In recent years, laser dentistry has begun overtaking the more traditional methods used by dentists for generations. These treatments are often more precise and less painful as well. With the help of special dental lasers, patients will be able to undergo a variety of treatments, including soft tissue reshaping. The FDA approved the use of these lasers in 1990, reducing anxiety, lowering treatment times and reducing bleeding. Some of the other benefits include:
- Reduced need for anesthesia
- Fewer stitches or sutures
- Lower risk of bacterial infections
- Faster healing
How Does Laser Dentistry Help?
The use of lasers in dentistry is extremely flexible and can be used in a growing number of dental treatments. Though it is most known for cosmetic applications, it can be used in areas of dentistry, such as:
- Frenectomy - The clipping of the frenulum under the tongue, also known as tongue-tie
- Biopsy - Lasers can safely and effectively collect a sample of soft tissue suspected of being cancerous or having another issue
- Reshaping Soft Tissue - Removing gum tissue to reduce the appearance of a "gummy smile" or to make denture use more comfortable
- Tumor Removal - If a tumor is identified, lasers can be used to remove them safely with less damage to surrounding tissue
How Does It Work?
There are several types of dental lasers designed just for laser dentistry. Each one uses a different wavelength of light. Carbon dioxide and diode lasers are among the most commonly used. During the treatment, special glasses must be worn to protect the eyes from the bright lights. The laser is directed at the tissue to be treated and damaged tissue is then burned away safely. The procedure will be completed more quickly and patients will experience less pain and anxiety.