If you're a pediatric dentist or a general dentist who treats children, you may be hearing more and more about the personal, professional, and practice-wide benefits of lasers. The current landscape suggests that laser technology is becoming the gold standard in pediatric dentistry. As the range of capabilities for laser devices expands, savvy dentists are catching on to their efficiency and ease-of-use. Beyond that, lasers provide a level of increased patient comfort that makes them ideal for use in pediatric practices.
Dental lasers can play a key role in the treatment and management of multiple pediatric conditions, reducing the need for local anesthetics and greatly reducing bleeding during soft tissue procedures. Evidence even suggests that light energy at the appropriate wavelength and power density has the ability to enhance healing. Laser soft tissue applications include maxillary and lingual frenotomies, frenectomies, operculectomies, exposure of teeth for ortho, gingival contouring, gingivectomies, removal of mucosal lesions, biopsies, and treatment of aphthous ulcers and herpetic lesions.
When it comes to working with hard tissue, lasers can remove caries effectively with minimal involvement of healthy tooth structure. Hard tissue and all-tissue lasers are used successfully for removal of caries and preparation of teeth for restorative procedures in pediatric settings. They’re also used for sealants, indirect and direct pulp capping, pulpotomy, and root canal disinfection.
In addition, lasers eliminate the vibrating effects of the traditional drill, creating a more comfortable and less scary dental chair experience. Getting rid of that loud chatter and vibration removes much of the discomfort and anxiety experienced by your patients — whether they’re children or adults.
Quality lasers are affordable because of their expanded capabilities. You benefit from less stress, less burnout, less fatigue, and more fun doing that thing you do, and your patient benefits from a less invasive and more gentle experience.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recognizes the judicious use of lasers as a beneficial instrument in providing dental restorative and soft tissue procedures for infants, children, and adolescents, including those with special health care needs.
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