One of the most important things we do in our clinic is often overlooked by other clinics and even patients. We believe the single most important thing we can do for our patients is improve their daily oral hygiene and set them up for success so that our fillings and other restorations can last as long as they can.
That is why we are always researching different techniques and methods to improve our patient’s oral hygiene. One such technique we are now adding to our practice is laser gingival curettage.
Soft tissue lasers have been approved by the FDA for decades now and they are great when replacing scalpels because they can do the same job without anesthesia or bleeding. Read our other laser post for more information. However, the same lasers have now been shown to be effective as an adjunct to traditional scaling and root planing, otherwise known as deep cleanings (source).
So why exactly are we adding the option of using lasers during scaling and root planing to our practice?
Traditionally, a deep cleaning or scaling/root planing removes calculus and plaque stuck to your teeth. We also sculpt away any rough surfaces on your teeth or roots so that the plaque and calculus have a harder time reattaching. This is all happening on a macro scale while lasers work on a microscopic scale. No matter how thorough you scale with hand instruments there is no way to remove all the bacteria in your gingival pockets, but with lasers, the bacterial count dramatically drops.
A dental hygienist shared her positive experience with lasers in Registered Dental Hygienist magazine.
I have noticed a decrease in postop discomfort following my scaling and root planing as well as better bleeding indices, improved tissue color/contour changes, and reattachment occurring at a faster rate than when I was doing traditional SRP (scaling/root planing) with no laser integration.
All in all, we are excited to bring lasers into our clinic!