In the United States, the use of lasers on the gums was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the early 1990s, and use on hard tissue like teeth or the bone of the mandible gained approval in 1996.
Several variants of dental laser are in use, with the most common being diode lasers, carbon dioxide lasers, and yttrium aluminium garnet laser. Different lasers use different wavelengths and these mean they are better suited for different applications. For example, diode lasers in the 810–900 nm range are well absorbed by red colored tissues such as the gingivae increasingly being used in place of electrosurgery and standard surgery for soft tissue applications such as tissue contouring and gingivectomy
Use of the dental laser remains limited, with cost and effectiveness being the primary barriers. The cost of a dental laser ranges from $4,000 to $50,000, where a pneumatic dental drill costs between $200 and $500. The lasers are also incapable of performing some routine dental operations.
Dental lasers are not without their benefits, though, as the use of a laser can decrease morbidity after surgery, and reduces the need for anesthetics. Because of the cauterization of tissue there will be little bleeding following soft tissue procedures, and some of the risks of alternative electrosurgery procedures are avoided.
- Lewis, Ph.D., Ricki (January 1995). "Lasers in Dentistry". FDA Consumer Magazine. Archived from the original on 2007-07-13. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
- Boynton Laser Dental (2013), Laser teeth whitening, Laser Dental Boynton, retrieved 21 November 2013
- Gordon, Jerry. "How Cavities and Fillings Work". HowStuffWorks.com. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
|This dentistry article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|