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What is a Laser used for during a Dental Cleaning?


Over the last few years more and more dental offices are bringing in lasers for their Dental Hygienist to use in their department. If you are unfamiliar with laser procedures and what their purpose is, you're not alone. Many patients in our dental offices express confusion when we talk about using a laser during a cleaning appointment, so our goal today is to educate you a little on this enigma...

What are Lasers used for in Dentistry?

It's important to know that there are different types of laser used in Dentistry such as CO2, Erbium and Diode Lasers. Today we'll be talking about the latter and their use in Dental Hygiene.

The implementation of diode lasers in the hygiene department has been beneficial for a patient's dental health. The main purpose of such lasers is to help reduce bacterial levels in the gum's pockets and promote faster healing. Two of the most common diode laser procedures that are done during cleaning appointment are LBR and LD/LAPT.

Laser Bacterial Reduction (LBR)

As implied in the name, a Diode laser can be used to reduce bacterial levels in the sulcus (the space in between the tooth and gums). During this procedure the Dental Hygienist will take an un-initiated laser tip into this space to kill harmful bacteria that is found here. This procedure is done before the cleaning with the instruments begins and it's completely painless to the patient. Using a laser in this way decreases the amount of bacteria in the pocket, therefore reducing the amount of bacteremia (bacteria that make its way into the bloodstream).

Although LBR does not guarantee that 100% of bacteria that live here will be killed, if used properly the laser will certainly decrease the bacteria levels found here and thus the amount that can make its way into the bloodstream.



Laser Decontamination (LD)

Laser decontamination also known as Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy or LAPT for short, is another laser procedure that can be done during a hygiene appointment. However his procedure is typically done on patients who have more advanced gum disease, such as periodontitis. This means they have deep gum pockets that infected with bacteria. Unlike LBR, LD/LAPT is done after SRP (Scaling and Root Planning, more commonly known as a "Deep Cleaning") and the purpose of it is to remove bacteria that is found in the on the lining of the gum's pockets. According to NCBI, The use of a diode laser this way helps reduce inflammation and promotes healing of these pockets. Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post. We hope this helps you understand a bit more why lasers are used during a dental cleaning appointment. If you have any questions please leave them in the comment section below. We hope you enjoyed it and found it educational, please share it with your friends and family and follow us on Instagram. It only takes 1 minute of your time and it helps us out a lot. Thanks