Laser Dentistry in Schaumburg, IL

Laser dentistry is an innovative way to treat a range of dental conditions. Laser-based treatment is an emerging technology in dentistry, and it has many unique advantages compared to traditional modes of treatment. Dentists use lasers in many different ways, and they can replace dental tools that tend to provoke high anxiety.

What is Laser Dentistry?

In laser dentistry, a dentist diagnoses or treats a dental concern using a laser, which is a tool that emits light. Lasers can cut hard and soft tissues in the mouth, allowing for high precision. They also can reduce pain and the likelihood of an infection.

Patients who may be eligible to receive a laser dental treatment include those who require the following:

  • A biopsy
  • Cavity removal and preparation
  • Gum surgery
  • Surgery on other tissues of the mouth

Additionally, people with high sensitivity in their teeth or dental anxiety can benefit from receiving laser dentistry. Lasers take up less space than a traditional dental tool, which is more comfortable for patients with small or narrow mouths (especially young patients). There are two categories of laser dentistry: soft tissue and hard tissue.

Soft Tissue Laser Dentistry

Laser Dentistry in Schaumburg, IL Gum Disease TreatmentA soft tissue laser can help manipulate tissues in the oral cavity that are less dense than teeth. These tissues include the gums and other soft tissues. A soft tissue laser cauterizes as it works, meaning that patients experience less bleeding during a procedure. Other benefits of soft tissue lasers are that they can reduce the chance of infection, are highly precise, and reduce procedural swelling and pain.

Specific procedures that may incorporate a soft tissue laser include gum contouring or reshaping, frenectomy (removing the frenulum), crown lengthening, biopsies, exposure of partially erupted teeth, and periodontal disease treatment. Lasers can also help seal wounds and reduce bacteria within the mouth.

Hard Tissue Laser Dentistry

A hard tissue laser can manipulate the rigid structures of the mouth, namely the teeth. Like soft tissue lasers, hard tissue lasers offer high precision, minimal pain, and fast recovery time. Thus, they are ideal for patients who experience dental anxiety from the sounds and sensations created by traditional dental instruments.

Compared to a soft tissue laser, a hard tissue laser can cut through more dense materials, making it well-suited for procedures involving teeth and bones. The National Journal of Maxillofacial Surgery notes that hard tissue lasers can prevent cavities, bleach teeth, prepare cavities, and eliminate tooth hypersensitivity, among many other procedures.

Advantages and Disadvantages

When considering whether to receive laser dentistry, patients should consider the advantages and disadvantages of this treatment. A significant advantage of this procedure is that it can be less invasive and damaging to the oral tissues. Lasers can decrease the need for stitches and anesthesia. Wounds in the mouth can heal faster since lasers can help with blood clotting and sterilization.

While laser dentistry is a good option for many people, it is not for everyone. For example, teeth with certain types of fillings, like metal amalgam, may not be able to receive laser treatment. Pre-existing surrounding tissue or components involving the tooth or gums can also prevent people from receiving laser dentistry. Additionally, some laser procedures will still require anesthesia and other drilling tools. Our team can determine whether this process suits a patient’s needs.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Are you interested in learning more about laser dentistry? If you think this procedure could solve your dental issues, contact Happy Smiles Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment today. Let the power of lasers help solve your oral health problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

Gum contouring offers both medical and cosmetic benefits. In general, reshaping the gum line improves one’s smile and helps prevent future dental issues. The specific benefits associated with this procedure include:

  • Evens the gum line: When the gum line is uneven, it can actually cause the teeth to look crooked. If the teeth do not look straight but the dentist says braces are not needed, contouring may be the answer. It can balance and even up the smile.
  • Reduces the gum line: When there is extra gum tissue, it can result in a gummy smile. It can also dull the color of the teeth. When this excess tissue is removed, one of the results is whiter-looking teeth, which greatly brightens the smile.
  • Fights tooth decay: One of the biggest benefits of reshaping the gum line is that it helps fight decay in the mouth. Excess gum tissue can trap food, which makes it harder to clean. This results in bacteria leading to tooth decay.

The earlier that signs of gum disease are detected, the less invasive the treatment procedures are. These may include antibiotics, root planing, and scaling. Antibiotics can help control infection and can be administered either topically or orally. Root scaling and planing are often performed together. While root planing smoothes the root surfaces to remove bacteria and discourage further buildup, root scaling removes tartar and bacteria from the tooth surfaces and beneath the gums.

More advanced gum disease may require more invasive solutions, such as oral surgery. Treatments may involve bone grafting, guided tissue regeneration, pocket reduction surgery (also known as flap surgery), soft tissue grafts, and tissue-stimulating proteins. Bone grafting and guided tissue regeneration may help promote bone regeneration. Pocket reduction surgery may allow for more effective root scaling and planing, while soft tissue grafts may reinforce damaged soft tissue. Finally, tissue-stimulating proteins may help stimulate the growth of healthy bone and tissue.

Most forms of gum disease are caused by plaque. This sticky substance traps food and bacteria against the gum line. Over time, bacteria attack the gums, triggering inflammation and sensitivity. Without treatment, the problem can worsen. The gums may bleed while eating, brushing, or flossing. Gum problems have also been linked to heart disease and stroke.

Often, smoking and poor oral hygiene are to blame for gum disease. However, some patients may be prone to gum disease even if they brush and floss daily. Pregnant women are at a high risk of gum disease, and so are people with diabetes. Patients who wear dentures are more likely to develop gum disease, too.

In rare cases, bleeding gums can be a sign of a severe condition like leukemia. Patients who notice bleeding gums should seek dental care right away. Our team can determine the source of the problem. If further tests are required, we help patients make the necessary arrangements.

Soft-tissue laser dentistry offers many advantages for both patients and providers. Lasers often minimize bleeding and additional swelling after a procedure. They are also more precise than traditional surgical tools, making it easier to provide targeted treatments. Some patients may also experience less pain during a soft-tissue laser procedure versus traditional surgery.

There are also some disadvantages to soft-tissue laser treatments. Procedures with a laser may be more expensive due to the provider’s initial cost of the equipment. Additionally, laser therapy is only available for a small number of procedures and not for some common dental treatments, such as removing crowns or filling cavities. It is also imperative that providers follow the recommended practices for laser safety with their staff members.

Certain groups may benefit from regular oral cancer screenings more than others. Common risk factors include but are not limited to:

  • A history of oral cancer
  • Certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Regular consumption of a lot of alcohol
  • Excessive amounts of time spent in the sun
  • Tobacco use, in any form

Patients may find it beneficial to consult a professional about their medical history to better determine their risk for oral cancer.