Technology is constantly evolving. Every industry looks for ways to automate burdensome tasks, simplify processes, and alleviate pain points.
We are here to tell you that dentistry is no different.
The state-of-the-art technology used in forward-thinking dental offices empowers dentists to take better care of their patients. At Koval & Koval, we are always looking for ways to create more satisfying experiences for the people who walk in our doors.
Discovering and investing in high-end technology helps us do just that, which is why we’re always looking to the horizon for the most innovative solutions. One of the most important investments we’ve made has been in laser technology.
We want to help patients understand the benefits of this technology for cosmetic dentistry, so we’ve put together this brief introduction to laser dentistry.
What is Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry is an approach to dental procedures that uses laser technology to improve results and increase comfort for the patient. It is a less invasive, highly precise, and extremely gentle way to accomplish the same goals of traditional dentistry.
The word laser itself is an acronym for “Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation,” and the application of this technology to dentistry has been around for longer than most realize. One article published in the National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery titled “Laser in Dentistry: An Innovative Tool in Modern Dental Practice” traces the first use of laser dentistry as far back as the 1960s, though popularity rose in the last two decades after “an explosion of research studies in laser application.”
What are the Different Kinds of Lasers Used in Laser Dentistry?
In the article, the authors point out that “lasers used in dental practice can be classified by various methods: According to the lasing medium used, such as gas laser and solid laser; according to tissue applicability, hard tissue, and soft tissue lasers; according to the range of wavelength.” They also highlight four specific types of lasers including
- Carbon Dioxide Laser: Used for soft tissue removal and hemostasis.
- Neodymium Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Laser: Also called the Nd: YAG, the wavelength of this laser is a highly effective way to cut and coagulate soft tissues, making it a great tool for oral surgeries.
- Erbium Laser: This is a “family” of lasers made up of two different wavelengths that both result in a useful tool for treating both soft and hard dental tissues.
- Diode Laser: Used in a number of procedures such as “aesthetic gingival recontouring, soft tissue crown lengthening, exposure of soft tissue impacted teeth, removal of inflamed and hypertrophic tissue, frenectomies, and photostimulation of the aphthous and herpetic lesions.”
Practices that utilize laser dentistry may apply different methods for different needs. Some may have a range of options, while others may select just a few to focus on. Our practice utilizes a variety of these tools including these specific ones:
Combining water, air, and laser energy, the Waterlase energizes water molecules to cause a “cool” biological cutting of hard and soft tissues. This reduces the amount of scraping needed with a traditional dental drill and allows for a much less invasive procedure, whether we’re removing gum infections, sculpting tissue, treating cold sores, or performing surgeries. Whatever the operation, the laser technology behind the Waterlase makes it easier to manage the pain, leading to a much better experience for the patient.
As mentioned in the article, the Diode laser can be used for a number of soft-tissue procedures. The precision offered by the laser helps reduce pain bleeding for the patient while also making it easier for them to recover from the operation.
This laser is one of three approved by the FDA for tooth whitening. In our practice, we use it primarily for fast and efficient bonding.
The DIAGNOdent is used to detect and identify areas of decay in a patient’s mouth. According to Maria Perno Goldie, RDH, MS, “a considerable percentage” of tooth decay lesions “go undetected using conventional procedures and instruments.” Using laser technology, the DIAGNOdent can catch cavities and other problems earlier to prevent any further damage.
The final laser we use is the Lightwalker. It’s a combined hard and soft-tissue dental laser that is perfect for cosmetic dental procedures and was “designed for dental perfectionists and all forward-thinking professionals.” Those are key descriptors of our practice, and the laser technology from this tool and the others listed above help us continually innovate our practice.
What are the Advantages of Laser Dentistry?
Dentists who utilize lasers don’t just do so because of the cool, new technology. While many professionals in the industry, including those of our practice, geek out over the innovation, our biggest desire is to serve patients. Laser dentistry is just another avenue to help the people who walk into our practice enhance their smiles.
We use lasers to create a comfortable environment for each of our patients while still delivering impeccable results. The process offers a more precise procedure that is less invasive and gentler for the patient, making the visit a much more positive experience.
Other benefits include:
- A virtually painless experience
- Less anesthesia is required for some procedures
- More natural results
- Less bleeding and swelling
- Fewer dental visits
- Accurate and precise methods
- Reduced trauma
- Faster recovery times.
What can I expect from Laser Dentistry in Sarasota, Florida?
Every patient who walks through our doors is treated as a complete individual. We exist to help you enhance your smile, and your smile is unique.
Our team takes the time to find out exactly what makes your smile special so we can provide natural changes that leave you feeling confident about yourself for years to come. When you walk into our office, you can always expect to receive the care and attention you deserve.
You can expect less discomfort, less blood, and a faster recovery time after your procedure since lasers are not as invasive as traditional procedures.
This is ultimately why we invested in the technology. It came from a desire to make cosmetic dentistry more approachable for any patient. There are so many added benefits to loving your smile. Patients feel confident and more like themselves when they like the way they look. Those kinds of qualities should be available to everyone, and laser dentistry makes the road to get there much more pleasant for the patient.
At Koval & Koval, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our patient experiences. Our team researches the latest technology and keeps up with best practices. We’ve found laser dentistry to be one of the most helpful innovations in the industry. While we do offer a range of procedures and approaches to meet various patient needs, we’re excited to provide laser dentistry in Sarasota, Florida.
The precise and minimally invasive procedure empowers us to provide patients with excellent results while also reducing pain and creating a less intimidating environment. The old expectations for a visit to the dentist are quickly fading away, and we’re happy to show you what the future looks like.
Bonus Material: Further Reading
We wrote this article to provide an overview of laser dentistry, but if, like us, you get excited about the ins and outs of technology, you might find some of these additional resources helpful.
- The article from the National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery mentioned earlier provides a great starting point.
- Another academic source from the National Library of Medicine.
- A more generic overview from Healthline for a popular audience.
- The Biolase website provides details on their laser dentistry products, including our latest addition, the Waterlase iPlus.
You can also always ask us about laser dentistry or any other procedures we offer. We love getting the chance to share our knowledge with patients.