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Laser Dentistry

In recent years, laser dentistry has superseded many traditional dentistry practices, making treatments more precise and less painful.  This newer style of dentistry utilizes intense beams of light projected by a dental laser.  Dental lasers can be used to perform a wide variety of treatments, including soft tissue shaping and removal.

The FDA deemed laser dentistry to be safe for public usage in 1990.  Since then, many dentists have incorporated dental lasers into everyday procedures – reducing bleeding, anxiety and post-treatment recovery times.  The beauty of dental lasers is that they can produce amazing improvements in periodontal health without the need of cutting, sewing or many other aspects of traditional periodontal surgery– which means less discomfort, less change in appearance, and more rapid healing.

Here are some of the other benefits associated with laser dentistry:

  • Faster healing and tissue regeneration.
  • Preservation of more of the natural tooth.
  • Reduced bleeding during and after treatment.
  • Reduced need for anesthesia.
  • Reduced need for stitches and sutures.
  • Reduced risk of bacterial infections after procedures.

How can laser dentistry help me?

Laser dentistry is incredibly versatile and plays an important role in a growing number of common dental procedures.  Though laser dentistry is most notably associated with cosmetic treatments, it is equally effective for preventative purposes.

Here are some of the ways that dental lasers can be used:

  • Tooth preparation – Prior to laser dentistry, a drill would be required to prepare the tooth for a filling.  Lasers can now completely eliminate the need for drilling and anesthesia. Lasers also successfully kill oral bacteria around the surgical site.  This is offered by many restorative dentists throughout California.
  • Reshaping soft tissue – Dental lasers can dissolve soft tissue to expose more of the natural tooth (crown lengthening), reshape soft tissue to make “gummy smiles” more attractive, and remove uncomfortable soft tissue folds caused by denture wear.
  • Frenectomy – Lasers can improve speech and the feeding habits of babies, children and adults by untying the tongue or lip.
  • Tumor removal – When benign tumors have formed in the soft tissue areas of the mouth, a dental laser can completely remove them without causing pain.
  • Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure – Dr. Nattkemper is highly trained in this revolutionary technique, which can help eliminate periodontal disease and create a comfortable, healthy dentition with a minimum of interruption in lifestyle and a minimum of discomfort.
  • Biopsy – Lasers are sometimes used to perform a biopsy on suspicious areas of soft tissue.  This biopsy procedure can be performed quidkly and with great precision.

How are laser procedures performed?

Different types of dental laser have been created to treat different conditions.  Each laser uses a different wavelength of light, which predicates its best use.  The most common types of dental laser are carbon dioxide lasers and diode lasers, which are usually employed to treat soft tissue problems.  Dr. Nattkemper utilizes an Nd: YAG laser, specifically the MVP-7, designed for periodontal applications.  It is delicate, precise, and only available to dentists and periodontists who have taken training in the LANAP procedure.

LANAP therapy, although not inexpensive, can often prove to be less costly than traditional periodontal therapy.  It is far less invasive and entails less "downtime" for patients, allowing them to return to work the same day or next day following treatment.

If you have questions or concerns about laser dentistry, please ask your dentist or Dr. Nattkemper. 

NOTE:  Please read Lloyd's detailed comments about  Laser Periodontal Therapy under "Periodontics"!!!

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