Becoming more common in dental practices across the United States, laser dentistry is the use of lasers to treat and prevent a wide variety of dental conditions. Laser dentistry offers a wide variety of benefits to the patient. But what is laser dentistry, and how can it help with dental treatments?
What Is Laser Dentistry?
Standing for “light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation,” laser dentistry consists of an instrument using a beam to create an incision, or a procedure relating to chipping or removing tissue.
Laser dentistry can be used for a multitude of reasons, including teeth whitening, in addition to treating various ailments relating to the teeth, like sensitivity and gum disease. Laser dentistry was declared by the FDA to be safe for patients back in 1990, and ever since then, the practice has gradually grown in popularity.
While laser dentistry may seem daunting, it is far more precise and less invasive than traditional dental treatments, making it an ideal option for patients looking to speed up their time in the dental chair.
How Are Laser Treatments Performed?
Typically done in one visit, the process of performing a laser treatment is quick and comfortable. Our dentists conduct a laser dentistry treatment by using a small device that creates a beam, which is the “laser” in question. You are provided with special glasses to protect your eyes from the laser. The beam comes into contact with your gums and teeth, which instantly causes a reaction from the teeth or tissue, so the desired result is achieved.
Many patients find it more comfortable than traditional treatments in comparison to something like a dental drill, which causes a lot of vibrations. In addition, there is no need to undergo anesthesia in many of the procedures. Initially, some patients can feel concerned about the idea of laser surgery. But laser surgery is safe and potentially safer than traditional methods for a variety of reasons.
What Conditions Can Laser Dentistry Treat?
Laser treatments are typically conducted for two types of dental procedures; hard tissue and soft tissue procedures.
Hard tissue refers to the teeth, and lasers can be used in the following areas:
- Detecting cavities and decay.
- Preparing teeth for dental fillings by using the laser to kill bacteria in a cavity.
- Treating tooth sensitivity by sealing the tubules on the tooth’s root.
- Lasers can help in the teeth whitening sessions. As lasers speed up the bleaching process, this greatly reduces time in the dentist’s chair.
Soft tissue treatments refer to the gums, and lasers can be used in the following areas:
- Reshaping gum tissue associated with a “gummy smile,” where the gum covers much of the teeth.
- Removing tissue folds, for example from dentures.
- To reshape the gum tissue as part of the restoration process, such as crown lengthening.
- Lasers can also be used to remove the fold of the skin under the teeth. If children experience what is known as being “tongue-tied,” a laser can be used as part of a laser frenectomy treatment.
What Are the Benefits of Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry provides a wide variety of benefits over traditional treatment:
- Minimal bleeding. As lasers promote blood clotting, this is an ideal practice for treating soft tissues.
- Soft tissue lasers may result in a decreased need for sutures.
- In many procedures, the use of anesthesia is not necessary as the patient is more comfortable and there is no need for invasive implements.
- Using laser treatments reduces the potential for bacterial infections. As the laser sterilizes the area, this removes any lingering bacteria.
- Laser treatments require less healing time for the patient. As the wounds can heal faster, and the recovery period doesn’t require healing like traditional gum surgery, there is immediate improvement, but it also allows the patient to get back to normal life quickly without having to worry about looking after the sensitive area.
- Improved results. As lasers can detect cavities at earlier stages in comparison to other technologies, this is a direct advantage for patients and the dentist.
- Less stress for the patient. All of these factors can mean a reduced time in the dentist’s chair. And with improved results, less healing time, and less time in the office overall, this gives the patient peace of mind. Many people do not like the idea of going for a dental procedure, predominantly due to the antiquated ideas behind old dental tools. Laser dentistry greatly reduces any anxiety from the patient’s perspective.
Are There Any Risks Associated With Laser Dentistry?
It is important to note that there are risks involved with any type of treatment. But risks associated with laser treatment are very minimal. Some potential risks and disadvantages can come from a slight risk of gum injury. Predominantly, the use of lasers cannot work with teeth that contain specific types of filling, and there are cases when anesthesia may still be used.
But when you compare laser treatment to traditional dentistry practices such as opening up a wound with a scalpel, the positives of laser dentistry greatly outweigh the negatives. However, here, at the Advanced Dentistry of Scarsdale, we are a team that can provide you with sufficient advice throughout the process, so you are comfortable and ready.
Schedule an Appointment and Get Started With Laser Dentistry
Laser dentistry is one of the most exciting and up-to-date procedures in the field of dentistry. As laser dentistry provides improved results for the patient and dental practices, it is an ideal way to undergo a procedure with minimal invasion.
Whether you are experiencing discomfort and need to undergo a procedure, or you are concerned that you need to check for any damage to your teeth, laser dentistry can be incorporated into any preventative dentistry plan. As you can see, there are a significant number of benefits in using laser dentistry over traditional dentistry methods. If you are looking to learn more about laser dentistry, or you wish to use this pioneering treatment in your dental plan, schedule an appointment with Dr. Steven A. Brisman and his team at Advanced Dentistry of Scarsdale.