Soft Tissue Lasers
Lasers in dentistry are a rapidly-advancing technology. Dr. Jay Lopez has kept up with those advances and is skilled in the use of soft tissue lasers. He uses them for several procedures.
- Gum Disease: Dental lasers can remove affected, unhealthy tissue saturated with toxins and bacteria below the gum line. The laser can also disinfect/sterilize the gum tissue below the gum line.
- Crown Lengthening: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue to expose healthier tooth structure. Referred to as crown lengthening, such reshaping provides a stronger foundation for the placement of restorations.
- Gummy Smile: Dental lasers can reshape gum tissue to expose healthy tooth structure and improve the appearance of a gummy smile.
- Muscle Attachment (Frenula): A laser frenectomy is an ideal treatment option for children who are tongue tied (restricted or tight frenulum). A laser frenectomy may also help to eliminate speech impediments.
- Soft Tissue Folds (Epulis): Dental lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of soft tissue folds often caused by ill-fitting dentures.
- Benign Tumors: Dental lasers may be used for the painless and suture-free removal of benign tumors from the gums, palate, sides of cheeks and lips.
- Cold Sores: Low intensity dental lasers reduce pain associated with cold sores and minimize healing time. See box below.
- Biopsy or lesion removal: Lasers can be used to remove a small piece of tissue (called a biopsy) so that it can be examined for cancer.
The benefits of using lasers include:
- Lasers effectively perform soft tissue procedures with little or no bleeding, many times without the need for sutures.
- The laser sterilizes while it is being used, leaving less chance for bacterial infection.
- Certain laser dentistry procedures do not require anesthesia.
- Laser dentistry minimizes bleeding and swelling during soft tissue treatments.
- Damage to surrounding tissue is minimized.
- Tissues heal faster and regenerate more quickly.
These benefits are possible because Lasers provide pinpoint accuracy, reducing the chance of causing damage to healthy tissues. These instruments are as safe as anything used in dentistry. The only safety measure necessary during laser treatment is proper protective glasses worn by both the clinical team and the patient. These glasses protect the eyes from the laser light emitted.
When asked why he prefers to use dental lasers instead of traditional instruments, Dr. Lopez says, “Treatment is quicker, less traumatic, and most treatments require less anesthetic, making treatment more comfortable for our patients.”
Cold Sores – Immediate Comfort!
In addition to improved quality of treatment for various procedures, our soft tissue laser can be used to treat cold sores (aphthous ulcers and herpetic lesions). When used on a cold sore within the first 1-3 days (the sooner the better), the discomfort and healing time is greatly reduced.
The laser does this by heating the skin in the area of the developing sore. This dries out the skin, as well as disinfects the area from bacteria and viruses. The result is skipping past the itchy blistering stage of the sore to the scabbing healing stage. By reducing the time of the blistering stage, this helps to decrease the potential spread of the bacteria and/or virus (causing the sore) to surrounding areas. The best part of this treatment is no anesthetic is required.