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.
As the applications for dental lasers expand, greater numbers of dentists will use the technology to provide patients with precision treatment that may minimize pain and recovery time.
Benefits of 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.
Soft Tissue Laser Dentistry Procedures
Crown Lengthening: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue (soft tissue laser) and bone (hard tissue laser) to expose healthier tooth structure 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.
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.
Benign Tumors: Dental lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of benign tumors from the gums, palate, sides of cheeks and lips.
Cold Sores: Low intensity dental lasers reduce pain associated with cold sores and minimize healing time.
Nerve Regeneration: Photobiomodulation can be used to regenerate damaged nerves, blood vessels and scars.
Sleep Apnea: In cases where sleep apnea is a result of a tissue overgrowth in areas of the throat (which sometimes occurs with age), a laser assisted uvuloplasty can be performed to reshape the throat and relieve the correlating breathing problems associated with sleep apnea.
Hard Tissue 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.
Tooth Sensitivity: Dental lasers may be used to seal tubules (located on the root of the tooth) that are responsible for hot and cold tooth sensitivity.