Laser Dentistry is a branch of dentistry that utilizes advanced laser technology to perform a variety of dental procedures. Dental lasers are specialized devices that emit concentrated beams of light energy, which can be precisely targeted to treat specific areas of the mouth. The lasers used in dentistry are designed to interact with dental tissues, such as teeth, gums, and soft tissues, to achieve various treatment outcomes.

Laser dentistry offers several benefits over traditional dental techniques. It allows for enhanced precision, as dentists can selectively focus the laser beam on the area being treated while minimizing damage to surrounding healthy tissues. This precision enables more conservative treatment approaches and preserves more natural tooth structure.

Additionally, laser dentistry often reduces discomfort during procedures. The use of lasers can eliminate or minimize the need for anesthesia, as they are less invasive and cause less pain compared to traditional dental drills. Laser procedures are associated with reduced bleeding, swelling, and post-operative discomfort, leading to faster healing times and improved patient experiences.

Dental lasers have a wide range of applications in dentistry. They can be used for cavity preparation, gum disease treatment, gum contouring, oral lesion removal, teeth whitening, and more. Laser technology continues to evolve, and new applications are constantly being explored to enhance dental care.

It’s important to note that not all dental procedures can be performed with lasers, and their use depends on the specific case and the dentist’s expertise. Dentists who incorporate laser technology into their practice undergo specialized training to ensure safe and effective utilization of the equipment.

Overall, laser dentistry represents a cutting-edge approach to dental care, offering enhanced precision, minimized discomfort, and improved treatment outcomes. It continues to play an increasingly important role in modern dentistry, providing patients with advanced and more comfortable dental treatment options.

How are laser treatments performed?

The two main types of procedures used for laser dentistry are hard tissue and soft tissue procedures. Hard tissue refers to the teeth, and soft tissue refers to the gums.

Common hard tissue procedures include:

  • Cavity detection. Lasers can detect cavities early by finding evidence of tooth decay.
  • Tooth preparations and dental fillings. Local anesthesia and traditional drills are often not needed with laser treatments. Lasers can kill bacteria in a cavity, which can aid in the long-term health of a tooth.
  • Treating tooth sensitivity. Teeth that have sensitivity to hot and cold can be treated with dental lasers that seal tubules on the tooth’s root.

Common soft tissue procedures include:

  • Treating a “gummy smile.” Lasers are used to reshape gum tissue associated with “gummy smile,” in which the gums’ length covers much of the tooth.
  • Crown lengthening. This procedure reshapes both gum tissue and bone for healthier tooth structure, which helps with placing restorations on the teeth.
  • Treating tongue frenulum attachment. Those with a thick or tight frenulum (the fold of skin under the front part of tongue that anchors to the mouth floor) may benefit from a laser frenectomy. This treatment helps children whose restricted frenulum causes them to be tongue-tied, have difficulty breastfeeding, or have a speech impediment.
  • Removing soft tissue folds. Lasers can remove soft tissue folds from ill-fitting dentures without pain or sutures.

Other laser procedures include:

  • Viewing tissues. Optical coherence tomography allows a doctor to safely see inside a tooth or gum tissue.
  • Removing benign tumors. Lasers can remove tumors from the palate, gums, and sides of the lips and cheeks through a pain- and suture-free method.
  • Treating obstructive sleep apnea. Lasers can reshape the throat and relieve associated breathing problems when sleep apnea is caused by tissue overgrowth in the throat.
  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint) treatment. Lasers can help reduce pain and inflammation in the joint.
  • Nerve regeneration. Lasers can help regenerate damaged blood vessels, nerves, and scars.
  • Treating cold sores. Lasers can minimize healing time and reduce pain from cold sores.
  • Teeth whitening. Lasers speed up the bleaching process during teeth-whitening sessions.

What types of lasers are used?

Dental professionals use either hard tissue or soft tissue lasers, depending on the treatment. Some will use both types if the treatment allows.

Hard tissue lasers can cut through tooth structure. Their wavelengths are absorbed through the combination of water and a specific mineral found in teeth. These lasers are most often used to prep or shape teeth for composite bonding, to repair dental fillings that have worn down, and to remove some tooth structure.

Benefits of using laser dentistry over other methods

  • There is potentially a decreased need for sutures with soft tissue lasers.
  • Bleeding is minimized in treated soft tissues, as the laser promotes blood clotting.
  • With some procedures, anesthesia is unnecessary.
  • The chance for bacterial infections is lower because the laser sterilizes the area.
  • Wounds can heal faster, and it’s possible for tissue to regenerate.
  • The procedures may involve less damage to the surrounding tissues.

Soft tissue lasers can be absorbed through water and hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells.

These lasers are used to treat periodontitis, including killing bacteria and activating tissue regrowth.

Soft tissue lasers seal nerve endings and blood vessels while they penetrate the tissue. For this reason, many experience almost no pain after laser treatment. The lasers also promote faster healing of the tissue.

Disadvantages of laser dentistry

  • Lasers can’t be used on teeth that already have certain types of filling, such as metal amalgam.
  • Hard lasers can sometimes injure tooth pulp.
  • Some laser procedures still require anesthesia.
  • Drills are still sometimes needed to complete fillings, including shaping, adjusting the bite, and polishing the filling.
  • Certain procedures can’t be done with laser treatment, depending on the preexisting surrounding tissue or components involving the tooth or gums.
  • There is a risk of gum injury.

What risks are associated with laser dentistry?

The risks of Laser Dentistry are relatively small. It’s important to find a qualified dental professional, as using the wrong wavelength or power level could damage tissue. Additionally, some providers worry that advertisers are pushing the use of laser treatment beyond what people actually need. Your dentist will have you use special glasses to protect your eyes from the laser.

At Dr. Agrawal’s Dental Clinic, we are proud to offer state-of-the-art laser dentistry services to our patients. Led by Dr. Agrawal, our team is dedicated to providing exceptional dental care using advanced laser technology. With laser dentistry, we can achieve enhanced precision, minimize discomfort, and promote faster healing times. Our experienced professionals harness the power of dental lasers for various procedures, including cavity treatment, gum disease therapy, oral lesion removal, and teeth whitening.

We prioritize patient comfort and satisfaction, and our commitment to staying at the forefront of laser dentistry ensures that our patients receive the highest standard of care. Experience the benefits of laser dentistry at Dr. Agrawal’s Dental Clinic, where advanced technology and skilled professionals combine to redefine the dental experience.