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How Laser Dentistry Can Help Patients With Gum Disease Keep Teeth for a Longer Time
Laser dentistry is still in its infancy. But it has transformed the dental industry and changed the lives of many people with gum disease. Gum disease is a serious gum infection that destroys the gum and other structures that hold your teeth securely in place. These structures include the jawbone and the periodontal ligaments (collective tissue fibers attached to your teeth and tooth sockets). Unfortunately, gum disease is a prevalent condition and is the major cause of tooth loss worldwide.
How laser dentistry works
In laser therapy, the dental practitioner uses a dental laser to access then remove the gum tissue that is inflamed from around the root of one’s tooth. Removing the infected tissue exposes the root to allow for root scaling. Scaling involves scraping off the plaque and calculus built up around the root and below the gumline. The dentist then removes any rough spots that are likely to attract bacteria and result in infection by smoothening the root with instruments. The area between the root and the gum can then regenerate during the healing process.
Benefits of laser dentistry
Laser dentistry is a quick, mildly invasive procedure that produces few side effects. Patients consider it to be a comfortable treatment as it is gentle and effective. It can target diseased areas accurately and destroy hard to reach bacteria. The energy produced by laser therapy helps to eliminate harmful bacteria by sterilizing the area being treated. The energy also helps to minimize bleeding and ensure stitches are not required. After the procedure, swelling is minimal, discomfort is decreased and healing is faster.
Combining laser dentistry with other treatments
It is not uncommon for laser therapy to be combined with other mechanical procedures. These include a deep cleaning of the gums using a process referred to as scaling and root planing. Scaling and planing is very similar to a typical hygiene treatment but cleans any tooth roots exposed by gum disease. Sometimes, laser therapy is an ongoing process and the dentist will come up with a treatment plan that shows how frequently the procedure is required. The plan will also show whether or not it will be combined with other procedures.
Is it harmful?
Laser dentistry is not considered harmful and has been widely used for the past few decades. Health care providers think it is more beneficial than using only standard mechanical therapies because of the shortened treatment and healing times. Once the procedure is over, it is important to maintain proper oral hygiene. Follow any specific instructions from the dentist and avoid smoking to lower the risk of future infections.
Consult your dentist
Laser dentistry helps patients with gum disease and has a wide range of benefits. However, it is important to work with an experienced dental provider. Using an inappropriate power level or wavelength could cause further damage to your gum tissue and prolong the healing process. Your dental practitioner will examine your teeth and help you determine whether the procedure is right for you.
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