore the shape, color, and strength of a tooth. This is a considerable option for dental and cosmetic reasons. One of our experienced dentists will examine your teeth to see if a dental crown is necessary and to identify which crown would bet fit your dental needs.  A dental crown is a tooth shaped, porcelain crown that goes over the tooth. This is best for weak teeth that are predicted to crack or break or for teeth that have already cracked. The dental crown can also help support dental bridges or be used for cosmetic purposes. 

As a bonus, most insurance companies cover dental crowns if the procedure is necessary.  

4   Veneers

Looking for that perfect Hollywood Smile?  Veneers are a great choice to cosmetically enhance your smile.  The veneer is a thin custom made cover that can be placed over the teeth. They are made of porcelain and look identical to natural teeth. The veneer is permanently bonded to your tooth to keep your smile looking great!

Veneers change the shape, size and color of your teeth.  First, a small portion of the original enamel is removed, this allows for room for the veneer to be placed on the tooth and function just like the natural tooth.  Veneers may even be placed on the same day with minimally prepped veneers. This type of veneer requires no enamel to be grinded down.

5   Implants

If you have thought about dental implants before, take a second look. This procedure and the products associated with it have changed dramatically over the last six months.  Implants are the latest innovation in cosmetic dentistry.  If you are missing a tooth or two dental implants are a recommended way to replace missing teeth. The implant is a permanent replacement that is durable and looks natural. It can also be an alternative to getting dentures. Dental implants are embedded into the jaw and covered with an artificial tooth that matches other teeth.

There are two types of dental implants; endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants. Endosteal implants are directly implanted through a surgical procedure that implants directly into the jawbone. After the gum tissue is healed another surgery is needed to connect a post to the original implant. After these surgeries have taken place am artificial tooth is placed on the post. The subperiosteal implants are metal frames that are placed on to the jawbone just below the gum tissue. When the gum heals, the frame is secured into the jawbone. Then a post is attached to the frame and an implant is attached.

6   Fixed Bridges

The fixed dental bridge is another method done at Carolina’s Dental Choice to help repair missing teeth. A fixed bridge is a procedure used to replace one or more missing teeth. A bridge consists of two or more crowns. These artificial teeth can be made using gold, alloys, porcelain, or a mixture. The bridges are supported by natural teeth or implants. Dental bridges have many benefits that can help you obtain the perfect smile, create a proper way of speaking and eating, create structure, and prevent teeth from moving out of place.

There are three main types of dental bridges; Traditional Bridges, Cantilever Bridges, and Maryland Bonded Bridges. Traditional Bridges uses a crown for the tooth or implant on either side of the missing tooth. This is the most often form of bridge and is usually mad in ceramics or a porcelain fused to metal. Cantilever bridges are used when there are adjacent teeth on one side only of the missing teeth. This is not a very common form of bridge. Finally, there is the Maryland Bonded Bridge, these are gums supported by a framework of metal or porcelain and use porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth. The wings are often on one side of the bridge and bond to natural teeth.

7  Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a very quick and easy way to repair teeth that have cavities, cracks, chips, or to alter the shape and size. Dental bonding is a one-trip visit that makes it quick and easy. The bond is very cost effective. The bond is done by using a tooth-colored resin that is a durable plastic material. The dental bond can last anywhere from three to ten years!

To book an appointment before your spring event call Carolina’s Dental Choice at 704-289-9519. Dr. Brown and his team of wonderful dental experts would love to help enhance your smile so you can be confident and smile with pride!


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