Learning what laser dentistry is and how it works is something every dental patient should do, as this allows them to make treatment choices that are right for them. Modern-day dentistry has allowed for the evolution of so many kinds of dental advancements, including laser dentistry, which has been proven to produce successful results for…
How Common Are Laser Dentistry Procedures?
Laser dentistry is a treatment method dentists use for a variety of dental conditions. A laser emits a beam of narrow and concentrated light energy. Tissue reacts to the light when the two make contact, allowing the dentist to shape or remove the tissue. The light beam can step in as a substitute for traditional dental tools such as drills and scalpels while offering the advantage of pinpointed accuracy.
Because only light touches the teeth and gums, a laser dentistry procedure is minimally invasive. Patients can experience less pain during and after a laser procedure.
Applications of laser dentistry
While filling a cavity, dentists traditionally use a drill. Its heat, friction, and noise can be uncomfortable for patients. Using a laser to repair a cavity takes away those unpleasant and sometimes frightening factors. A laser removes the tooth's decayed area and prepares the enamel for the filling. Lasers also disinfect the area as they work, reducing the chance of bacterial infection.
During a root canal, a dentist can use a laser to cut the tooth surface to get to the canal area. It can take out diseased tissue, kill bacteria, and reshape the space for filling. The laser can then be used to soften the filling material and mold it into shape. Some reports indicate that patients can experience less bleeding and discomfort when laser dentistry is used during the root canal procedure.
Patients who suffer from painful canker sores or mouth lesions can find relief from laser treatment. Lasers can reduce pain and speed up the healing process. A study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research on 30 patients with mouth sores demonstrated that 28 had complete pain relief immediately after laser treatment.
A dentist can speed up the teeth whitening process with a laser. Bleach is applied to the teeth, and a laser is used to generate heat, causing the whitening process to occur more quickly.
Gum contouring or reshaping is primarily a cosmetic procedure. Patients may consider gum reshaping if they feel the gums cover too much or too little of the teeth or if they are uneven. A dentist can use a laser to remove excess gums and sculpt a new gum line.
Is laser dentistry common?
The FDA has approved laser dentistry for treating many conditions. The American Dental Association has yet to do so, but it is cautiously optimistic about its applications as more research is conducted.
Lasers have been used in dental procedures since the 1980s. Despite the benefits of laser dentistry, some authorities estimate less than 10% of dentists use them in their practice. Laser equipment can be cost-prohibitive. However, companies are working to create user-friendly, affordable devices to make them accessible for more dental practices.
Laser procedures offer many benefits for patients. As equipment becomes more accessible, it stands to reason that more dentists will take advantage of laser dentistry in their practices. If you are interested in learning more about laser procedures, ask your dentist.
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