What is the use of LASERS in dental treatment?

The term LASER means “light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation’. The application of LASERS in dentistry was first done by Miaman in 1960. Since then LASERS has seen many applications in dentistry. Use of LASERS in dentistry has proved to be an effective tool to increase efficiency, specificity and ease of treatment for the patients. LASERS are used in both soft tissue and hard tissue treatment procedures.

What are LASERS used to treat in my mouth?

Dr Rashmi, Senior Periodontist says—LASERS can be used to treat these conditions in your mouth

In hard tissue application

  • Treatment of tooth decay
  • Tooth bleaching ( tooth whitening )
  • Removing old fillings
  • Curing of cosmetic fillings
  • Treatment of teeth for sensitivity
  • Root resection
  • Root canal irrigation
  • Pulpotomy and pulpectomy
  • Growth modulation and 
  • Diagnostic purposes

Soft tissue application includes

  • Wound healing
  • Removal of extra growth ( hyper plastic tissue ) covering impacted teeth or partially erupted teeth
  • Photodynamic therapy for malignancies
  • Photostimulation of hepatic lesion
  • Flap surgery
  • Frenectomy
  • Gum recontouring surgery
  • Smile design
  • Crown lengthening
  • Sulcus deepening
  • Curettage
  • Pocket reduction.

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 in teeth-whitening procedures, the laser acts as a heat source and enhances the effect of tooth-bleaching agents.

What are the type of LASERS used in dentistry?

  • Carbon dioxide Laser
  • Neodymium Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Laser
  • Erbium Laser
  • Diode Laser

What are the pros and cons of using LASRES in dentistry?

The advantages or pros of LASERS include

  • Can reduce anxiety in patients who could be uncomfortable with the use of the drill
  • Minimize bleeding in soft tissue procedures
  • Reduce post operative swelling and pain
  • Reduced post operative escaping
  • May preserve more healthy tooth during cavity preparation
  • Rapid regeneration and reduced post operative sensitivity in fillings
  • Advantageous in medically compromised patients.

Disadvantages or cons of LASERS in dentistry

  • LASERS do not eliminate the use of anaesthesia.
  • LASER treatment is more expensive the the conventional procedures.
  • Direct or reflected beam can cause retinal damage for the patient and the operator. Hence, wearing protective eye wear is a must.
  • They cannot be used to fill cavities between teeth.
  • Proper training of the operator is essential for the use of LASERS
  • Cannot be used to remove defective crowns or silver fillings.
  • Cannot be used to prepare teeth for crowns and bridges.
  • Traditional drills have to be used to trim, polish and adjust bites after the filling.

Dr Rashmi concludes——-“Although LASERS cannot replace all the conventional procedures in dentistry, it’s use enables some procedures to be performed differently than the conventional procedure. It’s development in the field of dentistry continues to expand further enabling greater patient care”.