The Rise of Laser Dentistry
While many have never had laser dentistry treatments, the use of laser technology for a variety of treatment needs has been used in clinical dental practice in 1989.
Laser dentistry isn’t contained to a particular area of the profession, but rather sees more common use in procedures involving hard tissue and soft tissue. These treatments may range from treating hypersensitivity and tooth decay to whitening teeth and treating gum disease. Dental laser treatments can be quite effective in a variety of ways because of the basic model of how they work on teeth: when the light emitted hits tissue, it produces a reaction, allowing the laser to remove or shape tissue. While showing promise and results in numerous areas, dental lasers are thought to provide a more comfortable clinical experience, since they replace drills and other non-laser tools.
Specialty Certification Required for Laser Dentistry Clinicians
While the FDA approved laser dentistry treatments for clinical use in 1994, the American Dental Association, to this day, has taken a wait-and-see approach to offering its own stamp of approval, due to a lack of clinical evidence for the wide range of applications.
A new dental society emerged with the advent of these procedures. The Academy of Laser Dentistry, a society for dental professionals certified in laser dentistry, manages the certification process at three levels: basic competencies, standard certification, and advanced certification.
The certification initiative includes the teaching of device characteristics to laser-tissue and laser-material interactions along with a deep dive understanding of absorption spectrum and chromophores. The program also teaches the biologic effects of laser interaction, critical concepts to understand the safety and effectiveness of clinical procedures. The academy recognizes successful completion of the certification program in that the dental professional formally demonstrates knowledge and clinical proficiency in laser dentistry.
Through this society and its certification processes, the dental community remains committed to setting high standards of excellence in quality and clinical performance for laser dentistry.
Lasers Help with Issues for Both Soft Tissue and Hard Tissue
There are six basic types of lasers used in dentistry, with some applicable for use with soft tissue and others used for hard tissue work. FFor soft tissues, lasers see use for removal of excess gum tissue, bacteria, and tissue for biopsies or lesion removal. Dentists may also reduce tissue buildup causing sleep apnea. or uses in soft tissue cases, dentists and hygienists with laser dentistry certification often report less bleeding, and reduction in the use of anesthetics due to the decrease of pain during laser treatment.
Lasers are also used In hard tissue cases. In hard tissue laser applications, dentists and hygienists remove decay, prepare teeth for restoration, and to activate whitening treatments.
Laser Dentistry Near Me
If you’re reading this, you may be getting excited about the possibility of receiving a less invasive, more comfortable form of dental treatment with the advent of laser dentistry. Most areas across the country will have Academy of Laser Dentistry members offering an array of dental laser treatments. You’ll see lasers used in dental hygiene, as well as laser bacteria reduction. And while periodontal laser treatments for gum disease are still in the early stages of use, they are showing great results and delivering greater comfort to those suffering from this painful condition.
To learn more about laser dentistry and how it may benefit your condition, visit a dentist and hygienist certified in laser dental therapies.