More dentists, including Dr. Nancy Snyder, are replacing traditional dental drills with lasers for a wide range of treatments and procedures. Lasers are instruments that deliver a very intense beam of light energy to enhance the precision of your treatment. They also may reduce the need for anesthesia and facilitate a more comfortable and relaxing experience. Although lasers are not appropriate for every dental procedure, Dr. Snyder finds them very useful for multiple applications, and she may recommend them for your care.

Understanding Laser Dentistry

When the light energy produced by a laser comes in contact with the hard or soft tissues of the mouth, it can reshape or remove the tissue. This makes dental lasers helpful for tasks like removing bacteria (in cases of cavities or gum disease), treating infected teeth during root canal therapy and exposing wisdom teeth that have partially erupted into the mouth. Lasers can also be used in multiple applications involving the gums: Dr. Snyder can remove inflamed gum tissue in cases of gum disease. Lasers can even be used in cosmetic treatments, such as crown lengthening to reveal more tooth structure and teeth whitening to accelerate the bleaching process.

Some of the benefits of using a laser to complete dental procedures include the following:

  • Eliminates the sounds and smells of a traditional dental drill
  • Eliminates the need for anesthesia and facilitates a virtually pain-free experience
  • Enhances the safety and precision of treatment
  • Safe for both children and adults

Another benefit of laser dentistry is that it reduces the risk of cross-contamination between you and other patients. The laser works without coming into direct contact with the tooth, so you don’t have to worry about the instrument having been in someone else’s mouth.

Laser Gum Contouring

As mentioned, dental lasers can be used in cosmetic cases to reduce excessive or asymmetrical gum tissue. This is useful if you have what is known as a “gummy smile,” and your gum tissue covers up too much tooth structure, making your teeth look small or short. The goal of laser gum recontouring is to create gums that look even and smooth, and that frame your teeth in a complementary fashion.

Traditionally, a scalpel was used to reduce prominent gum tissue. But nowadays, a laser can shape your gum tissue quickly and precisely. Dr. Snyder gently trims excess tissue and sculpts your gum line to the desired scalloped shape. As it recontours the gum tissue, the laser cauterizes the tissue to stop bleeding and reduce the risk of infection. The entire process is virtually painless and can usually be completed in a single visit.

After laser gum contouring, your gums may feel slightly more sensitive than normal. You should be gentler when brushing and flossing for a few days and may want to take an over-the-counter pain reliever until the sensitivity subsides.

Learn More about Laser Dentistry

To learn more about how Dr. Snyder incorporates dental lasers into her practice, or to schedule an appointment to discuss laser gum contouring, please contact Fort Oglethorpe Dental today. Call or email us at your convenience.