Lasers are not new in medicine as a whole, having been implemented in retina and lens corrections for 20 years and almost as long for delicate heart procedures. But with the increased experience and reduced costs of equipment, we are proud to be able to utilise them at our dentist W1.
Using lasers for surgical incisions goes beyond early sci-fi hype. Being able to make an incision extremely accurately without creating a pulling and tearing force, makes lasers excellent for extremely delicate surgical work. This is why they found their initial niche with lens, spine and neuro work, rapidly moving arteries of the heart across hospitals later on.
Wherever incisions have to be made cleanly and blood loss minimised, lasers have the advantage of partially cauterising the incision as it is made.
The EPIC laser system is a diode CPU based laser system which gives us, at Harley Street Dental Clinic, the flexibility to give a wide range of treatments, from managing discomfort to surgically removing gum tissue and lightening teeth!
Modulating the beam in both intensity and frequency makes it less like a scalpel and more like an entire set of tools in its own right.
Current role in treatment
We use the EPIC by Biolaze to its full potential. For the relief of pain, we directly stimulate the nerves in order to disrupt the receptors in much the same way as TEN’s systems, but we use light instead of electricity.
Cold sores and oral ulcers
The treatment of ulcers focuses on resolving the infection to resolve the symptoms. This is normally done with a cyclohexane mouthwash, but by using focused laser pulses, we can sterilise the gum tissue in a very targeted way.
Cosmetic gum treatment
The ratio of gum tissue to enamel when smiling has its own rules of attractiveness; too much or too little can often be seen as off-putting. Also badly defined asymmetric arches are also seen as undesirable and these can all be corrected with cosmetic gum contouring. By surgically and strategically removing small quantities of gum tissue, the arches can be emphasised. Using a surgical laser allows us to minimise discomfort and bleeding.
Surgical intervention and the remove of oral growths
There are several forms of benign oral growths, the most common form of skin tag developing from the gum tissue after a severe case of gingivitis. Although generally harmless, a skin tag can be irritating and when accidentally bitten, very uncomfortable.
Correcting tongue-tie (ankyloglossia)
Some cases of tongue-tie, where the membrane connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth extends along the bottom of the tongue and holds the majority of the tongue down, can be resolved by surgical intervention. A limiting factor is usually the high rate of blood loss making it another great case for a laser dentist W1.
Possible future of laser dentistry
Currently procedures with our lasers are limited to soft tissue and there is yet to be an appropriate diode laser that could be used on enamel, but this would be a natural progression and one that we would happily embrace at our dentist W1. Can you imagine a future dentistry without a whirr of the drill? We can!