For many people, the mere thought of a toothache you had a few years back may make you think that a toothache is probably the worst oral pain you will ever experience. And for some people, that may be true. But for more than 10 million Americans who suffer from chronic jaw pain and swelling from TMJ, a toothache pales in comparison.
When healthy and in good working order, the two joints in front of your ears, the temporomandibular joint work with ligaments and muscles in the face and neck, discs, and bones like the jawbone to perform seamless movements swallowing, yawning, chewing, speaking, and chewing.
Patients with TMJ experience a disruption in proper movement that’s often difficult to diagnose and determine the underlying cause. You want to get relief. We understand that. Here at Orlando Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Marcano taps into the power of laser dentistry to treat various conditions such as TMJ and tooth decay, tooth sensitivity, and even sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea.
The laser dentistry difference
Let’s start unpacking this technical topic by first explaining how lasers are used in dentistry. When you first hear the word laser, you may think of surgical applications using a laser as a cutting tool instead of a traditional scalpel or perhaps the use of lasers in LASIK eye surgery.
In dentistry, the same premise is at work, but laser dentistry is so much more than using lasers as a surgical tool. The way it works is that specially trained dentists like Dr. Marcano use a hand-held laser device, which emits highly targeted light energy that can be applied to hard and soft tissue. When the light comes in contact with the tissue, it can remove it altogether, like in the case of removing tooth decay to prepare for filling a cavity, or simply shape the tissue like for gum contouring.
Inflammation and pain reduction
One of the major benefits of using lasers in treating TMJ is that light energy provides a gentle, more subtle way to complete procedures with less inflammation, which is an excellent thing for TMJ patients who are already suffering from pain and discomfort of swelling and inflammation. Research in the use of laser dentistry to treat TMJ indicates that patients may experience a reduction in pain and swelling as well as an enhanced range of motion of the jaw.
Non-invasive with no downtime or side effects
As a non-surgical option, another great plus for using laser treatment for addressing TMJ symptoms is that it's non-invasive with no side effects or downtime required. Patients typically report no pain or discomfort during the treatment.
Here at Orlando Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we use the Waterlase™ by Biolase® system, which uses laser energy in combination with air and water throughout procedures. The air and water combination serves to protect patients from the heat of the laser, so they enjoy a comforting warmth and virtually painless experience. Laser dentistry offers patients all gain, no pain, which is a very good thing for TMJ sufferers yearning for some relief.
Highly targeted and safe
Dentists have been using lasers for decades. At first, it was all about lasers as a cutting tool for soft tissue, but then in 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
approved lasers for treating tooth decay. Today the FDA has approved more than 20 uses of lasers in dentistry, and it’s becoming more mainstream and accepted as a safe and effective tool.
Since a laser is particularly precise, your dental provider can focus more accurately on the treatment area. In the case of temporomandibular joint disorders, the laser energy can penetrate deep into the treatment area to reach affected muscles and ligaments to address pain management. Recent research also suggests that laser treatment for TMJ may also have an additional treatment advantage in boosting natural healing and tissue repair.
Here at Orlando Center For Cosmetic Dentistry, we are committed to providing our patients with the best and most advanced treatment modalities. We pride ourselves in being primarily a “drill-free” cosmetic and restorative practice using several lasers. We want every patient to feel comfortable and safe every time they walk through our doors.
If you are suffering from jaw or myofascial pain and want to learn if laser treatment is right for you, take the first step to break the cycle of pain. Contact us at Orlando Center For Cosmetic Dentistry to schedule a consultation. Click the online booking tool or call the office today at 407-270-1053.