Listen as Dr. Nammy talks about laser dentistry. She talks about the dental issues that can be treated by lasers. Then, she explains how to choose a dental professional for laser dentistry.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m 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 author of their 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 understanding laser dentistry, how it works, and its advantages over traditional dental procedures. Welcome, Dr. Nammy.
Dr. Nammy Patel: Hi, John. Thank you for having me.
What Is Laser Dentistry?
John: Sure. So Dr. Nammy, tell me a little bit about what laser dentistry is and how it differs from traditional dental procedures.
Dr. Nammy: So laser dentistry is really cool because lasers are able to fill cavities without getting an injection or a needle shot, which is pretty darn awesome. Lasers can also be used to heal gum tissue and eradicate bacteria and be specific about it, which means that it only attacks the bacteria that cause disease and lets the good bacteria survive, which is amazing for your oral microbiome. And also certain lasers can actually be utilized to activate the red blood cells to promote healing after cleanings, which is wonderful too.
What Dental Issues Can You Treat With Lasers?
John: Yeah. And what types of dental issues can be treated with lasers, and how does laser dentistry compare to traditional treatments in terms of effectiveness and safety?
Dr. Nammy: Lasers are amazing. Lasers do a really good job of, well, first of all, when it comes to cavities, they can remove enamel, and if it’s a nice natural tooth, you can actually use the laser in order to be able to do a filling and the patient’s really comfortable, which is really nice to have. And it’s very different from the traditional drill sound, and it’s much better for the tooth because it doesn’t generate heat.
And basically what hurts for a patient with traditional hand pieces is that they actually generate a lot of heat, which gets the nerve really irritated, and that’s why there’s pain. But with lasers, because they’re cold lasers, you basically just feel a little bit of maybe cold for a second or two, and that’s pretty much it. It desensitizes the nerve, which is wonderful, and that’s why it can eliminate the need for being numb, which is awesome for patients.
How to Choose a Dentist for Laser Dentistry
John: Sure. And how can patients ensure that they receive safe and effective laser dental treatments, and what kind of qualifications maybe should they be looking for in a laser dentist?
Dr. Nammy: One of the things I always say, is it a laser certified dentist? So it’s really important that they’re trained by whatever laser they’re using. There’s multiples out there, and to make sure that the lasers that they’re using, the dentist has done multiple processes and has used the laser for a while, is also certified.
Advancements in Laser Dentistry and Improved Patient Outcomes
John: And how have advancements in laser dentistry technology improved patient outcomes and experiences, and what do you expect to see in the future in this field?
Dr. Nammy: Wow. I feel like there’s going to be two things. Laser’s going to be the answers to everything, which is awesome, or there’s going to be stem cells that we just plant, and then you’re going to get a whole new tooth. I feel like that’s going to be the future of dentistry.
John: Right. That’s coming down the road at some point. But yeah, more better lasers and like you said, able to treat more types of things in the mouth. You really see that that’s the future?
Dr. Nammy: I do. I think that lasers are really great, and it’s not that we need new lasers, it’s really that the lasers that we have are more efficient. For example, my first laser I purchased 18 years ago, and it’s this big machine that I had to utilize and had a cord and all this other stuff. The newer lasers I have are little pens, and you can’t even tell that, oh, this is a big laser light. So the usability, compatibility of it, it really has become more ergonomic to be able to use these lasers.
As far as a quality, do they do the same thing? The answer is yes. And these are things from a patient perspective, the results are really great. There are newer lasers out on the market even for root canals. You can actually use certain lasers to disinfect the nerve, which is really awesome because we’ve now discovered that there are certain bacteria that are resistant to cleanings or resistant to even peroxide or ozone, or even they use calcium hydroxide. So it’s actually resistant to all of those.
And so lasers have become a really great adjunct because they’ve become smaller and we’re able to use them in minuscule environments in the mouth, even kind of like for a root canal, to make sure that the root canals are safe and they’re done highly accurately. So it actually minimizes the risks of root canals. And so now you can have a safe root canal, which is very, very, very surprising because a lot of holistic dentistry books you’ll read, you’ll read about how root canals are horrible, and they’re the cause of infection because you can never clean it or sterilize it. And now with lasers being evolved as much as they have been, we’re actually able to sterilize the environment before we complete a root canal, which is amazing.
Should Everyone Consider Laser Dentistry? Yes!
John: And so do you recommend laser dentistry for anybody, and do you recommend that almost anybody should seek out a qualified laser dentist?
Dr. Nammy: Absolutely. Absolutely. Laser dentistry just makes your life so much easier. It’s really great. We can desensitize teeth, they can do fillings, it can help with gums, and it’s just a higher quality, better care. So I absolutely ask anybody listening to seek out better care for yourself. Why not?
John: Absolutely. All right. Well, that’s really great information, Dr. Nammy. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Dr. Nammy: Absolutely.
John: And for more information about Green Dentistry, visit the website at sfgreendentist.com or call 415-433-0119.