Advanced Laser Dentistry
Laser Dentistry for Gum Surgery, Detecting Decay, and Fillings
Laser dentistry is a fairly new addition to the oral health field, but has proven itself safe and effective for a number of different procedures. Though not a panacea, laser dentistry opens up many possibilities for leading edge treatments that lack some of the main downsides of older methods, while providing the same benefits, or even superior performance in certain cases. Some of the methods that we use are described in more detail below.
The Waterlase Dental Laser for Dental Fillings
Laser-energized water, or hydrokinetics, gently washes away tooth decay with incredible accuracy. The waterlase dental laser can replace the drill for most dental procedures and treatments. The Waterlase Dentist Laser used by Dr. Gibbs does away with the annoying whine of the drill and the smell of drilled enamel. Because Dr. Gibbs uses a laser, there is no frictional heat or vibration, reducing the dependence on needles and anesthesia.
Some of the advantages of using this system include:
- The exactness possible with the Waterlase means that less tissue and healthy tooth material is removed, leaving sound structures in place and thus damaging your mouth as little as possible in the process of curing certain problems.
- Due to lack of swelling, bleeding, painkillers, and so on, it is safe to carry out multiple procedures in one dentist’s visit, thus saving time, money, and frustration.
- The absence of bleeding holes in your mouth or numbed cheeks, lips, or tongue from anesthetics, or dental sedation options means that the period immediately after treatment is far more pleasant than otherwise.
- The lack of open wounds greatly reduces the risk of post-surgical infection. Swelling and discomfort are minimized, which is a benefit in practically anyone’s view.
This technique comes close to the ideal of “painless dentistry!” The no-pain, no-drill Waterlase can be used for:
- Root canals.
- Decay removal.
- Cavity preparation.
- Smile design.
- General soft tissue procedures.
- General dentistry for enamel and dentin.
The Diode Soft-Tissue Dental Laser
We additionally utilize a diode laser for soft tissue surgery. This has the advantage of sterilizing and removing tissue surgically, with minimal discomfort afterward and, usually, no bleeding. This laser technique is useful for many different applications. Some of its highlights include:
- Like the Waterlase, it avoids the pain, bleeding, swelling, and risk of infection involved in older scalpel surgery.
- Unlikely electrosurgery, it does not generate heat, and can thus be used with implants without compromising their structure. It is also safe to use with patients who have pacemakers.
- Sterilizes, cauterizes, and destroys microorganisms (including some very persistent types) in the area under treatment, mostly eliminating therisk of infection.
- Energy pulses are too brief to stimulate nerves, and therefore acts painlessly.
- Healing time after the use of the diode soft-tissue laser is much faster than with traditional scalpel methods.
The Diagnodent Decay Detecting Laser
Another laser we use in the office is the Diagnodent laser. This unique laser actually uses concentrated light to fluoresce the decay. The quantitative amount of fluorescence is used to help determine if a discolored area is merely stain, or if it is actual decay. This technology enables us to find decay sooner than it could be detected using the old-fashioned “dental pick.”
The sooner the incipient decay can be found, the sooner it can be treated. This minimizes damage to your natural teeth and often helps prevent more invasive, expensive treatment in the future. Tests and trials have found the Diagnodent to be more than 90% effective at finding decay at any stage, far above the accuracy that even the most skilled dentist with a pick can hope for.
Our use of the Diagnodent decay detecting laser is your assurance that any possible dental problems you have will be spotted early and dealt with before they can grow into larger ones. Alternatively, the advanced laser dentistry can be used to show exactly how far existing decay has gone, permitting precise treatment that neither accidentally leaves rotting material in the mouth, nor goes too far and destroys healthy tissue unnecessarily.