What is laser?
Laser beams (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) are electromagnetic waves, which differ from the light of a lamp mainly due to the high intensity, very narrow frequency range and sharp bundling of the beam. As a result, the laser light is focused and conveys a large amount of energy which can be used to fuse, cut or evaporate tissue. Laser light has been tried and tested in many different areas.
In medicine, it has proven itself useful in ophthalmology and dermatology. Increasingly, the laser is also used in dentistry as a modern, gentle and painless alternative to drilling. It is a great substitute for drilling with its bacteria and germ-killing properties. It can also be used successfully in oral surgery.
What are the indications for laser treatment?
Since laser therapy is perceived as gentle and almost pain free, it is particularly indicated for children and all those patients who have dental anxiety. By eliminating the unpleasant sound of the drill, the patient is also more relaxed and treatment becomes easier for everyone involved.
Caries treatment with the laser
In laser therapy of caries, the laser is used as a drill substitute. The laser beam is directed at the carious tissue, unhinges it gently, making it easy to aspirate. Since carious tissue reacts differently to laser radiation than healthy tissue, the carious parts can be selectively and gently removed, thus leaving only healthy tooth. The laser beam additionally kills any bacteria that are present and seals the finest cracks of gaps in tooth tissue.
The laser is a non-contact tool which means that in contrary to the dental burr it does not touch the tooth. This means: no loud buzzing and unpleasant vibrations and above all – hardly any pain. The patient only hears a “click”. Anesthesia is not required, or required only in small doses. This is both a relief for patients with a fear of injections as well as those who are allergic to anesthetics. Children also benefit from “drilling without the shot”.
Lasers are also successful in the treatment of sensitive cervixes of the teeth, which are strongly reactive to hot and cold.
The laser is very effective for the treatment of periodontal diseases such as periodontitis mainly due to its bacteria-destroying effect. Thus, the dental laser reliably kills all the germs that have settled in the gingival pockets and facilitates fast healing, even without the use of antibiotics.
The laser can be used in root canal treatment. Disinfecting light energy reaches places where conventional measures don’t reach. Laser light penetrates the tooth and reaches even the deepest branches of the root canals, where it can effectively remove bacteria and carious tissue.
The use of lasers in oral surgery leads to faster wound healing, less swelling and pain compared to the traditional scalpel. In this case anesthesia may be often waived.
Also treatment of aphthous lesions (small bubbles in the mouth) and lip herpes with the laser can be fast and painless.
In peri-implantitis (inflammation of the bone around an existing implant) the implant can be gently and effectively cleaned and disinfected with the laser beam.
Snoring and tightening of lips and corners of the mouth
When snoring, the connective tissue in the palate and the mouth is often relaxed. In the lying position, the tongue falls back thus narrowing the airway. The vellum begins to vibrate resulting in annoying snoring noises. With the laser it is possible to tighten collagen fibers in the palate and the floor of the mouth, in and underneath the skin. This results in hardening of the soft palate, which can no longer vibrate and snoring disappears. Also, the airway is wider and breathing is improved. A snoring splint can be waived in many cases.
The principle of “collagen lifting” also works with wrinkles on the lips and corners of the mouth.
Advantages of laser treatment
- gentle and almost painless treatment
- unpleasant drilling noise is avoided
- simultaneous killing of all germs and bacteria
- Used also in places which cannot be reached with conventional measures
- less bleeding, faster wound healing and finer sutures during surgical use
- suitable for many types of treatment
- allows fear-free dental visits and treatments also in combination with nitrous oxide and / or hypnosis