Dental lasers are like many other lasers used in medicine. In fact, lasers are becoming “standard of care” in the medical world. The range of laser use in medicine is vast – including general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedics, podiatry, cosmetic surgery, and probably the best known, LASIK eye surgery.
What is so special about the dental laser we have chosen to use at PWDA? Our laser is a pulsed CO2 laser. Because our laser has one of lowest levels of tissue penetration of all lasers available, it is incredibly safe and gentle. And because the use of the laser promotes quick healing, it is a wonderful way of doing almost all types of surgical and non-surgical treatment. Whether the laser is used for smaller procedures or larger surgical procedures, the result is the same: a more rapid and comfortable healing process. The danger of bleeding during or after any surgical procedure, as well as the need for pain medication is minimized, and most often nonexistent.
What can our laser do for you? For the greater part of each day, our dental laser is busy helping to improve the dental health of our patients in a variety of ways:
Periodontal disease treatment: We use the laser for the non-surgical treatment of periodontal disease. It plays an integral role in the nationally recognized protocol that Dr. Samaha has developed (and teaches) for the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. The CO2 dental laser allows for the disinfection and elimination of diseased gum tissue and also removes the toxins that are embedded in the root surface of the teeth. It encourages gum tissue healing and can even stimulate new bone formation.
Treatment of Herpes and Canker Sores: When the tingling or irritation of a cold sore (fever blister or herpes sore) occurs, the sore can be minimized as the laser vaporizes the virus on-the-spot. If caught early on, treatment can eliminate the cold sore in a few days, instead of 2 weeks. And more importantly, future outbreaks of the cold sore can often be eliminated by several seconds of a quick and painless pass of the laser over the sore. Mouth ulcers can be treated similarly.
Gum lift procedures to remove excess gum tissue: Certain medications, smoking, heredity and periodontal infections can be responsible for excess overgrowth of gum tissue. Sometimes, teeth appear very undersized because of this. Laser treatment is ideal for these situations and can treat this condition in one, gentle visit.
Removal of excessive muscle attachments between teeth or under the tongue: Some people have a gap between their front teeth which is caused by a heavy muscle attachment called a frenum. Other times, the muscle under the tongue is heavy, causing a tongue-tie, or speech impediment. The laser is just perfect in both situations, even in babies.
Discolorations or hereditary hyper-pigmentation of the gum tissue: People of African American, Native American and Indian ethnicity may have a dark, mottled appearance to their gum tissue. Some wish to have it removed. Much like a tattoo, it can be vaporized with a laser. It heals rapidly, often with no pain medication at all. In one visit, the discoloration is permanently removed.
Biopsies of diseased oral tissue: When lumps or bumps occur in the mouth, it is important to have them checked out as soon as possible. They can be a sign of a serious dental infection, such as an abscessed tooth, or they can be a sign of oral cancer. Other times, they can be a hereditary lesion or one that has occurred as a result of trauma. Our dental laser is perfect for removing such lesions and even for biopsying them, (in the case of suspicious lesions). No surgical blades and sutures required!
Hemangiomas of the lips: These are purplish-red isolated lumps of blood vessels which often occur on the lips. Removing them with traditional surgical means can be risky, but with our dental laser, they can be quickly dissolved, once and for all, with no scarring.
What does it feel like to have dental laser treatments – or even laser surgery? Most often, it doesn’t feel like much of anything. In fact, most of our patients say they don’t feel a thing. Some feel a slight rubbing on the tissue. Occasionally, one of our patients might say the laser treatment feels a little warm and/or tingly. In some advanced situations, we might need to gently place a little local anesthesia to assist us in your comfortable care.
Who performs our laser treatments? As the dentist at Port Warwick Dental Arts, I perform all laser treatments on our patients, without question. During the past few decades, dentistry has soared gracefully into the world of high tech. In so doing, procedures have become safer, quicker and gentler. The dental laser is one of the reasons why.