Dental procedures may soon be performed quicker, more effectively and more comfortably thanks to the growing popularity of laser dentistry.
Laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) technology is now being used in various types of procedures lately. An increasing number of dental offices around the world are using dental lasers as the technology continues to improve and its cost decreases.
Eventually in the future, dental lasers could make it possible for dentists to access any part of a tooth, replacing the need for the traditional dental drill. This may help to relieve the fear and anxiety many people experience when they go to the dentist.Benefits of Laser Dentistry :
- Procedures performed using soft tissue dental lasers may not require sutures (stitches).
- Certain procedures do not require anesthesia.
Minimizes bleeding because the high-energy light beam aids in the clotting (coagulation) of exposed blood vessels, thus inhibiting blood loss.
- Bacterial infections are minimized because of the high-energy beam which sterilizes the area being worked on.
- Damage to surrounding tissue is minimized.
- Pain is minimized
- Wounds heal faster and tissues can be regenerated.
- Hard tissue lasers
- Soft Tissue lasers
In general, There are two types of Lasers used in Dentistry. They are :
Hard Tissue (tooth related) Procedures :
- As a Cavity Detector: Low intensity soft tissue dental lasers may be used for the early detection of cavities by providing a reading of the by-products produced by tooth decay.
- Dental Fillings/Tooth Preparation: Hard tissue dental lasers may eliminate the need for a local anesthetic injection and the traditional turbine dental drill. Lasers used in dental filling procedures are capable of killing bacteria located in a cavity, potentially leading to improved long term tooth restorations. However, dental lasers are not appropriate for the replacement of amalgam fillings, onlays or crowns.
- Tooth Sensitivity: Dental lasers may be used to seal tubules (located on the root of the tooth) that are responsible for hot and cold tooth sensitivity.
Soft Tissue (Gum related) Procedures :
- Crown Lengthening: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue (soft tissue laser) and bone (hard tissue laser) to expose healthier tooth structure. Referred to as crown lengthening, such reshaping provides a stronger foundation for the placement of restorations.
- Don’t smoke beforehand.
- Gummy Smile: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue to expose healthy tooth structure and improve the appearance of a gummy smile.
- Muscle Attachment (Frenula): A laser frenectomy is an ideal treatment option for children who are tongue tied (restricted or tight frenulum) and babies unable to breast feed adequately due to limited tongue movement. A laser frenectomy may also help to eliminate speech impediments.
- Soft Tissue Folds (Epulis): Dental lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of soft tissue folds often caused by ill-fitting dentures.
- Gingivectomy : for reshaping gums and removal of pericoronal flaps ( gum tissue surrounding wisdom teeth ) which may restrict eruption of wisdom teeth and/or cause food lodgement leading to inflammation and pain.