Laser dental cleaning involves the removal of tarter and calculus from teeth and under the gum line without using brushes or a curette, a tool that can sometimes injure other tissues nearby. Drilling is also not required because lasers can be used to shape teeth as well. The procedure is less traumatic to the gums than traditional methods of cleaning. Gums can also heal faster if any damage does occur during the cleaning. No noise is emitted by the laser either, and only air is required to control the temperature at the site being worked on.
There is no need for water, as with other forms of dental cleaning. Protective eye glasses are required because the laser beam can damage the eyes if it strays even briefly. The technology for laser dental cleaning was originally very expensive to obtain, but is becoming more commonplace and less expensive. Dentists can get to any part of a tooth, and the fear-provoking dental drill will no longer be needed in offices using lasers.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved lasers for use in teeth cleaning and general dentistry in the United States. Lasers of different wavelengths can target different tissues. Those that work on soft tissue are one major type suitable for periodontal treatment. These can kill bacteria and help damaged tissues to re-grow, while also sealing blood vessels and nerves to avert any pain after a procedure.
In addition to laser dental cleaning, lasers can also be used to cut through teeth and bone. Such procedures can be done prior to bonding to repair worn fillings and remove parts of teeth if necessary. Certain lasers can also be used to view the internal structure of teeth, and others can boost the energy of intercellular messages to trigger healing.
During a laser dental cleaning, a dentist can control the power and length of beam exposure to teeth and gums. Laser light can also be used to detect cavities, clear cavities of bacteria before fillings are put in, and seal tubules on tooth roots that cause extreme sensitivity. Many procedures utilizing this technology do not require anesthesia, and the sterilizing effect of the laser makes infections less likely. The routine dental cleaning that many people dread is also made much easier, quicker, and painless.