What is Laser Dentistry, How Does it Work, and How Can it Help Me?

Laser DentistryLaser dentistry is the way of the future. Based in modern medical science, a laser is a device that emits a narrow and very intense beam of light that neither diffuse nor spreads out. When focused at close range, these beams act on the tissue. Laser dentistry employs this beam to shape or even remove soft or hard tissue. While this may sound bizarre or even painful, in certain procedures, lasers have several distinct advantages over more conventional forms of dentistry.

Lasers and Gum Disease

  1. Lasers are Precise: Because lasers are precision instruments, a laser dentist can, with great accuracy, remove unhealthy tissue and not do any damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. Some procedures may not even require sutures.
  2. Minimize Bleeding: The high-energy light helps to coagulate blood, thus reducing bleeding.
  3. Lasers Speed Up Healing Time: Because the high-energy beam sterilizes the area, the risk of bacterial infection is reduced, which speeds up the healing.
  4. Lasers Reduce The Need For Anesthesia: A laser dentist has much less need to use anesthesia because lasers can often be used in place of painful drilling and incisions.
  5. Lasers are Quiet: While this may not sound like an important point, the sound of a conventional drill often makes patients very uncomfortable and anxious. When using lasers, our patients are more relaxed and comfortable in general.

Lasers were approved by the FDA in the early 90s and are fast becoming the instrument of choice in a number of dental procedures. Laser dentistry is especially effective in treating gum disease, most notably Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Since we specialize in using lasers to treat gum disease, many people visit our office that are under the care of a general dentist, but are interested in a faster and more comfortable treatment.

What you should know about gum disease

Gingivitis happens when there is an inflammation of the gums, caused by bacteria and plaque buildup. Typically the gums are red, inflamed and bleed during tooth brushing. While, characterized by redness and swelling, chronic and untreated gingivitis leads to periodontitis, which is a far more serious condition.

Periodontitis is when the gum recedes from the teeth, forming pockets that collect debris. Plaque spreads below the gum line, and as the pockets become infected, the bacteria begin to destroy the connective tissue that holds the teeth in place. The teeth get loose and eventually fall out. Periodontitis is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults.

Gum disease is primarily caused by poor oral hygiene that leads to the buildup of plaque. However, are a number of other factors, including hormonal changes that can occur during pregnancy and puberty, etc. can cause gum disease. Also included are certain medications, illnesses that affect the immune system, and a family history of gum disease.

More comfortable and effective

Prior to laser technology, treating periodontal or gum disease was a matter of deep cleaning the pockets of all plaque and tartar, which harbor the bacteria, along with a course of strong antibiotics. In more advanced cases, we may class this procedure as surgery. All too often, the periodontal disease can return, even with proper treatment.

Lasers have considerably simplified and improved the treatment by vaporizing diseased tissue and killing the bacteria that causes the disease. Since there are no strains of bacteria that can resist the laser, you can be certain that your gums will start to heal. By using laser dentistry, we can even help healthy gum tissue to surround your teeth like it once did. This is a revolutionary way to treat this age-old problem so call our office at (703) 651-1942 to learn more.

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