What is a laser?
A laser is an instrument that generates a very narrow, intense beam of concentrated energy. Our WaterlaseMD® is a state-of-the-art dental instrument used in oral health care. The WaterlaseMD® uses a patented combination of laser energy and water to perform a wide range of dental procedures such as frenectomies, exposing tissue-impacted teeth and dental cavity removal. Lasers can also be used to treat painful aphthous ulcers (canker sores). Using DIAGNOdent®, a laser detection device that painlessly finds small cavities, allows us to treat cavities before they become large and destructive. Not only can it help prevent the spread of decay, but catching decay early means fillings required are simpler and more shallow, preserving more of the tooth.
What are the benefits of laser dentistry?
Laser dentistry has many advantages over conventional dental instruments. Using the laser reduces bleeding, post-operative pain and swelling, and the need for pain medication in many cases. Since the dentist may not need to use a drill or administer anesthesia, using the laser can significantly decrease anxiety. Laser procedures can be more precise. Lasers also help with healing time because they sterilize the affected area and seal off blood vessels. Although the laser is a very useful dental instrument, it is not appropriate for every dental procedure. Still, Dr. Foster says, “I enjoy being able to inform anxious parents I have an option for their child’s dental treatment that does not involve shots.”
Are dental lasers safe?
Approved more than two decades ago, dental lasers are as safe as any other dental instrument. Dr. Foster initially trained with the Academy of Laser Dentistry. She continues her education by participating in a local study group and frequently enrolling in laser education courses.