Smiles By Payet is your Home for Charlotte Laser Dentistry!
“Laser dentistry” seems pretty straightforward – a dentist using a laser to fix problems, right? And all you need to do is to find a dentist with a laser, and voila! You get all your dental work done with a laser, nothing hurts, and it’s unbelievably cool. However, it’s not quite that simple! As the saying goes, “Well, there are lasers, and then there are LASERS!” 😀
The Periolase and the Lightwalker
In our Charlotte dental office, we use 2 different lasers. Why is that, you ask? Great question! And the answer is simple: Because each laser does different things better. Don’t worry, though, I won’t bore you with laser physics! I’ll just tell you what each does, and please trust me on the physics part. 🙂
The simplest generalization, though, is that we use the Periolase to perform LANAPTM, aka Laser Periodontal Therapy, because it works best on soft tissues like your gums. And the Lightwalker Erbium laser is what we use for our No-Shot, No-Drill Dental Work, and PIPS – Laser Root Canals. because it works best on hard-tissues like enamel. Bear in mind, though, both of them can work on everything, but each does certain things best, so we stick to that.
Laser Dentistry in Charlotte NC
For more information specifically about Laser Periodontal Therapy for Gum Disease, please visit that page. This page will give you more information about the Lightwalker Hard-Tissue Laser.
Laser Dentistry is AWESOME!
OK, I know that sounds a little geeky, and yes, I’m a geeky dentist (with a great sense of humor, if I do say so myself 😎 ), but I’m totally serious – I LOVE THIS THING! Why? Oh, several reasons:
- You might not believe me, but I hate giving shots as much as you hate getting them. If the laser means no shots, we’re both happy!
- Again, you might not believe me, but all of us hate the sound of the drill, too! Actually, we probably hate it more, because we have to listen to it all day, 4-5 days per week.
- So if we don’t need to give you a shot, and none of use have to listen to the drill, that’s what I call a WIN-WIN! But there’s more……
- Because the laser is basically (non-technical terms here, hopefully no physicists will call me to task on terms) evaporating the tooth structure, there’s no dust or debris or “tooth smoke.” The tooth stays clean while I”m working on it, which means I can see better and keep working steadily.
- It’s easier to adjust the settings on the laser (higher or lower power) than to switch drill bits, so it saves time.
But more than anything, it’s just such a cool experience for our patients, and to me, that’s what it’s all about. Yes, the technology is great, but what really matters is making every patient visit better. Nobody likes the drill or the shot…..and with the Lightwalker, that’s what we do!
Does This Dental Laser Work For Everything?
Well, not quite. So here’s the skinny on what we can and can’t do with the Lightwalker:
What We CAN Do with the Lightwalker Dental Laser:
- Remove bonded porcelain crowns, veneers, and even bridges with the laser.
- Remove tooth-colored fillings super-fast and easily.
- Shape teeth for fillings, onlays, and even crowns; we just need the drill to do some final smoothing and polishing.
- Some cosmetic gum surgeries that require changing the shape or amount of bone around the teeth
- Remove excess gum tissue over implants
- Remove excess gum tissue that grew up around braces (this is super-cool!)
- Laser root canal therapy with PIPS
- Some other really cool advanced stuff that will have to wait for me to get more advanced training. 🙂
What We CAN’T Do with the Lightwalker Dental Laser
- Take out silver fillings. While the laser can blast it away, as the metal is vaporized, microscopic particles get on the handpiece and result in damage to it. No worries – nothing will happen to you! Just the handpiece can be damaged. HOWEVER, we CAN use the laser to “number” or desensitize the tooth in such a way that we can use the drill but still no shot. So you still don’t walk out with a numb face, and it still doesn’t hurt.
- Some patients have super-sensitive teeth, and no matter what, they feel it.
- Remove crowns or onlays with metal in them.
Your Take-Home Lesson: Not All Dental Lasers are Equal
As I’ve said before about the Periolase and LANAP – not all lasers are equal. A competing company, Biolase, claims that their laser can do “basically the same thing” as LANAP, but there’s one REALLY important difference: Biolase has not one single published research paper that demonstrates it. Do you really someone using a laser on you with no proof that it works? Not me!
Biolase also likes to claim that their lasers are the “best all-tissue laser available.” Well, that’s not what I hear from doctors who actually use them. Why do you think I didn’t buy one? Because I did my research, and the Lightwalker is the fastest-cutting laser available, with the fewest problems, the most happy dentist users, etc.
So just because you might see “laser dentistry” being advertised, make sure you ask what kind of laser the dentist has, and how much training and experience the dentist has.