Since 1989, dentists have been using lasers to treat a variety of dental issues. Compared to other non-laser dental tools, laser dentistry offers far more comfortable treatment. According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration department, laser dental treatments are completely safe. Lasers and focused light beams have been used to remove overgrown tissues, reshape gums, and enhance teeth whitening.
Laser dentistry is a dental procedure that uses a laser instead of a dental drill. The laser removes tooth decay and also seals and disinfects the area that has been treated. Laser dentistry can be used in place of a dental drill or as a supplement to rotary tools during cavity preparation.
Laser Dentistry - Benefits
Today's dentistry is a far cry from the dentistry of the past. The laser dentistry of today offers faster, less invasive, and more accurate results. Traditional dentistry relied on hand tools, such as drills and saws, and required the dentist to physically touch the tooth. The laser dentistry of today relies on highly focused light energy, which is selectively absorbed by water in the tooth, causing the water molecules to vibrate and heat up to create a reaction that eliminates tooth decay and gum disease.
- Soft tissue laser treatment eliminates the need for sutures.
- Laser treatments promote blood clotting, and hence, there is less bleeding after the soft tissues are treated.
- The laser sterilizes the infected areas, thus reducing the risk of bacterial infections.
- The use of lasers stimulates fast healing of wounds and tissue regeneration.
- With the focussed laser lights, dentists can focus on the damaged tissue without causing any damage to the nearby tissues.
- Laser treatment brings down drugs and antibiotic intake after treatment.
Laser dentistry is quick and painless; in most cases, patients do not even require anesthesia.
Types of Lasers Used in Dentistry
There are two main types of lasers used by dentists for laser procedures: Hard tissue lasers and soft tissue lasers. A hard tissue laser is used for teeth treatment as it can cut through both water and bone, and calcium phosphate present in your teeth. Hard tissue laser is used in procedures like cavity detection, tooth preparations and shaping prior to composite bonding, repair of worn-out or damaged fillings, and tooth sensitivity treatment.
Soft tissue lasers are diode lasers that are best suited for gum treatment, as they easily get absorbed through water and hemoglobin of red blood cells. These lasers seal the ending of nerve and blood vessels and hence, cause little or no pain after laser treatment. These lasers are commonly used to activate tissue regrowth (fast healing), kill bacteria and treat periodontitis. Soft tissue laser procedures include crown lengthening, gum reshaping and correcting uneven gum lines, treating restricted tongue movement, removing folds caused by dentures, and treating tight tongue frenulum.
Laser dentistry uses a laser in place of a dental drill or as a supplement to rotary tools during cavity preparation.
Is laser dentistry painful?
You may feel a pricking sensation when the laser touches your tooth. The laser will feel like a pinprick or snap of a hot rubber band. The laser tip is rounded, so the laser will not feel like a needle. Lasers cause no tissue damage to the oral soft tissues, so there shouldn't be any pain during the procedure. Some people feel no discomfort at all, while others feel a mild stinging sensation. If you experience a pricking sensation, a topical numbing gel can be applied.
Laser dentistry is completely safe; studies show the laser does not damage the enamel or gums.
What can a laser do?
Laser dentistry is an umbrella term used to describe a number of dental treatments that involve lasers. A laser can be used during a variety of procedures. For example, lasers can be used to remove soft tissue, such as excess gum tissue. Lasers can also be used to reshape the gum line, contour the gums, or even correct a gummy smile. In a similar way, lasers can be used to remove excess gum tissue or reshape the gum line to improve the appearance of a smile. These treatments can also be used in the following cases:
- Detecting infected tissues
- Nerve regeneration
- Treating cold sores
- Bleaching and teeth whitening
- Treating obstructive sleep apnea
- TMJ (temporomandibular joint) treatment
- Suture-free painless removal of benign tumors from the palate, gums, lips, and cheeks.
Lasers are advantageous because they help conserve more tooth structure than other traditional dental tools.
Questions Answered on This Page
- What is laser dentistry?
- What are the benefits of laser dentistry?
- What are the types of lasers used in dentistry?
- Is laser dentistry painful?
- What can a laser do?
People Also Ask
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is laser dentistry painful?
No, laser dentistry is not painful. The sensation of having a laser used in your mouth is similar to the snap of a rubber band. You may feel slight discomfort during the procedure, but most patients find the procedure completely painless.
Will I feel any discomfort afterward?
Laser dentistry is very precise, so you will not experience any discomfort after the procedure. You may feel slight sensitivity, but that should go away within a few days.
Q. Is laser dentistry safe?
Laser dentistry is a safe and effective way to treat a wide range of dental problems. Laser dentistry uses a concentrated beam of light energy that targets problem areas without affecting the healthy surrounding tissue.
Q. Is laser dentistry expensive?
Laser dentistry can be more expensive compared to traditional dentistry, but keep in mind that many procedures can be completed in a single visit, which can save you money in the long run. Plus, laser dentistry can also improve your overall oral health.