Laser Dentistry

 
 
 
 

Gingivectomy

This procedure uses a soft tissue laser, which is almost painless and very conservative, to remove a small piece of gum around the teeth. The zone is only 3 to 5 cell layers deep when using this style of laser, compared to 300 to 500 cell layers damage with traditional electrosurgery.

 

This treatment can be used to:

  • Remove overgrown/excess gum on a broken tooth to allow for restoration material to seat properly

  • Reduce swollen/puffy gum caused by medication and irritation, and allow a chance to heal

  • Reshape the gum for easy flossing and self-cleaning

  • Recontour/reshape gum for a cosmetic reason (gummy smile)

 

Frenectomy

This procedure uses a soft tissue laser to conservatively remove excessive fibrous tissue between upper front teeth with a large space (the thick fibrous tissue can prevent upper central incisors coming together, this causes the gap for some people). If a child has a space between the two front incisors, and age is early enough (before age 10-11), this can assist the central incisors in coming together.

Tongue-Tie

Some people will be born with a tongue-tie (ankyloglossia). This is caused by the fibrous tissue that attaches the tongue to the bottom of the mouth (lingual frenum) being too short, which prevents tongue movement. As a result, some people will encounter speech problems and limited tongue freedom.

A soft tissue laser can be used to conservatively remove the fibrous tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth. After the procedure, a patient can expect there will be some recovery and exercising of the tongue every day to re-train the tongue muscle. The earlier this is done in development, the sooner speech ability will improve.

Fibroma Removal

A fibroma is a benign overgrown tissue that consists of fibroma tissue that is normally raised and firm. Not all fibromas in the mouth require treatment. However, if it is large enough or in certain locations, and causing discomfort when eating, it will need to be removed with a laser to avoid constant irritation from biting on it. Most common sites for a fibroma are on the lip, the inside of the cheek, and the tongue.

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Cold Sore Treatment

Recurrent Aphthous Ulcers and Oral Herpetic Lesions are relatively common oral diseases, which can be both painful and be unaesthetic for many patients. These diseases have been traditionally treated pharmacologically with steroids (Orabase gel) and expensive antiviral medications (Acyclovir). Recently, alternative therapies such as the use of Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT) have been introduced for their ability to accelerate wound healing and provide almost immediate pain relief.

The key is to treat the cold sore area within 24-48 hours before it spreads. The earlier the treatment is done, the more successful it will be. The treatment can usually stop the pain immediately after a few minutes of laser treatment and prevents a sore from spreading.

 

Laser Bacteria Reduction Gum Disease Control

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For this treatment, a diode laser is typically used as an adjunct to traditional methods during periodontal therapy (scaling/teeth cleaning). Laser Bacterial Reduction (LBR) is best done at the beginning of the dental hygiene appointment and is completed in 3-4 minutes. It has several functions, including:

  • Bacteremia Reduction - the laser will significantly reduce the bacteria in the periodontal pocket prior to scaling and root planing.

  • Prevention of Cross-Contamination - when a diode laser was used, a significant reduction of bacteria (particularly Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans) was observed. This dramatic reduction in bacteria helps in preventing cross-contamination that may occur when bacteria are transferred from one sulcus to another due to probing or scaling and root planing.

  • Reduction of the Risk of Periodontal Abscesses - many of our practices have seen a patient return within 72 hours after a hygiene visit with a localized periodontal infection due to scaling and root planing. The antibacterial effects of the laser can help reduce the risk of developing a periodontal infection subsequent to a hygiene visit.

 

Long term benefits of using the laser have been shown to help with wound healing (Low Level

Laser Therapy), an improvement in probing depths through healing from the top of the pocket down leading to reduced pocket depths. 

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