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What’s Zoom Whitening?

Your teeth may become discolored for a variety of reasons. Drinking tea, coffee, or red wine can cause your teeth to yellow. Some medications, smoking, and aging can also discolor your teeth. If you find your teeth are not as white and bright as you like, you can get them whitened easily and quickly at your dentist’s with Zoom whitening. Zoom is a safe and easy way to lighten your teeth and get a bright smile.

How Zoom Whitening Works

Zoom whitening uses a 25 percent hydrogen peroxide solution which is applied to the teeth. Your teeth are then exposed to the special Zoom light. The light reacts with the hydrogen peroxide and as the hydrogen peroxide breaks down it allows oxygen to enter the enamel and dentin of your teeth bleaching the stains and whitening them. The structure of your teeth are left unchanged but they appear much brighter and whiter.

The Zoom Whitening Procedure

Before the procedure begins your dentist will examine your teeth and gums. A regular teeth cleaning may take place before the Zoom whitening procedure. To begin the Zoom whitening session you lips and gums are covered and your teeth are left exposed. Zoom hydrogen peroxide whitening gel is applied to the teeth and is left in place for 15 minutes while begin exposed to the Zoom light. During this time you can watch TV or listen to music. This is repeated two more times for a total of three 15 minute treatments (45 minutes). Right after the last treatment a sensitivity reducing fluoride paste/gel is applied to the teeth.

After Zoom Whitening

Your doctor will give you an at home kit to use for touch ups. This kit contains custom fit whitening trays and your doctor will instruct you on their use. Avoid things which will stain your teeth such as red wine, coffee, tea, and smoking. Continue to brush and floss and keep up on your regular dental visits. Your doctor may also recommend a whitening tooth paste to help maintain the whitening effect.

With the Zoom whitening service you can have a bright smile which will boost your confidence and make you feel great. Call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry today and ask about Zoom whitening.

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What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is a common disease and studies show over half of American adults over 30 have some form of it. The name of the disease comes from “peri” which means around, and “dontal” which refers to the teeth. Periodontal disease is the infection of the gums, the cementum that covers the root, the alveolar bone, and the periodontal ligament structures of your mouth. If left untreated periodontal disease can cause the loss of teeth.

Early Stages

Periodontal disease begins as gingivitis and in the early stages affects only the gums. Bacteria in the mouth form a sticky substance known as plaque. This plaque forms not only on the surface of the teeth, but under the gum line. Your body tries to get rid of the plaque by releasing substances that attack the gums. This can lead to inflamed and bleeding gums – gingivitis. If the plaque is not removed it hardens and become tartar. This is a very hard substance and can only be removed by a professional cleaning.

Advanced Cases

Once the gums are affected the inflammation will spread to the other structures in your mouth, particularly under the gum line and into the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. Left untreated the bacteria form pockets of inflammation and infection which further attack the gums and teeth.  As the infection spreads the pockets get deeper and more damage is done. In very advanced cases periodontal disease can affect your jawbone and cause bone loss and loss of teeth.

Treatment of Periodontal Disease

The only way to treat periodontal disease is by visiting your dentist for treatment. He or she will remove the plaque and damaged tissues on the teeth and under the gum line. This can be done surgically or with a Lanap laser.

With a Lanap laser only the affected tissues are removed. No healthy tissue is removed and your healing time is much faster than with scalpel surgery. Each laser has seven settings which react to a specific type of tissue making the Lanap laser an effective tool in treating periodontal disease.

Don’t suffer any longer with inflamed or bleeding gums. Call or contact Smith and Cole dentistry today and ask about our innovative treatments for periodontal disease and get the smile you deserve.

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Lanap Laser Dentistry

Periodontal (gum) disease can be painful and cause tooth loss. It is a common condition and according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) most adults have some form of periodontal disease ranging from mild to very severe. Symptoms range from gum inflammation to major damage to the soft tissues which support the teeth. If the disease progresses far enough tooth loss may occur.

Treatment for periodontal disease used to involve cutting away the affected tissues. This is a painful and lengthy process. Today dentists have the choice to use a new and innovative treatment, the Lanap Laser. At Smith and Cole Dentistry we use the Lanap laser protocol to treat periodontal disease and get your oral health back on track.

Periodontal Disease Symptoms

Periodontal disease is caused by the bacteria in your mouth which forms tartar and plaque. If left on the teeth these substances form under the gum line and can cause gingivitis. If left untreated gingivitis may progress to periodontal disease. Symptoms include persistent bad breath, red and swollen gums, bleeding gums when you brush, painful teeth, loose teeth, or pain when chewing, and receding gums.

Lanap Laser Treatment

The Lanap protocol is the only FDA cleared laser treatment and regeneration of tissue, new bone growth, and gum tissue reattachment. The laser is actually seven lasers in one. Each setting reacts to a specific type of tissue and targets the source of inflammation without harming any healthy tissue. With the use of the Lanap laser no healthy tissue is removed unlike with surgical treatment.

Lanap laser treatment also helps your body regenerate healthy tissue, new bone growth, and gum tissue reattachment. The treatment also helps your body heal from chronic infections quickly. This is a real breakthrough from surgical therapy which can be painful and remove healthy tissue.

Lanap laser treatment is performed in two – two hour visits to the dentist. During the first visit your doctor will treat one side of your mouth. At your second visit, usually a few weeks later, the doctor will treat the other side of your mouth. During the procedure there is very little to no pain and you can return to your normal activities right away. Since it is oral surgery, your pain and recovery time may be different but patients recover much faster than after traditional scalpel surgery.

Call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry and ask about the innovative Lanap Laser treatment if you show any signs of periodontal disease.


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Tooth and Bone Loss

Tooth and Bone Loss in New Braunfels, TX


The number one reason that adults lose their teeth today is due to gum disease, or periodontal disease. There is no cure for periodontal disease, so it is important for you to have a comprehensive periodontal examination on a regular basis, especially if you are experiencing any gum disease symptoms.

There are several identifiable symptoms of gum disease, but the most obvious is the occurrence of bleeding gums when brushing or flossing. Pain is usually not associated with gum disease in the early stages, so the bleeding of gums when brushing is certainly a red flag and warrants a thorough evaluation. The presence of a bad taste or smell and tender, swollen gum tissues can also indicate a problem with your gums.

Bacteria that cause gum disease live in the pockets between your teeth and gums. These bacteria produce toxins, which in turn cause your body to destroy the bone that supports your teeth. If you lose enough bone over time, your teeth can become loose and can result in tooth loss. Again, there is no cure for periodontal, or gum disease, but the goal is to maintain it, manage the bacteria, and keep the disease from progressing.

Gum disease is most often slowly progressive, but can eventually result in tooth loss. Losing teeth can generate the need for additional restorative and tooth replacement treatments, such as dental implants, dental bridges, or dentures. These are sound options for tooth replacement, but nothing will ever be as good as your natural teeth. Proper oral homecare routines and periodic dental visits are key in maintaining a healthy mouth and reducing gum disease symptoms.

If you experience gum disease symptoms such as tenderness or bleeding gums when brushing, notice a bad taste or smell, or have loose teeth, you are in need of a thorough periodontal evaluation. It is vital not only to the longevity of your teeth, but also your overall health that you achieve and maintain a health mouth. Contact Dr. Todd Smith and Dr. Michael Cole today to schedule your screening for gum disease.

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Gum Disease Health

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body in New Braunfels, TX


Gum Disease HealthGum disease is a common condition of the oral cavity. There are specific signs of gum disease such as swollen, tender gums that may bleed when touched. The terms “gingivitis” and “periodontitis” both mean gum disease. Gum disease begins as gingivitis and if left untreated can progress to periodontitis.

It is well-established that oral health affects overall health. Bacteria can travel throughout the bloodstream and can affect any area of your body, often with detrimental consequences. Therefore, maintaining a healthy mouth and seeking bleeding gum treatment is imperative to your physical and emotional health.

Signs of gum disease may include bleeding and inflamed gums, loose teeth, and/or periodontal abscesses. These signs are often accompanied by symptoms such as gum tenderness and halitosis. Bacteria in the mouth produce sulfur compounds that produce a bad taste and smell, resulting in malodor. Halitosis, or bad breath, can result in negative social consequences leading to depressed self-esteem and emotional health.

The most common of the signs of gum disease is bleeding gums. Bleeding gums may occur when brushing or flossing, or in severe cases, spontaneously. Since gum disease can have harmful effects on your overall health, it is important to have a periodontal examination to determine if treatment is necessary. Bleeding gum treatment may include a thorough cleaning, and often times a non-surgical periodontal treatment known as scaling and root planning. Advanced cases may require laser-surgical treatment. In addition, locally administered antibiotics are often used to reduce the bacterial content in the spaces between the teeth and gums. Once treatment is rendered, the bleeding and other signs of gum disease generally subside within a few days. Meticulous, daily brushing and flossing habits are vital to maintaining the health of your teeth and gums.

Your oral health is as important as your physical health. If you are experiencing any signs of gum disease, it is important that you have a comprehensive periodontal evaluation as soon as possible. Call Dr. Todd Smith and Dr. Michael Cole today to schedule your periodontal evaluation and learn about bleeding gum treatment.

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Teeth Surgery

Dental Implants 101 in New Braunfels, TX

Dental implants may appear to be a product of modern innovation, but evidence suggests that replacing missing teeth with an implant of sorts dates back thousands of years. During those times, the sophisticated process of implantation and the materials in use today did not exist. Modern day dentists have the benefit of history on their side when considering the now prevalent dental implant option of permanent tooth replacement. Dr. Todd Smith and Dr. Michael Cole offer implant restoration as a permanent tooth replacement option in their New Braunfels, TX dental care practice.

The use of dental implants has been noted by archeologists to have been practiced by the Mayan civilization, circa 600 A.D. It is easy to imagine that tooth loss was likely prevalent then, given that there is still an incidence today even with our advanced dental care practices. Dental implant materials that are currently in use, such as titanium and ceramic, have replaced ancient substrates such as stones and seashells that were utilized as prosthetic teeth. The Mayans are largely considered to have been an advanced civilization, and clearly found a way to integrate strong substrates into jawbone as a permanent tooth replacement option.

Dental implants in the 21st century have evolved from crude, early structures into sleek, bone-friendly materials that have been proven to provide the sound permanent tooth replacement option so desired by our society. If adequate jawbone is available, dental implants are the gold standard in replacing lost or missing teeth. Dental implants can support single crowns, bridges, and even dentures and do not involve adjacent teeth that may or may not need to be restored.

If you are missing teeth and believe that you could benefit from the placement of dental implants, or are searching for New Braunfels, TX dental care, contact Dr. Smith and Dr. Cole today to schedule your dental implant consultation.

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Fix Missing Teeth

Dental Implant Maintenance in New Braunfels, TX

Fix missing teethDental implants are excellent permanent tooth replacement options. They do not require additional adjustments or future replacement like other options often will. Dental implants are fully integrated into the jawbone and are brushed and flossed in the same manner as natural teeth. Dr. Todd Smith and Dr. Michael Cole provide implant restoration and dental care in New Braunfels, TX.Once you have decided that the implant option is right for you, the tooth implant procedure can begin. Dr. Smith and Dr. Cole will refer you to a specialist, usually an oral surgeon or a periodontist, to have the implant portion surgically placed into the jawbone. The titanium or ceramic implant is allowed to fully integrate into your bone over the course of about three months. Once the specialist has given the all clear for your dental implant to be restored, Dr. Smith and Dr. Cole will then permanently restore your dental implant with a specialized crown.

Maintaining your dental implants is as equally as important as the maintenance of your natural teeth. Regular dental visits are recommended so that a thorough exam and cleaning may be rendered, and to check the health of your dental implants. Your dental hygienist will clean your implants with special instruments, usually made of plastic or resin. Plaque and tartar can accumulate on any portion of the implant that is exposed in the oral cavity, and it is important for these deposits to be removed. Your implant will also be evaluated for any mobility. If you notice any mobility between re-care visits, contact the office immediately to schedule an examination.

Dental implants can restore your smile and improve the overall health of your dentition. If you believe that this tooth implant procedure may be the right option for you and are seeking implant dental care in the New Braunfels, TX area, contact Dr. Smith and Dr. Cole today to schedule your tooth implant procedure consultation.


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Dental Implant Placement

Dental implants are tooth replacement tools made from titanium or titanium alloys (base) and removable artificial teeth. The replacements are made to match the rest of your teeth in shape and color. Therefore, they are completely unnoticeable.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Implants are the safest and most efficient tooth replacement option available today. The reasons for this are:

  • They don’t hinder speech, like dentures.
  • They look perfectly natural.
  • They are comfortable.
  • They are durable and impervious to cavities.
  • They are convenient and don’t require special care.

Basic Facts about Dental Implants

Dental implants, which have a success rate of 98%, are procedures performed by a qualified doctor with the implementation of high-quality equipment and materials. The vast majority of people are eligible for this treatment.

The main reasons that can prevent one from having this tooth replacement procedure are problems with the gums and jawbone (for example, chronic inflammation). In this case, the person might become eligible if the underlying condition is treated.

Groups of people who require an individual assessment to determine their eligibility:

  • Heavy smokers
  • People suffering from diabetes or other chronic disorders
  • Patients who have undergone radiation therapy

How Does One Get a Dental Implant?

The implanting process consists of several steps:

  1. Implanting a titanium tooth root.
  2. Attaching an abutment (connector post).
  3. Attaching a replacement tooth to the abutment.

Entrust Your Dental Implants to Dr. Oulette

Dr. Albert Oulette holds the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon Board certification and has years of experience with dental implants. He has been a part of the US Air Force for 21 years and has treated hundreds of patients throughout his career. As of now, he is a part of the Smith & Cole team.


At Smith & Cole Laser and Family Dentistry, we believe in providing exceptional care in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Our doctors, Dr. Todd Smith and Dr. Michael Cole, are experts in their field and strive each day to make patients feel at ease while transforming their smiles. Our office is proud to serve patients from New Braunfels, TX as well as the surrounding areas. We offer a variety of treatment options including the LANAP Laser TreatmentDental ImplantsSleep ApneaTMJSedationPediatric Dentistry, and CEREC Same Day Crowns. Call (830) 629-1954 to schedule your appointment or click here to request an appointment online!

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Benefits of Dental Implants

Metal Allergies and Implant Surgery in New Braunfels, TX

Dental implants are generally the first option recommended when considering the replacement of lost or missing teeth. The benefits are far reaching, given that the involvement of other natural teeth is not necessary to support this tooth replacement option. If you are looking for a New Braunfels dentist, Dr. Todd Smith and Dr. Michael Cole restore and maintain dental implants.Titanium has been the material of choice for the fabrication of dental implants. Implants consist of three parts, which include an implant, or insert that is surgically placed into the jawbone; an abutment, which is a small part acting as a connector; and an implant crown, which is the portion that shows in the oral cavity. A growing number of people are exhibiting allergies to metal and metal alloys, which is cause for concern if a titanium implant is used. Metal allergies can have an immediate or long-term systemic or an acute localized effect, causing problems from inflammation to chronic fatigue. As a result, ceramic implants have been proven to be an effective alternative to titanium implants for tooth implant surgery.Once you have decided that dental implants are the best choice to replace your missing or lost teeth, Dr. Smith and Dr. Cole will refer to you a specialist for a consultation for your tooth implant surgery. It is important to inform the specialist of any potential metal allergies that you may have so that the safest type of dental implant is placed in your mouth. Your implant can then be restored by Dr. Smith and Dr. Cole by securing a specialized implant crown to the dental implant integrated into the jawbone. Implant crowns are typically fabricated of porcelain fused to high-noble metals. In the event of a metal allergy, a ceramic crown is often a sound alternative.If you are considering tooth implant surgery and are seeking a New Braunfels dentist, contact Dr. Smith and Dr. Cole today to schedule your dental implant consultation.

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Gum Disease Stages

Gum Disease Treatment in New Braunfels, TX

Gum disease is diagnosed by a periodontal evaluation and dental x-rays. Dr. Todd Smith and Dr. Michael Cole are New Braunfels, TX dentists who will perform a screening for gum disease at your initial visit in their dental practice. Signs of gum disease can occur at any age, so it is important to have a thorough evaluation on a periodic basis. An instrument with millimeter markings will be used to measure the spaces between your teeth and gums. 0-3mm readings are considered to be within normal limits, while readings above 3mm can be cause for concern. In addition, dental x-rays will be taken and reviewed to determine if you have had any loss of bone supporting your teeth.

The stages of gum disease are:

Stage 1: Gingivitis

This condition is caused by bacteria that need oxygen to survive. It affects the top layer of gum tissue and can be reversed via treatment and meticulous homecare. Loss of attachment does not occur with gingivitis.

Stage 2: Chronic Periodontitis

This condition is caused by bacteria that do not require oxygen to survive and can therefore proliferate under the gum tissues. These bacteria produce toxins which in turn cause our bodies to destroy the structures that support our teeth, including bone. Chronic periodontitis is slow progressing, but can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

Stage 3: Aggressive Periodontitis

As with the chronic form of this disease, aggressive periodontitis is also caused by anaerobic bacteria (do not require oxygen), but the rate of attachment loss occurs much faster.

Seek Gum Disease Treatment from a New Braunfels, TX Dentist

The signs of gum disease are very specific and may include bleeding gums and loose teeth. If you are experiencing either of these signs or have a family history of gum disease, it is imperative that you have a thorough periodontal evaluation and dental x-rays to determine if gum disease is occurring in your mouth. Contact Dr. Smith and Dr. Cole today to schedule an appointment for your periodontal examination.

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