Advances in dentistry don’t often hit the headlines, so many people aren’t even aware of how much dental technology has improved in the last 20 years or so. But just as the dentist’s electric drill is an improvement on the foot-pedal driven drills of yesteryear, the laser has become an important tool in making dental procedures easier, safer, and less unpleasant.
Using lasers in dentistry might sound like something out of science fiction, but they have been used as a tool in dentistry since the 1990’s. They help dentists to treat gum disease, and they help to make a wide range of standard dental procedures less invasive and more painless for the patient.
They’re often used to activate whitening pastes when you go to your local downtown Vancouver dentist to have your smile brightened up, and dentists can use them to take biopsy samples when you go for oral cancer screening. You can even have a filling done without the noise and vibration of drilling thanks to lasers.
Laser technology: a wonderful advance for dentistry
Dentists are constantly striving to make dentistry procedures more comfortable for the patient, and the laser has made a whole lot of procedures less scary.
• Some people have an absolute phobia for the dentist’s drill. In some cases, a laser can be used instead.
• Many laser treatments don’t require any form of anesthetic, so the need for injections is reduced.
• When used on gums and other soft tissues of the mouth, there is little bleeding, and no need for stitches afterwards.
• Laser dentistry allows for greater precision than traditional methods do.
• When used for root canals or cavities, lasers don’t take away as much material from the tooth. This means that the tooth is stronger than it would otherwise have been.
• Healing time is faster than it would have been when old-fashioned techniques are used.
• Severe gum disease can easily be treated with lasers, and gums can be reshaped.
• If your teeth are sensitive to heat or cold, precision laser dentistry can be used to seal off the tubules in the tooth, eliminating or reducing the problem.
• Dental lasers can even be used to pick up cavities without having to take an x-ray.
• Lasers kill bacteria on the area being worked on, reducing the chances of infection.
• Laser dentistry is safe for the patient. Sometimes, eye protection is needed, but as long as your dentist is trained and experienced, there are no risks.
Do all dentists use lasers?
Despite the usefulness of lasers in dentistry, not all dentists use them. If you are curious as to whether laser dentistry will help you, start by finding out whether it is available from your dentist first, and then go for a consultation to see whether the many benefits of laser dentistry could be put to work to solve your dental issues.
Who knows? Perhaps that dental procedure you’ve been putting off out of fear of a painful procedure can be done painlessly, efficiently and effectively using laser technology. You won’t know until you ask!