I am pleased to announce I am now practising laser dentistry. I recently invested in a 810nm soft tissue diode laser. This really is a great piece of kit for a dentist to have, making dentistry more fun for the dentist and better for patients too!
I bought it as a replacement for my old electrosurgery unit. Electrosurgery works by using an electric current to heat a fine metal tip. The tip can cut gum tissue and it stops bleeding as it goes, cauterising the tissue. It is a very useful tool in dentistry, but a laser does this and much more.
Lasers can be used in a similar way, the laser fibre can be heated so it cuts and cauterises tissue. However, in doing this the affects is more superficial than with electrosurgery and there is less tendency to cause damage to deeper tissues. This results in less pain after the procedure and faster healing. Another advantage is the ability of the laser to disinfect the tissue, killing bacteria. This also improves healing. It is relatively painless to cut gum tissue with a soft tissue laser and it can often be done with minimal anaesthetic, sometimes only anaesthetic numbing gel. Following the procedure healing is fast and relatively painless with no need for stitches, and minimal or no bleeding. The laser can be use to trim excess gum tissue around partially erupted wisdom teeth that cause repeated gum infections, to improve gum contour at the front of the mouth for cosmetic reasons, to trim the gum back to access tooth decay under the gum, or to allow more tooth to work with when a tooth is badly broken down. Unlike electrosurgery lasers can also be used around metal crowns and implants.
Lasers can also be used in a completely different way, with a non cutting tip, where the laser energy is used for disinfection, pain relief and to stimulate tissue regeneration and healing. They can be used to kill bacteria in gum pockets in areas of gum disease, in infected root canals during root canal treatment, and to kill bacteria on the surface of a painful mouth ulcer and stimulate healing, and to increase blood flow and cause an analgesic effect to painful jaw joints.
I have been using my laser for a few weeks and have been amazed at how beautifully tissues have healed and how little pain my patients have experienced following procedures. I am gradually increasing the range of procedures I use my laser for and monitoring the results. I know I certainly enjoy having access to this fantastic piece of equipment and I think it brings great benefits to my patients too.
It’s always important to look for a dentist who keeps up to date and embraces new technology if you want to get the best care possible. I work hard to do this because it is fundamental to my ethos to be able to offer the very best for my patients. If you would like any more information on dental lasers or any other aspects of dentistry please do contact me via the website, or come in and see me for a free initial consultation to have a chat at my lovely practice in New Malden.