A dental laser is a type of laser designed specifically for use in oral surgery or dentistry.
In the United States, the use of lasers on the gums was first approved by the FDA 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 lasers are in use with different wave lengths and these mean they are better suited for different applications.
A-Soft tissue lasers
-Carbon dioxide lasers
-Nd : YAG laser
B-Hard and Soft Tissue lasers
-Er : YAG laser
-Er. cr : YSGG laser
– Diode lasers wave lengths in the 810-1.100mm range are poorly absorbed by the soft tissues such as gingiva, and cannot be used for soft tissue cutting or ablation.
The distal end of diode’s glass fiber is charred (by burned ink or by burned corkwood, etc.) and the char is heated by the 810-1.100mm laser beam, which is turn heats up the glass fiber tip. The soft tissue is cut, on contact by the hot charred glass tip and not by the laser beam.
– Nd: YAG lasers are used for soft tissue surgeries in the oral cavity, such as gingivectomy, periodontal sulcular debridement, LANAP, frenectomy, biopsy, and coagulation of graft donor sites. The Nd: YAG laser wave length are partially absorbed by pigments in the tissue such as hemoglobin and melanin. These laser are often used for debridement and disinfection of periodontal pockets. Their coagulative ability to form fibrin allows them to seal treated pockets.
– The Co2 laser remains the best surgical laser for the soft tissue where both cutting and hemostasis is achieved photo- thermally.
– Erbium lasers are both hard and soft tissue capable. They can be used for a host of dental procedures, and allow for more procedures to be done without local anesthesia. Erbium lasers can be used for hard tissue procedures like bone cutting and create minimal thermal and mechanical trauma to adjacent tissues. These hard tissue procedures show an excellent healing response. Soft tissue applications with erbium lasers feature less hemostasis and coagulation abilities relative to the Co2 lasers.
– Er, cr: YSGG laser was found to be effective in gum depigmentation.
However, the Laser diode gained more popularity due to its versatility, less interaction with hard tissue, ease of use, and the less expensive set up.
The addition of diode laser treatment to scaling and root planning (SRP) will produce significantly improved results. After (SRP), the diode laser is used on the soft tissue side of the periodontal pocket to remove the inflamed soft tissue and reduce the pathogens. This improvement in gingival health remains more stable than with conventional SRP treatment alone and tends to last longer.