Laser dental treatments can be used for some hard and soft tissue procedures. Lasers typically cause less bleeding, and potentially less discomfort than drills and other traditional dental tools. Since some patients are uncomfortable or intimidated by a dental drill, they might also avoid the dental procedures they need. The laser can offer a different experience (along with accuracy), potentially allowing anxious patients to be treated without as much worry.
How do dental lasers work?
Dental lasers channel energy into light and work as a vaporizer or cutting instrument. In the teeth whitening process, they act as a heat source.
What can lasers treat?
Dental lasers have many uses when it comes to restorative dental care. Here are a few of those uses:
- Tooth hypersensitivity
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Stained teeth
- Biopsies and lesion removal
Why use dental lasers?
Dental lasers can help your dentist and have the potential to make your dental experience more comfortable. Below are some reasons your dentist might use this technology.
- Precise instruments
- Lasers can be used in place of drills
- Bleeding can be more controlled
- Reduced pain, minimizes discomfort
- Less damage to surrounding tissues
- Potentially faster healing times
- The laser sterilizes the treatment area, reducing the chance of infection
How safe are dental lasers?
Each laser system is meant to address a particular issue or procedure, and dentists must be trained on each laser system they operate. You will be provided with glasses to protect your eyes from the light.
Common Myths & Misconceptions
- Procedures take longer - This may have been true years ago, but with several decades of development, dental lasers are now often as quick as traditional tools, if not quicker. Also, as many procedures can be done without anesthesia, the overall duration of the process may be significantly shorter.
- Lasers are unsafe - As mentioned above, they are actually very safe. They are tested, produce less discomfort for many procedures, and require specific training to operate.
- Lasers can cause cancer - Dental lasers do not use radiation. Rather, they use amplified light, which is similar to common light, making it less harmful than sunlight.
- It is more expensive - While the equipment is more expensive than traditional tools, they may be able to address issues with fewer appointments, meaning the resulting cost is typically about the same. With reduced chances of infection, you likely won't have to revisit the dentist to treat secondary issues. And with less need for anesthesia, the cost is further reduced.