Laser Dentistry: What is Laser Dentistry?

What is laser dentistry? If you’ve never heard of this innovative type of dental care, now is the time to learn. Laser dentistry is a minimally invasive option when you’re facing gum surgery, cavity treatment, or other oral issues. Discuss your laser surgery options with one of our dentists today.

Laser Dentistry: An Overview

Medical professionals use lasers, which are extremely focused light beams, to alter or remove tissue in small amounts. Laser surgery is not limited to dentistry, but many people have never heard of laser dentistry before having it done. Dentists use lasers in a variety of procedures involving the inside of the mouth, be it to remove overgrown tissue, to reshape the gums, or to whiten teeth. Sometimes, laser dentistry is ideal for children who become anxious or afraid when having dental work done.

What Laser Dentistry Can Treat

Most issues laser dentistry treats are related to the gums. Some of these include:

  • Canker sore and cold sore pain treatments.
  • Treating root canal infections.
  • Treating gum disease.
  • Removing gum inflammation.
  • Gum reshaping.
  • Biopsies.
  • Exposing wisdom teeth.
  • Removing throat tissue that causes sleep apnea.
  • Regenerating damaged nerves.
  • Removing benign oral tumors.

Benefits of Laser Dentistry

Dentists choose laser dentistry because of distinct benefits that make the procedures go more smoothly, and also reduce discomfort and healing time for patients.

  • Patients are less likely to require sutures
  • Anesthesia may not be necessary
  • The laser will sterilize the gums, making infection less likely
  • Less damage to gums shortens the healing time
  • Patients lose less blood than traditional surgery

What Happens During Laser Gum Surgery or Other Dentistry?

When you come for your laser dentistry appointment, you might be surprised to discover that the process is very similar to other dentistry appointments, like tooth fillings. You receive anesthesia, though it might not be as much as you’re used to receiving. Some patients who experience anxiety might receive a sedative, too.

During the procedure, you won’t feel any vibrations or discomfort from the laser-like you do from the drill. Any bleeding that occurs gets wiped away, just like before. Your mouth will be propped open as the dentist works with the laser to treat your issues.

Post-Operative Expectations

If you’ve ever had gum surgery done without a laser, you can expect that your post-operative experience after laser dentistry will likely be smoother. Because a laser causes far less bleeding than a scalpel, don’t expect the site of your surgery to bleed very much when you get home. You won’t have an open, bleeding wound the way you would with a scalpel procedure.

While you should still follow cleaning and care instructions to the letter, you’re less likely to get an infection. You also won’t typically experience the pain and discomfort associated with scalpel surgery because your post-op irritation is likely to be minor.

The Types of Lasers Used in Dentistry

The two main types of lasers dentists use during laser procedures are hard tissue and soft tissue lasers. Each laser uses a different wavelength that makes it appropriate for cutting into that specific type of tissue. This works because each kind of tissue absorbs wavelengths of light in different ways. By altering the light’s wavelength (and sometimes pulse) scientists have figured out how to craft lasers with light wavelengths compatible with the tissues in your mouth.

Hard Tissue Lasers

A hard tissue laser is used primarily for your teeth. The wavelength of one of these lasers cuts through both water and bone, specifically the calcium phosphate that’s in your bones and your teeth. These lasers can very accurately cut into your teeth, removing small amounts for shaping purposes or in preparation for procedures. Hard tissue lasers are used for:

Soft Tissue Lasers

The soft tissue lasers use a light wavelength that hemoglobin and water absorb easily. Hemoglobin is the molecule found in blood, which makes soft tissue lasers ideal for gum work. Some soft tissue lasers are diode lasers, which is a type of continuous-wave laser.

These lasers are ideal for cutting into soft tissue and sealing the exposed blood vessels at the same time. This is the reason you don’t bleed very much during laser dentistry and why healing is quicker after laser dentistry. Soft tissue lasers are great for cosmetic procedures because you can begin to see results right away. Soft tissue lasers are used for:

  • Lengthening crowns.
  • Dealing with restricted tongue movement.
  • Reshaping the gums to create a more pleasing smile.
  • Removing folds in oral soft tissues caused by dentures.

Whether you’re having laser gum surgery or hard tissue work, expect an easier procedure and a shorter recovery time. Laser dentistry is a convenient solution to many oral and dental problems, whether serious in nature or simply cosmetic. Ask your dentist about laser dentistry the next time you need dental work completed.

laser dentistry

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved several high-tech lasers as safe for both pediatric and adult dentistry. Dental lasers are similar or identical in function to other medical lasers that doctors have successfully used for many years in other surgical specialties. To discuss your options with a Jacksonville laser dentist, call the Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry at (904) 273-3001 to schedule your consultation.


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Highly Recommended! | Five Star Dentist Review

Mike B.

Ponte Vedra, FL


Highly Recommended!

Before I found Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, my family had been using a different practice for three generations. We’ve been going to Burgess Center for 14 years, now, and absolutely plan to continue! All of the technicians are good, Eric does a wonderful job, and my entire family feels very comfortable there. You’re gonna get great service, there, so I’d definitely recommend them to others!

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At Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we appreciate your patronage and like to share our knowledge of dentistry with our audience on social media, especially Facebook!

To keep updated with the latest news, specials and happy home tips, please visit our Facebook page and give us a like by CLICKING HERE and hitting the thumbs up!

Thank you for your loyalty and continued business! And for those just joining us, Welcome to the Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry community!

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Are Electric Toothbrushes Really Better?

You might be wondering: Are electric toothbrushes better than manual ones, really? Let’s get one thing straight before diving in: Every time you use a toothbrush, you transform into a superhero. Well, for your mouth, anyway.

A toothbrush does the necessary job of vanquishing incredibly rude bacteria relentlessly working to mess up your oral health. “There’s a biofilm of bacteria that builds up in our mouths and our teeth and even in our gums. If it’s not removed, this biofilm becomes what we know as plaque,” dentist Maria Lopez Howell, D.D.S., an American Dental Association spokesperson, tells SELF. Plaque, which honestly has no chill, is “just forming all the time,” she adds. When not swept away frequently enough, plaque can lead to tooth decay and gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease, aka periodontitis), along with full-blown periodontitis. Without proper treatment, tooth decay and periodontitis can lead to tooth loss.

electric toothbrushes

The good news is that, when topped with fluoride toothpaste to harden the surfaces of your teeth and protect against cavities, either electric or manual toothbrushes can help keep your mouth as sparklingly clean as possible. It really just depends on your situation.

Research will typically tell you electric toothbrushes have a slight edge, but it’s honestly not that huge.

For example, a 2014 review published in the Cochrane Library examined 51 randomized controlled trials involving adults and/or children brushing their teeth with electric or manual toothbrushes for at least four weeks. Overall, electric toothbrushes seemed to have an edge; when compared with manual toothbrushes, “there was an 11 percent reduction in plaque at one to three months of use, and a 21 percent reduction in plaque when assessed after three months of use,” the review’s authors concluded. “For gingivitis, there was a 6 percent reduction at one to three months of use and an 11 percent reduction when assessed after three months of use.”

However, the review’s authors also noted that “the evidence relating to plaque and gingivitis was considered to be of moderate quality.” And though these numbers may make it seem like you should go buy an electric toothbrush ASAP, experts say that this type of percentage difference doesn’t mean as much as you might think in practice.

“Most of these studies do show an electric brush of one sort or another removes a bit more bacteria than manual brush,” periodontist Steven Daniel, D.D.S., tells SELF. “But the differences tend to be pretty minimal. Not that they aren’t significant, but there’s not a huge black-and-white difference between being able to maintain good oral health using a manual toothbrush and an electric one.” Overall, the best toothbrush is whichever one you put in your hand twice a day to scrub away all that accumulated grossness.

With that said, an electric toothbrush makes more sense for some people than a manual version.

“One isn’t better than the other,” Dr. Howell says. “But sometimes the individual person will use one more easily than the other.” There are many varieties of electric toothbrushes out there. But instead of relying solely on a person to scrub plaque away, electric toothbrushes generally use vibration, rotation (going around in a circle), or oscillation (moving back and forth) to get the job done. They also tend to have larger handles than manual toothbrushes. These aspects make electric toothbrushes good options for people with dexterity issues due to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, or just aging in general.

Since the bristles on electric toothbrushes can sometimes be in thinner and pointier clusters, they can deliver the kind of targeted cleaning that can aid someone with braces or dental restorations, Dr. Daniel says. It may even just be that the vibrations intrigue an easily distracted kid, helping them spend the recommended two minutes brushing their teeth. And speaking of those two minutes, some electric toothbrushes actually have timers, which can be a great way to make sure you’re clocking all the QT your teeth and gums need.

Electric toothbrushes can also help if you brush your teeth and gums too hard, which can lead to gum recession that causes sensitivity while eating and drinking. Since electric toothbrushes do a lot of the work to remove plaque, putting too much pressure on your gums becomes less of an issue, Dr. Daniel says. Some even have pressure sensors that freeze the toothbrush’s motion if you’re pressing too hard.

No matter what kind of toothbrush you use, you should shop with a few guidelines in mind.

First, the American Dental Association recommends choosing toothbrushes with soft bristles, whether manual or electric. Anything harder can damage your gums and even form little notches in your teeth, Dr. Howell says. If you’re not sure where to start, you can look for toothbrushes with the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, meaning they live up to the organization’s standards for safety and effectiveness. Here are the manual versions, and here are the electric ones.

During your twice-daily, two-minute brushings, the ADA suggests holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your teeth and gum line, moving back and forth in short strokes, then tilting vertically and making up and down strokes on the insides of your teeth, too. (If you’re using an electric toothbrush, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.)

Beyond that, buy a new toothbrush every three to four months (or swap out the head of your electric toothbrush as instructed). “If those bristles are frayed, they’re not going to be able to get into the little crevices around each of your teeth and get the job done,” Dr. Howell says. “You won’t be as efficient in that plaque removal.”

The bottom line is that you don’t automatically need an electric toothbrush for great oral health, but it can help in certain situations. “People have individual needs and abilities and skills. If an electric toothbrush helps them stay healthy and avoid having additional decay, it can wind up being a good investment,” Dr. Daniel says. “Sometimes it really makes a difference in people who are struggling to stay healthy but always on that ragged edge of falling back into disease and infection.” Otherwise? As Dr. Howell notes, “we’ve been brushing our teeth with manual toothbrushes forever, and it’s worked.”


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Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

Have you ever wished that your smile were straighter or brighter? Are you embarrassed by your teeth? Does your smile have a noticeable cosmetic flaw, such as a gap, a chipped tooth, or misshapen teeth? We are lucky to live in world where the solutions to these problems are convenient and affordable. Cosmetic dentistry refers to dental work that improves the appearance of a person’s teeth, gums, or bite. Focusing on aesthetics like color, position, shape, size, and alignment, these procedures improve the appearance of a person’s smile. Some correct a minor problem while others give the smile a complete makeover. Although many of these procedures don’t address functional issues, they can still have a significant and valuable impact on a person’s life. Learn more about the many benefits of cosmetic dentistry below.

cosmetic dentistry


Every smile is different, so the benefits of cosmetic dentistry vary from person to person. Are you hoping to straighten slightly crooked teeth? Would you like to mend a chipped tooth? Have you been hoping for a complete smile makeover? Depending on the state of your teeth and the procedure you choose, you could experience some or all of the following benefits of cosmetic dentistry:

  • Cosmetic dentistry can boost your appearance. Let’s start with the most obvious and fundamental benefit: it will improve the appearance of your smile. No matter which procedure you choose, your smile will be more beautiful post-procedure. In some cases, this improvement will also help you look younger and/or healthier.
  • Cosmetic dentistry can improve your self-confidence. An enhanced appearance often leads directly to improved self-confidence. Looking in the mirror becomes more enjoyable, and smiling for a photo is no longer stressful. Simple activities like meeting new people, going on dates, and attending parties may become easier due to your improved self-confidence. A smile is so much more than a smile when it impacts a person’s confidence and perhaps even their sense of self-worth.
  • Cosmetic dentistry can enhance your career. During a job search, a person’s physical appearance and presentation can affect their ability
  • Cosmetic dentistry can prevent dental damage.


Now that you know the benefits of cosmetic dentistry, you may be wondering about the various treatments available. Devices and procedures are available to improve the color, shape, size, and position of teeth. Your dentist can help you explore the pros and cons of each possibility, so that you can find a solution that fits your dental goals.

  • Teeth Whitening: Using custom take-home trays or a professional in-office procedure, you can brighten your smile and remove stains caused by coffee, red wine, tobacco, and more.
  • Veneers and Lumineers: Veneers and Lumineers are thin, color-matched, porcelain shells that are attached to the surface of teeth. They can treat a variety of cosmetic flaws, such as gaps, chips, stains, and misshapen teeth.
  • Invisalign and ClearCorrect: Both Invisalign and ClearCorrect utilize clear, comfortable, removable aligners to straighten teeth over time. They can correct overcrowded, misaligned, and gapped teeth as well as bite problems. Many people prefer Invisalign and ClearCorrect to metal braces because they are inconspicuous, discreet, and easy to use.
  • Bonding: Bonding involves the use of a color-matched, composite resin, which is bonded to the teeth to fix a flaw. For example, bonding can quickly and easily improve minor dental issues such as cracks, chips, and gaps.
  • Snap-On Smile: A noninvasive and nonpermanent treatment, a Snap-On Smile is a quick and painless way to improve your smile. The removable appliance fits over the teeth, hiding flaws and improving the smile’s appearance.

To learn if you are a good candidate for these or other procedures, speak with your dentist. He or she may even be able to show you what your smile would look like after a cosmetic dental procedure using a Digital Smile Makeover, so that you can make an informed and confident decision.


As you can see, there are many benefits of cosmetic dentistry. Plus, typically both the procedure and recovery require very little time. No matter what your goals or concerns, we urge you to speak with your dentist to learn more about the options available to you.

If you’re interested in improving your smile, contact the Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry if you live in or near Jacksonville, FL. We offer a variety of teeth whitening and straightening options including ClearCorrect, Invisalign, Lumineers and Veneers and we would be happy to help you choose the right device for your needs. To schedule a consultation, please give us a call at (904) 273-3001 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!


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Five Star Reviews For Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry From Satisfied Customers

First of all, our reputation is an essential part of who we are and what we do. At the Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we take pride in serving our customers to the best of our ability. Our business would not be where it is without our customers. We know that the many loyal patrons, in the local community help us be a great company. They return year after year which means we must be doing something right. The five star reviews our valued customers leave really give you a feeling of the connections we strive for in the surrounding community.

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What is General Dentistry? | Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry Jacksonville FL

general dentist is your primary care dental provider. This dentist diagnoses, treats, and manages your overall oral health care needs, including gum care, root canals, fillings, crowns, veneers, bridges, and preventive education.

All practicing general dentists have earned either a DDS or DMD degree (doctor of dental surgery or doctor of dental medicine, respectively). There is no difference between the two degrees or the curriculum requirements that dentists must meet. Some schools simply award the one degree, while others award the other.

Generally, three or more years of undergraduate education plus four years of dental school is required to become a general dentist. Additional post-graduate training is required to become a dental specialist.

general dentistry

Often, there is more than one dental problem contributing to a patient’s need for cosmetic dentistry. It is important for your cosmetic or general dentist to have an overall plan for corrective and restorative solutions prior to any dental surgery. To ensure a good color match, broken or decayed teeth are often repaired using a composite resin bonded to the existing tooth. More extensive problems may require stronger porcelain materials to repair and renew teeth. Rest assured that everything we do here is with a cosmetic focus.

Our practice emphasizes a high standard of excellence in every procedure we offer, whether restorative or cosmetic treatments, to help our patients achieve optimal dental health. We also aim to empower our patients to take charge of their own dental well being by offering advice on preventative dental care and emphasizing the importance of regular dental exams. In this way, we hope to ensure our patients stay healthy between visits and enjoy all the benefits of well-maintained, strong teeth.

At the Burgess Center, we pride ourselves on delivering the highest quality cosmetic dentistry procedures and patient care available in the industry. Founded by Dr. Eric Burgess in 1999 and located in Jacksonville, Florida, we have been giving our clients the healthy, sparkling smiles they deserve for over 18 years.


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Everything you need to know about Botox


Botox is in huge demand. Botulinum toxin has proven to be a successful and valuable therapeutic protein.

Botulinum toxin can be injected into humans in extremely small concentrations and works by preventing signals from the nerve cells reaching muscles, therefore paralyzing them.


In order for muscles to contract, nerves release a chemical messenger, acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter), at the junction where the nerve endings meet muscle cells. Acetylcholine attaches to receptors on the muscle cells and causes the muscle cells to contract or shorten.

Injected botulinum toxin prevents the release of acetylcholine, preventing contraction of the muscle cells. Botulinum toxin causes a reduction in abnormal muscle contraction, allowing the muscles to become less stiff.


Botox is most commonly used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Botulinum toxin is predominantly used as a treatment to reduce the appearance of facial wrinkles and fine lines.

Searching for Aesthetics, Jacksonville? Then look no further than the Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry for the latest facial treatments used to reverse those unwanted signs of aging. Popular aesthetics, such as BOTOX and dermal fillers, can be used to further enhance your facial profile as a complement to your investment in porcelain veneers, invisible braces, ceramic crowns and other corrective dental procedures. We offer several cosmetic treatments that can literally turn back the time and reverse the effects of wrinkles, sagging skin and loss of collagen. After all, improving your personal appearance is not about vanity, it’s all about feeling younger and boosting your self-confidence.


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Dental Implants vs. Bridges: Finding What’s Best for You

dental implantsLosing teeth can have a significant impact on the appearance of your smile while creating functionality issues. It also can put a serious dent in your self-confidence. Two of the most common solutions that dental professionals use to address these problems are dental implants and dental bridges.

While both approaches fundamentally address the same challenges, they present, at a technical level, very different options for you to consider. If you are looking for the right solution for missing teeth, it’s important to understand the treatment options that are available to you. It’s also crucial to gain an understanding of what each entails before deciding if it’s right for your specific needs. Here’s what you need to know about implants and bridges and finding what’s best for you.

What is a Dental Implant?

The underlying structure of a tooth is more complicated than most people appreciate. When this structure — which includes bone, ligaments, and nerves — is removed, the neighboring area slowly begins to deteriorate.

A dental implant replaces this structure with a metal post, typically one made of titanium. Over the period of a couple of months, new bone should grow around the implanted metal. Once the new structure is tested by your dentist and declared secure enough, a crown will then be screwed on top of the implant and sealed into place.

Dental Implant Pros and Cons

One of the biggest advantages of dental implants is they place less of a burden on the surrounding teeth and promote healing of bone structures and gums under the teeth. They also tend to reduce long-term risks posed to the jaw. Generally, a high-quality dental implant should be expected to last a lifetime.

A disadvantage of dental implants is they can be a costly treatment. Especially in cases where a large number of individual teeth need to be replaced in different spots. Even the replacement of a single tooth with an implant can cost several thousand dollars. When trying to replace a particularly large number of teeth, it’s not unusual for dentists to recommend a traditional dental bridge instead of an implant.

Implants also tend to take longer and require multiple procedures to complete. Oral surgery is often required, and your mouth may take months to heal following the initial implant procedure. In all but the most extreme cases, bridge work will typically take no more than a few weeks.

What is a Dental Bridge?

A dental bridge attaches to the remaining healthy teeth surrounding a gap to create a bridge across the area in a recipient’s smile. In more traditional versions of the procedure, the two teeth on opposite sides of a gap are shaved down to accommodate a bridge.

A cap is then placed over each tooth and is accompanied by the bridge, replacing the missing teeth. In parts of the mouth that can handle less force or where only one tooth is missing, dentists now often use a winged, or Maryland bridge that’s embedded into the neighboring teeth, rather than one that fully caps them.

In some instances, there may not be teeth on both sides of a gap. One approach to this problem is to install what’s called a cantilevered bridge. This type of bridge is attached to a single tooth on one side, and the bridge structure hangs over the gap.

Dental Bridge Pros and Cons

The main advantage of bridges is that they are considered to be one of the most cost-effective methods for replacing missing teeth. Another advantage of bridges is they don’t require bone grafting if bone loss is present. Bridges also offer a quicker process for replacing missing teeth.

One of the biggest disadvantages of bridges is that they place greater strain on surrounding structures, especially the two teeth which are attached to the device. For this reason, a bridge rarely is expected to last a lifetime. Bridges also do not address concerns about underlying structural problems. This means that long-term issues arising from bone loss due to the removal of teeth will continue to advance even after the gap is addressed.

Cantilevered bridges are especially notorious for creating problems. They place a significant amount of stress on the single tooth to which they’re attached. Maryland bridges also often come with problems, due to their minimal amount of attachment and limited capacity to absorb force. Also, if a Maryland bridge is not properly maintained, it may lead to the loss of additional teeth.

Mixed Solutions

In cases where patients have lost a significant number of teeth in a row, it’s not unusual for dentists to recommend a mixed approach.

For example, the loss of all the molars may mean your dentist needs to put in an implant at one end, where there is no longer a tooth. Your dentist may then attach a cap at the other end, creating a bridge from the implant post to the healthy tooth.

Likewise, people who have lost most or all of their teeth in a particular section of their mouths may be good candidates for bridge-like structures that straddle two implant posts.

Will It Be Covered?

It’s important to note that many insurance companies see both dental implants and dental bridges as high-end, costly treatments. However, due to the vast difference in cost between the treatments, most insurance carriers are more likely to pay for a bridge procedure than an implant.

If you are considering treatment for a missing tooth, consider speaking with your insurance provider before deciding on the right option. For most people, cost is one of the most important considerations to make when deciding on what option would be right for you. Talking to your insurance provider can provide helpful information that could assist you in deciding what treatment to move forward with.

Finding The Right Choice for You

The most important thing you can do to ensure you find the right treatment for your missing tooth is to talk to your dentist about what options may be right for you. Your trusted dentist can carefully weight all of the specific considerations of your situation to make the right recommendation for you.

Your dentist will want to provide you with the right solution that will be as gentle as possible while providing years of continued use. Burgess Center for Cosmetic Dentistry has a dentist office in Jacksonville, FL with a dentist that can help you address any missing teeth and develop a treatment plant that’s tailored to your needs. Schedule an appointment with an experienced dentist today.


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How To Prevent Serious Health Issues Caused By Bad Oral Health

oral healthThe best way to prevent serious health issues caused by bad oral health is to practice good oral hygiene and schedule regular visits with your Jacksonville dentist.

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