Blasting laser beams into patients' mouths to treat various dental issues may seem like a science fiction concept. However, modern laser technology is already being used by dentists in a number of ways. In the years to come, cavities and tooth stains may be a thing of the past as laser technology in dentistry continues to progress.
Tooth Regeneration via Stem Cells
The dreaded dental drill may be put to rest in the near future. Currently, most cavities are treated by drilling deteriorated material out of the infected tooth and filling the resulting hole in with a ceramic compound. However, scientists at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research have found a far more high-tech solution.
Using rats as test subjects, the scientists found a way to regenerate damaged tooth material with stem cells. They drilled holes in the rats' teeth to mimic a cavity, then used advanced laser systems to stimulate stem cells within the interior of the teeth. After 12 weeks, the teeth had begun to regenerate themselves, despite only receiving a single five-minute treatment.
Stem cells are already present in the interior of adult teeth — all that's needed is a laser catalyst to get them to grow. However, the hard enamel coating on the outside of adult human teeth doesn't contain any stem cells. Once the treatment becomes commonplace, you'll likely still need a dentist to add a cap to your affected teeth to ensure that no new cavities form. Nevertheless, having your teeth naturally repair their cavities after a noninvasive laser treatment is much more pleasant than having to endure the infamous dental drill.
Blasting Away Tooth Stains
There are numerous at-home remedies for whitening your teeth. However, they generally require foul-tasting bleaching chemicals and require weeks of treatment. Furthermore, the results are often inadequate — many people find their bright white smiles fading after only a few months.
Laser treatments offer a more efficient and long-lasting solution. Dentists use a bleaching agent combined with laser treatment to make your teeth up to nine shades lighter. The best part is that your teeth can remain bright for several years after the treatment. As laser technology becomes even more advanced, stained teeth may be a thing of the past entirely.
If you're experiencing any issues with your teeth, contact a general dentistry office today and ask about what exciting new technologies they employ to keep your teeth healthy and bright.Share