What is laser dentistry?
The term laser dentistry describes the use of various laser devices to perform necessary and cosmetic dental procedures. The FDA has approved a variety of what are called “hard” and “soft” tissue lasers for use in adults and children.
Laser dentistry is a safe and effective way that can make treatments more cost-effective, time-effective, and can make you, the patient, more comfortable during your visit.
Dr. Smith utilizes laser dentistry to increase the patient's comfort. Many times, laser dentistry is more cost-effective than traditional dentistry procedures as laser treatments are typically completed in fewer sessions, and eliminate the need for additional procedures and appointments.
What are the benefits of laser dentistry?
We have incorporated laser devices into our practice so our patients can receive benefits like:
- Decreased cutting, drilling, and removal of healthy teeth structure.
- Less need for stitches
- Less need for anesthesia (injections in the gums)
- Reduced bleeding during and after dental procedures
- Increased sterilization and antibacterial action
- Minimized trauma to surrounding tissue
- Faster healing after dental treatment
What procedures can be performed with lasers?
Hard tissue procedures include:
- Cavity detection. Low-intensity lasers act as a painless, touch-free method of screening for tooth decay.
- Tooth preparation. The gentle energy of a dental laser can remove hard tissue that has been damaged by decay, simultaneously destroying the bacteria that has caused it. Lasers are often incorporated into tooth preparation for fillings, inlays, onlays, and dental crowns, often eliminating the need for dental anesthesia.
- Tooth sensitivity. A dental laser can seal the tubules that are situated at the root of a tooth to reduce sensitivity to hot and cold.
Soft tissue procedures include:
- Crown lengthening. The crown of the tooth is the enamel that we see. Laser devices can be used to expose more of the hard tissue of the tooth when necessary to prepare for restorations such as veneers or a crown.
- Gum reshaping. Lasers are commonly used to improve the appearance of what is called a “gummy smile.” The gentle laser energy quickly reshapes gum tissue around individual teeth to achieve symmetry and proportion between teeth and gums.
- Frenectomy. The frenulum is a small muscle that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. A tight or restricted frenulum causes a child to be “tongue-tied.” This can inhibit breastfeeding and speech. Laser frenectomy is quick and precise with little discomfort or need for downtime.
Is Laser Dentistry painful?
One of the primary benefits of laser dentistry is that these newer techniques are more comfortable than traditional methods of reshaping teeth and gums. Historically, dentists have performed various procedures with dental drills, scalpels, and sutures. Lasers eliminate the need for these methods in the majority of situations. Using a laser rather than a dental drill, the dentist reduces the vibration of teeth and their nerves, reducing stimulation and subsequent discomfort. When used for soft tissue procedures, laser energy “cuts,” destroys bacteria, and seals blood vessels simultaneously, resulting in less bleeding, less pain, and a faster recovery. Patient comfort is our priority. When necessary, we administer a local anesthetic, regardless of the use of laser technology.
How does laser dentistry work?
Laser devices affect hard and soft tissue with an intense beam of light energy. Precise wavelengths are focused on tissue to vaporize and cut in the most controlled manner possible. Laser dentistry allows a faster healing time due to this.