This form of dentistry uses a highly focused, concentrated beam of light as a treatment tool. Many dental procedures may now utilize laser technology instead of a metal scalpel. Our dentist offers patients breakthrough laser care in many areas of her practice with the DenMat SOL® Portable Diode Laser. Both powerful and versatile, this state-of-the-art system may be used to extract teeth and for soft tissue management. Dentists may also use lasers to accelerate the speed of tooth-whitening treatments.
What are the benefits of laser dentistry?
- Laser allows the dentist to make very small, precise incisions in the mouth
- May produce less bleeding during a procedure than traditional dentistry, because the laser seals off blood vessels as the dentist works
- A significant advantage over traditional metal instruments: the laser kills bacteria in the mouth, helping to keep the area more sterile, and lowering the risk of infection during and following a procedure
- Potential to reduce pain, swelling and scarring
- Potential for faster healing, as the result of smaller incisions, and reduced bacteria at the site of the dental procedure
There also are subtle, experiential benefits. For instance, some patients appreciate the fact that the laser is silent, unlike a traditional drill.
What treatments can be performed with laser dentistry?
At high intensity, the laser can be used to swiftly penetrate the hard enamel of the tooth in place of a drill. Used at different settings, the laser is a superb instrument for treating soft tissue, and may be used to help the healing process of the area of a dental incision without a scalpel or sutures. The scope (circumference) and energy-intensity of the beam are highly flexible and adjustable to accommodate many procedures. Lasers now do the work of many instruments with more precision than was ever possible with previous technologies.
What are canker sores?
Canker sores (aphthous ulcers) are painful sores inside the mouth that may be successfully treated with a laser. Although canker sores can appear anywhere on the mucous membranes of the mouth, they most frequently appear on the inner surfaces of the cheeks and lips, tongue and soft palate. There may be one, or a few, and they’re usually small, oval or round, with a gray-white perimeter and a red, inflamed center.
The cause of your canker sore may be difficult to determine. Many things may trigger a canker sore, including irritation from braces or dentures, a vitamin deficiency, smoking or stress. They may recur without warning. Acidic foods, like pineapple and citrus fruit, also may trigger a canker sore.
A canker sore is different from what are sometimes called a cold sore or fever blister. Cold sores usually appear on the lips as a cluster of small blisters, and are typically caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). A cold sore caused by this virus is contagious, so treatment is very important. Immediate treatment helps to prevent the virus from spreading.
In both cases, treatment with a laser can help bring fast pain relief and fast healing. Laser treatment exposes your canker sore or cold sore to the light of the laser beam for several minutes. Healing following the laser treatment usually is well underway within a few days, and the risk of scarring is reduced.
Periodontal (gum disease) treatment
For these procedures, the laser is used to deep-clean teeth below the gum line, and remove damaged gum tissue, which stimulates healthy re-growth for re-attachment to the teeth. The laser also disinfects the mouth, helping to reduce the activity of bacteria below the gum line which contribute to periodontal disease.
Cosmetic gum contouring & reshaping
Laser-correction is an effective cosmetic technique for reshaping a gum line that visually rests too high on the tooth, making the teeth appear shortened. For this procedure, our dentist uses the Denmat SOL® portable diode laser to gently sculpt away excess gum tissue for a more symmetrical, balanced look. This technique visibly lengthens the teeth for a shapelier smile.