Laser Dentistry: What Is It?
Have you heard of laser dentistry? It is a form of dentistry that is minimally invasive, and it is an option that you consider when you need gum surgery, cavity treatment, as well as other dental care. Keep reading to learn more.
An Overview of Laser Dentistry
Healthcare professionals utilize lasers that are incredibly focused beams of lights. These lasers are used to remove or modify tissue in very small amounts. Laser surgery is in no way limited to only dentistry, though numerous people have never even heard of laser dentistry prior to having it done. Dental professionals use lasers in a number of procedures involving the interior of the mouth, including the removal of overgrown tissue, reshaping of the gums, and even the whitening of the teeth. In some cases, laser dentistry can be used on children who have anxiety about or are scared to have dental work performed.
What Issues Can Laser Dentistry Treat
Most issues that laser dentistry are able to treat are in relation to the gums. Some of these issues include the following:
- Cold sore and canker sore pain treatments
- Gum inflammation
- Gum disease
- Gum reshaping
- Root canal infections
- Exposing wisdom teeth
- Regenerating damaged nerves
- Removing throat tissue that’s causing sleep apnea
- Removing benign oral tumors
Benefits of Laser Dentistry
Laser dentistry is chosen by dental professionals due to distinct benefits that it offers. Laser dentistry allows procedures to go smoother and reduces pain and discomfort as well as healing time for patients. Here is a look at some other benefits of laser dentistry:
- Anesthesia is usually not necessary
- There is less of a chance of patients needing sutures
- The laser sterilizes the gums, reduces the risk of infection
- Patients will lose less blood as opposed to traditional surgery
- The healing time is shortened because of less damage to the gums
What Happens During Laser Dentistry Procedures?
When you arrive at the dental office for your appointment, you may be shocked that the process is similar to all of your other dental appointments. In some cases, you may receive some anesthesia, but it likely won’t be as much as you normally would receive. If you are a patient who is prone to anxiety in the dental office, then there is a chance that you will be provided with a sedative.
During the actual procedure, your mouth will be propped open so the dentist is able to work inside your mouth with the laser to correctly treat the issues at hand. You won’t feel any pain or vibrations from the laser as you would from a drill. If there is any bleeding, it will be wiped away just as it would during any other dental procedure.
What You Can Expect After the Procedure
If you have ever undergone any kind of non-laser gum surgery, you should expect for the experience following the surgery to be smoother. Due to the fact that a laser creates less bleeding than an actual scalpel, you can expect that there will be less bleeding from the surgery site once you return home. There will not be an open, bleeding wound like with a traditional dental surgery.
There is less of a risk of getting an infection, though you should continue follow the instructions that you receive from your dentist about cleaning and caring for the surgical site. You also shouldn’t expect as much pain and discomfort since the irritation will be minimal.
Types of Dental Lasers Used
There are two main kinds of lasers that are used by dental professionals during dental procedures: soft and hard tissue lasers. Each of these lasers have a different wavelength that make it most appropriate for the type of tissue that is being cut into. Each type of tissue absorbs the laser wavelengths in various ways. By altering the wavelength—and the pulse—of the laser light, scientists have determined how to design lasers with wavelengths that are compatible with the tissues found inside your mouth.
Soft Tissue Lasers
Soft tissue lasers utilize a light wavelength that water and hemoglobin can easily absorb. Hemoglobin is molecule that is found in your blood, making these lasers perfect for gum-related procedures. Some soft tissue lasers are known as diode lasers, which is a specific kind of continuous wave laser. These kinds of lasers are good for cutting into the soft tissue and then sealing any exposed blood vessel simultaneously. This is why bleeding is minimal during laser dentistry procedures and healing is quicker afterward.
Soft tissue lasers are perfect for cosmetic procedures since the results can be seen immediately. These lasers are often used for the following:
- Reshaping the gums to create a more attractive smile
- Dealing with restrictive movement of the tongue
- Lengthening crowns
- Removing folds in oral soft tissues that are caused by dentures
Hard Tissue Lasers
Hard tissue lasers are designed primarily for use on your teeth. The wavelength of these dental lasers have the ability to cut through water as well as bone, particularly the calcium phosphate that is found within your teeth and your bones. These lasers can very precisely cut into the teeth, removing small amounts to prepare for dental procedures or to shape the teeth.
Hard tissue dental lasers are often used for the following:
- Dealing with tooth sensitivity
- Detecting cavities
- Preparing the teeth for fillings
Regardless of whether you are having soft or hard tissue work performed, you can expect a short recovery time and a much easier procedure overall. Laser dentistry is a minimally invasive, convenient surgical solution to many dental and oral issues, regardless of whether they are cosmetic or serious in nature. Contact us at Fountain of Youth Dental to learn more about laser dentistry.