Dental Laser Surgery
Lasers are now finding a place in the dental field. Dentists have discovered that using lasers for some dental procedures has proven to have more positives than negatives. This fact seems to hold true in any field where lasers have been utilized. Dental offices will use laser as improvements are developed and costs decrease.
Lasers have been used to treat a variety of dental issues since 1994. No laser system has received the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance despite FDA approval. Nonetheless, the ADA has come out in favor of lasers technology in the field of dentistry. Laser systems designed for dental applications are cleared for marketing in the states by the Food and Drug Administration. Hard and soft tissue lasers have been approved for use with adults and children. Some dental lasers can be used to generate both hard and soft tissue laser energy, depending on the procedure being performed on the patient. In dentistry, the laser acts as a cutting tool or a vaporizer of tissue.
In addition to the lasers used for cutting and shaping hard and soft tissues, other laser types are specifically designed for viewing the insides of teeth and cells using Optical Coherence Tomography, a non-invasive imaging technique. Other lasers provide energy and specific proteins that help move messages between cells to match the body’s natural ability to use light spectrums to heal damaged cells.
When used for “curing” a filling, the laser helps to strengthen the bond between the filling and the tooth. When used in teeth whitening procedures
Typical Dental Procedures Performed With Lasers
- Gum Disease – Dentists use lasers to remove bacteria during root canal procedures. Dentists sometimes use lasers to treat periodontitis which uses a technique called scaling and root planning. This removes tartar from teeth above and below the gums. This is done by scraping rough spots from teeth to remove the bacteria and can now be achieved with lasers. Another technique is periosurgery. With this surgical technique, the gums are peeled back to allow removal of built up tartar. Then the gums are sutured to fit tightly against the teeth preventing bacteria from reaching the area.
- For a biopsy or lesion removal – It’s very easy to use a laser to remove tissue for diagnosis. They are also used to relieve the pain of having canker sores and removing lesions from in the mouth.
- Teeth whitening – Dentists are able to speed up teeth whitening with lasers. The laser is used in combination of a peroxide bleaching solution. Once the solution is applied to the surface of the tooth, the laser activates the whitening, accelerating the process.
- General tooth decay – Dentists use lasers to remove decay within a tooth and prepare the adjoining enamel for delivery of the filling. In addition, lasers can be used to harden a filling.
Using a laser can result in less pain which may even eliminate the need for any type of anesthesia.
Many patients are happy to exchange a dental drill for a laser. Visiting a dentist can cause anxiety so patients are happy with any advancement that makes the experience more comfortable.
Using a laser can minimize the bleeding and cause fewer traumas to surrounding tissue. This means quicker recovery and less healing time will be required. This is also one of the reasons surgical procedures are shifting to the use of lasers. It’s much better for the patient.
Because lasers are very expensive and become outdated quickly, the cost of laser dental treatment is usually much higher than traditional dentistry practices. Lasers can cost between $40,000 and $55,000 compared to about $500 for a standard drill.