Dental lasers were first experimented with in the 1960’s. Recent advancements have made the use of lasers in dentistry much more feasible and in many cases have even become the standard of care. The lasers have become smaller, more portable, more practical, more affordable and most importantly much more effective. Hard-tissue lasers use laser energy to gently and non-invasively remove tooth decay, preserving more tooth structure and leaving a healthier tooth. Dental lasers are revolutionizing the way we treat dental decay.
The following are the top five ways dental lasers benefit patients:
#1 – Patient Comfort – One of the most important benefits dental lasers offer to patients is the level of comfort they experience at the dentist’s office. With advanced dental laser systems, such as the Lightwalker from Technology4Medicine, the fear and terror of going to the dentist are a thing of the past. Dental lasers create less heat, less pressure and less vibration than the traditional dentist’s drill. Lasers quickly and gently remove tooth decay often without the need for injections and anesthesia and with decreased sensitivity. High speed drills rotate at hundreds of thousands of revolutions per minute and can cause micro-fractures weakening healthy portions of the tooth which can produce discomfort and almost always require some type of anesthesia. During dental work, instead of hearing the loud-pitched wine of the drill patients experience a much softer noise . . . gentle tapping like popcorn popping. The light from the dental laser works to remove decay and destroy bacteria effectively and often times, painlessly, with no post op numb lip and often resulting in faster healing.
#2 – Faster Healing – Healing time can be significantly shortened when a dental laser is used to perform surgical procedures rather than a drill or a scalpel. The laser reduces the chance of infection because during the procedure the laser energy works to kill bacteria. There is less swelling because the laser causes much less trauma and patients experience less pain. There is little to no bleeding. And multiple procedures in different areas of your mouth can be worked on in one appointment reducing the number of appointments and the time necessary for your treatment. These advantages all lead to faster healing time, less post-operative discomfort and healthier teeth.
#3 – Healthier Teeth – The use of lasers minimizes the probability of damage to the surrounding dental tissue. When compared with drills, cavity preparations performed with lasers preserve healthier tooth structure while at the same time avoiding cracking of the healthy portions of the tooth leaving stronger, healthier teeth. The Er:YAG laser is a hard tissue laser that works with water, causing the decayed tissue to vaporize and is the most effective way to remove tooth decay without unnecessarily removing any of the healthy tooth structure. Dental lasers minimize the risk of damage to surrounding, healthy tissue because they have more control which makes the laser a safer tool requiring minimal to no anesthesia.
#4 – Minimal or no Anesthesia – Er:YAG dentists report over 90% of all patients required no anesthesia when dental lasers are used to treat tooth decay. Patients who dislike the feeling of numbness and the effects of Novocain benefit from the use of lasers during dental procedures. Dental lasers can reduce or even remove the need for anesthesia. Since dentists don’t have to wait for anesthesia to take effect, they can perform the procedure faster than ever before. Patients of dentists who use dental lasers spend less time in the dental office since the procedures can be performed with minimal preparation. Without a numb lip, patients can eat, talk and function more highly than in the past leaving patients with the peace of mind to go on with their day.
#5 – Peace of Mind – Lasers are very safe in the hands of a trained dentist. Many patients dislike the noise of the drill, the strong vibrations associated with it, and the numb feeling that comes with anesthesia. The dental laser is quieter, the patient experiences less discomfort and anesthesia is rarely needed. The use of a dental laser results in longer lasting fillings, faster healing, preservation of the healthy tooth structure and a more sterile environment. The laser cannot accidentally “burn” you as some may fear, but in fact, lasers are very safe. Laser treatment has proven to be quick and safe in tens of thousands of applications all over the world.
Dental lasers have an immense benefit over traditional dental procedures. These lasers are excellent to use for all ages, young and old. They offer a unique, high-tech, less invasive process. The highly concentrated beam of light by dental lasers brings energy to remove areas of infection and decay. In the process, the laser sterilizes the affective area by killing bacteria and viruses found in the mouth and seals off blood vessels minimizing the chance of infection due to bleeding. Patients treated with lasers are much more comfortable both during and after treatment. Recent technological developments have made it possible for lasers to be used effectively in the dental office and are now being used by dentists all over the world.