Laser Treatment – What You Should Know
How does laser treatment work?
A laser is an instrument that produces a very narrow, intense beam of light energy. The light produced by the laser can remove or shape gum tissue.
Advantages of laser treatment:
- Nearly painless procedure
- Little to no bleeding
- The area is instantly cauterized which stops bleeding and seals nerve endings
- Faster healing time
- The laser sterilized the area to prevent infection
- Little to no post-operative discomfort
- A return to normal speaking and eating activities typically within 24 hours
Laser Treatment may be indicated for the follow procedures:
A very common dental procedure performed either on the inside the middle of upper lip or under the tongue.
Upper Lip – Every patient has a connective gum tissue above the upper central teeth called a Frenum. In some patients, the Frenum is connected too low and can cause pulling on gum tissue and cause spacing between the upper central incisors (diastema).
By removing or reducing this tissue, the spacing can be corrected and we can avoid additional pulling of gum tissue.
Under the Tongue – In some cases, the Frenum attached to the underside of the tongue is connected too close to the tip of the tongue. This is also referred to as being “tongue tied”.
When a patient is “tongue tied”, the gum tissue can be pulled away from the back of the lower teeth. Speech and swallowing issues can also occur.
By reducing the lower Frenum, these issues can be corrected and future gum recession may be avoided.
Teeth that have difficulty erupting completely through gum tissue are of little use and are likely to become infected at some point. By exposing these teeth, they are much more likely to remain healthy.
Gingiva (or gum tissue) is removed for functional or cosmetic reasons. This procedure is used for:
- Trimming of gums
- Removing bulky tissue covering healthy teeth
- Esthetic recontouring
Laser Post-Op Instructions
After the procedure:
Because the laser sterilizes the area to prevent infection and seals off the blood vessels, there is usually very little to no discomfort after the procedure. It is not uncommon to have a little bleeding for a couple of days. Most healing occurs within the first 3-4 days. Total healing time is generally 7-10 days.
How do I care for the affected area?
It is critical that the area by kept clean! Brush gently over the area using a SOFT toothbrush. Some bleeding may occur when brushing the area; this is normal. Brush the remaining teeth and gums normally. Any over-the-counter pain/ant-inflammatory medications may be taken if necessary.
- During the first 5-7 days, try to eat mostly soft foods. We also recommend avoiding salty or spicy foods during that time.
- The upper lip must be raised away from the teeth 3-4 times daily by pulling or blowing for 3-5 days to prevent reattachment
- Warm salt water rinses 3-4 times a day for 3-5 days after lip raising (1 tsp. of salt mixed with 8oz. of warm water)
- Vitamin E should be applied to the area with a cotton swab following salt water rinses. This will enhance the healing process.