What is Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry can be a very effective way to perform dental procedures. In laser dentistry, dental procedures are performed using lasers. Dr. Kenneth Barney uses dental lasers because it allows him to perform procedures with great precision, few complications, and very little pain.
How do dental lasers work?
Lasers work by emitting powerful light beams. These light beams are pointed to a precise point and are used at different intensities. Lasers for crown lengthening are powerful enough to cut through soft tissue. Other lasers, like the one for teeth whitening, emit a lower intensity to seal a nerve or heat up a liquid quickly.
How are lasers used in dentistry?
Lasers are common for several dental procedures such as; cavity detection, tartar removal, dental fillings, gum surgery, dental implants, teeth whitening, and removal of benign tumors. Dental lasers can also do the following:
- Reduce the discomfort of canker or cold sores
- Remove inflamed gum tissues and assist in gum disease treatment
- Help treat infections in root canals
- Remove overgrown tissue
- Enhance tooth whitening process
- Reshape/remove gum and bone tissues during crown lengthening
- Expose partially erupted wisdom teeth
Benefits of Laser Dentistry
There are many benefits of laser dentistry and using dental lasers for procedures. For some procedures, the use of a drill or anesthesia may not be needed, allowing the dentist to provide the patient with an improved dental experience. Additional benefits of lasers include:
- Little or no bleeding
- Faster treatment time
- Reduce the risk of bacterial infections
- Less post-operative pain and swelling
- Less damage to surrounding tissue
- Need for medications or antibiotics is reduced after treatment
Types of dental lasers
Each type of laser are for different dental treatments. The two most common types of lasers are Hard-Tissue and Soft Tissue Lasers.
- Hard-Tissue Laser cuts into teeth and bone with great accuracy. This laser has the ability to shape teeth for composite bonding, remove small amounts of tooth material, and repair dental fillings.
- Soft-Tissue Laser is able to kill bacteria and activate the regrowth of tissues. Periodontists commonly use this laser when performing procedures for treatment of the gums.
Laser Dentistry treats the following conditions:
- Gum disease: In addition to regular periodontal disease therapy, lasers can help make drastic improvements in gum health. With the use of lasers the gums heal more quickly and become more responsive to treatment.
- Gum contouring: Painful gum contouring surgery involving a scalpel and many days of recovery has thankfully been replaced by laser surgery. Using a diode laser, Dr. Barney can gently reshape and cut away excess tissue, leaving patients with a less gummy smile, without the recovery period.
- Canker sore treatment: Treating canker sores can be done much more quickly with lasers. A laser can seal off the nerves that were causing the pain and can break down the tissues creating the sores. This way the healing of canker sores is done without long, intensive corticosteroid treatments.
- Frenectomies: Lasers can replace traditional surgery on both lingual frenum and labial frenum problems.
- Crown lengthening: When the gums cover too much of the crown of the teeth, lasers can be used to cut away the tissue. Just like gum contouring, this procedure formerly involved surgery with a scalpel.
Will the laser itself hurt?
Many patients find that laser dentistry is preferable to traditional dentistry, with its use of drills and other invasive tools. Pain and swelling greatly reduces; the laser beam’s accuracy means that damage to surrounding tissue is minimal; and fewer dental visits occur since Dr. Barney has the ability to perform several procedures during a single appointment.
Can I return to work right after treatment?
This depends on the type of treatment you are getting. For example, if you are having crown lengthening done, you will want to take a day or two off because of the inflammation that will occur afterward. If you are only having porcelain veneers or teeth whitening, then you will most likely return to work right away.
Schedule a consultation
If you would like to learn more about laser dentistry, call (304) 754-8803 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kenneth Barney at our office in Hedgesville, WV.