Robin has been using dental lasers for over 15 years and is at the forefront of laser dentistry in the UK. He is a member of, and on the education panel at the US Academy of Laser Dentistry and regularly presents at their international conferences.
Lasers provide huge benefits to the patient, giving improved comfort, faster healing and in some treatments, better results. All of our dentists at Wayside are advocates for laser use and use them in some aspect of their work. Indeed, most dentists who begin to use lasers wonder how they ever managed without!
What are dental lasers used for?
- Lasers are suitable for both treatment and diagnostic use.
- For treatment, lasers can be used on both soft tissue (such as gums) and hard tissue (such as tooth, enamel and bone).
- Lasers come in different types which are specially designed for different kinds of tissue.
- For diagnosis, lasers can be used to pick up early signs of decay in teeth: allowing action before radical treatment is needed.
Our expertise in using dental lasers
Using lasers requires an additional skill set and we are proud that all of our dentists and one of our hygienists have completed comprehensive training in their use. On top of this, Amit has earned a fellowship in Laser Dentistry from University College, London and Mitul is undertaking a project on the role of the Waterlase (dual hard and soft tissue) Laser in the management of chronic gum disease. This forms part of his specialist training in periodontology (the study of gum disease) at Guy’s hospital, London.
The Waterlase Laser
The Waterlase Dental laser is one of the most advanced dental treatments available today. It combines light energy with a stream of water for a highly precise, exceptionally gentle dental experience.
- Fillings and Tooth Preparation
The laser can, in the right circumstances, be used to prepare a tooth for a filling in place of a drill. Often no anaesthesia is required. The laser works with no heat or vibration, so causes little or no discomfort and this also protects the surrounding enamel. It is so precise that it preserves more of the healthy tooth structure and destroys bacteria locally to ensure no contaminant is left in the tooth.
- Children’s Laser Dentistry
The Waterlase laser can be used instead of a drill or scalpel and its gentle action can help eliminate any fear and anxieties associated with dental visits. It is the preferred treatment for tooth decay with no heat, vibration and shrill sound of the drill, and often there is no need for anaesthesia. For other treatments there is less trauma to the area and faster healing.
- Root Canal Treatments
The laser can be used to open the canal and then, using a combination of air, water and light energy, can remove diseased tissue and clean out and sterilise the canal. The anti-bacterial action of the laser improves the chances of the root filling succeeding. Using the laser also helps to initiate the body’s healing process.
- Gum Disease/Periodontal Treatments
Laser treatment is already used by many periodontists (gum disease specialists) in the US for the treatment of gum disease. The current and growing body of research supports this move towards more laser use. Gum disease forms in pockets around the tooth which can weaken its attachment to the gum; eventually causing it to fall out. Deep pockets would normally require surgical treatment, but with lasers these can often be managed non-surgically and with less discomfort. Lasers don’t compromise on efficacy: they can actually penetrate deeper into the pockets of gum disease and lead to a smaller risk of recurrence and a better healing response.
- Dental Implants
We place all of our implants using the laser. It is so precise that the site can be prepared with minimal trauma to the surrounding tissue, and there is very little bleeding with often no need for stitches. The action of the laser greatly reduces the inflammatory response so there is much less discomfort following surgery-in fact some patients report no discomfort at all! The laser also sterilises the area, promotes healing of soft tissue and regeneration of new hard and soft tissue. This reduces the chance of infection, improves wound healing, and encourages new bone growth to integrate the implant into the jaw bone. Robin has been using dental lasers in his implant surgery for over 10 years and would not want to work without them.
Diode Laser and Waterlase Laser
The Diode Laser is a soft tissue laser which can also be used therapeutically. For example:
- Frenectomies (removal of tongue ties)
These can be carried out without the need for stitches and with little or no anaesthesia. There is little post-operative pain and the frenum doesn’t re grow.
- Gum Contouring and other Soft Tissue Surgery
With a laser, this can be done more precisely so the cosmetic outcome is greatly improved. Because no scalpel is used there is much less post-operative pain, swelling, bruising and bleeding. The laser also encourages faster healing without scarring so no tissue shrinkage.
- Low Level Laser Light Therapy
This is a therapy which uses laser light to stimulate the healing process in damaged cells. It also recruits healing cells to the area to help with the process. Healing is encouraged and pain and inflammation reduced, wherever the beam is applied. It can be used to help with and eliminate TMJ pain and also following a surgical procedure.
All of our dentists have a Diagnodent, which is a small laser that scans your teeth for hidden decay. Decay can sometimes start from within the tooth and thus, in the absence of any other symptoms, won’t be apparent to your dentist at your check-up. The Diagnodent allows us to detect decay lurking inside the tooth, so it can be treated early and minimally.
To find out if our cutting-edge laster dentistry at Wayside Dental Practice could help you, contact us today to book a consultation.