Laser dentistry is a technologically advanced field of dentistry that uses dental lasers to perform a variety of dental procedures, instead of using traditional dentistry tools such as brush heads, suctions, or rinse heads.
Dental lasers offer a precise beam of light and make no actual physical contact with a person's mouth. Dental lasers may produce less pain and faster recovery than traditional dentistry procedures. Laser dentistry can be used for traditional dentistry procedures such as dental crowns and dental fillings, and cosmetic dentistry procedures such as teeth whitening.
Laser Dentistry Procedures
Laser dentistry can be used for soft and hard tissue dental procedures. The use of lasers has been shown to be safe and effective, usually allow for bloodless surgery, may destroy bacteria during tissue removal, and may reduce postoperative pain, swelling, and the need for numerous postoperative appointments. Some of the procedures laser dentistry may be used for include:
Dental Crowns: A laser precisely cuts through tissue rather than the traditional method of using a sterile cord to cut through the tissue which causes a person to bleed and be in pain.
Dental Fillings: Dental lasers used in dental filling procedures can improve the healing process because the laser kills bacteria. Dental lasers also replace the need for Novocain. Dental lasers have not been approved for cavities that occur between teeth.
Teeth Whitening (Tooth Bleaching): Dental lasers can be used to speed up the teeth whitening process. When bleaching chemicals are placed on the teeth, the dental laser speeds up the chemical reaction of the bleaching agent, giving a person a brighter and whiter smile.
Dental Crown Lengthening: Dental lasers can be used during crown lengthening procedures which involve removal or reshaping excess gum tissue around crowns or veneers to provide adequate tooth shape for properly fitting restorations.
A laser may also be used to perform biopsy procedures for taking small tissue samples to identify apparently benign tumors or other lesions found in the mouth.
Many other gum abnormalities can be addressed with laser treatment. Cavities can be detected, decay can be removed, and white, tooth colored fillings (composite fillings) can be hardened with lasers.
In many causes, lasers can remove gum tissue without causing bleeding. The laser seals blood vessels and nerve endings, which also minimizes pain and swelling after surgery. Less bleeding also means a dentist can see better during the surgery. There is also less risk of spreading blood-borne diseases and less trauma to adjacent teeth and tissues. Lasers used for cavity preparation often reduce or completely eliminate the need for local anesthetic.
Currently, about 5% of dentists in the United States incorporate laser dentistry into their practices. Laser dentistry procedures can be significantly more expensive than traditional dentistry procedures. Laser dentistry also requires significant training to provide safe, effective dental surgery.
However, the future of laser dentistry looks bright: dental lasers may soon be used to remove tartar during a professional dental cleaning procedure and replace many traditional dentistry procedures. Laser dentistry is expected to become increasingly prominent as technology continues to evolve.
For more comprehensive information about laser dentistry or porcelain veneers, dental insurance, gum disease, tooth decay, bad breath, fluoride, smile makeover, cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic dentists or to find a cosmetic dentist, visit Consumer Guide to Dentistry.
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