Shining a new light on Oral Health Care
The Smile Associates Team is committed to keeping up with the latest trends in treatment and minimizing discomfort for all of our patients. Laser dentistry offers a new modality of treatment that can allow dental procedures to be more comfortable than ever before. In this page you will find the latest information about the benefits of laser treatment and how we can help you keep your smile for a lifetime.
Dr. Francey is a member of the World Clinical Laser Institute and the Academy of Laser Dentistry. Our doctors are certified to use the Biolase EZ Lase 940 nanometer Laser in a variety of ways. We currently have a soft tissue diode laser, but lasers that can cut hard tissue (bone or tooth) are available.
Frequently asked questions:
What is a Laser?
A diode laser is a complex device that generates a beam of concentrated infra-red light. This beam of light brings energy into your mouth to help your dentist remove areas of soft tissue, infection, or tooth decay with great precision and accuracy. The laser beam sterilizes the affected area and seals off blood vessels, which minimizes the chance of infection or bleeding. Laser dental patients are much more comfortable both during and after treatment. That’s because, in many instances, the need for anesthetic injections is reduced and in some instances eliminated, as well as the associated side effects.
Are Lasers new to dentistry?
Shortly after the invention of lasers in the early 1960s, lasers were used experimentally on the teeth and gums. Lasers have been used on a limited basis in hospital dentistry. Recent technological developments have made it possible for lasers to be used effectively in the dental office. In fact, lasers are now being used by dentists all over the world.
Are Lasers dangerous?
In the hands of a skilled, specially trained dentist, lasers are quite safe. The primary safety measure necessary during laser treatment is proper protective eyewear, due to the radiation from the infra-red light. Dental lasers are low-powered, which is essential for treating the delicate tissues of the mouth. In addition, the controlled heat and light of the laser destroys many bacteria and viruses found in the mouth. We are occasionally able to comfortably use lasers on both teeth and gums with no anesthesia.
What types of procedures can the laser do?
- There are many different types of lasers used in dentistry, and their applications vary. The most common use of hard tissue lasers is for removing dental caries, old composite fillings, sterilizing infected root canals, bone shaping, apthous ulcer treatment, crown lengthening, apicoectomy, periodontal (gum) treatment and oral surgery. We currently have a soft tissue diode laser that can allow us to perform the following:
- Incision, excision, vaporization, ablation and coagulation of oral soft tissues including marginal and inter-dental gingival and epithelial lining of free gingiva and the following specific indications:
- Excisional and incisional biopsies
- Exposure of unerupted teeth
- Fibroma removal
- Gingival troughing for crown impressions
- Gingival incision and excision
- Hemostasis and coagulation
- Implant recovery
- Incision and drainage of abscess
- Oral papillectomies
- Pulpotomy as an adjunct to root canal therapy
- Reduction of gingival hypertrophy
- Soft tissue crown lengthening
- Treatment of canker sores, herpetic and aphthous ulcers of the oral mucosa.
Laser Periodontal procedures, including:
- Laser soft tissue curettage
- Laser removal of diseased, infected, inflamed and necrosed soft tissue within the periodontal pocket
- Sulcular debridement (removal of diseased, infected, inflamed and necrosed soft tissue in the periodontal pocket to improve clinical indices including gingival index, gingival bleeding index, probe depth, attachment loss and tooth mobility.)
Your dentist at Smile Associates will explain the type of laser used in the office and how it will benefit you.
What are the benefits of laser dentistry?
There are many benefits of laser dentistry. They may include:
- Ability to do more than one procedure in a single appointment thereby saving time and money
- Less need for separate surgical appointments
- Increased bone healing
- Faster healing
- Less time in the dental chair
- Less noise than the traditional dental drill
- Reduced risk of infection
- Less bleeding
- Less need for anesthesia
- Reduced sensitivity
- Less post-operative pain
- Better results
Will my insurance pay for laser dental service?
Today, many dental services can be performed with either the laser or traditional treatment, and are generally covered by most insurance plans. In those cases where the treatment is new to dentistry, pre-approval may be necessary; certain procedures may qualify for coverage under your medical insurance. Actually, the dental procedure needed by the patient is what is covered by the dental or medical insurance, not the method or technique of accomplishing the service. Lasers are just a part of the process as are dental drills, anesthetic, sutures or hemostats.
How will I know if Laser Dentistry is for me?
Ask your dentist. Upon thorough examination and diagnosis, your dentist can determine if laser dentistry is indicated for you. Clinical results have shown that lasers are beneficial in so many areas of dentistry.
A Final Word…
Laser dentistry is a new technology that helps your dentist treat you with a high degree of precision and accuracy. We gratefully welcome the opportunity to help you with your smile using the most comfortable and advanced technologies. Lasers may be one of the answers to creating a beautiful smile that will last a lifetime.