The Amazing Dental Laser…So Many Uses!
One of the most amazing advances in dentistry has been the use of dental lasers. The basic method of action of any laser is an intense beam of pure light that can be used with pinpoint accuracy to treat a variety of conditions. This blog is meant to discuss the uses of the “soft tissue laser”, which means that it can have beneficial effects on everything in the mouth except teeth or bone. The type of laser we can use for this purpose is called a diode laser, and it is of lower intensity.
Say goodbye to cold sores and canker sores!
If you are a cold sore or a canker sore sufferer you understand how painful or embarrassing these lesions can be. 20% of the population suffers from canker sores! Cankers are very painful every time you swallow but our soft tissue surgical laser can speed up the healing of the canker sore very easily and quickly to the point where you will walk out of the dental office pain free… and the treatment takes only five minutes, is painless and requires no local anesthetic! Our soft tissue diode laser can also clear up the cankers caused by ill-fitting dentures.
And cold sores? We know how embarrassing these lesions can be and we have the solution to make these disappear quickly and effectively if caught on time. Our soft tissue laser will also decrease the inflammation associated with cold sores so much that if caught early enough, these will often heal completely within 24 hours with much less discomfort; also, the virus may not come back as severely in the same area in the future. But the key to a successful cold sore treatment is to catch the virus while the lesion gives you a “tingling” feeling.
Periodontal (Gum) therapy
The laser is also used for periodontal therapy to kill bacteria and disinfect deep down into the pockets developed in the gums. It is so important to kill these bacteria because they cause a low grade chronic infection that triggers an immune response in the body. This immune response has been studied and has been determined to be linked to many chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and even Alzheimer’s and low birth-weight babies. Since the health of our gums is intimately linked with our general health, we must be very vigilant about keeping them free of inflammation. We commonly use our soft tissue laser during the routine 3 month oral hygiene visit for our patients who have periodontal disease that needs to be kept in check, as it is the ultimate we can do to protect their teeth and their overall body health.
Gummy Smiles and Gum Recontouring
This laser can also reshape or remove gum tissue (gingivectomies) to correct or improve the appearance of a gummy smile and also to correct muscle attachment problems or tongue ties (frenectomies). Wounds heal faster and with less discomfort with lasers because the high-energy beam of the laser sterilizes the area being worked on during the course of the treatment. Also, the laser can stimulate the regeneration of damaged nerves and blood vessels in those patients experiencing a traumatic injury to the head and neck.
In our next blog post, we will write about the even more useful “all-tissue” Er:Yag laser, which has been revolutionary in the practice of dentistry!