What is a laser?
A laser is an instrument that produces a very narrow, intense beam of light energy, which, in dentistry, can be used to remove or shape oral tissue, including gums, teeth, and bone.
How are lasers used in Dentistry?
Often used in conjunction with other dental instruments, lasers have a variety of functions in the dental office, including:
- Reducing the discomfort caused by canker or cold sores
- Removing decay from a cavity and preparing a tooth for a new filling
- Exposing partially erupted wisdom teeth
- Removing muscle attachment that limit proper movements of lips and tongue
- Removing tissue overgrowth caused by certain medications
- Performing biopsy procedures
- Removing inflamed gum tissue and aiding in the treatment of gum disease
- Treating abscessed gums and root canal infections.
What should I expect from a laser procedure?
Before the procedure, you will be provided with special safety glasses to protect your eyes. While undergoing treatment, you may or may not hear noises from the laser. Lasers used on soft tissue are silent, but lasers used to prepare teeth and bone make a distinctive popping sound. You may also hear and feel suction which is used during laser procedures to keep the treatment area cool and clean.
What are the benefits of dental lasers?
The use for a laser can sometimes replace the need for a drill or anesthesia, thus reducing pain and allowing you to have a more relaxing experience. Laser treatment can also be more precise than other methods, and lasers can be used to control swelling and minimize bleeding - reducing postoperative discomfort and healing time. When used by a trained practitioner, dental lasers are a safe and effective treatment option.