Laser dentistry refers to any dental procedure that involves the use of a highly-concentrated beam of light. Recent advances in laser technology have allowed many dentists to offer this kind treatment. Lasers can now be used to treat tooth decay, enamel, and gum tissue. Common laser dentistry procedures include oral surgery and periodontal treatment. Bacterial laser reduction can significantly reduce the effects of periodontal disease, leaving your gums clean and healthy.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several types of dentistry lasers for use on adults and children. Many of these dental lasers are similar or identical in design to other medical lasers that have been used successfully for years in the specialties of ophthalmology, neurosurgery, ear/nose/throat (ENT), and dermatology.
Advantages of Laser Dentistry include:
- Minimal or no anesthesia needed
- Minimal bleeding
- More controlled swelling
- Reduced postoperative infection/discomfort
- Less chance of infection
- Reduced time in dentist's office
- Less pain
- No noise (like a traditional dentist's drill)
- Enhanced tooth whitening
- No absorption of harmful chemicals
- A more sterilized environment (dental laser kills bacteria)
- Fast treatment of canker sores, herpes lesions, fever blisters, and more
Laser Dentistry Procedures and Effects:
Laser dentistry, or laser periodontics, allows for the treatment of gum disease at any earlier stage. In addition, it can be useful to pregnant women and people with debilitating medical conditions. While there is no guarantee of total "pain free laser dentistry," discomfort is greatly reduced. By receiving dental laser treatments, patients often have no need for Novocain or other anesthetics!
During treatment, it is common for a patient to wear protective glasses due to the bright light. The laser emits a tiny ticking sound-a far cry from the days of traditional dental drills. However, keep in mind that a laser might not be appropriate for all procedures. Your dentist should be able to determine whether or not laser dentistry is right for you.