Our smile is a central feature of our face. How our teeth and gums interact to create the smile we share with the world can play a huge role in the first impressions we make. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many individuals prioritize all required dental procedures and opt for cosmetic ones to help improve their smile and overall oral health. Laser dentistry is a minimally invasive treatment option that is used to treat a number of different dental conditions, including gum surgery, cavity treatment, or other oral concerns.
Laser technology is utilized by dental professionals to perform many different types of treatments. It’s a more comfortable option for procedures involving hard or soft tissues in the mouth, compared to procedures using non-laser tools such as drills. Dental procedures that involve reshaping or removing overgrown tissue or teeth whitening can be completed using a laser instrument as well.
The laser instrument creates extremely focused and narrow beams of light energy that produce reactions when they interact with different types of hard or soft tissues in the mouth. Since laser dentistry is relatively not as invasive as other surgical procedures, it’s usually ideal for children who may feel hesitant about undergoing a dental procedure.
What is laser dentistry and what is it used for?
Laser dentistry is meant to be a minimally invasive alternative to traditional surgical procedures. For this reason, you will usually receive a lower dose of anesthesia than you normally would. During the procedure, the laser is used to gently cut some of the soft or hard tissue and reshape it if needed. Due to the nature of the laser, you will not experience any vibrations or discomfort during the procedure as compared to what you may feel when a surgical drill is used. Using a laser also means less bleeding during and after the procedure, but that being said, there still may be some bleeding, which is simply wiped away as it occurs.
Overall, because of the relatively less bleeding during and after the surgery, the post-operative experience will be much more favourable following laser dentistry. Unlike traditional dental procedures using a scalpel, you will not have an open and continuously bleeding wound, any significant pain, or discomfort when you return home. This means that the post-operative healing time will be reduced. Nonetheless, you should strictly follow all of the cleaning and care instructions you are given following any dental procedure, but with laser dentistry, there is a decreased chance of developing an infection.
Laser dentistry is mainly used for treatment related to the gums, but is also used for a number of other dental concerns, including:
- Treatment of root canal infections
- Treatment of gum disease
- Treatment for cold and canker sores
- Reshaping of the gums
- Removal of inflamed gum tissue
- Removal of benign oral tumours
- Regeneration of damaged nerves
- Removal of throat tissue to treat sleep apnea
- Teeth whitening
- Exposure of wisdom teeth
- Setting restorative materials, including crowns and fillings
- Detecting tooth decay
Types of Lasers
There are two main types of lasers that are categorized based on the kind of tissue they are used on, including soft tissue and hard tissue lasers. Each of these lasers utilizes a different wavelength that is appropriate for the type of tissue they target.
Soft Tissue Lasers. Lasers have many uses in dentistry, but they are most commonly used for procedures that involve the soft tissues in the mouth, like the gums. Soft tissue lasers are used to cut and remove soft gum tissue, as well as sealing any exposed blood vessels at the same time. This is why patients experience less bleeding during the procedure and a faster healing time. Soft tissue lasers can be useful for a number of different procedures, including:
- Lengthening crowns
- Creating a trough around the gum for increased dental access
- Reshaping the gums for cosmetic purposes
- Removal of excess gum tissue
- Removal of folds in soft tissue caused by dentures
- Releasing overly tight muscle attachments in the mouth
- Treatment of restricted tongue movement
- Treatment of cold sores and oral ulcers
- Removal of infected gum tissue for the treatment of periodontal disease or gum infection. Laser therapy for the treatment of periodontal disease has been shown to reduce bleeding during and after the surgical procedures, reduce swelling, and cause less discomfort; however, it could cause discolouration of the soft tissue.
Hard Tissue Lasers. Hard tissue lasers, as their name implies, are used to cut the harder tissues within the mouth, such as the teeth. Using a laser on hard tissue can be beneficial in that it decreases the chances of overheating portions of the tooth, like the pulp of the tooth, and decreases the need for anesthesia. Hard tissue lasers may also extend the treatment time since laser cutting is a very precise process. Hard tissue lasers are used to accurately cut into your teeth and remove small amounts of your teeth for reshaping or other purposes. They can be used for a number of different procedures, including:
- Removal of tooth decay
- Treating tooth sensitivity
- Preparing a tooth for a root canal
- Etching the enamel of a tooth to allow bonding of a filling to it
- Detecting cavities and preparing cavities for filling placement
Benefits of Laser Dentistry
There are a number of benefits to undergoing procedures using laser dentistry as opposed to the traditional methods of surgery. Some of these benefits include:
- Reduced discomfort and healing time post-procedure
- Reduced or no anesthesia at all
- The laser sterilizes the gums during the procedure, decreasing chances for infection
- Decreased bleeding and damage to the gums, meaning a shorter healing time
- No open or bleeding wound, so overall, less blood loss than traditional surgery
- Decreased likelihood of patients requiring sutures
Whether you require a dental procedure completed for medical reasons, such as an infection, or simply to undergo a little gum or tooth reshaping for cosmetic purposes, laser dentistry could be the answer you are looking for. Laser dentistry offers an excellent and safe alternative to traditional surgical methods. It can help you correct many dental concerns with the use of a pain-free laser, resulting in reduced bleeding and discomfort, a faster healing time, and a decreased risk of infection.
Our team of highly trained professionals at Bristol Dental Clinic can provide you with excellent laser dentistry services. Our patient-oriented team understands that new procedures can be accompanied by some anxiety and fears, but we assure you that our laser dentistry services are of the highest quality. You can leave our clinic feeling confident and ready to share your improved smile! Call Bristol Dental Clinic at 905-712-3409 to book your appointment today or visit our website here to learn more about our services.