Dental lasers are a family of instruments. Some lasers are used for surgery, some to cure restorative materials and enhance tooth bleaching, and others to remove tooth structure for fillings– different lasers for different procedures. Laser use leads to better healing, less postoperative pain, and most importantly, happier patients. We now have a tool that helps us in all aspects of our daily practice. Simply put, the laser helps us do better dentistry.
Many procedures can be done using the laser including, fillings, crown lenthening, treatment of apthous ulcers and herpetic lesions, periodontal treatment of gum tissues, as well as desensitizing exposed root surfaces. A laser can also be used for sealant placement, gum contouring and gingivectomy.
The greatest benefit, however, is that most patients feel very little discomfort durting the procedures and the problems afterwards are greatly reduced. With laser surgery, there is a reduced need for local anesthetia, bleeding is minimized, and swelling is controlled. Natural looking restorative materials for teeth are more quickly cured to greater hardness.
We also use a laser to detect cavities. Millions of patients have benefited from this non-invasive diagnostic tool and have improved their dental care. The DIAGNOdent is significantly more accurate in identifying early stage cavities than conventional methods. The implication of the current diagnostic challenge is that decay can continue under tooth structure that looks healthy, undiscovered and unseen by the clinician. The DIAGNOdent scans tooth structure with a harmless laser light, detecting cavities under the surface. The device “grades” the tooth surface, allowing the clinician to take action before the decay can cause bigger problems for the patient.
Springs Oral Health, Maria RDH