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Swapping Your Drill for a Laser

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Today, laser drills are being used to treat the following dental issues:

  • Tooth decay. After removing tooth decay and preparing the tooth for the filling, the laser can also cure the filling, strengthening the bond between the filling and tooth.

  • Gum disease, biopsy, and lesion removal. The laser cuts or vaporizes the tissue it comes in contact with and will remove bacteria.

  • Teeth whitening. The laser can speed up the whitening process by enhancing the effect of the bleaching agent.

Below is a comparison of the pros and cons of using a dental laser rather than a traditional drill:

Dental LaserPros

  • Can reduce the need for anesthesia;

  • May reduce anxiety in patients who are uncomfortable with a drill;

  • Can minimize bleeding and swelling during soft tissue procedures;

  • May preserve more healthy tooth during cavity removal. 


  • Cannot be used on teeth with existing fillings;

  • Cannot be used on many common dental procedures such as cavities between teeth, on teeth with existing fillings, preparing a tooth for a crown or bridge, or removing defective crowns or silver fillings;

  • Traditional drills may still be needed to shape teeth or fillings even when a laser is used;

  • Lasers do not eliminate the need for anesthesia;

  • Lasers are more expensive than traditional drills.

As with any new dental product, you will want to weigh the pros and cons to see if having a dental laser in your office would benefit your patients.


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