The word laser is an acronym, which stands for ‘Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation.’ Over the past few years, laser technology has found its way into dentistry. Lasers have proven to be a very safe and effective tool in treating a wide range of oral health issues. In fact, lasers are generally used in conjunction with a wide range of other dental instruments.
Many dental offices in Canada use laser technology to treat patients. If you’re interested in pursuing dental assistant training, you might find work in a dental office that uses laser technology. Read on to learn more about the history of laser dentistry, what it’s used for, and some of the benefits it provides to patients.
Laser Dentistry: A History for Students Pursuing Dental Assistant Training
The first laser system used in dentistry was developed by a dentist named Dr. Terry Meyers and his brother William in the late 1980’s. Shortly after this development, the “dental laser revolution” began. After developing their product, the D-Lase 300, the Meyers brothers founded the American Dental Laser company. And, within a short period of time, several other dental laser associations were created, giving the dental industry a lot of exposure to laser technology.
In 1991, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted American Dental Laser clearance that allowed the company to bring its product to the market for use on soft tissues. Professionals with dental assistant training know that today, dental laser technology has evolved, as it can also be used on hard surfaces like enamel and dentin.
Dental Assistant School Grads Know Lasers are Used for Many Dental Procedures
Lasers cannot be used for all types of dental procedures. However, after years of testing, dental experts have deemed lasers safe for some common practices. These include:
- Reducing the size, pain and discomfort of canker sores and cold sores
- Exposing wisdom teeth that have only partially poked through the gums
- Removing muscle attachments that limit proper jaw or tongue movement
- Performing biopsies
- Reshaping or removing gum and bone tissue for crown lengthening procedures
Although dental lasers aren’t capable of doing all the work for procedures like root canals, they can be very helpful in treating infections. Recent grads of dental assistant programs know that tooth whitening is among the most popular reasons dental lasers are used. Laser tooth whitening is so popular, in fact, that there are entire dental practices devoted only to performing that procedure.
Understanding the Benefits of Laser Dentistry
One of the major benefits of laser dentistry is that for some procedures, dentists can use a laser instead of a drill. Dental experts know that the sound and feeling of drills can be the cause of many people’s anxiety when visiting the dentist’s office, so lasers offer patients a much more relaxing experience.
Dental laser technology is precise, and when it is used to perform certain procedures, patients may not even require anesthesia or stitches. Lasers can also reduce bacteria in gum tissue and cavities, and patients who receive laser treatments report less symptoms and shorter healing times than with traditional methods.
Choose a dental assistant school that offers relevant training for today’s dental practices.
Visit Anderson College to learn more about our dental assistant program or to speak with an advisor.