Perhaps one of the advancements in dentistry that has proven to be really helpful in treating different forms of oral problems is the use of laser. This involves using an instrument that emits a narrow yet very intense beam of light. This intense energy can cut through tissues or even vaporize them, but it does not stop there. In fact, since the start of its use in the 1990s, laser has become a common instrument in various dental procedures.
Applications of Laser in the Field of Dentistry
Some of you may have experienced laser dentistry in one of your visits with your dentist and have seen how beneficial it is despite its higher cost. For those who have not experienced it, here are some of the applications of laser in dentistry.
1. Teeth Whitening
Dentists normally use a solution of hydrogen peroxide for whitening procedures. This often requires leaving the solution on the teeth for several minutes to achieve great results. Soaking in that solution, however, can cause sensitivity issues in some patients with already sensitive teeth. With the help of laser, the process can be speeded up because the energy activates the solution to make it work faster.
When a sample of the gum tissue is needed for laboratory testing to confirm a gum disease, your dentist can opt to use a laser in making an incision through the tissue. The laser can also then be used to seal off the blood vessel in case bleeding occurs.
3. Gum Reshaping
There are many reasons why gums are reshaped. It could be for cosmetic reasons (e.g. to improve one’s smile), to remove deformations, or to expose the healthier portion of a tooth in preparation for crown attachment. The last is also known as crown lengthening, where part of the gums is removed by laser to show areas of the teeth where the crown will be attached.
4. Preparation for Dental Filling
Before the filling is applied, the dentist has to make sure first that the tooth is free from bacteria to make the filling last longer. Instead of the traditional drill, hard tissue dental lasers have become an option for patients. It is safe, pain-free (no need to use anesthesia), and very effective in killing bacteria and removing tooth decay.
5. Treatment of Cold Sores
Even the common cold sores can be treated with laser technology. Low-intensity lasers are used for this procedure, which reduces pain and speeds up the healing time of sores.
6. Treatment of Tooth Sensitivity
The common cause of sensitive teeth is when the tubules at the root of the tooth are exposed. This is why when you eat something hot or cold, the extreme temperature that directly hits those tubules can cause you to shudder in pain. Lasers are now used in sealing those tubules to eliminate sensitivity and help you enjoy your food better.
The reason why laser can be used for various procedures is that dentists can try different wavelengths to produce various strengths of heat and power to create different results. It is therefore not surprising if they find more uses of laser in their practice in the future.