Dental Seminar: Laser Dentistry
About 2 weekends ago I attended a Waterlase dental laser seminar done by Dr. Marshall Golan. Much of this seminar discussed technical aspects of laser dentistry, and some of it I’d like to share with you all today.
I’ve had my Waterlase for over 5 years now, and I use it as often as I can on my patients. Dr. Golan outlined some suggestions that I’ve already been putting into practice during the seminar, but one thing he mentioned is that he uses the laser on just about every patient to kill bacteria and decontaminate after decay removal, even if he used the drill. On Dr. Golan’s website, he outlines some other advantages of using the laser, such as:
- It helps remove areas of infection
- Removes gum disease with great precision
- The laser beam sterilizes as it works
- Anesthetic is not needed as often
- Faster healing
- Less bleeding and swelling
- Less noise so less anxiety
- Less post operative pain so less pain medication is needed.
92% of stained grooves on a non smoker’s occlusal (or biting) surface has decay underneath, and this does not show on an x-ray. If that decay stays only on the enamel, then we can treat that as a sealant, but if it goes into the dentin layer of the tooth, at that point we have to do a composite filling. The laser can often be used in removing such decay without the use of anesthetic. Some other uses of the laser include:
- Gum surgery- we can often treat gum disease with the laser to disinfect deep pockets, remove diseased tissue, and stimulate reattachment of the tissue to the gum without invasive painful scapel surgery.
- Decay removal- the laser can remove decay, disinfect and biostimulate the tooth
- Cosmetic purposes- the laser can re-contour the gums and eliminate a “gummy” smile
We love using our laser, and I enjoy learning new ways to use it. If you’d like more information about the Biolase water laser that I use in my practice, please visit their website.
Richard Stickney DDS PS