Different dental conditions can be treated using lasers. This practice is known as laser dentistry, which was first commercially used in 1989 for procedures involving tooth tissues.
When compared to traditional drills and any other non-laser tools, dentists and patients alike find laser dentistry a more comfortable option when it comes to treating dental problems involving soft or hard tissue.
A laser instrument used in dentistry is capable of creating light energy in one very narrow and focused beam. When hitting a tissue, the laser light can either shape or remove it by producing a reaction.
Laser Dentistry In Enhancing Dental Treatment
Laser dentistry has the approval of the FDA or the Food And Drug Administration as being one treatment option for a number of dental conditions. Lasers go a long way in making dental treatments not only more efficient, but also cost-effective and comfortable. It’s the reason why some dental clinics, like Wayzata Dental, have dedicated their resources to creating a more comfortable and soothing environment for patients through laser dentistry. These dental service providers believe in the power of the latest technology to improve the experience of patients.
Many dental procedures can be precisely and effectively performed through laser dentistry. However, it’s essential to note that this specific technology’s potential for improving dental procedures still rests in the ability of the dentist to control both the power output and the duration of the laser’s exposure on the tissue. When appropriately used, laser dentistry makes it possible to treat a highly-specific area of focus without causing any damage to the surrounding tissues.
No doubt, dentists who are already incorporating laser techniques into their treatments and other practices should be the go-to option for anxious dental patients who seek extreme safety and comfort. Despite the significant potential of lasers to positively change the dental health services landscape, only a few dental professionals own a laser that can be used for both soft-tissue and hard-tissue applications. However, that number is sure to increase in the coming years, with more and more patients now preferring to undergo procedures that use lasers instead of traditional tools.
Lasers In Dentistry: How Do They Work?
Lasers that are used in dental and surgical procedures act as a vaporizer or a cutting machine for tissues by delivering light energy. Lasers can also serve as a source of heat, enhancing the tooth-bleaching agents’ effects during teeth whitening procedures.
Other dental treatments that lasers can make more efficient and comfortable are the following:
- Lesion Or Biopsy Removal – A biopsy or a small piece of tissue can be removed by lasers. Once removed, the tissue can, then, be examined for cancer. Aside from tissue removal, lasers can also be used for removing mouth lesions, making it an effective solution for canker sores.
- Gum Disease – Removing bacteria in root canal procedures and reshaping of gums are also possible using lasers.
- Tooth Decay – Lasers don’t only remove tooth decay, but also prepare the surrounding enamel to receive the filling.
Different Types Of Dental Lasers
A variety of soft and hard tissue lasers have been approved by the FDA to be used in both children and adult dental treatments. These lasers are being utilized in performing specific dental procedures, mainly because of boasting unique absorption characteristics. The two types of dental lasers are the following:
1. Soft Tissue Lasers – These lasers are more effectively used in soft tissue management because of a wavelength that’s highly absorbable by both hemoglobin (an oxygenating protein found in red blood cells) and water. Soft tissue lasers can kill bacteria, and also make tissue regrowth activation possible. It’s the reason why dentists also utilize them as a periodontal treatment component.
Diode lasers and neodymium YAG lasers are the commonly used lasers for soft tissue procedures. Other soft tissue lasers include carbon dioxide and fiber optic lasers, with the former being the faster one when it comes to the removal of tissues and the minimizing of damage to surrounding tissues.
The primary reason why patients don’t experience postoperative pain after a dental procedure using a laser is that lasers, particularly the soft tissue ones, penetrate the tissue while actually sealing nerve endings and blood vessels. The number of cosmetic dental practices that incorporate soft tissue lasers to gingival sculpting procedures is also growing since this type of lasers allows affected tissues to heal faster.
2. Hard Tissue Lasers – This type of lasers are more effective when utilized for procedures that involve cutting through tooth structure since the wavelength they’re producing is highly absorbable by water and calcium phosphate salt in teeth or hydroxyapatite. The erbium chromium YSGG and the erbium YAG are examples of hard tissue lasers. Both of these lasers cut into teeth with extreme precision. Hard tissue lasers can be incorporated into the repair of worn down dental fillings, removal of small tooth structure amounts, and the shaping or prepping of teeth before composite bonding takes place.
Depending on the needs of the patients, dentists can also use dental laser technology that can be used for generating both soft and hard tissue laser energy.
Other types of lasers can also view the insides of cells and teeth via optical coherence tomography, which is an imaging technique that’s non-invasive. Besides helping in the shaping and cutting of soft and hard tissues, lasers also provide energy, as well as specific proteins that help in moving messages from one cell to another to match the natural ability of the body to use light spectrums in healing damaged cells.
How Laser Dentistry Impacts Experience Of Patients
Laser dental treatment, indeed, yields a positive dental procedure experience for patients. Routine procedures in the past can now be done in just one clinic visit. Laser technology in dental practice makes complex procedures quick and painless, lowering the occurrence of postoperative soreness, sensitivity, and bleeding, as well as any other form of discomfort.
By reducing the amount of anesthesia, equipment, and tools required in performing a dental procedure, lasers also reduce costs for patients.
The possibility that a specific dental issue recurs or an infection develops also gets reduced since dental lasers are more effective and accurate. It cuts the recovery time down, making it definitely possible for patients to save money on dental expenses.
Emerging technologies, like invisalign and laser dentistry, among others, are making dental procedures more palatable for individuals who are afraid of visiting a dentist. A large portion of the American population, for instance, still break out in a cold sweat at the mere idea of undergoing a dental procedure. It’s the reason why many people would rather live with dental decay, cavities, and even more severe dental conditions than schedule an appointment with a dentist.
Laser dentistry is effectively working on changing people’s perception of a dental visit. Since laser dentistry promises a pain-free experience, it takes away the fears that people may have about getting treated for their dental problems.