Laser dentistry is one of the best advances in dental technology and we are proud to offer laser services here at Taylor General & Cosmetic Dentistry.
The field of laser dentistry was born in 1960 when Theodore Maiman started experimenting with laser technology at the Hughes Research Laboratory in Malibu, California.
Laser dentistry was first approved by the FDA in the 1990s and its use has since expanded considerably. Laser dentistry uses different wavelengths and types of lasers, including Erbium, Nd:YAG, Diode, and CO2, to shape both hard and soft dental tissue.
- Erbium lasers – often used for cavity treatment preparations
- Nd:YAG lasers – used commonly for minor hard tissue removal
- Diode lasers – used for soft tissue ablation in procedures including gingivectomy, frenectomy and lesion removal.
More research is currently being done to explore therapeutic and diagnostic laser techniques.
BENEFITS OF LASER DENTISTRY
Here at our office, we strive to stay up-to-date and on top of the most current and effective dental technology available. If your current dentist doesn’t yet offer laser dentistry, you might wonder if they’re participating in continuing education and if they’re able to provide the most effective treatment options for your needs.
Laser dentistry offers excellent precision in dental work. This precision allows us to only minimize damage on surrounding tissue when performing a procedure. In fact, laser can remove tissue a few cell layers at a time which is much more precise than a standard drill used by most dentists. It doesn’t get more precise than that!
Shorter recovery time, less bleeding, fewer sutures and decreased swelling are other advantages to laser dentistry over traditional drilling methods. Because lasers leave smaller scars than a typical scalpel incision, healing tissues blends more easily with surrounding tissue.
It can also eliminate the need to go under anesthesia for certain treatments.
Another added benefit to laser dentistry: Because high-energy light beams sterilize the area you are working on, bacteria is reduced at the surgery site.
For those who have anxiety going to the dentist, laser dentistry is a good option because it’s minimally invasive. Often times when people describe what they hate and fear most about going to the dentist it is the sound and vibration of a dental drill. Laser dentistry eliminates this factor.
Most of the disadvantages associated with laser dentistry, equipment investment and training time are shouldered by the dentist and staff.
LASER DENTISTRY PROCEDURES
Some of the more common laser dentistry services include:
- Teeth cleaning
- Treating canker sores and cold sores
- Removing overgrown, inflamed or diseased oral tissue (this vaporization of soft tissue is called ablation)
- Shaping gum tissue for crowns, crown lengthening procedures, root canals of other dental surgeries
- Performing biopsies
- Treating infection
- Teeth whitening. A hydrogen peroxide whitening agent is applied to teeth and then a laser is applied to speed up the whitening process. The laser helps penetrate enamel and break down stain compounds.
- Sealing exposed tooth roots to reduce sensitivity
- Diagnosing cavities and oral cancers
- Pediatric frenectomy procedures
- Strengthening bond between filling and tooth surface.
- Removing tissue overgrowth in throat associated with sleep apnea
- Treating pain and inflammation in temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
For some laser dentistry services we may ask you to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. We will educate you on any and all risks associated with your procedure and you can be assured that all of our staff has the proper credentials and training to administer laser services.
LASER DENTISTRY STATISTICS
- More than 4,500 surgical dental laser systems are currently in use in the US according to Registered Dental Hygienist Magazine (RDH MAgazine).
- A survey published by the American Dental Association in 2002 estimated that less than 10 percent of dentists were using lasers. The same survey predicted that within a year, 14 percent of dentists planned to purchase a laser for hard tissue applications and 10 percent planned to purchase a laser for soft tissue treatments.
- The word laser was coined in 1960 and it is an acronym for (L)aser (A)mplification by (S)timulated (E)mission of (R)adiation.
- Some of the first evidence of laser dentistry dates back to 1964.
Ask about our laser services te next time you visit our office. We would love to introduce you to a new, more accurate and efficient form of dental care!