Lasers in Dentistry
We understand that sometimes the sounds of drills can make dental visits and procedures seem intimidating. Unfortunately, this causes many patients to dread dental care and even refrain from visiting the office or voicing complaints and concerns. However, we are always researching the best ways to safely and successfully treat our patients and are proud to offer laser dentistry as a near pain-free option. With laser dentistry, we have the option to reduce and even eliminate dental fears or worries as many of our procedures involving dental lasers use minimal or even no anesthesia or drills for treatment.
What is Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry is an FDA approved treatment where lasers are used to treat several different dental conditions. Lasers create light energy in a very narrow and focused beam targeted on certain hard or soft tissue. This light is precisely calculated so that we can control the interaction with a particular type of tissue. The typical heat, vibration, noise, and pressure of traditional dental drills and tools are removed with the use of lasers helping to reduce patient anxiety surrounding dental care.
The two categories of procedures for laser dentistry are hard tissue and soft tissue procedures. Hard tissue refers to teeth and bones while soft tissue often refers to the gums, lips, tongue, or inner cheek.
How can it be used?
Dental lasers can treat a variety of conditions depending on the type of laser used. Common hard tissue procedures include cavity detection, treatment for tooth decay, tooth preparations, dental fillings, or reducing tooth sensitivity.
For soft tissue procedures, a laser may be used to reshape gum tissue, adjust, or reshape gum and bone for healthier tooth structure. Oftentimes soft tissue treatment does not require any sutures or stitches, so the healing and recovery period is significantly reduced.
Lasers can also be used in other procedures such as sealants, treating cold sores, removing benign tumors or lesions/growths, nerve generation, reducing pain and inflammation in jaw joints, teeth whitening, and more. Dental lasers can also be used to treat periodontitis or gum disease as they can kill bacteria and activate healthy tissue regrowth.
One of the great benefits of laser treatment is the fact that the laser often seals nerve endings and blood vessels during procedures which helps to reduce pain and promote faster healing.
Other benefits of laser dentistry include but are not limited to:
- Reduced need for stitches
- Minimized bleeding
- In many cases anesthesia is unnecessary
- Lower risk of bacterial infection
- Faster recovery
There are some disadvantages to laser dentistry as it cannot be used on teeth that already have certain filling such as metal amalgam. Sometimes certain procedures may still require anesthesia and traditional dental tools.
Laser dentistry is a great option for those who may have anxiety in our office. Lasers enable us to address multiple dental needs while also ensuring that your experience is a positive one. For more information on laser dentistry, contact Dr. Keith Schwartz today.