There are four common uses for lasers in dentistry:
1. Tooth decay. Lasers have the ability to remove decay within a tooth in order to prepare it for a filling. Lasers are also used to cure fillings once they’re placed.
2. Gum disease. Reshaping gums and removing bacteria during root canal procedures.
3. Biopsy. As they’re often used on skin, lasers can be used to remove lesions or tissue samples from the mouth.
4. Teeth Whitening. Lasers speed up the peroxide bleaching process, both in in-office and at-home whitening treatments.
Procedures that utilize lasers can be more expensive, but there are many advantages to their use. Lasers may cause less pain than a drill, thus reducing the need for anesthesia. They can also minimize bleeding and swelling during and post-treatment for soft tissue work. Lastly, dentists are able to finely tune lasers so that more of the healthy tooth and/or soft tissue can be preserved during procedures.
If you have more questions about lasers or are undergoing dental laser treatment soon, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist for more information.