Lasers — they’re not just for jedis anymore! Lasers have become a huge part of the dental industry and are widely used among practices. But, what exactly is laser dentistry? Laser dentistry is a minimally invasive option when you’re dealing with gum surgery, cavity treatment, or other oral issues. For a more in-depth list about what laser dentistry covers, click here to read more about what services we, At Smiles By Dr. Santos, offer related to laser dentistry.
Laser dentistry has been used since the 1990s and is just as safe as normal dental instruments. These lasers are used to remove or alter hard and soft tissues in a variety of dental procedures. While lasers were introduced decades ago, they are technically not considered to be mainstream. In this article, we will be discussing the types of lasers that are commonly found in laser dentistry, as well as giving you more basic information about them.
Types of Lasers
Soft Tissue Lasers
Soft tissue lasers use a light wavelength that hemoglobin and water absorb easily. As we know, hemoglobin is the molecule that is found in blood, which makes soft tissue lasers ideal for any type of gum work. Some soft tissue lasers are diode lasers, which means that it is a type of continuous-wave laser. These lasers are great for cutting into soft tissue and sealing the exposed blood vessels, all at the same time. This is one of the reasons why you don’t bleed much during the procedure and why the healing time is much quicker. They’re also great if you want to see results right away.
Hard Tissue Lasers
Hard tissue lasers are used to cut away at the “hard” tissues in the mouth, such as your teeth. These types of lasers help remove tooth decay, prepare cavities for filling placement, prepare a tooth for a root canal, and etch the tooth enamel so that the filling can bond to it. Lasers designed for hard tissue purposes may reduce the need for anesthesia and reduce the chance of overheating parts of the tooth such as the pulp and the nerve tissue. One aspect to keep in mind is that hard tissue lasers might extend the time needed for treatment due to the accurate nature of laser cutting and may have more inconsistent results.
Benefits of Lasers
Many dentists will choose laser dentistry because of the distinct benefits that help make the procedure go more smoothly. It also reduces the amount of discomfort and healing time for the patients. Some other benefits include:
- Patients are less likely to require sutures (traditional stitches)
- Anesthesia may not be necessary
- Lasers sterilize the gums, making infection less likely
- Patients lose less blood than traditional surgery
Laser dentistry may be a great alternative for children or people who become anxious or afraid of having dental work done. During the procedure, you won’t feel any vibrations or discomfort from the laser-like you would from a dental drill. Many people find that laser treatments are similar looking to any other traditional dental appointment. While you might receive anesthesia, it will most likely be a lower dosage, and you’ll be more aware during the actual procedure. If a patient experiences anxiety towards dental procedures, they may also receive a sedative. Just like normal cleaning, your mouth will be propped open as the dentist works with the laser while wiping away any bleeding that may occur.
Whether you’re having laser gum surgery or hard tissue work, you can expect an easier procedure with shorter recovery time. At Smiles By Dr. Santos, we’ve been using dental lasers as a form of treatment for years and have tons of experience in our practice. We believe that laser dentistry is a convenient solution to many oral problems, both cosmetic and routine. Call us today to see if laser dentistry is the right route of treatment for you!