Laser technology has brought immense benefits to a huge number of industries. Ever since it was introduced, in the late 1960s, lasers helped scientists develop state of the art cutting and modeling methods, which have important roles in engineering, superconductors, printing and electronic components. Lasers have changed the tech world, but they are also critically important in the medical world, where they replaced many intrusive procedures altogether. Previously life-threatening surgeries are now easily performed with lasers, thus eliminating additional health risks to patients.
Laser use in dental health
Lasers have been introduced in dental health clinics back in 1994, but were initially used to treat only limited types of dental issues. Over the years, its popularity grew among both medical professionals and patients, and more and more clinics have used this powerful tool to treat various oral health issues. Laser technology for dental use is approved by the FDA, and the American Dental Association (ADA), the governing body that regulates the profession and dental clinics, is in the process of approving a Seal of Acceptance for this technology. ADA’s position is optimistic when it comes to laser technology in dental care, thus recognizing its importance and beneficial health effects.
Lifetime Teeth dentists use laser technology to treat a number of oral health issues, with improvements in terms of results and patient comfort. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the more common applications their technicians see in the day-to-day.
Laser gum surgery
Gum disease affects millions of patients in the United States and many dental health clinics around the country have to deal with thousands of cases each year. Previously, gum disease treatment involved painful procedures, including cutting and stitching, which made bleeding, bandages and extensive periods of fasting a nightmare for a lot of patients. To fight the disease effectively, many dentists were forced to cut and eliminate healthy gum sections, thus leaving extensive damaged areas in the mouth.
The introduction of laser technology dynamically changed the face of gum surgery with the following benefits:
– non-intrusive, clean surgical procedures – there is little to no bleeding; consequently, the pain is minimal for patients; because there is virtually no pain, there is a reduced need for anesthesia (which can sometimes cause problems for certain patients)
– less swelling – there is little to no swelling of the affected area, because the trauma is minimal
– faster healing – in most cases, healing is reduced from a couple of weeks to a couple of days
– no gum recession and long term results – there is no elimination of healthy gum tissue, which means there is no gum recession; the results are permanent, in most cases
– bone growth – studies show that laser gum surgery promotes the regeneration of bone around teeth
Laser implant surgery
Laser technology can be used in tooth implants and other specialized dental work. The laser light scalpel can be used to prepare the area for a future implant, but also clean and cauterize any lesions. Lasers can be used to treat peri-implant pockets, repair any excessive gum growth prior to implant surgery and for tissue ablation during the installation of the implant. All these procedures are minimally invasive, do not produce bleeding and are comfortable for most patients.
Lasers are used to treat most types of tooth decay. They are used to remove the decayed area and to prepare the area for the filling. Compared to traditional tooth decay treatment methods, which involve drilling, laser treatment is less invasive, more precise and the pain is minimal.
Biopsy and lesion removal
Lasers are particularly effective for lesion removal in the mouth. Also, lasers are used to relieve the pain of canker sores. Similarly, lasers can be used to remove small segments of tissue for cancer examination, a procedure called biopsy.
Lasers help the peroxide bleaching solution used in teeth whitening procedures to act faster. Basically, lasers are used to safely speed up the whitening process.