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COSMETIC DENTISTRY

Laser Dentistry:

Enhancing Dental Treatment with Lasers

Laser dentistry incorporates state-of-the-art technology in various aspects of dental health practice and treatment. Although laser dentistry may improve the precision of your treatment while minimizing pain and recovery time, the technology has yet to break into the mainstream of dentistry. It is estimated that approximately 5% of all dentists have lasers available in their offices today.

Laser dentistry is a new technique that can improve the precision of your treatment while minimizing pain and recovery time.

Why Laser Dentistry?

Laser dentistry is viewed by some as a precise and effective way to perform many dental procedures. Those seeking extreme safety and comfort may select a laser dentistry option.

The potential for laser dentistry to improve dental treatment comes from the precision with which lasers can treat an area of focus, the control that laser dentists have over power output, and the duration of exposure on the skin.

Here are some of the major benefits associated with laser dentistry:

Procedures performed using dental lasers may not require sutures.
Certain laser dentistry procedures do not require anesthesia.
Laser dentistry minimizes bleeding because the high-energy light beam aids in the clotting (coagulation) of exposed blood vessels, thus inhibiting blood loss.
Bacterial infections are minimized because the high-energy beam sterilizes the area being worked on.
Damage to surrounding tissue is minimized.
Wounds heal faster and tissues can be regenerated.

 

Laser Dentistry Treatment Improvements

The application of lasers in dentistry opens the door for dentists to perform a wide variety of dental procedures they otherwise may not be capable of performing. Dentists using lasers in dentistry have become adept at incorporating the state-of-the-art precision technology into a number of common and not-so-common procedures:

Benign Tumors: Dental lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of benign tumors from the gums, palate, sides of cheeks, and lips.

Cavity Detector: Low intensity soft tissue dental lasers may be used for the early detection of cavities by providing a reading of the by-products produced by decay.

Viewing Tooth and Gum Tissues: Optical Coherence Tomography is a safer way to see inside tooth and gums in real time.

Cold Sores: Low intensity dental lasers reduce pain associated with cold sores and minimize healing time.

Crown Lengthening: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue and bone to expose healthier tooth structure. Called crown lengthening, such reshaping provides a stronger foundation for a restoration.

Dental Fillings: Hard tissue dental lasers may eliminate the need for a local anesthetic injection and the traditional turbine drill. Lasers used in dental filling procedures are capable of killing bacteria located in a cavity and this may lead to better long term tooth restorations.

Muscle Attachment (Frenula): A laser frenectomy is an ideal treatment option for children who are tongue tied (restricted or tight frenulum) and babies unable to breast feed adequately due to limited tongue movement. A laser frenectomy may also help to eliminate speech impediments.

Nerve Regeneration: Photobiomodulation can be used to regenerate damaged nerves, blood vessels, and scars.

Sleep Apnea: In cases where sleep apnea is a result of a tissue overgrowth in areas of the throat (which sometimes occurs with age), a laser assisted uvuloplasty or laser assisted uvula palatoplasty (LAUP) procedure can be performed to reshape the throat and relieve the correlating breathing problems associated with sleep apnea.

Soft Tissue Folds (Epulis): Dental lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of soft tissue folds often caused by ill-fitting dentures.

Teeth Whitening: Low intensity soft tissue dental lasers may be used to speed up the bleaching process associated with teeth whitening.

Temporomandibular Joint Treatment: Dental lasers may be used to quickly reduce pain and inflammation of the temporomandibular jaw joint.

Gummy Smile: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue to expose healthy tooth structure and improve the appearance of a gummy smile.

Tooth Sensitivity: Dental lasers may be used to seal tubules (located on the root of the tooth) that are responsible for hot and cold tooth sensitivity.

Dental lasers are not appropriate to use for the replacement of amalgam fillings, onlays, or crowns.

 


The Future of Dental Lasers

Traditional dentistry procedures may soon be quicker and more effective thanks to the growing popularity of laser dentistry. More dental offices around the world will use dental lasers as the technology continues to improve and the cost of the technology decreases.


Soon, dentists may use laser dentistry during a professional dental cleaning to remove tartar and as a replacement for the traditional root planing procedure, which is now done with a surgical instrument called a curette that may damage surrounding tissue. Eventually, laser dentistry could make it possible for dentists to access any part of a tooth, thus replacing the need for the traditional dental drill.

 

Hard and Soft Tissue Dental Lasers

A wide variety of lasers are used to diagnose, assist, and perform various dental procedures. However, we generally speak of two broad categories of lasers:

Hard Tissue Lasers: The primary use of hard tissue lasers is to cut precisely into bone and teeth. Hard tissue lasers are often used to prep teeth for bonding, remove small amounts of tooth structure, and repair certain worn down dental fillings.

Soft Tissue Lasers: Soft tissue lasers penetrate soft tissue while sealing blood vessels and nerve endings. This is the primary reason why many people experience virtually no postoperative pain following the use of a laser. Also, soft tissue lasers allow tissues to heal faster.

Types of Dental Lasers

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of a variety of hard and soft tissue lasers for use in dental treatment of adults and children alike. Because dental lasers boast unique absorption characteristics, they are used to perform many specific dental procedures.

For example, some dental lasers have a wavelength that is highly absorbed by hydroxyapatite (calcium phosphate salt found in bone and teeth) and water, making them more effective for cutting through hard tissue. Commonly used hard tissue lasers include the Erbium YAG, and the Erbium chromium YSGG.

Other dental lasers boast a wavelength that is highly absorbed by water and hemoglobin (oxygenating protein in red blood cells), making them more effective for soft tissue management. Commonly used soft tissue lasers include Neodymium YAG (Nd:YAG) and diode lasers, which may be used as a component of periodontal treatment and have the ability to kill bacteria and activate the re-growth of tissues. The carbon-dioxide laser, which minimizes damage to surrounding tissue, removes tissue faster than the fiber optic method.

In addition to the lasers used for cutting and shaping hard and soft tissues, other laser types are used for various purposes. Certain lasers are specifically designed to view 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.
Consult the Academy of Laser Dentistry for more information about the types and benefits of procedures performed in laser dentistry.

Laser Dental Treatment

Laser dental treatment involves generating a beam of light into your mouth. The light enables your dentist to eliminate infected areas with accuracy. Sterilizing the affected area, the beam of light also closes off blood vessels. In most cases, patients rarely need anesthesia, meaning your dental visit will be relatively short.
Since the 1960s, lasers have been used on teeth and gums and because of technological advancements, lasers are now used globally. Laser dental treatments ensure low-power, meaning the device is gentle on the mouth.

Most commonly used for removing old composite fillings and fumigating infected root canals, lasers can also be used for crown lengthening, bone shaping and oral surgery.
Benefits of Laser Dental Treatment
- Less noise than drilling
- Faster healing process
- Decreased risk of infection
- Less need for anesthesia
- Less need for multiple dental appointments
- Decreased sensitivity

Our practice is highly regarded by patients who value their appearance and wish to always present a confident smile rather than being hindered from openly expressing their personalities because of embarrassing deficiencies in the appearance of their teeth. Deficiencies such as yellow teeth, crooked teeth, gaps, discoloured old fillings or a false tooth that appears unnatural, are all problems for which we have a variety of modern cosmetic treatments.

Our patients look for high standards in the quality of care, service, expertise and up-to-date technologies available in their chosen cosmetic dental practice.

Our appointments are unhurried and personal so that we may get to know you and find out what you would actually like us to achieve for you. We will then perform the required procedures for you with optimum comfort and care for your well-being. For your comfort and for anxious patients or lengthy procedures, we can provide Nitrous Oxide Sedation and Twilight (intravenous) Sedation if you prefer to sleep during the entire treatment process.



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