Depending on your age, you may be able to remember a time that lasers only appeared on Saturday morning cartoons, or on science fiction television shows. This is no longer the case; lasers are now being used in many different areas of your daily living, and they can now be found in your dental office. Laser dentistry offers your dentist a way to perform precise and effective treatments, and offers you more safety and comfort. Understanding how dental lasers work will give you more appreciation for the many procedures they can be used for.
Why Use Dental Lasers?
Although many dentists are now just starting to use Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (Laser) technology in their practice, dental lasers are nothing new. Lasers have been used in the field of dentistry since 1994. Instead of using a hard cutting surface such as a drill bit, lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light.
Laser light can then be used as a cutting instrument, as well as a tissue vaporizer. It can also be used as a heat source, a curing tool, or even a whitening agent. Dentist like lasers because they not only make many of their jobs easier, but they also provide a higher degree of comfort to their patients.
Procedures that are performed with dental lasers cause less pain than other traditional methods. This means certain procedures can often be performed without anesthesia, eliminating the need for needles and other pain management methods many patients find uncomfortable. By minimizing bleeding and swelling during certain treatments, recovery time is faster and discomfort is minimized.
Because lasers do not emit the loud noises other dental tools can, patients have less dental anxiety when lasers are being used. Because of the speed and accuracy of lasers, patients spend less time in the dental chair.
What Are The Types Of Dental Lasers?
There are three basic types of dental lasers. They are:
Hard Tissue Lasers – These lasers are designed to be able to cut through bone and tooth materials. This makes them perfect for shaping teeth for various dental procedures.
Soft Tissue Lasers – Also called dental diode lasers or Nd:YAG, these are created on a different wavelength than the hard tissue lasers. Soft tissue lasers are designed to penetrate the soft tissues of your mouth, while being able to seal blood vessels and nerve endings.
Optical Coherence Tomography – A non-invasive type of laser that allows your dentist to see the inside of your teeth.
In addition to the separate lasers, there is dental laser technology on the market, which gives your dentist the ability to use the types of laser energy they need from one tool.
What Can Dental Lasers Be Used For?
By using one or more of these tools your dentist will be able to provide a wide array of procedures. Here are some examples of these procedures:
- Lasers can be used for various periodontal treatments
- These tools can be used to scale your teeth to remove the calcified plaque and calculus all the way down to the root plane, which is deeper than any other non-invasive tool.
- Soft tissue lasers can actually help reduce bacterial growth related to periodontal diseases when used in conjunction with other types of treatment.
- Lasers may also be used to help find your next cavity. They are able to do this by reading the by-products decay produces.
- Lasers may be able to seal your tooth tubules, which in turn will reduce the sensitivity of your teeth.
- Your dentist will be able to use lasers to help to reshape your gum tissue, as well as related bone to expose healthier tooth structure. This process is most commonly known as crown lengthening.
- Dental lasers can be used to clip the frenulum, or the folds of tissue, of those who are tongue tied.
- Your dentist may also use lasers as a painless, suture-free way to remove benign tumors from various areas of your mouth.
- Even if you do not have any dental issues, your dentist may choose to use a laser to assist with the bleaching process when they are helping you to have whiter teeth.
Make an appointment with your dentist for more info about all of the ways they are now using lasers in their dental office. You may be surprised to find out that lasers are no longer something of the future; their time has arrived.Read More