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Laser Dentistry

Laser dentistry can eliminate the need for anesthesia, excessive bleeding and stitches after surgery. It can also help reduce tissue damage, the risk of infection, and the length of recovery time following surgery.

With laser dentistry:

  • Gums can be reshaped without cutting
  • Tooth decay issues can be addressed with less pain
  • Benign tumors can be removed from the mouth without stitches

If your eyes are the window to your soul, then your mouth is a mirror of your health. Although that idea may seem farfetched, health experts believe that good oral health care does more than prevent tooth decay and gum disease. "Any disease related to the mouth has an impact elsewhere in the body," says Denis F. Kinane, BDS, PhD, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Researchers are studying the association between oral health, inflammation, and disease. Inflammation, which is the...

  • Tooth decay. Lasers are used to remove decay within a tooth and prepare the surrounding enamel for receipt of the filling. Lasers are also used to "cure" or harden a filling.
  • Gum disease. Lasers are used to reshape gums and remove bacteria during root canal procedures.
  • Biopsy or lesion removal. Lasers can be used to remove a small piece of tissue (called a biopsy) so that it can be examined for cancer. Lasers are also used to remove lesions in the mouth and relieve the pain of canker sores.
  • Teeth whitening. Lasers are used to speed up in-office teeth whitening procedures. A peroxide bleaching solution, applied to the tooth surface, is ''activated" by laser energy, which speeds up of the whitening process.

How Do Lasers Work in Dentistry?

All lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. When used for surgical and dental procedures, the laser acts as a cutting instrument or a vaporizer of tissue that it comes in contact with. When used for "curing" a filling, the laser helps to strengthen the bond between the filling and the tooth. When used in teeth-whitening procedures, the laser acts as a heat source and enhances the effect of tooth-bleaching agents.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Laser in Dentistry?

Pros
Compared to the traditional dental drill, lasers:

  • May cause less pain in some instances, so reduces the need for anesthesia
  • May reduce anxiety in patients uncomfortable with the use of the dental drill
  • Minimize bleeding and swelling during soft tissue treatments
  • May preserve more healthy tooth during cavity removal

Cons
The disadvantages of lasers are that:

  • Lasers can't be used on teeth with fillings already in place.
  • Lasers can't be used in many commonly performed dental procedures. For example, lasers can't be used to fill cavities located between teeth, around old fillings, and large cavities that need to be prepared for a crown. In addition, lasers cannot be used to remove defective crowns or silver fillings, or prepare teeth for bridges.
  • Traditional drills may still be needed to shape the filling, adjust the bite, and polish the filling even when a laser is used.
  • Lasers do not always eliminate the need for anesthesia.

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Dr. Alexander Milman, DDS
282 Grand Street Jersey City, NJ 07302
201-433-8600