At Epic Dentistry for Kids, we try to keep up with the latest advancements in dental technology. Since we treat patients as young as 6 months old, we make it a priority to seek out tools that make dentistry as easy, simple, and painless as possible, so our patients when they undergo treatments in our office. 

To stay true to our name, we’ve adopted one of the newest (and best) innovations in dental technology: dental lasers. And yes, it is just as cool as it sounds. 

What is laser dentistry? 

Laser dentistry is a new way for our pediatric dentist to perform dental services more efficiently. The pediatric dentist can use laser dentistry for: 

  • Cavity detection
  • Tooth decay
  • Gum disease
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Teeth whitening
  • Mouth ulcers

Using laser dentistry, a pediatric dentist can remove decay from a cavity very quickly without the use of anesthetics. Because the laser is so precise, it can remove the decay without agitating the sensitive dental pulp. 

How does laser dentistry work? 

It uses a tool that creates light energy in a narrow beam to remove or shape tissue. You can explain it to your child as a tiny lightsaber that fights off cavities and bacteria! The pediatric dentist can also use the laser to expose dental decay and find cavities. Using laser dentistry to detect cavities sooner rather than later results in smaller and more shallow fillings.  

What are the benefits of laser dentistry? 

Many patients and their parents actually prefer laser dentistry over regular dental tools because there are so many benefits. Not only does it sound cool, it minimizes swelling, bleeding, and post-operative pain. 

Less stressful

Unlike loud drills and suctions devices, laser dentistry is silent. Many children suffer from anxiety at the dentist partly because of the sounds that they hear. By removing this noisy disturbance, the procedure may seem a lot less invasive and scary. 

Preservation of tooth

Laser dentistry is very precise. When it comes to treating gum disease or cavities, the laser won’t remove any unnecessary tissue or enamel. It will only remove the tissue necessary. When the dentists use laser dentistry to find and fill cavities quickly, it reduces the need to drill away excess tooth enamel. Preserving as much of your child’s natural tooth structure is important because natural enamel can often outlast fillings. 

Anesthesia

As we mentioned earlier, laser dentistry greatly reduces and sometimes even eliminates the need for anesthetics. This is great for children and special needs patients since anesthesia can sometimes cause them to bite down on the numbed area. With laser dentistry, patients retain feeling in their mouths during and after treatment, so they won’t injure themselves. 

Fewer sutures

Because laser dentistry is less invasive, it’s less likely that your child will need to sutures post-op. The laser won’t cut into tissue and cause open wounds. Usually, it will only remove/reshape the parts that need to be operated on without affecting healthy tissue. 

Sutures can easily get torn or suctioned out with children, slowing down the healing process and exposing children to the possibility of infection. With laser dentistry, this is much less of a concern. 

Faster treatment

With laser dentistry, the pediatric dentist can often treat problems more quickly than they can with traditional techniques. In the past, pediatric dentists would regard the mouth as four quadrants: upper left, upper right, lower left, and lower right. Only one quadrant could be operated on at a time because the other quadrants would need to be left undisturbed, so the patient could still use talk and eat like normal. Appointments would have to be split over multiple days to treat issues in different quadrants. 

With laser dentistry, treatment is much faster and more precise. Most importantly, anesthesia is not necessary with laser dentistry most of the time, so patients have full functional use of their mouths even after an area has been operated on. Because of this, dentists can operate on multiple quadrants in a day, making every visit worth the while. 

Is laser dentistry safe? 

Yes, laser dentistry is completely. In fact, it’s arguably safer than other dental techniques and it’s definitely safer than not going to the dentist altogether due to fear of drills and dentists! 

Laser dentistry effectively sterilizes and seals off blood vessels when it’s used, so patients are much less prone to infection and pain.

The only caveat with laser dentistry is that lasers can’t always remove all the enamel from deep cavities. It’s best for shallow cavities that are in their early stages. If your child has a particularly deep cavity, other methods of cleaning and filling it may be better. 

Does my child need to use laser dentistry? 

Laser dentistry is optional but highly recommended, especially for children who struggle with dental anxiety. It’s a much faster and easier way to administer dental treatments. Talk to your pediatric dentist to see if laser dentistry is the best choice for your child!