Medical experts make use of lasers, which are extremely focused light beams, to alter or remove tissue in small amounts. Laser surgery is not limited to dentistry, but many people have never heard of laser dentistry before having it done. Dental professionals apply lasers to a wide range of procedures involving the inside of the mouth, be it to remove overgrown tissue, to reshape the gums, or to whiten teeth. Sometimes, laser dentistry is ideal for children who become anxious or afraid when having dental work done.
What Laser Dentistry Can Treat
Most issues laser dentistry treats are related to the gums. Some of these include:
Canker sore and cold sore pain treatments
Treating root canal infections
Treating gum disease
Removing gum inflammation
Exposing wisdom teeth.
Removing throat tissue that causes sleep apnea
Regenerating damaged nerves
Removing benign oral tumours
Benefits of Laser Dentistry
Dentists choose laser dentistry because of distinct benefits that make the procedures go more smoothly and also reduce discomfort and healing time for patients.
Patients are unlikely to require sutures
Anaesthesia may not be necessary
The laser will disinfect the gums, making infection less likely
Less damage to gums shortens the healing time
Patients lose less blood than traditional surgery
What Happens During a Laser Gum Surgery?
When you come for your laser dentistry appointment, you might be surprised to discover that the process is very similar to other dentistry appointments, like tooth fillings. You receive anesthesia, though it might not be as much as you’re used to receiving. Some patients who experience anxiety might receive a sedative, too.
During the procedure, you won’t feel any vibrations or discomfort from the laser-like you do from the drill. Any bleeding that occurs gets wiped away, just like before. Your mouth will be held up open as the dentist works with the laser to treat your issues.
If you’ve ever had gum surgery done without a laser, you can expect that your post-operative experience after laser dentistry will likely be smoother. Don’t expect the site of your surgery to bleed very much when you get home as a laser causes far less bleeding than a scalpel. You won’t have an open, bleeding wound the way you would with a scalpel procedure.
The Types of Lasers Used in Dentistry
The 2 major types of lasers dentists use during laser procedures are hard tissue and soft tissue lasers. Each laser uses a different wavelength that makes it appropriate for cutting into that specific type of tissue. This works as each tissue
type absorbs wavelengths of light in different ways. By altering the light’s wavelength (and sometimes pulse) scientists have figured out how to craft lasers with light wavelengths compatible with the tissues in your mouth.
Hard Tissue Lasers
Hard tissue lasers are predominantly used for your teeth. The wavelength of one of these lasers cuts through both water and bone, particularly the calcium phosphate that is in your bones and teeth and can very precisely cut into your teeth, eliminating small amounts for shaping purposes or in preparation for procedures. Hard tissue lasers are used for:
Dealing with tooth sensitivity
Preparing teeth for dental fillings
Soft Tissue Lasers
The soft tissue lasers use a light wavelength that hemoglobin and water absorb easily. Hemoglobin is the molecule found in blood, which makes soft tissue lasers ideal for gum work. Some soft tissue lasers are diode lasers, which is a
type of continuous-wave laser.
These lasers are ideal for cutting into soft tissue and sealing the exposed blood vessels at the same time. This is why you don’t bleed very much during laser dentistry and why healing is quicker after laser dentistry. Soft tissue lasers are great for cosmetic procedures because you can begin to see results right away.
Soft tissue lasers are used for:
Dealing with restricted tongue movement.
Reshaping the gums to create a more pleasing smile.
Eliminating folds in oral soft tissues caused by dentures.
Laser Dentistry is a convenient solution to many oral and dental problems, whether serious in nature or simply cosmetic.