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Laser Dentistry

What is Laser Dentistry?

Laser Dentistry is the science of using the laser for treating teeth and gum related problems. The principle is to use the laser instead of a scalpel which has potential to carry dental procedures without cut, suture or blood loss.

How Laser Works?

A laser is an intense beam of coherent light that can be used for drilling, cutting, etc., In the dental field, they optimally replace the scalpels in surgeries and also help in other functions like infection control, pain control, enhancing the effect of tooth-whitening agents, etc.

More About Laser Dentistry

Different Treatments that use Laser

  1. Laser pocket disinfection
  2. Laser-assisted flap surgery
  3. Laser-assisted Root Canal Treatment
  4. Tongue Tie
  5. Frenectomy
  6. Gum Depigmentations
  7. Abscess Drainage
  8. Teeth Whitening / Bleaching
  9. Second stage implant surgery
  10. Infection around implants
  11. Extraction sites
  12. TMJ Pain

Benefits of Laser Dentistry

  • The usage of the laser can either make a dental procedure completely non-invasive or make it minimally invasive.
  • Not much of blood loss is achieved due to the nature of the invasiveness.
  • The healing is much faster.
  • The penetration and precision are much better in case of infection removal.
  • They leave the healthy tissues untouched due to the wavelength difference.
  • In procedures like teeth whitening, they provide more stability to the whitening procedure.

A Brief on the Treatments using Laser

Laser Pocket Disinfection

  • Gum diseases are characterized by inflammation, infection, and swelling of gums.
  • Treatment involves removal of tartar and hardened crust from below the gum line as well as diseased tissue from the pockets.
  • Removal of the tartar and hardened crust is achieved by using laser involving no pain.
  • The laser works by producing an invisible beam of energy at a wavelength that can tell the difference between health and infected gum tissue
  • This difference in wavelength guides in the removal of the infected one.
  • The laser can remove up to 99% of bacteria causing gum disease.
  • Using lasers to treat gum infections means no cutting, less bleeding, less swelling and less discomfort to the patient

Laser-assisted Flap Surgery

  • People with periodontal diseases are the best candidates for laser-assisted flap surgery
  • When infection and the resulting inflammation due to periodontal disease manifests, the tissue attached to the teeth becomes loose.
  • Infections are found as “pockets” and are commonly referred as periodontal pockets.
  • Pockets are potential spaces to lodge pathogens (disease-causing microbes). They also get food debris locked there.
  • The pocket tissues are treated with laser.
  • They act as a disinfectant and also they act as a scalpel that cuts and shapes the infected gum tissue thereby removing the infected tissues completely.

Laser-assisted Root Canal Treatment

  • The laser is used to vaporize only infected tissue of the root canal.
  • It penetrates deep into the smaller tubules and removes the bacteria without causing much damage to the tissue.
  • The laser also sterilizes the root canal which increases the success rate of the root canal procedure.
  • Lasers reduce postoperative complications like inflammation and swelling.
  • The general medicines prescribed after the root canal procedure can be done away in case laser is used. This factor is dependant on the patient and will be decided by the dentist.

Tongue Tie

  • Tongue tie is a condition where the tongue or the lips are held too tightly by the ligament which attaches the tongue and lips to the gums.
  • Tongue tie Treatment involves releasing the ligament which is holding the tongue and lips.
  • The laser is used in removing the ligament tissue precisely which is holding the tongue and the lips tightly.
  • The procedure is painless, involves less bleeding, no stitches, and minimal post-procedure discomfort.

Frenectomy

  • Some people will have a bigger labial frenum. The labial frenum is the piece of tissue that you can feel in the central part of the inner upper lips.
  • When they are bigger and larger, the labial frenum might extend in between the two upper front teeth.
  • This results in teeth spacing and space so created may not close until they are cut surgically.
  • Frenectomy is a surgical procedure where this excess labial frenum is removed using a laser.
  • Laser frenectomy is said to be minimally invasive.

Gum Depigmentation

  • Discolored gums are due to the accumulation of melanin pigment in the gums due to genetic factors or other reasons like smoking or bad oral habits.
  • The laser is used to remove the pigments on the gums easily.
  • With minimal anesthesia and just one sitting with the dentist, gum depigmentation can be achieved.

Abscess Drainage

  • Severe infection leads to abscession on the gums at the roots.
  • Drainage of the infection is achieved by using a laser.
  • The usage of laser does not involve an incision and it also deeply penetrates to remove the infections.

Teeth Whitening / Bleaching

  • Stains on the teeth are caused by a variety of reasons like taking strong beverages like tea, coffee, colas, wines, smoking, or sometimes the teeth are naturally yellow in color.
  • Teeth whitening is achieved by applying the teeth with a whitening agent after covering the gums with a protective shield.
  • A powerful beam of the laser is then exposed on the whitening agent covered teeth.
  • Within 60 minutes a brilliant and healthy smile is possible with this therapy.
  • Laser-assisted teeth whitening provides more stability and sustainability than the conventional teeth whitening systems.

Second stage Implant Surgery

  • After the placement of abutments as part of giving dental implants, they are allowed to heal first and only then the crown is placed.
  • When the healing takes place, the abutment is covered by gum tissues as they heal.
  • So as a next stage the dentist normally uses a scalpel to uncover the implants.
  • Lasers are found to be better suited for this. Because they uncover the implants placed without causing any blood loss and they also provide a precise result.

Infection around Dental Implants

  • Dental implants per se are not affected by caries because they are made of titanium and they have a hard build.
  • But the gum tissues adjacent to the dental implants are prone to infection.
  • If there is infection around the implants, laser gives a better resolution from infection.
  • Laser not only disinfects but also provide the desired result without blood loss.

Extraction Sites

  • Extraction is normally done for placing dental implants after the damaged tooth that could not be salvaged is removed.
  • The wisdom tooth may also be extracted in case there is impaction.
  • The extracted tooth site always streams with infection and this infection needs to be removed completely before the wound is closed.
  • A laser is a perfect disinfectant and they are employed to disinfect effectively.

TMJ Pain

  • TMJ pain manifests due to extensive distress to the jaw joint.
  • Laser treatment of TMJ pain is non-invasive
  • Low-energy Laser can penetrate the jaw tissues and can be successfully used in the pain management.
  • The laser treatment enhances tissue healing by reducing the inflammation in the jaw joints
  • Multiple sitting of laser treatment will bring much-needed relief from jaw joint pain.

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