A laser in an instrument that produces a very narrow, intense beam of light energy. When laser light comes in contact with tissue, it causes a reaction. The light produced by the laser can remove or shape tissue.
Lasers have been used in dentistry since 1990. Lasers can be used as a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of dental procedures and are often used in conjunction with other dental instruments.
Dental lasers can be used to:
- Reduce discomfort of canker and cold sores.
- Expose partially erupted wisdom teeth
- Remove muscle attachments that limit proper movement
- Manage gum tissue during impressions for crowns or other procedures
- Remove overgrown tissue caused by medications
- Perform biopsies
- Remove inflamed gum tissues and aid in treatment of gum disease
- Remove or reshape gum and bone tissues during crown lengthening procedures
- Help treat infections in root canals
- Remove/treat bacterial in gingival pockets surrounding teeth
Laser procedures are precise. Also, lasers can reduce symptoms and healing times associated with traditional therapies; reduce the amount of bacteria in both diseased gum tissue and in tooth cavities; and control bleeding during surgery.
If the laser is used according to accepted practices by a trained practitioner, then it is at least as safe as other dental instruments. However, just as you wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from prolonged exposure to the sun, when your dentist performs a laser procedure, you will be asked to wear special eyeglasses to protect your eyes from the laser.
Although the laser is a very useful dental instrument, it is not appropriate for every dental procedure.