For patients who do not look forward to needles, drilling, or numbness, laser dentistry, may be the right choice.
Laser dentistry is one of dentistry’s latest advances. The laser delivers energy in the form of light. Depending on the intended result, this energy travels at different wavelengths and is absorbed by a “target.” In dentistry, these targets can be enamel, decay, gum tissue, or whitening enhancers. Each one absorbs a different wavelength of light while reflecting others. Laser dentistry can be used for both tooth and soft tissue related procedures. Often times no local anesthesia is required. Unlike the dental drill, with laser dentistry there is no heat or vibration, making the procedure quite comfortable for most patients. For soft tissue (surgical) procedures, it eliminates the need for suturing and healing is much faster.
Lasers can be used to diagnose cavities. They can find hidden decay in teeth in early stages, and in some cases the decay can be reversed through hygiene and fluoride treatment and may never need filling.
Areas of dental care that benefit from laser technology:
- Cavity diagnosis and removal
- Curing or hardening bonding materials
- Whitening teeth
- Periodontal or gum related care
- Pediatric procedures
- Apthous ulcer treatment (canker sore)
- Frenectomy (tongue-tie release) without anesthesia or sutures
- Root canal and apicoectomy
- Crown lengthening, gingivectomy, and other gum corrections
Dental lasers have been shown to be safe and effective for treating both children and adults.
Gum Disease Laser Therapy
Periodontal or gum disease happens when bacteria gets below the gum line and the attachment between the gum and tooth is lost. Three out of four Americans have some form of periodontal disease and only three out of 100 will ever get treated before its too late.
Gum disease is a silent, chronic, painless, and communicable bacterial infection that often goes undetected or ignored until severe gum and bone destruction is unbearable and no longer able to be ignored. Left untreated gum disease can cause tooth loss and traditional treatment can be painful.
The latest conservative gum therapy uses a laser. The laser gently disinfects and evaporates diseased tissues from around the tooth and inside the gum pocket. This treatment interrupts the bacterial destruction of the tissues and bone, giving the gum pocket a chance to heal. Systematic repeated visits, generally two to eight, allow the gum pocket to be disease-free and sometimes allow tissues to reattach to the pocket back to a normal or near-normal depth. This new laser therapy is gentle, less painful and has a quicker recovery. While surgery may still be indicated for severely advanced periodontal cases, laser therapy is a much more conservative, effective, and comfortable option for beginning to moderate periodontal cases.