Lasers have added a whole new dimension to the practice of dentistry. Today, we
can use lasers to cure the composite resins used to fill teeth (white fillings),
accelerate the in-office tooth whitening process, do soft tissue surgery, AND even
remove cavities from teeth.
How a Laser Works
A laser is an instrument that amplifies light energy and it is this amplified light
energy that we use to cut tissue and teeth. There are various types of lasers used
in dentistry today. Each laser operates at a specific wavelength of light. Certain
wavelengths of light are better absorbed by tissue.
In our office we utilize the DeLight Erbium YAG by Hoya con Bio, the technology
leader in dental and medical lasers.
The DeLight’s laser energy is highly absorbed in water and there is water in all
tissues even the hardest tooth enamel. This laser is truly amazing.
The Erbium YAG laser was the first laser approved by the FDA for cutting hard tissue
such as tooth and bone.
Lasers and Tooth Decay
It is now possible to remove decay from a tooth with virtually no anesthetic, no
vibration and minimal discomfort.
It is great for kids! We can do small cavities without any shots. However, there
are certain limitations. We can not remove silver fillings with the laser.
Other procedures that we can do with the laser are soft tissue related which include:
- Cosmetic contouring of the gum tissue (gum lift, reshaping)
- Frenectomies (frenum is a small muscle attachment under the lips)
- Tongue tie release (the muscle under the tongue)
- Periodontal therapy (gum disease)
- Excision of minor growths
- Crown lengthening (removing gum and bone to expose more tooth)
- Aphthous ulcer treatment (the laser takes away the discomfort from canker sores)
The majority of these soft tissue procedures are performed with just topical anesthetic
gel. There is no suturing required and post operative discomfort is minimal.