There are many different treatment options for gum disease, such as root planing. This is where a dentist performs a deep clean underneath the tooth, at the root. Whilst this is still an option, new developments in dentistry mean that gum disease can now also be treated with laser surgery. So is laser dentistry for gum disease recommended?
Gum disease, otherwise known as periodontitis, is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and bone that supports your teeth. Serious, untreated cases can be extremely painful and can lead to tooth loss. One treatment option is laser dentistry.
How does it work?
In laser dentistry, a dentist will use a laser to access the inflamed gum tissue from around the tooth. This laser is able to see germs and bacteria like a flashlight and kill them. To do so, the dentist will initially insert a thin fibre into the infected pocket. In the next step, they will remove any hardened plaque or tartar with a root cleaner. Finally, laser energy warms the stem cell-containing blood in the pocket. This makes the soft gum pocket tissues sticky and creating a seal of the tissues against the tooth root. This protects the pocket from germs and plaque from getting into the now cleaned and disinfected pocket and allows the area to heal.
Pros of laser dentistry
There are many benefits to laser dentistry for gum disease. One reason many people opt for laser dentistry is that it limits bleeding. It also has a reduced healing time in comparison to traditional surgeries. This is because the laser is able to remove hardened plaque and tartar without causing any further distress to the gums. Laser surgery might also be preferable to some people because they may not need an anaesthetic. Therefore the recovery time is quicker. In many cases, after having the surgery, people can continue with life as normal, instead of needing to book time off work.
Cons of laser dentistry
However, as with any procedure, there are also cons to laser dentistry. One of the most significant reasons someone might not opt for laser dentistry is the expense, which is significantly higher than traditional treatments. Additionally, there are some restrictions with laser dentistry. For example, laser dentistry cannot be used on teeth that have fillings already in place. Likewise, in some cases, anaesthesia may still need to be used when having laser dentistry. If you are someone who feels anxious about dental procedures, then laser treatment may feel no different from traditional means.
Is it right for me?
If you’re struggling to decide whether to go ahead with laser dentistry, you might want to discuss the options with your dentist. They will be able to advise on the best course of action and help you weigh up the pros and cons. Ultimately, you will need to choose the best course of action for you, and this is something only you can decide. However, you can rest assured that laser treatments are a safe, reliable option that are worth considering.
If you are interested in laser dentistry, please book an appointment with your dentist today.