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When it comes to dentistry, the procedures used within the medical science have been progressing by leaps and bounds. Where once the idea of a trip to the dentist was considered stressful thanks to frightening drills and other dental instruments, the advent of laser dentistry has changed everything. Now, a visit to the dentist doesn’t have to be something you dread but instead something you might even look forward to. Patients in the Maplewood and St. Paul area have access to this progressive and less stressful dentistry at Henrickson Dental.

How Lasers are Used in Dentistry Today

Laser Dentistry

Lasers have been commonplace in dentistry for longer than you might think – the first treatments using lasers began in 1990. The instrument produces a highly focused beam of light that’s incredibly narrow and highly energetic – this laser beam can be used for a wide variety of dental procedures ranging from looking for cavities, cleaning and whitening teeth, shaping tissue, or removing it altogether, all dependent on the energy level of the laser. High powered lasers can actually correct damage or perform surgical procedures the same way a dental drill can, while low-powered ones are perfect for identifying problems such as cavities before they are visible or in hurrying along the whitening process by activating specially formulated bleaching gels that are sensitive to the wavelength of laser light that the dental tool emits.

Here’s a short list of what lasers have been used for in oral medicine and dentistry:

  • Reduction in the discomfort caused by cold sores and canker sores.
  • Exposure of partially erupted wisdom teeth.
  • Removal of muscle attachments that would otherwise limit or prevent proper movement.
  • Management of gum tissue while taking impressions for procedures such as constructing crowns.
  • Removal of overgrown tissues that can sometimes occur after being prescribed specific medications.
  • Performance of biopsies and the detection of cavities, an example being the DIAGNOdent® laser cavity detection system.
  • Removal of inflamed gum tissues in order to help treat gum disease.
  • Reshaping or removal of bone and gum tissues during procedures such as crown lengthening with Waterlase® technology.
  • Aiding in treatment of root canals that have become infected.
  • Increasing the speed of tooth whitening procedures, with the LaserSmile™ tooth whitening system as a prime example.

The Many Advantages of Laser Dentistry

Laser DentistryUsing laser dentistry methods can have several advantages when compared to more traditional methods. There’s no need for anesthetic or even a drill in many procedures, which lets patients with high anxiety relax and have their fears soothed. Laser dentistry is often able to perform procedures with more precision, shorten healing times and reduce symptoms associated with traditional treatments, control excess bleeding during oral surgery, and even reduce bacteria levels in cavities and diseased gum tissue alike. Additionally, laser dentistry is just as safe as other dental instruments when in the hands of a trained dental professional. The only precaution you’ll likely need is to don a pair of special eyewear to protect your vision from continued or accidental exposure to the laser beam.

Discover if Laser Dentistry is For You

If you’re interested in laser dentistry, speak to your oral care provider. While the dental instrument is a highly useful one, there are some specific cases in which laser dentistry may not be appropriate. If you have more specific questions, feel free to call Henrickson Dental at (651) 777-8900 or fill out our online form. If you’re in the Maplewood or St. Paul area, feel free to schedule an appointment to come in. Our highly skilled and experienced professionals, Dr. Mike Henrickson and Dr. Sheryl Tandon, will be more than happy to meet with you and discuss your treatment options including laser dentistry.

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