Laser dentistry is one of the most popular dental procedures. It provides an effective and efficient way to remove decay, calculus, stains, and more without any pain or downtime. The laser also allows for precise removal of tissue in difficult-to-reach places.
The types of dental lasers are the types of lasers that dentists use to remove teeth. There are 3 different types of laser, and they each have their own uses.
The functioning of a Dental Laser differs from that of a traditional process, and its use in dentistry is growing, allowing for faster and more precise treatment. This article explains what a Dental Laser is, what kinds of Dental Lasers there are, how they operate, what uses they have, and what their benefits and drawbacks are.
What exactly is a dental laser?
Let us first define the term “laser” in order to comprehend the meaning of “dental laser.” Although LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is fundamentally a light, it differs from ordinary light in numerous ways. The wavelength is one of the most significant differences. There are many wavelengths in visible light, and it is not coherent. Laser, on the other hand, is made up of a single wavelength and is coherent.
Figure 1: A Brief Overview of Dental Lasers
Theodore Maimane of the Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California, developed the first working laser. It was made up of a mixture of Helium and Neon. In 1963, the Ruby Laser became the first laser to be utilized in medicine. It was used to coagulate lesions in the retina.
Dental laser is a kind of laser technology used in dentistry for dental treatment. Dental lasers are primarily used to treat dental caries (tooth decay), teeth whitening, and the removal of hard and fragile tissue. When a laser is utilized for surgical or dental treatments, it serves as a cutting tool or a vaporizer. The laser utilized in tooth whitening treatments serves as a heat source, enhancing the bleaching chemicals’ impact. The usage of a Dental Laser may result in less discomfort, less anxiety, less bleeding and swelling, and healthier teeth.
Different wavelengths of lasers are required for distinct dental treatments since each wavelength has a different heat output. The Dental Laser is distinguished by the acronyms that refer to the method by which laser light is generated. As illustrated in Fig. 2, they comprise Diode, Nd: YAP, Er: YAG, and CO2.
Dental Laser Wavelengths on the Electromagnetic Spectrum (Fig. 2)
Dental Laser Types
Dental lasers are divided into two categories. They are as follows:
- Soft Tissue Laser Treatment using a Dental Laser
- Hard Tissue Treatment using a Dental Laser
Soft Tissue Laser Treatment using a Dental Laser
Soft Tissue refers to the area of the tooth that includes nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue, as well as the Dental Lasers that are used to treat it.
- CO2 Laser (Carbon Dioxide Laser) is a kind of laser that emits carbon dioxide.
- Laser with Nd: YAG Nd: YAG Nd: YAG N (Neodymium Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Laser)
Laser CO2 (Carbon dioxide Laser)
The CO2 Laser has a strong attraction to water. As a consequence, soft tissue is removed quickly. Hemostasis is also achieved with a shallow penetration depth. Carbon dioxide lasers have the greatest absorption of all the lasers, but they are also the most damaging on hard tissues.
YAG: Nd (Neodymium Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Laser)
The pigmented tissue absorbs a lot of the Nd: YAG. As a result, it is a very effective surgical laser. It cuts and coagulates oral Soft Tissues well and provides excellent hemostasis.
Hard Tissue Treatment using a Dental Laser
Hard Tissues like as Enamel, Dentin, and Cementum are treated with specific dental lasers. Enamel is the hard outer layer of the tooth, while Dentin is the layer underneath it. Cementum is the material that protects a tooth’s roots. The following lasers are used in the treatment of hard tissues:
- Laser YAG ER (Erbium Yttrium Aluminum Garnet)
- Laser Excimer
ER YAG (Erbium Yttrium Aluminum Garnet)
Er: YAG (Yttrium Aluminum Garnet) and Er: YSGG (Yttrium Scandium Gallium Garnet) Lasers are two wavelengths of Erbium Lasers. They have a strong affinity for Hydroxyapatite and have the best water absorption. As a result, it is the most effective treatment for Dental Hard Tissues. Due to the high proportion of water in oral soft tissues, Erbium Lasers may also be utilized for Soft Tissue Ablation.
In the treatment of hard tissues, excimer lasers are utilized. To eliminate any remaining biological tissue from the canals, excimer lasers are utilized. This kind of Dental Laser is used to treat root canals in teeth.
Figure 3: Dental Laser Classification
What is the Process of Dental Laser Treatment?
A laser is a single-wavelength monochromatic light. They are the source of energy and consist of two or more mirrors. An optical cavity, also known as a resonator, is formed by these mirrors. A pumping action is used to produce amplification using a flash light strobe device, electrical current, or an electrical coil. The energy injected into an Active medium in an Optical Resonator causes Photons to spontaneously emit. The photons that are reflected back and forth across the medium produce amplification via stimulated emission. This happens because to the Optical Resonator’s highly reflecting surface, and it also happens before they leave via the output coupler.
The laser light is supplied to the target tissue via a fiber optic cable, hollow waveguide, or articulated arm in dental lasers. The composition of the Active medium determines the wavelength and other characteristics of the Laser (Laser Medium). A gas, a solid-state semiconductor, or a crystal may be used as the active medium.
When the Laser comes into touch with a target tissue, it may cause four distinct reactions. Reflection, Transmission, Absorption, and Scattering are the four types. Absorption is the most desired effect on a target tissue.
The temperature rises when a laser is absorbed. Photochemical effects are created as a result of this. The effects are determined by the amount of water in the tissues. When the temperature reaches 100°C, the water inside the tissue starts to vaporize. Ablation is the name for this procedure. Proteins begin to denature at temperatures below 100°C but above 60°C. The underlying tissue, however, does not vaporize. However, at temperatures over 200°C, a harmful reaction known as carbonization develops. The tissue gets dehydrated and subsequently burnt when this happens.
Absorption requires the presence of chromophores, which are light absorbers. These have a preference for particular wavelengths of light. Melanin, Water, and hemoglobin are the main chromophores in the soft tissue of the mouth cavity. Water and Hydroxyapatite are the absorbers in dental hard tissues. Various Lasers have different absorption coefficients for the main tissue components. As a result, laser selection is influenced by the process.
Take, for example, a laser therapy for a decaying tooth. When the laser is focused on the decaying tooth region, the water molecules are heated quickly, pressure rises, and the rotted tooth area “explodes,” producing a popping sound. As a result of the laser’s ability to destroy germs, the tooth surface region becomes sterile, allowing the physician to decide on treatment choices for this area. Figure 4 (a) depicts Laser manufacturing, (b) a decaying tooth, and (c) a depiction of a rotten tooth’s ‘explosion.’
Figure 4: Dental Laser Representation on a Tooth
Dental Laser Applications
Among the applications are:
- Treatment for pain.
- Root canal therapy is a procedure that involves cleaning the canals of the
- Gum contouring and gum disease
- Impaction is a term used to describe the act of exposing a tooth.
- Teeth whitening is a procedure that involves removing stains from the teeth.
- Oral tumors that are benign are removed.
Dental Laser Advantages
The benefits are as follows:
- It is very helpful in the treatment of gum disease.
- It may be used for treatments that are less invasive.
- It promotes wound healing.
- It’s safe to use on individuals who have a pacemaker.
- Can help people feel less anxious.
- Bleeding and swelling should be kept to a minimum.
- During cavity removal, more good tooth structure may be preserved.
Dental Laser Disadvantages
The following are some of the disadvantages:
- Fillings cannot be treated with dental lasers.
- Many frequent dental operations, such as proximal fillings, crown removal, and large cavity fillings, cannot be done with lasers.
- Even if the Dental Laser is utilized, traditional methods for shaping the filling, polishing the filling, and adjusting the bite may be required.
- It’s possible that anesthesia will still be required.
- The cost of laser therapy is high.
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The dental laser nogales is a dental laser that uses the Nd:YAG laser to remove plaque from teeth. It can also be used to remove stains, whiten teeth, and perform other treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which laser is mostly used in dentistry?
The CO2 laser is the most commonly used in dentistry.
How is a dental laser different from a drill?
A dental laser uses a beam of light to remove or ablate tissue. The drill is used for cutting, drilling, or shaping objects by rotating a rotary tool.
Is laser dental cleaning worth it?
Laser dental cleaning is a great way to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. If you are considering laser dental cleaning, it is important that you find a dentist who has experience with the procedure. In addition, make sure to brush and floss daily in order to prevent buildup of plaque and tartar on your teeth before treatment.
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