How Do Lasers Work in Dentistry?

by Jan 21, 2019

How Do Lasers Work in Dentistry?

All lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. When used for surgical and dental procedures, the laser acts as a cutting instrument or a vaporizer of tissue that it comes in contact with. When used in teeth-whitening procedures, the laser acts as a heat source and enhances the effect of tooth-bleaching agents.

 

Soft Tissue Lasers

The soft tissue lasers use a wavelength that hemoglobin and water absorb easily. Hemoglobin is the molecule found in blood, which makes soft tissue lasers ideal for gum work. Our laser, at Capitol Premier Dental Group, is a continuous wave soft tissue diode laser.

These lasers are ideal for cutting into soft tissue and sealing the exposed blood vessels at the same time. This is the reason you don’t bleed very much during laser dentistry and why healing is quicker after laser dentistry. Soft tissue lasers are great for cosmetic procedures because you can begin to see results right away.

What a Soft Tissue Laser Can Treat

Most issues laser dentistry treats are related to the gums. Some of these include:

  • Canker sore and cold sore pain treatments.
  • Treating root canal infections.
  • Treating gum disease.
  • Removing gum inflammation.
  • Gum reshaping to create a more pleasing smile.
  • Biopsies.
  • Exposing wisdom teeth and un-erupted adult teeth.
  • Removing throat tissue that causes sleep apnea.
  • Removing benign oral tumors.
  • Removing folds in oral soft tissues caused by dentures.
  • Dealing with restricted tongue movement.

Benefits of Laser Dentistry

Dr. Yahnian chooses laser dentistry because of distinct benefits that make procedures go more smoothly, and also reduces discomfort and healing time for patients.

  • Patients are less likely to require sutures.
  • Anesthesia may not be necessary.
  • The laser will sterilize the gums, making infection less likely.
  • Less damage to the gums shortens the healing time.
  • Patients lose less blood than traditional surgery.

What Happens During Laser Gum Surgery or Other Dentistry?

When you come for your laser dentistry appointment, you might be surprised to discover that the process is very similar to other dentistry appointments, like tooth fillings. You receive anesthesia, though it might not be as much as you’re used to receiving. Some patients who experience anxiety might receive nitrous oxide (Happy Air, Laughing Gas), too.  During the procedure, you won’t feel any vibrations, pressure or discomfort from the laser like you do from the drill.

Post-Operative Expectations

A laser causes far less bleeding than a scalpel, don’t expect the site of your surgery to bleed very much when you get home. You won’t have an open, bleeding wound the way you would with a scalpel procedure.

While you should still follow cleaning and care instructions to the letter, you’re less likely to get an infection. You also won’t typically experience the pain and discomfort associated with scalpel surgery because your post-op irritation is likely to be minor.

Expect an easier procedure and a shorter recovery time. Laser dentistry is a convenient solution to many oral and dental problems, whether serious in nature or simply cosmetic. Ask Dr Yahnian about laser dentistry the next time you need dental work completed.

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