Laser Dentistry: Meaning, Risk and Benefits
Laser dentistry is the usage of lasers in a dentistry procedure. Lasers can produce a narrow, concentrated light energy that can remove or shape tissue. It is because of this reaction that lasers are utilized along with other instruments to be able to treat the patient more efficiently. Common uses include procedures involving tissue removal, discomfort reduction for canker and cold sores, teeth whitening, and treating infections.
There are several types of lasers; each with a varying strength and wavelengths measured by nanometers. For example, a DIAGNOdent fluorescence laser is considered a Class 1 laser used for tooth decay detention. This specific laser requires protective eyewear for the patient. Protective eyewears are important against splashes of chemicals or any other infectious material.
Risks of Laser Usage in Dentistry Procedures
Apart from potential infection, high-powered lasers can be a burn hazard to the skin and eyes. It is important that the dentist working with the laser is well-trained to use it as prolonged exposure to the radiation may cause irreparable damage to the skin or eyes. It is also recommended that the instruments are well-maintained.
The hazards that you should be wary of are:
These hazards can be prevented by proper care and maintenance, proper training, and proper use.
Benefits of Laser Usage
Despite the risks posed by laser usage, it is still less risky as compared to the usage of the other instruments. Apart from this, there are also several advantages in using laser in some procedures.
- Procedures may no longer require anesthesia. This is good especially for those who are allergic to common anesthetics.
- Procedures are done with more precision.
- Procedures have fewer symptoms and decreased healing period.
- Procedures are done with more controlled bleeding.
In spite of these risks and benefits, it is still recommended that you contact your dentist to gauge if you need to undergo laser procedures and what precautions you would need to be mindful about.