Dental anxiety, which is common in children and adults, can be caused by negative dental experiences in the past, unpleasant noise from the drill along with the sight of needles and metal tools. Dental trauma leads to refusing necessary treatments and avoiding check-ups and professional cleaning. Finding ways to overcome this common fear is essential. Laser dentistry has given us the ability to improve the dental experience for patients while increasing effectiveness.
What is laser dentistry?
Surgeons introduced laser treatments about 50 years ago. It was used to focus precisely on target areas to alter or remove inflamed tissues and kill bacteria, without harming the surrounding tissues. Patients were less likely to experience pain, bleeding or discomfort, with quicker recovery times.
The same concept is utilized in laser dentistry to perform more advanced techniques. It can be used for treating cavities/overgrown tissue, killing bacteria, root canals, gum disease, or even whitening teeth with no sensitivity.
How do lasers work on cavities?
Tooth decay includes bacteria and rotten tooth areas which contain more water than the healthy tooth structure. The laser’s light beam targets decayed areas and rapidly heats the water inside. Pressure increases and bacteria in rotten areas “explode” with popping sounds. Decayed areas of the tooth and bacteria are completely removed pain-free. The tooth is sterilized and the cavity is ready for a filling. With this quick process no numbing or anesthesia is required.
What are the benefits
of this technique?
Anxiety is reduced due to the elimination of injections, drill sounds and vibration. Patients only hear a mild popping sound and a cool water spray. Bacteria is reduced and helps prevent leakage and recurrent cavities under new fillings. In some cases, laser-assisted therapy reduces the chance of needing a root canal. Some significant benefits of laser dental procedures are:
No Anesthesia or Numbness in most cases
Safe and Effective
No Pain or Discomfort
Shorter Recovery Time
Can a laser be used for all
Technically, yes, it can be an effective tool for any cavity treatment. Depending on seriousness, it is recommended to remove dental caries, dental filling preparation and kill bacteria. However, if tooth structure is damaged and cavities are too large for regular fillings, patients have to be numbed and dental lasers will be used as a supporting technique for other regular treatments, such as a crowns, extractions and implants.