Laser dentistry is gaining significant prominence in the field of dental health. It demonstrates the effect technological advancement can have on the quality of care available to dental patients. In addition, it has opened up new ways to pursue oral health and hygiene that present numerous benefits to the patient. Therefore, learning more about this advancement gives you a good idea of how the field of dentistry is improving.
The article aims to walk you through the intricacies of using lasers for dental health. So, read on to learn all about laser dentistry.
What is Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry is the sub-branch of dental health that focuses on using lasers. The dentistry field began adopting this technology in the 1990s. Since then, their scope of use has continued to expand. Today, dental professionals use laser dentistry to treat a wide variety of dental diseases. For example, the field has been used to heal dental complications like gum disease, cavity fillings and root canals.
Laser dentistry is primarily used as an alternative to the traditional dental drill. Using lasers helps minimise infection risk, reduce swelling and enhance teeth bleaching agents.
How Does Laser Dentistry Work?
During a laser dentistry procedure, the dentist uses a high-powered dental laser that emits light energy to facilitate tissue removal. This procedure contrasts the conventional method where dentists used manual scalpels.
What Do Dentists Treat Using Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry applies to the treatment of various dental ailments, including:
- Gum disease – The laser removes unhealthy gum tissue while leaving healthy tissue untouched. It is also effective in plaque removal.
- Tooth decay – Using a laser to prepare a tooth for a filling is a more minimally invasive alternative than the conventional. It helps the dentist to shape the tooth enamel in a gentler way than a traditional drill.
- Sensitive teeth – Laser dentistry can reduce tooth sensitivity by sealing tubules in the roots.
- Impacted wisdom teeth – If a wisdom tooth gets stuck in the gum or faces the wrong way, the dentist can use a laser to remove gum tissue to provide access to the affected tooth and allow easier removal.
- Discoloured teeth – Dental lasers help enhance tooth whitening treatments, thus hastening the bleaching and whitening process.
- Cosmetic purposes – Dentists also use lasers in cosmetic dentistry, for example, gum-reshaping procedures. They perform this process by extracting gum tissue to alter the overall shape. By doing so, dentists help rectify gummy smiles.
What are the Advantages of Laser Dentistry?
Opting for laser dentistry presents you with a variety of advantages, including;
- Quicker recovery time;
- It results in less scarring;
- It reduces the likelihood of swelling and bleeding during the procedure;
- It reduces infection risk;
- Patients experience less soreness during and after the procedure.
All these advantages play a considerable role in making this field a popular choice among many.
Disadvantages of Laser Dentistry
While its benefits are indisputable, there are several drawbacks associated with laser dentistry, including;
- Laser dentistry procedures are commonly more expensive than traditional dental procedures;
- While laser dentistry is adequate for a wide range of procedures, it still leaves a significant number incompatible with lasers;
- Lasers are not recommended when treating teeth with pre-existing dental fillings;
- In many cases, manual scalpels and drills may be used together with lasers;
- Local anaesthesia is still necessary for more invasive procedures, even when the dentist uses a laser;
- There is always a slight risk for injuries to the teeth, gums and tooth pulp.
Is Laser Dentistry Safe?
Experts consider laser dentistry extremely safe as it is minimally invasive, thus significantly reducing the risk of injury. You will remain unharmed if your dentist strictly adheres to the established safety precautions- like wearing protective eyewear- throughout the procedure. However, remember that there may be some side effects like melting roots or cracking teeth, although their occurrence is rare. Your dentist can discuss these side effects and other points of concern while they explain the procedure’s intricacies before your appointment.
So ask your dentist if laser dentistry is an appropriate approach for treating your dental ailments.
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