A laser is a device that uses light energy to perform work. Lasers are unique because they can treat targeted tissue unaffected. It is this property among others that allow us to perform very precise procedures, In addition lasers may seal off blood vessels and nerve endings during a procedure lessening bleeding, postoperative pain and swelling. In many cases due to their gentle and precise nature lasers are used with little or no anesthetics.
Lasers have many uses in today's dental office. They are used for both hard and soft tissue procedures and can do things that we can't accomplish with traditional therapies. Laser treatment benefits include reduced bleeding, swelling and postoperative pain. In addition lasers offer more precise cutting capabilities than traditional methodologies. You dentist will determine which laser and what type of treatment is appropriate for your case.
Is this a new procedure?
Lasers have been in use in medicine and dentistry for many years. The FDA has approved the use of lasers for many dental procedures.
Why does my dentist use a laser over other instruments?
Lasers are used because of the precise control they afford the dentist and the comfort they provide to patients. Lasers perform many functions at once. Not can a laser remove tissue but it can also be used to seal blood vessels and nerve endings, reducing bleeding and postoperative pain and swelling. Dentists and patients also appreciate that many times a laser may be used with minimal or no anesthetic.
What about pain?
One of the biggest advantages of laser therapy is the fact that many times procedures can be performed with much less discomfort and postoperative pain that with conventional methods. This is due to the lasers ability to seal off nerve endings and blood vessels and to be tissue specific during treatment. Hard tissue lasers have been reported to have an analgesia type effect making the use of anesthetic unnecessary in many cases. Since hard tissue lasers are used in a non contact manner there is also less heat and vibration produced versus a traditional hand-piece.
What about damage to my eyes?
Your dentist or hygienist will have you wear special safety eyewear during the procedure. These specially designed glasses also protect your eyes from other materials that may be used during your therapy.
How do I know if I need to have laser therapy?
While lasers have many uses in today's dental office they are not used for every procedure. Your dentist or hygienist will decide if laser therapy is appropriate for your particular procedure.