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Laser Dentistry Technology

Dr. Christopher Henes and his dental team are proud to offer a wide variety of services, including laser technology in Aurora, CO

Did you know that Lasers could be used in dentistry? Did you know the lasers can be used to help tooth sensitivity, increase healing in canker sores, and help fight against gum infections like gingivitis and periodontitis? All of this is possible by using a Diode laser and something that we offer at Iliff Family Dental.

The Story of the Laser

The story of the Laser began with medical surgeons in the 1960s. They began using a new device that complemented and, in some cases, replaced the scalpel. That instrument was a laser, and during the 1980s, a carbon dioxide model was a common component in the operating suite. In 1989, the first laser specifically designed for dental use became available. Today there are dozens of indications for use with various dental laser devices; and the clinical applications continue to increase, making the laser one of dentistry’s most exciting advances with unique patient benefits. We are proud to provide the use of a laser at Iliff Family Dental.

Laser Technology

In dentistry, we are always finding new and improved ways to improve our processes. What we have found is that lasers help practitioners in many different capabilities and in some instances lasers are being used for procedures we never thought about. One of the ways we are incorporating the use of laser dentistry at Iliff Family Dental is by reducing the bacterial amount around your teeth and inside your gums during or after deep cleanings and removing excess tissue when preparing crowns.

Lasers promote a comfortable form of treatment while acting as a fast, and precise way to treat gum problems and eliminating the use of scalpel, sutures, and decreasing post-operative discomfort.

Here are a list of procedures that can be completed with the use of a diode laser:

  • Gingival Troughing for Crown Impressions; Gingivectomy & Gingivoplasty
  • Gingival Incision & Excision; Hemostasis & Coagulation
  • Excisional & Incisional Biopsies
  • Soft-Tissue Crown Lengthening & Fibromal Removal
  • Frenectomy & Frenotomy
  • Implant Recovery & Exposure of Unerupted Teeth
  • Incision & Drainage of Abscess
  • Operculectomy & Vestibuloplasty
  • Leukoplakia & Oral Papillectomies
  • Treatment of Canker Sores, Herpetic & Aphthous Ulcers of the Oral Mucosa
  • Sulcular Debridement
  • Laser Soft-Tissue Curettage
  • Removal of Highly Inflamed Edematous Tissue Affected by Bacteria Penetration of the Pocket Lining & Junctional Epithelium
  • Gingival Troughing for Crown Impressions; Gingivectomy & Gingivoplasty
  • Gingival Incision & Excision; Hemostasis & Coagulation
  • Excisional & Incisional Biopsies
  • Soft-Tissue Crown Lengthening & Fibromal Removal
  • Frenectomy & Frenotomy
  • Implant Recovery & Exposure of Unerupted Teeth
  • Incision & Drainage of Abscess
  • Operculectomy & Vestibuloplasty
  • Leukoplakia & Oral Papillectomies
  • Treatment of Canker Sores, Herpetic & Aphthous Ulcers of the Oral Mucosa
  • Sulcular Debridement
  • Laser Soft-Tissue Curettage
  • Removal of Highly Inflamed Edematous Tissue Affected by Bacteria Penetration of the Pocket Lining & Junctional Epithelium

Laser Basics

A laser produces light that is distinguished from ordinary light by two properties:

  1. It is a single color, also known as monochromaticism
  2. The light waves are all coherent, which means that each wave is identical in size and shape.

This monochromatic, coherent wave of light energy emerges from the laser device as a uniquely efficient source of energy

Diode Lasers

Diode lasers are becoming quite popular due to their compact size.  A specialized semiconductor that produces monochromatic light when stimulated electrically is common to all diode lasers. A simple laser pointer is an example of a diode laser. Diode lasers can be used in both contact and non-contact mode and can function with continuous wave or gated pulse modes. They are not capable of free running pulsed mode. Diode lasers are invisible near infrared wavelengths and current machines range from 805–1064 nm.

Diode lasers are used on soft tissue only. Diode laser fiber tips can be “initiated” this causes the light energy to be absorbed by the burnt material on the tip, effectively making it a hot piece of quartz. The laser energy cuts indirectly by heating up the fiber optic tip. Diode lasers do not have enough peak power to efficiently cut tissue on their own without initiation. If one defines “laser dentistry” as light interacting with tissue, then diode procedures are not laser dentistry ones.

Laser-Tissue Interaction

Each laser wavelength has a somewhat unique effect on dental structures, due to the specific absorption of that laser energy in the tissue. Some lasers are absorbed by blood and tissue pigments, while others are absorbed by water as well as hard tissue, like enamel, dentin, and bone.

More specifically, the wavelengths can be categorized into three groups:

  1. Diode and Nd:YAG laser wavelengths target the pigments in soft tissue and pathogens as well as inflammatory and vascularized tissue.
  2. Carbon dioxide lasers also easily interact with water molecules in soft tissue and vaporize the intracellular water of pathogens. One type of carbon dioxide laser also interacts with hard tissue.
  3. Erbium lasers (Er,Cr:YSGG and Er:YAG) interact with the water of soft and hard tissue.

Lasers produce light energy that can be absorbed by a target tissue, and this absorption process produces a thermal reaction in that tissue. Depending on the instrument’s parameters and the optical properties of the tissue, the temperature will rise and various effects will occur. In general, most non-sporulating bacteria, including anaerobes, are readily deactivated at temperatures of 50 degrees C and above. The inflammatory soft tissue present in periodontal disease can be removed at 60 degrees C; moreover, hemostasis can also be achieved within the same heat parameters. Soft tissue excisional or incisional surgery is accomplished at 100 degrees C, where vaporization of intra- and extracellular water causes ablation, or removal of biological tissue. Likewise, the aqueous component of tooth structure and bone also boils at this temperature; thus cavity preparation, calculus removal, and osseous contouring can proceed.

Laser Operation

There are two basic emission modes for dental lasers: continuous wave and pulsed. Continuous wave means that energy is emitted constantly for as long as the laser is activated. Carbon dioxide and diode lasers operate in this manner. Mechanical and electrical controls can produce a gated or chopped pulsing of the continuous output, helping to minimize the latent heat produced by these types of lasers. Free-running pulse mode is produced by a flashlamp, where true pulses, on the order of a few ten-thousandths of a second, emanate from the instrument.

Current dental lasers employ various means to deliver the laser energy to the tissue. Diode lasers use flexible small-diameter glass fibers which are usually used in contact with the tissue.  Some diode and erbium lasers employ additional small quartz or sapphire tips which attach to the operating handpiece, and other systems simply are used out of contact with the tissue.

The use of a diode laser is quite effective for a host of intraoral soft tissue procedures such as gingivectomy, biopsy, impression troughing, and frenectomy. Diode lasers also exhibit bactericidal capabilities and can be used for adjunctive periodontal procedures. They also are used for laser assisted tooth whitening. Diode lasers are not only easy to use it can be done without the patient even knowing something was happening.

Schedule Your Appointment to discuss if you are a candidate for laser therapy in Aurora, CO Today!

If you are interested in learning more about laser therapy technology, call 303-695-0102 or book an appointment with our 5-star-rated dentist. We are conveniently located on Iliff near I-225. During your session, our experienced dentist and team will take the time to answer all your questions about our treatments, our office, our flexible payment options, and anything else you may want to know about us! Come to experience Iliff Family Dental and our unmatched patient experience! You will quickly see why people in Aurora, CO love us