Is Laser Dentistry Safe for My Child?
The answer is ‘yes’. Go beyond science fiction to the real benefits of laser dentistry.
When you hear about lasers, it’s usually in the context of science fiction, such as the lightsabers and blasters in Star Wars. Since lasers have such a fantastical association in many people’s minds, it’s common for laser dentistry to sound like science fiction to many parents. But while dental lasers certainly use the latest technology, they’ve actually been around a long time. Before dentists started using laser dentistry, dozens of studies were performed to ensure that it is both safe and effective.
So whether your child has a cavity or needs a frenectomy for a lip or tongue tie, you can rest assured that laser dentistry is an incredibly safe treatment method. In fact, dental lasers have a wide range of benefits, such as reducing the risk of infections, that make them an ideal treatment method for your little one. Here’s a breakdown of the qualities that make dental lasers a safe, effective treatment for your child.
Dental lasers are incredibly precise.
The beam of concentrated light waves that dental lasers produce is extremely small, which plays a role in its accuracy and precision. Another reason lasers are so safe and precise, however, comes down to how they work. Dental lasers target the water molecules in hard or soft tissue, and since decaying tissue contains more water molecules than healthy tissue, lasers only target decaying tissue. As a result, the laser won’t damage healthy parts of your little one’s mouth. Additionally, when Dr. Mo or Dr. G are treating a cavity, they don’t have to remove as much healthy tooth material as they would with a drill. The laser leaves more healthy, natural tooth behind—and that’s always better for your child’s long-term oral health.
Laser dentistry is usually painless.
Since they are made up of a concentrated beam of light, dental lasers cauterize as they cut, sealing off nerve endings—often making the procedure painless. The laser simply feels like a spray of water in your child’s mouth. This lack of pain reduces or eliminates the need for your young one to get the numbing shot they dread so much, making the appointment easier and less stressful for them. It also helps reduce the time you spend in our office because there’s no waiting for the anesthetic shot to kick in enough for Dr. Mo or Dr. G to get started.
Plus, without the lingering numbness that localized anesthetics cause, you won’t have to worry about your child biting the inside of their lip or cheek without realizing it. This lack of pain doesn’t just last during the procedure, either—your child’s teeth or mouth will be sore after the procedure, but they’ll experience less pain than they would with traditional treatment methods using a scalpel or dental drill.
Dental lasers reduce swelling and bleeding.
The ability of dental lasers to cauterize while they cut also reduces the swelling and bleeding that your youngster will experience during and after their treatment. Not only does this make it easier for your child’s pediatric dentist to see what they’re doing during the procedure, but it often eliminates the need for sutures. This further reduces the pain your child will feel during the healing process, and all of these factors work together to minimize your child’s discomfort while they heal.
Dental lasers reduce the risk of infection and encourage faster healing.
Dental lasers target decaying tissue incredibly well, ensuring that all the diseased tissue is destroyed, but they also sterilize while they cut. This greatly reduces the risk of infection during the healing process and allows Dr. Mo or Dr. G to prescribe little to no antibiotics after the procedure. Since the lasers cause less bleeding and swelling, seal the wound immediately without requiring sutures, and lessen the likelihood of infections, they actively encourage your child’s tissues to heal faster. This means that not only will your child experience less pain or discomfort in general, but the discomfort they do feel will last for a shorter period of time.
Laser dentistry gives kids a great experience, even if they need a cavity filled.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors in traditional dental treatments that make them scary for kids, including the numbing shots and the dental tools themselves—after all, dental drills are incredibly loud and create strong vibrating sensations, while scalpels are quite clearly sharp. Dental lasers get around a lot of this because they often don’t require numbing shots and they don’t look very intimidating.
Even hard tissue lasers, which are used to treat cavities, are much less scary to many children because they don’t create a vibrating sensation and are quiet compared to a drill, only making slight popping sounds instead of the grating, grinding sounds of a drill. For many children, this less-intimidating sensory experience paired with the lack of needles makes them much less anxious during the procedure, making it a better experience for everyone involved!
Dental lasers don’t look or behave like the lasers in Star Wars—and that’s probably a good thing! Regardless, they have the potential to transform your child’s experience at the dentist by providing a quick, painless, and less intimidating treatment that also provides concrete health benefits by reducing the risk of complications and promoting faster healing. When you put those qualities together, it becomes clear that dental lasers aren’t just safe—they are actively beneficial for your child’s short- and long-term oral health.