At Winchester Dental, we understand that sometimes our patients require pain relief before we can provide any other treatment. Your comfort always comes first, and when pain relief is the priority, we offer laser and injection therapy options.
Why laser therapy?
Laser therapy is a safe alternative to pain medication, which may come with risks of side effects and/or addiction. Laser therapy is painless—some patients even report that it feels relaxing—and normally only takes 10 to 15 minutes. Our laser unit allows us to customize pain treatments depending on a patient’s need for pain relief and/or reducing inflammation.
How does laser therapy work?
The energy from the laser unit penetrates the skin, and speeds up the body’s own healing process to reduce inflammation and heal muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerve tissue, and soft tissue. The healing effects of each treatment build on those of previous treatments, and also work to stimulate blood circulation.
How long does it take after a laser treatment for patients to feel relief?
Some patients will feel relief immediately; for others, it may take four to six hours.
What kind of injection therapy option do you offer?
We offer prolotherapy. The name of the injection means proliferation—or regeneration—of new tissue. At Winchester Dental, we typically provide prolotherapy for issues involving the jaw joints and sometimes for headaches. Other doctors will offer this same therapy for injuries to hips and knees.
What kind of solution does a prolotherapy injection contain?
It typically contains a mixture of dextrose and a small amount of anesthetic such as Prilocaine or lidocaine. Some patients ask if it also includes steroids, but there are no steroids involved.
How does prolotherapy work?
Within a TMJ disorder, the ligaments often become lax and will slip or pop off the bone. That causes the clicking or popping sound that many patients with these disorders hear as their jaws move. We inject the prolotherapy solution right into the jaw joint, and it causes a painless irritation process that stimulates the ligaments and the tendon fibers right around the disc in the joint. During this stimulation process, these fibers and ligaments begin to tighten up to help keep things in the right position.
How long is a prolotherapy injection effective? Do patients need a series of these?
This varies widely according to the patient and condition we are treating. For example, headaches usually require a couple of injections around the back of the head within a couple of weeks, and then a follow-up two to three months later. We evaluate each situation individually for the patient and condition.