Soft Tissue Laser
Diode Lasers are dentistry’s most user-friendly soft tissue lasers to date. It is generally used for destruction of cold sores on lips and in mouth, gum shaping, periodontal disease treatment, sensitive roots. There is less chance of infection, and some soft tissue procedures around the gums can be completed without anesthesia.The laser also promotes healing for infected and irritated tissues. Since there is a favorable response to laser treatment, the resultant healing is less complicated and often shorter when compared to traditional techniques. In many cases, the laser can also be used to treat deep gingival pockets that harbor bacteria and cause gum disease. An additional benefit of dental diode laser technology is its ability to reduce the pain and longevity of cold sores and fever blisters.
The term laser stands for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation", which means a device that produces and amplifies light. The wavelength of the light produced will determine what types of tissues can be modified by the light’s energy. Light waves that emanate from within the visible and near-infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum will be readily absorbed into body pigments like melanin in the skin, and heme found within hemoglobin in blood.
This laser light is focused into a very small thread of light and directed into a fiber-optic which carries it to the target tissue. The resultant photo-thermal reaction results in vaporization at the cellular level.
The laser creates an intense beam of light energy that moves through a fiber optic cord. When it enters the targeted tissue, the energy is converted into heat as a result of the tissue’s pigmentation. A photo-thermal reaction occurs that results in a much localized thermal effect causing vaporization (or ablation) of this targeted tissue, with “very little collateral tissue damage.”
In the continuous mode, the laser energy is on continuously while the laser is activated. In this mode, the laser is faster and more efficient when used by experienced laser dentists. In the pulsed mode, the energy flow is interrupted by an electrical or mechanical shutter system. The pulsed mode is less aggressive and allows some tissue cooling between pulses. Selection of the mode used is up to the discretion of the operator, but care must be taken when moving from the pulsed mode with higher set powers to a continuous wave mode. Operators must adjust the power downward when switching to the continuous wave mode.
The primary use of a soft-tissue laser is the modification or removal of intra-oral soft tissue. The photo-thermal effects of the laser’s energy allow the operator to modify tissues and control hemostasis at the same time by coagulation. The post-operative response of the laser care will usually produce a cleaner and healthier surgical site with less discomfort when compared to alternative methods of surgery. Soft tissue lasers enable minor surgical procedures and decontaminate the area at the same time.