Advantages and Disadvantages of Dental Laser
Dental lasers have been available since the 1990s for a variety of procedures. Even though some dentists have been using lasers in their practice for many years, other dentists have not. Additionally, the American Dental Association has not fully endorsed the use of lasers in dentistry.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to dental treatment with lasers.
Advantages of Dental Lasers
Lasers in dentistry reduce the amount of pain that a patient feels during treatment. Dentistry becomes safer when there is less need for anesthesia. Lasers have not eliminated the need for anesthesia, but fillings may no longer require a shot before the procedure begins.
Procedures involving soft tissues in dental work cause bleeding with traditional cutting methods. Lasers cut into soft tissue to perform the dental procedure, but the blood vessels are sealed while the laser cuts the tissue. This eliminates the blood loss that is typical during these procedures.
The dentist’s drill causes anxiety in some dental patients.
Lasers offer patients a safe and effective treatment option that does not produce the same anxiety and nervousness. Reducing anxiety and helping patients feel better about visiting the dentist may help some patients get the dental treatment that they need.
Dentists are able to perform laser treatments faster than traditional methods. This allows the dentist to see more patients in a day.
Patients also spend less time in the dentist’s chair with laser technology.
Disadvantages of Dental Laser
Laser dental procedures are expensive when compared to the cost of traditional treatment. The cost of the equipment to perform laser procedures requires dentists to pass this cost on to patients.
Dentists recoup the money spent on laser equipment, but the cost may also be defrayed by faster appointment times.
A disadvantage of lasers is the limited use that they currently have in dentistry. The technology is still evolving and it is only a matter of time before lasers completely innovate the way that dentistry is performed.
Currently, lasers cannot be used in work involving an existing filling or in preparing a tooth for a dental crown. Cavities between teeth also cannot be worked on with laser technology.