San Luis Obispo dentist Michael Colleran, DDS takes pride in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest and greatest in dental treatments and technologies. That’s why we think dental “lasers” are truly smashing. And if you’re worried about paying one million dollars, rest assured laser treatments are more accessible and affordable than ever. Austin Powers jokes aside, we’re here to tell you how lasers work in dentistry and how they can benefit your smile—and make for a more comfortable dental experience!
Advanced laser technology has been one of the most important improvements in modern medicine and dentistry, allowing us to hang up our other tools while providing treatments that are less invasive, more comfortable, and with healthier results than ever before.
All lasers work by creating energy in the form of light, but the precise function in dentistry depends on the type of procedure. With surgical and other types of restorative dental treatments, the laser functions as a cutting device, replacing sharp dental tools, or as a vaporizer of diseased or decayed tissue—leaving healthy tissue intact. For teeth whitening, the laser functions as a heat source to speed up and enhance the effects of bleaching agents.
One of the greatest things about dental lasers is they are great for patients with any level of dental anxiety. They eliminate the sharp tools, so you don’t have to hear or feel the scraping on your teeth, or the sounds and vibrations of the dental drill. Lasers create a calmer, more relaxed dental experience that can eliminate dental anxiety for many patients.
Don’t you just love a good teeth cleaning? No? While some folks do enjoy that fresh-from-the-dentist clean feeling, most don’t enjoy the cleaning itself. Lasers can help with that! Rather than using sharp tools to scrape plaque and tartar off your teeth and around the gum line, low-level lasers target and disintegrate plaque and tartar buildup without the invasive techniques. Where traditional cleanings can irritate the gum tissue, causing bleeding, swelling, and pain, laser cleanings leave healthy tissue alone, so you can have a more comfortable cleaning.
Similarly, we can also use lasers to provide periodontal therapy or gum disease treatment. Where a laser cleaning focuses mostly on the visible crown portion of the tooth and buildup along the gum line, periodontal therapy goes deeper—under the gum line, removing plaque and tartar while targeting and killing the infection and leaving healthy tissue intact.
Traditional gum disease treatments involve sharp tools and invasive techniques like scaling and root planing, gum grafting, and gum surgery—and these techniques only treat the physical symptoms of the disease. Laser periodontal therapy, however, gets to the root cause of the problem—treating the infection at the bacterial level and creating a healthier environment for the gums to reattach to. Laser gum disease treatments are more comfortable, more conservative, and with healthier results so you don’t have to treat and retreat.
If you have a cavity or an infected tooth, lasers can help with that, too! Lasers can be used to remove areas of decay from within a tooth and prepare the surrounding enamel for a tooth-colored filling to be placed. If your tooth is infected and you’re in need of a root canal, lasers can help us carefully and conservatively remove the infection and save the tooth.
Lesions and tissue abnormalities in the mouth are serious business, so it’s a good thing we’ve got laser technology on our side! Lasers can be used for biopsies, which involve taking a small sample of tissue from the mouth so that it can be screened for oral cancer. Laser biopsies are less invasive and more comfortable than traditional biopsies. Lasers can also be used to remove lesions in the mouth and treat canker sores. What a relief!
By far the most popular cosmetic dental treatment, teeth whitening can be assisted by our trusty dental lasers to speed up the in-office bleaching process. First, we apply a special peroxide bleaching solution, which is then activated further by the laser light which heats up and speeds up the whitening power to full throttle, so you can leave with a dazzling smile after a single visit.
Mr. Powers could have benefited from dental lasers, himself, don’t you think? If you’d like to learn more about laser dentistry and how it can make for a healthier mouth and a more comfortable dental experience, we would love to speak with you. Contact San Luis Obispo dentist Dr. Michael Colleran today to schedule a visit. We would love to help make your smile… groovy baby! Yeah!
The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.