Dr. Marisol Lopez-Belio Specializes In A Wide Range Of Dental Procedures

Dr. Marisol Lopez-Belio Specializes In A Wide Range Of Dental Procedures

Everyone loves the drama of before and after photographs, especially the patients of Dr. Marisol Lopez-Belio of the Wellington Center for Laser Dentistry.

“I’ve done many cosmetic reconstructions that really change people’s lives,” Lopez-Belio said. “A patient may have bad teeth, worn teeth or teeth of an ugly color and, after a reconstruction, their appearance has literally changed. They’re the most amazing success stories.”

Lopez-Belio and her staff have seen many such stories. She started her practice 26 years ago, in 1991, and moved into her own office in Wellington 22 years ago. Office manager Mary Almazan and hygienist Candy Cerbone have each been with her for 25 years. Her clinical assistant, Danielle Prieto, has been with Lopez-Belio for 13 years.

But it’s not all cosmetic dentistry. Lopez-Belio serves all ages in her general dentistry practice. From fillings to mouth guards, she does it all. She particularly likes how the use of lasers has revolutionized dentistry.

“I love lasers,” Lopez-Belio said. “I have four different types. I use different ones for different things.”

For example, the minimally invasive hard tissue laser, which Lopez-Belio purchased in 2010, allows her to fill cavities or restore resin fillings without numbing.

“Patients love that,” she said. “It’s so efficient. You can do multiple fillings in one day, where otherwise you couldn’t because the patient would be numb all over. With the laser, I can almost do as many as needed without them losing work time or having to wait  hours for the numbness to wear off.”

Another plus: as it works, the hard tissue laser is also killing bacteria. With no bacteria left behind, there is less of a chance of getting a cavity there again.

“We also use a laser for gum treatments, removing soft tissue lesions, treating ulcers and trimming the gums for aesthetic purposes,” Lopez-Belio added.

She can also help with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. “I do a lot of neuro-muscular dentistry to correct TMJ, grinding and crunching,” Lopez-Belio said. “These things can destroy your teeth or give you migraines. People who have been under a lot of stress for a lot of years, they’ve been grinding, then they get symptoms. We correct their bite. We have patients who are chronic; they can’t open their mouth and get several migraines a week. We have to do splint therapy, a full reconstruction or orthodontics. They have a bad bite, and we have to fix that. I devise an individualized treatment for each patient.”

Traditional braces are not an option for many adults. In those cases, Lopez-Belio suggests Invisalign, a series of clear aligners that can be removed for meals. “It’s awesome, and it works great,” Lopez-Belio said. “The treatment takes about a year. Every two weeks you get new, custom-made aligners until your teeth are straight. They’re comfortable, and thin enough so that they don’t affect your speech.”

Lopez-Belio can also help with sleep apnea for people who snore or stop breathing while they sleep.

“If you stop breathing, your oxygen level goes down, and it’s very dangerous,” she said. “A physician may order a CPAP oxygen machine, but it’s noisy. The patient needs to wear a mask, there’s tubing and it’s big — not good for traveling. So many patients prefer an oral appliance, which is like two mouth guards. It keeps the lower jaw forward so the muscles in the neck don’t collapse when they’re sleeping, which improves the airway.”

Lopez-Belio also has a Cerec machine — a computer that allows her to do a crown in one day. “You don’t lose time from work getting a temporary crown, and you don’t have to worry about the temporary falling off when you’re eating dinner,” she explained. “We design, mill, stain and glaze the crown, put it in the oven to harden it, then bond it to the tooth.”

A picture is still worth a thousand words. See some of Dr. Marisol Lopez-Belio’s success stories for yourself at www.wellingtonlaserdentistry.com.

The Wellington Center for Laser Dentistry is located at 1200 Corporate Center Way, Suite 101, in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 791-8184.