In science fiction movies, lasers are often used as weapons. In dentistry, lasers are weapons, too, … in the fight against oral health problems.
Lasers offer some important advantages compared to the old way of doing things, which is why we have incorporated them into our practice at Beaumont Family Dentistry.
We will explain some of the ways dental lasers are helping our patients in a moment. For now, we want you to know that they are available to patients at any of our three dentist offices in Lexington.
Battling Gum Disease
Gum disease is far more prevalent than it should be. It’s true that some people are more prone to develop periodontal problems for genetic reasons, but less than half of all American adults floss their teeth every day.
Surveys have shown that 1 in 5 adults never floss, which is almost like inviting bacteria to set up shop in your gums.
Knowing this, it’s not exactly a surprise when a patient develops gum disease. If it’s not too advanced, we may be able to treat it with a procedure called scaling and root planing.
If scaling and root planing aren’t enough, that’s when we may turn to our dental laser instead.
A dental laser can do two things at the same time.
First, the laser can “zap” the infected tissue to remove it from your mouth. Second, the laser seals the nearby tissue without requiring stitches to hold them together.
This reduces bleeding and helps you recover faster from your treatment.
Stopping Lip- And Tongue-Ties
We’ve all heard the expression about someone being “tongue-tied,” but you may not realize this is drawn from a real medical condition.
Someone who is tongue-tied is not able to move their tongue as freely as they should. This is because of a problem with the muscle on the underside of the tongue that connects to the bottom their mouth. If the muscle connects too far up the tongue, then the baby may not be able to nurse correctly.
This can affect how much nutrition the baby receives when he or she eats.
Lip-ties are similar. This occurs involves the muscle that connects the upper lip to the gums. If the connection is too far down, it can inhibit the movement of the baby’s lip. This too can interfere with feeding.
Experts estimate that 1 in 10 babies are born a lip-tie, tongue-tie, or both. If these problems are not resolved, they can interfere with lip and tongue development as that person grows, and it can interfere with his or her ability to pronounce words.
We receive referrals from doctors who need to treat babies with this condition. By using a dental laser, we are able to loosen the muscle under the tongue or behind the upper lip.
By using the laser, we can perform the procedure painlessly.
The dental laser also comes in handy for cosmetic dentistry as well. A prime example of this is gum contouring.
This procedure is used to help people who have gummy smiles.
This may occur because someone has a little more gum tissue than they would like. This may cause their top lip to rest in a position that reveals more gum the teeth when they smile.
Another cause of gummy smiles is “short” teeth that did not erupt particularly far.
In either instance, the solution is to remove gum tissue so that more of the teeth are visible.
A dental laser is often the fastest and most effective way to achieve this result.
Why Lasers Are Good For Dental Patients
Without dental lasers, we would need to use a scalpel to perform the procedures mentioned above.
This means cutting into the soft tissues of your mouth. Normally, when you cut those tissues they bleed. This can interfere with visibility during the actual procedure, plus it hurts when you cut into something.
With a scalpel, we may need to use stitches to close cuts, which may need to be carefully removed after you have healed.
With the laser, the procedure is virtually painless, bleeding is kept to a minimum, and the laser seals the tissue on its own. No stitches required!
We don’t want to make light of real and serious conditions, but using a laser to help our patients is kind of cool. It’s not as cool as a battle between good guys and bad guys in outer space, but our lasers are doing real things to make our patients’ lives better.
If you think our dental laser could help you or someone you know, call any Beaumont Family Dentistry location in Lexington or use our online contact form for the office nearest to you.