Lasers have been used in dentistry since 1994 to treat a number of dental problems. Yet, despite FDA approval, no laser system has received the American Dental Association's (ADA) Seal of Acceptance as an alternative to more traditional treatment. That seal assures dentists that the product or device meets ADA standards of safety and efficacy, among other things. The ADA, however, states that it is cautiously optimistic about the role of laser technology in the field of dentistry. These lasers are different from the cold lasers used in phototherapy for the relief of headaches, pain, and inflammation.
Still, some dentists are using lasers to treat:
All lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. When used for surgical and dental procedures, the laser acts as a cutting instrument or a vaporizer of tissue that it comes in contact with. When used for "curing" a filling, the laser helps to strengthen the bond between the filling and the tooth. When used in teeth-whitening procedures, the laser acts as a heat source and enhances the effect of tooth-bleaching agents.
Compared to the traditional dental drill, lasers:
The disadvantages of lasers are that:
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