Written by Charlotte Wood (last updated April 20, 2009)
When I was growing up, going to the dentist was a simple (yet often feared) activity that involved opening my mouth wider than I thought it could go, trying to maneuver my tongue away from the motorized toothbrush so I wouldn't have to taste the nasty, gritty toothpaste, and hoping that the dentist didn't accidentally poke the side of my cheek with that scary, pointy thing he stuck in my molars. For the most part, my dentist experience hasn't changed since I've grown up; however, dentistry isn't limited in its methods and procedures anymore. There is something called laser dentistry that is making huge leaps in the realm of oral hygiene. If you're interested in laser dentistry, then read on and decide if laser dentistry is for you.
Laser dentistry isn't mainstream yet and is still in some developmental stages. One of the aims and potential outcomes of laser dentistry is to minimize your pain and recovery time, making it so that semiannual trip to the dentist isn't so dreaded. Laser dentistry is more effective and precise than other dentistry methods; it provides a more comfortable experience, and while laser dentistry may be more expensive, the increased comfort may be worth it. Lasers have the ability to focus on a very specific area without affecting the surrounding areas: this works well with dentistry for the simple fact that if the dentist can better localize his or her procedures, then the effect on the patient will be minimal.
Some of benefits associated with laser dentistry include no need for stitches, lesser need for anesthesia, less bleeding because of increased clotting, faster healing wounds, less damage to surrounding tissue, and less of a chance of bacterial infections. These are all great benefits and can really appeal to those seeking a better dentistry experience. Using laser technology, dentists can address problems like gummy smiles, the detection of cavities, cold sores, dental fillings, tooth sensitivity, and teeth whitening. With laser technology, the realm of dentistry is greatly expanded, allowing dentists to be more effective at treating patients. And the best part of this all is that the comfort of the patient is maximized!
While laser dentistry does sound great, I'll say again that it isn't mainstream quite yet. Not many dentists employ laser technology in their practices; but give it a few more years, and I'm sure laser technology in dentistry will be more widespread. If you think that laser dentistry might be right for you, do some research around your local dentist offices and see who offers laser dentistry. You'll also want to check on prices and insurance to make sure you can afford laser dentistry. It's not exactly cheap, so make sure that laser treatments are in your budget. If you find that you can invest in laser dentistry, then count yourself among the few who are pioneering the way! Enjoy the new dentist experience!
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