Our dental practice utilizes modern dental lasers instead of drills for many common dental procedures. Lasers provide a quieter, more comfortable dental experience.
What are the different dental procedures that you can use lasers for?
Dr. Darren McKeever: Actually, there’s a lot of different things that you can use lasers for in dentistry. In my office we have 2 different lasers that we use for treatment and we have a third laser that we actually use for diagnosis. Lasers for diagnosis are being used to find the distinction between when a stain in a tooth actually becomes a cavity. What the laser does is it can determine the density change within the tooth. Just like a Doppler shift in a radar for the weather man, it can tell us if there is a change in the tooth structure and conclusively determine that it’s a cavity and not just a stain.
In addition, we have a laser that can replace, not in all instances but in many instances, the drill. I can actually prepare teeth and remove decay and get the tooth ready for a filling with one of my lasers. In addition, the laser can also perform tissue surgery where we can remove excess tissue or diseased tissue. We can even perform a procedure that is known as crown lengthening procedure where we used to have to send people to the specialist and they would have to delay the treatment on the tooth for 4 months before they were able to get their restoration. Now we can do it all in one visit and and continue with the restoration right then and there and save the patient 4 months of their precious time.
Can laser treatments replace the loud dental drill that we’re used to for certain procedures?
Dr. Darren McKeever: Absolutely. For certain procedures the laser works very, very well. In some procedures (in my opinion) it works better than the drill. For very small cavities, very accessible cavities, removing old composite fillings, the laser works just as well as the drill. It’s just as fast and the best part is you don’t have to get a shot and you don’t have to wait for the anesthesia to wear off after you’re done.
Do patients still need Novocaine or other anesthesia if you’re using lasers?
Dr. Darren McKeever: In many instances we use the laser without having to give the patient a shot. If I were going to be doing any kind of what I referred to earlier, soft tissue surgery, usually the patient has to be numb for that because the gums are always a lot more tender than a tooth but I have actually in my history done a root canal on a patient with the laser and did not have to administer anesthesia. That’s an extreme case but there isn’t a day that doesn’t go by in my office where we don’t drill a tooth and fill the tooth with the laser and the patient has not had to have a shot and they all say the same thing, “I did not need to get numb for that.”
Could you describe the benefits of the Waterlase iPlus system that your office uses?
Dr. Darren McKeever: The Waterlase is a hard and soft tissue laser. I can remove either of those tissues in the office, sometimes without anesthetic. In addition, lasers can be used to help healing. The laser energy can actually be transmitted into the soft tissues and promote regeneration of the capillary system. That promotes a much quicker healing. The Waterlase can not only drill a tooth, it can not only re-sculpt gingival tissue or we can remove diseased tissue. It can also actually help people heal quicker.
Can lasers be used on all patients?
Dr. Darren McKeever: There is absolutely no indications where a laser could not be applied. It may never completely replace the drill. There are certain things that we do in dentistry where you still have to have the drill, but there are no indications of a situation that I know of where someone would not be able to have the laser, if the laser is appropriate to that particular procedure.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Darren McKeever, visit www.mckeeverdentalcare.com or call 973-839-8180 to schedule an appointment.