The Amazing All-Tissue Dental Laser!
I find most amazing in dentistry the constant innovations in improving patient comfort for a variety of different dental treatments. When I graduated from dental school many years ago, we treated decay with only “the drill and freezing”, we did gum surgery with a scalpel and stitches, we didn’t really know anything about disinfecting gum tissues to help patients treat gingivitis and periodontal disease. Now we are able to do all this, and more, with the use of the All-Tissue Dental Laser!
How exactly does a laser work?
Lasers work by sending out a high-energy beam of light that vaporizes matter. These lasers are specifically targeted to remove damaged parts of the tooth, or debris attched to the tooth, while leaving healthy tooh untouched. This makes lasers the perfect tool for treating gums and teeth, and using lasers can minimize the use of “the drill”, while dental freezing is often not required either.
But a laser for cavities?
The laser we use in our office can be set to specific amounts of energy for removing diseased enamel (the outer covering) from the tooth, and then the settings are changed for treating dentin the inner layer of the tooth). This is important because each type of tooth material has a different amount of water inside, and therefore reacts differently to the laser beam. Making these adjustments in the setting of the laser is what keeps treatment comfortable enough that freezing isn’t often needed.
You mentioned about gum disease…how does that work?
We can use the laser to sterilize the bacteria found in the gum tissue pocket, and also to remove debris from the tooth under the gumline. The very specific setting we use for this treatment is actually only available right now in Canada, and one of the things that make our laser special is its ability to receive feedback which automatically allows the laser to “fire” only when it is in contact with calculus (tartar) on the tooth. This amazing safety feature further protects the healthy root surface of the tooth.
I’m a little worried about my upcoming gum surgery, how can the laser help with this?
For many gum tissue procedures, we no longer have to “cut and stitch” the area. Using the laser allows us to trim gum tissue, and even bone when needed, with quicker and more predictable healing time than ever possible before. This means if you don’t like your uneven gumline, that can be corrected in a simple procedure taking often 30 minutes or less!
Are there other uses as well?
Absolutely! Lasers can be used to speed healing of mouth ulcers and cankers in a 15-minute appointment that is completely painless. Patients who suffer from herpetic sores on their lips can be treated before the lesion is visible, and this area may never grow another sore in that area again. There has also been research about the use of lasers in nerve regeneration, so patients who have had facial injuries or facial surgery which has left facial numbness can be treated in that area with the laser over days and weeks. This is proving to be a promising newer way to treat facial and oral nerve damage.
Stay tuned, I am certain that in the years to come researchers will find many more uses for the amazing all-tissue dental laser. Please feel free to contact our office if you would like more information.