Lasers are so commonplace that I suspect many of us don’t even know that laser actually stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. While you may be more familiar with the medical applications for lasers for surgery, did you know lasers are just as beneficial when it comes to dentistry and your oral health?
In this blog, our own Dr. Marcano here at Orlando Center for Cosmetic Dentistry explains how your next dental visit may be a lot more comfortable and patient-friendly thanks to laser dentistry.
What is laser dentistry?
Lasers have been used in dentistry since 1997 when the Food and Drug Administration approved their use for the treatment of tooth decay. Laser dentistry refers to the execution of a variety of dental procedures that use a hand held wand or device that emits targeted beams of laser energy as a dental tool. The laser can be used as a surgical tool in place of other dental tools like a scalpel, a scaling and root planing tool or even a dental drill.
1. Versatile treatment tool
Dental lasers are an increasingly popular go-to tool in today’s dental office. Remarkably the FDA has approved more than 20 uses of lasers in dentistry. Here at Orlando Center for Cosmetic Dentistry we use the Waterlase™ by Biolase® laser system to perform a wide range of dental procedures such as treating:
- cavities and gum disease
- temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) or TMJ
- tooth sensitivity
- cold sores
- oral abscesses and benign tumors; and even
- obstructive sleep apnea
2. Makes no anesthesia procedures possible
While the sheer versatility of laser dentistry is impressive, what’s truly outstanding for patients is that it lessens and in some cases totally removes all the fear factor elements that some patients connect with a dental visit such as the need to numb the treatment area prior to getting a procedure done.
In many cases, using the Waterlase™ system enables us to perform many dental procedures such as filling cavities with minimal or no anesthetic. Imagine saying goodbye to that big needle and waiting for it to become effective as well as the annoying wait for it to wear off.
3. Patient-friendly no needle, no drill option
While kicking the big needle to the curb is definitely a plus, that’s not where the patient-friendly benefits end. In addition to creating the possibility of no anesthesia procedures, laser dentistry can also send that annoying drill packing.
With laser dentistry patients can get the procedures they need, but in a more comfortable, virtually painless manner. The way it works is the Waterlase™ system leverages the power of laser energy while using the combination of water and air throughout procedures. The laser does its job to cut through or manipulate both hard and soft tissues like your enamel or gum. Simultaneously the air and water not only keeps your teeth and gums hydrated throughout the procedure, but also protects them from the heat of the laser, creating a comfortable experience.
4. Minimally invasive with less bleeding
Another major side benefit of laser dentistry is that it’s minimally invasive compared to using traditional dental tools like a scalpel or scaling and root planing tool. Since the laser can be targeted with more precision, patients in turn experience less inflammation and bleeding, which means they also have a reduced exposure to toxins, thereby also reducing the patient’s risk of infection.
5. Quicker recovery times
As if a more comfortable, virtually pain-free patient experience and less bleeding and risk of infection weren’t enough, the benefits of laser dentistry build upon each other. If you take inflammation, bleeding and the risk of infection out of the equation when performing a dental procedure, you create the ideal scenario for expedited recovery times. Since your body doesn’t have to deal with the needle mark from the anesthesia or possibilities of infection your body’s natural healing process can focus on getting you back to feeling more like yourself again. Simply put; you’ll rebound quicker after your dental procedure.
If you’d like to learn more about laser dentistry, request a consultation at Orlando Center For Cosmetic Dentistry. Click the online booking tool or call or text the office today.