Ever since their introduction to the dental industry in 1990, dental lasers have found numerous uses in clinical dentistry over the years. From teeth whitening to dental fillings and management of swellings and tumors, dental lasers have simplified dental procedures, besides minimizing post-surgical complications and side effects. In this article, Dr. Wendelschafer at Great Smiles Dental Care discusses lasers and their uses in dentistry.
What are Dental Lasers?
All dental lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. Many people think that dentists use the same laser for different dental procedures. However, that is not the case; various dental lasers perform a specific function in the oral cavity. For example, dentists use cutting lasers for surgical procedures. On the other hand, they select high heat-generating lasers for teeth whitening and dental fillings.
What is the Use of Lasers in Dentistry?
Dental lasers are different from cold lasers, used to relieve pain and headaches. In dentistry, lasers are used for the following purposes:
- Removing Tooth Decay - conventionally, dentists use the dental drill to remove the decayed tooth structure before restoring the tooth with a suitable filling. Unfortunately, many patients find this procedure unpleasant and sometimes painful. Dental lasers can remove the decayed tooth painlessly and without making annoying sounds. Lasers can also be used for teeth recontouring for crown and bridge preparation.
- Gum and Soft Tissue Surgery - dentists also use lasers to cut dental soft tissues. Surgeries with lasers heal more quickly and show lesser adverse effects and complications.
- Biopsy and Removing Lesions - dentists also use lasers for removing oral lesions or performing biopsies of non-healing swellings or lesions which are suspected of being malignant.
- Teeth Whitening - we often hear that laser whitening is more effective than conventional in-office whitening. This is because dental lasers speed up the whitening process by activating the bleaching agent - which in turn penetrates beneath the tooth’s surface and dissolves stains and discoloration.
Pros and Cons of Dental Lasers
Some advantages of lasers in dentistry include:
- Cause lesser pain and discomfort than conventional surgical procedures
- Beneficial for patients who have dental anxiety, specifically those who are afraid of the sound of the dental drill
- Cause minimal bleeding and post-operative swelling
- Preserve more healthy tooth structure during cavity removal - more tooth conservative
- Lasers cannot be used on teeth that already contain fillings
- The traditional drill may still be needed sometimes during cavity preparation
- Lasers still require anesthesia
- Laser dental treatment is considerably more expensive.
Great Smiles should be your first choice if you are looking for painless and gentle dental treatment. Our highly qualified and experienced dental team will ensure that your visit and treatment is at our practice is a pleasant experience. So, please book an appointment today and let us take care of your dental issues.