While lasers have been used in the dental health industry since 1994, the American Dental Association (ADA) has yet to give the treatment its Seal of Acceptance. Regardless, laser dentistry is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to conventional dental treatment for a number of different issues. Tooth decay, or caries, can be removed using a laser, which also prepares the surrounding enamel for the filling material. Lasers can also be used to perform a biopsy, or the removal of a small piece of tissue to check for the presence of cancerous cells. Lasers cauterize tissue as they exercise, improving overall healing time and reducing the risk of infection. Gum disease can be treated with lasers to remove harmful bacteria and to reshape gum tissue, and can remove canker sores or lesions in the mouth. Cosmetic dentistry also uses lasers for teeth whitening to speed up the process of lightening teeth with a peroxide solution.
The texture of the surface of a dental implant is crucial to its ability to osseointegrate with the patient’s natural bone tissue. A surface that is too smooth has been shown to have a lower success rate than rougher dental implant surfaces. Additionally, a textured surface does more than just boost bone integration: it stabilizes the implant and may provide antibacterial properties as well. There are many different ways to treat the surface of a dental implant including sandblasting, chemical etching, and laser etching. Laser etching is believed to be more precise than both sandblasting and chemical etching, which produce more variable results than a programmable laser. Laser etching can also be used on top of sandblasting or chemical etching to provide a more textured surface that integrates better with bone. Dental abutments can also be laser etched to improve the texture of the surface that will adhere to the implant body, screw, and crown.
Laser therapy has been used in the field of dentistry since nearly its inception due to its high level of accuracy, precision, and low rate of clinical complications. LASER stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation and is a device that generates electromagnetic radiation that is uniform in polarization, phase, and wavelength. There are several different types of lasers, including surgical lasers, therapeutic lasers, and high or low powered lasers. Evidence suggests that therapeutic lasers and low powered lasers have anti-inflammatory, bio-stimulatory, and analgesic effects on living tissue. Dentists today are increasingly choosing to offer laser dentistry at their practices to meet consumer demand. Laser-assisted dental procedures can include laser suturing, cauterization, decontamination of bacteria-filled periodontal pockets and root systems, PDL regeneration, bone repair and remodeling, and healing stimulation. Often, the use of a laser during a dental procedure will eliminate the need for anesthesia or strong pain medication.
Laser welding, also called laser beam welding or manual laser welding, is a critical tool for dental labs today. It provides a high-tech, low-error alternative to traditional soldering. Manual laser welding equipment helps dental lab technicians to create or repair dental prosthetics and reconstruction materials, such as posts and loops for tooth additions, cast clasp assemblies, wrought wire single-arm clasps, and cast extensions used for existing partial dentures. Contrary to conventional soldering, laser welding offers complete freedom of controls and precision accuracy. This, along with localized heat, eliminates thermal expansion and results in superior seam welds on dental implant frames and bars, passive fit bridgework, and other frequently used dental prosthetic appliances. Other alternatives to laser beam welding and soldering include torch or plasma welding, spot or resistance welding, and single pulse tungsten inert gas welding. Of all these, laser welding provides the most desirable results for dental prosthetics.