Lasers have been used to perform a variety of procedures in both the medical and dental fields. Laser devices produce monochromatic light (with a specific wavelength) that propagates in a specific direction forming narrow beams.
The action of lasers is the result of the conversion of the light energy provided, after absorption by the tissues, into thermal, mechanical or chemical energy. It depends on the characteristics of the radiation produced by the devices, such as wavelength, output power, pulse duration, beam size and the optical and thermal properties of the tissue to which it is applied.
Lasers, in terms of their applications in dentistry, can be classified as soft tissue lasers and hard tissue lasers based on the tissues with which they interact.
Their use in dental treatments is usually complementary to other classical procedures. In various clinical situations they could be used for both hard and soft tissue without anaesthesia.
Their use and the potential benefits of lasers in dental implantology have not been documented to the same extent as laser applications in other medical procedures.
The dentist must have full knowledge about the specific laser wavelength that can be used in a particular procedure and also be aware of the laser-tissue interactions that may occur.
Below we describe the various laser applications in restorative treatments of missing teeth with dental implants and the different laser wavelengths that may prove useful.
Laser implant placement
In cases where we have sufficient bone thickness and height (i.e. in simple cases), it is possible to use a soft tissue laser to make a small circular incision in the gums through which access is gained to the jawbone in the area where the implant will be placed.
Using hard tissue lasers such as Er:YAG, the initial opening can be made in the outer – solid part of the jawbone to a depth of 2-3mm. The process of preparing the well where the dental implant will be placed is completed using conventional equipment.
The potential advantages of this limited use of lasers (as the osteotomy site where the tooth implant is placed cannot be completely prepared with lasers) have been substantially reported in a 2006 study in rats. Further studies are needed to confirm possible benefits of this application.
Uncovering implants in the second stage by laser
Various dental lasers can be used to disclose implants. CO2 and Er:YAG lasers are used successfully, whereas the Nd:YAG laser is contraindicated as this causes a significant increase in temperature around the implants and melting of the implant surface. The main advantages of using lasers in this procedure are hemostasis, facilitating easier visual access to the cover screw.
In recent years, techniques where implants are completely covered under the gums until their integration with the jawbone is complete are only used when absolutely necessary. Uncovering implants by incision (laser or traditional) is a minimally invasive procedure and is always done under local anaesthesia.
Laser treatment of peri-implantitis
Peri-implantitis is a rapidly progressive failure of osseointegration in which microbes in the area produce substances that lead to inflammation and bone loss. In the case of peri-implantitis, the implant surface is contaminated with soft tissue, cells, microbes and other microbial by-products. It is difficult to clean the surface of the affected implant with mechanical tools, especially between the coils. Removal of the infectious material and cleaning of the surface of failing implants can be assisted by using a laser with a wavelength that is not harmful to bone. CO2 lasers, diode lasers and Er:YAG lasers have been shown to be able to effectively remove contaminant material from the area where the dental implant joins the prosthetic abutment and crown. It is an aid in efforts to curb peri-implantitis.
Removal of a dental implant
Failure to osseointegrate dental implants or incorrect implant placement sometimes requires surgical removal using techniques that usually damage the bone. “Failed implants” can be removed using YSGG (Er, Cr: YSGG) ergonium-chromium laser which is a minimally invasive technique instead of conventional removal methods. The Er, Cr: YSGG laser has been shown to effectively cut bone without burning, melting or altering the calcium-phosphorus ratio of the irradiated bone.
In conclusion, the use of lasers in dental implant dentistry, despite the initial enthusiasm generated by the companies producing the devices in question, has an ancillary role and few documented benefits, in contrast to their numerous fully documented applications in the broader medical fields of general surgery, ophthalmology and dermatology.
Why choose us for your implants
At Advanced Implant Clinics, we are committed to providing you with exceptional and innovative implant technology. When it comes to implant restorative treatments, we use Biolase technology which is the latest in dental lasers.
We have become one of the leading Dental Implant Clinics in Greece, with international partnerships, through our commitment to develop high quality, innovative, safe and effective dental implants. We conduct a rigorous quality control process to continue to achieve our mission. It is no coincidence that our clinic is a member of the MALO DENTAL International Network, the only one in Greece.
Our dedication to the field of implant dentistry and to our patients, as well as the affordable prices we offer, is the reason why so many people choose Advanced Implant Clinics for their treatment.
Contact us to schedule an appointment at our clinic in Glyfada, Athens to discuss options that fit your finances and needs.