Have you heard about lasers in dentistry? Obviously, lasers have been around for quite a long time. They have also actually been around for a long time in dentistry. You’ve probably seen them in the movies. You might have also heard about lasers in medicine, for different types of surgeries. And yes, you may encounter a dentist that offers laser dentistry. A laser, in this case, is a very thin, focused beam of light energy that is able to penetrate tissue with that energy and have an effect on it. Lasers can be used in various ways. So, how would we use lasers in dentistry?
Laser Dentistry for Teeth Whitening
Well, one of the most common ways actually is teeth whitening. You can apply tooth gel to a tooth and then you run the laser over it. This actually activates the gel to help accelerate whitening. So, that’s one of the ways that we use lasers in dentistry.
Treatment of Tooth Decay
Another way that lasers are commonly used are for removing tooth decay. If you have a cavity that is relatively small, laser dentistry could be a good choice for treating it. It’s not possible to use a laser to remove old metal fillings or old composite resin fillings, but it does work for a new cavity in many cases.
Laser Dentistry for Reshaping Gums
Another way laser dentistry can be used is for reshaping the gums. If you have gums that look a bit high around the neck of the tooth or are covering more of the tooth than you’d like, lasers can be used to just gently reshape that gum.
Treatment of Mouth Sores
The other way lasers are used is to ease the discomfort caused by mouth sores. If you have those annoying, painful sores in your cheeks or inside your lips on the gums or on the tongue, running a laser over the top of the ulcers can make them feel much better. It basically seals the surface and can accelerate healing as well.
Treatment of Gum Disease
The other way laser dentistry is used is in people with gum disease. If you have gum disease with active bacteria, the laser can be run around the gums or under the gums to help with the process of healing and eliminating those bacteria.
Laser dentistry can also be used to help treat infections, in general. For example, if an infection has caused puffiness in the gums, a laser could help eliminate some of the residual puffiness after the drainage.
Those are some of the main ways that lasers are used in dentistry.
Benefits of Laser Dentistry
Now, when you think about it, you might wonder about some of the advantages of laser dentistry. Here are the main benefits:
- Noiseless. A laser really does not make much noise at all. In fact, a laser is really quiet. So, you don’t have the noise of the drill. But you also don’t have the vibration of the drill. So, laser dentistry is very gentle in that regard as well.
- In some cases, you don’t have to have any numbing with laser dentistry. This is especially true when cavities are taken care of with a laser. This can be very effective for smaller cavities in children. Laser can be used without any of the numbing or the after-effects of the numbing.
- With laser dentistry on the gums, there may be no need for stitches at all. That can be really beneficial because it is less invasive. We don’t need to hold the gums back in place with stitches. So, that can definitely be helpful.
- In general, laser dentistry just helps everything heal faster. For example, the mouth sores I was talking about. We find that when we run the laser over those mouth sores, that they have a tendency to heal faster.
- Laser dentistry just eliminates bacteria, so that’s another benefit. In gum disease, taking away those bacteria definitely can be a benefit.
These are just some of the ways that lasers can be used in a dental office and some of the benefits that you may experience from laser dentistry. It’s not going to work in every situation, but it can be very beneficial in some situations.
Finding a Dentist Who Offers Laser Dentistry
If you’re in need of a dentist, for example, you haven’t been to the dentist for a while but you think you might need to have some work done, then you might consider looking for a dentist that uses laser dentistry, depending on what you need.
Here at Express Dentist, we have a trusted network of dentists that you can call and we will help you connect with one in your area. If finding a dentist that offers laser dentistry is important to you, just let us know and we’ll try to get you connected that way as well.
All the best to you and your oral health.
About the author
Dr. Greg Grillo
Dr. Greg Grillo DDS studied at the University of Washington where he received a bachelors degree with Honors and later attended dental school on the same campus. Following school Dr. Greg served in the United States Navy as a dental officer. During this time he received advanced training in specialty areas of dentistry while also treating families of members of the military.
As well as sharing valuable information on dentistry and oral health, Dr. Greg remains a practicing dentist to this day. He works with families in the Okanogan Valley where he lives with his wife and three children.