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When you hear the word “laser,” your first thought may be of ray guns in sci-fi flicks. However, in the real world lasers have many practical uses, including treatments and procedures in modern dentistry. Here are a few of the dental procedures lasers can complete and the pros and cons of laser dentistry.

Laser Dentistry Procedures

Two types of lasers are used in dentistry: soft tissue lasers to make incisions in the gums and hard tissue lasers to cut through teeth and bone. Your dentist uses lasers for many purposes, including:

  • Curing (hardening) dental fillings and dental cement
  • Speeding a tooth whitening procedure by activating the bleaching solution
  • Treating painful cold sores
  • Lengthening the tooth crown by exposing healthy tooth structure beneath gums
  • Removing tooth decay
  • Periodontal treatment through gum reshaping and reduction of oral bacteria

Pros Of Laser Dentistry

There are several benefits to using lasers in dentistry including:

  • Reduced bleeding and swelling
  • More painless procedures
  • Reduced risk for bacterial infection
  • Greater precision
  • Quicker healing time

Cons Of Laser Dentistry

Though lasers have many benefits in dentistry, there are some procedures lasers cannot perform. Dental lasers:

  • Cannot be used on teeth that already have a filling
  • Cannot fill cavities between teeth, around fillings, or large areas of decay
  • Cannot remove defective crowns or bridges