Laser dentistry is an innovative type of dental care for both patients and dentists alike. Minimally invasive, medical professionals use these extremely focused light beams to alter or remove tissue in small amounts. While laser surgery is not limited to dentistry, many patients have never heard of laser dentistry before having it done.
The Benefits of Laser Dentistry
Whether you are having laser gum surgery or hard tissue work, you can expect a more comfortable procedure and a shorter recovery time with laser dentistry. Whether serious in nature or simply cosmetic, laser dentistry is a convenient solution to many oral and dental issues. Dentists choose laser dentistry because of distinct benefits that make the procedures go more smoothly, and also reduce discomfort for patients.
Unique benefits of laser dentistry include:
- Less likely to require sutures
- Anesthesia may not be necessary
- Reduced likelihood of infection
- Shorter healing time
- Less blood loss than traditional surgery
Hard Tissue Lasers
A hard tissue laser is used primarily for your teeth. The wavelength of one of these lasers cuts through both water and bone, specifically the calcium phosphate that is in your bones and your teeth. These lasers can very accurately cut into your teeth, removing small amounts for shaping purposes or in preparation for procedures.
Hard tissue lasers are used for:
Detecting cavities. Low-intensity soft tissue dental lasers may be used for the early detection of cavities by providing a reading of the by-products produced by tooth decay.
Decreasing tooth sensitivity. Lasers may be used to seal tubules (located on the root of the tooth) that are responsible for hot and cold tooth sensitivity.
Preparing teeth for dental fillings. Hard tissue dental lasers may eliminate the need for a local anesthetic injection and the traditional turbine dental drill. Lasers used in dental filling procedures are capable of killing bacteria located in a cavity. Long-term tooth restorations are a potential benefit to this type of advanced treatment.
Soft Tissue Lasers
These lasers are ideal for cutting into soft tissue and sealing the exposed blood vessels at the same time. This is the reason you do not bleed very much during laser dentistry and why healing times are quicker after a procedure. Soft tissue lasers are great for cosmetic procedures and allow you to see results immediately.
Soft tissue lasers are used for:
Lengthening dental crowns. Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue and bone to expose healthier tooth structure. Referred to as crown lengthening, such reshaping provides a stronger foundation for the placement of restorations.
Reshaping the gums to create a more aesthetically pleasing smile. Reshaping gum tissue to expose healthy tooth structure and improve the appearance of a gummy smile.
Removing folds in oral soft tissue caused by dentures. A painless and suture-free removal of soft tissue folds often caused by ill-fitting dentures.
Correcting restricted tongue movement. A laser frenectomy is an ideal treatment option for children who are tongue-tied with a restricted or tight frenulum. Babies unable to breastfeed adequately due to limited tongue movement can benefit from this treatment. A laser frenectomy may also help to eliminate speech impediments.
Laser Dentistry Treatments
Laser dentistry can be a precise and effective way to perform many dental procedures. If you consider yourself somewhat of an anxious dental patient and are seeking extreme safety and comfort, laser dentistry is your solution.
Other laser dentistry treatments include:
- Canker sore and cold sore pain treatments
- Root canal infections
- Gum disease
- Gum inflammation
- Gum reshaping
- Exposing wisdom teeth
- Sleep apnea
- Regenerating damaged nerves
- Benign oral tumors
The Future of Dentistry Treatments
Dental procedures may soon be performed quicker, more effectively, and more comfortably in thanks to the growing popularity of laser dentistry. Dr. Kim Okamura DDS is proud to be a part of the viable future of laser dentistry. We strive to relieve the fear and anxiety many patients have over dental procedures and make going to the dentist an enjoyable experience.