Laser Usage in Dentistry

Dr.Alan Wishneff Boca Raton Florida Dentist Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
July 23, 2014

Dentists have been using lasers to help treat a number of different aliments in the dental field since the early 1990’s. Field lasers have been approved by the FDA, but no laser system has received the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. This seal lets dentist know that their products or devices have meet the ADA standards of safety and efficiency. However, there is cautious optimism that laser technology will make further advancements in the field of dentistry. Dental lasers are very different from cold lasers that are used in phototherapy.

Dentists can use lasers safely to help correct many different dental problems. Some of them include:

  • Tooth decay: Lasers can remove decay within a tooth and are used to prepare the surrounding enamel for a future filling. Lasers can also be used to harden the filling.
  • Gum disease: Lasers are able to reshape gums and remove bacteria during a root canal.
  • Biopsy or lesion removal: When there are any signs that cancer might be in the mouth, lasers can be used to remove a small portion of the tissue (a biopsy) to be tested. Lasers can also remove lesions in the mouth and relieve pain from canker sores.
  • Teeth whitening: Lasers can speed up teeth whitening procedures done in the office. Peroxide bleaching solutions that are applied to the surface of the tooth can be activated faster with the help of a laser.

How Dental Lasers Work

Lasers deliver a stream of energy in the form of light. They are used in surgical procedures like a cutting instrument. To do this it cuts or vaporizes the tissue particles it comes in contact with. When curing or hardening a filling, the laser helps to strengthen the bond between the tooth and the filling. The lasers has a heat source that enhances the effect on tooth bleaching agents.

Pros and Cons

Pros: Lasers are normally compared against the traditional dental drill used by dentists. There are many positives that lasers have over a drill and the following are a few of them.

  • Causes less pain and reduces the need for anesthesia during some dental procedures.
  • The sounds of a dental drill can cause a lot of anxiety for many people. Because the lasers are generally quiet, they can help reduce the anxiety that many feel about going to the dentist.
  • They help to minimize the bleeding and swelling during soft tissue treatments.
  • When a cavity is removed, the laser can help preserve the healthier parts of the teeth.

Cons: Like with many things, there are some disadvantages to using dental lasers.

  • Lasers can’t be used on teeth that already have a filling in them.
  • Lasers won’t be able to be used on some of the more commonly performed dental procedures. They can’t be used on cavities that are located between teeth, around old fillings and on large cavities that need to be prepared for a crown. The lasers can’t be used to remove defective crowns or silver fillings.
  • While lasers are used to shape a filling, a dental drill may still be used to help adjust the bit and polish the filling.
  • Lasers don’t completely eliminate the need for anesthesia during certain procedures.
  • Using a laser for dental treatments can be more costly than using a dental drill. Lasers can cost between $39,000 and $45,000 while a dental drill can cost around $600.

Whether you prefer lasers over a dental drill, it is best to always talk things over with your dentist. They will know what is best for you and can help you decide what to do to help with any of your dental problems.

For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff  at [email protected]  or call (561) 488-3111Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.

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