If visiting the dentist conjures up images of sharp instruments that whine, whir, and jab, then you’re in for a pleasant surprise when you visit Dr. Heather Fleschler. Laser dentistry is a revolutionary 21st century solution to age-old dental problems.
Dr. Fleschler uses the most advanced technology in order to deliver the exceptional results you deserve while providing high levels of comfort. To learn more about the state-of-the-art lasers we use, please call 713-660-6500 today.
What Can Be Treated With Laser Dentistry?
Laser treatments can address a variety of dental issues, including the following:
- Tooth decay and gum disease: Dr. Fleschler uses lasers to remove decayed parts of a tooth before introducing a filling, and we can use low level laser light therapy to reduce inflammation and remove infected gum tissue during periodontal treatment.
- Root canals: Root canals have a reputation for being painful and lengthy, but using a laser allows Dr. Fleschler to remove bacterial infection more precisely and comfortably than with traditional mechanical tools.
- Gum recontouring: Dr. Fleschler uses a laser to reshape your gum tissue and eliminate a “gummy smile” during cosmetic gum recontouring procedures.
Who Is A candidate For Laser Dentistry?
Dental lasers may not be appropriate for every condition and procedure. For relevant procedures, such as cavity detection, root canal preparation, and gum reshaping, most people are good candidates for laser dentistry treatment. Before making a recommendation, Dr. Fleschler carefully examines the teeth and gums and discusses with the patient the benefits and potential risks a laser may present in their case.
What Are The Advantages Of Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry offers many advantages over the mechanical approaches you may be accustomed to. Specifically, laser therapy can:
- Reduce the pain associated with procedures like root canals and as a result, reduce our reliance on anesthesia.
- Reduce the amount of bleeding and swelling from the gums during gum disease treatment.
- Make patients more comfortable. Nobody likes the drill, but some are more anxious than others.
- Help Dr. Fleschler remove only tissue that needs removal, preserving more of your natural healthy tissue.
Are There Any Risks Involved With Laser Dentistry?
The general consensus is that laser dental procedures can be less risky than many traditional dental techniques. This is because the laser eliminates the need for drilling and cutting in many cases. Still, it is important to have laser dentistry treatment performed by a trained, experienced dentist who can minimize risks like:
- Injury to dental pulp
- Injury to the gums
Patients should also know that laser dentistry treatments may still require the use of a drill or other instrument, depending on the complexity of the dental condition. Sometimes, a dentist will also still administer local anesthesia when performing a laser procedure.
How can I prepare for Laser Dentistry?
There are no special precautions to take before having a laser dentistry procedure. The dentist performs a thorough consultation and examination to ensure that the use of a laser device is appropriate and will offer benefits to the patient.
How Does Laser Dentistry Work?
Laser dentistry works through specific wavelengths of light. The wavelength utilized depends on whether the dentist is using a hard laser or a soft tissue laser.
Hard laser devices emit wavelengths of light that cut through bone and water. These devices are especially effective at reshaping the calcium phosphate that makes up our teeth.
The precision of hard laser wavelengths can cut teeth or shape smaller areas to prepare teeth for other procedures or improve their appearance. Hard lasers are used both diagnostically, such as in cavity detection, and clinically, such as in preparing a tooth for a filling.
Soft tissue laser devices emit wavelengths of light that are easily absorbed by water and hemoglobin, the molecule found in blood. Soft tissue lasers are primarily used on the gums but may also be used to correct conditions such as a tied-tongue. Because the laser energy seals off blood vessels, soft tissue lasers are known to reduce bleeding and recovery time.
Are There Drawbacks?
Laser dentistry cannot be used in every situation. The following situations don’t lend themselves well to laser treatment and usually require that we use traditional mechanical methods:
- Teeth with existing fillings
- Cavities located between teeth
- Preparatory work for locating dental bridges
- Preparatory work for crowns
- Old fillings, including silver
Laser dentistry also costs more than traditional methods, but most patients would say that the cost is worth the increased comfort and precision that it offers.
What is Recovery Like From Laser Dentistry?
Because laser procedures are often performed without the need for traditional dental instruments like scalpels and drills, the recovery from laser dental treatment is minimal. The laser does all the work, even the cauterizing and sterilizing that other instruments cannot achieve. By sealing off blood vessels immediately, the laser significantly reduces bleeding both during the procedure and after. Patients may still experience minor soreness, sensitivity, or tenderness for a day or two, but these side effects are rare and easily managed if they do occur.