Lasers in dental medicine and dental surgery
The technical progress of the 20th century has inevitably brought forward the development of new, modern diagnostic and therapeutic methods. This is valid for lasers as well. Nowadays the amateurs and the patients commonly “overmistify” the role of lasers in the medicine. There are indeed cases where this procedure overshadows the traditional dental procedures but in most cases it just complements them.
In short, the main application fields of dental lasers are laser surgery and soft laser therapy.
A laser is a special source of light; laser radiation is light radiation and due to the different physical characteristics of light lasers, they can be used for different aims.
I would like to clear up the misunderstanding according to which dental lasers are mainly used for drilling. It is true that such a laser machine exists, but on one hand it is very expensive, on the other hand it is rarely used due to the special conditions required by it.
Surgery lasers offer high performance and in most cases we complete the machines used for operation with different optical and operating tools. During dental surgery operations we have the possibility to cut, to vaporize or "to cook" harmful tissues. Mainly it proves to be useful in the case of elimination of different benign tumours from the buccal cavity (tongue, lips) or in the case of operations carried out for preparing dental prostheses or in the case of hemophilic patients.
Soft lasers having lower performance are used for other reasons; these are also called therapeutical lasers. These don't modify tissues in a visible way (for ex. cutting), they quicken wound healing and they have analgesic, antiphlogistic and epithelisant effects. Their immune system strengthening and cell metabolism increasing effect have also been proved. These are more and more commonly used in dental medicine – not instead of traditional dental therapies, but in order to improve their effects and to complete them. In this way the patient recovers more quickly, without complications and pain and without side-effects. In some cases 1-2 treatments can lead to visible results, in other cases we need 5-10 treatments.
The main application fields of dental lasers:
laser treatment of different inflammations, for ex. laser therapy in the case of gingival inflammation, after tooth extraction, quickening of wound healing, treatment of inflammation due to eruption of the third molar, quickening of postoperative recovery, oral mucosa inflammation, herpes, aphtha, gingival inflammation in the case of pregnant women (but not instead of calculus removal!), temporomandibular joint disorders, lockjaw. These are also very useful for quickening of wound healing, epithelisation, for reducing the inflammation after implantation, so they are used for follow-up treatments in order to prevent complications.
After calculus removal it is worth having a dental laser treatment in order for the gum to heal more quickly.