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How Dental Lasers Offer a More Comfortable Dentist Experience

February 2, 2024

Being afraid or feeling anxious to visit the dentist is not rare. Known as dental anxiety or dentophobia [1], fear of the dentist is a universal phenomenon that both children and adults face. It causes people with this condition to feel anxious, stressed, or scared about visiting the dentist. 

When dental anxiety becomes so severe that you miss out on dental appointments and avoid seeing the dentist until the last minute, it can impact your dental health. This can lead to worsening oral problems later on. If you fear pain, undergoing dental procedures, or feel uncomfortable at the dentist in general, you may feel more at ease knowing about dental lasers and how they can benefit you [2].

First, what are dental lasers? Dental lasers can treat and manage a wide range of dental problems. Over the years, laser dentistry has become safer and more advanced, offering patients a more comfortable and relaxing experience at the dentist compared to traditional methods such as surgical extraction and drilling.

dental lasers
Dental lasers are less invasive than other methods, easing dental anxiety in children and adults.

Dental lasers emit energy through light pulses, enabling a dentist to use precision and control in certain procedures. There are two main types [2] of dental lasers, and they are used for different dental procedures. These are known as hard tissue lasers and soft tissue lasers. Hard tissue lasers are used primarily for teeth and bone procedures, such as cavity preparation and removal. Soft tissue lasers, on the other hand, are mainly used for gums and other procedures that involve soft tissues. 

What is a laser used for in dentistry?

In general, the following common dental problems can be treated using dental lasers:

  • Tooth decay and cavities: dental lasers can target and remove decayed teeth or the decayed parts of a tooth without needing anaesthesia or pain relief. Dental lasers also kill bacteria, which causes cavities and leads to tooth decay.
  • Dentin sensitivity: commonly known as teeth sensitivity, dentin sensitivity or hypersensitivity is characterised by sharp and intense teeth pain when exposed to certain stimuli. Research has shown that dental lasers effectively treat dentin sensitivity [3]. 
  • Gum disease (periodontosis): dental lasers can distinguish between healthy and unhealthy gum. Hence, dental lasers effectively and accurately eliminate unhealthy and diseased gums, sterilise the affected area, and prevent future gum disease.
  • Gum tissue overgrowth: also known as gingival overgrowth, this condition occurs when there is an overgrowth of gum tissue around the teeth. Brought on by poor oral health or as a side effect of certain medications, dental lasers can effectively treat gum tissue overgrowth [4].
  • Root canals: root canals can be treated with dental lasers as they are more accurate and precise, effectively removing the decayed tooth and sterilising the area. Dental lasers also result in a quicker root canal treatment than traditional tools.

If you have any of the conditions listed above, don’t hesitate to contact us today for a consultation and learn more about what dental lasers can do for you.

What are the benefits of dental lasers?

Here are five ways that patients like you can benefit from dental lasers:

1. Less pain

As dental lasers allow dentists to be more precise, they can target areas in the mouth without causing damage to the surrounding tissue. Therefore, procedures that involve dental lasers are relatively pain-free and lead to less bleeding than traditional tools, making it a more comfortable and less painful dentist visit.

2. Minimal noise

Dental anxiety is often triggered by external stimuli such as noise and vibrations. The ruckus that drills and other traditional tools make can often trigger fear and anxiety in the patient, even if they don’t have dentophobia. It can be stressful hearing these sounds and not seeing what is happening inside your mouth, leading you to imagine the worst-case scenario. Dental lasers are much more quieter than tools such as drills, offering a more relaxed and less stimulating environment. This may put anxious people at ease, especially children afraid of the dentist and their “scary” tools.

dental lasers comfort
Enjoy a more comfortable experience at the dentist with dental lasers.

3. Fast and efficient

Some procedures can be lengthy when done using traditional methods; however, dental lasers can significantly lessen treatment time [5]. Plus, as dental lasers are less invasive and cause less damage to the teeth and gums, patients can recover faster and return to their routines quicker. This means less time in the dentist's chair and minimal time spent in recovery. This may be encouraging for those who fear or dread sitting in a dentist's office for a long time.

4. Lower infection risk

As the laser used for dental procedures also sterilises the area, the chances of bacterial infection [6] are significantly lower. With the precision of laser dentistry, there is no damage to surrounding healthy tissue. This is also why laser dentistry successfully treats gum disease and tooth decay without cutting or stitching. This means you will likely heal faster and won’t need to return for follow-up treatment for further infections. 

5. Safer than traditional tools

In many instances, dental lasers are safer than traditional tools. When used by a trained and experienced dentist or dental surgeon, lasers are more precise and do not emit harmful radiation. Dentists and patients typically wear protective eyewear to shield themselves from potential harm during laser treatment. Knowing that it is a safe procedure and you are in good hands may ease anxiety when visiting the dentist. 

gum reshaping lasers
Gum reshaping procedures are faster and more effective when using dental lasers.

Dental lasers have revolutionised dentistry and the experience of patients. It is an effective and precise tool that significantly reduces treatment time for many procedures, allowing patients quicker recovery, reduced risk of infection, and more comfortable treatments.

Now that you know the benefits of dental lasers and how they can offer you a more comfortable dentist experience, don’t delay getting treatment or regular check-ups at the dentist.  At Dennis Tan Dental, we utilise Biolase’s Waterlase laser to manage and treat various dental issues. 

Make an appointment today to find out how we can help you. 

References 

  1. Author Unknown. Dentophobia (Fear of dentists), 2022. Cleveland Clinic. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22594-dentophobia-fear-of-dentists. Accessed on 27 October 2023.
  2. Verma, S. K., Maheshwari, S., Singh, R. K., & Chaudhari, P. K. (2012). Laser in dentistry: An innovative tool in modern dental practice. National journal of maxillofacial surgery, 3(2), 124–132. Available at: https://doi.org/10.4103/0975-5950.111342 Accessed on 27 October 2023. 
  3. Francesca, C., Lucrezia, F., Sara M., Giulia, T., Elisabetta, M.P., & Giorgio, G. (2023). Comparison of Lasers and Desensitizing Agents in Dentinal Hypersensitivity Therapy. Dentistry Journal, 11(3), 63. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/dj11030063
  4. Yumei, L., Qian, P., Binjie, L., Zhibin, W., & Qiong, C. (2022). Er,Cr: YSGG Laser Therapy for Drug-induced Gingival Overgrowth: A Report of Two Case Studies. Frontiers in Surgery, 9, Available at:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fsurg.2022.922649  
  5. Aparnna, D., Narmatha, M., Abirami, M., Janani, R.G., Saranya K.K.J., & Khaniya, B. (2020). “Laser Dentistry”—The Need of the Hour: A Cross-sectional Study. Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences. 12(Suppl 1), 295-298. Available at: doi: 10.4103/jpbs.JPBS_89_20.
  6. Author Unknown. Are Laser Dental Procedures Better Than Traditional Treatments? 2019. Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/laser-dentistry. Accessed on 27 October 2023. 
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