Laser Dentistry | Dental Lasers
The latest technology used in dentistry nowadays are dental lasers. . Considering the fear, nervousness and anxiety of each patient before the dental appointment , dental lasers are there to help you out! Lasers work on the concept of activating light energy to be used. Lasers are different in their own way because they target the affected tissue while leaving the surrounding tissue untouched. Hence, procedures where the most precise and minute details are needed to be taken care of , can be performed .
There are two types of lasers:
- Lasers for the hard tissue (also known as tooth lasers)
- Lasers for the soft tissue (also known as gum lasers )
According to a recent survey, around 10% of dentists worldwide use dental lasers with hopefully many more to join.
Hard tissue Lasers:
- Detection of cavities: : Lasers which are of the low intensity type are often used to detect the most minor cavities and early caries, which often can be missed with naked eye.
- Cutting of a tooth: Imagine going to the dentist and having a completely painless treatment with no noisy drills, completely possible because of these tooth lasers which even avoid the need of anaesthesia . They are best disinfectants of root canal prior to their fillings.
- Whitening of tooth or bleaching
- Lasers are known to desensitize teeth which react to hot and cold food
Soft Tissue lasers :
- Diseases of gums: Lasers are known to kill the bacteria lodged in gum pockets thereby disinfecting it which aids in healing and are used as an adjunct to routine cleaning and polishing .
- Increasing the crown height : Lasers are used to trim the gum and increase the crown height.
- Gummy Smile: Because of the ability of lasers to trim the gums, they are used to expose more of the crown height thereby reducing the gum area seen during smiling.
- Removal of tumours: Benign tumours can be removed with the help of lasers. Also soft tissue growth in patients wearing dentures can be removed with the help of lasers.
- Frenectomy: Patients having tongue tie or thick frenum, can be surgically cured with the help of lasers
- Cold sores: Aphthous ulcer[also known as cold sore]resulting due to excessive stress can be treated with lasers.
- TMJ pain: Pain and swelling associated with the jaw joint can be cured with dental lasers.
Advantages of Lasers:
- No pain: Because of the precision with which dental lasers can be used and its ability to seal off nerve endings and blood vessels, there is minimum post operative pain , this being one of the biggest advantage of dental lasers .
- No or minimum anaesthesia
- Decreased infection rate and decreased swelling after the procedure.
- Decreased bleeding
- Less noise
- Healing is much faster along with tissue recovery and regeneration .
- Less absorption of harmful chemicals.
Disadvantages of Lasers:
Hard tissue lasers are not indicated alone for silver fillings, inlay or cap cutting and necessitate the need of conventional drills.
Indications of Laser therapy:
Although lasers have multiple uses, they cannot be used for all dental procedures and it is best for the clinician to decide the same.
Does it damage the eyes?
It is mandatory to wear protective eyewear prior to any laser procedure. It not only protects your eyes from the laser and also from any other material entering the eye .