Laser Technology Can Change Chemical Composition of Teeth Enamel
Lasers have been a point of interest in the dental industry throughout the years, and there finally may be a breakthrough with the technology. Researchers have found that fine-tuned lasers can safely and painlessly remove cavities. Additionally, they are able to cut soft tissue without causing bleeding.
Another potential use of these lasers? Preventing cavities before they even start to form.
With over 91% of American adults between the ages of 20 and 64 having cavities, the idea of having painless cavity repairs could hold wide appeal.
This laser technology could be especially appealing to younger patients who may have fears surrounding the drill commonly used in cavity fillings.
With the use of lasers, no numbing method is needed. This means no needles, which seem to be a common reason people choose not to get their cavities filled. With the vibrations of the laser-focused-light numbing the tooth, there are no restrictions in filling one or more cavity.
Traditional diode lasers have been used for decades. These lasers effectively cut through soft tissue, but the new laser technology cuts through teeth enamel.
When delivered at the correct wavelength and in microsecond pulses, short-pulsed carbon dioxide lasers can actually change the chemical composition of teeth enamel. In doing this, the lasers can strengthen teeth.
The heat given off by the laser alters the top layer of enamel on the teeth. The usual carbonated hydroxyapatite gets changed to hydroxyapatite, which is less impacted by acid. When bacteria produces acid, it eats away at the teeth enamel and can cause cavities to form.
When used on a daily basis, a prescription fluoride toothpaste may help protect teeth from cavities. However, laser technology can produce long-lasting benefits with just one treatment.
With 3 million people currently having dental implants, and that number growing by 500,000 every year, dental technology is quickly evolving to keep up with common dental procedures. Although, it’s assumed that very few dentists currently use lasers in their dental procedures.
But as lasers become easier to use and come to the market backed up by research, lasers may soon be seen in more dental practices throughout the country.