How do lasers work in dentistry?
All lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. When used for surgical and dental procedures, the laser acts as a cutting instrument or a vaporizer of tissue that it comes in contact with. When used for "curing" a filling, the laser helps to strengthen the bond between the filling and the tooth. When used in teeth-whitening procedures, the laser acts as a heat source and enhances the effect of tooth-bleaching agents. Some dentists are using lasers to treat:
- Tooth Decay. Lasers are used to remove decay within a tooth and prepare the surrounding enamel for receipt of the filling.
- Gum Disease. Lasers are used to reshape gums and remove bacteria during root canal procedures.
- Biopsy or Lesion Removal. Lasers can be used to remove a small piece of tissue (called a biopsy) so that it can be examined for cancer. Lasers are also used to remove lesions in the mouth and relieve the pain of canker sores.
- Teeth whitening. Lasers are used to speed up in-office teeth whitening procedures. A peroxide bleaching solution, applied to the tooth surface, is 'activated" by laser energy, which speeds up of the whitening process.