Scaling and root planing is commonly done by hand with the use of a scalpel and other dental instruments. Recently, however, the use of laser dentistry for scaling and root planing has become more popular and offers unique benefits. It is helpful to understand why your dentist may recommend laser dentistry and what the benefits…
Removing Fillings with the Help of Laser Dentistry
Laser dentistry is the use of cutting-edge laser devices in a variety of dental procedures. From teeth whitening to cavity detection to the treatment of gum disease, lasers continue to take over the mainstream of dentistry. One lesser-known application of lasers in dentistry is the removal of fillings. Keep reading to see how lasers improve the patient experience during the procedure.
About laser dentistry
A laser device emits an ultra-thin, concentrated beam of light. These devices can be consumer products like the laser pointer, which is quite popular with cats and humans. The light energy coming from a laser pointer is safe enough to come into contact with skin.
Then there are laser devices with applications in medicine, manufacturing, or dentistry. Such devices are tailored to cut or burn through different substances. In medical and dentistry settings, lasers are cutting devices that can also vaporize and cauterize tissue. There are two types of lasers in dentistry: The hard tissue laser and the soft-tissue laser.
Hard-tissue laser devices can cut through enamel and bone. They cut by causing a chemical reaction between minerals on the bone/enamel and water on the surface of the tissue. It is important to note that a dentist will use a mist as they operate the laser. Alternatively, the laser device may provide water for the chemical reaction by spraying a mist while it emits light. Dentists use hard tissue lasers to remove fillings, among other things.
Benefits of hard tissue lasers in dental procedures
The previous section reveals that a hard-tissue laser is a cutting tool. Dentists prefer a laser cutter to a drill because:
- A laser is precise, removing the minimum amount of dental tissue necessary to correct a dental problem
- This makes laser dentistry a minimally invasive approach to dental procedures
- Energy from the soft-tissue setting of a dental laser device will deactivate nerve endings, which helps to numb the tooth
- Lasers minimize or eliminate the need for cutting(incisions) and stitches(sutures)
- Dental lasers cauterize as they cut, minimizing bleeding
- As such, the patient gets to go home without the type of wound that is common after a traditional dental procedure
- This translates into little discomfort during the procedure and recovery
All these benefits apply when a dentist removes a filling with the help of a hard-tissue laser. The procedure only takes a few minutes and it goes like this:
Removing a filling with a dental laser
The dentist will start by administering an anesthetic. Patients who suffer from anxiety during dental procedures are candidates for sedation. Next, the dentist will rinse out the tooth. They will proceed to use a hard tissue laser to cut around the filling. The laser is precise, cutting the enamel right where it bonds with the filling.
The cutting action of the laser detaches the filling. A thin film of enamel and bonding adheres to the inner surfaces of the filling. Now the dentist removes the loose filling with a tool of their choice. They will proceed to clean out the hole left by the old filling and put in a new filling.
From start to end, the entire procedure will take less than an hour. The patient will feel little to no discomfort during the procedure. Better still, the light energy from the laser doubles as a means of killing infection inside the tooth.
Enjoy fast, pain-free dental procedures
Laser dentistry transforms a daunting dental procedure into a stress-free session in the dentist’s chair. Reach out to talk to a helpful staff member and find out how our dentist can improve your oral health in minutes.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Laser Dentistry in Vista, CA.
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