How is Tooth Decay Removed with Laser Dentistry?

Aug 01, 2023
How is Tooth Decay Removed with Laser Dentistry?
The use of lasers is transforming dentistry. Learn more about how laser dentistry can remove tooth decay and improve your smile.

The dental industry is always changing, usually in ways designed to make visiting the dentist less unpleasant and painful. Many people find certain dental procedures uncomfortable, such as plaque scraping or drilling cavities.

However, the dental industry has discovered that using lasers is a very effective way to do a lot of our usual procedures, including removing plaque in your cleanings. The providers at Whole Body Dental in Bellevue, Washington, explain more about laser dentistry and how it can help you.

How lasers work

You may not be familiar with the role of lasers in dentistry. We most often use them in treating gum disease as lasers are very effective in repairing soft tissues. 

We point the lasers at your gums or your teeth only for a few brief seconds. The heat from the lasers can change your tooth’s enamel from the usual carbonated hydroxyapatite to just hydroxyapatite, which makes your teeth more resistant to future cavities.

The two types of laser dentistry

At Whole Body Dental, we have two different types of lasers we use on patients. 

Soft tissue lasers

Soft tissue lasers are absorbed by water and hemoglobin, a protein that’s naturally present in your blood. We use soft tissue lasers to repair gum disease, remove excess gum tissue, and even treat sleep apnea.

Hard tissue lasers

Hard tissue lasers focus on your tooth’s enamel and are absorbed by the minerals and water in your teeth. We use these to remove tooth decay and to prepare your teeth for other restorative dental procedures.

The benefits of laser dentistry

Laser dentistry expands what’s possible in dentistry. It has many advantages, especially when compared to older types of procedures. Some of these advantages include the following:

  • Less anesthesia needed
  • No need for stitches or sutures
  • Less bleeding
  • Shorter recovery times
  • Reduced risk of infection

In addition, using the laser can reduce dental anxiety among patients, as there’s less bleeding and we don’t have to drill into the teeth.

When we use laser dentistry to remove tooth decay, you may also receive a prescription for high-fluoride toothpaste. The combination of lasers to remove decay and a high-fluoride toothpaste can remineralize your teeth, making them more resistant to future decay.

How to reduce sensitivity

When you have tooth decay, you may notice certain symptoms, including tooth sensitivity. You can improve it by paying attention to whether:

  • Sweet foods or beverages cause more sensitivity
  • Hot or cold temperatures cause reactions
  • Biting down causes pain

You may also have more dryness in your mouth. These symptoms should go away once we treat your tooth decay, but you can help by taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and chewing sugarless gum.

If you suspect that you may have tooth decay, talk to us about using lasers to remove it instead of the usual drills. Contact the providers at Whole Body Dental today or request an appointment online.