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Laser Dentistry Questions


Do you have questions about the dental services that we offer? Below is a list of some frequently asked questions regarding laser dentistry. Please feel free to call our office if you need additional information. We are always pleased to assist you.


Q How does laser dentistry reduce and eliminate pain?



A Heat and vibration are the causes of most of the pain associated with the drill. Since water laser cutting does not transmit heat or vibration, most dental procedures can be performed with no pain, virtually eliminating the need for anesthesia in most cases.


In combination with an air-waterspray, the dental laser can replace the drill in many instances. The whine of the drill is substituted with a popping sound similar to that of popcorn popping. Since there is no heat or vibration from the dental laser, the need for anesthetic (THE SHOT) is eliminated in most cases!


Q What is a dental laser?



A A laser is a high-technology device that generates a beam of concentrated light. This beam of light brings energy into your mouth to help your dentist remove areas of infection or tooth decay with great precision and accuracy. The laser beam sterilizes the affected area and seals off blood vessels, which minimizes the chance of infection or bleeding. Laser dental patients are much more comfortable both during and after treatment. That's because, in many instances, the need for anesthetic injections is reduced and in most instances eliminated, as well as the associated side effects. And that means less time spent in the dental chair!


Q Are lasers new to dentistry?



A Shortly after the invention of lasers in the early 1960s, lasers were used experimentally on the teeth and gums. Lasers have been used on a limited basis in hospital dentistry. Recent technological developments have made it possible for lasers to be used effectively in the dental office on patients like you. In fact, lasers are now being used by dentists all over the world. The advent of the dental laser has opened new frontiers for dental patients. This dental laser is very different from all other lasers and offers more options and more comfort for the patient due to its patented use of the water cooling spray.



Q What types of procedures can be done with the laser?



A There are many different types of lasers used in dentistry, and their applications vary. The most common use of lasers is for removing dental caries, old composite fillings, sterilizing infected root canals, bone shaping, apthous ulcer treatment, crown lengthening, apicoectomy, periodontal (gum) treatment, and oral surgery.


Q How do I know if laser dentistry is for me?



After thorough examination, Dr. Anshu can determine if the use of our laser is indicated for you. Apart from the fact that laser treatment is very gentle and quiet and heals with very little post-operative discomfort or bleeding, laser treatment may be very beneficial for the following situations:


Blood Thinners: If you are on Coumadin or take aspirin every day and your MD does not want you to stop them, then laser treatment is beneficial because of the reduced chance of bleeding during treatment.



If you have high blood pressure and the use of Epinephrine is contraindicated, then laser treatment is for you.


If you are allergic or hypersensitive to Epinephrine, causing rapid heartbeat whenever you get Novocaine, then the use of laser treatment is beneficial, since Epinephrine is not necessary to be used.


What is LANAP?


LANAP stands for Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure. It is an FDA approved and patented laser procedure for use in Laser Periodontal Therapy for treating gum disease. LANAP uses the world's first digital dental laser–the PerioLase laser. LANAP eliminates infected gum tissue and bacteria from the gums in a unique way. The laser only targets infected tissue, which is darker in color than healthy tissue, and leaves healthy tissue in place. Once all of the infection is removed, the laser is passed around the area a second time to heat the area until a clot is formed. This clot protects the exposed tissue by sealing it and allows the body to heal naturally so that the gum pockets improve and the teeth become more stable.




What is Laser Periodontal Therapy?

Laser Periodontal Therapy (also known as LPT) is a FDA-approved non-surgical approach to treating gum disease. Laser Periodontal Therapy is an effective, less invasive alternative to gum surgery. Laser Periodontal Therapy is also used in bone regeneration treatments.


How does Laser Periodontal Therapy work?


A powerful laser emits concentrated energy in the form of a light beam, which the dentist uses to trim infected gum tissue, remove the hardened plaque build-up, and re-contour the damaged bone. LPT can also help eliminate infection and heal diseased gum tissue.


The laser delivers a narrow beam which focuses on only a specific number of cell layers, providing precise control over the treatment area. The laser's power is controlled with a foot pedal. The dentist treats the affected area using a slow sweeping motion, killing the bacteria and selectively removing the diseased tissue. For trimming soft tissue, the dentist will place the laser optical fiber carrying the beam directly on the gum tissue and move it along the incision line to create a cutting effect. To clear away infection, the laser optical fiber is inserted between the tooth and the gum, and the infection is vaporized. Then an ultrasonic cleaning instrument is used to remove the tartar from the root and tooth surfaces, washing away the debris. Finally, the laser is again passed around the gum tissue to form a natural bandage around the necks of the teeth to seal them against re-infection.


Laser Periodontal Therapy is effective in maximizing the preservation of as much of the healthy gum tissue as possible, maintaining the height of the gums around the teeth, and minimizing bleeding and discomfort during and after the procedure.




What are the Advantages of Laser Periodontal Therapy over gum surgery?


Laser Periodontal Therapy takes less time and requires fewer follow up visits than traditional surgery since there are no sutures to remove.

Laser Periodontal Therapy results in faster recovery time.

Laser Periodontal Therapy is more precise, which maximizes the conservation of healthy gum tissue and bone.

Laser Periodontal Therapy is less invasive, resulting in less bleeding.

Post treatment discomfort is minimal and can usually be managed with over the counter pain medication.

Laser Periodontal Therapy is more sterile and reduces the risk of infection.

Laser Periodontal Therapy provides better, longer-lasting results. Studies have shown that 98% of laser-treated patients do not have further disease progression after five years, compared to only 5% of traditional gum surgery patients.

With Laser Periodontal Therapy, there is less risk of gum and teeth sensitivity.

General anesthesia is not required because Laser Periodontal Therapy is much less traumatic than traditional surgery.


Is Laser Periodontal Therapy painful?


With Laser Periodontal Therapy, there is minimal discomfort. The laser actually has pain relieving qualities when treating used in treating both soft and hard tissues. Lasers deliver energy faster than it takes to trigger a neural response – so the laser light beam ends before the patient can even feel it.


What should I expect during Laser Periodontal Therapy?


The procedure generally take two visits, each lasting 1½ to two hours. The dentist will treat one side of the mouth at each visit. The visits are scheduled within two to three weeks of each other so that the bacteria on the untreated side will not have a chance to infect the tissue and bone already treated.


The dentist will use the laser to clean off any tartar and infected tissue in the area around your teeth. Once the treatment is completed, the dentist will then use the laser to sterilize the tissue, promote bone regeneration and initiate healing process.


The recovery time is generally less than 24 hours, so most patients can return to work the next day. Many patients report only minor, if any, post-surgery discomfort.




What is a LASER and how does it work?


What lasers are and how they work

LASER is an acronym:

L Light

A Amplification by

S Stimulated

E Emission of

R Radiation


The laser consists of an active medium and a pumping source enclosed in an optical cavity. The pumping source pumps the active medium (The LASER medium itself) from its ground state (zero, inactive state) to an excited state


"Population Inversion" occurs when the two sources are mixed together and photons are given off thereby producing the "LASER" activity. This activity is resonated or reflected back and forth within an optical resonator and amplified. A portion of this activity is then emitted as a LASER beam. Beam splitters or mirrors are used to capture the particular portion of the LASER beam that is needed to perform the surgical operation.


The main properties of the beam are:

– Monochromacity (The beam has a narrow wavelength)

– High Degree of Collimation (there is very little divergence of the beam as it travels away from the source) This allows the beam to be focused to very small spots (Unlike a conventional light bulb that emits the beam in many many directions).

– Coherence All of the photons that have been given off when the population inversion occurred are "In Phase" both in space and time…. The active medium of a laser can be either a gas, solid or liquid.