Technology’s advances in healthcare now extend to the field of dental health with surprising and exciting types of laser dentistry treatments. Before its introduction, individuals requiring fillings, root canals, crown lengthening, and gum shortening faced long, complicated, and sometimes surgical procedures that were both expensive and painful. Fortunately, the modern method of using lasers is revolutionizing dental health by facilitating corrective measures in an easier, less invasive, and more precise way.
Thanks to the various types of laser dentistry treatments now available to individuals across the country, patients can breathe a sigh of relief and potentially have less fear of what used to require complex procedures for dental corrections.
Types of Laser Dentistry Treatments
The use of lasers in dentistry is FDA approved and is now widely used among modern dental professionals for certain treatments. Lasers are popular with Houston TX dentists and patients alike because they are minimally invasive and have numerous applications.
There are two main types of laser dentistry treatments:
- Soft Tissue Lasers
- Hard Tissue Lasers
The division between the two is found in the type of surfaces they can be used on. For example, a hard tissue laser that is used on the enamel of a tooth may be too abrasive for soft tissue, such as the gums. Regardless of which type of laser is used, they utilize focused light energy beams to remove and reshape tissue as needed.
One of the most common types of lasers used for hard tissue is the erbium laser. It is typically used on tooth enamel and bone and can assist with dental fillings and even tooth sensitivity.
When it comes to soft tissue lasers, the most frequently used are carbon dioxide lasers and diode lasers. Of the two, diode lasers are used more because they are smaller in size and more affordable than their carbon dioxide counterpart. They are usually helpful in addressing gum reshaping or gum surgery.
How Laser Dentistry Can Be Beneficial
On the broadest scale, lasers can be invaluable in addressing hard and soft tissue problems in a minimally invasive manner. However, there are a number of specific conditions dental lasers can address under that larger umbrella, not limited to but including:
- Cavities. Many people, especially children, who require cavity fillings can be fearful of the noise and vibrations of a dental drill. The anxiety may be so great that the patient requires anesthesia for the dentist to be able to work. Fortunately, dental lasers are able to assist with killing bacteria and the implementation of fillings without those particular triggers of fear. Lasers are much quieter than dental drills and do not cause alarming vibrations.
- Shortening of the gums. This procedure can fall under the category of cosmetic dentistry if it is not impacted by gum health. Patients who have gums that extend beyond a normal gumline may wish for their gums to be shortened by laser dentistry. This could result in a patient’s higher level of confidence in their smile and overall appearance.
- Lengthening of crowns. It is not uncommon for a tooth that requires a crown to need to be reshaped before being fit for the crown. While there are older and more traditional dental implements that could get the job done, the use of a laser can be less traumatic for a patient and may increase the success of crown placements.
- Root canals. Traditionally, root canals are not pleasant for those that need them, but the use of shockwaves from a laser can effectively penetrate the affected area and assist with more thorough disinfection and reach. For some patients, the use of laser dentistry can make root canals a less traumatic experience in general.
- Teeth whitening. While it is largely considered to be a cosmetic dentistry treatment, lasers can be useful in whitening teeth. Some patients prefer this method to more traditional options because it does not require repetitive bleaching to achieve a brighter look.
- Periodontal disease. Individuals who experience periodontal disease can find the use of dental lasers to be a less invasive approach to treating the disease. Additional perks to using lasers for this condition are that they can yield less pain and a faster recovery than traditional treatment.
- Tooth sensitivity. Many people suffer with some degree of tooth sensitivity at some point in their lifetime. This may be more noticeable to them when eating or drinking intensely hot or cold substances. By using lasers to treat the root of the affected tooth, sensitivity felt by the patient may decrease and become more manageable.
Although a tongue frenulum attachment is not as common among patients as the above conditions, dental lasers can assist with this as well. Some people could experience an abnormally tight piece of skin under the tongue which keeps the tongue anchored too tightly to the bottom of the mouth. For conditions such as these, a dental laser may be able to provide a person with some relief.
People experiencing the above conditions may want to speak to their Houston TX dentist about laser treatment options. The various types of laser dentistry treatments have made great strides in treating some dental conditions in a less invasive and more comfortable way.
Benefits of Laser Dentistry Treatments
Overall, many individuals choose the different types of laser dentistry treatments because they could offer greater benefits than older and more traditional methods.
For a lot of patients, the most obvious upside to the use of dental lasers is that they offer safe and minimally invasive treatment that often evokes little to no pain and results in a faster recovery time than surgical methods. Because the pain level can be so low with the use of lasers, it may be possible for a patient to decline the use of anesthesia. This can be particularly helpful for those that tend to experience adverse effects from the use of anesthesia.
When dental work is being performed, some blood loss can be normal, albeit somewhat alarming for the patient. The use of lasers may be able to help reduce bleeding and therefore make patients less anxious. As a bonus, the lasers are also designed to reduce the occurrence of a bacterial infection at the same time and can reduce or even eliminate the need for sutures or stitches.
The access to highly precise tissue-selective treatments is a plus. Instead of being subjected to a one size fits all laser method, a more customized treatment can be conducted with either a hard or soft tissue laser, depending on which the specific situation calls for in each patient.
Finding a Reputable Houston TX Dentist That Offers Laser Dentistry
While the popularity of laser dentistry is continuously growing, it does not guarantee that your Houston TX dentist will offer this option. For this reason, it is important to find a dentist that does offer this type of work should a patient require it.
Before signing on with a Houston TX dentist for laser treatments, ensure that they are qualified and trained in this specific area of dentistry. The correct and proper use of lasers should be learned through additional training and education.
It may be helpful for patients considering this type of procedure to request to see before and after photos of laser dental work the dentist has previously performed. This gives the patient a better idea of what types of procedures the dentist has successfully done in the past.
Be sure to keep in mind the location of the dentist’s office and the age range that they are willing to work with. By choosing a dentist office close to home, the office or school, it may make it more convenient for families to visit as needed.
With a solid understanding of the types of laser dentistry treatments are available today, people can feel more empowered to deal with cosmetic or dental health issues they have been putting off for far too long.