Is your children’s dentist their new action hero?

Lasers can be endlessly fascinating for kids — from their favorite movies to laser tag.  While lasers have been used by some dentists for more than 20 years, they are becoming an increasingly popular choice for making dental visits more pleasant — and cooler — for children (and their parents).

 

How does laser dentistry work?

The dental tool produces a laser beam, which delivers energy in the form of light. That light is aimed at a target like a tooth or soft tissue such as the tongue, gums, lips and cheeks. Depending on the procedure, the laser can cut, reshape or even remove the target.

Lasers can reduce or eliminate the need for traditional drilling and sometimes eliminate the need for a numbing shot. As a result, lasers can make for easier, more comfortable dental visits, especially for children.

 

When are lasers used for children?

Laser dentistry is used to treat a number of conditions in both adults and children. Lasers can sometimes be used in helping detect, prevent and treat cavities in children. For instance, tooth decay can be discovered based on the amount of light the tooth reflects. Additionally, lasers can be used on children to:

  • Help expose teeth that have been unable to break through the gums
  • Perform a frenectomy, which removes tissue that is causing feeding problems for infants
  • Remove diseased or damaged pulp tissue from a tooth to protect healthy tissue


What are the advantages of lasers for children? 

Lasers aren’t appropriate for all dental procedures, but their use can make some dental visits much more positive due to:

  • Less pain, which results in a reduced need for anesthesia, needles and uncomfortable numbness
  • No heat or vibration and little noise compared to a traditional drill
  • Minimal soreness, bleeding and inflammation
  • Decreased need for stitches on soft tissues because the accuracy of the laser protects surrounding tissues
  • Increased cooperation from children because treatment is less invasive and doesn’t involve contact with dental tools

 

Talk to your dentist to see if lasers are used in their practice and if laser dentistry is right for your children. Then make sure to talk to your children about their upcoming adventure with lasers at the dental office.