Laser Gum Reshaping (and other Soft Tissue applications)
Lasers can be used for:
- Reshaping or removing gum tissue. This can become very useful when removing the flap or hood of gum tissue that overlies the crown of an erupting tooth or overlaps the partially grown in wisdom tooth (dental operculum) or the overgrowth of gum tissue that causes larger pockets (pseudopockets) that trap plaque. Lasers are great for reshaping the uneven tissue heights around teeth to create a more even-looking smile.
- Lasers can be used for regaining periodontal health, for esthetic reasons or for gaining access to areas of decay.
- Repositioning or clipping muscle attachments (Frenectomy). This procedure is used to remove a muscle attachment that interferes with normal movement or speech. Additionally, often times these muscle attachments, when positioned towards the margins of the gum tissue, can cause excessive loss and recession of the gum tissue around the teeth. Removing or lowering this attachment can help to prevent further gum recession and root exposure. While six of the main frenum attachments (muscle attachments) are between the inner part of the lips and the gum tissue, the other main frenum attachment is located at the base of the tongue, and can restrict its movement. In more extreme cases, the individual would not be able to extend their tongue all the way, and the attachment would force the tongue to curl up. By reliving this muscle attachment, it enables full extension of the tongue and proper speech, which may have been hindered before.
- Removing soft tissue growths (such as Fibromas and Hemangiomas). Benign growths or excess tissue can become a functional concern or an esthetic issue, but can be readily remove using a dental laser.
- Performing a Gingivoplasty (the gentle removal of swollen tissue) caused by taking certain medications, by systemic disease, or as a result of poor oral hygiene.
While many of these procedures can be performed surgically using a traditional scalpel, lasers can target the tissue much more effectively and leave the surrounding tissue unaffected. With a laser, there is often less healing involved, less scarring, less bleeding and less postoperative pain and swelling.