Regular dental visits are essential. Having healthy teeth and gums not only plays a role in how you look, but it also affects your overall health. At Woodcreek Dental we know that while some people have no problem visiting the dentist, others may find a trip to see us a scary affair. If you happen to be in this category, laser dentistry is an excellent option if you are looking for a more relaxed dental experience.
A laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) is a monochromatic light that consists of an energy source, an active lasing medium, and an optical resonator. Lasers bring many advantages to various dental procedures, including restorative dentistry, endodontics, periodontics, pedodontics, and oral and maxillofacial surgery.
Benefits of Laser Dentistry
Dental lasers preserve more of the natural tooth and may also reduce or eliminate the need for surgical sutures (stitches). As these optical devices are less invasive, they help minimize operative and postoperative pain and discomfort. They can also reduce the need for anesthesia in certain procedures.
Other advantages of the using high-energy light beam are that they minimize bleeding and blood loss as they aid in clotting exposed blood vessels. The risk of bacterial infection is less as lasers can sterilize the surgical area under treatment.
The precise way in which lasers work also reduces damage to surrounding tissue. High-energy light beams are also capable of stimulating collagen production. This ability helps wounds heal faster, tissue regenerate quicker, and shortens recovery time.
Different Types of Dentistry Lasers
There are two main types of dental lasers - hard tissue lasers and soft tissue lasers. The main difference between them is the biological effect of the laser's beam or wavelength.
Hard tissue lasers are designed to be absorbable by a calcium phosphate salt found in bone and teeth called hydroxyapatite. This type of laser works best for cutting through bone and teeth. Hard tissue lasers are used to detect cavities and prepare teeth for fillings or other applications. This type of laser is also used to seal microscopic tubes or canals known as tubules that increase tooth sensitivity to hot or cold stimuli.
For intraoral soft tissue surgical applications, soft tissue lasers are the most effective. These types of lasers are designed to be absorbable by water and hemoglobin. Soft tissue lasers repair, reshape, and remove gum tissue quickly, painlessly, and with minimum blood loss and damage to surrounding tissue. The preciseness makes them also great for incisions or excisions of soft tissue. We also use this type of laser for removal of cysts or fibroma (non-malignant tumor, mucosa, tongue), to drain abscesses, and take tissue samples for biopsy.
Procedures carried out using lasers vary only slightly from those using conventional instruments. We apply a local numbing agent before starting along with a sedative if needed. However, with a laser, you will not feel any vibrations or discomfort as you do when we use a drill.
Laser dentistry is safe and effective and can relieve the fear and anxiety associated with going to the dentist. For more information on these treatments call us at Woodcreek Dental at (805) 482-6389. We will be happy to answer your questions and provide any additional information you need.