Modern technology is evolving faster than ever, and dentistry is evolving right along with it! 21st-century oral care methods are more effective, safer, and more comfortable. Laser dentistry is one of the best tools at our disposal, and the Balance Advanced Dentistry & Orthodontics team is here to tell you all about it! Keep reading to learn more!
About Laser Dentistry
Put simply, laser dentistry is an FDA-approved tool that uses lasers to treat a number of different dental conditions that involve the teeth, gums, and bone. Laser instruments create light energy in a very narrow and focused beam, which produces a reaction when it hits the tissue, allowing it to be shaped or removed. Laser dentistry works for a wide variety of procedures, including:
- dental implants
- tooth decay treatments
- cavity removal
- teeth whitening
- gum disease treatments
- cosmetic laser gingivectomy
- hypersensitivity treatments
- crown lengthening
- gingival contouring
- periodontal treatments
- ulcer treatments
The Different Types of Lasers
There are two main types of dental lasers: hard-tissue dental lasers and soft-tissue dental lasers. Each one has its own unique characteristics and will be used to perform specific dental procedures.
Hard tissue lasers use a wavelength that is highly absorbable by hydroxyapatite, which is the calcium phosphate salt found in bones and teeth. This makes them more effective at cutting through the tooth structure, so our Balance Advanced Dentistry & Orthodontics lasers are primarily used to cut into the bone and teeth with extreme precision.
They can also help “prep” or “shape” the teeth for composite bonding, remove small amounts of tooth structure, and repair worn-down dental fillings. Some of the most common hard tissue procedures include:
Tooth preparation and dental fillings
As mentioned above, local anesthesia and traditional drills are often unnecessary when we use lasers for fillings! They can also kill the bacteria in a cavity, improving the tooth’s long-term health.
By discovering evidence of tooth decay, lasers can often detect cavities earlier than we might otherwise find them.
Treating tooth sensitivity
Overly sensitive teeth can often be treated by dental lasers that seal tubules on the tooth’s root for relief.
The wavelength soft tissue lasers use is highly absorbable by water and hemoglobin, the oxygenating protein in red blood cells. This makes them more effective for soft tissue management.
We use soft tissue lasers to kill bacteria, activate the regrowth of tissues, and penetrate the soft tissue while sealing blood vessels and nerve endings. This helps lessen or eliminate postoperative discomfort and promotes faster tissue healing.
Common soft tissue procedures can include:
Treating “gummy” smiles
Lasers can be used to reshape the gum tissue associated with a “gummy” smile, where the gums cover too much of the tooth.
We can use dental lasers to reshape both the gum tissue and the bone for a healthier tooth structure. This helps when placing restorations on the teeth.
The frenulum is the fold of skin under the front part of the tongue that is anchored to the floor of the mouth. Frenulums that are too tight or thick can cause issues, including tongue tie, difficulty breastfeeding, and speech impediments. A laser frenectomy can release these restricted frenulums quickly and painlessly.
We can also use laser dentistry to treat TMJ issues, regenerate nerves, treat persistent cold sores and mouth ulcers, whiten teeth, and much more!
Benefits of Laser Dentistry
Laser dentistry is a convenient solution to many common dental problems, from the cosmetic to the complex. Many dentists and patients are turning to laser dentistry because of the distinct benefits these systems offer. In addition to reducing discomfort and decreasing healing time, procedures performed using the laser:
- may not require sutures
- may not require anesthesia
- minimize bleeding, as the lasers aid in clotting the exposed blood vessels and inhibit blood loss
- minimize bacterial infections since the lasers sterilize and kill bacteria the area being worked on
- reduce damage to the surrounding soft tissue
- have a faster healing time because the soft tissues of the mouth can regenerate more quickly
Choose Balance Advanced Dentistry & Orthodontics
When it comes to your oral care, you deserve a team that has the most modern treatment options for your smile. Our professionals offer a wide range of cutting-edge dental and orthodontic services that you’ll love. Schedule your next appointment in Duluth today!