I Have Dental Phobia: Is Laser Dentistry a Better Option For Me?

Nov 15, 2023
I Have Dental Phobia: Is Laser Dentistry a Better Option For Me?
If you hate going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Laser dentistry may provide the solution to allow you to get dental work without fear.

Few people like going to the dentist even though it’s necessary. If the sound of the dentist’s drill makes you nervous, you’re not alone: about 35% of Americans suffer from this phobia. At its worst, this fear can delay necessary cleanings and treatments. 

Laser dentistry provides a possible solution that can make dental treatments more tolerable. Lasers have been used in dentistry since 1989, but not everyone knows that it’s an option. The providers at Whole Body Dental in Bellevue, Washington, explain more about the situations in which laser dentistry can help.

What is laser dentistry?

Laser dentistry stands for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Although this may sound scary or unfamiliar, it’s a safe and effective way to treat dental issues with less pain than traditional drills. 

Lasers can help with a number of dental problems, including tooth decay (cavities), treating gum disease, teeth whitening, and improving dental hypersensitivity.

More specifically, lasers can be used for parts of your treatment such as: 

  • Reshaping or removing gum tissue
  • Speeding up tooth whitening procedures
  • Removing small amounts of tooth enamel
  • Preparing teeth for dental bonding
  • Reshaping bone and gum tissue for crown-lengthening procedures
  • Repairing worn-down fillings
  • Reduce discomfort from cold or canker sores
  • Remove muscle attachments that restrict tongue movement

While lasers may not help with regular cleanings, they can play an important role in achieving virtually painless dental treatments. 

Benefits and disadvantages of laser dentistry

With many procedures, you now have the option of using a laser to have the work done on your teeth, without the noise of the dentist’s drill. Compared to traditional methods, laser dentistry offers less bleeding, reduced pain, a lower chance of infection, less damage to surrounding tissue, and a faster recovery.

Although lasers are beneficial in treating many dental issues, it’s not the right solution in every case. For example, we can’t use lasers on teeth that already have fillings. Drills are sometimes still needed, such as in polishing fillings. Additionally, some laser procedures still require anesthesia.

As with any dental procedure, there is always a small risk of tissue injury. However, the risk of injuring your gums is reduced when you choose dentists who are skilled and trained in the use of lasers to perform dental procedures.

If you would like to explore whether or not we can use lasers for your next dental procedure, contact the providers at Whole Body Dental today or request an appointment online.