What is Laser Dentistry?
Lasers have made their way into all parts of our daily life, and the dental office is no different. Dr. Garza uses lasers for both soft and hard tissue procedures, everything from removing decay to recontouring a gummy smile. Diode lasers have a wavelength that is ideally suited for soft tissue procedures because it is absorbable by water and hemoglobin (the oxygenating protein in blood). This gives the diode laser the ability to precisely cut, coagulate, ablate, or vaporize targeted soft tissue. Hard tissue lasers are rapidly changing decay removal, caries detection, and other hard tissue procedures, as well.
Dr. Garza employs lasers with these procedures:
Laser Dentistry Benefits
For one thing, laser dentistry has some benefits over traditional dentistry. Overall, these benefits may include:
- Minimal or no need for anesthetic
- Little or no bleeding
- Faster treatment time
- Reduction in bacterial infections
- Less post-operative pain and swelling
- Less damage to surrounding tissue
- Reduced need for medications or antibiotics after treatment
Am I a Candidate for Laser Dentistry?
There aren’t any limitations on who can have laser dentistry. Particularly for work on the gums, lasers can dramatically improve the entire process. Whether you have gum disease or simply want to address a gummy smile, we believe anyone is a great candidate for our soft tissue laser methods. The advantages of the laser, from its disinfecting qualities to less bleeding and pain, should be available to everyone. There really isn’t a downside when compared with traditional root planing, scaling, and gum recontouring techniques.
On hard tissue, lasers can eliminate the use of the dental drill, which can be a source of anxiety for some patients. The laser is also incredibly effective at making sure all decay has been removed and a tooth disinfected. Lasers also create the perfect bonding surface for the placement of composite resin fillings.
Types Of Laser Services offered
It is important to realize that different dental treatments require the use of different types of lasers. The two most common types of lasers that dentists use are:
Hard-tissue lasers are used to cut into teeth and bone with great accuracy. As a result, they are often used to shape teeth for composite bonding, remove small amounts of tooth material, and repair dental fillings.
Soft-tissue lasers, on the other hand, are able to kill bacteria and activate the regrowth of tissues. Under those circumstances, periodontists commonly use this type of laser in procedures for treatment of the gums.
We also use other types of lasers to view the insides of teeth to detect cavities and other internal teeth-related issues.
Generally speaking, many patients find laser dentistry preferable to traditional dentistry. With soft-tissue laser procedures, patients have also found that pain and swelling are greatly reduced. Coupled with the laser beam’s accuracy, causing minimal damage to surrounding areas of tissue, we are able to perform several procedures during a single appointment, resulting in fewer dental visits.
Laser Dentistry Results
While the end results, in terms of having a cavity filled or a gummy smile recontoured, are basically the same, the means of getting there with the aid of laser technology can really help our patients. These are some of the benefits of Dr. Garza’s use of lasers for his patients:
- Decreased need for sutures with gum procedures
- Minimal bleeding, as the laser energy instantly cauterizes the incision
- Can eliminate the need for anesthesia in some procedures
- The risk of bacterial infection either starting or not being fully removed is lessened with lasers, as they sterilize the area
- Incisions heal faster
- Procedures create less damage to surrounding tissues
- Tissue addressed regenerates more efficiently
Laser Dentistry Risks
The risks involved with the use of hard and soft tissue lasers is very small. Dr. Garza has extensive experience and training with this technology, and he is thrilled to improve his patient care with it.
Is Laser Dentistry Painful?
While it’s easy to think of lasers in a sci-fi movie, the energy used by dental lasers is not anywhere near those sorts of lasers. Lasers actually make procedures such as gum contouring far less painful than traditional methods using a scalpel and sutures. Lasers usually eliminate the need for sutures, as they close the incision instantly. This makes recovery simple in comparison. When Dr. Garza uses his hard tissue laser to remove decay, it doesn’t create any vibration in the tooth as happens with a dental drill. That vibration can lead to post-procedure pain and aching. Lasers also enable Dr. Garza to keep more of the healthy tooth material than when using a dental drill.
Bottom line is, that while laser can’t be used for all procedures and in all cases, when applicable they offer less pain and better results than many traditional methods.