Laser Dentistry to Treat Root Cavities Related to Gum Recession
Laser dentistry involves the use of lasers for a wide range of dental procedures, including root canals. Lasers are supplementing and, in some cases, even replacing drills as well as other traditional tools for certain procedures. Many teeth are treated and saved annually with root canal treatment. This is usually necessary when the dental pulp becomes infected and/or inflamed. Read on to find out how you can benefit from laser-assisted root canal therapy.
Laser dentistry and root canal treatment
Laser therapy uses light beams to modify or remove hard and soft tissues in the mouth. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of particular lasers as a supplement in root canal procedures. Lasers produce an intense beam of light energy. Its properties can interact with biologic tissues. Laser dentistry is being used to assist in root canal procedures.
The cementum is the thin layer that covers roots that is much softer than enamel. Root cementum does not offer the same protection level that enamel does from decay-causing acids as well as erosive acids in the diet. Gum tissue usually covers and protects tooth roots but this is not always the case. Many individuals, especially seniors, experience receding gums. This is when the pink, smooth tissue surrounding the roots of the tooth is positioned lower down the roots. This ends up exposing parts of the surfaces of the root.
Some common causes of gum recession include poor tooth position, aggressive tooth brushing and gum disease and the related bone loss. Exposed tooth roots can be a cosmetic problem. More importantly, root exposure can also become a health issue. This is when the unprotected root surface eventually develops a hole (cavity) that can worsen in a short time period.
Cavities can form when acids in a person’s mouth begin to dissolve or demineralize the tooth structure. As a cavity forms, the bacteria usually move further inside a person’s tooth. This leads to more rapid demineralization. If an individual does not seek treatment, the decay can end up spreading all the way into the inner pulp tissue of the tooth. If this happens, a person will most likely need a root canal treatment. Another option may be the extraction of the tooth.
Laser-assisted root canal therapy
Lasers are now used by some dental practitioners to access the root canal and help remove diseased tissue. Laser technology also helps to clean, disinfect and shape the canal and then fill it. In some cases, the use of lasers can be more beneficial in assisting in root canal disinfection than in root canal preparation. They can remove the dental pulp as well as organic debris and even modify the dentinal walls of the root canals. After preparation is complete and the root canal is sealed, the laser can be used not only to soften but also to mold the sealant for the root canal system.
You can benefit from laser dentistry when it comes to root canal treatment. Lasers can be used to target bacteria as well as the infected material with more accuracy. At times, lasers preserve more of the healthy tooth structure. In many cases, the use of lasers limits the need for local anesthesia. Laser technology also minimizes bleeding during root canal procedures and reduces post-operative discomfort and infection.
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