Lasers are the latest and the most successfully introduced technologies in dentistry. Laser dentistry can be a precise and effective way to perform many dental procedures. The potential for laser dentistry to improve dental procedures rests in the dentist’s ability to control power output and the duration of exposure on the tissue (whether gum or tooth structure), allowing for treatment of a highly specific area of focus without damaging surrounding tissues.
Over the past four decades, various wavelengths have been successfully used in dentistry. The application of lasers is wavelength specific and depends on its absorption and interaction in different oral tissues.
With the help of lasers, the dentist can enhance the patient’s esthetic appearance keeping in mind the tooth and tissue interface in a harmonious manner. Lasers have therefore been a great boon for the creation of gum and bone contours necessary not only for esthetics but also for proper functioning of the concerned tooth/teeth. As the applications for dental lasers expand, greater numbers of dentists will use the technology to provide patients with precision treatment that may minimize pain and recovery time.
Applications of Lasers in dentistry
Hard Tissue (Tooth) Laser Dentistry Procedures-
- Tooth Decay Detector: Low intensity soft tissue dental lasers may be used for the early detection of cavities by providing a reading of the by-products produced by tooth decay.
- Dental Fillings/Tooth Preparation: Hard tissue dental lasers may eliminate the need for a local anesthetic injection and the traditional turbine dental drill. Lasers used in dental filling procedures are capable of killing bacteria located in a cavity, potentially leading to improved long term tooth restorations.
- Tooth Sensitivity: Dental lasers may be used to seal tubules (located on the root of the tooth) that are responsible for hot and cold tooth sensitivity.
Soft Tissue (Gum) Laser Dentistry Procedures
- Crown Lengthening: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue (soft tissue laser) and bone (hard tissue laser) to expose healthier tooth structure. Referred to as crown lengthening, such reshaping provides a stronger foundation for the placement of restorations.
- Gummy Smile: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue to expose healthy tooth structure and improve the appearance of a gummy smile.
- Muscle Attachment (Frenula): A laser frenectomy is an ideal treatment option for children who are tongue tied (restricted or tight frenulum) and babies unable to breast feed adequately due to limited tongue movement. A laser frenectomy may also help to eliminate speech impediments.
- Soft Tissue Folds (Epulis): Dental lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of soft tissue folds often caused by ill-fitting dentures.
Other Laser Dentistry Applications
- Nerve Regeneration: Photobiomodulation can be used to regenerate damaged nerves, blood vessels and scars.
- Sleep Apnea: In cases where sleep apnea is a result of a tissue overgrowth in areas of the throat (which sometimes occurs with age), a laser assisted uvuloplasty or laser assisted uvula palatoplasty (LAUP) procedure can be performed to reshape the throat and relieve the correlating breathing problems associated with sleep apnea.
- Teeth Whitening: Low intensity soft tissue dental lasers may be used to speed up the bleaching process associated with teeth whitening.
- Temporomandibular Joint Treatment: Dental lasers may be used to quickly reduce pain and inflammation of the temporomandibular jaw joint.
Lasers represent an innovative and more precise technology for specific hard and soft tissue applications. If you choose a dentist who incorporates lasers into the procedures he/she performs, you may find that you feel more comfortable and less anxiety during your treatments.
BIOSTIMULATION/LOW LEVEL LASER THERAPY:
Low level laser therapy (LLLT) involves the transmission of coherent red and near infrared light energy at wavelengths able to pass into and through the body at depths of up to 40 mm.
It is referred to as ‘low level’ because the energy or power density is low compared to other forms of laser therapy used for ablation, cutting and thermally coagulating tissue. LLLT is also known as ‘soft’ or ‘cold’ therapy because the density does not produce heat.
Soft laser treatment biostimulates the body’s natural healing mechanism on a cellular and systemic level. As a result, cells receive the energy required for activating and enabling optimal functioning in the body, thus allowing them to self-heal and overcome specific problems naturally.
The therapeutic lasers offer improved possibilities in the treatment of pain, wound healing, inflammation and oedema. However, they also offer the dentist a possibility to treat indications previously not within the capability of the general dentist. In the following some examples will be given, each with a selected reference
With the advent of desensitizing agents, the prevalence of treatment-resistant dentinal hypersensitivity has diminished considerably. On the other hand, the placement of composites and inlays has brought a new reason for the very same. Gershman has shown that dentinal hypersensitivity can be successfully treated with LLLT. Mild pulpitis requires higher doses than the common dentinal hypersensitivity, and repeated treatments. Frequently a sensitive tooth neck can be treated with only one treatment.
Oral herpes (HSV1) is a common feature in the dental operatory. Instead of being a contraindication for dental treatment during the acute period, an onset of HSV1 can be a good reason for a visit to the dentist. As with any treatment of HSV1 a treatment in the early prodromal stage is most successful. The pain will be reduced immediately and the blisters will disappear within a few days. Repeated treatment, whenever a blister appears will lower the incidence of recurrence. Unlike Acyclovir tablets, there are no side effects . It has been shown that laser therapy can even be used in the latent period between the attacks to lower the incidence of recurrence.
Patients undergoing radiotherapy and/or chemoradiotherapy suffer gravely from the mucositis induced by the therapy. Nutrition is troublesome and therapy regimen may have to be suboptimal for this reason. LLLT can be used not only to treat the mucositis but even to reduce it by mucosal irradiation prior to radiotherapy/chemotherapy.
The most frequent complaint among patients is of course pain. LLLT can reduce or eliminate pain of various origins . Postoperative discomfort after surgery can be substantially reduced by irradiating the operated area post operatively before the anesthesia wears off.
After oral surgery paresthesia may occur as a result of the surgery, in particular in the mandibular region. LLLT has been used to eliminate or reduce such complications.
Problems in the temporo-mandibular joint region are quite suitable for LLLT. For arthritic cases the treatment is concentrated to the joint area, in myogenic cases the muscular insertions and trigger points are treated. Laser therapy should always be used in combination with conventional treatment but will improve the outcome of the treatment
It has been shown that patients suffering from Ménière’s disease (tinnitus/vertigo) have a significantly increased prevalence of problems in the masticatory, neck and trapezius muscles plus problems in the cervical spine, particularly in the transverse processes of the atlas and the axis. Relaxation of the tension in these muscles plus occlusal stabilisation procedures (occlusal adjustment, bite splint) will reduce or eliminate the symptoms of tinnitus and vertigo in this group of patients. Laser therapy can successfully be used to promote muscular relaxation and pain relief in these cases.
Apart from being extremely debilitating, trigeminal neuralgia can sometimes make dental treatment impossible. While no miracle cure, dentists can offer a great deal of comfort to these patients, and with a non-invasive method
Zoster in the trigeminal nerve should be treated in its early phase. The zoster attack in itself is bad enough, but not too infrequently a postherpetic neuralgia will persist for years or even lifelasting. Laser therapy is a cost-effective, non-invasive method without side effects.
use of laser in our practice:
1)STERILIZATION OF CANAL BEFORE FINAL FILLING IN ROOT CANAL THERAPY
2)GINGIVAL POCKET DISINFECTION AFTER SCALING OR ORAL PROPHYLAXIS
3)WHITENING OR BLEACHING OF TEETH.
4)BIOSTIMULATION OF AFTER EVERY MINOR OR MAJOR SURGICAL PROCEDURE.
Other Applications of Laser are:
A frenectomy is a surgical procedure that removes or loosens a band of muscle tissue that is connected to the lip, cheek or floor of the mouth. It is usually performed under local anesthetic with uneventful healing.
Gingival melanin pigmentation occurs in all races of mankind. Although clinical melanin pigmentation does neither present itself as a medical problem nor a disease entity, it is a major esthetic concern for many people, especially Asians. Esthetic gingival depigmentation procedures can be performed in such patients with excellent results. This case series presents a split mouth de-epithelization procedure using popular surgical techniques such as scalpel, bur abrasion or electrosurgery. These techniques were successfully used to treat gingival hyperpigmentation.
Laser Pocket Disinfection is a full mouth disinfection procedure which can be performed during your scaling and root planing visit, or during your regular recall visit using our newest Periolase NDYAG Laser. This laser has been proven to be sixteen times more effective than other types of dental lasers. It not only destroys the bacteria that live within periodontal pockets, but also reaches bacteria up to 6mm into the surrounding gum tissues. The result is an overall improvement in the quality of the gingival tissues thus decreasing the reoccurrence of the disease. L.P.D. takes only about ten minutes and can be performed without local anesthesia by the dental hygienist.
The flap of tissue that covers a partially erupted tooth is called the operculum. A partially erupted tooth can be more prone to decay and gum disease. It also causes inflammation of the gums and infections to the adjacent tissues.In order to proceed with the treatment of a partially erupted tooth, the operculum on the tooth should be removed by surgery; this surgery is called the operculectomy. Typically, operculectomy is performed for the treatment of a partially erupted wisdom tooth.
Our teeth whitening service offers exceptional beauty for a gorgeous smile. Over the course of many years, your teeth can get stained from a variety of foods and products ranging from coffee and tea to cigarettes and other substances.Bleaching/whitening of teeth in tooth can be now done by laser in Akshay Multispecialty center.
Gingival hyperplasia becomes a relatively frequent pathogenic condition during orthodontic treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of diode laser gingivectomy as an adjunct to nonsurgical periodontal treatment in the management of gingival hyperplasia in orthodontic patients. Materials and Methods: Thirty eight orthodontic patients with gingival enlargement due to fixed appliances were divided randomly into two groups. The test group received diode laser gingivectomy as an adjunct to nonsurgical periodontal treatment.
BIOSTIMULATION WITH DENTAL LASER:
biostimulation means use of low level laser energy.
In dentistry biostimulation can be used for :
1.Treatment of recurrent aphthous stomatitis and traumatic ulcers
2.Reduction of oral edema
3.Post-operative analgesia following periodontic, oral surgery, and endodontic procedures
4.Treatment of recurrent intraoral and labial herpes
5.Management of inflammatory conditions such as erosive lichen planus
6.Reduce pain of orthodontics
7.Management of temporomandibular disorder.
post operatively every patient is biostimulated after every major or minor surgical procedure in our set up.