How does laser dentistry minimize pain and discomfort during treatment?

How does laser dentistry minimize pain and discomfort during treatment?

Oct 05, 2023

Lasers provide cutting-edge dental care with less drilling, often faster procedures, and improved patient comfort. However, some mild discomfort may occur when receiving laser dentistry. Knowing what to expect and how to minimize soreness makes procedures go smoothly.

How Do Lasers Work in Dentistry?

Dental lasers use focused light energy to remove or shape oral tissues gently. Common uses include:

  • Cavity detection
  • Removing decay
  • “Drilling” without noisy drills
  • Reducing gum disease
  • Whitening teeth
  • Removing growths
  • Cold sore treatment

Lasers allow minimally invasive approaches to many dental procedures. Patients often report enhanced comfort compared to conventional methods.

Why Could Lasers Cause Discomfort?

Laser energy applied to oral tissues may cause temporary:

  • Heat sensitivity from warming of the tooth
  • Tingling or stinging as laser light contacts an area
  • Tooth sensitivity as outer enamel layers get removed
  • Gum soreness after treatment of gum infection

However, most patients tolerate laser procedures very well, with only minor discomfort compared to traditional high-speed drilling.

Tips to Minimize Laser Discomfort

Your dentist in Wall Township wants you to be as comfortable as possible during laser procedures. Strategies to help include:

  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers before laser treatment
  • Asking your dentist to adjust power settings if heat or stinging causes pain
  • Using a breathable numbing gel on gums during tissue ablation
  • Avoiding hot and cold foods/drinks after laser cavity prep
  • Keeping up good oral hygiene to prevent infection in laser-treated areas
  • Reporting any unusual or severe pain not relieved by OTC meds

Your dentist can also apply a fluoride varnish after laser use to quickly minimize temperature sensitivity.

What Causes Post-Laser Sensitivity?

You may notice some lingering sensitivity for a few days after laser treatment. This is normal as your mouth adjusts.
Causes include:

  • Removal of enamel exposing underlying dentin tubules
  • Microfractures or minute air pockets on the lasered tooth surface
  • Inflammation around the lasered gum tissue
  • A new “opening” made between teeth to remove decay

Proper oral care and desensitizing toothpaste relieve post-op sensitivity. Call your dentist if discomfort persists beyond one week.

Is Laser Treatment Less Painful?

Most patients do experience a comfortable, vibration-free alternative with dental lasers. The heat emitted has a therapeutic, analgesic effect on nerves to decrease pain signaling.

However, comfort levels can vary based on:

  • The laser used
  • Treatment location and depth
  • Your pain tolerance

Talk to your dentist about options like air abrasion if lasers prove unsatisfactory for your needs.

Professional Tips to Reduce Discomfort

Your dentist has various ways to optimize your comfort during laser procedures:

  • Pre-treatment anesthesia or sedation
  • Applying desensitizing medication
  • Adjusting the energy level and pulse of the laser
  • Using a small diameter tip to concentrate energy
  • Offering post-op pain medication as needed

Speak up about any discomfort so the dentist can make adjustments right away. Don’t hesitate to request a break if needed.

Is Laser Treatment Worth It?

Most patients are thrilled with laser dentistry once they get accustomed to the unique sensation. The precision, efficiency, and comfort beat traditional methods.

Working with an experienced dentist at a laser dental office like Susan J. Curley, DDS, maximizes the benefits while controlling temporary effects like sensitivity. Most find lasers highly tolerable, especially considering the inferior alternatives.

Give laser dentistry near you a chance to enjoy the advantages under your dentist’s supervision. Follow their advice for managing discomfort to keep your experience smooth and positive.

How Do Lasers Compare to Dental Drills?

Lasers have key benefits compared to noisy high-speed drills, including:

  • Little to no vibration or pressure
  • Less heat generation
  • Improved visibility of the surgical site
  • Reduced need for anesthetic shots
  • Increased patient comfort and relaxation

While everyone responds uniquely, most patients find lasers preferable to traditional drilling for cavity preps and other procedures. Lasers represent a true breakthrough in comfortable, modern dentistry.

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