Laser Dentistry can be used as a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of dental procedures and are often used in conjunction with other dental instruments.
When used for surgical and dental procedures, the laser acts as a cutting instrument or a vaporizer of the tissue that it comes into contact with. When used for “curing” a filling, the laser helps to strengthen the bond between the filling and the tooth. When used in teeth whitening procedures, the laser acts as a heat source and enhances the effect of tooth beaching agents.
The following are the procedures in which lasers can be used:
- Tooth decay – Lasers are used to remove decay within a tooth and prepare the surrounding enamel for the receipt of the filling. Lasers are also used to “cure” or harden a filling, but they cannot be used on fillings containing mercury (usually silver colored) because they vaporize the filling and create a dangerous mercury-containing gas
- Gum disease – Lasers are used to reshape gums and remove bacteria during root canal
- Biopsy or lesion removal – Lasers can be used to remove a small piece of tissue (called a biopsy) so that it can be examined for cancer. Lasers are also used to remove lesions in the mouth, and can relieve the pain of aphthous ulcers.
- Teeth whitening – Lasers are used to speed up in-surgery teeth whitening procedures. A peroxide bleaching solution, applied to the tooth surface, is “activated” by laser energy, which speeds up the whitening process.
Types of Laser Dentistry:
There are two different types of laser dentistry: hard tissue and soft tissue. Hard tissue includes treatments such as cavity detection, dental fillings, and tooth sensitivity improvements. Soft tissue treatments include gum reshaping, gum surgery, and muscle attachment improvements.
Benefits of Laser Dentistry:
Compared to the traditional dental drill, lasers:
- Leaves more healthy gum tissue and tooth structure than some surgeries.
- Do not heat up or make a noise like a conventional drill
- Lasers can also be used to detect cavities and the minutest bits of tooth decay.
- May cause less pain in some instances, therefore, reducing the need for an anaesthetic.
- Lasers allow for greater accuracy during the treatment of soft tissues. They cauterize as they cut and give less pain and bleeding for patients, as well as provide an improved recovery experience.
- May reduce anxiety in patients uncomfortable with the use of the dental drill.
- May preserve healthier tooth during cavity removal.
- One of the main benefits for using dental lasers is the ability to precisely interact and, in some cases, remove almost a few cell layers at a time.
- Treatments are more comfortable.
- There is less potential chance of bacterial infection because laser treatments are so precise.
- Usage of laser provides quicker healing times and less need for anesthetic.
- Lasers are able to penetrate teeth and other hard tissues in the mouth.
- Used in combination with advanced digital radiography, dentists are able to give patients the best and safest general and preventative care possible.