Lasers Are The Future

You hear that pitchy, screeching whir of a dental drill and chances are you don’t relax and recline in your chair. Your muscles clench, your jaw tenses and you have to fight the urge to get up and get out of there. The sounds of a dentist office are not the most soothing. They’re one of the things that set people with a dental phobia on edge. That and the smell, and fear of pain and recovery. Studies have found that more than 40 million Americans avoid seeking dental care and regular dental visits because of the fear and anxiety it causes them. Accordingly people who have a dental phobia are at a higher risk to develop gum disease and experience tooth loss. More and more dentists are employing the use of dental lasers to help ease the fears of anxious myths, truth, dental

So what’s up with dental lasers? Dental lasers are currently approved by the FDA, but have yet to receive the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance. This seal is awarded once it’s made certain that a product or procedure completely meets the ADA’s standards of safety and efficiency. Although no dental laser has yet received this seal, the ADA continues to advocate for and promote the use of dental lasers for various in-office procedures. The ADA has recognized that lasers will most likely play a major role in the future of dentistry and encourage improvements in technology and further research. Dental lasers have been shown to:

  • Perform procedures with minimal damage done to soft tissues. Accordingly less bleeding and swelling.

  • Great reduction in pain.

  • Shorter healing and recovery time.

  • In some cases may reduce need for anesthesia.

  • Better preservation of healthy tooth material when treating decay.

  • Less anxiety.

  • Shorter procedure/ less time spent in chair.

Dental lasers can be used for a wide range of procedures including:

  • Filling cavities.

  • Performing root canals.

  • Gum reshaping.

  • Removing or reshaping tooth.

This technology promises big changes in how dentists treat patients and how patients feel about visiting their dentist. Any reduction in stressors like noise, smell and pain are going to make a dental visit all the less terrifying. The more people who aren’t afraid of the dentist, the more who make regular visits and maintain their oral health! Unfortunately because of where dental lasers stand in their development they do have their shortcomings. For instance:

  • Lasers cannot be used on pre-existing fillings (as to shape or remove). This sort of procedure still requires a drill.

  • Lasers cannot prepare a tooth for a crown.

  • If a laser is used to fill a cavity there is a chance that a drill may still be needed to adjust the filling and make it comfortable for wear.

  • Because they are a fairly new technology lasers are still expensive and cost dental offices more money to acquire. This could lead to higher procedure prices.

Call and speak with your dentist about their laser options. If you are someone who suffers from debilitating dental phobia you may also want to consider sedation dentistry. Call Dr. Lance Jue of Greenspoint Dental today and schedule an appointment.