Palm Valley Pediatric Dentistry is dedicated to inform, educate parents and children on the fundamentals, types, diagnostic and clinical applications, benefits, and limitations of laser use in Pediatric Dentistry. Lasers in dentistry were introduced in yearly 1980s for removal of oral lesions. In addition to facilitating soft tissue procedures, the erbium lasers effectively can remove caries and prepare enamel, dentin, cementum, and bone.
As an additional diagnostic tool, along with conventional method, laser can be used for detection of caries. The portable diode laser-based system interprets the emitted fluorescence on the occlusal surface which correlates with the extent of demineralization in the tooth. Laser digital readings can indicate the proportional amount of caries present. It may be used as a complimentary instrument when diagnosing occlusal caries in cases of questionable findings after visual inspection by the pediatric dentist. It is however important to note that laser carries detection is not recommended under dental resins or sealants due to a high probability of unreliable readings as a result of the intrinsic fluorescence from the sealant material.
In soft tissue procedures for pediatric dental patients, dental lasers have been used successfully. Clinical applications include maxillary and lingual frenectomies, operculectomies, exposure of teeth for orthodontic purposes, gingival contouring/gingivectomies, removal of mucosal lesions and biopsies, including the treatment of aphthous ulcers and herpetic lesions.
Lasers were also successfully used in removal of caries and preparation of teeth for restorative procedures in children and adolescents. Lasers also have been used effectively fro indirect and direct pulp capping treatments. Dental lasers have also been utilized fore endodontic procedures such as primary tooth pulpotomies and root canal disinfection.
One of the benefits of laser use in pediatric dentistry is the selective and precise interaction with diseased tissues. During soft tissue procedures, hemostasis can be obtained without the need for sutures in most cases. With the benefit of hemostasis during soft tissue treatments, wound healing can occur more rapidly with less post-operative discomfort and a reduced need for analgesics.