Hi, this is Doctor Antolak from TheGentleDentist.com. Our dental office is located in Shelby Township, Michigan, in Macomb County and our phone number is (586) 247-3500.

What I’d like to talk to you today about is the use of lasers in dentistry. Right now, we use what’s called a soft tissue laser, it’s called a diode laser. A diode laser is this unit right here and as you can see it’s a very small device. What it does is it uses energy in the form of light and it uses water as a source to carry it and what it does is it helps to vaporize soft tissue around an area that we might be working on. For example, we use these disposable tips. And it goes right here on the unit itself, and then we can dial in the amount of energy that we want to put into this soft tissue area.

This is light so what it does is the light energy goes through this little tip here. We all use special glasses. For example, the patient and assistants wear these yellow glasses to protect their eyes. And, for me, I use what looks like pink colored glasses that fit over my loops here. What that does it protects our eyes from the energy from the laser.

The benefits of using lasers in dentistry is that they’re really very atraumatic. So it doesn’t create trauma within the soft tissues. Sometimes we can actually go ahead and use a laser without using an anesthetic at all. On this unit it has what’s called a comfort zone which actually pulses and that pulse energy will actually reduce any discomfort that a person may feel. We use these when we do crown preparations. Rather than packing that cord that goes around the teeth, which can actually create trauma, we use this to create a small little microscopic, just a small little trough around the tooth. So we put the impression material in it. We can do that and actually, on my wife, I had a couple of crowns to do on her. I had one side where I packed the cord and on the other side we used a dental laser and she said the dental laser side was much more comfortable for her. So, I definitely wanted to use that as kind of an experimental thing and it definitely is true it is much more comfortable.

We also could use this when people are what we call tongue-tied.  It’s where there’s an extra attachment that goes to the tip of the tongue. We can use it for infants. When infants nurse, if they can’t get their tongue out far enough, then they can’t properly nurse. And also as we get older, if the tongue is retained down into the floor of the mouth, sometimes it doesn’t give a natural appearance. So what we do is there’s a little attachment of soft tissue that we can remove and it will free the tongue up.

We can also use a dental laser for the top lip, where the lip attaches to the gums here. We can use it when we remove lesions.  For example, in a biopsy, we can take a little lesion that might be caused by trauma from biting possibly and you can just remove these lesions with very little trauma. The dental laser actually has a zone where it functions is very narrow compared to other different sources.  For example, using a scalpel blade to remove something or even what is called an electro surge. An electro surge is like a laser, except it uses wave energy versus light energy to create little troughs.

A dental laser is also good for dental implants. It’s good for removing the soft tissue around an implant. As the implant is exposed so we can create dental crowns and that type of thing. So we use a dental laser, the diode dental laser all the time in our Shelby Township dental office. And, once again, it’s a way that we can use to create state of the art dentistry, and in an environment where we try to really focus on your comfort and care.

So, this is Dr. Antolak from TheGentleDentist.com. Our phone number is 586-247-3500, or visit us online at www.thegentledentist.com. Thank you.