The Future of Dentistry

As lasers make their way into your dentist's office, the future of health care continues to evolve.

As lasers make their way into your dentist’s office, the future of health care continues to evolve.

As a sponsor of the Phoenix Business Journal’s Healthcare of the Future event, Delta Dental of Arizona recognizes that healthcare is becoming more innovative as a result of new technologies. Not so surprisingly, dental offices are also in on the game. With the use of lasers and other new equipment and materials, dentists are carving out their own door to the future.

Here are just a few of the ways lasers are changing how dentists work.

Bacteria Reduction
Some dental offices use lasers to reduce the amount of bacteria in periodontal pockets – those are the unusually large spaces between gums and teeth – with a procedure often called “pocket sterilization.” However, the American Academy of Periodontology states that current evidence shows that lasers are unpredictable and inconsistent in their ability to reduce microbial loads beyond those achieved by scaling and root planning alone. Keep in mind that Delta Dental does not cover the laser procedure.

Decay Detection
Tooth decay in the very early stages – when it hasn’t destroyed much of the tooth structure or reached the outer layer of the tooth – can be difficult for a dentist to detect, unless he or she is working with a device that uses a red laser to find decay. By measuring the way the laser light reflects back, dentists have a better idea of what’s going on within the tooth. This enables dentists to catch decay earlier and try to reverse it with fluoride or cover it with a sealant before there is serious damage. Experts caution that there are limitations: It doesn’t work on teeth that already have fillings, and there can be false positives where the laser says there is decay but there really isn’t. At this point, the procedure offers a second opinion to the dentist’s standard exam and clinical judgment. Bonus: It’s pain-free.

Decay Removal
Certain lasers can be used to get rid of decay within a tooth and help prepare the tooth for the filling. Plus, if you are getting a tooth-colored (composite) filling, once the filling material is in place, lasers help some composite fillings “cure” that means harden.

Whitening (sort of)
People often refer to light-accelerated tooth whitening as “laser” whitening. That’s a misnomer, however, since no lasers are actually involved. What really happens is that a dentist applies a hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide solution to the teeth, and then points a whitening accelerator light at the gel-covered teeth. Several applications can brighten teeth by up to 12 shades in under an hour.

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3 Responses to “The Future of Dentistry”

  1. Michael Leoson
    01/03/2014 at 2:43 am #

    Hey, you have written well. We believe your dental health do not affect only your physical health but also your well-being. You can visit my family dentist site at Drindah.com or call 408.730.8777.

  2. kkshyabiswas
    01/07/2014 at 8:00 am #

    If your teeth and dentalhygiene are not healthy and in good condition it is not recommended to use any of the best whitening toothpaste products.
    Always check with your dentist if you are unsure. While whitening toothpastes are great to brighten up your smile,
    to keep it that way you must maintain consistent and proper brushing habits.
    This in fact is as important if not more important than the toothpaste itself.

    • Leah Martinez →
      02/03/2014 at 1:45 pm #

      Thank you for your comment. It is always best to consult with a dentist before whitening your teeth.

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