Perhaps you’ve heard about laser dentistry from your dentist or someone else, but you have no idea what it entails. You might be considering receiving dental laser treatment in Sacramento, California, making this blog the perfect read. This article provides an overview of laser dentistry, its usage, benefits, risks, and comparison with traditional dental treatment. This will assist you in understanding the differences between laser dentistry and standard dental care.
Please keep reading to learn more about both procedures and their distinct features.
What Is Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry refers to utilizing lasers to treat various dental diseases. Dental operations employing tooth tissue were the first to commercially use this technology in 1989.
In comparison to drills or other non-laser equipment, laser dentistry may provide a more painless treatment alternative for a variety of dental treatments which involve soft and hard tissues.
The acronym “LASER” stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.’ The apparatus generates one narrow and focused beam of light. A chemical reaction occurs when this laser light meets tissue, enabling it to either eliminate or restructure it.
A wide range of dental treatments may benefit from the use of lasers, including as
- Treatment of hypersensitivity
- Preventing and resolving dental decay
- Treatment for gingivitis
- Teeth whitening
Laser dentistry may improve dental procedures’ efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and comfort. Laser dentistry has been recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a therapy option for several dental disorders.
Nonetheless, despite FDA certification, no laser treatment has been awarded the Seal of Acceptance from the American Dental Association (ADA) as a viable alternative to the traditional dental treatment methods. That mark guarantees dentists that the medication or gadget, among other aspects, complies with American Dental Association (ADA) safety and effectiveness criteria. On the other hand, the American Dental Association expresses cautious optimism regarding laser treatment in dentistry.
Types of Lasers Used in Dentistry
In contrast to the cool lasers utilized in phototherapy to alleviate inflammation and pain, lasers used in dentistry are different. Depending on the therapy, dental practitioners may employ either soft tissue or hard tissue lasers. Some people will employ both sorts of treatment if their condition permits it.
Hard Tissue Dental Laser Treatment
Hard tissue lasers have the capability of cutting into the tooth structure. Their frequencies are consumed by a mix of water and a particular mineral present in teeth, called absorption. Lasers are most commonly used to prepare the teeth or reshape them for composite bonding, replace dental fillings that have worn out, and extract specific tooth structures, among other applications.
The following are examples of frequently reported hard tissue dental laser treatments:
Detection of Cavities
Cavities may be detected early on using lasers because they can detect signs of tooth decay.
Teeth Preparation for Dental Fillings and Crowns
Using a local anesthetic or standard drills with dental laser treatments is not always necessary. Lasers can eliminate germs in a cavity that might help maintain long-term wellness.
Preventing Tooth Discomfort and Sensitivity
It is possible to treat teeth sensitive to heat and cold using laser dentistry that encapsulates the root’s tubules to no longer be exposed to the pain.
Soft Tissue Dental Laser Treatment
Soft tissue lasers may be absorbed by water and blood, among other things. Hemoglobin is a globular protein present in red blood cells that carries oxygen. When used to heal periodontitis, these lasers may accomplish various tasks, including destroying germs and promoting tissue regeneration.
Soft tissue lasers enter the tissue and seal nerve fibers which are also the pain receptors and blood vessels, as they work their way through it. As a result, many people report little or no discomfort after laser therapy. The lasers also aid in the repair of the tissue more quickly.
The following are examples of frequently reported soft tissue dental laser treatments:
Taking Care of a Gummy Smile
Dentists use dental laser treatment to remodel gum tissue connected with a gummy smile, which occurs when the length and thickness of the gums conceals a significant portion of the tooth.
Increasing the Length of the Crown
This operation helps reshape bone inside the gums and tissues, resulting in a better tooth profile and making it easier to place dental prostheses on the teeth.
Taking Care of the Tongue Frenulum Attachment
People with a thick or stiff frenulum (the skin fold beneath the front portion of the tongue that attaches to the mouth flooring) may recover from having the frenulum removed using a laser procedure. This procedure is beneficial for children who have a constricted frenulum and are tongue-tied, have difficulties nursing, or have a speech impairment due to their restriction.
Soft Tissue Folds Are Removed From the Body
Dentists may also use dental laser treatment to eliminate soft tissue resulting from dentures that do not fit properly without the need for stitches or causing discomfort.
Common Conditions Which Laser Dentistry Can Treat
Many dental practitioners use dental laser treatment to address the following conditions:
- Tooth Decay: Dentists use lasers to eliminate decay from a tooth’s interior and prep the adjoining enamel to place a filling on the tooth.
- Lesion Removal or Biopsy: Lasers may be utilized to extract a tiny piece of tissue (referred to as a biopsy) to check it for signs of malignancy. Using lasers to eradicate lesions and ease the discomfort of canker sores is also a possibility.
- Dental Whitening: Lasers are utilized to expedite the teeth whitening process in dental practice. Laser radiation is used to “activate” a peroxide bleaching product that has been applied to the tooth surface, resulting in a faster whitening procedure overall.
- Gum Disease: During root canal surgeries, lasers are utilized for restructuring the gums and eradicating germs from the area.
Some other conditions where people can benefit from laser dentistry include:
- Tissue Observation: Optical coherence tomography (OCT) enables a clinician to view the tissues within a tooth or gum harmlessly and comfortably.
- Surgical Removal of Benign Tumors: Tumors on the mouth and cheeks’ gums, palate, and sidewalls may be removed using lasers painless and suture-free.
- Addressing Obstructive Sleep Apnea: If sleep apnea is due to excessive tissue development in the neck, lasers may be used to restructure the throat and alleviate the related breathing issues.
- Treatment for TMJ (temporomandibular joint) Pain: Dentists may also use lasers to alleviate inflammation and pain in the joint.
- Nerve Rejuvenation: Lasers may assist in the regeneration of injured or impaired nerves, blood vessels, and scar tissue.
- Cold Sore Treatment: Cold sores may be treated with lasers, decreasing healing time and discomfort.
- Teeth Whitening: Using lasers to accelerate the bleaching action for teeth-whitening treatments is quite effective.
Process of Dental Laser Treatment
For dental lasers to function, they must supply energy in the mode of light. Dental lasers are utilized for root canal operations to eradicate germs and sculpt the gums. This kind of dentistry treatment uses a focused and narrow beam of light energy to shape or remove tissue, depending on the operation’s needs. While being utilized for dental and surgical treatments, the laser functions as a cutting tool or tissue vaporizer, depending on the kind of tissue it comes into contact with. At the same time, performing teeth-whitening operations, the laser functions as a heat source, enhancing the bleaching compounds’ efficacy.
Pros, Cons, and Risks of Dental Laser Treatment
Pros of Laser Dentistry
Advantages of laser dentistry compared to alternative treatment options include:
- With the use of soft tissue lasers, the need for sutures may be reduced.
- Because the laser encourages blood coagulation in targeted soft tissues, bleeding is kept to a minimum.
- In rare cases, an anesthetic is not required during the treatment.
- Since the laser inhibits bacterial activity in the targeted region, infectious agents are less likely to develop.
- Tissue regeneration is a possibility, as is speedier healing of wounds.
- The laser treatments may cause less injury to the surrounding structures and tissues.
Cons of Laser Dentistry
Laser dentistry has several shortcomings, including:
- Specific forms of fillings, like metal amalgam, cannot be treated with lasers since they are already present on the tooth.
- Hard lasers may occasionally cause damage to the pulp of the teeth.
- Anesthesia is still required for certain laser operations.
- Drills are still required to finish various fillings, like contouring, fixing the bite, and polishing or cleaning the filling, among other procedures.
- Laser therapy cannot perform several operations because of underlying surrounding tissues or components affecting the tooth or gums.
- There is a chance of gum damage occurring
Risks of Laser Dentistry
The dangers associated with laser dentistry are considered to be minimal. However, working with a skilled dental practitioner like Dr. Andrew Owyoung at Soft Touch is critical since employing the incorrect wavelength or operating frequency may cause tissue damage or death. Furthermore, some laser treatment providers are concerned that advertisements push the usage of laser therapy beyond what patients genuinely need.
Your dentist will instruct you to wear protective eyewear to safeguard your eyes throughout the procedure from the laser beam.
How Is Laser Dentistry Better Than Traditional Dental Treatments?
Traditional dental procedures include using a dental drill, a compact, high-speed tool. It is typically used to eliminate decay and shape the tooth structure before installing a filling in the tooth. While drill or traditional dental procedures work in the same manner as laser dentistry, the distinction is that laser dentistry is far more efficient and advanced. Let’s go through the factors which make laser dentistry a better option than traditional drill dentistry.
Drill or traditional dentistry is far more unpleasant than laser dentistry in terms of pain. Before beginning the filling procedure, a dentist’s doctor will need to eliminate the deteriorated portion of the tooth. Vibrations from the drill may be uncomfortable for some patients. Patients should be warned of this before treatment begins. Dental anesthetic injections may alleviate discomfort and agony during a procedure.
While laser dentistry does not cause any discomfort, it is still a viable option for many patients. Because it combines heat and light to execute a wide variety of dental procedures, it is rapid and effective. Dentists can melt or remove tissue on the spot, reducing dental decay and extracting soft tissue from the gums, thanks to their simple controls. Because it’s less intrusive, it’s better for patients. Here, anesthesia is not required.
Drill dentistry cuts heal more slowly because of the slowed tissue regeneration they cause throughout the healing process. You may have to cut into the gums of your mouth to remove your wisdom teeth utilizing drill dentistry, for example. This is certain to give you a scar that requires time to heal.
Tissue regenerates more rapidly with laser dentistry than with drill dentistry, and minor cuts heal more rapidly.
Choosing a dental drill over a dental laser is more likely to result in infection than a patient who picks a dental laser. If you go for drill dentistry, you risk getting an infection from all wounds, sutures, and cuts made to the gums.
In contrast, laser dentistry has decreased patients’ risk of bacterial infections. The recovery period is accelerated since the dental laser disinfects the region, therefore eliminating the possibility of bacterial infections.
Choosing between laser dentistry and more conventional methods of dental care might be challenging. A patient’s demands, the intensity, and the type of any given issue determine which treatment is most suited for them. Before settling on one option over another, it’s worth looking at a few other factors.
By now, you’ve figured out how both the procedures function. Some individuals believe that traditional dental care is better, and some consider laser dentistry an ideal solution. Even though it has some drawbacks, laser dentistry is a highly recommended dental treatment method for a wide range of dental issues with promising results!