Laser dentistry, or laser-assisted dentistry, is a form of modern dentistry that’s becoming increasingly common.
It involves the use of lasers to treat dental problems, from tooth decay and gum disease to cavities and root canal treatments. The benefits of laser dentistry are numerous, but include:
- Less bleeding during and after procedures
- No cuts or stitches
- Less swelling
- Less post-operative pain
- Speedy healing
- Fewer visits to the dentist Lasers
In 1990, the FDA deemed laser dentistry safe for public use. Since then, more and more dental practitioners have been investing in this technology. Lasers are used for various dental procedures, including teeth whitening, gum reshaping, and teeth cleaning.
Today’s dental lasers make tooth cleanings and fillings much less painful. Many dentists have incorporated dental lasers into everyday procedures – reducing bleeding, anxiety, and post-treatment recovery times.
Here are some of the other benefits associated with laser dentistry:
- Quicker healing & tissue regeneration.
- Preservation of more of the natural tooth.
- Reduced bleeding during and after treatment.
- Reduced need for anesthesia.
- Reduced need for stitches and sutures.
- Reduced risk of bacterial infections after procedures.
How can laser dentistry help me?
Laser dentistry has become a very versatile and important tool in modern dentistry. Dentists are using lasers to perform a wide range of procedures including cavity preparation, oral surgery, gum disease treatment, root canal therapy and tooth whitening. There are also lasers that can be used to cut and shape teeth to help improve the aesthetics of a smile. Laser dentistry can be used for cosmetic purposes or for preventative measures.
The dental lasers can be used in the following ways:
- Tooth preparation – Before laser dentistry, a dentist would have to use a drill to prepare the cavity for a filling. Lasers are a great alternative to traditional surgery because they are less invasive and don’t require anesthesia.
Lasers are now commonly used to kill bacteria around the surgical site and reduce post-operative infection. This is because lasers are better at killing oral bacteria than traditional scalpel blades. They also have a lower risk of damaging surrounding tissue.
- Reshaping soft tissue – Laser dentistry is a growing field because it’s minimally invasive and can dissolve soft tissue to expose more of the natural tooth (crown lengthening), reshape soft tissue to make “gummy smiles” more attractive, and remove uncomfortable soft tissue folds caused by denture wear.
- Frenectomy – Laser therapy has proven to be an effective tool for helping with speech and feeding problems. A study published in the journal Clinical Linguistics & Phonetics found that laser therapy can help with speech, language, and communication disorders.
- Tumor removal – When a benign tumor has formed in the soft tissue areas of the mouth, a dental laser can be used to remove it. This is done in a quick and non-invasive manner, and it does not cause any pain to the patient.
- Whitening – Lasers can greatly expedite the tooth whitening process by increasing the activity of the particles in the peroxide bleaching solution. During laser tooth whitening, laser light is directed at your teeth. This light is absorbed by the chromophores (pigments) in your teeth causing heat to be generated.
- Biopsy – Lasers can be used to perform a biopsy on suspicious areas of soft tissue. A biopsy is a procedure where a sample of cells is removed from your skin and then sent to a laboratory for analysis.
How are laser procedures performed?
There are actually a number of different types of dental lasers that have been designed to treat different conditions. For example, there’s the Erbium-doped YAG laser which is used to treat tetracycline staining and yellowing. It’s important to understand which laser is best for your skin type and the specific issue you want to address.
As a general rule, the longer the wavelength of the laser, the deeper it can penetrate the skin. The most common types of dental lasers are carbon dioxide lasers and diode lasers, which are usually employed to treat soft tissue problems.
The laser beam is extremely bright, and special glasses will be provided to protect the eyes. The dentist will then direct the beam at the affected area and carefully dissolve the soft tissue, harden the filling or whiten the teeth.
The laser dentistry procedure will take far less time than conventional methods, and cause far less anxiety and discomfort. It is also a lot more accurate than most other methods which means that patients will be more likely to get the results they want if they use laser dentistry.
The only real disadvantage of laser dentistry is that it can be more expensive than traditional methods. However, if you’re dealing with a lot of pain or inflammation caused by gum disease, then laser dentistry can be a great way to get rid of your symptoms and improve the look of your smile.
If you have questions or concerns about laser dentistry, please ask your dentist.