Dental lasers can be used in almost every aspect of dentistry and they are used to replace the drill and scalpel and also for healing. There are no disadvantages as such-it is just that they can’t be used for everything. Where they can be used, there are huge benefits.
A dental laser can be used to prepare a tooth for a filling. It works with no heat or vibration so often little or no anaesthesia is required, and this also protects the surrounding enamel. It is precise so preserves more of the healthy tooth and its antimicrobial effect destroys bacteria to ensure no contaminant is left in the tooth.
The laser is highly effective in the treatment of gum disease and also a lot more comfortable for the patient. Its precision and antimicrobial properties allow gum disease to be treated non-surgically in many cases and also more effectively. Its healing properties encourage the regrowth of both tissue and bone. We have had some excellent results in this area, so it is not surprising that so many periodontists in the US use lasers.
We use a laser for the surgery during implant placement and it is so precise there is often no need for stitches. Again, its antimicrobial effect reduces the chance of infection and healing cells are encouraged to the area, so there is less swelling and pain. In fact, most of our patients report little or no discomfort following surgery. The laser use also encourages the growth of new bone to integrate the dental implant into the jaw. The laser is also used to sculpt the gum tissue to help the implant look natural.
Lasers can be used in place of a drill to remove diseased tissue and they sterilise the canal and thus improve the chances of the root filling succeeding.
A laser is used instead of a scalpel and it is more precise, so the cosmetic outcome is greatly improved. Because no scalpel is used there is much less post-operative pain, swelling and bruising. Healing is encouraged without scarring or tissue shrinkage.
Laser light is used to stimulate the healing process after dental procedures and also for a patient with TMJ.
Lasers can’t be used for all cavities including where teeth have been previously filled, nor can they be used to prepare teeth for crowns and bridges. However, laser technology is rapidly advancing so watch this space!