What is Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry is the use of a laser to treat a number of different dental conditions. It became commercially used in dental clinics for procedures involving tooth tissue in 1989.
Lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. In terms of surgery or dental applications, a laser acts as a cutting tool or a vaporizer that it comes in contact with. When it comes to teeth whitening, the laser acts as a heat source to help enhance the effects of tooth-bleaching agents. Procedures, which your dentist may suggest to use laser dentistry for are:
- Tooth decay - Lasers are used to remove tooth decay and prepare the surrounding enamel for a filling.
- Periodontal(gum) disease - Lasers are used to reshap gums and remove bacteria during root canal procedures.
- Biopsy / leson removal - Lasers are used to remove small pieces of tissue (biopsy) to be examined for cancer. Lasers can also remove lesions and relieve pain from canker sores.
- Teeth whitening - Lasers are used to speed up in-office teeth whitening procedures. A peroxide bleaching solution is applied to a tooth surface and energy from the laser is used to speed up the whitening process.
As with most tools or techniques, there are limits to consider, as well as benefits. The benefits of laser dentistry, compared to traditional drills include:
- May cause less pain in some procedures, thus lessens the need for anesthetics
- May reduce the anxiety of patients, who are uncomfortuable with the use of a dental drill
- Minimiz bleeding and swelling due to soft tissue treatments
- May preserve more healthy tooth material during cavity removal
The limitations of laser dentistry, which should be considered are:
- Lasers can't be used on teeth with fillings in them
- Lasers can't be used for complex procedures such as crowns, bridges, or certain cavities or fillings
- Traditional drills may still need to be used even after a laser is used
- Lasers do not eliminate the need for anesthesia
- Laser treatment tends to be more expensive than dental drills
If you would like to consider laser dentistry for your next appointment, contact us at Rosedale Dental.
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