Dental procedures are performed quicker, more effectively and more comfortably thanks to the growing popularity of laser dentistry. Laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) technology has been used in various types of medical procedures for years. An increasing number of dental offices around the world will use dental lasers as the technology continues to improve.
TYPES OF DENTAL LASERS
Hard Tissue Lasers: Hard tissue lasers have a wavelength that is highly absorbable by hydroxyapatite (calcium phosphate salt found in bone and teeth) and water, making them more effective for cutting through tooth structure. Hard tissue lasers include the Erbium YAG and the Erbium chromium YSGG.
The primary use of hard tissue lasers is to cut into bone and teeth with extreme precision. Hard tissue lasers are often used in the prepping or shaping of teeth for composite bonding, the removal of small amounts of tooth structure and the repair of certain worn down dental fillings.
Soft Tissue Lasers: Soft tissue lasers boast a wavelength that is highly absorbable by water and hemoglobin (oxygenating protein in red blood cells), making them more effective for soft tissue management. Commonly used soft tissue lasers include Neodymium YAG (Nd:YAG) and diode lasers, which may be used as a component of periodontal treatment and have the ability to kill bacteria and activate the re-growth of tissues. The carbon-dioxide laser minimizes damage to surrounding tissue and removes tissue faster than the fiber optic method.
Soft tissue lasers penetrate soft tissue while sealing blood vessels and nerve endings. This is the primary reason why many people experience virtually no postoperative pain following the use of a laser. Also, soft tissue lasers allow tissues to heal faster. It is for this reason that a growing number of cosmetic dental practices are incorporating the use of soft tissue lasers for gingival sculpting procedures.
In addition to the lasers used for cutting and shaping hard and soft tissues, other laser types are specifically designed for viewing the insides of teeth and cells using Optical Coherence Tomography, a non-invasive imaging technique. Other lasers provide energy and specific proteins that help move messages between cells to match the body’s natural ability to use light spectrums to heal damaged cells.
ADVANTAGES OF DENTAL LASER:
The laser cut is more precise than that of a scalpel
The laser seals off blood vessels and lymphatics, leaving a clear dry field.
The laser sterilizes as it cuts, reducing the risk of blood – borne transmission of a disease
Minimal postoperative pain and swelling
Less post-operative infection, since the wound is sealed with a biological dressing
Less wound contraction
No scar formation
Less damage occurs to adjacent tissues