As digital technology advances, laser application has become the trend in modern dental practices. The Laser is a modern and innovative tool in the hands of a qualified dentist. The term LASER stands for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation”. Lasers deliver energy in the form of light which allows for specificity in the treatment. Use of the laser in dentistry increases the efficiency, ease and comfort of the treatment.
Laser application is of two types, namely, hard tissue application and soft tissue application. A laser can be used in hard tissue application for the prevention of dental caries, bleaching, removal and curing, preparation of cavities, addressing dentine or bone hypersensitivity, growth modulation and for the purpose of diagnostics. The soft tissue applications include wound healing, removal of damaged tissue, uncovering of partially erupted teeth or impacted teeth treating oral cancers, re-conturing of crowns and frenectomies.
Lasers used in dental treatment or surgeries act as a cutting instrument. The intensely focussed light energy interacts with some of the biologic tissues to cut or open the surface of the tooth. It also acts as vaporiser of tissues making removal of dead or damaged tissue much easier. As compared to the practice of dental drilling, the use of lasers in dental treatments cause less pain, thus reducing the need for an anaesthetic. It reduces the anxiety in patients who have a fear of dental drills making the experience much more comfortable. Laser use minimises the bleeding and swelling of the treated area, thus causing less discomfort to the patient.
In laser assisted root canal treatment, the doctor can access the root canal of the tooth, remove the damaged or infected pulp, clean the internal area, fill and seal it. The tooth is restored by fitting a cap or crown so that the patient goes back to use the tooth in the normal manner.
The advantage of laser technology in dentistry is that it targets bacteria or infected tissue with better accuracy. As a result, it preserves a larger portion of the healthy tooth structure which is good for the patient. There is no discomfort associated with the jarring sounds of the drill and there is much less bleeding during the procedure. All this reduces the chance of infection, adds to the patient comfort and makes for an easier surgery.
Professional Laser Dentistry makes for an innovative dental practice although some precautions must be taken. Protective eyewear is crucial for the doctor, the chair side assistants as well as the patient during a laser dental procedure.