Laser Dentistry Pasadena TX
In laser dentistry, dental procedures are performed using lasers. The use of lasers allows many dental procedures to be performed with great precision, few complications, and very little pain.
Lasers are versatile tools that can be used in the following dental procedures:
- Cavity detection
- Tartar removal
- Dental fillings
- Gum surgery
- Dental implants
- Teeth whitening
- Removal of benign tumors
Lasers started to make their way into the dental world in 1994. The word “laser” is actually an acronym standing for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” As technology has advanced and the benefits for patients have expanded, Dr. Covell added BIOLASE® dental lasers to his practice.
How is laser dentistry used?
Dr. Covell uses lasers in combination with traditional practices to improve the treatment of various hard- and soft-tissue problems. When used for soft-tissue procedures, such as gum contouring, the BIOLASE® diode laser has a wavelength that is absorbable by water and hemoglobin (the oxygenating protein in the blood). This gives the diode laser the ability to precisely cut, coagulate, ablate, or vaporize targeted soft tissue.
For hard-tissue procedures, Dr. Covell now uses the BIOLASE® WaterLase iPlus for removal of tooth decay, preparation of the cavity before filling, tooth preparation before applying sealants, to activate tooth whitening products, and other procedures.
- Minimal or no need for anesthetic
- Little or no bleeding
- Faster treatment time
- Reduction in bacterial infections
- Less post-operative pain and swelling
- Less damage to surrounding tissue
- Reduced need for medications or antibiotics after treatment
Laser Dentistry Is Not Painful
Lasers are powerful, and this can intimidate patients. But it’s the very power of the laser energy that makes laser dentistry with Dr. Covell more comfortable than traditional methods for many procedures. Because the laser wavelengths are absorbable by water and hemoglobin, the laser energy can instantly vaporize infected gum tissue without the need for a scalpel. And because the energy instantly coagulates the blood vessels and seals nerve endings, there is dramatically less pain and usually the incisions don’t require sutures.
Laser Dentistry vs. Dental Drills
For hard tissues, no one cares for the dental drill, even if simply because the sound. When applicable, Dr Covell uses the BIOLASE® laser to remove decay and etch the teeth for procedures such as placing porcelain veneers and dental sealants.
The two most common types of lasers used by dentists are:
What Can Laser Dentistry Treat?
Dr. Covell continues to expand the uses of the BIOLASE® WaterLase iPlus. Here are some areas he is using this exciting technology for the benefit of our patients.
- Periodontal disease — When cleaning periodontal pockets, the laser vaporizes infected tissue, disinfecting the area and triggering tissue re-growth at the same time. As the laser energy penetrates the gum tissue, it instantly seals blood vessels and nerve endings. This dramatically reduces post-procedure pain, and encourages faster healing. Here are areas Dr. Covell uses the laser for periodontal disease:
– Root planing and scaling
– Removal of bacteria and infected tissue from periodontal pockets
– Surgical reshaping of the gums to reduce periodontal pockets
– To enhance reattachment of the gums back to the tooth root
- Gum contouring — Lasers are excellent for addressing gummy smiles, creating a more symmetrical gumline, and for preparing the gumline when readying a tooth for a crown.
- Other soft tissue uses — From exposing unerupted permanent teeth in children to freeing the tongue in a frenectomy, from removing tissue from partially exposed wisdom teeth to treating canker sores and other lesions, we keep expanding our soft-tissue laser uses.
- Hard tissue uses — We use our lasers to remove tooth decay without needing to drill. We also use the laser to prepare the surrounding enamel for the composite resin filling of the cavity. Lasers are very effective for excavating deep pits and fissures in the molars prior to filling them with sealants. Laser energy effectively etches the tooth enamel, making it a better surface when bonding or applying sealants.
“You guys are the best! I know I am in good hands with people who care about me and my dental health. Plus you are so personable and fun! Not many people can say that about going to the dentist. You seem to have the most updated equipment (and know how to use it). You guys are a far cry from my childhood visits to the dentist or my experiences when I lived elsewhere. Keep up the good work!”
Are There Any Risks of Laser Dentistry?
Any time incisions are made in the gums, there is a risk of infection. But Dr. Covell loves that using lasers for some of these incisions, such as removing diseased gum tissue, actually lowers the risk of infection. Unlike conventional dental tools, which must be sterilized after each use to control the possibility of infection, medical lasers instantly sterilize the soft or hard tissues they come into contact with. Plus, the accuracy of dental lasers is unmatched, dramatically lowering the possibility of impacting unintended tissue.
Many patients find that laser dentistry is preferable to traditional dentistry, with its use of drills and other invasive tools. Pain and swelling are greatly reduced; the laser beam’s accuracy means that damage to surrounding tissue is minimized; and several procedures can be performed during a single appointment, resulting in fewer dental visits.
Who Is A Candidate for Laser Dentistry?
The ideal candidates for laser dentistry are patients who have cavities nerve damage, or are seeking dental treatment and are interested in a less recovery time than normal dental procedures. These candidates should be in overall good health, non-smokers, and have no underlying health conditions that may be affected by the use of laser technology. With realistic expectations in mind, patients will be able to enjoy the results of their improved oral health and smile after a full recovery from their laser dentistry treatment.
If you have fillings, crowns, or excessive tooth decay, laser dentistry may not be the right treatment for you. However, Dr. Covell offers a wide range of other high-quality dental services that will help treat more serious oral conditions. Click here.
Laser dentistry is also safe for children, and there is no age limit to using laser technology to treat younger patients. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, however, we ask patients to wait at least six weeks after giving birth to begin laser treatments.
How Much Does Laser Dentistry Cost?
A laser dental treatment can typically cost between $200 – $400. However, the results and procedure of a laser dental treatment compared to a normal dental treatment often prove a worthwhile investment for most patients. With laser dentistry, patients experience less pain, bleeding, swelling, and less recovery time. Laser dentistry is typically covered by insurance. Check with your healthcare provider to find out if you qualify for full coverage for your laser dental treatment.
What Can Go Wrong With Laser Dentistry If Not Evaluated Properly?
There are always risks with any dental treatment, but with laser dentistry, it is extra important to consult a professional dentist to determine your candidacy before rushing in to be treated. If not evaluated properly, patients may experience damage to the gum tissue, the pulp of the tooth, or the eyes. By consulting with each patient, Dr. Covell evaluates medical history and dental goals to determine whether or not a patient will benefit from laser dentistry.
Schedule a Consultation
Ready to schedule an appointment? Dr. Covell is a highly experienced dentist whose expertise in oral health has allowed patients in the Pasadena, TX, community to achieve brighter smiles. To find out more information about laser dentistry, click here. To schedule an appointment, call (713) 943-9832.