The American Health Institute, Inc.
American Health Institute Leaf Logo American Health Institute Education and Research

An Introduction to Laser Dentistry

Dr. Harold Ravins, DDS describes the technology behind laser dentistry, the advantage of laser versus traditional dentistry, and introduces new laser bacterial reduction treatments that are available.

What is laser dentistry?

Laser dentistry uses laser energized water to safely perform dental procedures. The laser energy is produced by combining a spray of atomized water with laser energy. The energized water gently and precisely removes a wide range of human tissue including tooth enamel and soft tissue (gum) without heat or vibration. Since there is no heat or vibration the laser reduces the need for needles and anesthesia. The laser can make cavity preparations, numb teeth and gums and remove soft tissue without needles or numb feeling. It can also help relieve painful canker sores and accelerate their healing.

What are the benefits of laser dentistry?

Laser dentistry requires no needles or numbness in most cases. (Kids won't chew their lip and can eat right away). The laser's pinpoint accuracy precisely allows dentists to leave as much Healthy tooth structure as possible. Gently performs numerous soft tissue (gum) procedures with little or no bleeding.

  • Aids in removal of decay
  • Prevents root canals
  • Makes teeth less sensitive
  • What procedures can be performed with a laser?
  • Gum re-contouring for cosmetics
  • Cavity preparations with no drilling or needles
  • Relief of painful canker sores with accelerated healing

Patient introduction to laser bacterial reduction

Periodontal disease affects approximately 80% of adults and is a growing epidemic in our society. Understanding of this disease has increased greatly over the last few years. We now know that Periodontal Disease is a bacterial infection in the pockets around teeth. As such, we now not only treat Periodontal Disease with removal of mechanical irritants and diseased tissue (your normal cleaning) but are also addressing the underlying infection that causes it. With that thought in mind, we recommend that patients have their teeth decontaminated prior to cleaning appointments for three major reasons:

  1. To reduce or eliminate bacteremias. During the normal cleaning process most patients will have some areas that may bleed; this allows bacteria that are present in all our mouths to flood into the bloodstream and sometimes settle in weakened areas of our body such as a damaged heart valve or artificial knee or hip etc. We pre-medicate those patients that we know have a heart condition or artificial joints with antibiotics so that these bacteria can't cause harm to these areas. Latest research shows that these oral pathogens have now been linked to a number of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, low birth weight babies, diabetes etc. Needless to say anything that we can do to reduce or eliminate these bacteremias is positive for our patients.
  2. To prevent cross contamination of infections in one area of your mouth to other areas. Decontamination minimizes the chance that we may inadvertently pick up bacterial infection in one area of your mouth and move it to others.
  3. To kill periodontal disease bacteria and stop their infections before they cause physical destruction or loss of attachment around your teeth.
    The laser decontamination process is painless and normally takes about 5-10 minutes. We highly recommend that you take advantage of this service as part of your routine cleaning if available.

Laser decontamination is NOT covered by insurance. Unfortunately, insurance coverage is almost always behind the leading edge in high tech health care.

Please ask your hygienist if you have any questions regarding this treatment.