The dental diode soft tissue laser is revolutionizing how dentists perform intricate procedures, providing patients with quicker recovery times. Many patients that suffer from periodontal disease or require an involved dental procedure may be tempted to postpone it due to the fear of unpleasant side effects such as bleeding, swelling, and a longer recovery, but modern technology is changing the landscape of dental procedures.

What Is a Diode Soft Tissue Laser?

While there are different types of lasers available for dental treatments, diode lasers are more frequently used, particularly for soft tissue treatments.

This compact and portable laser is designed for safe and easy clinical use in periodontal applications instead of using a scalpel or electrosurgery. Diode soft tissue lasers are considered to be reliable and facilitate dental procedures by helping remove excess tissue, seal nerve endings and blood vessels, and reduce bleeding and swelling. These devices come in various wavelengths, with the most common being 810nm or 980nm.

These lasers are often preferred by dentists and patients because they have the ability to remove small sections of diseased tissue without impacting nearby healthy tissue, and they assist in eliminating bacteria that can cause disease.

What Diode Soft Tissue Lasers Do

Using a diode soft tissue laser means that many dental procedures can now be done with little to no bleeding, and with minimal post-procedure discomfort or swelling.

Some of the issues diode lasers can address include:

  • Aphthous ulcers (also known as canker sores):  A laser can provide immediate relief from an ulcer, prevent it from coming back in the same location, and enhance wound healing.
  • Bacteria reduction:  The light from the laser is designed to assist with the removal of harmful and disease-causing bacteria.
  • Frenectomies:  Patients that experience a lip tie or tongue tie, which are common issues for babies or young children, lasers can make for a much more pleasant procedure than other methods.
  • Gum reshaping:  An individual who experiences an uneven gum line would likely require surgery without diode soft tissue lasers. With this tool the gums can be reshaped with a much faster recovery time, as well as less bleeding and swelling.
  • Herpetic lesions or cold sores.  Patients with herpes lesions may be able to seek laser treatment to eliminate these trouble spots.
  • Implant recovery.  When getting an implant, diode lasers are used to cause cell ablation, which can result in the removal of soft tissue with less bleeding and swelling than electrosurgery.
  • Periodontal disease: These lasers can be effective in targeting unhealthy or diseased gingival tissues with minimal pain, swelling, and bleeding.
  • Root canal therapy: Part of prepping for a root canal is disinfecting the area to avoid reinfection, in which lasers can play a role.
  • Scaling and root planing: By minimizing pathogens and removing bacteria and diseased tissues, diode lasers can assist with scaling and root planing.
  • Soft tissue surgery: These lasers are often considered the gold standard of soft tissue surgery because the procedure can be performed with a great deal of precision, less pain and inflammation, and faster healing.
  • Tooth desensitization: Especially when combined with desensitizer toothpaste, diode laser therapy can also assist with tooth desensitization.

Since diode soft tissues lasers are typically used at lower power levels, they can also help the healing process begin after a procedure by increasing:

  • Collagen formation
  • Circulation
  • Osteoblastic activity
  • Fibroblastic activity

Benefits of Using a Diode Soft Tissue Laser

Some of the primary benefits of using diode soft tissue lasers in dental applications include:

  • Bacteria killing capabilities
  • May make stitches, sutures, and periodontal packs unnecessary
  • Minimal need of local anesthetic
  • Precision in removing only infected and damaged areas of tissue
  • Safe to use around metal crowns and gold alloy
  • Stimulation of healing following a procedure

One of the biggest benefits of using diode lasers is the peace of mind it gives patients of all ages, but particularly younger children. A procedure with lasers is generally less intimidating than undergoing dental surgery and is considered to reduce discomfort, swelling, and post-operative pain without the use of a general anesthetic.

If you are needing a dental surgery or involved procedure that could involve scalpels or electrosurgery, talk to your dentist about the possibility of using a diode soft tissue laser instead. This modern technology is quickly changing the way patients view upcoming procedures, for the better.