What is a dental laser?
To start, the word LASER is actually an acronym, standing for Light Amplification by Stimulation Emission of Radiation. It’s not as scary as it might sound – the thermal radiation produced by a laser is non-ionizing, and not the type of radiation you think of when you’re being warned against exposure. Lasers have been in use in the dental industry since the 1990s and contribute to dental advances regularly.
How do dental lasers work?
All lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. When used for surgical and dental procedures, the laser acts as a cutting instrument or a vaporizer of tissue that it comes in contact with. When used for “curing” a filling, the laser helps to strengthen the bond between the filling and the tooth.
The laser allows us to treat many types of patients more efficiently and with less pain, including:
- Patients with or at risk for Periodontal disease: We now know that it is a bacterial infection affecting pockets around teeth – given this, we want to do more than a traditional cleaning and instead eliminate the bacteria underlying this infection by decontaminating the area.
- To reduce or eliminate bacteremia (bacteria in the blood)
- To prevent cross contamination
- To kill periodontal disease bacteria
- Patients with irregular gingival levels or front teeth at different lengths will benefit from laser treatment
- Patients with extra tissue resulting from a past trauma or due to the positioning of your teeth
- Reduce the discomfort of canker and cold sores.
- Expose partially erupted wisdom teeth.
- Remove muscle attachments that limit proper movement.
- Manage gum tissue during impressions for crowns or other procedures.
- Remove overgrown tissues caused by certain medications.
- Perform biopsy procedures.
- Remove or reshape gum and bone tissues during crown lengthening procedures.
- To treat infections in root canals.
- To speed up tooth whitening procedures.