The use of lasers in the dental office is a relatively new concept and technique. But, it is still the one that has brought significant improvements in the way dental treatments are done. Laser dentistry can be used to perform a wide variety of dental procedures effectively and allows the treatment of highly specific areas of focus in the mouth.
Types of Dental Lasers:
Lasers stand for ‘Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.’ The laser instruments function by emitting a thin, concentrated beam of high energy that can be targeted at specific areas to carry out different procedures. In dentistry, a variety of hard and soft tissue lasers are used to perform dental treatments in both adults and children.
- Hard Tissue Lasers are primarily used to cut bone and tooth structure. They are used for procedures like removal of decayed sections of the tooth, shaping of teeth for composite bonding or cosmetic reasons, repair of worn down and old dental fillings, and cutting intraoral bone during surgeries. Erbium YAG and Erbium chromium YSGG are the most commonly used hard tissue lasers.
- Soft Tissue Lasers are mainly used in intraoral soft tissue surgeries. These include gum reshaping and all other types of periodontal therapy procedures. The most commonly used soft tissue lasers are Nd: YAG and diode lasers.
Benefits of Laser Dentistry:
Lasers have a wide range of uses in dentistry. From minor procedures like cavity excavation and tooth whitening to major intraoral surgeries, lasers have revolutionized dental treatments and continue to be a useful and versatile tool in the dental office.
The primary cause of pain and discomfort in traditional dentistry methods is due to the heat, vibration, and pressure associated with these instruments and methodology. Since dental lasers do not involve any form of temperature, pressure, or vibration, there is minimal discomfort in the procedures done by lasers. The need for anesthesia is also primarily reduced and may even be eliminated from specific procedures.
Lasers utilize a thin beam of localized energy to target specific areas of the tissue. This includes removing decayed sections of the tooth, performing gingival surgeries, or treating inflamed regions of soft tissue. Damage to surrounding tissues is minimized to a large extent, and healthy tissue can remain intact.
Surgeries performed by lasers are less traumatic than conventional surgeries. The need for sutures in considerably less and even healing time is reduced to a large extent, which allows soft tissues to regenerate faster.
Lasers function very precisely when only a small section of tissue is targeted at the time of surgeries. The high-energy beam helps in the clotting of exposed blood vessels in the areas it incises and hence, reduces the amount of bleeding. There is also a marked reduction of postoperative inflammatory swelling.
Minimize Bacterial Infections:
The high energy of lasers sterilizes the area that is being worked on. This minimizes the chances of bacterial contamination and infections in the region of the procedure. Moreover, lasers allow for a more thorough cleaning of cavities, which eliminates bacteria from the carious tooth and leads to a longer-lasting filling.