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More About Laser Dentistry
Lasers have a variety of uses in dentistry, and have been approved by the FDA as a treatment since 1994. Most people have likely heard about lasers being used in teeth whitening procedures, but their applications go far beyond that procedure and prove their versatility as an important tool of modern dentistry. Your dentist may recommend laser treatment as a cavity treatment, to be used in gum surgery, or to address many other oral health issues.
Lasers can be used in many types of dental treatment, from cosmetic procedures to vital surgeries. Some of the most common types of laser treatments include:
Laser dentistry for gum recontouring
Dentists can use lasers to move excess gum tissue and recontour the gums for aesthetic purposes.
Laser dentistry for gum surgery
In some types of oral surgery, lasers are useful removing pieces of infected gum tissue and creating a path for healthy gum tissue to regrow in its place.
Laser dentistry for fillings
When a cavity needs to be filled, dentists can use lasers to remove the decayed material from the tooth, prepare it to be filled, and place etching on the tooth enamel so that the filling material can properly bond to it.
There are several reasons why dentists and patients may prefer to use lasers over traditional treatment methods. In some cases, lasers may result in reduced pain during a procedure, and thereby reduce the need for anesthesia. They may also be able to lessen anxiety for patients who have a fear of traditional drills used in dental treatments. When decayed material needs to be removed for a cavity filling, dentist may be able to preserve more of the healthy tooth by using a laser treatment. Also, lasers can reduce the bleeding and swelling in the gums that often occurs during soft tissue treatments.
There are two main types of lasers that are used in laser dentistry: soft tissue lasers and hard tissue lasers. Soft tissue lasers are designed for use in soft tissue treatments such as gum surgery and gum reshaping. These lasers are able to make precise cuts in soft gum tissue while minimizing bleeding and irritation. Hard tissue lasers are employed to cut hard surfaces such as teeth enamel and decayed material. They are most often used to fill cavities and prepare a tooth for a root canal, and in some cases they decrease the likelihood that patients will experience pain caused by overheated nerve tissue.
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