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Services & Technologies

Laser Dentistry

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  Laser Dentistry FAQ »  

Dr. Edgerle is one of the leading authorities in the use of dental laser technology and continues to be innovative in the use of this rapidly advancing technology. By visiting Dr. Edgerle’s office you’ll have the opportunity to experience new and exciting technology. We would like to give you some basic information and perhaps reduce any of your concerns. According to Low Level Laser Therapy by Jan Turner & Lars Hode (Prima Books), low level laser therapy:
  • Reduces pain by causing the production of natural pain killers – endorphins
  • Reduces inflammation by suppressing inflammatory enzymes that create swelling, redness, pain, and heat and enhances the release of anti-inflammatory enzymes
  • Enhances lymphatic drainage, which increases circulation and speeds healing
  • Stimulates the release of helpful healing enzymes
  • Releases tight muscles (both smooth and striated) that create chronic pain, joint problems, and decreased mobility
  • Speeds bone repair by stimulating fibroblastic and osteoblastic proliferation.
  • LLLT in the correct frequency appears to be anti-viral, antifungal, and anti-herpetic

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Endodontics (diseases of the root) 

The word ‘endodontics’ comes from the Greek endodont, meaning ‘what is inside the tooth’.Endodontics is the branch of dentistry that is specifically concerned with diseases of the dental pulp (or nerve) and the tissues surrounding the root.

This includes chronic or acute inflammation of the dental pulp (blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, nerves and connective tissue) or the periodontium as the result of endodontic disease.

The most frequent procedure performed in endodontics is root canal therapy. Root canal therapy is a complex procedure that is intended to preserve a tooth if the pulp is irreversibly damaged (inflamed or necrotic).
There can be many different causes of pulpitis (inflammation of the dental pulp).
It most often begins with a carious defect that lets bacteria enter the tooth and does not necessarily cause pain. Acute pulpitis can be extremely painful.

Steps in modern root canal therapy with laser technology:

  • The tooth is opened up to remove the pulp.
  • The root canals are prepared and formed.
  • Molars often have three to four canals.
  • The inside of the tooth and the root are decontaminated with the laser (sterile procedure).
  • All the canals are filled.

Advantages of laser therapy:

  • Conventional methods involve the use of rinses that can only penetrate up to 0.4 mm into the small side canals of the root and therefore leave germs behind that can cause problems later on.
  • The advantage of laser light is that it kills off bacteria at a depth of up to 1 mm – that’s 2 to 3 times deeper. This has been proven in several scientific studies.

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Periodontics (diseases of the periodontium) 

Periodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the periodontium (the supporting structure of the tooth), which consists of three different kinds of tissue. These are the cells on the root surface, the cells on the bone surface and the fibers that connect the two. If this supporting structure becomes diseased or otherwise damaged, this is known as periodontosis. If it becomes inflamed, we call this periodontitis. This process always begins with a local inflammation of the gums. This is nearly always caused by bacteria and is known as gingivitis. The excrement of bacteria which are not removed during the normal oral hygiene routine cause damage to the gums. This damage triggers the body’s defenses, resulting in an accumulation of defensive cells. This is what gives rise to inflammation. All the patient will notice is occasional bleeding when brushing their teeth and this is usually not painful. But if the inflammation is left untreated for long enough, and if the patient has a genetic predisposition in their immune system, the chronic inflammation may lead to the destruction of the bone anchoring the tooth. Here is an explanation of the procedure in simplified terms: the depth of the pocket is measured using probes, the hard coatings (concrements) are ‘scraped’ off using scalers. This can be relatively unpleasant for the patient, but nowadays it is possible to perform this procedure almost painlessly with a laser (Erbium-YAG). If the pockets are very deep it is often necessary to use a scalpel so that the dentist can work under visual control. In many cases, this can also be avoided by using a laser.

Using a fiber just 0.2 - 0.3 mm thick, transported by the diode laser light, the harmful bacteria are destroyed and the area sterilized.

Patients describe laser treatment as much more pleasant compared with conventional techniques. The swelling is normally invisible by the very next day and the patient feels fine. In many cases, the dentist will decide not to use a scalpel at all. back to top »

Surgery (laser incisions) 
Lasers are suitable for many surgical interventions in the oral cavity. For example, they can be a very gentle way of removing frenula from the lips or tongue, whether for orthopaedic or prosthetic reasons. Various types of laser can be used for this kind of procedure. Lasers cut through the tissue causing no bleeding and virtually no pain. There is no residue left behind that could slow down the healing process. So in most cases, there is no need for an injection (and the associated after-effects of numbness). The laser also sterilizes the surface of the wound, reducing the likelihood of inflammation. In children, a frenulum on the lip is generally removed when it grows too large and wide between the top two front teeth, creating a gap (diasthema). The procedure takes just a few seconds and, as with many other cases, there is no need for stitches.

Implantology (artificial tooth roots, usually made of titanium or ceramic) 
This is another area where lasers are used with great success. One of the most important treatments to mention here is ‘periimplantitis’ therapy (inflammation around an implant). Implants that would otherwise be lost can only be retained with the right type of laser. Dentists use special tips that enable them to kill off all the bacteria without damaging the implant. This halts the process of inflammation and preserves the expensive implant.

If you have just had a new implant and it is still healing, it makes a lot of sense to open the implant with a laser. Then your dentist can take an impression straight away and provide you with a temporary restoration in the same appointment. back to top »

Use of soft lasers (pain reduction and faster healing) 

Scientists have been studying the medical and biological effects of soft lasers ever since the 1960s. Today, it has been scientifically proven that soft lasers stimulate all the body’s important regulatory processes. Very many alternative practitioners and doctors use this technology, and lasers have also become popular with chiropodists and beauty therapists. The results are astonishing and pain can be reduced significantly without any harmful side effects. The main indications include wounds that are slow to heal, burns, sports injuries, many types of inflammation (including rheumatic conditions), neuralgia, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, tennis elbow, venous ulcers, herpes, skin conditions, acne and eczema.

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D.J. Edgerle, DDS 751 Kenmoor Drive S.E. Grand Rapids, MI 49546 | 616-949-2720 | Site Map | Created by Dental Branding