LASER DENTISTRY IN CHICAGO
Dental lasers have become a revolution in the dental field, making treatments faster, more effective and more satisfying to patients and dentists than they have ever been. Laser technology has been around for 50 years, but the research done in the past two decades has led to a new generation of dental lasers, like Fotona LightWalker. At Archer Dental Chicago we stay on top of the latest science in dental technology. Dr. Anton Zhadovich recently added a Fotona Lightwalker Laser to the office to expand the range of dental and cosmetic treatments and enhance precision and patient comfort.
The FDA approved dental lasers to be safe for use in dental office in 1990. Since then, the application of lasers with hard (teeth) and soft tissues has received a lot of attention from scientists and dentists. As a patient of Archer Dental, you may benefit from laser dentistry in many ways.
In hard tissue application, we use the laser for:
Removal of cavities
Disinfection of root canals
Biostimulation of the bone tissue for patients with implants
Removal of bonded porcelain crowns, veneers, bridges
Treat hypersensitivity (teeth sensitivity)
Biomodulation for TMJ
Soft tissue application of lasers in dentistry includes:
Healing of wounds, including dry socket after tooth extraction
Removal of tissue overgrowth, like fibroma or hemangioma
Gingival re-contouring and smile design
Treatment off gingival pigmentation, gingival moles and amalgam tattoos
Removal of the bacterial biofilm and excess gum tissue on the implants (peri-implantitis)
Uncovering impacted or partially erupted tooth
Lingual frenectomy (tongue tie)
Photostimulation of cold sores to speed up healing
Facial aesthetic treatments to improve quality and appearance of skin
Use of the laser in various dental procedures proved to be an effective tool to increase efficiency, precision, ease, cost and comfort of the dental treatment. If during your next visit one of our dentist offers to do a treatment using our LightWalker laser, no need to feel intimidated. It’s a good thing! If you would like to read about how our laser works, read the rest of the article. We made the information easy to understand for our patients!
The basics of dental lasers
The term LASER is an acronym and stands for “Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation”. Normal light, like from a light bulb, consists of variety of wavelengths and spreads in all directions. Laser light, however, is set to a specific wavelength and is focused in a narrow beam. These characteristics allow the machine to create a very high-intensity light. Dental lasers use the energy generated by electron shifts of atoms, producing visible light, ultraviolet or infrared radiation. Being able to focus the light very accurately on tiny areas is what makes lasers so great for very precise surgical work or for cutting through tissue (in place of a scalpel). In other cases, laser can be set up in a way to target body's natural healing process to lift, tighten, and tone sagging and loose skin.
Radiation? Does it go through the body or cause cancer?
Don’t let that word scare you – the thermal radiation produced by a laser is non-ionizing, and is not the type of radiation you think of when you’re being warned against exposure. Radiation emitted by lasers can be visible, in form of a light. Other lasers can emit radiation that is invisible to the human eye, ultraviolet or infrared radiation. In general, laser radiation is not in itself harmful, and behaves much like ordinary light in its interaction with the body, it does not harm the DNA of the cells and can not cause cancer.
Now that this is out of the way, let's continue.
Mechanism of action of dental lasers
Lasers deliver energy in the form of light. When a dentist aims the laser at the specific tissue, this light will be absorbed by the tissue and that’s where the magic (read: science) happens. There are a number of photobiological effects this interaction can have that are useful for our patients:
Photothermal: meaning the energy is transformed into heat. This process is beneficial for surgical incisions, hemostasis, biopsies, and removal of diseased tissue.
Photochemical: lasers can stimulate chemical reactions, i.e. hardening a filling
Photoacoustic: the pulse of laser energy can act on hard tissues (the enamel and dentin that comprise your teeth) to remove decay.
Non-surgical: Laser energy is used to produce a type of oxygen molecule, that acts as disinfectant. Oxygen radicals disinfect periodontal pockets and root canals. They can also stimulate soft tissue to promote wound healing, pain relief, collagen growth and a general decrease of inflammation.
Anethesia-free and virtually pain-free treatments are now available at Archer Dental.
How dental laser can benefit me?
The award-winning LightWalker laser allows us to treat many types of patients more efficiently and with less pain. Here are some of the most common applications of the laser in our office:
Patients with Periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease affects approximately 80% of adults, and we’re learning more about it every day. It is known that a bacterial infection is what affects periodontal disease and now with lasers we can to do more than just remove mechanical irritants and diseased tissue (a traditional cleaning). With lasers we can address the bacteria underlying this infection by decontaminating the area. This decontamination is important for three key reasons:
To reduce or eliminate bacteremia (bacteria in the blood): During a normal cleaning, many patients will have some areas that bleed a little. This allows any present bacteria (we all have some!), good or bad, to flood into the bloodstream and settle in weakened areas of our body. The latest research shows that these oral pathogens are linked to a number of other diseases, including cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, premature birth and more. Needless to say, anything that we can do to reduce or eliminate bacteremia is a good thing!
To prevent cross-contamination: We don’t want an infection in one part of your mouth traveling anywhere. Decontamination minimizes the chance that a bacterial infection in one area may inadvertently be deposited in another.
To kill periodontal disease bacteria: It’s important to stop the infection that results from harmful bacteria before it causes physical destruction or loss of tissue and bone attachment around your teeth.
Patients with irregular gum line or gummy smile.
Are your front teeth different lengths or seem very short? If so, it may actually be the current positioning of your gingiva at fault. Our laser can be used to quickly and easily remove this extra tissue and help create a beautiful smile!
Patients with cavities.
Prior to laser dentistry, a drill would be required to prepare the tooth for a filling. For many even the sound of dental drill can be uncomfortable. Good news is that lasers can now completely eliminate the need for drilling and anesthesia.
Another upside of using lasers for removing dental cavities is safety and precision. Traditional dental drills remove large amounts of tissue, and the constant spinning of a drill bur can cause cracks in the tooth enamel if done incorrectly. Using Fotona Lightwalker laser, out dental team can revoke very precise amounts of tooth, without damaging or cracking the healthy part of the tooth.
Lasers also successfully kill oral bacteria around the surgical site. This is important, because if bacteria is still trapped under the new filling, another cavity will start to form. With laser, the surface is completely disinfected and ensures that the filling is good quality and long lasting.
Patients who are considering dental implants.
When a patient who had implant installed returns for a crown, an implant need to be uncovered from the gingival tissue. Cutting through gingival tissue with a laser provides an efficient and patient-friendly method to perform second-stage implant surgery, safely allowing a faster rehabilitation.
How are laser procedures performed?
The doctor will discuss with you and decide when the laser can be used to improve outcomes of various procedures. Many procedures can be performed without a shot and you will just feel warmth on the area we are working on.
The laser beam is extremely bright, and special glasses will be provided to protect the eyes. The procedure will take far less time than conventional methods, and cause far less anxiety and discomfort.
If you are interested in a new, fresh approach to dental care and considering laser dentistry, we invite you to Archer Dental in Chicago. Call (773) 581-1345 and experience the difference that laser dentistry can make.
Need an appointment? Contact us today!
Frequently asked questions
What is laser dentistry?
What is laser dentistry used for?
Dental lasers have a wide range of applications. For soft tissues, dental lasers could be used to:
uncovering impacted or partially erupted tooth
treat cold sores to speed up healing process
treat gum disease like periodontitis or peri-implantitis
treat gingival pegmintation
reshape gum line (also known as smile design)
remove folds in oral soft tissue often caused by dentures
prepare the tooth for fillig and remove cavities
treating teeth sensitivity to hot and cold
promote biostimulation of the bone tissue for patients with implants
remove bonded porcelain crowns, veneers, bridges
treatment of TMJ