People who have had braces in the past are all too familiar with the discomfort with adjustments. To move the teeth, pressure must be exerted, and this is usually accomplished by adding elastics or tightening wires. Since the age of braces patients is steadily becoming younger, orthodontists are interested in finding ways to minimize their discomfort and make their treatment faster and more effective.
Orthodontist Joseph Kunnel, DDS of Skokie, Illinois, shares the importance of a newer technique called laser-activated orthodontics, naming how it enhances orthodontic treatment.
What is Laser-Activated Orthodontics?
Laser-activated orthodontics refers to several minimally invasive procedures that help dentists care for the teeth and gums of a patient undergoing treatment. In laser-activated orthodontics, a gentle laser is used to excise tissue, break it down, and perform other procedures.
How Does it Work?
Typically, diode lasers are used in laser-assisted orthodontics. Diode lasers are cut with a hot tip and do not interact with healthy teeth. Contact cutting enables orthodontists to see the site of their procedure without excess bleeding that can get in the way.
What are its Benefits?
Following are seven major benefits of using lasers in orthodontic treatment:
1. Easier Access
Children and young people who have braces are likely to fall into poor oral care habits due to difficulty accessing teeth and gums. Lasers can help clean up the areas that children are having difficulty with and provide a healthier appearance and protect against tooth decay and infection.
2. Easy Bracket Debonding
The removal of orthodontic brackets can be uncomfortable for patients. Lasers can help to remove the bracket and make the process easier for the patient and orthodontist.
3. Quicker Healing
Lasers produce quicker healing than traditional methods like cutting the gums with a scalpel. The laser cauterizes tissue as it goes, so there are few wounds to heal after the treatment has been completed. Patients who have received laser-activated orthodontic treatments are more likely to report an easier recovery from their procedures.
4. Precise Tooth Positioning
Sometimes connective tissue can get in the way of the proper placement of teeth during orthodontic treatment. Lasers can ablate these tissues and make the teeth move into the desired area for an ideal result when treatment is completed.
5. Tissue Removal
Poor hygiene among patients with braces can also lead to gum tissue growing over the teeth. This means that the line of the gums is not aesthetically pleasing to the patient, parent, and orthodontist. Laser therapy can help to smooth out the gum line and make the teeth appear more regular and even.
Lasers make it easy to remove this tissue and keep the procedure from being long and arduous. This helps keep patients more comfortable and lessens discomfort during orthodontic treatment.
6. Reduction in Discomfort
Lasers can be used to break down the tissue around the areas where the braces will be tightened. This means less discomfort for the patient.
Lasers can also be used for dental analgesia. Laser beams help stabilize the nerves and decrease the pain transmitted to the patient’s brain. In most cases, the patient can be numbed before the laser treatment with just a topical anesthetic and no needles. This is especially helpful for pediatric patients.
7. Fewer Infections
Since the laser disinfects as it treats, it is much less likely that patients will experience infections.
Potential Risk Factors
Laser-activated orthodontics are generally safe, but there are a few risk factors that patients and their parents should know about.
Patients and orthodontists must wear special eyewear to prevent damage to their eyes. If a young patient cannot keep the eyewear on, they are not recommended to receive laser treatment.
The laser could damage tissue around the teeth, but typically, this damage heals easily. Further treatment may be necessary.
Rarely, laser treatment can disrupt large blood vessels. This can happen under the tongue as well as in other areas. This may result in the need for other medical treatment.
Taking Advantage of Laser Treatment
When patients and their parents look for safe, effective, and efficient orthodontic treatment, they should consider going to a practitioner like Joseph Kunnel, DDS, who uses lasers in their work. Laser treatment has a host of benefits for a patient’s successful outcome, but the risk factors should also be considered before deciding to receive treatment. Patients should be assured that the risks of laser treatment for orthodontia are frequently fewer than those associated with traditional treatment.
Lasers make treatment easier and reduce discomfort. They can visually enhance the look of teeth and gums and address important areas of dental hygiene. Orthodontists like Joseph Kunnel, DDS can help you or your child achieve a beautiful, healthy smile.
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