Laser Dentistry

December 13, 2017

Lasers have been in the dental field for some time now, but over the last couple of years have really become a popular topic. More dental offices are starting to see the benefits lasers can provide to their patients and instead of a cool tech fad, they are slowly becoming the standard of care. Patients are usually unsure of what services lasers can provide, and it is our job to inform you. Lasers can be utilized by both dentists and dental hygienists to bring the best care to our patients. Below we’ve outlined a few of the main functions of laser dentistry.

Dental Hygiene: At Hadlock Dental Center, this is our future goal for laser use. We will use lasers on a day to day basis performing “Laser Bacterial Reduction (LBR).” LBR can benefit all patients regardless of their periodontal condition or history. The function is as the name states, to reduce the number of periodontal pathogens in the gum pockets. This leads to less bleeding and inflammation at subsequent visits and creates an overall healthier oral cavity. LBR will be offered to all of our patients once we have it in the office. Another procedure your hygienist may perform with the laser is “Gingival Curettage.” This is an adjunctive procedure used in addition to scaling and root planing (SRP or Gum Therapy) for patients with active periodontal disease. Gingival curettage is the act of removing infected tissue within the pocket and is a quick and beneficial addition to SRP therapy. Utilizing this adjunct therapy, has been proven to provide less bleeding around the gums and reduced inflammation. Removing necrotic tissue and reducing bacterial pathogens within the pockets allows the gum tissue to heal more quickly.

Tooth Whitening: There are several methods of tooth whitening, but the laser option typically causes less sensitivity than more intense UV options. We’ve discovered that patients’ teeth become about 2-3 shades lighter after laser whitening and for patients with already sensitive teeth, this is a good alternative and can be followed up with at home whitening trays. This way is great for people who want to lighten their smile without increasing their sensitivity levels.

Decay Removal/Cavity Preparation: There are two main types of lasers, those that cut soft tissue only and those that cut both hard and soft tissues. The latter form can be used in decay removal and to prepare cavities for fillings. The advantage of this method is that patients often experience little to no discomfort even when they are not numb. It does take a bit longer than traditional decay removal, but usually doesn’t require more chair time if the patient doesn’t need anesthetic. This revolutionary technology is something the staff is looking forward to getting in the future.

Aphthous Ulcers/Herpetic Lesions: Many patients suffer from aphthous ulcers (canker sores) and Herpetic Lesions (cold sores), both of which can be very painful. Early research has shown that treating these lesions with the laser leads to less discomfort for the patient and faster healing times. There are various reasons this may be occurring with the laser treatment which include, dehydration, possible biostimulation, decontamination, and potentially preventing the Herpes Virus from replicating.

As we continue to gain more knowledge about lasers in the dental practice, we will share our further findings. In the near future we hope to provide these services at our office and increase the range of care we can provide to you. It is so exciting to find new ways we can help our patients!

 

Resources:

“Dental Lasers and the Dental Hygienist”

http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-28/issue-6/feature/dental-lasers-and-the-dental-hygienist.html

 

“It’s not Rocket Science”

http://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-31/issue-7/features/its-not-rocket-science.html

 

“The Application of Diode Lasers (970nm) in the Treatment of Aphthous Ulcers”

file:///home/chronos/u-ef64bc1a16ffe1cfcc0da774926ac5654f7c226b/Downloads/Application-of-970-nm-diode-laser-in-treatment-of-aphthous-ulcers%20(1).pdf

 


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