Laser technology has revolutionized the fields of dentistry, medicine, and aesthetic enhancement, offering a truly state-of-the-art way to address numerous concerns. Dr. Jarrod Cornehl and our team here at the DENTAL STUDIO SF embrace laser treatment platforms such as the LightWalker® system from Fotona, a leading developer of laser innovations for more than five decades. With LightWalker® laser therapies, we can utilize a minimally-invasive approach to help many patients successfully improve a variety of oral and dental health conditions.
- Laser Therapy Benefits
- Laser Dentistry Options
- Laser Therapy for TMJ Disorder
- Laser Dentistry for Gummy Smiles – Laser Gum Contouring
- Gum Pigmentation Removal
- Laser Dentistry for Cold Sores & Ulcers
- How Much Does Laser Dentistry Cost?
What Are the Benefits of Laser Therapy?
The Fotona LightWalker® laser technology allows our dental team to treat a wide range of dental and aesthetic concerns in a faster, more comfortable, and more efficient way. Laser treatment with the LightWalker® system is designed to be incredibly precise for both hard-tissue and soft-tissue therapies, with little to no bleeding while the laser simultaneously disinfects the treatment area. The Fotona LightWalker® platform includes two laser wavelengths – Er:YAG and Nd:YAG – to enhance the efficiency of the treatment process and produce excellent results. Ultimately, laser therapy can help patients achieve their goals while reducing the risk of excessive bleeding and infection, minimizing potential harm to surrounding tissues during treatment, encouraging more rapid healing, and significantly diminishing recovery time.
During your initial consultation, our dentist in San Francisco will evaluate your needs and talk with you about your concerns to determine whether laser therapy is the most ideal treatment option.
Laser Dentistry Options
Laser treatment with the LightWalker® system can be utilized for an extensive array of common conditions. Some of the many procedures for which laser-assisted dentistry can be included are:
- Periodontal care (gum disease treatment) and soft-tissue sealing
- Cavity preparation and carious dentin removal
- Endodontics (root canal therapy)
- Dental implant procedures
- Crown lengthening
- Fibroma removal, hemangioma removal, leukoplakia removal, and other conditions that require oral surgery
- Teeth preparation (without the need for anesthesia)
- Cosmetic gum recontouring (gingivoplasty) to address a “gummy smile”
- Gum tattoo removal
- Gum pigmentation removal
- Debonding ceramic restorations such as porcelain veneers, dental crowns, or orthodontic brackets for precise removal
- Composite material removal
- Photobiomodulation (Low Level Laser Therapy)
- Canker sores (aphthous ulcers)
- Cold sores (herpetic lesions)
Additionally, the LightWalker® laser system’s NightLase® treatment (described below) can benefit many patients who suffer from snoring. This fast procedure is designed to enhance quality of sleep, and requires no downtime following treatment. Plus, the LightWalker® can be used as a photobiomodulation technique for a number of common conditions, including TMJ Disorder and persistent facial pain.
Laser Therapy for TMJ Disorder
As noted above, laser therapy can be very effective for many individuals who suffer from TMJ Disorder (also referred to as TMD). Oral tissues, muscles, and the joint in the area between the upper and lower jaws (temporomandibular joint) can become inflamed and painful, which can lead to a variety of debilitating symptoms affecting different areas of the body. TMJ Disorder is a condition that many people experience, and there are numerous treatment options designed to alleviate the symptoms. Low-level laser therapy, sometimes called photobiomodulation, is one of the most state-of-the-art options available. This technique is completely non-invasive and utilizes laser therapy to reduce pain, renew healthy tissues, and help TMD sufferers minimize the effects this condition can have on their daily lives.
Learn more about low-level laser therapy for TMJ Disorder here
Laser Dentistry for Gummy Smiles – Laser Gum Contouring
Laser reshaping is a common treatment. You may have also heard this referred to as a “gum lift.” It is best-suited to gummy smiles caused by excess gum tissue. Lasers are also appropriate for treating a gum line that is uneven. The laser energy vaporizes targeted tissue, eliminating it permanently. Using a laser instrument, our dentists will selectively reduce gum tissue, creating an even gum line and therefore improved smile symmetry.
Lasers by their nature prevent bleeding as they ablate tissue. This cauterization makes for a less invasive, more efficient treatment with minimal downtime.
Gum Pigmentation Removal
Laser therapy can be an option for patients who would like to address gingival hyperpigmentation (dark gums) and provide the gums with a healthier-looking, pink shade. Gingival hyperpigmentation itself is typically not an oral health concern; however, many individuals feel that it has an effect on the appearance of their smile and would like to explore options that can enhance the look of their gums. Laser gum pigmentation removal (sometimes referred to as “gum lightening”), delivers targeted laser energy to the areas of hyperpigmentation on the surface layers of gum tissue to remove the darker tones and bring out the pink shade of tissue underneath.
Laser gum depigmentation is a relatively simple procedure that often produces excellent results after just one treatment. This procedure can be performed for entire sections of gum tissue or just a few small spots, and usually requires little to no recovery time.
A number of factors can lead to gum depigmentation; however, it is important to know that dark spots on the gums or in other areas of the mouth may be an indication of another oral health condition, so it is best to obtain a dental exam as soon as you see any changes in your mouth to make sure they are not signs of something more serious than aesthetic gum depigmentation. If you would like to improve signs of gum depigmentation, or if you are concerned about changes in the appearance of your gums, please contact our practice and our dentist can perform an examination. If laser gum pigmentation removal is a good option for your needs, we can develop a customized treatment plan designed to meet your expectations.
Laser Dentistry for Cold Sores & Oral Ulcers (Canker Sores)
Laser therapy may be the recommended treatment option for many individuals who are suffering from cold sores and oral ulcers known as “canker sores.” Cold sores are typically caused by a virus and appear on the lips, while canker sores can develop on the soft tissues inside the mouth and can be brought on by stress, diminished immune response, injury, or other factors. Many of us know just how painful and frustrating cold sores and canker sores can be, and it can sometimes be challenging to find adequate relief, particularly since these conditions can last up to two to three weeks or longer before they finally fade. Low-level laser therapy can be remarkably effective for cold sores and canker sores, offering almost-instantaneous relief and dramatically reducing the time it takes for the condition to heal on its own.
Many individuals suffer from snoring and sleep apnea, which can compromise the quality of one’s sleep and reduce the normal flow of air through breathing passages. This can create serious—even life-threatening—health risks. Fotona’s Nightlase® treatment is a non-invasive therapy designed to address snoring by increasing airflow and improving sleep quality for a healthier, more restful slumber. This FDA-approved treatment uses laser energy to tighten connective layers of tissue in the oral mucosa, offering many patients an alternative to noisy, cumbersome CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines. Ultimately, Nightlase® therapy is designed to provide a more open airway and reduce breathing obstructions caused by oral tissues that are blocking a healthy flow of air while sleeping.
The Nightlase® procedure is non-invasive and does not require shots or anesthesia. In fact, most patients experience little to no discomfort at all during treatment. Nightlase® is typically performed as a series of three treatments over a staged schedule of appointments for the best possible outcome, and results often last up to a year. Follow-up treatment sessions can help many patients maintain the results for extended periods.
Our dentist can evaluate your needs and determine whether Nightlase® is an ideal option to help you reduce snoring and achieve a healthier night’s sleep.
The Fotona TouchWhite™ procedure is a laser-assisted tooth whitening treatment that offers a gentle, minimally-invasive way of giving the teeth a healthier, whiter, and more refreshed look. By using the TouchWhite™ method in our teeth whitening procedures, we can make the treatment faster and help patients achieve outstanding results.
How Much Does Laser Dentistry Cost?
The cost of laser dentistry is significantly variable among patients depending on factors associated with their customized treatment plan. The condition(s) for which laser therapy is being utilized, the complexity of the treatment, and other factors will be taken into account to arrive at the final cost of this procedure. In some cases, dental insurance may cover a portion of laser dentistry costs if the treatment is not primarily cosmetic in nature. If insurance is not an option, our practice accepts numerous other convenient forms of payment, including dental financing plans available through reputable third-party agencies for qualified applicants. We can provide you with a full cost estimate once you have been evaluated and your treatment plan has been developed so that you can know what to expect right from the beginning.
If you have questions about our advanced laser therapies, please contact the DENTAL STUDIO SF today. A member of our team will be happy to provide you with additional information, or assist you with scheduling a consultation here at our practice.