Laser Dentistry

Mention the word “laser,” and all sorts of Star Wars images start floating in your head. The movies may have introduced us to the concept of lasers, but in reality, the lasers depicted in the films are nothing like those that exist in real life. A laser is an instrument that emits a very narrow, intense beam of light energy that converts into thermal energy. In dentistry, we use lasers to perform less invasive and more precise procedures.

Does anyone remember a James Bond villain trying to chop our hero in half with a laser in one of his movies back in the sixties? If that is your impression of lasers, then it is quite understandable that you may question the safety of lasers. Lasers have been used in dentistry for over 20 years and approved by the FDA. Lasers are more accurate, area-specific, less invasive, and significantly reduce pain than any other comparable treatments while promoting faster healing. We use cold or soft lasers based on semiconductor diode devices and used as low-level laser therapy. Because the laser is only attracted to your soft tissue, it’s a very safe tool to use. It will not affect hard tooth structure or any metal you may have in your mouth because it is a soft tissue laser. The laser can remove, recontour, and heal tissue such as the gums, cheeks, lips, and tongue. 

When compared to traditional surgery tools like scalpels and drills, lasers offer better results for the patients, such as much less post-operative pain and swelling and faster healing. The laser can decrease the bleeding and pain during and after the procedure by coagulating blood vessels, sterilizing the area, and cauterizing nerve endings. Laser-Assisted Periodontal Therapy (LAPT) creates the regeneration of healthy tissue through biostimulation. The benefits include: 

Aside from replacing some surgical tools, we also use lasers to enhance periodontal therapy specific to dentistry. Scaling and root planing (also known as deep cleaning) removes bacterial toxins and calculus from the gum pockets in your mouth. The process removes the infected layer off the root surface and creates an environment where the gums can start to heal. The laser therapy, in conjunction with a deep cleaning, is the most effective and advanced technique to treat periodontal disease. The laser enhances scaling and root planing by decontaminating the periodontal pocket, also known as LBR (Laser Bacterial Reduction.) Laser Bacterial Reduction disinfects the periodontal pockets by reducing the bacteria from billions to just hundreds, creating a healthy environment so the healing can occur. 

Some of the laser gum procedures performed at our office include:

Hopefully, I have alleviated any fears you may have regarding the usage of lasers for your oral health. As you can see, lasers have enhanced the quality of dental care in multiple ways. Hopefully, in the future, we will use lasers for hard tissue like drilling on teeth and thus eliminating the noisy dental drills. If you desire more information regarding lasers or any other oral health issue, please feel free to get in touch with us.

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