A laser is an instrument that produces a very narrow, intense beam of light energy. Amazingly, the light produced by lasers can remove, vaporize, or shape the tissues in your mouth.
Lasers have been used in dentistry since 1990. Back then, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determined that lasers can be used as a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of dental procedures. Lasers are often used in conjunction with other dental instruments.
Here are some things a dental laser can do:
- correct speech problems caused by a tongue-tie, which prevents normal tongue movement (called a frenectomy)
- uncover partially-erupted wisdom teeth
- remove decay from a cavity and prepare the tooth for a new filling
- remove muscle pulls, common in orthodontic patients
- manage gum tissue during impressions for crowns
- remove swollen tissues caused by medications
- perform biopsy procedures
- remove inflamed gum tissues and reduce the amount of bacteria within a periodontal pocket
- remove or reshape excess gum and bone tissues during crown lengthening procedures
- treat abscessed gums and infections in root canals
- reduce the discomfort of canker and cold sores
- activate whitening chemicals that are used to lighten teeth
In many cases, we can now avoid using those noisy drills, and even skip anesthesia, giving you a much more relaxing and pleasant dental experience.
Laser procedures can also be more precise, and they cause fewer post-operative problems. Healing times are faster than traditional therapies.
Something we dentists really like is that lasers effortlessly destroy the bacteria in diseased gum tissue and in tooth cavities. There's even less bleeding during surgery.
Are Dental Lasers Safe?
Just as you’d wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from prolonged exposure to the sun, when we perform a laser procedure, we’ll ask you to wear special sunglasses that protect your eyes from the laser light.
Although the laser is a very useful dental instrument, it is not appropriate for every dental procedure. We’ll know when using the laser makes sense for you.