Richard Cañizares, DMD
Prosthodontics and Cosmetic Dentistry
Marlene Rivera, DMD
Soft Tissue Lasers
Soft tissue lasers boast a wavelength that is highly absorbable by water and hemoglobin (oxygenating protein in red blood cells), making them more effective for soft tissue management. Commonly used soft tissue lasers include Neodymium YAG (Nd:YAG) and diode lasers, which may be used as a component of periodontal treatment and have the ability to kill bacteria and activate the re-growth of tissues. The carbon-dioxide laser minimizes damage to surrounding tissue and removes tissue faster than the fiber optic method.
Soft tissue lasers penetrate soft tissue while sealing blood vessels and nerve endings. This is the primary reason why many people experience virtually no postoperative pain following the use of a laser. Also, soft tissue lasers allow tissues to heal faster. It is for this reason that a growing number of cosmetic dental practices are incorporating the use of soft tissue lasers for gingival sculpting procedures.
What are the Benefits of Laser Dentistry?
The benefits associated with laser dentistry:
• Procedures performed using soft tissue dental lasers may not require sutures (stitches).
• Certain laser dentistry procedures do not require anesthesia.
• Laser dentistry minimizes bleeding because the high-energy light beam aids in the clotting (coagulation) of exposed blood vessels, thus inhibiting blood loss.
• Bacterial infections are minimized because the high-energy beam sterilizes the area being worked on.
• Damage to surrounding tissue is minimized.
• Wounds heal faster and tissues can be regenerated.
Soft Tissue (Gum) Laser Dentistry Procedures
• Crown Lengthening: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue (soft tissue laser) and bone (hard tissue laser) to expose healthier tooth structure. Referred to as crown lengthening, such reshaping provides a stronger foundation for the placement of restorations.
• Gummy Smile: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue to expose healthy tooth structure and improve the appearance of a gummy smile.
• Muscle Attachment (Frenula): A laser frenectomy is an ideal treatment option for children who are tongue tied (restricted or tight frenulum) and babies unable to breast feed adequately due to limited tongue movement. A laser frenectomy may also help to eliminate speech impediments.
• Soft Tissue Folds (Epulis): Dental lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of soft tissue folds often caused by ill-fitting dentures.
• Cold Sores: Low intensity dental lasers reduce pain associated with cold sores and minimize healing time
• Laser Troughing: natural adjunct to soft tissue management for a final dental impressions. In many cases, troughing alone will allow visualization of the restorative margin and emergence profile so that an accurate impression can be achieved. Lasers are helpful in hemostasis, therefore the ideal impression environment can be accomplished very easily and quickly using laser technology. And also minimized the used of anesthesia during the impression procedure.
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