Laser dentistry works by delivering energy in the form of light. The laser instrument acts as a cutting tool or a vaporizer of tissue. It is also used to “cure” or harden composite fillings. When used in teeth- whitening procedures, the laser acts as a heat source and enhances the effect of tooth-bleaching agents.
At 7 Day Dental, we use a type of laser designed specifically for oral surgery and other dental procedures.
Lasers have been used in dentistry since 1994 to treat a number of dental problems. Some of the uses include:
Tooth decay: Lasers are used to remove decay within a tooth and prepare the surrounding enamel for receipt of the filling. Lasers are also used to “cure” or harden a composite filling.
Gum disease: Lasers are used to reshape gums and remove bacteria during root canal procedures. This can eliminate the need for a scalpel.
Biopsy or lesion removal: Lasers can be used to remove a small piece of tissue (called a biopsy) so that it can be examined for cancer. Lasers are also used to remove lesions in the mouth and relieve the pain of canker sores.
Teeth whitening: Lasers are used to speed up in-office teeth whitening procedures. A peroxide bleaching solution, applied to the tooth surface, is ”activated” by laser energy, which speeds up of the whitening process.
Laser Gum Therapy
Laser gum treatment is an alternative to the other non-surgical and surgical gum disease treatments. It uses laser technology to get rid of the harmful bacteria enveloped in the tissues around the teeth. The laser energy is directed from an optical fiber that moves along the gum wall of the pocket. The bacteria are removed, and the laser helps to decontaminate the area. This treatment can usually be completed without the use of anesthesia. In addition, this procedure causes less bleeding and swelling compared to the other treatments, allowing for a quick recovery.
Advantages of laser dentistry over traditional procedures:
- Causes less pain in some instances, reducing the need for anesthesia.
- May reduce anxiety in patients uncomfortable with the use of the dental drill.
- Minimizes bleeding and swelling during soft tissue treatments.
- May preserve more healthy tooth during cavity removal.
Disadvantages of laser treatments:
- Lasers can’t be used on teeth with fillings already in place.
- Lasers can’t be used in many commonly performed dental procedures. For example, lasers can’t be used to fill cavities located between teeth, around old fillings, and large cavities that need to be prepared for a crown. In addition, lasers cannot be used to remove defective crowns or silver fillings, or prepare teeth for bridges.
- Traditional drills may still be needed to shape the filling, adjust the bite, and polish the filling even when a laser is used.
- While they may reduce the need for anesthesia, lasers do not entirely eliminate it.
- Laser treatment tends to be more expensive because the cost of the instrument is much higher than that of a dental drill, scalpel, or scaling instrumen