Laser Dental Treatments, Purposes & Myths

Laser dental treatments have been in use for over 25 years and can be used to perform several dental procedures. Today, our North Vancouver dentists explain how they work and why they would be used.

Laser dental treatments offer an alternative approach to certain soft and hard tissue procedures. Lasers offer accuracy and typically cause less bleeding, and potentially less discomfort than traditional dental tools, such as drills.

As some patients are intimidated or uncomfortable with a dental drill, they may avoid the dental procedures that they need. The laser can provide a different experience, potentially allowing anxious patients to receive the treatment without worry.

How do dental lasers work?

By channeling energy into light, dental lasers have a number of applications. They can be used as a cutting instrument, a vaporizer, or in the process of teeth whitening, a heat source.

What can lasers treat?

There are a number of uses for dental lasers when it comes to restorative dental care. Here are a few of those uses:

  • Tooth decay
  • Stained teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Soft tissue surgery - such as the correction tongue ties
  • Biopsies and lesion removal
  • Tooth hypersensitivity

Why use dental lasers?

Dental lasers can help your dentist and have the potential to make your dental experience more comfortable. Below are some reasons your dentist might use this technology.

  • Precise instruments
  • Lasers can be used in place of drills
  • Bleeding can be more controlled
  • Reduced pain, minimizes discomfort
  • Less damage to surrounding tissues
  • Potentially faster healing times
  • The laser sterilizes the treatment area, reducing the chance of infection

How safe are dental lasers?

Each laser system is meant to address a particular issue or procedure, and dentists must be trained on each laser system they operate. You will be provided with glasses to protect your eyes from the light.

Common Myths & Misconceptions

  1. Procedures take longer - This may have been true years ago, but with several decades of development, dental lasers are now often as quick as traditional tools, if not quicker. Also, as many procedures can be done without anesthesia, the overall duration of the process may be significantly shorter.
  2. Lasers are unsafe - As mentioned above, they are actually very safe. They are tested, produce less discomfort for many procedures, and require specific training to operate.
  3. Lasers can cause cancer - Dental lasers do not use radiation. Rather, they use amplified light, which is similar to common light, making it less harmful than sunlight.
  4. It is more expensive - While the equipment is more expensive than traditional tools, they may be able to address issues with fewer appointments, meaning the resulting cost is typically about the same. With reduced chances of infection, you likely won't have to revisit the dentist to treat secondary issues.

To learn more about laser dentistry options, or to request an appointment, contact our North Vancouver dentists.

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