Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Its first known application in dentistry was reported in 1960 by Miaman. In the past few years, the laser has had both hard and soft tissue applications. Soft tissue application includes:
The soft tissue application includes:
- Removal of hyperplastic tissue
- Photo stimulation of oral herpetic lesion
- Wound healing
- Photodynamic therapy for malignancies
Hard tissue application includes:
- Prevention of caries
- Restorative removal
- Cavity preparation etc.
Hard tissue application
Argon laser radiation is effective in restorative removal. It alters the surface chemistry of the enamel and the root surface dentin. This prevents recurrent caries. The argon laser produces high-intensity visible blue light (488 nm or nanometres). Laser etching has been used in place of acid etching of enamel and dentine.
Other than dental surgery, the laser is used for diagnosis too. Argon 488 nm and Diode 655 nm can perform laser fluorescence detection of dental caries. Diode 655 nm helps detect subgingival calculus. Laser Doppler flowmetry assesses pulpal blood flow with the help of Diode 633 nm and 655 nm. CO2 10600 nm is used to detect fissure caries lesions by optic changes.
Lasers cause less neuropathic pain when the drill touches the nerve. In certain cases, anaesthesia is not required. Laser therapy reduces inflammation and swelling. The bleeding from the gums and other soft tissues is minimal thus, no sutures are required. Since laser kills bacteria around the wound, the probability of infection is reduced.
Biolase Waterlase iPlus can cost up to Rs. 34 lakh. The price of high-quality diode lasers ranges from Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 7 lakh.
Innovative lending products like business loans for doctors are available for financing such sophisticated and expensive equipment. Laser technology marks a new era in the dental field, and adopting it will keep the dentist ahead of the curve.
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