Thursday, March 28 2024 11:33

Laser Dentistry

Written by Dr. Sherly Alex, Main Line Dental Group

New techniques for pain-free and aesthetic dentistry

Laser dentistry is leading the way in a new era of dental care, providing patients with a high level of comfort and aesthetic improvement. This groundbreaking technique has changed the way dentistry is done, providing a safe and effective option for improving smiles without the pain associated with some traditional treatments. Laser dentistry provides a comforting option for those who are afraid of or anxious about dental procedures by using techniques that are gentle and don’t require invasive measures.

Recently, laser dentistry has become increasingly popular because of its impressive results and wide range of advantages. These benefits include improving the appearance of teeth and treating a variety of dental issues. Laser dentistry uses lasers to reshape, drill and treat many dental problems.

The two main types of laser dentistry — using hard tissue lasers and soft tissue lasers — differ primarily in the type of light they use.

Hard Tissue Lasers

Hard tissue lasers have a strong attraction to hydroxyapatite, a material in found in both bones and teeth. This makes these lasers highly effective at cutting through tough tissues, like teeth, with great precision.

These lasers are extremely useful for such purposes as preventing tooth decay, removing and repairing dental fillings, preparing cavities and whitening teeth. Lasers are also useful for diagnosis and for accomplishing tasks such as sealing tubules on the roots of teeth to reduce sensitivity to heat and cold.

Laser technology helps dentists find cavities early, even those you can’t normally see. This means your dentist can treat the cavities quickly and early, before they get worse. Laser dentistry also makes getting fillings a much easier and a less anxiety-causing experience because the process is almost painless and doesn’t cause as much sound, vibration, pressure or heat as traditional methods.

With lasers, dentists can easily and permanently get rid of cavities caused by bacteria without needing to drill or use numbing shots as in traditional dentistry — more benefits of laser technology for dental care.

Soft Tissue Lasers

In contrast, soft tissue lasers are different tools that emit wavelengths that are easily absorbed by water and hemoglobin. These lasers are effective at targeting soft tissue, such as gums, and can seal nerves and blood vessels while cutting, which helps minimize pain and bleeding. Some patients report feeling no discomfort after surgery.

Soft tissue lasers have various uses, including promoting wound healing, reshaping gums for certain surgeries, fixing issues with dentures, performing frenectomies (treating restricted tongues, often found in children or infants), uncovering teeth that haven’t fully erupted, using photodynamic therapy (PDT) for oral cancer lesions, and photo-stimulation of oral herpes (HPV) lesions.

Laser Teeth Whitening

Many dental patients may be aware of laser dentistry for teeth whitening. This highly effective technique removes stubborn stains from teeth by breaking up stained particles and flushing them out. Despite their seemingly solid appearance, teeth are actually porous, like a sponge, making them susceptible to staining over time, especially from dark-colored foods and drinks.

The laser teeth whitening process begins with a thorough cleaning to remove plaque buildup. Next, a potent hydrogen peroxide gel is applied to the teeth, where it sits for a few minutes. This powerful gel works to combat stains while providing an intensive cleaning. During this time, a laser beam is directed at the teeth to activate and amplify the whitening properties of the gel, significantly expediting whitening compared to traditional methods.

Typically completed in about an hour, the procedure delivers excellent results, leaving patients with noticeably whiter teeth. Laser teeth whitening offers a quick and efficient way to achieve a brighter smile, making it a popular choice for those who want immediate and dramatic improvements.


Using lasers in dental care has greatly improved how treatments work, making them faster, more precise, easier and less expensive, while also making patients more comfortable. Whether laser dentistry is right for you, though, depends on your unique situation. It’s important for your dentist to carefully assess your needs to decide if laser dentistry is the best choice for you.

Dr. Sherly Alex, a graduate of New York University College of Dentistry, has focused on the field of general and family dentistry. With extensive experience in oral sedation, cosmetic dentistry, implant dentistry, endodontics and Invisalign orthodontics, she offers comprehensive care tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Her approach of compassionate one-on-one care and her commitment to preventive dental practices results in positive patient outcomes. More at