“I need surgery… is laser therapy right for me?”
What is Laser Dentistry and How Can My Dentist Help?
Needing dental surgery can be a cause for anxiety for many people. Even though many dental and surgical techniques have come a long way over the decades, it’s still normal to feel some dread if your dentist recommends a procedure. Fortunately, laser technologies are one of the latest and most effective ways to perform many dental and surgical procedures by your dentist.
Laser dentistry is an innovative type of dental care that can treat numerous dental concerns. Lasers are extremely focused light beams that can efficiently and painlessly alter or remove tissue in small amounts. This is a minimally-invasive option if you’re in need of procedures such as cavity removal, gum surgery, periodontal therapy, biopsies, and soft tissue augmentation. Laser dentistry is extremely versatile and can be used for many different treatments and procedures, reducing discomfort, and offering precise results with little to no pain and faster recovery time.
With laser dentistry, you can enjoy effective, quick results for a variety of different concerns. Dr. Inna Chern offers soft tissue laser dentistry at our New York City dental practice, and we can work with you to create the right treatment plan for you.
Types of Laser Dentistry
Hard Tissue Lasers
This type of laser is primarily used on teeth and bone. The wavelengths used in hard tissue lasers are attracted to the water and calcium phosphate particles found in the teeth. Often, this type is used to shape or prepare teeth for restorative procedures, remove tooth structure, or even repair fillings. Along with this, hard tissue lasers can detect cavities and even kill bacteria in areas of decay, as well as treating tooth sensitivity by sealing the tooth’s root surfaces.
Soft Tissue Lasers
This type of laser is primarily used on gums and oral mucosa of the mouth and cheek. The wavelengths in soft tissue lasers are attracted to melatonin and hemoglobin, which are molecules found in pigmented soft tissue and blood. We utilize the SOL laser which is at the forefront of laser technology. This laser eliminates the need for a scalpel or stitches and promotes faster healing. It is highly effective and often painless, requiring no or minimal local anesthesia. Some common uses for soft tissue lasers include:
- Gum augmentation (gingivectomy)
- Biopsy of diseased tissue
- Excess tissue removal over impacted teeth (operculectomy)
- Treating receding gums and sensitivity
- Treating gum disease and reducing bacteria in periodontal pockets
- Aesthetic gum recontouring
- Relieving tongue-ties and lip-ties (frenectomy)
- Removing cankers and cold sores (aphthous ulcer and herpetic lesions)
“I have been Dr. Chern’s patient for several years now and I have no intention of ever finding another dentist. When you find an amazing dentist, you stick with them. She’s honest, professional, and knows what she’s doing. Her staff is just as amazing.”– David K.
The Laser Dentistry Treatment Process and What to Expect
Your First Appointment (30 minutes)
- Dr. Chern will perform a thorough exam and discuss your treatment goals and what to expect from laser dentistry. We may require x-rays to fully assess your concerns, and we can perform these right in our Manhattan office. Photographs will be taken to document your treatment process.
- Once your treatment plan is created, a follow-up appointment will be made.
Your Second Appointment (30-60 minutes)
- We’ll make sure you feel comfortable and relaxed before we begin. Dr. Chern will apply a topical anesthetic and may administer local anesthesia to the treatment area.
- Protective eyewear will be placed over your vision and SOL laser therapy will be performed. The area will be irrigated with a disinfecting solution and cleaned. Because the laser cauterizes tissue, there is no bleeding post-procedure.
- Postoperative photographs will be taken and Vitamin E will be applied to the area for optimal healing.
- Post-laser instructions will be given and a 1-week follow-up will be scheduled. Most laser procedures heal within 3-7 days and require no pain relievers. Occasionally, over-the-counter NSAIDs can be taken for mild discomfort or for more extensive treatments.
- Any biopsies are sent to a lab for pathology and results usually come back within 10 days. You’ll receive a follow-up from Dr. Chern at this point.
Your Follow-Up Appointment (15 minutes)
Dr. Chern will check how your healing is coming along and take final photographs. This allows you to compare your results and understand your options in the future. You’ll also discuss any future steps you should take to maintain your results and oral health. Then, you’ll be all set to resume full function and enjoy the results of your minimally-invasive laser therapy. If you require a biopsy, you may need further follow-up, so Dr. Chern will discuss what to expect going forward and schedule any needed appointments.
Caring For Your Teeth After SOL Laser Treatment
Follow these care tips for a long-lasting, beautiful smile, and quick and easy recovery:
- Apply Vitamin E or arnica to treated areas
- Rinse with warm salt water
- Eat a healthy, soft diet while the affected area heals (3-7 days)
- See your dentist regularly for a follow-up as required
- Brush your teeth twice daily for 2 minutes with a soft or electric toothbrush
- Floss every day or use a water flosser (Waterpik)
- Always clean between your teeth
What Makes Our Office the Right Fit for Your Dental Needs?
We’ll create a treatment plan for you and your dental needs using our best laser technologies. Dr. Chern can ensure your dental health lasts for the long term with the best laser surgery options for you.
Laser dentistry offers a relaxed and comfortable alternative to surgery, meaning there’s no need to worry. Our calm and bright office offers all the amenities you need to feel at ease before, during, and after your procedure.
Your lifelong oral health is our priority. New York General Dentistry uses modern techniques and technologies to ensure your SOL treatment is a success.
Meet With Dr. Chern &
Our Manhattan Team
Laser dentistry comes with a lot of benefits to your health and emotional wellbeing. To learn more about how our laser technologies can offer alternative treatment options, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chern by calling or filling out our online form.
“One of the most wonderful dentists I have ever been to. Inna is kind, compassionate, and truly cares about her patients. I was always afraid of dentists until I met Inna. Highly recommend her for any dentistry needs – and if you would like your dentist to be your new best friend!”– Abhi G.