Laser dentistry can be a precise and effective way to perform many dental procedures. The potential for laser dentistry to improve dental procedures rests in the dentist's ability to control power output and the duration of exposure on the tissue (whether gum or tooth structure), allowing for treatment of a highly specific area of focus without damaging surrounding tissues.
Benefits of Laser Dentistry?
Here are some of the major benefits associated with laser dentistry:
- Procedures performed using soft tissue dental lasers may not require sutures (stitches).
- Certain laser dentistry procedures do not require anesthesia.
- Laser dentistry minimizes bleeding because the high-energy light beam aids in the clotting (coagulation) of exposed
- blood vessels, thus inhibiting blood loss.
- Bacterial infections are minimized because the high-energy beam sterilizes the area being worked on.
- Damage to surrounding tissue is minimized.
- Wounds heal faster and tissues can be regenerated.
Application of Laser Dentistry
The application of lasers in dentistry opens the door for dentists to perform a wide variety of dental procedures they otherwise may not be capable of performing. Dentists using lasers in dentistry have become adept at incorporating the state-of-the-art precision technology into a number of common and not-so-common procedures.
Hard Tissue (Tooth) Laser Dentistry Procedures
- Cavity Detector: Low intensity soft tissue dental lasers may be used for the early detection of cavities by providing a reading of the by-products produced by tooth decay.
- Dental Fillings/Tooth Preparation: Hard tissue dental lasers may eliminate the need for a local anesthetic injection and the traditional turbine dental drill. Lasers used in dental filling procedures are capable of killing bacteria located in a cavity, potentially leading to improved long term tooth restorations. However, dental lasers are not appropriate for the replacement of amalgam fillings, onlays or crowns.
Soft Tissue (Gum) Laser Dentistry Procedures
- Crown Lengthening: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue (soft tissue laser) and bone (hard tissue laser) to expose healthier tooth structure. Referred to as crown lengthening, such reshaping provides a stronger foundation for the placement of restorations.
- Gummy Smile: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue to expose healthy tooth structure and improve the appearance of a gummy smile.
- Muscle Attachment (Frenula): A laser frenectomy is an ideal treatment option for children who are tongue tied (restricted or tight frenulum) and babies unable to breast feed adequately due to limited tongue movement. A laser frenectomy may also help to eliminate speech impediments.
- Soft Tissue Folds (Epulis): Dental lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of soft tissue folds often caused by ill-fitting dentures.