Online Dental Education Library

Our team of dental specialists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth and gums. Please use our dental library to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.


Plaque is a film of bacteria that forms on your teeth and gums after eating foods that produce acids. These foods may include carbohydrates (starches and sugars), such as candy and cookies, and starchy foods such as bread, crackers, and cereal.

Tooth decay, commonly known as cavities, occurs when plaque remains on your teeth for an extended period of time, allowing the bacteria to ‘eat away’ at the surfaces of your teeth and gums.  Ironically, the areas surrounding restored portions of teeth (where fillings, or amalgams have been placed) are particularly vulnerable to decay and are a breeding ground for bacteria.

Plaque can lead to gum irritation, soreness, and redness. Sometimes, your gums may begin to bleed as a result of plaque. This gradual degeneration can often cause gums to pull away from teeth. This condition is called receding gums.

Long-term plaque can lead to serious problems. Sometimes, the bacteria can form pockets of disease around tooth structures, eventually destroying the bone beneath the tooth.


Laser Use In Dentistry:

Most small cavities can be completed without numbing using a laser. The WaterlaseMD Laser can be used to numb the large majority of teeth by simply shining the low power laser light on the tooth. Then, at a higher setting, the laser can be used to get the cavity out of the tooth, or a regular dental drill can also be used. We have been using the laser in the office for 6 years now and nearly all the patients report the same when asked: "On a scale of 1-100, with 100 being very uncomfortable, how do you rate the laser just used?"

  • I didn't feel a thing, I rate it zero discomfort.

  • All I felt was some cold, maybe a two or a three.

  • I didn't feel a thing, this is great, no pain at all.

  • This is great, I really don't like being numbed up.

We have found that people do not like the feeling of being numb, and the laser is a great tool to get their small fillings done, pain-free without numbing.