Lasers have been used safely in dentistry since the early 1990s and in other forms of medicine for even longer; however, some patients are still in the dark about how and why they are used and, more importantly, whether there are any risks involved.
What is Laser Dentistry?
The term “laser” stands for “light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation.” Laser dentistry is the use of intense, focused beams of light energy to perform specific dental procedures instead of traditional dental tools, such as drills. When the light contacts the tooth or gum tissue, it produces a reaction, allowing the dentist to remove or shape the tissue.
There are various types of lasers used in dental procedures, and they mainly fall into two categories: soft and hard tissue lasers. The former is mainly used for gums and other soft tissue, while the latter is typically used on teeth and bone. At Valley Dental Care, we use cutting-edge Biolase Waterlase iPlus technology.
What Are Dental Lasers Used For?
You may be surprised to know that dental lasers can be used to perform a wide range of dental procedures, covering both gum and teeth issues, including:
- Cavity detection.
- Removing inflamed, infected gum tissue and bacteria.
- Preparing tooth enamel for composite bonding (fillings).
- Gum and reshaping, for example, in crown lengthening procedures.
- Repairing fillings.
- Exposing wisdom teeth.
- Removing excess throat tissue to treat sleep apnea.
- Regenerating damaged nerves.
- Removal of benign oral tumors.
- Accelerating teeth whitening treatment.
- Treating cold and canker sores.
What Are the Benefits of Laser Dental Treatments?
Lasers have all sorts of uses in dental care, but it is not just their versatility that makes them a popular tool in modern dentistry; they are also associated with several impressive benefits.
It is reported that patients feel less discomfort when undergoing laser dental treatment, which reduces the need for anesthesia. This, along with the fact that lasers replace noisy drills, means that laser dentistry can improve dental anxiety and fear in patients. Nervous patients are also pleased to note that bleeding is minimized in these treatments because lasers encourage blood clotting.
Infections can occur after dental treatment but, because lasers sterilize, the chance of infection is significantly lower in laser dentistry than in traditional dentistry. Lasers also cause less damage to the surrounding tissue and promote a shorter healing period. In many cases, patients do not need sutures after undergoing soft tissue laser treatment.
Are There Any Risks?
As long as your laser dental treatments are performed by a trained professional, they are safe for both adults and children. Lasers have been tested and approved by the FDA and have been commonplace in dentistry for nearly 30 years.
Dental professionals who want to use lasers in their treatments undergo thorough training and take all the necessary safety precautions for their patients; for instance, patients wear special glasses during the procedure to protect their eyes.
If you are curious about laser dentistry and how it can help you, schedule an appointment with Valley Dental Care today. We are happy to take you through the treatment process and assess whether it is suitable for your situation.