Lasers In Dentistry

Just as lasers have become the standard of care in medicine for many surgical and cosmetic procedures such as LASIK, wrinkle removal and hair removal, they are making strides in the dental field also. Laser procedures are more precise and less traumatic than standard ones.

Laser dentistry with the WaterLase® uses laser energy and a gentle spray of water to perform a wide range of dental treatments, eliminating the heat, vibration and pressure associated with the dental drill. This means that you may need less “novocaine” or even none at all!

Most dentists do not like to numb your entire lower jaw on the same day. With laser dentistry, you may be able to avoid numbing and have more procedures in one appointment, reducing your number of total visits. Soft tissue treatment can often be accomplished with the use of a strong topical anesthetic that wears off more quickly than traditional “novocaine”, so you don’t have to endure hours of feeling like you have a fat lip. Parents also appreciate not having to watch that their child does not chew his or her lip or cheek while it is numb.

Traditional dental drills grind away your tooth structure. The friction of grinding causes heat. That heat, along with the pressure is what causes pain. The WaterLase® is a cool laser, so there is much less heat. The laser tip does not have to touch your tooth to work so you will experience less pressure too, making for a more comfortable dental visit.

Laser dentistry transmits less vibration to your tooth. Vibration is not only uncomfortable, it can also create tiny, undetectable fractures in your tooth. Even under normal use, sometimes these tiny fractures can get bigger and result in a cracked or broken tooth.

At the same time, the laser improves how well tooth-colored filling materials stick to your tooth. The laser creates microscopic dimples that provide more bonding surface for the filling. This results in a stronger bond with your tooth.

Laser energy from the WaterLase® also disinfects both teeth and soft tissue treatment areas. This feature is important if you have gum disease (laser energy can be used to reduce levels of bacteria in the pockets between your teeth and gums) or need root canals (where it can remove bacteria that have penetrated to the area that houses your tooth’s nerve). Healing time after laser surgery is often faster because there is less trauma to the tissue and less bacteria present in the surgical area.

Of course, laser dentistry cannot be used in all dental cases, but in those where it can, you’re wise to take advantage of it.

Everyone should go to the dentist at least twice a year for their check ups and cleanings, but when you need dental work, the fewer visits the better. Laser dentistry can help you keep those visits to a minimum as well as providing other benefits. If you would like to see if WaterLase® laser dentistry can be used for your dental care, please call my office at 440-960-1940.