With the advancement in technology, medicinal procedures have adopted the latest techniques to revolutionize treatments for diseases. One such indispensable technique is lasers. Their use in medicine is expected to grow by 200% from 2021 to 2029 as people prefer non-invasive procedures over those that leave surgical scars. Dental medicine is no different from laser dentistry at a compound annual growth rate of 5.4% over the next 5 years. What is laser dentistry, and how is it being used today? Read ahead to find out.
What Are Lasers?
Lasers are devices that emit focused beams of light through a narrow channel to amplify a signal that stimulates electromagnetic radiation. Today, lasers are being used in manufacturing, electrical engineering, fashion, and medical industries, amongst others. They are now being used alongside X-rays to study the internal organs of the human body, from bones to tumors. Melanoma screening for skin cancer detection also uses laser X-rays to study internal cells.
In dental medicine, lasers are used to treat gum disease, sterilize and anesthetize the operational area, reduce sensitivity, and more, as discussed below.
Uses Of Laser In Dentistry
Dentists use lasers today to remove diseased tissue in periodontal treatment, bleach teeth in teeth whitening treatments, and stimulate collagen production in sums for regenerative self-healing in the body.
Periodontal disease is a chronic infection and inflammation of gums that are already swollen and bleeding. Lasers dentistry is used to remove diseased tissue from the mouth without disturbing any of the healthy tissue. Lasers can do this because diseased tissue reacts differently to laser exposure than healthy tissue.
The heat generated from the laser strips away the diseased gums. The heat also helps to kill infection-causing bacteria that may be eating away at the gum line. Lastly, the heat stimulates collagen production in the gums. The healing hormone helps gums regenerate themselves.
Tooth sensitivity occurs when the inner dentin layer of a tooth is exposed to the surroundings. The dentin layer contains tubules that are temperature sensitive and are directly linked to the nerves in the innermost layer of a tooth called the pulp. Temperature sensitivity enables hot and cold substances to evoke an unpleasant feeling once the enamel wears off to expose dentin.
Laser dentistry allows professionals to soothe tooth sensitivity by tying up the dentinal tubules using heat. Once the tubules are suppressed, they cannot carry a temperature-sensitive signal to nerve endings, significantly reducing sensitivity.
Crown lengthening is a dental procedure that can be done for clinical and cosmetic reasons.
Clinical crown lengthening removes excess gum around teeth to expose bone for filling a broken part or treating tooth decay below the gum line. Cosmetic crown lengthening is done to treat what is known as the “gummy smile,” a condition in which gums are apparent when a person smiles.
In laser dentistry, crown lengthening is done in a similar way as treating periodontal disease. Gum tissue to expos bone without the need for manual excisions that cause excessive bleeding. The process is minimally invasive because it causes almost no bleeding and has a short recovery time.
Teeth whitening is a popular procedure in cosmetic dentistry that promises patients a pearly white smile. The procedure involved bleaching the front part of the teeth with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down the staining compounds on the teeth (typically washes away a thin layer of enamel too).
Lasers work in teeth whitening by heating the carbamide peroxide gel, which converts into hydrogen peroxide and works as a bleaching agent, removing stains from teeth.
Dental implants are metallic, screw-like proxies installed on gums instead of missing or damaged teeth. Implants are regarded as superior to crowns, dentures, and bridges because they can last longer if handled with care.
Laser dentistry has changed the way dental implants are installed. They are used in place of local anesthesia to soothe and numb the problem area. Gums surrounding the implant are disinfected and any overgrown tissue is cut using lasers. This keeps the implants from failing.
Lasers will continue to be dominant tools in dentistry for their diverse set of functions. PerioLase® iPlus, WaterLase® iPlus, and Epic X™ are a few examples of laser machines in widespread use by dentists.
We are a dental clinic based in southern California that provides laser dentistry treatments in Mission Viejo. Our dental implants , cosmetic crown lengthening, and periodontal disease treatments can help Mission Viejo residents with their oral health and give them their dream smile.
Get in touch with us to book an appointment.