Lasers have been used in dentistry since the early 1990s and since that time, the number of uses within the field has continued to grow. Today, some of the ways in which laser technology is used in dentistry include both restorative and cosmetic treatments such as:
- Teeth whitening
- Gum contouring
- Crown lengthening (so that teeth appear longer)
- Cavity fillings
- Treatment for periodontal disease
- Root canal therapy
- TMJ therapy
- Dental implant surgery
- Taking biopsies of soft tissues
In some cases, lasers have now replaced elements of dental procedures that were previously performed by hand, such as when a scalpel was required to make incisions into gum tissue.
Types of Laser Used in Dentistry
Lasers used in dentistry fall into one of two categories. Hard tissue lasers and soft tissue lasers. Both types of laser work by concentrating light energy that causes specific reactions in hard and soft tissues.
- Hard tissue lasers are primarily used for making incisions, such as creating a gum flap so that a dental implant post can be placed. These are generally considered to be more powerful and more accurate than conventional tooth-cutting tools.
- Soft tissue lasers are used to resolve problems with the soft tissues of the mouth. They can be used to destroy areas of bacteria and will spur the growth of gum tissue.
Is laser dentistry safe?
Most dentists who offer laser dentistry services will agree that the use of this remarkable technology has positively transformed the way in which many procedures are carried out. There are a number of ways in which laser dentistry offers increased safety of traditionally-performed dental surgeries.
Improved accuracy and precision
Provided your chosen dentist has the necessary training and experience to be able to use laser technology properly, then it is almost certainly safer than having a procedure performed by hand. This is because lasers can reduce the risk of human error and conduct the treatment with greater accuracy and precision than is possible by hand.
Less trauma to the surrounding teeth and soft tissue
Since laser dentistry is able to be much more precise than those procedures performed by hand, there is normally much less trauma to surrounding teeth and soft tissue. This helps patients to retain most of the natural composition of their teeth and gums and avoids the risk of complications from damage to nearby areas.
Less chance of infection
Lasers actually help to sterilize the area that they come into contact with as well as closing incisions without the need for sutures. As a result, there is a much lower chance of infection.
Since the wounds are more precise and there is less chance of infection, soft tissues that have been affected by laser technology heal much more quickly. This means that patients who opt for laser dental treatments tend to enjoy a much more rapid rate of recovery from their procedure.
Finding a great professional that offers laser dentistry
Choosing a dental professional who has the relevant training and experience to perform laser dentistry is essential if you are to enjoy treatment that is as safe and successful as possible. If you are considering choosing laser dentistry, you should always spend time finding out what education and experience your dental professional has when it comes to laser procedures. Follow their claims up with the relevant organization to ensure their accuracy.