The term laser is an acronym that stands for light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation. Laser dentistry involves the use of this tool to perform many different types of dental procedures. Lasers have been in used in dentistry since 1994, and they are cleared for use by the FDA. At Victor Nitu DDS, the use of dental lasers has greatly improved how we can provide you with care.
How Does a Laser Work?
A laser is a tool that emits an incredibly thin beam of light. This light is only about the thickness of a few hairs. It is also highly concentrated and very intense. When the light comes into contact with your tissue, it causes a reaction that enables us to remove and reshape the tissue. In some cases, lasers can even stimulate the growth of new tissue.
Types of Dental Lasers
There are a couple of different types of dental lasers. The first is known as a soft tissue laser. This type of laser uses a wavelength that can be absorbed through water as well as hemoglobin, a protein that is found in red blood cells. These lasers are used to treat the gums and other soft tissues within your mouth. They can cut and reshape soft tissue, seal blood vessels, kill blood vessels and promote new tissue growth.
The other type of laser is known as a hard tissue laser. This type of laser uses a wavelength that can be absorbed through the hydroxyapatite found in your teeth and bones. Because of this, they are effective for treating these tissues, shaping teeth, removing bits of enamel, and cutting through bone.
Procedures That Can Be Performed Using a Laser
We can perform many different types of treatments with the use of a laser. Soft tissue lasers can be used to remove excess gum tissue, perform a frenectomy, remove folds of soft tissue, remove suspect soft tissue for a soft tissue biopsy, and perform periodontal treatments. Hard tissue lasers can be useful for preparing teeth for fillings or bonding, sealing tubules to treat sensitivity, removing or reshaping bone, and more.
Pros and Cons of Lasers
There are significant benefits to laser dentistry. They reduce the need for a local anesthetic during certain treatments. Because the laser can seal blood vessels, you lose less blood than with traditional treatments. The need for sutures after treatment is also reduced. Lasers can also reduce your risk for infections, reduce postoperative pain and swelling, and even shorten healing time.
While there are many benefits, there are still a few disadvantages as well. While lasers reduce your need for anesthesia, they don’t always eliminate the need for it. Lasers cannot treat cavities between your teeth or eliminate large amounts of decay. In some cases, a dental drill may still need to be used. Additionally, treatment with a laser can be more expensive than treatment with a traditional drill.
While lasers have yet to receive the ADA stamp, their use for dental procedures is completely safe and highly effective. Call Victor Nitu DDS at (480) 536-8228 today for more information.