How Hard Tissue Lasers Improves Restorative Dental Treatment?

Since their advent in the 1960s and drastic improvement by the 1990s, lasers have helped improve the quality and processes of dental treatments. Initially, the use of lasers focused on soft tissues only. With the development of carbon dioxide lasers and erbium lasers, both soft and hard tissues problems could be treated. The technological advancement over the years resulted in sophisticated and specialized lasers for improving hard dental tissue treatment procedures. If you heard your dentist mentioning these terms while diagnosing a dental issue and discussing the treatment, read this article to stay informed about it and the use of lasers for hard dental tissues.

What are hard tissues?

Teeth are composed of four types of tissues. Three among these—enamel, cementum, and dentin—are hard tissues.
Enamel- It is the thin outer covering of teeth.
Dentin- The hardened tissue surrounding the tooth’s pulp, dentin is made up of tiny tubules or tubes.
Cementum- It is a mineralized connective tissue that covers the root surface.
The fourth is the pulp or non-calcified tissue that comprises nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue.

What are restorative treatments in dentistry?

Restorations in dentistry focus on treating problems such as a missing or weakened tooth, tooth decay, and dental fracture. Fillings, implants, crowns, bridges, and dentures are examples of restorative treatments.

What are hard tissue lasers for restorative dental treatment?

Laser treatment for hard dental tissues is useful in preventing cavities, growth modulation, removing unwanted filling material, bleaching, treating dentinal hypersensitivity, and detecting dental problems. Because of their precision, efficacy, and minimal invasiveness, hard dental tissues lasers have emerged as one of the most preferred approaches to treatments.

Applications and efficacy of hard tissue lasers

Prosthodontists, endodontists, and oral surgeons swear by hard tissue lasers or those that work well for hard and soft dental tissue treatments. Here are some of its applications to improve the outcomes of hard dental tissue treatments.

Restoration and prevention

Specialized hard tissue lasers, for example, Argon Laser emits high-intensity blue light. It is visible and can start the photopolymerization of dental fillings that adhere to the tooth surface after exposure to blue light. These are called light-cured dental fillings. In addition, hard tissue laser help protect the teeth against cavities changing the surface properties of dentin and enamel.

Laser Fluorescence

In many cases, caries diagnosis depends on visual and tactile observation, which is subjective and can make the dentists miss the entire picture. With the use of laser fluorescence as an assistive diagnostic aid, dentists can detect caries in time. The laser energy creates bacterial by-products called porphyrins that shine (fluoresce) red. Measuring the intensity of this fluorescence helps assess the occurrence and extent of the cavity. Besides demineralization as a result of orthodontic treatment, leaves white spots after the removal of dental fixtures. Laser application has shown a reversal of these demineralized spots.

Restoration removal and cavity preparation

Dentists use hard tissue lasers (for example, Er: YAG) for removing caries from the affected areas of the enamel and dentin. This process is called ablation and helps protect the pulp. Procedures like preparing cavities and removal of dental fillings also benefit from the use of hard tissue lasers.

Dentinal hypersensitivity

The application of hard tissue lasers has shown promising results for treating dentinal hypersensitivity. It ensures better efficacy and long-lasting results when treating the hypersensitive cervical part of the tooth.


Acid etching is a conventional method wherein an acidic substance is used to prepare the tooth’s natural enamel for applying adhesive. The acid makes the surface microscopically rough and irregular, which increases the retention of resin sealant. Hard tissue lasers are a viable substitute for the acid etching technique.

Bone surgery

Recently, the Er-Cr: YSGG lasers have emerged as operative tools for dental bone surgeries. These lasers make steps like cutting bone, contouring, and reshaping bone safer, more precise, and quicker while ensuring lesser blood loss. Dentists use these for osteotomy, crown lengthening, implants, and osteoplasty, among other procedures. Laser treatment also has an antibacterial effect and provides an aseptic environment.

What are the advantages of hard dental tissue lasers?

Hard dental tissue laser treatment has several advantages. It allows patients to overcome their fear of pain and start with their dental treatment as early as possible. Hard tissue procedures do not require anesthesia for patients. That is why it is a viable treatment option for children and adults who fear injections. The sound and vibration of dental tools during procedures like caries removal may add to the patient’s distress. It can become one of the reasons for treatment avoidance until the condition worsens. The use of hard tissue lasers in dentistry provides a more comfortable experience to the patient, thus encouraging them to seek and follow up on dental care during the early stages of dental problems. Reputable dental practitioners prefer these to make dental surgeries minimally invasive and minimize the scope of damage to the original tooth structure.

Are dental tissue lasers safe?

The U.S Food and Drug Administration has approved using lasers for dental treatments in the United States. It indicates that products for medical lasers must comply with manufacturing standards and the limits for radiation intensity. Besides, only a dentist who has been trained to use a specific dental laser device can perform surgeries. When a dentist recommends a dental laser treatment to you, do not hesitate to ask about the training they have received. In addition, wearing a pair of laser protection glasses is a norm during the soft or hard tissue lasers treatment in La Jolla and similar renowned clinics in the USA.
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