Posted January 28, 2020
Many kids and adults worry about going to the dentist. They are anxious about the needles used for anesthesia and the sound of the dental drill. But dental laser technology is improving the patient experience by reducing the need for needles and drills. Here’s what you should know.
For decades, dentists have used laser technology for teeth whitening and minor procedures. Today lasers are used to care for patients with a variety of dental needs. Review five benefits of laser technology:
- FDA approved – The Food and Drug Administration has approved laser technology for hard and soft procedures. These range from tooth decay and gum disease to complex dental treatments like root canals.
- Limits discomfort and pain – Many people don’t like the needles used to administer anesthesia. They also don’t like feeling numb for hours until the anesthetic wears off. But laser technology reduces the need for anesthetic and needles, improving the patient experience.Over 40% of American adults have not scheduled a dental exam in the past 12 months (or even longer). About 10% of people don’t go to the dentist because of fears and anxiety. Find out four ways to enjoy a better dental experience.
- Reduces drilling – With new laser technology, many dental procedures are performed without drilling. Research shows that lasers may help preserve tooth enamel and gum tissue when removing decay. However, a dental drill is necessary to shape fillings, adjust bites and polish teeth.
- Minimizes bleeding – Removing tooth decay or treating gum disease often causes gums to bleed. With laser technology, it’s possible to repair dental problems with virtually no bleeding.
- Saves time – People often put off going to the dentist because they say it takes too much time. But laser technology makes it possible to repair teeth. Of course, regularly brushing and flossing also is essential for maintaining good oral health.
Although laser technology is used for many dental procedures, there are some limitations. Lasers cannot be used to repair decay between teeth, next to old fillings, or in large cavities requiring a crown. They also cannot be used to prepare teeth for bridges or remove defective crowns and fillings.
But the use of laser technology can improve a patient’s overall dental experience. Because lasers are more expensive than dental drills, please be aware that not all dental offices have them.