The greatest advantage of lasers is that they can be used with little or no anesthesia at all. That means no shots and no being numb for hours. Lasers have many uses in dentistry, but their best applications are in soft tissue treatments. Laser treated soft tissue heals better and faster than with other methods. There is generally less infection and little or no post-operative pain. Some laser procedures include:
- contouring and shaping the gum
- treating cold sores and canker sores
- treating gum disease
- improving impressions for crowns, bridges, and veneers
- cleaning root canals
- exposing unerupted or partially erupted teeth
Crowns and Bridges
Gum and Bone Treatment (Periodontics)
Diseases of the gum and bone (periodontal disease) can range from mild inflammation of the gum to rapid degeneration of the bone and loss of teeth. Common signs of periodontal disease can include bleeding gums, red or swollen gums, receding gums, or loose teeth. Often, there is no pain or even sensitivity associated with periodontal diseases. Most diseases are caused by bacteria and therefore cleaning is the first stage of treatment.
Daily flossing, brushing, and rinsing are the best ways to prevent most dental problems, and are the most important part of any treatment of any periodontal disease. Deep cleaning (or root planing), antimicrobial medication, more frequent professional cleaning, and/or periodontal surgery may be indicated if good home care is not sufficient.
Root Canals (Endodontics)
A root canal treatment involves cleaning the inside of the tooth by removing the nerve, blood vessels, and bacteria from within the tooth. Once the root canals are cleaned and properly shaped, they are filled completely and sealed over with a filling to prevent bacteria from reentering the tooth. A crown is usually recommended to prevent fracture of the weakened tooth. This treatment saves the roots of the tooth so that the tooth does not need to be removed and replaced.