Laser dentistry has been around since the 1990s and incorporates the use of lasers to treat a wide variety of dental conditions and diseases. It is a minimally invasive alternative to certain procedures, such as cavity fillings, gum disease treatment, and root canals, teeth whitening, gum beautification procedures, and also recently for pain relief.
LASER is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers are used to create a wide range of products and technologies. They are found in skincare procedures, hair removal clinics, tattoo removal systems, eye surgery etc. During laser dentistry procedures, your dentist uses a high-powered dental laser that releases light energy to remove tissues. Traditional dental procedures incorporate the use of manual scalpels to remove tissues. During laser dentistry procedures, your dentist uses a high-powered dental laser that releases light energy to remove tissues. Traditional dental procedures incorporate the use of manual scalpels to remove tissues.
Types of Laser Dental Procedures
There are four types of lasers used in dentistry, including the Diode laser, CO2 laser, Erbium laser, and Nd:YAG laser. The type of laser(s) used depends on the kind of surgery or treatment you need and also the type of training your dental expert has received. We use Diodes and Waterlase which is one of the most advanced lasers in use in Dentistry in our procedures.
Soft Tissue Procedures
Common soft tissue laser procedures include:
- “Gummy smile” treatment — a gummy smile is when someone has extra gum tissue surrounding their teeth. During a laser procedure to fix this condition, your dentist uses a high-powered dental laser to remove gum tissue and create a wonderful gum line for your smile
- Gingivectomy — a gingivectomy, also known as gum contouring or gum reshaping, is a cosmetic dental procedure that reshapes the gum line by removing gum tissue.
- Dental crown lengthening — before getting dental restorations, such as a crown or implant, your dentist may require crown lengthening. This procedure reshapes the underlying bone and gum tissue to expose healthy tooth structure.
- Removal of soft tissue folds — poorly-fitting dentures can result in soft tissue folds. Lasers provide a stitch-free and less painful option for soft tissue irregularities.
- Gum disease treatment — laser dentistry treatment can help avoid the need for gum surgery later on. More specifically, lasers can painlessly sterilize deep periodontal pockets to eliminate bacteria that cause gum disease. Dental lasers also remove any gum inflammation associated with gingivitis or periodontal disease.
- Frenulum (muscle attachment) treatment – laser frenectomy is a treatment that can remove gaps between teeth (diastema) and fix gum recession, release tongue-tie to improve speech and tongue movement in children.
- Gum whitening – some people are really concerned about black and dark gums which are absolutely normal color variations. These can easily and painlessly removed by a waterlase to reveal new, pink, beautiful gums.
Hard Tissue Procedures
Common hard tissue laser procedures include:
- Tooth decay treatment — some lasers are capable of detecting tooth decay (cavities) early. They can also remove decay-causing bacteria and remove cavities in teeth without the use of traditional drilling methods. When your dentist uses a drill, the caries are mechanically cleaned,Laser go a step further and disinfect bacteria deep inside to give you longer lasting fillings
- Hypersensitivity treatment — tooth sensitivity is a common symptom of cavities and thin enamel. Lasers can seal tubules on your tooth’s root, resulting in less sensitivity.
- Root canal treatment — laser-assisted root canal therapy involves the use of a laser to access the root canal, remove infected tissue, clean, sterilize, and shape the canal, and then fill it.
- Removing old veneer – Laser is the easiest tool for removing old veneers and crown without absolutely no damage to your teeth.
Other popular laser dentistry treatments include:
- Canker sore and ulcers treatment (pain relief)
- Regenerating damaged nerves, scars, and blood vessels
- Removal of benign (non-cancerous) tumors in the mouth
- Removing extra throat tissue that causes obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- Exposing wisdom teeth before removal
- Laser teeth whitening treatment
- Reducing jaw pain caused by temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD)
Lasers cannot be used for certain dental procedures. This includes filling cavities between teeth, fixing pre-existing dental fillings, or filling large cavities. Removing dental crowns or cavity fillings and preparing teeth for a dental bridge also cannot be done with a laser.
Benefits & Disadvantages of Laser Dentistry
Laser dentistry has been around for almost 30 years. However, it has been growing in popularity in recent years due to new advancements in technology. There are many benefits to dental lasers over traditional manual scalpels and dental instruments. These benefits include:
- Minimally invasive and less painful.
- Less damage to the gums, teeth, and other tissues.
- Stitches (sutures) are usually not necessary.
- Faster healing time for most patients.
- Less swelling, discomfort, and pain.
- Less blood loss (lasers improve blood clotting).
- Lasers sterilize your gums, which reduces the chance of bacterial infections.
- Higher chance for tissues to regenerate than with traditional methods.
- Local anesthesia is not necessary for some laser dentistry procedures.
- Reduced dental anxiety.
- Laser dentistry procedures are generally more expensive than traditional dental procedures.
- Not all dental procedures can be completed with lasers.
- In many cases, drills and manual scalpels may be used in combination with lasers.
- Local anesthesia is still necessary for more invasive procedures.
- There is always a small risk for gum, tooth, and tooth pulp injuries.
Are Dental Lasers Safe?
Lasers have been used in dentistry since 1994. They are proven to be safe and effective when used correctly and in combination with other professional dental instruments. Laser dental treatment is also quicker and less painful than traditional methods.
- Laser dentistry has been around since the 1990s. It is a minimally invasive, effective, safe, and less painful alternative to traditional dental procedures. Laser dentistry can treat a wide variety of dental conditions, such as cavity detection and removal. Lasers cannot remove pre-existing restorations, such as dental crowns and fillings.
- Lasers can treat many dental conditions affecting the soft tissues (gums) and hard tissues (teeth and bones). They can also remove benign tumors, regenerate nerves, reduce inflammation, relieve jaw pain, and even whiten teeth.
- The benefits of laser dentistry: less pain and discomfort, faster healing time, and less damage to the gums and teeth. There is also a reduced need for sutures and local anesthesia (numbing medication).
- The downsides of laser dentistry: it is generally more expensive than traditional dental procedures and not all dental procedures can be completed with lasers.
- Insurance partially covers most restorative laser treatments. Insurance never covers cosmetic procedures.