• laser dentistry potentially offers a more comfortable treatment option for number of dental procedures
• The term LASER stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation”. Use of laser proved to be an effective tool to increase efficiency , specificity, ease, cost and comfort of the dental treatment.
• The instrument creates light energy in a very narrow and focused beam. This laser light produces a reaction when it hits tissue allowing it to remove or shape the tissue.
• Types of lasers used in dental practice can be classified by various methods . According to laser medium used gas laser, solid laser ; According to tissue applicability hard and soft tissues ; According to range of Wavelength.
• Common hard tissue procedures include :-
-Cavity detection. Lasers can detect cavities early by finding evidence of tooth decay.
-Tooth preparations and dental fillings. Local anesthesia and traditional drills are often not needed with laser treatments. Lasers can kill bacteria in a cavity, which can aid in the long-term health of a tooth.
– Treating tooth sensitivity. Teeth that have sensitivity to hot and cold can be treated with dental lasers that seal tubules on the tooth’s root.
• Common soft tissue procedures include :-
-Treating a “gummy smile.” Lasers are used to reshape gum tissue associated with “gummy smile,” in which the gums’ length covers much of the tooth.
-Crown lengthening. This procedure reshapes both gum tissue and bone for healthier tooth structure, which helps with placing restorations on the teeth. Treating tongue frenulum attachment. Those with a thick or tight frenulum (the fold of skin under the front part of tongue that anchors to the mouth floor) may benefit from a laser frenectomy. This treatment helps children whose restricted frenulum causes them to be tongue-tied, have difficulty breastfeeding, or have a speech impediment.
-Removing soft tissue folds. Lasers can remove soft tissue folds from ill-fitting dentures without pain or sutures.
•Other laser procedures include:-
-Optical coherence tomography allows a doctor to safely see inside a tooth or gum tissue.
-Removing benign tumors. Lasers can remove tumors from the palate, gums, and sides of the lips and cheeks through a pain- and suture-free method.
-Treating obstructive sleep apnea. Lasers can reshape the throat and relieve associated breathing problems when sleep apnea is caused by tissue overgrowth in the throat.
-TMJ (temporomandibular joint) treatment. Lasers can help reduce pain and inflammation in the joint.
– Nerve regeneration. Lasers can help regenerate damaged blood vessels, nerves, and scars.
-Treating cold sores. Lasers can minimize healing time and reduce pain from cold sores.
-Teeth whitening. Lasers speed up the bleaching process
Benefits of laser dentistry over other methods :-
– There is potentially a decreased need for sutures with soft tissue lasers.
-Bleeding is minimized in treated soft tissues, as the laser promotes blood clotting.
-With some procedures, anesthesia is unnecessary.
– The chance for bacterial infections is lower because the laser sterilizes the area.
-Wounds can heal faster, and it’s possible for tissue to regenerate. The procedures may involve less damage to the surrounding tissues.
Disadvantages of laser :-
– Lasers can’t be used on teeth that already have certain types of filling, such as metal amalgam.
-Hard lasers can sometimes injure tooth pulp.
-Some laser procedures still require anesthesia.
– Drills are still sometimes needed to complete fillings, including shaping, adjusting the bite, and polishing the filling.