Advances in the manner which dental procedures are practiced in the last two decades are closely related to the significant improvements in the laser technology. The implementation of lasers in dentistry has been a benefit to almost all services provided today as well as to the patients. The quality of work has improved, the patient’s period of stay in a dental office has reduced, and all this leads to greater sense of comfort and reduced anxiety. In this post, we are going to look at some of the ways laser dentistry is being used and some of its pros and cons.
Removing Teeth Decay
The use of laser technology on tooth decay removal has not eliminated the need for drilling. However, it has alleviated the amount required quite substantially. This has been very helpful in keeping patients with high anxiety levels more relaxed.
Use on Cavities
Some dental offices now implement a lower intensity laser to identify early signs of tooth decay. This helps in enabling early treatment of affected regions.
Laser technology implementation has made the use of putty impressions obsolete. With lasers, an accurate measurement can be taken and sent to a computer. The computer ideally relays the data to a machine which then crafts a crown that can fit even into the smallest of crevices. This procedure gives the patient the satisfaction of a perfectly fitting crown, which is usually achieved in a single visit.
Gum Tissue Removal
Unlike most other cutting devices in dental clinics, a high-intensity laser beam can accomplish a sterile and high precision cut which can be used to remove gum tissues and treat gum disease.
Ideally, laser cutting is not followed by bleeding, swelling, and trauma which is usually the case with most cutting devices. This makes laser machines excellent tools for areas that require lesion or biopsy.
Providing Relief for Sensitive Teeth
Patients whose teeth are usually highly sensitive to hot and cold temperatures can find relief with laser treatment. With lasers, holes that initiate pain as a result of temperature changes in the patient’s mouth can be sealed, thus alleviating sensitivity.
A special heat laser can be used to speed up the whitening process after applying a bleaching solution. This significantly reduces the time a patient has to spend in the dentist’s chair and gives them more time to smile.
Lasers Reduce the Amount of Anesthesia Required
Some of the dental procedures require the use of anesthesia. While using laser technology does not eliminate the need for anesthesia, it reduces it quite significantly.
Lasers can Also be Used on Fillings
With the help of a specialized laser, dentists are able to focus a laser beam on the freshly filled region. Later, the compounds are activated and start curing, allowing the filling to set almost immediately.
Tongue Tied Treatment
Being tongue tied is a condition where the frenulum linguae is too restrictive, thus limiting tongue movement. This attachment tends to affect the speech of a person and can even hamper breast feeding. Fortunately, this condition can now be easily treated with the help of lasers. Lasers correct this issue by adjusting frenulum linguae, therefore, allowing easier tongue movement.
When preparing an area for crown insertion, it is not uncommon for the surrounding region to be in a less than wanted shape. However, with the help of lasers, the area can be carefully trimmed down to the gum line, thus revealing healthier parts of the tooth which can ascertain a correct and stable insertion for crowns.
Root Canal Therapy
Lasers have great benefits when it comes to root canal procedures. They can be used to kill bacteria found in the canals and trim back the tissue. The precision provided by lasers during this process also means less time in the dental clinic and quicker healing.
However, even though laser technology is quite beneficial in the field of dentistry, it also comes with a share of its downfalls. Some of the cons include:
1. Lasers cannot be used with fillings already in place
2. The need to eradicate anesthesia is not entirely overruled during laser therapy.
3. Laser treatments can be very expensive. The cost is significantly higher than using a typical dental drill.
4. Lastly, lasers are not entirely reliable as a standard drill may be needed during bite adjustments and shape filling.
Even so, the pros of using laser technology in dentistry outweigh the cons. To ensure excellent results, it is important to ascertain that the practitioner has proper laser training.
Questions regarding the extent of the dentist’s laser education and training is usually a good place to start. Experience and proof of qualifications are other aspects to consider. As mentioned, laser dentistry isn’t cheap, and so it makes sense to ensure that the dentist is capable.