Soft tissue laser is rapidly becoming mainstream technology in general dentistry practice. It’s easy to use and allows very quick and comfortable procedures for our patients. We use lasers to help provide access for restorative dentistry, develop proper gingival articture and to provide access to impacted teeth. Lasers have been used in dentistry for over two decades. Laser is an acronym that stands for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. Every wavelength has a specific tissue interaction and thermal output. The most common dental lasers include CO2, Nd:YAG, diode and Er:YAG. The laser precisely ablates soft tissue and allows very quick healing and minimal discomfort.
Procedures with Soft Tissue Laser
Lasers can be used for many different uses in dentistry from removing soft tissue, decayed teeth, periodontal treatments, and even whitening teeth! The most common use of a soft tissue laser in our office is for the removal of gum tissue to improve gingival architecture, uncovering an impacted tooth or removal of extra tissue to allow for proper bracket placement.
Your gums are the frame of your smile and teeth. Some people may have extra gum tissue after orthodontic care and establishing proper gingival heights and shape greatly improves smile esthetics. This can also give access to any cosmetic or restorative dentistry that is needed. The removal of soft tissue is very precise and stable which lends to a very predictable outcome!
We also use a laser to gain access to an impacted tooth or a tooth that has extra gum tissue that is preventing proper bracket placement. Both of these procedures can greatly improve the efficiency and precision of your orthodontic care. We are able to remove the extra tissue using only topical anesthesia which prevents the need to have an injection. This is a great win-win for us as well as the patient!
Lasers are very versatile and can be used for a number of important uses in the dental field. Soft tissue laser assisted periodontal treatment is more effective than root planning and scaling alone. It assists in bacterial reduction, biostimulation, and debridement. The laser is placed into the periodontal sulcus and removes affected epithelium. Scaling is performed to remove calculus and built-up plaque from the root surfaces. Lasers can also be used to help during root canal procedures by helping with seeing canals and disinfection.
While the lasers we use in our office are specifically designed to remove just soft tissue, many lasers are designed to even remove tooth structure that is damaged by a cavity. These lasers allow for efficient removal of cavities and have been shown to cause less discomfort and some small cavities can be fixed without needing an injection. For this reason, they have become popular with pediatric dentists.
Have you ever had an ulcer that will not go away? Well, many lasers can be adjusted to cause minimal destruction to the aphthous ulcer and cause an increase in blood flow to the area. This treatment transforms the sore so you do not feel the discomfort and the stimulation greatly increases the rate of healing.
Want whiter teeth? Guess what! Some laser systems can be used to help stimulate and activate whitening agents. These lasers enhance the tooth-bleaching effect that can help your beautiful smile shine even brighter.
Lasers- the Dental Mutli-Tool
I know what you are thinking! Lasers are going to take a stand next to the great wonders like the Swiss Army Knife and duct tape! Well, maybe. Lasers are very versatile and the technology has advanced greatly over the last 20 years and keeps improving. These advancements have allowed lasers to become more effective and more flexible in our modern dental practice.
Some of the pros of soft tissue laser in dentistry include:
- Less pain and reduction in need for anesthesia
- Reduce anxiety in patients compared to a dental drill
- Preservation of a healthier tooth in treatment of cavities
- Reduced swelling and bleeding during soft tissue treatments
- Faster healing
- Less chance of infection
Lasers and Its Application in Orthodontics
Lasers also have a firm place in today’s orthodontics. The use of soft tissue lasers offers many advantages, including esthetic finishing, practice efficiencies and improved oral hygiene. They are certainly tools that will be used in dentistry for years to come. Today, dental lasers are booming, with new applications for laser treatment continuing to surface in the field of dentistry. As a matter of fact, the future of lasers is now, and dentistry has entered a new era with the application of lasers. Lasers can just be used in so many different dental procedures and they allow great precision and patient comfort! All around, lasers add a bit of both magic to the science and art of orthodontics.