BRENT O. NICHOLS, D.D.S.
The leading edge laser alternative for gum disease therapy
Article from OC Magazine
Treating gum disease may not be as glamorous as a cosmetic makeover, but healthy gums are the foundation of any beautiful smile. And it’s not just about teeth anymore; mounting evidence demonstrates a direct link between gum disease (periodontal disease), and other serious health problems like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and spontaneous pre-term births. Knowing this, it may surprise you to learn that more than 50 percent of the adult population has some form of gum disease, the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Even more stunning is that only around 4 percent of those who need periodontal surgery are getting the treatment they need. Dr. Brent Nichols in Huntington Beach uses a breakthrough, minimally invasive laser therapy that will take the fear out of gum surgery.
“Many patients avoid having treatment because of fear of discomfort or lack of knowledge about the treatment options available,” explains Dr. Nichols. “The use of lasers is revolutionizing the dental field, and making gum surgery a quick, simple and virtually painless procedure. No cut, no sew.”
The concept of minimally invasive surgery is not new: For example, arthroscopic knee surgery has become the standard of care. Lasers have revolutionized the fields of dermatology and vision correction because of their precision. But given the influence of new technology in other fields, periodontal treatment has changed little in the last decades. New bone-grafting techniques and dental implants have advanced greatly, but the removal of the bacterial infection around the teeth is still being treated traditionally with an aggressive cut-and-sew surgical procedure. With his Periolase Laser (Millennium Dental Technologies Inc.), Dr. Nichols offers an FDA-approved alternative that is effective and patient-friendly. There is no intentional reduction of tissue height like there is with conventional gum surgery, and patients are able to quickly return to their daily routines.
“We’re seeing phenomenal results with this technology,” says Dr. Nichols. “The laser is used to open up the infected tissue and clean out the area around the neck of the tooth. The best part is the patient experiences minimal discomfort, swelling or down time, and can quickly return to normal activities.”
Dr. Nichols, a lifelong resident of Huntington Beach and former lifeguard, was first exposed to lasers as an undergraduate at UCLA. During dental school at the University of California, San Francisco, he was certified in the use of dental lasers. During the summer between his first and second years of dental school, Dr. Nichols secured a position as a research assistant at the National Dental Hospital in Sydney, Australia. While there, he performed extensive clinical research on periodontal disease. After graduation, Dr. Nichols returned home to Huntington Beach and spent four years under the tutelage of the founders of the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry. During those years, he observed firsthand the new Periolase Laser being designed and built specifically for performing gum surgery. Dr. Nichols got the honor of “test-driving” the first laser off the assembly line. He spent four more years working in private practice in Villa Park before finally opening his own office in downtown Huntington Beach, a comfortable setting that is fully digitalized and modern. He brings with him a new option for people who are faced with the recommendation of invasive surgery to treat their gum disease.
In addition to laser periodontal therapy, Dr. Nichols also offers a wide range of services in general and cosmetic dentistry, and dental implants. From conservative preventive dentistry to porcelain veneers, he provides personalized care to fit your needs.
“What I enjoy most is the combination of art and science in dentistry,” says Dr. Nichols. “I approach each case.