The use of lasers in dentistry is becoming increasingly common as more dentist are being trained in their use. As lasers become more mainstream in dental offices and the option becomes more affordable, the benefits of lasers over some conventional dental techniques will be more obvious to the general public.
Easing Dental Anxiety
If part of your dental anxiety is associated with the drill used to remove cavities or the needle for local anesthetic, laser dentistry can put your mind at ease. For many procedures, the use of lasers requires little or no use of local anesthetic because the lasers are virtually painless. You can avoid the sound of the drill with laser procedures. Lasers do have a sound, which can be described as pulsating, but it is quieter and less uncomfortable than a drill.
Less Invasive Periodontal Treatments
In advanced stages of gum disease, you may need extensive gum therapy to remove damaged tissue and preserve your remaining healthy gum tissue. Laser treatments could be a viable approach for this type of procedure. The lasers used can differentiate between healthy and diseased tissue, which means more healthy tissue is preserved. Since the lasers are small and can easily fit inside the pocket between the tooth and gum, your dentist will not need to cut into the gums.
During periodontal treatments, lasers are also able to remove tartar stuck on your teeth. Since dental lasers are able to differentiate between the tooth and tartar, there is less risk of damage to the tooth or neighboring teeth. Laser periodontal treatments also kill bacteria as diseased tissue is removed. The laser not only makes the area sterile, but the procedure encourages blood clotting. Once the blood clot forms, it keeps the pocket sterile until it has fully healed, decreasing the risk of infection.
Improved Restorative Techniques
Part of restorative dental techniques, such as fillings or root canals, is removing the damaged portion of your tooth. Lasers provide a targeted approach to removing the decaying portion of your tooth and can help more of the surrounding, healthy tooth remain intact. Having enough tooth remaining to support a new or replacement filling in the future can reduce the chances of more costly dental work, such an implants. Sometimes cavities can occur below the gum line, which may be trickier to repair using the standard drill.
Using a laser also requires the removal of less gum tissue to repair a cavity below the gum line.
Easier Treatment Of Mouth Lesions
Lasers have revolutionized the way some mouth lesions are treated. Mouth lesions that can be treated with lasers range from painful-but-nonthreatening conditions, such as canker sores, to cancerous lesions. If you have a dentist who uses lasers and you experience canker sores, you may want to consider laser treatments to speed up healing. Although canker sores typically resolve on their own, access to a treatment option can be important if the canker sore is located in an area of your mouth that makes it difficult to eat or drink.
Since it has become routine for dentists to screen patients for oral cancer, some dentists are also able to biopsy lesions with lasers and send the tissue for testing. When lasers are used for biopsies, the laser can removed the suspicious tissue and simultaneously cauterizes the area. This reduce the amount of blood loss during biopsies and speeds healing time.
The use of lasers in dentistry not only improves patient comfort, but can make many procedures quicker.
If you need dental work done, call around to local dentists, like Richard M Holmes DMD PA, for details on scheduling a procedure.