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 Does Laser Dentistry Work?
Lasers work by emitting powerful light beams. 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 Do Dentists Use Lasers?
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
Laser Dentistry Benefits
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
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.
What Can Laser Dentistry Treat?
Dentists choose to use lasers for many different procedures. As stated above, they can remove tartar, whiten teeth, and remove excess tissue. There are even more uses for lasers in the world of dentistry.
- Gum disease: In addition to regular periodontal disease therapy, laser gum surgery 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.
- 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.
Benefits of Laser Gum Treatment
The precision and accuracy of the laser beams used in laser gum treatment cause no damage to the teeth and gum tissue surrounding the treatment area. There is no need to sutures and minimal recovery time associated with laser gum surgery. In addition to gum disease treatment and gum contouring, other treatment options include:
- Pocket Reduction: Laser are used to promote the healing of severely diseased gums by augmenting the pocket depth. Treatment can either entirely eliminate the pockets, or significantly reduce their depth. This process restors and regenerates healthy gums. The lasers are able to reduce the levels of bacteria in these pockets and promote gum health.
- Soft-Tissue Folds: While dentures are a great solution for missing or damaged teeth, they can cause damage to your gums if they are ill-fitted. Laser dentistry allows for the painless removal of folds in the gums caused by poorly sized dentures. The traditional version of this method calls for formal surgery including incisions to the gums and sutures to close the wounds. Using lasers allows for a painless alternative to painful soft-fold tissues.
Is Laser Dentistry Painful?
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.
Laser Dentistry Recovery
Many patients wonder if they will be able to return to work after their procedure; this all 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.