Sometimes big needles, noisy drills, and numbing agents can make dental visits intimidating for children causing them to dread the dentist because of fear of pain or discomfort from previous experiences. However, we are always researching the best ways to safely and successfully treat our patients and are proud to offer laser dentistry as a near pain-free option. As a parent, you know that loud noises and needles can make any child uneasy, and our goal is to make sure our patients, especially the little ones, are as comfortable as possible. With laser dentistry, we have the option to reduce and even eliminate dental fears as many procedures involving dental lasers use minimal or even no anesthesia or drills.
What is Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry is an FDA approved treatment where lasers are used to treat several different dental conditions. Lasers create light energy in a very narrow and focused beam targeted on certain hard or soft tissue. This light is precisely calculated so that dentists can control the interaction with a particular type of tissue. The typical heat, vibration, noise, and pressure of traditional dental drills and tools are removed with the use of lasers reducing patient anxiety.
The two categories of procedures for laser dentistry are hard tissue and soft tissue procedures. Hard tissue refers to teeth and bones while soft tissue often refers to the gums, lips, tongue, or inner cheek.
How can it be used?
Dental lasers can treat a variety of conditions depending on the type of laser used. Common hard tissue procedures include cavity detection, treatment for tooth decay, tooth preparations, dental fillings, or reducing tooth sensitivity. For soft tissue procedures, a laser may be used to reshape gum tissue, adjust or reshape gum and bone for healthier tooth structure, and tongue frenulum treatment or eliminating tongue-ties which can affect a child’s speech and eating abilities.
Lasers can also be used in other procedures such as sealants, treating cold sores, removing benign tumors or lesions/growths, nerve generation, reducing pain and inflammation in jaw joints, teeth whitening, and more.
Often soft tissue treatment does not require any sutures or stitches, so the healing and recovery period is significantly reduced. These lasers are also used to treat periodontitis or gum disease as they can kill bacteria and activate tissue regrowth.
One of the great benefits of laser treatment is the fact that the laser often seals nerve endings and blood vessels during procedures which helps to reduce pain and promote faster healing. Other benefits of laser dentistry include but are not limited to:
- Reduces the need for stitches
- Minimized bleeding
- In many cases anesthesia is unnecessary
- Lower risk of bacterial infection
- Faster recovery
There are some disadvantages to laser dentistry as it cannot be used on teeth that already have certain filling such as metal amalgam. Sometimes certain procedures may still require anesthesia and traditional dental tools.
Laser dentistry is a great option for addressing multiple dental needs to ensure your child’s teeth and gums are as healthy as they can be while also making sure that your child’s experience is a positive one. For more information on laser dentistry, contact NoPo Kids Dentistry today.