There aren’t many things that people agree on, but the fear and anxiety of going to the dentist are one of the few. One of the aspects of going to the dentist that seems to bother patients the most is the sound and feeling of the dentist’s drill – luckily for those patients, laser dental surgery offers a quieter alternative.
Developed in the 1990’s, laser dental surgery is a less invasive way for dentists to treat gum issues, remove overgrown tissue in the mouth, and whiten teeth. You can learn more about these procedures in depth on dentrixdentalcare.com, but the following guide will cover the basic facts about what laser dental surgery is, why it’s used, and if it’s something you should consider.
So, What Exactly Is It?
As the name suggests, laser dental surgery involves the use of lasers (intensely focused light beams) for a variety of oral procedures. At a very specific wavelength, the laser is able to destroy bacteria in the mouth. For this reason, its main use is to treat gum disease without having to slice the gum open, but it is also used for whitening teeth and removing excess tissue.
There are two types of lasers used for these types of procedures:
- A hard tissue laser which cuts through water and bone is used for detecting cavities and dealing with issues affecting the teeth.
- A soft tissue laser which uses a light wavelength that cuts through water and hemoglobin is used for procedures that involve the gums.
What Can Laser Dentistry Treat?
This method of dentistry is primarily used for treating gum diseases but has other uses as well, including but not limited to:
- Cold sore and canker sore pain
- Treating gum disease
- Treating infections caused by root canals
- Gum reshaping
- Wisdom teeth removal
- Benign tumor removal
- Removing excess tissue that causes sleep apnea
- Teeth whitening
The Benefits of Laser Dentistry
The main reason dentists choose to use lasers for treating patients is that they tend to make things go more smoothly while also reducing the discomfort and recovery time after a procedure.
This is partly due to patients needing fewer sutures if any at all, and anesthetic may not be required. Because the laser cauterizes the tissue after removing it, there is a reduced risk of infection.
Another benefit is that patients lose less blood because of the cauterization, causing less damage to the interior of the mouth reducing the time it takes for the mouth to heal.
Lastly, laser dental surgery is a good option for patients who are anxious about going to the dentist because it’s far less invasive than traditional surgical methods. It’s especially helpful in treating children, whose fear of seeing their dentist tends to be part of growing up.
Also read: 12 reasons why your gums bleed
What Happens During This Type of Surgery?
Patients generally are surprised to discover that procedures involving a laser are almost the same as when done with traditional dental tools. The dentist will sometimes give the patient an anesthetic, although not as strong as most patients are used to getting.
Once the dentist begins the procedure, patients won’t feel any vibrations or discomfort that are normally caused by a drill. The length of time it takes depends on the procedure being done.
Because using a laser causes less bleeding and irritation than the traditional methods involving scalpels, the procedure usually goes more smoothly, greatly reducing recovery time. As long as the cleaning and care procedures the dentist recommends are followed, there isn’t really a risk of post-operative infection.
Going to the dentist is definitely something that causes many people to become anxious, possibly even leading to them avoiding the dentist completely. However, by opting for laser dental surgery, you can worry a bit less about sharp drills and scalpels at the dentist – great news for even the biggest scaredy-cats!