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.
Are There Any Risks?
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.