Solea Laser Tooth Fillings in Houston and Katy, TX
The term laser dentistry refers to Dr. Nguyen or Dr. Ho using a laser to complete a dental procedure instead of traditional dental tools. The dental industry first started using lasers in 1989 in procedures involving soft tissues. At Chloe Dental in Houston and Katy, Texas, we use lasers to detect and fill cavities and to treat tooth sensitivity and gum disease.
Laser is an acronym for light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation. The handheld device creates light energy when directed at the area in the mouth requiring treatment, causing soft tissues to move when they connect with the powerful light. Dr. Nguyen or Dr. Ho can then work with or shape the gum tissue more efficiently.
Benefits of Laser Dental Treatments for Patients
Many patients have told us that having their dentist use a laser instead of a dental drill is much more comfortable from a physical standpoint. Lasers also do not produce loud noise as dental drills do. Other benefits of dental laser treatments include:
- Anesthesia may be unnecessary but is always available if the patient prefers it
- Reduced chance of bacterial infection due to the laser sterilizing the area in the mouth where Dr. Nguyen or Dr. Ho works
- Faster wound healing
- Reduced bleeding
- Reduced need for sutures after oral surgery
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several laser treatments in dentistry since 1989.
How Do Laser Fillings Work?
When patients need a tooth filled, it means that a portion of the tooth has decayed and threatens the future survival of the tooth. Dentists apply filling material to preserve the tooth and guard against future infection. The first step in this process is to remove decay from the tooth with a dental laser. Once a dentist at Chloe Dental has removed the decay, the next step is to prepare the tooth to receive the filling material.
Laser fillings are superior to traditional composite or mercury amalgam fillings in several important ways. When dentists use a laser to vaporize tooth decay, the instrument targets only the decayed part of the tooth structure while leaving everything else intact.
With a standard dental drill, there is always the risk of damage to healthy tooth structure surrounding the decay. The damage occurs due to vibrations from the drill because it causes tiny fractures in the enamel of the tooth. Unfortunately, the fractures make it possible for bacteria to enter the tooth and reach its inner structure. The tooth becomes gradually weaker over the years and may eventually require more invasive dental treatment.
When Dr. Nguyen or Dr. Ho places the dental filling material, the laser bonds it directly to the tooth structure. There is no need to create a large opening on the surface of the tooth to accommodate traditional filling material. Placing a filling using a traditional dental drill requires the dentist to remove a portion of the top or front tooth structure to make it possible for the tooth to hold the new filling.
As with the original drilling to remove tooth decay, drilling to create an opening for filling material weakens tooth structure. The tooth may eventually develop a small crack or leak, increasing the possibility of an infection. When that happens, it will eventually become necessary for the dentist to perform a root canal on the tooth to preserve it.
How to Request an Appointment at Chloe Dental
Patients who feel concerned they may need a tooth filled can schedule an appointment at Chloe Dental in Katy by calling 281-578-3300. The telephone number for our Houston location is 281-800-2019.