Jeremy has been using dental lasers for over 7 years and is part of a group of Laser dentists at the forefront of laser dentistry in the UK. Lasers provide huge benefits to the patient, giving improved comfort, faster healing and in some treatments, better results. Jeremy advocates for laser use especially in periodontal treatment and the removal of soft tissue problems such as lumps or tongue or lip ties. Most dentists who begin to use lasers wonder how they ever managed without them!
What are dental lasers used for?
Lasers are suitable for both treatment and diagnostic use.
For treatment, lasers can be used on both soft tissue (such as gums) and hard tissue (such as tooth, enamel and bone).
Lasers come in different types which are specially designed for different kinds of tissue.
For diagnosis, lasers can be used to pick up early signs of decay in teeth: allowing action before radical treatment is needed.
The Waterlase iPlus Laser
The Waterlase Dental laser is one of the most advanced dental treatments available today. It combines light energy with a stream of water for a highly precise, exceptionally gentle dental experience.
Fillings and Tooth Preparation
The laser can, in the right circumstances, be used to prepare a tooth for a filling in place of a drill. IT cannot remove metal fillings, however, so it cannot always replace the drill. Often no anaesthesia is required. The laser works with no heat or vibration, so causes little or no discomfort and this also protects the surrounding enamel. It is so precise that it preserves more of the healthy tooth structure and destroys bacteria locally to ensure no contaminant is left in the tooth.
Children’s Laser Dentistry
The Waterlase laser can be used instead of a drill or scalpel and its gentle action can help eliminate any fear and anxieties associated with dental visits. It is the preferred treatment for tooth decay with no heat, vibration and shrill sound of the drill, and often there is no need for anaesthesia. For other treatments, there is less trauma to the area and faster healing. This treatment would not be offered by us under the NHS.
Root Canal Treatments
The laser can be used to open the canal and then, using a combination of air, water and light energy, can remove diseased tissue and clean out and sterilise the canal. The anti-bacterial action of the laser improves the chances of the root filling succeeding. Using the laser also helps to initiate the body’s healing process.
Gum Disease/Periodontal Treatments
Laser treatment is already used by many periodontists (gum disease specialists) in the US for the treatment of gum disease. The current and growing body of research supports this move towards more laser use. Gum disease forms in pockets around the tooth which can weaken its attachment to the gum; eventually causing it to fall out. Deep pockets would normally require surgical treatment, but with lasers, these can often be managed non-surgically and with less discomfort. Lasers don’t compromise on efficacy: they can actually penetrate deeper into the pockets of gum disease because the tip is finer than other instruments and lead to a smaller risk of recurrence and better healing response.
Jeremy primarily uses the laser in the treatment of implant problems that can arise such as peri-implantitis. The laser also sterilises the area, promotes healing of soft tissue and regeneration of new hard and soft tissue. This reduces the chance of infection, improves wound healing, and encourages new bone growth to integrate the implant into the jaw bone. The Waterlase can also be used to regenerate attached gingiva. It is thought that inadequate attached gingiva can lead to peri-implantitis.
Other treatments possible with the Waterlase are:
Frenectomies (removal of tongue or lip ties)
These can be carried out without the need for stitches and with little or no anaesthesia. There is little post-operative pain and the fraenum doesn’t re-grow.
Gum Contouring and other Soft Tissue Surgery
With a laser, this can be done more precisely so the cosmetic outcome is greatly improved. Because no scalpel is used there is much less post-operative pain, swelling, bruising and bleeding. The laser also encourages faster healing without scarring so no tissue shrinkage.
We also have a Diagnodent, which is a small laser that scans your teeth for hidden decay. Decay can sometimes start from within the tooth and thus, in the absence of any other symptoms, won’t be apparent to your dentist at your check-up. The Diagnodent allows us to detect decay lurking inside the tooth, so it can be treated early and minimally.
To find out if our cutting-edge laser dentistry at Bliss Dental Practice could help you, contact us today to book a consultation.