The role of laser technology has been increasing in importance in the field of dentistry, ever since its introduction in the field, in 1961. Laser detectors are helpful in picking up fluorescence. You may ask the relevance of this fact in relation to dentistry. The fact is, bacterial decay is characterized by fluorescence, which in other words, is simply a glowing light. Locating fluorescence using laser detectors are helpful in picking up various dental infections, with absolute accuracy. To help yourself better understand the role of laser technology in dental diagnosis, read the following sections of this article.
Accurate Caries Detection:
Laser technology is extremely efficient in identifying caries (tooth decay). These decays are caused by the presence of bacteria, that give off the fluoresce, which in turn is picked up by the laser detectors. Generally, laser detectors are used to detect tooth decay when visual inspection alone is insufficient for the purpose. Dr. Joel M. White, a professor at the UCSF School of Dentistry, says, “They (Laser detectors) are an excellent complement to oral examinations aiding in identification of caries (tooth decay) that might be missed by visual inspection alone. They also allow teeth to be monitored from one visit to the next, to determine if decay is “arrested” or “progressive” and therefore at what point treatment is truly needed.” Thus, not only does laser technology help in identifying caries, it is also helpful in identifying the state of it.
Accurate Detection of Calculus:
Calculus, or most commonly known as “tartar”, is a form of calcified bacterial plaque. These are hard substances and removing them requires gum therapy, since they form beneath the gums. Due to their formation under the surface, even locating them could be extremely difficult, and conventional methods detection would require a lot of tissue removal. Laser detectors however, are able to accurately localize the calculus, and hence, helps in its diagnosis before the situation can get worse.
Early Detection of Oral Cancer
In recent times, the laser technology has undergone certain developments. One of them is the development of lasers that fluoresce oral soft tissues. In this way, laser technology has made a breakthrough in detecting oral cancer at early stages. This is possible because with the help of these lasers, a dentist is able to detect cancer cells and even abnormal tissues, by finding out whether they glow or not. As a result, today, not only does laser technology help in cancer detection at an early stage, but also aids in identifying tissues in their pre-cancerous stages. It is also helpful in removing worn out tissues. These early and accurate diagnostic properties in the field of dentistry, would have been impossible without the advent of laser technology in the field.
Did you come across the word, “accurate” a lot in this article? Well, that is because laser technologies have an edge over conventional diagnosis in terms of accurately locating an infection. Laser beams are incredibly thin, and the pin-point location in the mouth that fluoresces, is the exact pin-point location where the infection resides! This is why the role of laser technology is vital in dentistry.