In this newsletter, I would like to discuss lasers, not from a technical point of view, but strictly from a clinical perspective.
Lasers in dentistry today are used both to remove tooth structure and to treat periodontal disease. I use two types of lasers, one “hot” and one “cold”.
The hot laser is used for minor surgical procedures such as removing a fibroma in the lip or for removing excess gingival (gum) tissue. I also use it to remove gingival tissue when preparing teeth for crowns in order to get a perfect impression. If you pull your lips outward, and look in a mirror, you will see the frenum – the taut tissue between your cheek and gum tissue in the area of your front and side teeth. Often the pull of this tissue will cause gum recession. Surgically correcting this problem used to involve at lot of post-operative pain. With the laser there is virtually no pain. Soft tissue procedures using the laser can often be done with only topical anesthetic.
I can also use the laser to clean out periodontal pockets. When treated with the laser in a series of visits, the pocket will often resolve, with new bone being formed.
Because the laser seals nerve endings and blood vessels, post-op pain and bleeding is minimal. This is why it is also helpful in diminishing the pain of herpetic ulcers. An additional advantage over the traditional scalpel is that sutures are not needed.
I use the cold laser on the roots of sensitive teeth, over the temporomandibular joint, after surgery on sinus and lymph points, and essentially anywhere inflammation is a problem or where I want to aid healing.
Cold lasers promote healing because they increase collagen production, increase vasodilation, increase cell metabolism, reduce edema, and increase tissue and bone repair.
The cold laser I use is a low powered one, in the milliwatt range. My son, Dr. Adam Breiner, has a more powerful 7 watt cold laser. It is FDA cleared. I have seen his laser give remarkable results. A patient had a severely sprained ankle and was worried that she would not be able to take her grandchild on a trip to Disneyworld 4 days later. After two laser treatments, she was fine and able to do all the walking her Disney trip required. Another patient had a bursa on the elbow the size of a golf ball. Laser treatment healed this in a short time. Patients with arthritis are amazed at the relief they feel. A friend of ours was scheduled for carpel tunnel surgery. She used the laser a few times and cancelled the surgery. Over the last two and one half years she has remained pain free with just a few “tune-ups”.
With the use of ozone, homeopathics, lasers and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, surgery for cavitations will probably be necessary in a very small percentage of cases.
Below are just some of the conditions that studies around the world have shown to be helped by laser treatment:
Diabetic ulcers and neuropathy
Soft tissue wounds in general
I think you can see why I am so excited about lasers. I believe that lasers are going to be a big part of medicine and dentistry in the future.
[For the health care practitioners interested in the high power laser, call or mail me and I can give you the contact information of the company.]
© 2009, Mark A. Breiner, DDS
The information presented is for educational purposes only. You should consult a qualified health practitioner for diagnosis and treatment.