June 20, 2012
Laser use in dentistry is on the rise. Depending on the laser in use, one can perform a range of procedures from periodontal therapy to oral surgery. We are excited at New Image Dentistry to soon be able to offer the use of laser medicine to treat periodontal disease. This cutting edge technology can be used in addition to non-surgical periodontal therapy like scaling/root planing, irrigation, and placing antibiotic microspheres like Arestin.
Lasers kill bacteria; since periodontal disease is a bacterial infection we can use lasers to kill the “bad” pathogens without affecting the surrounding healthy tooth structures. The “bad” pathogens secrete toxins that break down the periodontal tissue and lead to bone loss. After a complete periodontal examination and full mouth series of x-rays, the dentist and hygienist can determine what treatment is best for each patient.
If periodontal treatment is recommended it will usually consist of scaling and root planing, irrigating the pockets with an antimicrobial rinse and placing an antibiotic called Arestin. About 2 weeks after the initial treatment, the hygienist can use a laser to perform “laser pocket decontamination”. This decontamination should be done three times with 7-10 days in between each treatment. The hygienist uses the laser on a low setting on the outside of the periodontal pocket first and then on the inside to create a bigger kill zone of bacteria. Laser technology may revolutionize how we practice dentistry and approach periodontal disease.