Laser dentistry involves the use of specialized lasers to treat an array of dental conditions. This technology first debuted back in the middle of the 1900s. Laser dentistry is favored as it is comparably comfortable for the patient, affordable and effective.
Laser Dentistry Basics
In the context of laser dentistry, laser is an acronym that stands for light amplification through the stimulated emission of radiation. The instrument used in laser dentistry generates light energy in the form of an extremely thin beam of focused light. This ultra-thin laser light spurs a reaction when contacting tissue so it can eliminate or reshape the tissue. This type of dentistry is used in a number of different procedures ranging from the treatment of gum disease to whitening teeth, addressing hypersensitive teeth and remedying tooth decay.
The Merits of Laser Dentistry
Laser dentistry1 has become quite the popular treatment method for good reason. This approach to dental treatment is affordable, highly efficient and does not induce pain. Laser dentistry has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for use as a treatment option for a number of dental conditions. Perhaps most important to patients, laser dentistry is drill-free. This means there won’t be any loud drilling, odor stemming from drilling or vibrations. In fact, the dentist might not have to provide anesthesia if the procedure is minor. The end result of laser treatment is a relaxing dental experience.
Dentists across the globe now rely on lasers to treat periodontitis, stimulate the regrowth of tissue and destroy bacteria. Hemoglobin and water absorb soft tissue lasers quite well. Hemoglobin is a protein in the human body’s red blood cells. Lasers minimize the healing time required for various procedures, decrease the number of bacteria within diseased gum tissue and make it that much easier to keep bleeding under control during surgeries. Soft tissue lasers are especially helpful at sealing nerve endings along with blood vessels as they breach tissue. This is precisely why most patients do not feel any sort of pain following laser treatment.
The Safety of Dental Lasers
As long as dental lasers are used in accordance with the accepted practices, this approach to dental treatment will prove highly effective and safe. The dentist will request that you don specialized eyewear during the procedure. The use of eyewear is a precaution meant to protect your eyes against the laser in the event that it were to be knocked out of position. This is a completely safe treatment modality as long as the patient wears protective eyewear throughout the duration of the procedure.
The Primary Types of Dental Lasers
The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved several soft and hard tissue lasers for dental treatments of adults as well as children. Dental lasers have highly unique absorption abilities so they are commonly used in specific dental operations. Hard tissue lasers are characterized by their wavelength that is easily absorbable by the calcium phosphate salt within bone, teeth, and water. This means hard tissue lases are quite effective for cutting through the structure of teeth. The main use of hard tissue lasers is to cut directly into teeth and bone with pinpoint precision. These lasers are typically used to prepare and shape teeth prior to composite bonding, to repair worn fillings and remove minor amounts of tooth structure.
Soft tissue lasers are commonly used in periodontal treatment. Soft tissue lasers are ideal for comparably soft tissue as their wavelength is easily absorbed by hemoglobin and water. These lasers are precise to the point that they cause minimal if any, damage to neighboring tissue. Furthermore, soft tissue lasers eliminate tissue much faster than the fiber optic approach. There is hardly any pain following operations conducted with a soft tissue laser as it penetrates these tissues and subsequently seals the nerve endings and blood vessels. More and more dentists will turn to soft tissue lasers for gingival procedures in the years to come as this treatment hastens the rate at which tissues heal. In fact, some dental lasers have been advanced to the point that they can create soft tissue laser energy as well as hard tissue laser energy based on the patient’s unique needs.
How Lasers are Used for Soft Tissue Procedures
Lasers are used for an array of soft tissue dental procedures. As an example, dental lasers are commonly used to reshape gum tissue with the aim of exposing the healthy portion of the tooth structure and enhancing the smile aesthetic. Dental lasers are also used to lengthen crowns through a reshaping of gum tissue. This reshaping reinforces the foundation’s strength for restoration placement. Dental lasers are sometimes used for removing soft tissue folds resulting from poorly-fitting dentures. These lasers can even be used to perform laser frenectomies that improve speech impediments.
Laser use for Hard Tissue Procedures
Dental lasers are sometimes used to seal off the tubules positioned along the root portion of the tooth. These tubules cause cold/hot tooth sensations. Lasers also help identify cavities at the earliest moment in time as they provide quite the insightful reading of tooth decay. Hard tissue dental lasers even have the potential to prevent the need for local anesthetic injections. Furthermore, lasers have the potential to destroy bacteria within cavities, creating the opportunity to enhance tooth restorations across posterity.
Additional Dental Uses for Lasers
Dentists use lasers for myriad purposes beyond those detailed above. Lasers are quite helpful in helping dentists view teeth and gum tissue. As an example, optical coherence tomography is a safe and effective means of viewing the interior portion of teeth in real-time. Dental lasers also minimize the pain caused by cold sores, remove benign tumors without causing pain, regenerate compromised nerves and blood vessels, hasten the teeth bleaching process and even treat sleep apnea. Lasers reshape the patient’s throat to correct the breathing issues tied to sleep apnea. Some patients have even found relief with the use of lasers to treat the inflammation and pain caused in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
Schedule an Appointment at Freedom Dental
Are you interested in laser dentistry? If you need an examination, cleaning and/or restoration or cosmetic improvement, give us a call2. You can reach Freedom Dental at (707) 422-2236.