More and more dentist offices are adding lasers to their collection of tools. Although lasers have been used for a number of years in several aspects of dentistry, it is now being increasingly employed in dental implant surgery. The laser continues to be developed and refined in this field.
In previous years, lasers were still very new and had to be tested to determine what problems could or could not be solved when using them in dental implant surgery. Some of the lasers dentistry actually damaged the implants and different types produced different results, depending on the surface coatings on the implants.
Other lasers were found to be too hot and damaged nearby teeth. Removing plaque also had to be tested, as well as removing gum growth from the implants after they have healed.
Many Types of Lasers
After experimenting with the many laser types that were available in dentistry, along with some new ones, some types were found to be of little use in the dental implant procedure. Other laser dentistry types were found to be useful only in certain aspects of the implant procedure. Today, dentists know exactly which lasers are best for surgery.
The Implant Procedure
Although lasers are now considered to be a super-tool for implants, it has their limits. The laser cannot be used in all aspects of the implant process. Some more traditional tools are still necessary.
A laser can be used to prepare the hole for the implant. It can cut through the bone and make it smooth. It is also more precise than a drill – and a lot of people prefer the hum of the laser to the sound of a drill. The increased precision gives the implant better contact with the bone, which enables it to be more stable right away.
Lasers are especially excellent in sterilization. It also is best because there is very little bleeding with the use of the laser – the blood is coagulated instantly.
There often is very little pain associated with laser procedures. Healing is also faster because certain types of laser light actually enhance healing and help with the faster formation of bone and it helps provide better integration between bone and the implant.
Dental implants can fail because of a disease called peri-implantitis. This is similar to periodontitis and it is an infection of the gums around the base of the implant. Although it starts out in the gums and leads to deterioration, over time it can also lead to deterioration of the bone. This would often lead to implant failure. Treatment usually involves a surgical procedure, but now lasers can successfully be used to treat this condition.
A laser can safely be used to destroy pathogens without damaging the implant. It also will not damage the jaw bone.
Benefits of Lasers Implant Surgery
When the periodontist uses a laser for implant surgery, there will be several clear advantages. They include:
- Lasers cut tissue easily and precisely – a laser can be guided to an accuracy of one-tenth of a millimeter
- Adjacent tissue is not damaged – this means there is less trauma to the site
- Reduced risk of inflammation and swelling – lasers reduce the inflammation response and destroy the bacteria that may cause infection.
- Blood vessels are sealed immediately
- Promotes healing in hard and soft tissue
- Fewer post-operative complications
- Fewer painkillers are needed and in smaller doses
- Antibiotics required less frequently
- Faster healing – the laser coagulates the blood around the implant, protecting the wound and enabling faster healing
Lasers can also be used to uncover the implants after being allowed to heal. The blood is clotted immediately, enabling the periodontist continual sight of the implant.
A dental laser also can be used to remove an implant when it becomes necessary. Because the beam of the laser can be guided precisely, it will cause much less damage than the traditional surgical approach. The beam will also decontaminate the area and promote healing. Minimal tissue surrounding the implant will be damaged, enabling faster healing.
Another benefit is that the implant will not need to be broken or fragmented to get it out. The light from the laser will not damage it or overheat it.
The dental laser can be used in nearly all aspects of implant surgery. It is extremely versatile and it can do a better job than traditional methods, but its use largely depends on the skill of the surgeon using it. For a better experience with dental implants, you want to find a periodontist with extensive laser experience.