Laser Use In Dentistry
Although using lasers to mend teeth might sound like the stuff of science fiction, they’ve actually been around since the sixties. They’re still not something that every dentist will have in his or her surgery, but when your dentist is skilled in laser dentistry, there are a few advantages in store for patients.
In surgery, the biggest advantage of lasers is that dentists can remove or shape tissue without the need for sutures afterward. That’s particularly helpful in gum surgeries and means that less tissue is damaged during dental surgery, there’s little to no bleeding, and as a result, there’s less chance of infection. The laser also kills germs as it works.
Recovery from laser periodontal surgery is much faster than it is with conventional methods.
Procedures that are Commonly Performed Using Dental Lasers
Although this isn’t a comprehensive list, dental lasers are well-suited to thde following procedures:
- Removing gum tissue from partially erupted wisdom teeth
- Reducing overgrown gum tissue
- Shaping bone and gums in crown lengthening
- Clearing away infected tissue
- Speeding the action of tooth whitening compounds
- Preparing tooth surfaces for composite bonding
- In babies, it can be used to mend a “tongue-tie” (tissue that restricts the mouth and which can prevent breastfeeding)
Laser Teeth Whitening
Remember, specific lasers are used for different applications. At our surgery, the most commonly requested procedure using lasers is tooth whitening. In this instance, the laser isn’t used to shape or remove tissue. Instead, it simply activates the whitening solution that has been applied to your teeth. Here, the advantages of dental surgery using lasers aren’t applicable, but patients choose laser teeth whitening for its instant results.
Laser Dentistry: a Specialized Field for Specific Purposes
It’s quite possible to spend a career as a family dentist and never use a dental laser. The equipment is highly specialized, very costly, and requires additional training before it can be used safely and effectively. It’s extremely important that the dentist must know how to select the correct wavelength to use, and he or she must protect patients’ eyes while working with the laser.
We still dream of “no drill” dentistry in which we can dispense with all the traditional hand tools. Laser dentistry is an advance in that direction, but it isn’t yet suitable for all procedures. If you’d like to enquire about laser dentistry for your own treatment it is best to visit the dentist in person.
What’s the Best Kind of Dentistry?
The very best kind of dentistry, and the one we most like to practice is preventative dentistry. Advances like lasers can help us to treat our patients more effectively, but keeping your teeth healthy is our number one goal.
Whenever possible, we prefer to take corrective action before a serious intervention or surgery is needed. So, maybe it’s not a dental laser, but your toothbrush is still your best friend when it comes to oral health and your regular check-ups go a long way to keeping you away from dental surgery, laser or otherwise.