In this podcast, Dr. Nammy Patel talks she John Maher about laser dentistry. She talks about hot and cold lasers and outlines different dental applications for lasers.
John Maher: Hi, I am John Maher here today with Dr. Nammy Patel, founder of Green Dentistry in San Francisco, California, helping patients recognize the vital connection between dental health and whole body health. And the author of the bestselling books, “Age with Style: Guide to a Youthful Smile” and “Healthy Living and Total Wellness: Understanding the Link Between Your Teeth and Your Health”. Today, our topic is laser Dentistry. Welcome, Dr. Nammy.
Dr. Nammy Patel: Hi, John. Thank you for having me.
What Is Laser Dentistry?
John: Sure. So Dr. Nammy, what is laser dentistry?
Dr. Nammy: Laser dentistry is wonderful. It has innovated dentistry so much. I mean, there are so many different types of lasers that we can utilize in order to help our patients, and I’m so excited to be able to share that with them in my practice. There are lasers that can help us cut gum tissue and we can do it without anesthesia so we don’t have to worry about needles, which is really great.
There are lasers we can utilize to actually remove decay, which is really wonderful as well. Again, no need for needles, no need for anesthesia. We can take care of the fillings really easily. There are lasers we can utilize for removing gum disease, which is really awesome, so we get a real good clean. And those are my favorites because I really like balancing the microbiome and I really like eradicating those snake-like bacteria that cause gum disease.
Dental Treatments That Use Lasers
John: What are some of the issues that laser dentistry can treat and do you use different lasers for those different treatments?
Dr. Nammy: Absolutely. I use different lasers for different things. For example, there’s hot lasers and cold lasers. There’s two types of lasers that we utilize. So cold lasers are really wonderful when we need to do a cavity. So if we need to remove a cavity, we would use a cold laser. So that means that it’s going to use water and it’s going to have a coolant, and that way, you don’t feel any pain. You feel really comfortable. You feel maybe a tinge of maybe air or cold or something along those lines. But very tolerable, very comfortable.
And those lasers are really wonderful because, again, we eliminate the need for getting you numb. Also, they’re super quick. So we get done with fillings within 10 to 15 minutes versus an hour to two hours, which is really awesome. And there’s different kinds of lasers that we also use, like hot lasers. And hot lasers are used sometimes for eradicating bacteria. They are frequency specific. So what they do is that they only kill off the bad bugs and let the good bugs survive, which I’m a big fan of because I want to get rid of the nasty guys and let the good ones survive so that we have a balance in our microbiome.
Benefits of Laser Dentistry
John: And what are the benefits of laser dentistry over some more traditional methods?
Dr. Nammy: The best thing about laser dentistry is that it’s highly specific. For example, I was sharing with you about doing laser dentistry for gum disease. And it’s really great because it only kills the bad guys. It lets the good guy survive, which makes it so amazing because then we are balancing… I always like to use the analogy of a swamp when I think about gum disease. You have good bugs and bad bugs and bad bugs have taken over.
This is a beautiful way where you only eradicate the bad bugs and let all the good ones survive. So that feels really good. And it’s great for the body. It’s immediate. You feel it, you see the results immediately, which is really wonderful. And the other use for lasers is for surgical techniques too. So sometimes we utilize lasers in order to remove a frenum or remove gum tissue. And the cold lasers are really great because there is zero pain afterwards. It’s as if nothing ever happened. So there’s no post-op pain or discomfort. And I love, love, love, love lasers for those two reasons.
Using Lasers to Fill Cavities
John: You mentioned that you can use lasers for fillings as well. Are you actually using a laser in place of a drill or do you have-
Dr. Nammy: Yeah. Absolutely. We’re using the laser in lieu of a drill. So the laser beam or laser light actually cuts through the enamel and removes decay and disease. So it is such a wonderful tool and I love using them.
John: And you said you don’t even need to use numbing for that procedure.
Dr. Nammy: No need for numbing at all. Absolutely not.
John: And why is that? Is it just the laser’s not affecting the nerves and making that painful sensation?
Dr. Nammy: Exactly. So the way that the cold lasers are utilized is that there is a laser beam, but it is also a cooling light. One thing that makes us feel pain is if we use a hand drill, what it does is it actually causes the nerves to create heat, and that heat is what causes sensitivity and discomfort. So with the cold lasers, we actually have a coolant or water that goes along with the laser beam. So you have hot cold right away, hot cold right away, so it neutralizes the heat and so you don’t feel anything.
What to Expect With Laser Dentistry
John: What can I expect during and after a laser procedure?
Dr. Nammy: During the laser procedure, we would walk you through the process of how it’s done. We’d try the laser beam on your hand first so you know what to expect and how to feel. We would do the actual procedure and then you would just go on with your merry life as if nothing ever happened.
John: It’s a very quick recovery. Like you said, you don’t have any recovery time afterwards.
Dr. Nammy: No, it’s completely comfortable. It’s non painful. It’s easy. We can go back to our lives and go back to work, go back to our kids, whatever we need to get done.
Contact Green Dentistry in San Francisco to Learn More
John: All right. Well, that’s great information, Dr. Nammy. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Dr. Nammy: You’re welcome.
John: And for more information about Green Dentistry, visit the website at SFGreenDentist.com or call (415) 433-0119.