As in the other fields of medicine, modern dentistry is also progressing by leaps and bounds.
Every area of dentistry, from orthodontics to periodontics to endodontics and prosthodontics, have seen significant development and growth in all related areas. Every month, new technology is discovered and innovative equipment is introduced.
Today, laser is widely used in many areas of medicine. Laser is now utilized in the field of dentistry as well. The laser technology is very useful and precise, which is why it is increasingly utilized in different branches of dentistry.
In dentistry, laser treatment is utilized for tough tissues such as teeth and soft tissues like gums because it is painless and cost-effective. The term “laser” refers to a technology that artificially amplifies light. Laser is an acronym for ‘Light amplification by simulated emission of radiation’.
Use of laser technology has exploded, and many dentists who are already in the field are discovering how essential it is to learn the ins and outs of employing laser treatment in their practice to avoid being left behind.
In laser technology, a tiny instrument that emits light is used to create a tiny concentrated, focused beam of light. The tissues where this light is pointed to shape or remove tissue as needed respond to it.
What procedures utilize laser technology in dentistry? Hypersensitivity, tooth decay, gum disease, and teeth whitening are all things that can be treated effectively with laser.
The following are some dental procedures that use Laser technology.
Detection of dental caries
Lasers can reveal the presence of decay in teeth, which aids in the detection of cavities before they become severe.
Because laser technology has advanced, it may sometimes even eliminate the necessity for local anaesthesia and site excavation to remove debris from infected and decayed teeth. With the help of laser, the tooth may easily be prepared for dental fillings.
Hypersensitivity of teeth for hot and cold foods
Lasers can seal the tubules in the tooth roots, that are responsible for tooth sensitivity.
In a gummy smile, more space is taken up by the gums than the teeth. This may now be treated with lasers that will reshape the gum tissues by reducing the size of gums. It gives the appearance of longer teeth, which can give a better smile.
In the case of small teeth, the lasers are used to reshape the bone and the gums so that other restorations can be applied to the tooth to make it longer than they actually are.
This refers to the part of the tongue; a fold of skin, under the middle part of tongue, which is attached to the floor of the mouth. This part is very important for speech because it allows the tongue to move forward and backwards to form words appropriately.
In some children, this part is thicker than normal. Laser frenectomy can help such children to improve their speech.
Laser allows the dentist to see inside the tooth and gums, helping them remove benign tumours that have developed but are not cancerous from any section of the mouth without invasive surgery.
It assists in the treatment of sleep apnoea because they eliminate tissue that is obstructing the throat without using any invasive technique.
Lasers can aid in the healing process by stimulating nerves and blood vessels, as well as treating cold sores, which will help alleviate pain. Lasers can also speed up the tooth whitening procedure.
Cost of the laser treatment compared to traditional treatment methods
Laser treatment is usually cost effective because it requires lesser number of sittings as lasers are faster and more effective, and also less time is spent with the patient in the seat.
Types of lasers used in the dental treatment
Usually hard and soft tissue lasers are used in dentistry. Mainly depending on the job at hand, dentists use both kind of lasers in their work.
Hard tissue lasers, which are used to cut through the teeth, are mainly used for preparation of the tooth for composite bonding or shape dental fillings. Sometimes when the restoration of teeth is progress, the dentist uses the laser to reshape the tooth structure for restored tooth.
Soft tissue lasers are used in treatment of periodontitis where there is a need to kill bacteria and a need to regenerate the tissue growth.
Are lasers beneficial?
Yes, there are benefits of laser use in dentistry mainly because:
Minimum invasion is required through laser beam and therefore less bleeding occurs, as laser helps blood clotting, and also because of lesser need for sutures. Since laser technology is least invasive, many times the need for anaesthesia is not required.
Since metal instruments are not used, the infections that are caused by the use of metal instruments are rare. Laser is used to kill bacteria and stop their infestation.
Since faster healing takes place, the regeneration of tissues is also quicker.
The neighbouring tissues are not damaged as much as in traditional method. There is no pain involved in laser treatment of periodontitis because nerve endings and also the blood vessels are sealed by laser treatment.
Disadvantages and risks involved in laser treatment
Lasers have limited use on teeth that already has metal amalgam dental filling.
Sometimes, hard lasers can injure inner pulp of the tooth.
Not all procedures where lasers are used are free of anaesthesia, and drilling tools.
Many times, during dental filling processes, drilling becomes necessary because the filling has to be shaped and filled properly in a specific spot.
There can be a small risk of gum injury in laser treatment. The important part is to go to a qualified and licensed dental professional whom you can trust.
In case the dentist uses the wrong wavelength or wrong level of power, it could cause damage to tissues in the mouth. Therefore it is very important to ensure that your dentist has specifically been trained in the use of Laser technology.