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What Is Laser Dentistry?

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A dental patient having a laser dentistry treatment.

Dentistry is a constantly-changing field full of technical innovations, and one of the most revolutionary techniques used in today’s day and age is laser dentistry. This technique offers a modern approach to traditional dentistry by targeting specific areas with remarkable accuracy, allowing for an effective way to address many common dental issues.

This innovative technology utilizes the power of lasers to perform specific treatments with extreme precision, allowing for minimal pain and recovery time for a comfortable experience. 

The Basics of Laser Dentistry

Laser dentistry utilizes high-power lasers in a precise manner to address many common dental issues. While traditional tools like dental drills and ultrasonic scalers can sometimes seem invasive, loud, or pain-inducing, laser dentistry offers patients a reassuring way to receive dental care while avoiding the drills and needles commonly associated with dental treatments.

One of the more commonly-employed tools used in laser dentistry is the Solea laser. This tool uses a unique combination of specific wavelengths and rays of light that offer the ability to remove enamel without harming other parts of your mouth. This allows for a convenient, quick, and efficient approach to modern dentistry.

How Can Laser Dentistry Help?

Laser dentistry offers a wide range of applications, allowing dentists to efficiently address many dental conditions and providing solutions to improve your oral health and appearance. 

Pros of Laser Dentistry 

One of the biggest benefits it provides is its easy approach to treating small cavities. The precision and accuracy of lasers allows a dentist the ability to remove decayed or damaged tissue while preserving as much of the healthy tooth structure as possible. 

This can result in a cleaner overall process and smaller, more conservative fillings, alongside making patients more comfortable about the anxiety they may have about filling a cavity.

Alongside cavities, laser dentistry can be beneficial for gum-related procedures. Lasers are capable of helping remove infected gum tissue and can promote healing in certain areas of the mouth. They also remove the need for anesthesia in most procedures.

Cons of Laser Dentistry

However, while laser dentistry offers many advantages, it isn’t suitable for every dental procedure. For example, when veneers, crowns, or large fillings are involved, laser dentistry isn’t used. Lasers aren’t suitable for the preparation of enamel because a greater tooth reduction is required, as the bonding process and need for specific shaping of the veneers, crowns, and large fillings is much easier to achieve through traditional techniques. The traditional technique of using a dental drill is a quicker and easier way of preparing the tooth, and sometimes the only way.

It’s also important to note that while lasers can provide dentists with an efficient approach to treating oral problems, they do have some drawbacks. Typically, you need to keep your mouth dry through the entire procedure. And depending on your particular situation and the operation being performed, lasers can take much longer than traditional dentistry.

Laser dentistry can cost more than traditional dentistry. Speak with your dentist to get an estimate and whether or not it is covered by your insurance.

Laser Dentistry and Gum Disease

One of the biggest benefits provided by laser dentistry is its ability to treat gum disease. Whether performed on its own to treat diseased gum tissue or combined with traditional dental practices, laser dentistry provides an easily-adaptable approach to many different forms of gum disease.

With their accuracy and precision, the use of laser technology allows dentists to appropriately treat diseased parts of the gums while avoiding healthy tissue. They also provide other benefits, like:

  • A shorter recovery time as fewer parts of the healthy tissue are affected
  • A non-invasive approach that allows for less bleeding, swelling, and pain
  • Quite often there is no need for local anesthetic, unlike more traditional approaches to gum disease

These advantages allow dentists to appropriately treat many forms of gum disease while avoiding the drawbacks often caused by traditional dentistry. However, this doesn’t mean that a dentist will use laser technology to treat any and all forms of gum disease. It’s essential to schedule a consultation with your dentist so they can thoroughly examine your unique situation to determine if laser dentistry is an appropriate solution for you.

A dentist explaining to his  attentive patient what to expect from laser dentistry.

What to Expect From Laser Dentistry

Undergoing laser dentistry can be a unique experience that’s different from any traditional appointment you may have had in your life. The first step is to visit your dentist and schedule a consultation appointment where they can assess your specific needs before determining whether or not laser dentistry is the right solution for you.

During this time, they’ll explain the procedure, answer questions you may have, and address possible concerns. Then, on the day of your appointment, the staff on-site will guide you through what to expect during the process. Before the procedure begins, the dentist can answer your last-minute questions to help you feel at ease and comfortable. 

They’ll then take the necessary precautions to prioritize your safety, like applying protective eyewear or local anesthesia if needed, so you can feel comfortable during the procedure. Once they begin, you’ll likely feel minimal discomfort—or none at all—while they remove infected hard (tooth structure) or soft (gum tissue) damaged tissue. 

Once the procedure is complete, the dentist may provide post-treatment instructions so you can prioritize proper healing and optimal results. Fortunately, laser dentistry often promotes a shorter healing period than most forms of traditional dentistry.

Laser Dentistry in Alberta

Laser dentistry can be an excellent option for some forms of dental problems, allowing a dentist to accurately and efficiently address common concerns like cavities or gum disease. At Southgate Dental Centre, we’re proud to prioritize your comfort with innovative dental treatments.

Schedule an appointment with us today to learn more about your options for laser dentistry.

Written by Dr. Kevin Hamm

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