Dental lasers are used to perform many dental procedures. One of the most significant advantages of laser dentistry is the fact that it is minimally invasive and permits the treatment of specific focal areas without damaging surrounding tissues. This, in turn, minimizes the patient’s discomfort and reduces recovery and healing time. The following are some of the other most important benefits of laser dentistry:
- Certain procedures do not require anesthesia
- Soft tissue procedures (e.g., gums, tongue, inside of the cheeks, lips and palate) usually do not require stitches
- Bleeding is minimized because the high-energy laser light aids in clotting
- The incidence of bacterial infection is decreased because the high-energy beam of the laser sterilizes the treated area
Virtually all of the dental procedures relating to soft tissue are performed with dental lasers. These include crown lengthening (which can be both soft tissue lasering to reshape the gum tissue and hard tissue lasering to expose healthier tooth structure); crown lengthening provides a stronger and more stable foundation for the placement of restorations, such as crowns. Lasers are also used to reduce “gummy smiles” by reshaping the gum tissue; to perform laser frenectomies (loosening the muscle attachment of the lip), which, in turn, can prevent spaces from developing between the front teeth; to remove soft tissue folds caused by ill-fitting dentures; to remove benign tumors from the soft tissues; to treat canker sores; and to seal tubules located in the root of the tooth that cause hot and cold tooth sensitivity.