No pun intended, lasers are hot. Though chances are they’ve been around longer than most people realize, lasers are only now getting to be a popular treatment in both the medical and dental communities. Laser procedures in dentistry are more favored than many other types of procedures, mainly for their precision and decreased recovery time. And it’s that precision that makes laser dentistry procedures more effective than some other types of dental procedures as well. But that’s not all. Top dentists offer dental procedures using lasers that have the capacity to reduce the pain that may be experienced with procedures that don’t utilize the precision of lasers. So what is laser dentistry? What are its applications? And, if you’re someone who’s considering having a dental procedure performed, should you opt for a laser dentistry procedure over any other?
What is it?
Laser dentistry was developed in the mid 1990s, making it a little older than probably most people realize. Lasers are a proven method that allows for more precision in any procedure, whether dental or medical. Lasers work by delivering energy with a light, or laser. It’s the precision of lasers that allows for incisions to be smaller, which causes less blood loss, and thus, less pain and recovery time. Lasers in dentistry today are utilized in various applications, including filling cavities, whitening teeth, preparing teeth for cavity filling, reshaping gums, and so much more.
- Filling cavities: Lasers used to fill cavities eliminate the need to use local anesthetic. They even eliminate the need to drill. Lasers aid in strengthening the bond being formed between teeth and their fillings.
- Whitening teeth: Lasers are used in dental office whitening procedures because they speed up the bleaching process. Many laser whitening procedures can even be performed in just a single visit to the dental office.
- Preparing teeth for cavity filling: Teeth can be more fully prepared to accept fillings cavities when lasers are used because the heat from lasers kills bacteria that are located within the cavity.
- Removing benign tumors: When lasers are used to remove benign tumors, the procedure doesn’t require the use of sutures, which means there’s typically reduced amount of pain as well as quicker recovery periods.
- Reshaping gummy smiles: Gummy smiles just aren’t as attractive as those that aren’t. When lasers are used to reshape gummy smiles, they’re not only better in appearance; they’re healthier.
- Nerve and tissue regeneration: A procedure known as low-level laser therapy (also LLT or photobiomodulation), is used to regenerate blood vessels and nerves that have become damaged for whatever reason.
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ disorder) treatment: Laser dentistry can also be used to treat TMJ disorder because the precision of the lasers used by a dentist will aid in reducing pain as well as inflammation that can be associated with TMJ disorder. Additionally, it does it more quickly than conventional dental instruments can.
What are the benefits to patients?
- Bacteria are minimized because the heat from lasers sterilizes tissue, which works to minimize infection.
- Laser dentistry procedures typically require no anesthesia.
- Recovery times are lessened because of the precision of lasers, which causes wounds to heal more quickly.
- Soft tissue dental procedures performed with lasers typically don’t require the use of sutures.
- Laser precision minimizes bleeding because the light helps to clot blood vessels.
- Damage to surrounding tissue is minimal, compared to use of other dental instruments.
- Tissue can be regenerated when lasers are utilized in dental procedures.
Going to the dentist can be a taxing experience. Fortunately for dental patients, there are lasers. The precision of laser dentistry allows for less bleeding, and that means shorter recovery periods. It also means less pain. The benefits of laser dentistry are many, and that’s why laser dentistry is so popular today, and it’s likely to be even more popular tomorrow. If you’re someone who is considering having a dental procedure performed, contact a top dentist in your area for more information on how laser dentistry can benefit you in your next dental procedure.