What's the deal with Dental Lasers?

As with a lot of things, technological advances have made huge strides in health care. This is especially true with dentistry. There are basically 2 types of lasers. One works on “soft tissue” like your gums and lips. The other works on “hard tissue”, which includes teeth and bone. Most hard tissue lasers can also be used to treat soft tissues as well.

What kind of procedures can be done with lasers? A hard tissue laser can remove tooth decay. In many cases, no drilling is needed. And in my experience, about 60% of patients do not need anesthesia when using the laser. So in essence, you could have a cavity filled without a shot, and without drilling. For many people, this creates a less stressful dental visit.

Another common procedure that can use the laser technology is gum surgery. Sometimes anesthesia is not necessary for this procedure as well. And there is no incision and minimal bleeding. However, in my experience, I have not had great long term results with this procedure for full areas of the mouth. But this does work well for small, isolated areas of gum disease.

Other uses for lasers include bone contouring, removal of excess tissue or muscle, biopsies, and root canals.

In the right circumstance, the dental laser may be the treatment of choice for your particular issue. Ask your dentist if he has a laser, and his experience in using this technology. If your dentist does not have a laser, you may want to consider finding a dentist more up to date with the latest technology. 

Archer Katz

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