The high-tech low-pain way to
treat Periodontal Disease
Chances are that you have heard much
about lasers, especially in their use to treat eye problems. You may also have
heard about the use of lasers in dental treatment. Because Dr. Mao is
always up on the cutting edge of dentistry and also interested in procedures
that may minimize his patients' discomfort, laser dentistry may be
right for you. In this page you will find the latest information
about the benefits of laser treatment and how it can help you keep your teeth
for the rest of your life.
A laser is a
high-technology device that generates a beam of concentrated
light. This beam of controlled light brings energy deep inside the
periodontal pockets (laser curettage) and onto the gum tissues (surgery) to
remove areas of infection inside the pockets and to perform many types of
periodontal surgery (esp. crown-lengthening) . This controlled beam of heat
and light sterilizes
the affected area by destroying many bacteria and viruses
found in the mouth and also seals off blood vessels, which
minimizes the chance of infection or bleeding. Patients treated with lasers are much more comfortable both during and after
treatment, with little or no bleeding. Many times no "needles/novocaine"
Shortly after the invention
of lasers in the early 1960s, lasers were used experimentally
on the teeth and gums. Lasers have been used on a limited
basis in hospital dentistry. Recent technological
developments have made it possible for lasers to be used
effectively in the dental office on patients like you. In
fact, lasers are now being used by dentists and Periodontists all over the
In the hands of a skilled,
specially trained dentist, lasers are quite safe. In fact,
the primary safety measure necessary during laser treatment
is proper protective eyewear. Dental lasers are
low-powered, which is essential for treating the delicate
tissues of the mouth. Due to a process called "initiation", the
laser does not extend beyond the tip of the laser fiber, thus affecting only
that tissue which is in direct contact with the tip and no further. The
Diode laser, esp. in it's pulsed mode cannot hurt the tooth if used
There are many different
types of lasers used in dentistry, and their applications
vary. The most common use of lasers is for periodontal (gum)
treatment and oral surgery. The following procedures are done by the laser
in our office:
Laser Curettage (sometimes done with scaling & root planing.)
Surgical Crown-Lengthening before your general dentist places a crown.
Gingival plastic surgery.
Dr. Mao will explain the
type of laser used in the office and how it will benefit you.
There are many benefits of
laser dentistry. They may include:
- less time in the dental chair
- Less noise than the traditional dental drill
- reduced risk of infection
- Today, many dental
services can be performed with either the laser or
traditional treatment. The procedure itself is usually covered
to some extent by your dental insurance, BUT the laser mode of therapy
is NOT. You must decide if the extra expense for the laser will be
worthwhile for you, as it will in many cases add to the cost out of
The following are important considerations for the use of
Medical contraindications. For example, if you are on blood thinners
(Coumadin or Aspirin) and cannot be off of them according to your M.D.
Similarly, if you cannot take Epinephrine due to cardiovascular
problems or get rapid heartbeat. Epinephrine is used by Dr. Mao
to control bleeding during surgical procedures.
- Ask your dentist. Upon
thorough examination and resulting diagnosis, your
dentist can determine if laser dentistry is indicated
If you have gingival hyperplasia (from Dilantin or blood pressure medications
such as Channel Blockers-Calan, Procardia, Norvasc). The laser will cut down
the enlarged, swollen tissues without regrowth later on in most cases.
General anxiety: laser is quiet and less traumatic with very little
post-operative pain and bleeding.
- Laser dentistry is a
new technology that helps your dentist treat you with
a high degree of precision and accuracy. Helping you
keep your smile for a lifetime is our primary goal.
Laser treatment may be a step in reaching that goal.
If you have further questions or concerns about laser
treatment, please ask us. webmaster
|Richard Mao, D.M.D.
Practice Limited to Periodontics
|402 Severn Bldg.
8600 La Salle Rd.
Towson, Md. 21286
|707 N.Hickory Ave.
Bel Air, Md. 21014