Kavo Laser Caries detection:
Have you ever wished that your dentist could have fixed your cavity before it became a large filling? With laser cavity scanning we can see decay before it is visible by x-ray or the naked eye. The laser cavity detector can find decay earlier, allowing you to have smaller, longer lasting fillings and keep more of your natural tooth intact.
What is Laser dentistry?
Laser dentistry is done largely without the use of a drill and often does not require needles, which is a nice perk for those of you who cringe at the idea of them. To give you a simple back ground, this technology utilizes transmitted light which is stimulated by a heat lamp inside the machine. What is produced is a focused beam of infrared light energy. The energy beam is directed towards the tooth of gum whichever needs to be serviced. The beam absorbs water which the tooth structure contains within its matrix. Because Laser energy beams are focused, they do not scatter all over the tooth, resulting in a precise and conservative amount of tooth removal, resulting in a stronger tooth and more conservative restoration. As the water is absorbed out of the enamel and decay, the result is a vapor-like mist. So the bad stuff actually disappears into thin air so to speak. Because there is no drill, there is no friction which causes heat to build up quickly causing you to jump out of the chair. The laser actually can seal off nerve endings resulting in anesthesia. We do over 60-70 % of our restorations needle free. Often you leave our office free of numbness and free to eat right away which is a nice convenience. To show you how safe laser energy is, the chart below explains where on the light spectrum laser energy occurs. It is Infrared which is between Microwave and Visible light. Note it is nowhere near Ultraviolet, X-ray or Gamma rays which are the most harmful rays in the light spectrum.
We use 2 forms of Lasers in our office : Erbium, which is 2964nm on the light spectrum and Nd:Yag which is 1064nm. The Erbium targets the water in the tooth so we use it for cavities while the Nd:Yag targets red pigment found in gum tissue, so it is used along with Erbium to treat gum disease.
Both are extremely effective at killing bacteria, and removing harmful smear layers on the teeth and roots while allowing gum tissue to reattach to the roots and reduce those deep gum pockets that you may have been told you have. There are no scalpels, stitches and the pain post-operatively is quite minimized so that over-the-counter pain medication is actually quite effective thereby reducing the need for narcotic substances. The Nd:Yag and Erbium lasers work well together in diseased gum pockets to clean the root surfaces, kill bacteria, and dramatically reduce bleeding and inflammation.
As for the dreaded root canal, say no more. They can be done effortlessly and in one visit often with little or no post-operative discomfort. Anesthetic is needed for teeth that have live nerves and of infected ones as well. Root canals are done more conservatively and more efficaciously resulting in a more sterile root canal wall with a higher long-term success rate. While we say we hope you won't ever need one, it's nice to have this technology present to make it all go much easier.
One final word about local anesthetic: There are individuals that low pain thresholds and that means, some of you are very sensitive and so it is possible that you may need some local anesthetic. In my office I go to great lengths to make sure you don't feel anything, especially the administration of local anesthetic.
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