Lasers to Treat Tooth Decay
Dental laser technology is being utilized more and more in the dental field. Many dentists use lasers for oral surgery procedures, but they are also a safe and effective treatment for tooth decay.
How Lasers Treat Tooth Decay
Lasers can be used to remove decayed matter from the teeth in the same way a drill is used. The laser excises the decayed area, making room for the dentist to place a filling. Advantages to using the laser over using a traditional drill include:
- The laser can remove the decay more precisely, leaving more of the tooth intact
- The tooth is not damaged by vibrations created by a drill
- The tooth is not damaged by the heat created by a drill
- The laser is quieter, reducing anxiety in those who are sensitive to the noise of the drill
- The procedure is minimally invasive
Lasers can also be used when the tooth is filled. Some types of fillings, particularly tooth-colored composite fillings, are “cured” with a special kind of laser. This type of laser hardens the composite material. A similar laser is used to cure sealants and to activate some tooth whitening agents. In addition, lasers are used to detect cavities or soft spots in the teeth.
Other Uses for Lasers in Dentistry
Lasers are used in other ways in dentistry, as well. Many dentists have incorporated this innovative technology into their practice for:
- Treating gum disease, particularly for periodontal surgery
- Cosmetic gum re-contouring
- Oral surgery, such as removing lesions or growths
When lasers are used for oral surgery, there are also several advantages, including:
- Less bleeding
- Healing is faster
- Surgery is often more precise
Though dental lasers cannot be used for every filling or every type of oral surgery procedure, they are a powerful addition to the arsenal of any dentist, often making your visit to the dental chair easier and less stressful.
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