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Laser Dentistry

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved laser dentistry as a treatment option for several dental conditions.

How does laser dentistry work?

In 1989, laser dentistry became commercially available in clinical dental practice for procedures involving tooth tissue. In comparison to drills and other non-laser instruments, laser dentistry can provide a more comfortable treatment option for a number of dental procedures involving hard or soft tissue.

When a laser beam strikes tissue, it produces a reaction that allows it to be removed or shaped. LASER stands for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.”.

Dental lasers are used for a variety of procedures, including:

  • Hypersensitivity treatment
  • Tooth decay treatment
  • Gum disease treatment
  • Teeth whitening

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved laser dentistry as a treatment option for several dental conditions. Laser dentistry can be more efficient, cost-effective, and comfortable.

The American Dental Association (ADA) has yet to do so, although they are optimistic about the field’s potential.

What is the process of laser treatment?

There are two types of laser dentistry procedures: hard tissue and soft tissue. Hard tissue refers to the teeth, while soft tissue refers to the gums.

The following are common procedures for hard tissue:

  • Lasers can detect cavities early by detecting signs of decay in the teeth.
  • Often, laser treatments do not require anesthesia or traditional procedures. Lasers are capable of killing bacteria in cavities, which can enhance a tooth’s long-term health.
  • Dental lasers can seal tubules on the root of the tooth, reducing sensitivity to hot and cold.

Among the most common soft tissue procedures are:

  • Lasers can be used to reshape gum tissue associated with “gummy smiles,” where the gums cover much of the tooth.
  • A crown lengthening procedure reshapes the gums and bone for a healthier tooth structure, which aids in placing restorations.
  • A laser refectory may be effective for patients with a thick or tight frenulum (the fold of skin under the front part of the tongue that anchors to the floor of the mouth). Children with a restricted frenulum who are tongue-tied, have difficulty breastfeeding, or have a speech impediment can benefit from this treatment.
  • Lasers can be used to remove soft tissue folds from ill-fitting dentures without causing pain or requiring sutures.

Among the other laser procedures are:

  • Doctors can safely view inside a tooth or gum tissue using optical coherence tomography.
  • Using lasers, benign tumors can be removed in a painless, suture-free manner from the palate, gums, sides of the lips, and cheeks.
  • Lasers can be used to reshape the throat and relieve breathing problems associated with obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Lasers can help reduce inflammation and pain in the TMJ (temporomandibular joint).
  • Regeneration of damaged blood vessels, nerves, and scars can be assisted by lasers.
  • Cold sores can be treated with lasers to reduce their healing time and pain.
  • During teeth-whitening sessions, lasers speed up the bleaching process.

There are a variety of laser treatments available, depending on the procedure and the laser equipment used. Because laser treatments are usually completed in fewer sessions than non-laser treatments, they may be less expensive than non-laser treatments. Furthermore, dental insurance usually determines reimbursement costs based on the method and not on the treatment itself.

As a result, compensation is likely to be the same as for drilling and other procedures. However, it is always wise to inquire about your specific policy beforehand to ensure that you get the most accurate information.

 

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Ammar Mousa, DDS

With multiple years of experience, Dr. Mousa is a compassionate dentist who offers comprehensive, high quality gentle dental care in his state-of-the-art practice.

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