If you read this blog regularly, you know by now that we love our toys. :) And we are super excited for the ways in which we can help our patients with our latest acquisition: a Biolase EPIC dental laser!
Let’s begin with a little introduction to lasers in general. The word LASER is actually an acronym, standing for Light Amplification by Stimulation Emission of Radiation. Don’t let that last word scare you - the thermal radiation produced by a laser is non-ionizing, and not the type of radiation you think of when you’re being warned against exposure. Lasers have been in use in the dental industry since the 1990s and are gaining greater traction every day with continuing advances in the field.
Simplistically, lasers deliver energy in the form of light. From a dental perspective, we’re looking for the intended tissue to absorb this light and thus affect change. There are a number of photobiological effects this interaction can have that are useful for our office:
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 can produce an oxygen radical that is used to disinfect periodontal pockets and root canals. It can also stimulate tissue to promote wound healing, pain relief, collagen growth and general decrease of inflammation.
So to whom are we most excited to introduce this new technology? The acquisition of this laser will allow us to treat many types of patients more efficiently and with less pain:
- Patients with Periodontal Disease: The laser will be incorporated into our normal "deep" cleaning protocol. We will begin with what is called laser bacterial removal (LBR). This process takes less than 10 minutes and kills 80% of the bacteria that contributes to periodontal disease. Afterward, we will complete our normal scaling to remove the rest of the bacteria and finish up with the laser to remove any remaining diseased tissue.
- Patients with moderate-severe bacteria and bleeding: We will offer the option of LBR for a fee of $30 in conjunction with your normal bi- or triannual cleaning visit.
- Patients with irregular gingival levels: Are your front teeth different lengths? 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 extra tissue: This may be the result of past trauma or due to the positioning of your teeth. We can use the laser to remove this extra tissue, making the patient more comfortable and helping them keep their teeth clean.
Another day, another new technology at Strobel Dentistry to help us better serve our patients. Thanks for geeking out with us, stay tuned for what comes next! :)