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Is Laser Dentistry Safe?
Laser dentistry has been used to help dentists treat the mouth for almost three decades. A safe and effective treatment for many different dental procedures, lasers are often used in combination with other dental instruments to perform certain tasks. However, laser dentistry is not the most well-known form of dentistry, and many patients have questions regarding the safety of this proven method.
What are lasers used for in dentistry?
First, it is helpful to understand exactly what a dental laser is. LASER stands for light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation. The lasers used in modern dentistry are instruments that produce a narrow, intense beam of light energy. When the laser is focused on dental and mouth tissues, it causes a reaction. As a result, dentists often use lasers to shape or remove tissue in the mouth. Lasers are very precise and can be used to treat areas where accuracy is necessary.
Dental lasers can be used for various treatments, including reducing canker and cold sores, removing muscle attachments that limit mouth movement, exposing partially erupted wisdom teeth, shaping gum tissue around crowns, shaping the gums for cosmetic reasons, performing biopsy procedures, reshaping bone, treating infections in root canals and even to speed up teeth-whitening treatments. Laser dentistry is also often used to treat hypersensitivity, tooth decay and gum disease.
Because dental lasers are so precise, many dentists prefer to use lasers over a drill. For many procedures where a laser is used, anesthesia is not needed. Lasers allow for a more comfortable experience, putting the patient at ease. A traditional dental drill puts pressure on the surrounding tissue and teeth during any procedure. This can irritate the nerve and cause longer recovery times. Since lasers use a focused beam of light particles to do the same job as a drill, they put less pressure on the tissue and teeth.
Dental lasers are also known to reduce symptoms and healing times associated with more traditional tools. Lasers can reduce the level of bacteria in cavities and gum tissue while controlling bleeding during surgery, as well.
Are lasers safe to use in dentistry?
The short answer is: yes. Laser dentistry is just as safe as conventional dentistry, provided the laser is used properly. During any laser dentistry procedure, dentists will ask patients to wear protective eyeglasses so as not to cause any damage from letting too much light into the eyes.
All dentists who are certified in laser dentistry have gone through extensive training and education. Any laser dentist should be able to answer any and all questions patients have regarding their education, background and experience with laser dentistry. When used properly, laser dentistry is at least as safe as other methods.
Is laser dentistry right for you?
Although laser dentistry is used often, it is not right for every procedure. Always ask your dentist if the instrument is a good fit for your specific procedure, condition and budget.
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