Laser Dentistry in Springfield MA Laser Dentistry Springfield
Cosmetic laser dentistry is a cutting-edge way to correct periodontal problems. A special beam of light, or laser, is directed onto the problem areas and gums. Many such lasers have gained Food and Drug Administration approval (FDA) and are considered safe for both adults and children.
There are a variety of uses for lasers in the field of dentistry. Lasers can be used for cavity removal, teeth whitening and to harden bonding materials used in fillings. Surgical lasers are more accurate than a scalpel or drill, and allow the dentist to conserve as much bone and tooth as possible. Lasers can eliminate painful drilling and reduce patients’ fears about cavities. The laser vaporizes decay and is usually painless, eliminating the need for anesthesia. A low-powered laser can be used to detect tiny pits within tooth enamel that can become cavities.
How are Lasers Used in Dentistry?
The technological advances that have occurred in recent years have brought us several ways to use laser devices in the dental office. Some of the most common uses include:
- Finding and removing tooth decay. Cavity detection used to involve x-rays and probing teeth with a special instrument to find soft spots. Now, dentists can use a handheld laser device, which can detect even the most minor tooth decay using fluorescence. The decayed part of the tooth can then be treated with a hard-tissue laser rather than a dental drill.
- Treating gum disease. Soft tissue lasers may be used in periodontal therapy to eliminate bacteria and also smooth root surfaces to encourage gum attachment.
- Teeth whitening. A special laser can be used to accelerate the teeth whitening process so you don’t have to wait to enjoy a more radiant smile!
All of these treatments can be performed without lasers. It’s been that way for many decades. However, there are advantages that are available with laser technology that can’t be found in traditional techniques. When we use a laser device on hard tissue (teeth), we can focus on removing only that which has been damaged, nothing more. When we use laser light on soft tissue (the gums), we can eradicate bacteria with minimal bleeding and little downtime.
How is Laser Technology Used to Treat Gum Disease?
Periodontal therapy is necessary for anyone who is showing signs of gum infection. The use of laser may not replace other treatments, such as scaling and root planing, but it can enhance these necessary procedures. Laser-assisted deep cleanings focus on removing plaque, tartar, and bacteria from pockets that have formed around certain teeth.
Laser-assisted scaling and root planing may look like this:
- You may receive a local anesthetic to numb the area around the affected teeth.
- After determining the depth of the periodontal pockets, the dentist can use a laser to remove bacteria and infected gum tissue.
- A special non-laser instrument may then be used to smooth the root surfaces that have been made rough and wavy by bacteria.
- The laser completes the deep cleaning by closing the pockets. This seals the pockets off so bacteria cannot re-enter.
One of the benefits of laser gum therapy is that the pockets can remain sealed for weeks rather than days. This helps promote optimal attachment and long-term gains from the procedure.
How Does Laser Dentistry Help Teeth Whitening?
Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic treatments in dentistry. For the most satisfying, longest-lasting results, it’s advantageous to seek professional treatment. Historically, teeth whitening has involved getting fitted for a custom whitening tray and receiving several tubes of clinical-grade whitening gel. This is a strong concentration of hydrogen peroxide in gel form that adheres to the teeth when the mouthpiece is worn.
Laser teeth whitening is performed in the office. It takes only about an hour to achieve the same level of results that might take a few weeks with home whitening treatment. The laser whitening procedure begins with the provider inserting a comfortable guard that keeps the mouth open and the lips away from the teeth. The lips and gums are covered with some type of protective sheeting. The bleaching gel is then applied to the teeth at the front of the mouth, and a pen-like laser device is shone at the teeth. The wavelengths of light that are delivered permeate the gel and outer layer of enamel to quickly break up the molecules that are causing discoloration. After a predetermined amount of time, the gel is suctioned away from the teeth. Depending on your desired shade, these steps may be repeated a few times.