No doubt eco-friendly has become an important ‘buzz phrase’ in most dental offices, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because of patient awareness and inquiries. Still not sure what that means for your smile? Let these trends fill you in. The paper factor: This past summer, the American Dental Association endorsed new deadlines for dental offices to have devices that capture dental amalgam waste so that it can be recycled. More and more dental offices are thinking and acting ‘green’ by reducing the amount of plastic used in multiple areas such as substituting digital scanning instead of plastic impression trays, and substituting cloth and paper for plastic in both sterilization and other patient protection disciplines. Digital do-good: Digital is quickly replacing paper and plastic, so much so that many offices have converted to all-digital—especially in X-rays, charting and photo records. And while it doesn’t necessarily affect the health of a patient, it is something that helps the greater good. Biodegradable cleaners and disinfectants are now ‘in’ and dentists have become conscious of how they can make a difference in their offices every day to make their contribution towards cleaner living for our planet. We also now have 3D imaging, which is the most accurate way to get impressions, and we can use it for crowns, veneers and Invisalign. No more 'goop' is needed to get a mold of your teeth. Lasers get more love: Sure, lasers sound like a high-tech solution for just about anything, but there’s also a real impact on what they help in terms of the environment. By use of a laser and air-abrasion, we can avoid removing so much less of a patient’s tooth structure was removed, and all without any local anesthetic. This is the future of dental patient care, which means fewer materials used because the restorative surface is so much smaller. And because many of the dental materials used today are resin-based, less material used means less resin. Also, keeping restorations smaller means less water used. Metal is minimized: According to New York cosmetic dentist Zachary E. Linhart, DDS, recently, people have become concerned about bisphenol-A (BPA) in dental composites, in addition to the age-old worry about mercury in amalgam (metal) fillings. “No scientific, long-term studies have shown negative effects of BPA or mercury on humans in relation to dental fillings. BPA is a newer concern, and studies are still being done to see if, in these small doses, it can have a hormonal effect on humans.” Via New Beauty Magazine
As far as my dental history goes, I've been pretty lucky. My parents always stressed the importance of taking care of my teeth and took me to the dentist on a regular basis. I never had to have braces and didn't even have a cavity for most of my 30s. Then, as they say, "go big or go home": at 39, I had my first cavity. I didn't even know I had one until my tooth chipped over dinner. An immediate trip to the dentist revealed I not only had a cavity, but I would need a root canal and then a crown. I made it through both those things and thought it was over. I swore to myself I would do a better at staying on top of things and went on with my life. From the day the crown was placed, it never felt "right": there was always an element of discomfort and my 24/7 awareness that it felt foreign and weird. After the first year, I started feeling more discomfort. Around year two, I began to notice gum inflammation around the crown.  Unfortunately, the dentist who did the crown work had gone out of business, so I had to find a new dentist. Many of my downtown/east Nashville friends had recommended Downtown Dental. Dr. Clark and his team were amazing from my first patient exam. Turns out I not only had a metal allergy to the original crown, but the deep placement of the crown had created significant gum infection. It wasn't the worst news, but as someone who is highly sensitive to antibiotics and tries to go the natural route whenever possible, I didn't look forward to the treatment that would clear up the infection/irritation. Enter "the laser". I soon happily learned that dentists can use lasers for a host of incredible treatments: not only for bacterial reduction (in this case, for my gums), but for pain management/anesthesia, fillings, tooth contouring/cleaning, and even cold sores. My three laser treatments were quick, absolutely painless, and best of all, I didn't have to take any antibiotics. The team at Downtown Dental is warm and wonderful, but even better than that, I'm thankful for a dentist who commits to painless technology as treatment versus standard pharmaceutical medication. Turns out there's a better way to do a lot of things without wreaking havoc on the body...even in dentistry. -D. Carson, 41: Dickson, TN
[caption id="attachment_1370" align="aligncenter" width="1304"]photo via photo via[/caption] The link between inflammation of the gums and debilitating or even life-threatening system disease is real.  This is why we are so passionate about laser therapy for bacterial reduction and periodontal therapy.  More than just a simple cleaning, it is in every way the practice of oral preventive and therapeutic medicine. Here are some of the benefits of Laser Bacterial Reduction (LBR):
  • It reduces or eliminates the bacteria that can be introduced into the bloodstream
  • LBR can prevent cross-contamination in one area of your mouth to other areas
  • It can destroy the bacteria of periodontal disease before it can cause tooth loss
  • It boosts your immune system and improves your overall health
  • Fast and painless treatment: the laser decontamination process usually takes 5-10 minutes
lbr               In 2004, Time Magazine ran a cover story entitled "The Secret Killer.". It addressed the "surprising link between inflammation and heart attacks, cancer, alzheimers, and other diseases, and what we can do to fight it." The article reported that simply "flossing your teeth combats gum disease, a source of chronic inflammation." READ ARTICLE The media had finally awakened to a problem that we have already identified and begun to aggressively treat. In addition to using floss and other personal oral hygiene products, we now use lasers to kill the bacteria associated with gum disease, inflammation and infection.  Laser Bacterial Reduction (LBR) enables us to destroy the bacteria that cause inflammation and periodontal disease. In other words, just by circling the teeth with the laser, we can drastically reduce the harmful bacteria that can compromise our dental and overall health.  The application of the laser can take bacterial counts around an inflamed periodontal pocket from billions down to hundreds within seconds. 

Downtown Dental uses lasers to attack periodontal inflammation at the microscopic level of infection.  The power of its focused light destroys otherwise inaccessible bacterial colonies while simultaneously creating an ideal environment for healing.  Today, our practice offers our patients the hope of a better tomorrow by providing oral health care in ways that were science fiction only a few years ago.

We are not only cleaning teeth and creating beautiful smiles: with our progressive dental laser therapy, we are enhancing your lifestyle and hopefully prolonging your life.

Hear one patient's story of Laser Bacteria Reduction (LBR) to treat gum infection.
We had a wonderful time at the 2014 NASBA Employee Health Fair! It's always great to see our community businesses emphasizing health and wellness and providing their employees with opportunities to interact with health focused local businesses. Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 11.26.27 AM NASBA has proven themselves to be a award winning in business strategy, growth, & service along with being recognized in past years as one of the best places to work!  It's no surprise that they have a history of focusing on health and wellness for their employees. We were in good company and appreciated the opportunity to show how easily addressing your dental needs can lead to overall health and wellness. As a vendor we spent time speaking with employees about the oral systemic connection that links oral disease and inflammation to MANY serious illnesses throughout the body.Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 1.58.55 PM There are signs to watch for to see if you are at risk!  And awareness of these warning signs are the first step towards better overall health and wellness: Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 2.01.00 PM And thanks to technological advancements in the dental industry experiencing these signs of dental disease and infection DOES NOT mean that you are in for an unpleasant trip to the dentist.  OUR WAY makes treating common dental diseases and ailments easy and pain free.

The easier the treatment, the more likely you are to get and stay healthy!

Screen Shot 2014-05-24 at 2.01.23 PM If you are a local business and are looking to provide your employees with more opportunities for education in healthy and wellness let us know. We look forward to the opportunity to be a part of your event!
If you haven’t heard, the theme our staff has adopted for 2013 is staying healthy from head to toe and we’ve worked hard to keep that pledge going throughout the year. What’s been so inspiring is that many of you have joined us in making that commitment in your own lives from keeping your heart healthy through regular dental visits to running a half marathon. As we reach the halfway point in the year, we started to brainstorm some ways to keep our commitment level up while celebrating all of the incredible ways you’ve joined us thus far…. What better way to celebrate and encourage others than with a party? A BE WELL Party, in fact. As a way to encourage the entire downtown Nashville community to join our commitment to stay healthy from head to toe, we’re bringing in a host of local vendors for a night of food, entertainment, and healthy living education. On Thursday, August 1st from 5:30 pm -7:30 pm, we’ll host an evening for you stop by our office and enjoy food, drinks and music…
  • Nashville Running Company will be there to help runners find the right type of shoe for their style and discounts to get your run off on the right foot.
  • Massage Therapist Jules Saunders will be there to help relieve all the stress you’ve been building up with free massages.
  • Third and Church Healthcare will be there to provide you with resources to stay healthy throughout the upcoming months including free B-12 shots for our first 75 guests.
  • Nashville B-Cycle will be there to showcase how you can stay healthy and have fun all at the same time along with membership discounts.
  • We’ll be showcasing our new Waterlase iPlus Laser if you haven’t had a chance to see it in action.
There will also be a drawing for a new iPad mini for those that RSVP and attend the event. The more co-workers and friends that you bring, the better chance you have of winning! Complimentary food will be provided from Wrapper’s Delight, brews from Jackalope Brewery, and wine from Midtown Wine & Spirits. Finally, Josh Roberts will be be there to provide live entertainment. What should you do next?
  1.  The first thing you should do is RSVP.
  2. Immediately after you do that, don’t forget to mark it down on your calendar. You can walk, bike, or jog to our offices after work (and get extra points for staying healthy) or public parking is available underneath the Justice A.A. Birch Building.
We hope you’ll join us as we celebrate staying healthy from head to toe with a night of food, drinks, and inspiration with your friends and co-workers For more details or RSVP information, you can contact us here.
Over the past few months, we’ve been rolling out a few of our favorite features of our new Waterlase iPlus Laser Dentistry option. Today, we want to take it a step further to talk about a dental procedure that no one likes to discuss… surgery. When most people think of gum surgery, there are three words that come to mind: gross, ouch and no! Despite the fact that this surgery is necessary to prevent further issues or pain, many are hesitant to get the work done because of the anesthesia shots, the dreaded scalpel for removing tissue and stitches. How we're removing the stress from gum surgery:  We want to remove those three words with our laser dentistry option! With the Waterlase iPlus laser, gum surgeries usually require only topical anesthetic, no stitches and little to no post-operative pain. This means that you can get rid of the potentially harmful dental diseases without skipping a beat in your daily routine - healing faster without the set backs from shots or pain. Now that it's stress free, what work can be done? Downtown Dental offers laser dentistry treatments for the following common types of gum surgery:
  • Ulcers or canker sore removal: If you know someone who deals with canker sores, you know how annoyed they can be. Fixing this issue has never been easier.
  • Gingivectomy: What used to be the painful removal of overgrown or unsightly gums around teeth can be done without any shots or temporary swelling.
  • Frenectomy: This complicated procedure helps countless children who suffer from speech problems or from spacing between the teeth. It removes part of the of cheek, lip or tongue muscle attachments. In the past, this meant an in-depth and invasive surgery that typically leaves patients with uncomfortable stitches and after-effects of anesthesia. Laser dentistry allows our team to perform the procedure quickly and more comfortably.
If you’ve been putting off gum surgery or a different dental procedure offered with laser dentistry, what are you waiting for? The pain-free future of dentistry is available in Downtown Nashville and we’d love for you to finally take care of the gum issues that have been prevented you from staying healthy from head to toe. You can schedule an appointment or call our office today to learn more about how our laser dentistry option can make your next trip to the dentist more enjoyable than you ever thought possible.
One of the most common conditions dentists see is Periodental disease, a malady that is responsible for more tooth loss than any other dental issue. In its early stage, called gingivitis, bacteria begins to invade the space between your teeth and your gums. If left untreated, the bacteria will slowly destroy the gum attachment and bone holding your teeth in place, most commonly known as gum recession. From there, gingivitis can take on an even more serious form, called periodontitis, which is a condition that causes the leaves the whole crown of the tool and a portion of the root surface visible. In any form, Periodental disease makes cleaning and everyday hygiene difficult and is often the major cause of bad breath and tooth loss.

How Periodental disease has been prevent and treated in the past…

If you’ve ever had a dentist or dental assistant pull out a sharp, hook-like instrument and start scraping at your teeth and provide local antibiotic treatments to reduce the infection, you’ve experienced the traditional way to treat Periodental Disease. One experience of having bacteria-built up removed from below the gum line with a sharp, painful, scaling instrument is enough to make people want to never visit the dentist again. This is a dilemma both dentists and patients have had to live with for decades. While the procedures are invasive, time consuming, and painful, they’re absolutely necessary to keep your teeth clean and healthy. For years, patients have been reluctant to schedule a dentist appointment even though they notice signs of Periodental disease because they know that the treatment is going to be painful. By being able to safely eliminate the bacteria at the first signs of infection (bleeding and swollen gum tissue) we can often avoid these invasive procedures.

Downtown Dental’s Laser Treatment solves the dilemma…

We recognize that many people are hesitant to treat this issue because of their past experiences, which is why we’ve committed to offer pain-free dentistry in Nashville through Laser Dentistry. As one of our Laser Dentistry Treatment options, Downtown Dental can remove all the excess bacteria from your gums more efficiently, and usually without the pain of injections. In short, Laser Periodental Therapy works by emitting energy from our Waterlase iPlus Laser has the power to remove build up and effectively destroy all of the bacteria in the pocket between your tooth and your gums. Not only does this minimize the need to pull out the painful scraping tools, it also prevents the need for the series of anesthetic injections before the procedure or any post-op pain afterwards. By incorporating our new Laser Treatment option to remove bacteria and build up along the gumline at the first signs of infection, before more invasive cleaning procedures are required, Downtown Dental is able to offer a safer, more effective treatment for our patients. Laser Bacterial Reduction is a more effective and more comfortable way to treat Periodontal Disease and we are excited to offer this amazing capability to our patients. If you’ve been waiting to take care of the excess bacteria build up along your gum line because of the painful, invasive treatments of the past, get in touch with us. You can ensure that your next trip to the dentist is more convenient and pain-free than you ever thought possible by scheduling your appointment with our Laser Dentistry Option.

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A few days ago we announced Downtown Dental now offers WaterLase iPlus Laser Dentistry which provides injection-free, pain-free dentistry for many of our procedures including fillingswhitening and gum disease prevention. Since our announcement, we’ve heard from several patients who are excited to try the new procedure at their next visit. Not surprisingly, many of them have asked the same question, “So how does it work?” At the same time, we realize that some of you might be skeptical of the pain-free WaterLase iPlus Laser. Today, we are providing a quick reasoning of how and why it works.

How the WaterLase iPlus Laser anesthetizes a tooth:

To understand why most dental work is painful, we must first understand how pain impulses work. Any pain you experience is caused by an electrical impulse that moves through nerve fibers from the source of the pain to your brain.  This impulse is a result of different ions moving into and out of the nerve fiber cells through gates.  When something hurts, the gates open, ions move, and the pain impulse starts. One way the WaterLase iPlus Laser prevents pain is by it's energy temporarily closing the ion gates.  If the ion gates cannot open, no impulse can travel to the brain to be perceived as pain, thus providing anesthesia.

The WaterLase iPlus Laser avoids contact and friction.

While the Laser provides a natural anesthetic, it also helps prevent pain and shots with a new, frictionless method. A normal dental drill works with friction, which causes heat and triggers pain. This leads to painful visits to the dentist and/or visits that leave your mouth feeling number after receiving anesthetic shots. The WaterLase uses a unique, powerful interaction of the patented YSGG laser wavelength along with trademarked water/air spray that cuts, etches and shapes target tissues without contact to remove tooth structure and decay. This means there is no heat, friction or pressure to cause the nerve to fire an impulse to your brain. Here’s a look at how it works: Laser   The procedures can be done painlessly with no anesthetic. Because there is no friction, there is no pain or reason for anesthetics. Because the laser acts as an anesthetic, there is usually no need for a shot, which means leaving the doctor’s office without any numbing. Its non-contact method will guarantee you won’t feel any pain even after the procedures is finished. If you want to know why we’ve invested in the future of pain-free dentistry, read this. If you want to make sure the WaterLase iPlus Laser is used during your next dental appointment, simply let us know when scheduling your next appointment. For more information on WaterLase and how it works, click here.
It’s not surprising that the main reason people don’t enjoy going to the dentist are the drills and shots. In fact, the piercing whine, unnerving vibration, and uncomfortable pain of dental drills and shots have prevented people from properly taking care of their teeth for decades. Because we know that stress and anxiety can prevent patients from seeking the dental care they need, it has always been our goal to offer the most comfortable and pain-free dental experience possible. Today, we are delighted to announce a new option that will make a pain-free dental visits a reality for all of our patients... Downtown Dental is one of the first dentist offices in Nashville to offer WaterLase iPlus Laser Dentistry, the most advanced and effective laser dentistry option in the world! This new technology allows Dr. Clark to offer injection-free, pain-free dentistry for many of our procedures including fillings, whitening and gum disease prevention. How will this innovative technology benefit our patients? Here are seven reasons you’ll want to try our new WaterLase System. What are patient’s that have dental work done with the Waterlase iPlus Laser saying?  We think you’ll be impressed with their testimonials. As we’ve mentioned before, our goal is to do more for the people in Nashville than just protect your smile, we want to make sure you’re able to live a long and healthy life. If you want to make sure your next dentist appointment is done with the Waterlase iPlus Laser, let us know. The future of pain-free dentistry has finally made it to Nashville and we can’t wait to see the smile on your face after you give it a try.