The Benefits of Laser Dentistry

 In Yaletown Dental Blog

To some of us, lasers might sound like space-age weapons that belong in Star Wars movies, but in dentistry, they’re an extremely helpful tool. They’re not even all that new. Laser dentistry has been widely used since it was first approved for treating gum disease in the 1990s. Later, there was sufficient evidence for laser dentistry to be adopted for the treatment of teeth and jaw.

If you were expecting your dentist to approach you with a light sabre, however, you’ll be disappointed. The lasers that dentists use emit a very thin beam of light energy. Laser dentistry has several advantages over traditional dentistry but isn’t suitable for all treatments.

Why Dentists Choose Laser Dentistry for Their Patients

In some instances, the laser can completely replace the drill. For the patient, the procedure causes less discomfort than traditional methods. That means the dentist can use less anaesthetic, and your mouth won’t be numb for as long.

In procedures that may cause bleeding or inflammation, the laser causes less trauma to the tissue, reducing bleeding and the subsequent swelling around the area. With less bleeding, the dentist may be able to dispense with sutures.

The fine laser beam allows for incredibly precise work, so if a dentist uses it to target tooth decay, for example, it allow for less damage to healthy tissue around the affected area. The same is true when lasers are used to treat gum disease.

A dentist always takes proper care of his or her instruments, but your mouth contains bacteria that can cause infection. Lasers kill the bacteria on tissues they come into contact with, reducing the risk of infection.

There are further benefits for patients who undergo laser dentistry treatments. There is always some recovery time after dental surgery, but because the laser is so precise, it reduces trauma to tissues, allowing for faster recovery.

The Versatility of Lasers in Dentistry

While were considering the benefits of laser dentistry, we should also take its versatility into account.

  • “Cutting” out decayed matter and cleaning out the area where a filling is to be placed.
  • Shaping the gums, particularly when they are out of proportion to the teeth.
  • Removing plaque and tartar.
  • Reducing the risk of infection during root canal treatments.
  • Performing biopsies in oral cancer screening procedures.
  • Gum surgery.

Does Laser Dentistry Replace All Traditional Methods?

Even a dentist with a great deal of skill and experience in laser dentistry may still need to resort to the “old fashioned” methods. For example, if the dentist treats a tooth that already has a filling, he or she will have to resort to using the drill.

Even when we can use a drill when preparing teeth for fillings, a little additional drilling could be on the cards. This will most likely apply to shaping the filling and polishing it. But if the cavity is between two teeth, or the cavity is particularly large, the laser will be unsuitable for use. It is also not suited to the preparation work your dentist must do when undertaking bridgework.

Having said this, a dentist who is skilled in laser dentistry can use the equipment to make procedures, easier, cleaner, and less invasive. Be sure to choose a dentist with the training and certifications needed for you to take advantage of all the benefits of laser dentistry.


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