Laser Dental CleaningDearborn, MI
It seems like lasers have started to make their way into all aspects of our lives, from hair or fat removal to deep tissue laser therapy for pain or inflammation.
So, what does it mean when we start seeing dentists use lasers? In a nutshell, the more applications dentistry finds for lasers, the less you will see traditional metal tools like drills, probes, forceps or excavators.
To fully address how dentists use lasers, it is important you know exactly what a laser is. You can start by forgetting everything you know about lasers from movies and TV shows. An article by Michael Friedman, DDS, summarizes how they work best — "All lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light."
To help illustrate this, think of light as water in a pipe. The water can leak or spill out, and this is generally the kind of light we usually see day to day. If the water is pressured and can only escape the pipe at the end, like a hose, this is like light condensing into a laser. If enough light is condensed into the laser, then it can also give off heat.
How Does It Work?
Lasers have found a variety of uses in modern medicine. The most important and well-researched use is for pain reduction. This is great news for those who avoid the dentist due to sensitive teeth or gums. This type of cleaning does not cut or penetrate the tissues. You will probably need less prescription or over-the-counter medication after the procedure.
Laser Dental Cleaning, or Hard Smart Cleaning, can involve a few different types of lasers. The first is a cold laser, which uses light to stimulate tissue. The second type is a warm or hard laser, which has just enough extra energy to generate small amounts of heat.
The most important difference between the two types of lasers is that one produces heat and the other does not. Your dentist will help determine which laser setting will be the best for your cleaning. They will pick the one that uses the lowest setting for the highest payoff. For example, if you are having laser treatment added to a whitening procedure, a cold laser is the most reasonable choice.
What Can Hard Smart Cleaning Help Treat?
Also called cavities or caries, tooth decay is the destruction of the outer enamel. Laser dental cleaning helps dislodge bacteria with heat energy and can also help clean up damaged enamel around the cavity. This will significantly decrease the amount of work that must be performed with standard dental tools.
It seems like lasers have started to make their way into all aspects of our lives, from hair or fat removal to
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gum tissue and associated inflammation. Gum disease is caused by the movement of bacteria in plaques from tooth enamel to the gum tissue. Hard Smart Cleaning uses heat to dislodge the bacterial infection or plaque. The light energy then stimulates increased blood flow, better immune response and helps reduce inflammation. These are all benefits that traditional tools cannot do.
If your dentist finds a small growth on your gums, tongue or other soft tissue inside your mouth, most will go away on their own. However, for those that do not or for lesions that your dentist suspects may be cancerous, lasers can be useful for their removal. This procedure will be less invasive and will heal faster than the use of standard biopsy tools.
Laser dental cleaning can also help whiten your teeth! This is similar to the whitening procedures you may already be familiar with using. This time, however, the peroxide bleaching solution is activated by the light energy of the laser, making the process faster and easier. You will begin your teeth whitening procedure in the same way, but during the treatment will use the laser like you would use an ultraviolet device.
Benefits of Laser Dental Cleaning
Compared to the methods of traditional dentistry, this type of cleaning has many added benefits.
If traditional metal tools bother you, your dentist will not need to spend as much time using them. Lasers destroy bacteria and plaque before cleaning.
You will feel a laser in the same way you feel sunshine on your teeth and gums.
You will need less pain medication, or even none at all, after a laser dental cleaning. Lasers do not cut, tear or make physical contact, so there will be less pain.
If you have ever been given a prescription for an antibiotic before a dental cleaning, then you know that sometimes bacteria can enter your bloodstream during cleaning and causes infections. Hard Smart Cleaning helps destroy bacteria before cleaning. It can be an alternative for patients with allergies to certain antibiotics or those who are at high risk of developing an infection after a dental cleaning.
Talk with your primary care doctor first if you:
If you cannot make an appointment to your primary care provider to have this discussion or do not have a primary care provider, your dentist can also screen you for the above conditions to make sure this treatment is safe for you.
How do I add this to my regular cleaning?
Laser dental cleaning can be a smart and safe addition to your regular cleaning appointments. Have a conversation with your dentist about the role Hard Smart Cleaning can play in your dental routine. Not every dental office will have the technology, but your dentist will be able to refer you to an office that does.
Remember that even with advances in dental technology, the most important step is routine oral hygiene practices. Brush and floss every day and make regular appointments with your dentist.
If you do not have a dentist, then please call us. Let us help you get your old smile back.
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