Amazing new dental technology is changing the way cosmetic dentists perform many procedures. Lasers and other pieces of technology are also changing the face of general dentistry and peridontics. A number of painful dental procedures can now be performed using lasers, and the patient experiences no pain whatsoever. If you have put off dental work because you are afraid of the dentist (or fearful of the pain), you will be shocked at how lasers have changed the way many procedures are performed. If you have not been to a dentist for years because of the discomfort many procedures cause, please contact Dr. Angela E. Mulrooney today to schedule a new patient oral health examination.
Dental laser surgery uses a beam of intense light to correct dental issues. The energy produced by the laser cuts away or “vaporizes” the tissue that we focus the beam of light on. Dental lasers remove bacteria and infection and then cleanse the area in preparation for the procedure you are to have. This is done in less time and with less irritation than a dental drill. Laser surgery also allows for a speedier recovery time.
Procedures Using Lasers
Cavity Filling—We use lasers to remove tooth decay and to harden composite resin fillings. We also use dental lasers to detect cavities.
Root Canals (Endodontics)—Lasers melt away the infection in the tooth’s root without drills or files. Lasers also clean the tubules of the dentin, removing bacteria and reducing the likelihood the root canal will fail.
Gum Surgery—Lasers remove infected gum tissue below the gum line and also reshape your gums. You can recover much more quickly from gum treatments when we use lasers than when we use traditional instruments.
Dental Abscess—We now use lasers to open and drain dental abscesses, allowing us to do our work more quickly and with less pain; recovery time is shorter with the use of lasers.
Biopsies—Lasers are now used to remove small amounts of tissue to check for oral cancer, eliminating the need for knives or invasive surgical procedures.
Lesion Removal—Oral lesions are now removed using lasers.
Pros and Cons of Dental Laser Surgery
We believe it’s only fair to give you both the advantages and disadvantages of laser dental surgery because we feel you should be aware of all facts before making the decision to undergo surgery with lasers. Here are the advantages of lasers:
• There’s no scary sound of the drill; the noise of a drill, alone, causes anxiety in many people.
• Dental treatments are performed more quickly, reducing the amount of time you spend in our office.
• Dental lasers often minimize the discomfort associated with dental surgery, reducing the need for local anesthesia.
• Less healthy tooth structure is removed during dental cavity preparation.
• The dental laser seals off blood vessels, minimizing the possibility of bleeding gums; no bleeding gums means no stitches—which makes many patients very happy!
• Lasers cleanse the treated area better, reducing the chances that bacteria will grow and thrive.
• Post-surgery complications—swelling, infection and pain—are reduced.
• Less post-treatment healing time is required.
• Laser surgery is an excellent option for those who suffer from dental anxiety or phobia.
The disadvantages of using lasers for dental surgery are:
• Dental laser surgery can’t be used for cavities between teeth or for filling large cavities.
• Dental laser surgery cannot be used for dental crown preparation or for dental bridge preparation.
• Dental lasers cannot penetrate a current tooth filling or remove a dental crown.
• In some patients, there still may be a need for anesthesia.
• Because lasers cannot bend, they may not be able to reach all areas of the tooth.
• Laser surgery procedures can be more expensive than traditional dental treatments; most dental insurance plans will not cover the extra expense of the laser.
If you have put off dental work due to fear of pain and fear of the drill, please give Dr. Mulrooney a call to schedule a new patient oral health examination today.