As the technology advances, so does the ability to solve the same dental problems with laser dentistry that in the past needed more invasive techniques. Dentists have been performing innovative surgeries to repair teeth, gums and other tissues in the mouth for decades, but the addition of periodontal laser dentistry has improved the results and…
The Pros and Cons of Seeing a Laser Dentist
People can visit a laser dentist to treat a number of conditions, including tooth decay, hypersensitivity, and gum disease. Lasers are also commonly used for whitening the teeth. According to an article in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, laser dentistry was first used in 1960 and started to become more widespread in the early 1990s. Of course, like any dental procedure, it has both advantages and disadvantages. It is important to consider how the pros and cons can affect the outcome before determining that laser treatment is the right choice.
The advantages of laser dentistry
Laser dentistry includes a wide range of procedures. In addition to treating issues in the teeth and gums and whitening the teeth, lasers can be used to perform biopsies, expose wisdom teeth, repair damaged nerves, treat tight frenulums, remove tumors, and treat sleep apnea.
These procedures are extremely safe, too. In fact, there is evidence that they are safer than traditional tools. The patient's eyes are protected from the laser, and the laser itself cannot slip the way a traditional tool does. This means less room for human error that can lead to discomfort or irritation in the mouth. It also means less damage, a lower risk of infection, and in many cases, faster healing for patients. The use of lasers in dentistry is approved by the FDA as well.
Lasers can also be an option for people who fear the dentist. Their operation can be less anxiety-inducing than the sight and sound of a dental drill, meaning the patient is more likely to relax so that the dentist can do a thorough job of cleaning or repairing dental problems.
The disadvantages of laser dentistry
There are some disadvantages to visiting a laser dentist. First, lasers are not effective for treating all teeth or cavities. While they work well on small or medium-sized cavities, large ones cannot be treated with a laser. They also cannot reach cavities that are between the teeth. Patients who have fillings also need to stick to traditional treatment methods, and lasers cannot prepare the teeth for the removal of bridges or crowns.
While they are easier to control and less likely to lead to human error, lasers are not perfect. If there is a misstep, the laser can damage some of the healthy tooth pulp. Another potential issue is anesthesia. Although fewer people require it when undergoing laser treatment, it is still a possible need. In addition, this method of treatment is usually more expensive than traditional treatment.
Patients who have cavities or nerve damage, want to whiten their teeth, or have more serious oral health concerns can seek the help of a laser dentist to see if they are a good candidate for these procedures. The dentist can discuss the pros and cons of the treatment, the options available, and the expected outcome to determine whether to treat the patient. Speak to a dental professional for more information.
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