Naturally, with something new like laser dentistry, people can become concerned over whether or not the treatment will work and if it is safe. For many people, the idea of a laser conjures up images of a big beam coming down from outer space. Alas, this is not a sci-fi movie but real technology that is here and making it easier than ever to receive dental care. Not only are lasers providing a wider range of solutions but they also make dentistry more comfortable than it used to be.
We have found that using a laser can actually be safer than using a dental tool since dental tools are designed to be sharp, and one accidental slip can lead to gum tissue being scratched or irritated. While we are experts at what we do, this is bound to happen from time to time, although less likely with a laser since it is easier to maneuver. Additionally, the laser will not cause any irritation to the surrounding gum tissue if a slip does occur. In fact, when lasers are used to perform more complex procedures, they can often cauterize the area and stop bleeding as the work is being performed so that gauze becomes unnecessary.
Some of the common ways that laser dentistry is used are:
Teeth whitening. Many dental offices are now offering in-office whitening using a laser light to activate the whitening solution. This can be quite effective, and the best part is that it speeds up the procedure. The benefits of using dentist-made teeth whitening trays still remain, but this is a viable solution for fast results.
Gum disease. This is perhaps one of the most effective uses of laser dentistry because of how sensitive gum tissue is. The majority of adults will experience some level of gum disease in their lifetime. The only real question is how severe will it be. In its earliest stage, gingivitis can be cured with a simple teeth and gum cleaning. By removing all of the surface plaque and tartar, the irritation can be removed and gums become healthier. When the tartar has become trapped on the teeth below the gum line, a more invasive cleaning must be performed. Traditionally, this has involved using a metal dental tool to get under the gums and scrape the tartar off of the teeth while a patient is under sedation. Lasers can be used to accomplish the same thing, but the laser breaks up the tartar using focused energy. No scraping and no cutting is required so the entire procedure is comfortable and has minimal recovery time associated with it.
Further research is ongoing to identify all of the ways that laser dentistry can be used to help patients. Believing in the importance of providing the best possible dental care, we will continue to offer you, our patient, innovative solutions so that you can remain both comfortable and in optimal oral health. For more information on how we use lasers in our dental office, call and schedule an examination.