I’ve had some questions from several of you about my Waterlase MD dental laser. This device has multiple settings so it can be used for a variety of dental procedures, though it is not yet able to be used for all of them. Here are a few of the ways the Waterlase MD might make your dental visit easier!
- Fillings and Sealants*: Water energized by the laser, powers away decay and creates a better bonding surface for tooth-colored filling material or sealant. The laser also helps reduce the number of bacteria that remain in the space we prepare, which often means less sensitivity for you after the filling. The laser has its own anesthetic effect, which means that most people can have treatment without needing the numbing “novocaine”.
- Mouth Sores: Sores in and around your mouth are often painful. The dental laser can create a “bandage” type coating over some mouth sores to reduce the pain or discomfort they create. Anecdotal research suggests that areas treated with the laser will not have another sore develop in the same spot.
- Root Canals Disinfection is a key factor in clearing the infected tissue from the center of your tooth. The Waterlase MD is used in addition to conventional root canal therapy because laser energy has been shown to reach some branches off the main canal that conventional methods may not reach.
- Gums The Waterlase MD has several uses on gums. It can be used for cosmetics—to make gum contours match on front teeth or to remove excess gum tissue. It can also be used in restoring a tooth when gum tissue is overlapping an area where your dentist needs to work. The laser can be used to make that area visible. It can also be used to keep the bacterial count in a pocket between your tooth and gum low to promote gum healing.
- Frenums Frenums are thin, muscular bands of tissue found in several areas of our mouths. If a frenum attaches high on the gum tissue, it may affect speech, push your teeth apart, or pull on your gums, causing the gums to recede down the roots of the adjacent teeth. The dental laser broadens these tissue bands to relax the tension on the surrounding tissues.
Overall, the laser creates less heat, less pressure, and less vibration than traditional treatment methods. As mentioned above, many procedures can be done without numbing. It creates less trauma and bleeding versus traditional surgical techniques, to promote faster healing and make your recovery more comfortable.
*Please note that any metal will act like a mirror and reflect the laser energy. For this reason, if you already have an amalgam (metal) filling or a metal crown on a tooth, the Waterlase MD cannot be used on that tooth if the area is near the metal restoration you already have.
If you’d like to learn more about laser dentistry and how it can be used in your dental care, please call my office at 440-960-1940 or visit my website at www.drjrobb.com You can also find me on facebook at www.facebook.com/DrJenniferRobb