During the course of our lifetime, almost every person suffers from a tooth infection –may it be big or small. At times the infection is so acute that it results in major tooth damage forcing an extraction. Dentists try and avoid extractions by suggesting alternate methods like root canal or RCT which may be temporary or if lucky, be permanent solutions. With advancement in technology, dentists now recommend Laser assisted root canal treatment, which has proven to be beneficial in more that few aspects.
Root canal treatment is a common dental procedure used to save an abscessed or infected tooth and prevent the need for dental implants or bridges. This treatment stops the blood supply and removes the nerve connected to the infected tooth. It involves cleaning and sterilization of the root canal and removal of the tissue of the canal. This entire procedure sounds scary and many people flinch back in fear when they hear the term “root canal”.
Dentists have now started using new technology –Laser assisted root canal therapy to perform the procedure. The laser treatment works by producing non-thermal photoacoustic shock waves – i.e. it uses two laser wavelengths Er: YAG and Nd: YAG,/Diod making the best use of the unique laser-tissue interaction features of each wavelength. Er: YAG induces shock waves in the cleaning solutions and Nd:YAG has a superior bactericidal effect. The canals and accessory canals are cleaned and the dentinal tubules are free of a smear layer (debris consisting of bacteria and infection). When the laser is introduced into the tooth access, you see the solution pulsating with the debris of dead tissue streaming out of the access hole making the canals free of dead tissues.
Advantages of Laser assisted root canal treatment over traditional root canal treatment
Laser treatment is precise and more accurate than traditional root canal therapy.
Lasers can target bacteria and the infected area with greater accuracy preserving healthier tooth structure.
It helps in the reduction of at least 99.7% bacterial counts in the root canal approaches sterilization.
The tooth will be stronger and have adequate protection against further decay and damage.
Helps in reducing the risk of infection.
This minimally invasive technique conserves the original tooth structure, i.e. it saves the natural tooth and allows keeping it functional for decades. It also helps in keeping the removal of dentinal tissue to the minimal.
Since laser has the ability to reach and clean the accessory canal, the root canal sealer can reach right at the bottom of the root canal which results in a better seal of root canal which further prevents future re-infection of the tooth.
It reduces discomfort for patients by eliminating the disturbing sounds of drills as well as limiting the need for local anesthesia.
As laser treatment is less aggressive than traditional procedures, there is less bleeding and inflammation, as well as it reduces post-operative discomfort and infection.
Laser assisted root canal treatment is a gift to mankind. So the next time the doctor suggests a root canal treatment, don't gasp for breath, as a root canal does not cause pain, it relieves pain! Save your tooth and that beautiful smile with a laser root canal procedure.