Laser Dentistry 101
What is Laser Dentistry?
Well, laser dentistry isn’t exactly brand new, but it’s growing in practice and popularity. If you don’t already know, a laser is usually a narrow, pen-like instrument that produces a powerful beam of light energy that gets projected onto another surface. When the light hits any kind of tissue, it stirs a reaction which can be used to shape or even remove the tissue.
Lasers have been used in dental practices since the early ’90s. Some of their more common uses include:
So far, so good – dental lasers are considered just as safe as any other dental tool, provided they’re being used properly by a trained dentist or other practitioner. Lasers are potentially dangerous to the naked eye, so you will be asked to wear special protective glasses during any laser-based procedure.
If you’re concerned about your doctor’s familiarity with laser dentistry and his or her level of comfort using the laser, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the extend of their training. Be sure that they’ve received instructional training from the laser manufacturer or have taken a course. Course in laser dentistry are available via many different dental schools, associations and the Academy of Laser Destistry (ALD).
More and more, lasers are being used to assist in the process of standard implant dentistry procedures, particularly in the contouring and shaping/placement of tissue around an implant.
As time goes on, lasers may begin to play an even greater role in routine dental procedures, from teeth cleaning to cavity drilling and beyond. Although some patients are skeptical of it’s safety, the fact that it requires no drilling, and therefore no Novocaine needle, is very attractive.
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