Laser treatment for tooth decay is a new treatment method for tackling tooth decay and preparing the tooth for filling. This treatment is preferred over the usual drilling as it does not vibrate and is practically painless so the patient does not require anesthesia.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two dental laser systems and they are available with selected dentists in the United States.
The laser used in this method of treatment removes the decayed portion of the tooth much faster compared to a drill. In addition, when removing the decayed part of the tooth the damage to the healthy structure of the tooth is minimum which usually is not the case with drilling.
Laser treatment for tooth decay is also safe for the patient. There is no risk of the dentist accidentally injuring the patient's lip, tongue or cheek. Also, early evidence suggests that the laser used in this therapy actually helps to harden the surface of the tooth while killing the decay-causing bacteria. This helps in making the tooth more resistant to decay. Now with this method of treatment, dentists can use laser to ensure that white filling and sealants stick much tighter to the tooth and this helps in ensuring that the filling lasts longer.
The best part about laser therapy for tooth decay is that no anesthetic shots are required. Therefore, the entire cleaning and filling process happens much faster and more teeth can be filled simultaneously. Procedures like root canal have minimal swelling bleeding and pain. In addition, the risk of infection is practically nil.
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