There are a variety of uses for lasers in the field of dentistry. Lasers can be used for cavity removal, teeth whitening, gum reshaping, and to harden bonding materials used in fillings. In addition, lasers are used in periodontal care to remove bacteria from periodontal pockets.
Dental lasers emit light that delivers quick pulses of heat energy to the treatment area. Various wavelengths are used depending on the type of tissue being treated. Surgical lasers are more accurate than traditional dental treatments and allow the dentist to conserve as much bone and tooth as possible.
The DIAGNOdent® system from KaVo allows your dentist to detect tooth decay earlier, so you can preserve more of your natural tissue and prevent tooth pain, sensitivity, and other common dental problems that accompany cavities. Detecting cavities earlier also minimizes the aesthetic impact of decay and the expense of more complicated treatment, helping you to better care for your smile.
Before DIAGNOdent®, it was harder to accurately diagnose cavities early, so many patients waited until the cavity became obvious before undergoing treatment. With modern fluoridation practices, tooth enamel has become harder. While better for health, this means that when cavities form they tend to be hidden below the surface, making diagnosis more challenging. DIAGNOdent® solves these problems, giving your dentist a diagnostic tool that allows for both quicker and more accurate treatment.
How DIAGNOdent® Works
A dentist using the DIAGNOdent® system shines a handheld laser onto the tooth. This laser is tuned to a specific frequency that causes tooth decay to fluoresce. The hand piece simultaneously reads levels of fluorescent light bouncing back off the tooth, alerting your dentist when decay is detected. The DIAGNOdent® laser allows your dentist to closely examine the entire tooth, including areas that are impossible to reach with conventional diagnostic tools, for a quick, painless, and incredibly thorough diagnostic examination.
With many different applications, the diode laser is one of the most exciting tools available to laser dentistry practices. This revolutionary technology allows dentists to treat patients with great precision, meaning less pain and quicker healing. Diode lasers can be used in several cosmetic dentistry procedures, including tooth whitening.
In the diode laser, energy is focused at the site of a semiconductor embedded inside a crystal. This energy is then transmitted via a flexible optical fiber to a handheld unit used by the dentist during treatment. The laser's power can be finely adjusted to perform a wide variety of procedures more safely and comfortably than ever before. The diode laser is flexible enough to be used in many different procedures, including:
- Soft-tissue surgery: It is most commonly used to perform soft-tissue surgery, including removing tumors and lesions from the soft tissues of the mouth. Because the diode laser's high-energy beam kills bacteria, it is often used to sterilize areas of the mouth before or during root canals, cavity treatment, and other such procedures.
- Plaque Removal: Many dentists use the diode laser to clean the teeth. The laser is powerful enough to remove even heavily calcified deposits, leaving the teeth clean and free of cavity-causing plaque.
- Teeth Whitening: The diode laser can also be used to activate the gel in professional tooth whitening treatments. In-office treatments whiten teeth by up to 10 shades, a remarkable improvement from the over-the-counter whitening systems available at most pharmacies.
- Gum Contouring: The diode laser can be used to reshape patients' gum lines.
The Waterlase® tool is an exciting development in the field of laser dentistry. It allows your dentist to perform surgery with fewer shots and less anesthesia. The Waterlase® uses hydrokinetic technology to produce a laser beam that projects water to remove enamel, dentin, tooth decay and cavities. Waterlase® permits your dentist to treat dental problems with remarkable precision. Waterlase® Dentistry can be used to treat a wide range of dental problems, including:
- Cavities: The most common use for Waterlase® is in cavity treatment, in which the laser takes the place of the drill.
- Root canals: Waterlase® makes the treatment of root canals quicker and less painful.
- Dental implant surgery: The device allows for easier access to the jaw bone when surgeons are placing dental implants for patients with missing teeth.
- Reshaping of the teeth and gums: Waterlase® can safely reshape the teeth and recontour the gums.
Benefits of Waterlase®
There are many important benefits associated with Waterlase® Dentistry. Perhaps most importantly, Waterlase® treatment totally eliminates the heat, pressure, and vibration of traditional dental drills. This means that, for the first time, many common dental procedures can be performed entirely without anesthesia. It also means that hairline cracks and other structural damage sometimes caused by vibrating drills are a thing of the past.
The unsurpassed precision of laser surgical tools allows dentists to minimize or completely eliminate bleeding and post-treatment discomfort. Decayed tissue can be removed without affecting the surrounding healthy tissue. Cavities treated using the Waterlase® system can be filled more effectively than those treated using a drill, resulting in longer-lasting fillings. Additionally, a trained Waterlase® dentist can perform many procedures that previously required the expertise of a specialist, resulting in the need for fewer dental visits and less expensive dental care for the patient.
Find a Dentist
To begin taking advantage of the latest developments in laser dentistry, including Waterlase®, use the DocShop national database to locate a dentist in your area.