Laser Technology Can Change Chemical Composition of Teeth Enamel

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Cavities can be found in people of any age, but they are more common among young adults and the elderly. Also known as dental caries, the decay that develops in teeth can lead to serious problems. Fortunately, your dentist and some good personal habits can help prevent tooth decay.

Dental decay will begin with the accumulation of plaque on the teeth. When this sticky film hardens, it can lead to the creation of tarter on or above the gum line. Acids and bacteria will over time work their way into the different layers of the teeth, eventually reaching the portion that contains blood vessels and nerves.

The first step in prevention is learning at a young age how to get your teeth clean. This will involve the use of a fluoride-type teeth cleaning paste, with daily brushing accompanied by regular flossing. A person’s diet is also associated with cavity development, with sweets and sugary drinks increasing the risk. Available from any dentist, regular and inexpensive dental cleaning is a good way to avoid cavities. You may have asked the question, is dental cleaning safe? If so, consider the risks of not taking proper care of your teeth.

UPDATED 11/12/20

Researchers feel that lasers are actually better for human teeth because there are both advantages and disadvantages of brushing teeth. This is due to the chemical composition of human teeth. In actuality, there is much to be learned about your teeth including how best to clean them.

Human teeth are a combination of four extremely different types of tissue. These types being enamel, pulp, cementum, and dentin. Of these, the pulp is the part of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels. This in and of itself could account for the irritation we sometimes feel when we brush our teeth. Enamel is the portion of the adult top teeth and also adult bottom teeth we are the most familiar with. It is especially hard because it is mainly comprised of phosphate ions and calcium. Together, these two components make the teeth hard. Think of it as your teeth being made of hydroxyapatite crystals. The difference is teeth are not purely crystal due to the inclusion of minerals like fluoride, strontium, lead, and magnesium.

What all this means is that, the trend we are seeing for such procedures as teeth whitening and thorough cleanings, will likely continue to lean towards lasers in place of a tooth brush.  The lasers will not result in your teeth hurting when they are cleaned.  This is something patients can definitely get on board with.

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.

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