Laser dentistry has been in use since the mid-1990s, and while it has not yet replaced traditional dental tools, laser-aided dentistry is available for many procedures as an alternative. Yet many patients are unfamiliar with how laser dentistry works and how it can benefit them.
Laser dentistry works by emitting energy in the form of light with very specific wavelengths. Depending on the procedure and type of laser in use, the laser acts as a cutting instrument, a vaporizer or a heat source.
Why laser dentistry is growing
The use of lasers is becoming more popular in both hard and soft tissue procedures. Hard tissue dental procedures include early cavity detection, filling preparation and tooth sensitivity treatments. Soft tissue work includes procedures to reshape gum tissues as a treatment for various problems. Different types of lasers are used for each category.
Not every dental procedure is appropriate for the incorporation of lasers, but when it is an option, laser dentistry can be the preferable choice to traditional drilling and cutting techniques. Here are five reasons you should consider laser dental procedures.
1. To have laser precision
Greater precision is always preferable in the medical world, and in dental procedures, it can be especially important. Laser technology is much more exact than its predecessors, making it faster and safer. For example, laser equipment can prepare a tooth for a filling much more precisely than a traditional drill. Less of the healthy tooth is removed during the procedure, thanks to the laser’s greater level of accuracy.
2. To reduce anxiety
Lasers overall are less upsetting for most patients. Even after anesthetic, the feel and sound of drills and other traditional dental equipment can be upsetting for patients, even causing psychosomatic pain in some cases. Dental laser equipment eliminates the need for drills in many hard tissue procedures and greatly reduces the need in others.
3. To minimize bleeding and swelling
During soft tissue procedures, lasers generally cause less bleeding and swelling. The high-energy beams of the laser aid in the blood clotting process, stopping excessive bleeding and making the procedure overall less damaging to surrounding tissue. Lasers can be used to reshape gum tissue and remove problematic soft tissue folds. Recovery from soft tissue procedures done with lasers is more comfortable, and stitches are rarely necessary.
4. To reduce the need for anesthesia
Depending on the procedure, lasers may eliminate the need for anesthesia. When dental lasers are employed instead of traditional turbine drills, local anesthetic injections are no longer be necessary in many cases. For some patients, the initial injection of local anesthetic is just as upsetting as the dental procedure itself.
5. To sterilize bacteria-prone areas
Our mouths are a haven for bacteria, and infections can come easily, especially after invasive dental procedures. The high-energy beam of the laser constantly sterilizes the area being worked on. This lowers the possibility of bacteria finding its way inside a tooth or the gums.
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