What Is Laser Dentistry? How Does It Work?

What Is Laser Dentistry? How Does It Work?

May 01, 2023

Defining Laser Dentistry

It is a type of dentistry that relies on laser technology to treat various oral conditions. Laser technology encompasses a focused beam of light targeted in one area to remove or modify tissue in the mouth.

There are different types of lasers that dentists employ in dentistry. The specific type depends on the dental procedure being performed. Dentists can use laser dentistry in Gillette to perform various dental procedures, including tooth decay treatment, gum disease treatment, teeth whitening, and more.

How Does It Work?

A laser is typically a small, handheld device that a dentist near you can control to target specific areas of the mouth. Its focused beam of light interacts with the tissues in the mouth. Ideally, the laser emits energy as light, which is absorbed by the targeted tissue. This energy causes a reaction within the tissue, which can cut, remove, or modify it.

The specific wavelength of the laser determines how it interacts with the tissue. For example, lasers for tooth decay treatment usually have a wavelength absorbed by the water in the tooth, causing it to evaporate and eliminate the decayed material. Meanwhile, lasers for gum disease treatment have a wavelength absorbed by the pigment in the bacteria, killing them and promoting gum tissue healing.

​Common Dental Treatments that Use Laser Dentistry

Laser dentistry can treat many dental treatments, including:

  1. Cavities: Dentists can use lasers to detect and remove decayed tooth material without drilling.
  2. Gum disease: Lasers can remove bacteria and infected tissue from the gums, promoting healing and reducing the risk of further infection.
  3. Root canal therapy: Lasers help clean and sterilize an infected root canal during an endodontic procedure.
  4. Teeth whitening: Lasers activate the bleaching agents in teeth whitening products, resulting in a brighter, whiter smile.
  5. Biopsy: Lasers remove a small piece of tissue from the mouth for biopsy, a test for oral cancer.
  6. Reshaping gums: Lasers can reshape and contour the gums for cosmetic purposes or to treat gum disease.
  7. Lesion removal: Lasers can eliminate small lesions or growths from your mouth.

Benefits Of Laser Treatment

There are reasons why dentists at Mountain West Dental prefer working with lasers for different treatments. The reasons include:

  1. Laser dentistry is less invasive than traditional dental procedures – it does not require using drills or other instruments that can damage healthy tissue.
  2. Less painful – because laser dentistry is less invasive, it is typically less painful than traditional dental procedures. Patients may not even require anesthesia in some cases.
  3. Laser dentistry can promote faster healing times – it is less traumatic to the tissue. Therefore, patients may experience less bleeding, swelling, and discomfort after the procedure.
  4. Reduced risk of infection – the laser’s high-energy beam sterilizes the treatment area, reducing the risk of infection.
  5. Incredible precision – lasers can target specific areas with great precision, leaving healthy tissue unharmed.
  6. Versatility – lasers can treat many dental problems, including cavity removal, gum disease, teeth whitening, and more.
  7. Reduced anxiety – laser dentistry is great if you are anxious or fearful about dental procedures because it is less invasive and less painful.
  8. Fewer appointments – some laser dental procedures only require one appointment, reducing the need for multiple ones.

​Does Laser Damage Your Teeth?

Generally, laser dentistry is safe when experienced and licensed professionals use the tools correctly. In fact, laser dentistry can often be less damaging to teeth than traditional dental procedures, as it is less invasive and can result in faster healing times.

However, as with any other medical procedure or technique, there are potential side effects that may result in an injured pulp. The risks are higher if the dental expert does not use the laser correctly or if your teeth are improperly prepared for the procedure. A great example is if the dentist uses a laser on a tooth that is already weakened or has extensive decay. In such a case, it can cause further damage instead of treating the initial problem. Additionally, if the dentist does not use the proper intensity or duration, it can cause heat damage to the tooth or surrounding tissue.