Dental Laser Procedures
The use of Lasers is not new – they have been used extensively in medicine over the past 15 + years for everything from laser eye surgery to cosmetic and dermatological applications including wrinkle and tattoo removal as well as well as removal of vascular and pigmented lesions.
Advantages of a Dental Laser:
- a less invasive non surgical (topical approach)
- quicker healing times,
- less post operative pain
- lower risk of infection.
- less dental injections
- no need for the dental drill.
Dr. Willoughby is proud to offer a variety of dental treatments with advanced dental lasers. He and his team have been utilizing Lasers for more than 5 years now and during this time have completed extensive laser training and successfully performed hundreds of clinical procedures. Dr. Willoughby and his team can offer you a variety of dental laser procedures, many of which do not involve local anesthetic or the ‘drill’.
How does a Dental Laser work?
A focused beam of specific light energy penetrates into the cells of the tissue (where the Laser is pointed) and dehydrates these cells- effectively vaporizing and ablating that specific tissue. At the same time the laser light energy cauterizes the surrounding blood vessels effectively stopping the tissue from bleeding. The underlying and surrounding tissue, which is not damaged, heals quickly by secondary intention.
In our Bayview Dental Studio, Dr. Willoughby utilizes two different types of Dental Lasers. The first is a soft tissue diode laser which utilizes specific levels of laser light energy measured in Watts. This is a common, all purpose laser referred to as a DioDent Micro 980. A second type of Laser called an Hoya Erbium Laser uses a much more concentrated beam of energy measured using a combination of mJoules (frequency) and Hertz (power). This very special Erbium Versawave laser has an extremely accurate and focused beam of light energy which can be used for treating both soft tissue and hard tissue – the harder the tissue, the higher the settings. This Erbium laser can even perform small cavity preparations in tooth enamel – usually without dental freezing. The results with this Dental Laser have proven to be excellent –significantly reducing post op pain, swelling and discomfort as it allows the surgical wound to start healing within an hour after surgery. Depending on the type of tissue which is being “lasered” the energy settings vary. Dr. Willoughby has used his Hoya Erbium Versawave Laser to successfully treat hundreds of patients.
Advantages of laser
Compared to conventional surgical treatment, laser surgery eliminates many side-effects. It is virtually painless, with reduced bleeding and swelling of the tissue. The only side-effect reported by patients who have undergone laser surgery is a slight sensitivity to cold and heat for a few days.
Soft Tissue Dental Lasers
As the name implies this type of a Dental laser produces a highly focused laser light that can be used to alter soft tissues in the mouth using incision, excision, ablation, vaporization, and coagulation. These types of lasers are typically referred to as diode tissue lasers and Dr. Willoughby uses his DioDent Micro 980 soft tissue diode laser for the following soft tissue procedures:
- Removal of soft tissue for biopsy
- Removal of Mucocelles, fibromas and vascular lesions.
- Removal of soft tissue pigmentation
- Incision of soft tissue
- Implant uncovery
- Control of bleeding during crown preparation and impression
- Pulpotomy of baby teeth
Diode tissue lasers can vaporize bacteria, viruses, and fungi, which leads to less local infections and for this reasons tissue diode lasers are also an effective tool for treating periodontal disease. By placing its fiber optic tip into the gingival pocket around the gum line, it will release heat and disrupt the bacteria which cause gun disease. This is typically done with just a little topical anesthetic and is so gentle that there is very little if any post-treatment swelling or pain.
Hard Tissue Dental Lasers
These special types of Erbium Lasers utilize a very special hi energy setting with such a short pulse that your nerves never have time to notice it, so you’ll feel no pain. It penetrates to microscopically shallow levels, which makes it very precise, and it works silently.
The huge benefit of hard tissue dental lasers like the Hoya Erbium Versawave Laser is the ability to remove decay without using a traditional “dental drill”, often without the need for dental freezing! There are many other ways we can use these “all-tissue” lasers in dental treatment which allow faster and more comfortable healing than with traditional methods. In our Dental Studio Dr Willoughby use their Hoya Versawave Laser for:
- Cavity preparation.
- Caries (decay) removal.
- Surgical applications including osseous and soft tissue “gum” re-contouring as well as removal of bone during oral surgery
- Cleaning and Flushing of Root Canal systems during Endodontic therapy.
During the Laser procedure you might hear a rush of air and water or either a ‘ticking” or “popping” sound when this laser is running but you should be able to relax and be comfortable during this type of procedure.
Laser surgery in periodontal treatment
To efficiently treat periodontal disease and related bacterial infections, Dr. Willoughby and his team at Bayview Dental Studio use highly effective laser equipment as part of an overall periodontal treatment program. Thanks to our specialized periodontal treatments, the supporting structures of your teeth, gums, alveolar bone, cement and periodontal ligament can sometimes be restored to near normal health without surgical interventions.
The Role of Dental Lasers in treating Periodontal Disease.
Periodontal disease affects approximately 80% of adults causing recession, bleeding gums, bad breath, bone loss around teeth, loss of teeth as well as a chronic increase of infectious bacteria that can lead to other more serious health issues such as heart problems, vascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis. We know that Periodontal Disease is a bacterial infection that causes inflammation and bleeding in the pockets around teeth and our dental hygiene goal is to not only remove the build-up of plaque and tartar around the teeth as well as infected tissue (a normal cleaning), but to also address the underlying infection that caused the disease. We recommend our patients to have their pockets decontaminated with the laser to treat this underlying cause of infection – BACTERIA!
Utilizing a variety of laser settings, we use the Hoya Versawave laser with a small, flexible fiber optic tip to effectively and efficiently deliver light energy to the base of the infected pocket which eradicates the bacteria by rupturing their cell walls. The specific laser light energy effectively removes only the inflamed, infected tissue and bacteria, leaving the healthy decontaminated gum tissue around your teeth. Laser energy is delivered by light to which there are no contra-indications and to which the bacteria cannot develop resistance to. The more commonly used anti-bacterial treatment with mouthwashes or site specific delivery (Arrestin) can be helpful, but are expressive and some bacteria will be resistant to their chemical effects. Laser treatment can be done easily throughout all the pockets in the mouth and bacteria will not be resistant to it.
To learn more about our Non Surgical Laser Assisted periodontal programs, please call our office at 604.541.1800.
Laser Gum Tissue Re-contouring with Versawave.
Sometimes teeth appear to be to shorter than they actually are because the tooth is surrounded by too much gum tissue. When this occurs, especially around your upper front teeth it can give you the appearance of a “gummy” smile. An uneven gum line can also make your teeth appear uneven or crooked. Both excess tissue and an uneven gum line can both detract from a healthy vibrant smile. The purpose of Gum re-contouring is to help re-establish an aesthetic proportion and symmetry to a persons smile by reshaping the contour and level of your gums. Dr. Willoughby uses several different lasers and local anesthetic to quickly sculpt and reshape the gum line, providing symmetry and balance to the teeth and gums – enhancing and creating an even more beautiful smile!
Dr. Willoughby holds his Advanced certification (from the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies, Laser Course 2012) in the use of both hard and soft tissue Lasers and has the experience to re-contour your gum tissue using a diode tissue laser rather than a conventional scalpel blade. Both Erbium and Diode Lasers have been clinically proven to be more accurate, cause less pain, less swelling and virtually no bleeding. The risk of infection is also much lower with a Laser. After the procedure Dr. Willoughby will coat the affected gum tissues with a revolutionary Silver disinfectant wound healing gel to help initiate rapid healing. Usually 200-400 mg of Ibuprofen for the first few days are sufficient to manage mild discomfort.
Below is one of Dr. Willoughby’s patients who has undergone laser Gum re-contouring with our Erbium Laser to help reestablish a more esthetic gum profile. Because of the heavy tooth wear this patient also chose to have beautiful all porcelain crowns placed on his teeth to further enhance his smile.
The result is startling, don’t you think?
Call us today if you’re interested in learning more about this procedure 604.541.1800
Serving South Surrey, White Rock and the surrounding areas of Surrey, Langley, Cloverdale and Fraser Valley.