What is Laser Dentistry?
Laser dentistry involves the use of a dental laser to treat various dental conditions. Dental lasers functon by concentrating light energy into a narrow beam. At close range, these strong beams of light react with and manipulate gum tissue. They can also be used on teeth.
Two procedures in which dental lasers are particularly useful are gum contouring and frenectomies.
What is Gum Contouring?
Gum contouring (also known as gum recontouring or reshaping) involves the use of a dental laser to ablate away unwanted gum tissue. The result is a more evenly shaped, aesthetically pleasing smile. Patients with “gummy” smiles are typically good candidates for gum contouring.
Two common concerns that people have when facing any kind of soft tissue surgery is that it will hurt or take a long time to heal. Sadly, in the past, this was usually true.
Now, with the introduction of laser dentistry, those concerns are being put to rest. Why? Because laser dentistry has provided our patients a cleaner, easier, faster and less invasive way to perform gum recontouring.
Frenectomies Using a Dental Laser
A frenum (also called frenulum) is a fleshy, fibrous band of tissue that serves as a connecting point between two anatomical structures in your body. In your mouth you have two kinds of frenum:
- Lingual Frenulum: The lingual frenulum can be found between the base of your tongue and the floor of your mouth. In some cases, this tissue can be unusually short, thick or tight, causing restriction of the tongue. This is known as “tongue-tie” or ankyloglossia.
- Labial Frenulum: Labial frenulum can be found where the lips connect to the gums between the upper and lower front teeth. When this frenulum is is too wide or large it is known as a “lip-tie”.
In the case of a tongue-tie, this condition can cause problems with speech and oral hygiene. That’s where laser dentistry comes in. Using a dental laser, the dentists at Vanguard Dental Group can reshape the lingual frenulum to allow the tongue its normal range of movement. This procedure is known as a frenectomy. Thankfully, it can be performed seamlessly with almost no bleeding, low risk of infection, and a speedy recovery time. NOTE: We do not perform this procedure for infants – only ages 4 and up.
Advantages of Laser Dentistry
- Traditional gum contouring using a dental scalpel was quite invasive and required a longer recovery and healing time. A dental laser is far less invasive and thus patients are able resume their daily activities quicker than they expect.
- If there is a lesion or a cancerous growth found, a dental laser can be used to remove the cancer with far less invasive cutting.
- Laser dentistry is also used in some teeth whitening procedures.
- Laser dentistry is so effective that often there is little to no need for anesthesia.
- Laser gum recontouring results in minimal bleeding – the high-energy laser beam actually helps to coagulate blood.
- Dental lasers are exceptionally precise, allowing dentists to remove unhealthy tissue with great accuracy while minimizing damage to the surrounding healthy tissues. Some laser dentistry procedures may not even require sutures.
Schedule a Laser Dentistry Appointment in Derry, NH!
We want you to feel comfortable and with as little anxiety as possible. For this reason, we use laser dentistry for gum recontouring and for other appropriate procedures whenever possible.
For more information about laser dentistry, call our office in Derry, NH. Serving the surrounding areas of Londonderry and Manchester as well!