The popularity of laser dentistry is momentous, and the use of lasers is getting more favored every day. Laser dentistry has been around only for a few decades, but the safety of lasers as well as the fact that they enable cosmetic dentists to perform a more precise procedure have made laser dentistry the unmistakable wave of the future. Top dentists who are skilled in laser dentistry are able to reduce the pain and discomfort that can come with other procedures simply through the use of lasers. Additionally, because laser dentistry creates smaller, more precise incisions, recovery times for these procedures are minimal, especially when compared to some other cosmetic dental procedures. Following is information on how laser dentistry works and why it is so beneficial to dental patients and throughout the country today.
Many people, even some in the dental industry, believe that lasers have been around since 1994. The fact is, though, that the first laser procedure was performed back in 1964. C. Kumar Patel of New Jersey’s Bell Laboratories developed the carbon dioxide laser in 1963 and used it in 1964. This groundbreaking instrument was one of the first gas lasers ever to be devised. In fact, this instrument was so revolutionary and useful that it is still being utilized even today for welding and cutting in both industry and the military. The CO2 laser emits a beam of infrared light that is efficient and precise.
Laser dentistry uses high-powered light beams for various dental procedures that require incisions, such as for dental implants. It also uses lasers for curing fillings because these high-powered beams of light aid in strengthening the bond between the tooth and the filling. Cosmetic dentists also utilize lasers in teeth whitening procedures because the light acts as a heat source, thereby boosting the whitening effects of bleaching agents. In laser dental procedures, lasers deliver energy that acts as a precision dental instrument to either incise or vaporize tissue. Laser dentistry is utilized in various applications, including teeth whitening, reshaping gum tissue, filling cavities, and lengthening crowns.
Because they are capable of delivering precision that is unmatched by any other instrument, the list of dental procedures that utilize lasers is long and varied, including:
- Removing benign tumors: When lasers are used to remove benign tumors in the mouth, sutures are not required. Therefore, patients typically experience less pain as well as expedited recovery times.
- Filling cavities: When lasers are used for hard tissue, they can eliminate the need for drilling and even anesthetic. Lasers aid in strengthening the bond between teeth and fillings.
- Whitening teeth: Lasers are beneficial for several in-office teeth whitening procedures because they hasten the whitening process. In fact, a number of teeth-whitening procedures can even be performed in just a single visit to your cosmetic dentist using lasers.
- Reshaping gums: Mouths that are considered ‘gummy’ are able to be made healthier as well as more attractive due to the fact that gums can be reshaped more effectively with lasers.
- Nerve and tissue regeneration: Low-level laser therapy (LLLT), also referred to as photobiomodulation, uses lasers to regenerate damaged nerves and blood vessels.
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) treatment: Lasers are also used today by cosmetic dentists to treat TMJ because the light beams emitted with lasers are more precise. This helps to reduce the pain and inflammation often associated with TMJ. In addition, affected areas recover more quickly and efficiently than with conventional dental instruments.
When cosmetic dentists use lasers in dental procedures, there are myriad benefits to patients due to the fact that lasers are capable of making precise incisions. Some of these benefits include:
- Lasers reduce bleeding because the energy source used aids in clotting blood vessels.
- Bacteria are reduced because lasers effectively sterilize tissue, thereby minimizing the potential for infection.
- Several soft tissue dental procedures do not require the use of sutures when lasers are used.
- Damage to surrounding tissue is minimal with lasers when compared to other dental instruments.
- Some procedures that utilize lasers require no anesthesia.
- Patient recovery times are reduced because wounds heal more quickly.
- Blood vessels and tissue can be regenerated when lasers are used.
Laser dentistry is perhaps the most innovative and effective of all dental specialties. The use of lasers has been on the rise for decades, and their use in dentistry has afforded patients with quicker recovery times, faster healing, and less pain, to name just a few of the benefits. Patients who are looking into dental procedures should contact a cosmetic dentist in their area to have all their questions about laser dentistry answered.