​​Angela Hilton-Foley, DMD

(813) 891-1212

Cosmetic & Family Dentistry

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Actual Patient before and after Laser Recontouring

Soft Tissue Diode Laser

Laser Dentistry  
The soft tissue diode laser is commonly used for restorative procedures, veneers, crown and bridge, re-contouring the gum tissue, and to treat periodontal disease. Often it is used instead of a retraction cord during crown preparations, to clearly delineate the margins for the laboratory. Lasers eliminate pain, facilitate quick healing, kill bacteria and viruses, and reduce healing time.  The soft tissue diode laser can be used to shape the gums, remove excess gum tissue, to expose a tooth that needs to be brought into place, such as during orthodontic treatment, for periodontal health and healing, and to expose decay that has crept under the gum.  Even excess tissue around wisdom teeth can be gently removed, if it becomes swollen or infected, before the teeth fully erupt into place.




Laser Gum Lifts and Tissue Sculpting
Have you ever noticed someone who has had a few crowns in the front of their mouth, and their gums are longer in some areas than others, and it just doesn't seem quite right?  With the laser, the dentist can change the contour of the gum architecture, to create an even gum line which looks more natural looking. This can be done when someone has a gummy smile.  The example to the right is an actual patient treated in the office with laser gum recontouring combine with short term Invisalign.  The after photo is immediately following the procedure.  The  gum returns to normal color within a few days.  The procedure is called gum recontouring or a "gum lift".  It is also useful in crown lengthening procedures, when decay is at or close to the gum.
 


Periodontal Disease 
The laser is also used in periodontal disease cases to help kill the destructive bacteria that cause gum disease, during or following deeper cleanings, called root planing and scaling procedures.  By sterilizing the pocket around the tooth, you prevent the inflammation and disease process that occurs when your body reacts to the bacteria's byproducts that are in and under your gums.  Although gum disease is something that you are never fully cured of, with the use of the soft tissue laser, the damage and destruction can be reduced, in conjunction with good home care and regular cleanings.


Denture Sore Spot and Tissue Growth Removal  
In addition to all the procedures previously described, the laser can remove excess tissues from ill fitting dentures, or remove an abnormal  growth in the mouth.  Excess tissue can easily be removed with the laser.   Oral cancer screenings and biopsies of the tissue being removed, will be performed prior to treatment.  If it is determined that the sore spot is simply because of ill fitting dentures or partials, the appliance will be adjusted first.  If the area does not respond, a tissue biopsy should be performed.


Frenectomy Prior to Orthodontic Treatment
In children and some adults, the laser can be used to remove the attachment or frenum that attaches under the lip.  A Frenectomy is a procedure that releases the attachment (frenum), or can release a tongue tied person, who has a tightly attaching "string" under their tongue that prevents the proper movement of the tongue or lips.  Because of the soft tissue laser having a frenectomy is a much easier, and more comfortable procedure today, than it was in the past, when traditional surgery was utilized. The healing time is shorter and the procedure is no longer painful.  Because of the germ killing aspect of the laser, there is less likelihood that an infection could develop.  The laser kills germs as it evaporates the tissue.  The soft tissue laser is one of the latest  advancements in dentistry.