Lasers have important uses in dentistry. They can be used to treat gum disease, shape gum tissue, treat tooth sensitivity, whiten teeth, remove small oral growths, and treat cavities. If you have a dental phobia, laser dentistry could be the solution for getting the dental care you need when you have a fear of needles or a dental drill. Here's how laser dentistry is used to treat cavities and why you may want a laser filling when you have dental anxiety.
How Laser Dentistry Helps Dental Anxiety
If you have dental anxiety and only go to the dentist when you have severe pain, your teeth may be in bad shape due to lack of proper treatment. That only leads to more pain and a more urgent need for dental care. A dental phobia or anxiety can cause you pain and suffering with multiple toothaches over the years when you're afraid to go to the dentist. Three big fears associated with dental work are fear of needles, fear of the drill, and fear of pain.
You don't necessarily need an anesthetic shot when you have a laser filling done. You'll feel the sensations of the dentist working on your tooth, but you probably won't have much pain during the procedure. However, if one of your fears is dental pain, you may prefer a shot for your peace of mind. When you have a laser filling, there's no need for a dental drill. If you've had a bad dental experience in the past, the mere sound of a dental drill can cause intense anxiety. The laser makes a different sound, so you don't have to worry about drill noise making you anxious.
A fear of pain is harder to overcome since you may worry during the treatment that you'll feel pain at some point. Talk to your dentist about ways around this fear, such as using nitrous oxide to calm you. Once you've had a laser filling, you'll know what to expect, and when you realize you can avoid a needle, drill, and pain, you may not be so reluctant to see your dentist — and that can encourage you to get the dental treatments you need going forward.
How Laser Dentistry Is Used To Treat Cavities
First, your dentist has to determine if a laser is appropriate for your case. There are some types of cavities that are better left to the traditional method of drilling and filling. However, many cavities, especially those found early while they're small, can be filled with a laser.
The dentist uses the laser on the decayed area to heat up the water inside your tooth. This action causes the decay to come to the surface where it can be removed. Water or air is used on your tooth at the same time to keep your tooth hydrated and cool. The laser is able to remove the decay and infection without having to remove the healthy enamel.
Once the decay is removed, a filling is put in the hole, and the procedure is complete. Since you don't need an anesthetic, you won't have numbness to deal with after your treatment, and you'll be able to drink and eat without worry of accidentally biting yourself.
Laser dentistry can change the way you feel about going to the dentist and having dental work done. You may be more inclined to have regular dental visits so you can catch cavities when they're small and easy to repair in a painless way with a laser.