Laser dentistry has been around for decades, although many patients have never heard of it. While very useful and minimally invasive in numerous situations, it can’t be used to treat all oral health problems. Also, like most things in life, laser dentistry has its advantages and disadvantages and isn’t right for everyone. Allow Lincoln Smiles to provide an overview of laser dentistry and help you decide if it can help meet your dental needs.
What Is Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry uses a very focused beam of light energy to remove, alter, or otherwise treat both hard and soft tissues in the mouth in a variety of dental procedures. Often used on their own, but sometimes combined with traditional dental practices, dental lasers come in varying wavelengths each with its own purpose.
Generally, less invasive than traditional procedures, laser dentistry also typically results in less damage and requires fewer or even no sutures. Less damage, of course, means faster healing. Other advantages of laser dentistry include less blood loss than with traditional surgeries, no feeling of vibrations or discomfort which sometimes come from the use of a dental drill, and a reduced risk of infection as the gums are sterilized by the laser.
In addition, the use of lasers may allow us to preserve more of your healthy, natural teeth and gums due to the precise access granted by the laser.
What Can Be Treated with Laser Dentistry?
There are different types of lasers and the right tool for the job depends on the work to be done. Some are designed to treat hard tissues, like the teeth, and others are designed to treat soft tissues, such as the gums.
Not only can lasers be used to detect cavities early, which reduces the extent of work needed in the long run, but they can also be used to remove tooth decay and prepare the tooth for a filling or a crown. Sometimes this eliminates the need to use other dental tools like drills and scalpels. In addition, the amount of local anesthesia needed is often reduced and sometimes even eliminated when using dental lasers.
Teeth whitening can be achieved through the use of lasers. The whitening process is expedited when a bleaching solution is applied to the surface of the teeth and then activated by the light from the laser.
Lasers can also be used to treat gum disease by reshaping the gums and removing any bacteria, to remove soft tissue folds and gum inflammation, to perform biopsies, and to remove benign tumors and lesions.
Additional conditions that can be treated with dental lasers include canker or cold sores, nerve regeneration, obstructive sleep apnea, joint pain and inflammation, and root canal infections.
Laser dentistry is not right for every patient or every situation. For example, certain conditions like cavities between teeth, large cavities, and damage to existing fillings or crowns cannot be fixed with lasers. Allow our specially trained professionals at Lincoln Smiles assess your needs and help you decide if laser dentistry is right for you. Call us at 916-543-8800 today to schedule an appointment.