The use of laser in laser dentistry applications allows dentists to do their work more capably and efficiently. High-precision laser technology minimizes pain and promotes faster and more efficient healing.
What are the different laser dentistry applications that dentists now do?
Laser Dentistry Procedures for the Teeth (Hard Tissue)
1. Detection of Cavities - Dental lasers can detect cavities. They are used to sense the presence of by-products associated with tooth decay.
2. Dental Fillings - Dentists no longer have to inject local anesthesia or use the conventional turbine dental drill to fill cavities. They simply use hard-tissue dental lasers. Lasers kill cavity bacteria, thus, paving the way for high quality durable tooth restoration.
Replacing crowns, inlays and amalgam fillings, however, are some dental procedures through which dental lasers are considered inappropriate.
3. Addressing Tooth Sensitivity - Dentists use dental lasers to seal the tubules found at the roots of teeth. The process addresses tooth sensitivity issues as high sensitivity to cold and heat are associated with these tubules.
Laser Dentistry Procedures for Gums (Soft Tissue)
1. Removing Epulis or Soft Tissue Folds - Dentures that do not fit well usually cause soft tissue folds. Dentists can now remove these folds through dental lasers -- without having to do surgical sutures, that are painful, and require more time to heal.
2. Setting the Frenulum Free - The frenulum is a small and thin band of tissue connecting the base of the tongue to the mouth's floor. A frenulum that is tight or restricted makes free motion difficult. Babies with this problem find it difficult to breastfeed. It also makes it difficult for children to pronounce words correctly.
Dentists may do a lingual frenectomy to set the tongue free from the base of the mouth, allowing it freedom of movement. The procedure calls for the application of anesthesia to numb the tongue, making incisions to free the tongue and sewing up the cut so that the tissue can heal. A faster and more efficient option is to use laser frenectomy.
3. Reshaping Gum Tissue - Some dental patients have what is commonly referred to as a "gummy smile". Dentists are now using laser technology to restructure gum tissues to expose the healthy tooth structure. This results in a more attractive smile.
4. Lengthening of Crown - Dentists often use laser dentistry to provide a strong foundation where restorations can be placed. They can either opt for hard tissue laser to remodel the shape of the bone structure, or soft tissue laser to alter gum tissue - or both - to lengthen and strengthen the crown.
Other laser dentistry applications include the following:
1. Optical Coherence Tomography - Dentists use this to look at gum and tooth tissues safely, and more efficiently.
2. Removal of Benign Tumors - Benign tumors found on the lips, palate, gums, or the sides of the cheeks can be safely removed by using laser technology. The process does not require painful and time-consuming surgery.
3. Addressing Cold Sores - Cold sores can be painful. Dentists now use low-intensity laser dentistry to minimize such pains, and promote faster healing.
4. Regenerating Nerves - Dental lasers are now used for regenerating blood vessels and nerves that have been damaged. The process is called photobiomodulation.
5. Dealing with Sleep Apnea - Sleep apnea can be caused by the overgrowth of throat tissue as a result of aging. A dentist may do LAUP or a laser-assisted uvula palatoplasty to remove some of the overgrowth, and minimize the breathing difficulties associated with it.