Laser dentistry is a minimally invasive dental treatment option that uses extremely focussed light beams to change or remove small amounts of tissue. The laser is a common treatment option used in other medical fields as well. Laser dentistry, in particular, has many advantages – some of which you will learn here – including being able to treat those who suffer from dental phobia or children who are anxious about complex dental procedures.
Types of Laser Dentistry
There are two distinct types of lasers used in dental treatments. They are:
Soft Tissue Laser: This is used to treat soft tissues in the mouth like tissue folds, tongue, and gums.
Hard Tissue Laser: Hard tissue laser treatments include procedures involving the teeth themselves.
What Laser Dentistry Can Treat
Laser Dentistry can take care of a long list of dental health conditions, some of which are:
- Reshaping gums
- Fixing tooth sensitivity
- Removing tooth enamel
- Removing tissue around a tooth
- Removing benign tumors
- Lengthening crowns
- Removing extra muscle attachments
- Treating cold sores and cankers
- Treating sleep apnea
- Repairing worn-out fillings
- Prepping tooth enamel for bonding
- Detecting cavities
- Whitening teeth
Benefits of Laser Dentistry
The benefits of laser dentistry outweigh traditional systems in the following ways:
- Reduced pain
- Bleeding is minimized
- Decreased need for sutures in soft tissue treatments
- Anesthesia is unnecessary
- Lower risk of bacterial infection
- Promotes quicker healing
- Less damage caused to surrounding tissue
Safety Concerns of Laser Dentistry
Although laser dentistry has been in practice in commercial dental offices since 1989, given its practicality and advantages as mentioned above, it is not a widely accepted form of treatment yet. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved laser dentistry as a treatment type for dental concerns. The American Dental Association (ADA), however, is yet to give the go-ahead.
Laser treatments using professional equipment require training – which is given by manufacturers, dental institutions, and professional organizations. So, if you choose laser dentistry as a treatment option, make sure the dentist who is going to conduct the procedure has received formal training for laser dentistry.