Better Living Through Dental Lasers

Let’s all be perfectly honest here: nobody really looks forward to their next dentist appointment, regardless of when the date actually lands. Okay, the “perfectly” part of that last sentence may have been a little too on the nose, but the point still stands. The dentist appointment, along with traffic stops and airport security, has been one of these things that society has taught us to accept and doesn’t care how grudgingly we do it or how painful the process turns out to be. We buy that speciality toothpaste in the grocery store, floss twice a day and drink nothing but water – all of it because it’s only a week away and we want to be spared the lecture that we are going to get anyways.

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But then again, technology is improving so that you can actually look forward to seeing your dentist for a change. And yes, what was just said does sound like something that was straight out of an infomercial. But ever since the FDA approved the use of lasers for dental treatment in 1994, there have been more and more applications that would make for a more comfortable dentist appointment.

Of course, a more detailed explanation is necessary. Laser technology hasn’t made the type of leaps and bounds expected from people who grew up seeing lasers on cartoons and sci-fi blockbusters (and don’t worry, your jetpack should be coming in as well… once some of the schematics have been figured out). The first, and very likely the most important thing for most people, that it can do is speed up the teeth-whitening process. The dentist puts in a peroxide-based bleaching solution, and then uses the laser to activate it into doing its work . Or rather, the heat from the laser causes the solution to enhance the effect.

And that is just the first of many things that can be done. This is mainly due to the fact that lasers, by their very nature, deliver focused energy in the form of light. There is less bleeding and swelling when it comes to soft tissue treatments. Lasers can also remove lesions in the mouth and handle biopsies. And during root canal treatments, the lasers can be used to fix gums and remove harmful bacteria. Lifetime Teeth Today can provide recommendations and assistance on the details of this procedure. If interested in this procedure, be sure to schedule a consultation in order to fully understand that process.

As you can see, laser use in dentistry can be more palatable for patients who have long dreaded the standard utensils. But can the tools of the future truly replace the tools of the past? The American Dental Association (ADA) certainly does not think so, as none of the laser treatments have received their official Seal of Acceptance. Of course, the ADA does have their reasons for withholding their approval. For one, in teeth where there are already fillings, the lasers can do more harm than good. They also can’t fill cavities or put in crowns, and they are certainly much more expensive than your average drill in the office. And most importantly of all, laser treatment does not eliminate the need for anesthesia. So regardless of what treatment you do, there will be pain in the process.

Ultimately, time will tell how much laser technology will advance and how it can apply to dentistry. After all, many other technologies have made major changes once they became cheaper and easier to use.