Lasers in Dentistry, Really?
I was at a recent gathering and it wasn't long before someone asked what I did for work. I mentioned I was a dentist and as usual people tell me about their dental experiences. One person stated they hated the sound of the high speed drill, another had gum surgery which for them was a very painful ordeal.
I told them it was unfortunate that their dentist did not use a laser. Lasers in Dentistry, really? Yes I said, they have been used successfully for years in dental offices. A laser can be used in place of a high speed drill to delicately remove decay from teeth usually without the need for local anesthesia. Since lasers have pinpoint accuracy it is possible to be minimally invasive when removing decay. Furthermore lasers can be used to detect unseen decay under the surface of the enamel resulting in early treatment that yield smaller fillings and preserve more tooth structure than the traditional high speed drill.
Lasers have had a tremendous impact on treatment of gum disease. The laser is able to gently remove diseased gum tissue and help establish long term attachment of gum tissue to the tooth and in some cases stimulate bone regeneration. This often leads to better long term treatment of periodontal disease than traditional periodontal surgery. In addition, the laser seals blood vessels resulting in less bleeding and swelling while minimizing pain after treatment.
The laser can also do several other procedures such as biopsies, release of lip & tongue tie, remove overgrown gum tissue very often without the need for anesthetic.
Recent research has shown that the use of low level laser therapy can be used to treat a wide variety of medical problems such as jaw pain, canker sores, herpetic lesions, enhanced wound healing, and tooth sensitivity.
New research just released by Harvard Wyss Institute suggests that a laser can be used to coax stems to form dentin which forms the foundation of teeth. The application of Laser therapies is rapidly expanding with new research. The age of Lasers in Dentistry has finally arrived.