Laser dentistry is an option for many of today’s modern general and cosmetic dental procedures. Long Island Implant & Cosmetic Dentistry is a leader in the latest innovative techniques.
Is there anything more dreaded than the high pitched whine of a dentist’s drill as it’s coming toward your mouth? Or knowing that the next half hour of your life will be a symphony of noise, spraying water, pressure, suction, and white- knuckled pain? That may be a bit of an exaggeration for some, but for many anxious dental patients, it feels pretty close to reality.
Laser dentistry on Long Island
But that experience has already become a distant memory for those fortunate patients whose dentists are trained practitioners of laser dentistry like Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry in Suffolk County. These reputable Suffolk County dentists have been using laser dentistry since it received FDA approval in 1997 for the treatment of both adults and kids. The laser (which stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation)offers an effective alternative to conventional high speed drilling and offers the advantage of reduced bleeding and faster healing compared to scalpel use.
The dental practices that have invested in laser technology (a recent count shows about 6% of all dental practices employ laser dentistry) can provide a level of comfort and reduced anxiety unheard of with traditional drilling techniques
Applications of laser technology
According to the Cleveland Clinic, all lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. When used for surgical procedures, the laser acts as a cutting instrument or a vaporizer of tissue.There are already many applications for laser dentistry in today’s dental practices. In the case of a throbbing cavity, lasers use a beam of directed light that can cut away tooth decay painlessly and precisely in prepping a tooth for filling, eliminating the vibration and pain experienced with traditional drilling. In many cases, even in child dentistry, this type of decay-removal prep work done previously with the drill can now be done with a laser, anesthesia-free. The same light beam can be used to contour or cut away damaged or unhealthy gum tissue to expose healthier tooth structure. This technique can also be used to properly shape the gums to correct a “gummy smile.”
Advantages of laser dentistry
The fact that a laser beam can be directed so precisely also means that less tooth structure will be removed, resulting in longer life for the tooth. The ability of experienced cosmetic dentists like Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot to exercise precise control over power and duration of the laser without damaging surrounding soft tissue or tooth material determines the enormous advantage for laser dentistry over traditional dentistry.
According to a NY Times article on the benefits of laser dentistry, “… a number of studies on lasers have shown both children and adults can have cavities filled without a numbing injection. A 2002 Japanese study of 50 cavities filled in adults found in 68% of the cases the patient felt no pain even without anesthetic; slight pain was felt in 22% of cases and tolerable pain in 4%. In only 6% of the cavity preparations…anesthetic was given.” Newer laser dentistry models are even more pain-free than the model used in the Japanese study.
More benefits of laser dentistry:
- Soft tissue laser procedures may not require sutures and can minimize bleeding because the laser light aids in the clotting of exposed blood vessels.
- Infections from bacteria are minimized because the laser beam also sterilizes the tissues being worked on.
- Because the laser is so precise, damage to surrounding tissue is minimized.
- Laser cuts heal faster and tissues are regenerated more efficiently.
- Precision treatment minimizes discomfort and recovery time.
Laser dentistry procedures
Long Island laser dentistry practitioners Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot are employing this precision technology in a broad range of dental procedures:
- Lasers can be used to detect cavities before they develop by “reading” early tooth decay by-products.
- Besides pain-free prepping for fillings, lasers can be used to harden the filling after the cavity is filled.
- Dental lasers can be used to treat hot and cold tooth sensitivity.
- Lasers can be used to remove mouth lesions and relieve canker and cold sore pain.
- Lasers are used for painless removal of benign tumors.
- Lasers are used to speed up teeth whitening procedures. A peroxide bleaching solution, applied to the tooth surface, is “activated” by laser energy, which in turn accelerates the whitening process.
- Lasers can help regenerate damaged nerves and blood vessels.
Laser dentistry limitations
There are some procedures that are not suitable for laser dentistry, such as:
- Lasers cannot be used on teeth with fillings already in place.
- Lasers generally cannot be used to fill cavities located between teeth.
- A laser cannot be used for large cavities that need to be prepared for a crown and cannot remove defective crowns.
- Even when a laser is used in a common cavity, a conventional drill may be employed afterward to contour and polish the filling.
- Cavities that can be cleaned out with lasers usually need further work with a drill, since most tooth decay ends up in spots that are tough to accurately reach with a laser.
- Lasers cannot be used to remove old silver fillings, because of the concern that the laser’s heat will release mercury vapor and expose patients to unsafe levels of mercury.
Cost of laser dentistry in Suffolk County, New York
Laser dentistry is a highly innovative technology that can provide a far less anxious and more comfortable experience for our patients. Like any procedure, the cost will vary depending on the individual case, but our Long Island practice features a variety of affordable payment plans and options.
Please call Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry at (631) 744-5700 to set up a free consultation in our Rocky Point office. Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot can discuss your options to see if laser dentistry is a good choice for you. Conveniently located in Central Suffolk County, we look forward to meeting you.