Laser Dental Treatment In Malta- savina dental clinics malta and gozo

If you shudder at the thought of dentist drills, then you will be glad to hear that the growing use and acceptance of laser technology in dental treatments is reducing the need for traditional dental tools, resulting in less discomfort and shorter recovery times. The following article will explain what the term “Laser Dentistry” means and how it will positively impact your future dental treatments.

What Is Laser Dentistry?

This is the use of a notably focused narrow, intense beam of light energy to treat various dental problems. This light sterilises and clots blood vessels to reduce the risk of infections. Laser fluorescence can be used in multiple surgical procedures like a cutting tool or as a tissue vaporiser to melt away any tissue it touches. Despite a few exceptions, lasers replace the painful needles and drills of the past.

To book a dental consultation, please use our online appointment form or contact us directly on (+356) 2125 7253 (Skyparks Business Centre, Malta International Airport), or (+356) 2155 7323 (Dingli Street, Victoria, Gozo). For international patients, it is recommended to request a free e-consultation where we can discuss your individual case and treatment options.

What Do Dentists Use Lasers To Treat?

  • Tooth Decay – Dentists use lasers to remove the decaying parts of a tooth and also prepare its surrounding enamel to allow the installation of the fillings.
  • Teeth Whitening – Lasers make an in-office tooth whitening procedure faster by activating the peroxide bleaching solution that is applied to the tooth surface.
  • Biopsy Removal – Lasers are also used to take out a small part of tissue known as a biopsy used for examining cancer. The laser may also aid in removing sores and ease the discomfort caused by canker lesions in your mouth.
  • Gum Disease – During a root canal procedure, dentists use lasers to reshape gums and remove bacteria.

How Does Laser Fluorescence Work in Dentistry?

Your dentist can use dental lasers to:

  • Expose moderately erupted wisdom teeth
  • Perform biopsy procedures
  • Help treat root canal infections
  • Remove muscle attachments that limit proper movement
  • Speed up the tooth whitening process
  • Minimize discomfort of cankers and cold sores
  • Manage your gum tissue during impressions for crowns and other procedures
  • Remove the overgrown tissues caused by various medications
  • Remove and reshape the gum and the bone tissues during crown lengthening procedures

Types of Dental Lasers

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a variety of soft and hard tissue lasers to be used in the dental treatment of adults and children. This is because dental lasers boast unique absorption characteristics.

Hard Tissue Laser

The hard tissue laser is primarily used for your teeth. Its wavelengths are highly absorbable by the calcium phosphate, the salt found in teeth, bone, and water. This makes it more efficient for cutting through bone and teeth with extreme precision.

Practical Procedural Uses:

  • If you have sensitive teeth, your dentist can use dental lasers to cover tubules that are responsible for your tooth sensitivity located at the root of your teeth.
  • When using hard tissue dental laser, you may not have to use a local anaesthetic injection or the traditional dental drill. The lasers are used to kill the bacteria situated in a cavity leading to enhanced long-term tooth restoration. Nonetheless, dental lasers are not recommended for the installation of onlays, crowns or amalgam fillings.

Soft Tissue Laser

The soft tissue laser is highly absorbable in water and haemoglobin. This characteristic makes them more efficient in soft tissue management. They penetrate soft tissue while sealing nerve endings and blood vessels.

Practical Procedural Uses:

Your dentist may use soft tissue dental lasers for the early detection of cavities. This discovery is accomplished by reading the byproducts that are produced from tooth decay.

  • Soft tissue laser can restructure your bone tissue and the gum with the help of a hard tissue laser to uncover a better tooth structure and also provide a stable base for the Installation placement of tooth restorations. This procedure is known as crown lengthening.
  • Soft tissue gum laser can help correct a gummy smile by reshaping the gum tissue to allow for a beautifully shaped tooth structure.
  • Soft tissue laser also aids in the painless removal of soft tissue folds that are caused by sagging dentures.
  • It can help in the treatment of children with a constrained or tight frenulum, as well as those who are unable to breastfeed because of restricted tongue movement. This procedure may also aid in eliminating speech impairments.

Other Dental Related Applications

  • Sleep Apnea: If your sleep apnea is a result of a tissue overgrowth in the throat area, a laser-assisted uvuloplasty or uvula palatoplasty procedure may be used to reshape your throat and ease any correlating breathing issues.
  • Benign Tumours: If you have mild tumours on your lips, gums, palates or the sides of your inner cheeks, your dentist may use dental lasers to provide suture-free and painless removal.
  • Nerve Regeneration: Dental lasers can also be used to regenerate damaged nerves, scars, and blood vessels.
  • Teeth Whitening: A soft tissue low-intensity dental laser can help speed up the bleaching procedure during teeth whitening.
  • Cold sores: Your dentist may use low-intensity dental lasers to ease the pain linked to cold lesions and minimise the healing period.

What Are The Pros & Cons Of Using Lasers In Dentistry?

Pros

  • It provides better results with gum treatments while preserving your teeth longer
  • It speeds up the healing process after procedures such as extraction, contouring, or root canals
  • Nervous patients no longer have to use anaesthesia in various procedures
  • Bleeding and swelling is minimised during soft tissue laser treatments
  • Healthier teeth are preserved during cavity removal
  • Causes less pain in most cases
  • Since laser treatment is less invasive, it minimises damage to the surrounding tissue
  • Wounds heal faster, and the tissues can be regenerated

Cons

  • Lasers cannot be used on teeth that already have dental fillings in place
  • It is not suitable for various conventional dental procedures such as removing silver fillings, defective crowns or preparing teeth for bridges. You also can’t use it to fill cavities around old fillings, between teeth or large cavities that need to be prepared for a crown.
  • Lasers do not eliminate the need for anaesthesia
  • Laser treatment is more expensive than traditional dental treatment
  • You may still need traditional drills to adjust the bit, shape and polish the filling even after the laser has been used

The Future of Dental Lasers

Laser technology has been used in various types of medical procedures for years but has only been adopted by the dental industry since 1990. As more people continue to embrace the use of laser dentistry, the procedures may soon become more comfortable, efficient and even quicker.

dental laser treatment Malta

Are There Any Risks Associated With Laser Dental Treatment?

As long as a certified dental professional administer your treatment with the right know-how, the use of laser technology in dental treatment is safe. However, looking directly into the laser light with your bare eyes is not recommended. Your dentist should provide a set of specialised protective eyewear during the procedure.

How Can I Be Sure My Dentist Is Adequately Trained To Use A Laser?

Before undertaking the procedure, take the time to ask the dentist about the extent of their laser education and training. Make sure that they have participated in the relevant education courses and has received training from the manufacturer.

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How To Treat Recurrent Oral Ulcerations - savina dental clinic malta and gozo

Recurrent Oral Ulcerations are small mouth ulcers that typically last for a few days, but keep coming back every few weeks or months. These sores can be quite painful, making eating, drinking and even talking uncomfortable. It is for these reasons that people suffering from recurrent oral ulceration keep searching for information on the condition to help treat it. In this article, we are going to explain what recurrent oral ulcerations are, what causes them, the different symptoms you should look out for and finally, the best way to treat them.

Recurrent oral ulcerations are usually round or oval with a white or yellow centre and a red halo. After a while, they break down into punched out ulcers that are loosely covered with a white, yellow or greyish membrane. They may appear on;

  • The lining of lips and cheeks
  • The base of the gums
  • The tongue
  • The roof of the mouth (palates)

To book a dental consultation, please use our online appointment form or contact us directly on (+356) 2125 7253 (Skyparks Business Centre, Malta International Airport), or (+356) 2155 7323 (Dingli Street, Victoria, Gozo). For international patients, it is recommended to request a free e-consultation where we can discuss your individual case and treatment options.

What Are The Main Types Of RAS (Recurrent Aphthous Stomatitis)?

Minor Aphthous Ulcers

This type of ulceration accounts for 85% of all cases. Typically, they occur at the base of the mouth, ventral and lateral tongue, pharynx and the buccal mucosa. These lesions heal within ten days without scarring.

Major Aphthous Ulcers

These ulcerations constitute about 10% of all cases. Usually, they appear after puberty. The sores are more intense, more profound, broader and longer-lasting – they can last for weeks to months. These sores appear in the soft palate, lips, and throat. They may be accompanied by fever, malaise, and dysphagia, and may leave scarring.

Herpetiform Aphthous Ulcers

These account for 5% of all cases. They usually begin as multiple 1 to 3 mm crops of small, painful clusters of sores on a reddish base. They then merge to form bigger ulcers that last for about two weeks. This type of RAS is more common among women.

Symptoms of Recurrent Aphthous Ulcers

You might experience a burning or tingling sensation one or two days before the sores appear
The ulcers are painful, especially if irritated by movement or eating certain types of food like citrus fruits

Causes of Recurrent Aphthous Ulcers

Mechanical trauma

Mechanical trauma is the most common cause of oral mucosal ulceration. These ulcerations are typically caused by braces, dentures, broken teeth or too sharp teeth. It may also be as a result of tongue or cheek biting, eating rough foods or scratching with fingernails. This ulceration typically begins healing within ten days following the removal of the cause. In case it persists even after the removal of the problem, you are advised to seek a further diagnosis.

mouth ulcers mechanical trauma

Chemical injury

The most common type of chemical damage is when the oral mucosa comes into direct contact with aspirin. This results in white plaques which slough off. Bisphosphonates may also cause chemical burns when left to dissolve in the mouth instead of taking them as instructed. Your ulceration may also be caused by improperly cleaned or rinsed dentures, which are then placed in the mouth. Ulcers associated with dentures usually occur in a line along the gums. This ulceration is often more painful than mechanical ulcers.

Thermal injury

This results when mucosal comes into direct contact with hot foods or liquids. Although such lesions often occur on the palate, they may also occur in the tongue, lip or oropharyngeal region.

Other causes of RAS

Genetics

About 40% of all RAS patients have a family history of the condition. Such individuals develop more severe ulcers and earlier compared to others.

Stress

Stress is a common cause of RAS. Stress induces trauma to the oral soft tissues through parafunctional habits like cheek or lip biting.

Local Trauma

Trauma to your oral mucosa that is as a result of local injection, anaesthetic injections, dental treatments, toothbrush injury or sharp teeth may lead to the development of recurrent aphthous ulceration.

Food Sensitivity

The Oral Medicine Unit at Cardiff Dental Hospital found out that certain foods and drinks can contribute to the development of RAS. These include tomatoes, chocolate, fizzy drinks, crisps, preservatives, Benzoates and Liquorice.

Cessation Of Smoking

Various studies reveal a negative link between tobacco and RAS. Smoking increases mucosal keratinisation.

Hormonal Change

In some female patients, RAS episodes seem to be related to their menstrual cycles. Still, the evidence for a hormonal basis is inconsistent.

Treatment

The treatment of RAS targets to relieve the painful symptoms, reduce and prevent secondary infections as well as encourage healing.

Topical products

Over the counter, corticosteroids are applied topically to the affected area. This treatment is adequate for most patients and is available as mouthwashes, small dissolvable pellets, and sprays. It helps to relieve pain and inflammation.

Mouth Rinses

In case of severe sores, your dentist may prescribe mouthwashes containing steroid dexamethasone, which helps to reduce pain and inflammation. Some of these mouthwashes include;

  • Anaesthetic mouthwashes, sprays or throat lozenges can also be used to treat RAS. They are mainly helpful when used before meals as they help ease the soreness
    Antiseptic mouthwash, spray or gel. These help to prevent any secondary infection as well as control plaque levels in your teeth, especially if you are having difficulty brushing
  • Hyaluronic Acid solutions: HA is one of the building blocks in skin tissue repair processes. Rinsing up to three times daily with one of these solutions promotes ulcer healing. HA is also available in gel form for single ulcers

Oral Medication

Severe cases of RAS may need treatment with oral medicines if they don’t respond to topical treatments. These treatments include;

  • Oral steroid medication: Short course of systemic corticosteroids that are taken in tablet form. Long-term treatment with these drugs is not recommended because of the potential side effects.
  • Medication not explicitly intended for the canker sores like intestinal ulcer treatment.

When to see your dentist

Although these sores can get pretty painful, they do not pose a significant risk to your health. However, if you have severe, recurring sores that keep getting worse, consult your dentist or physician. Your dentist may do some tests to look for any blood problems such as deficiencies of iron, vitamin B12, folate, or even anaemia. Treating these efficiencies can help improve the sores.

Visit your dentist if:

  • The sores are bigger than 1 centimetre
  • The recurrent rate increases
  • You have more sores than you used to
  • The ulcerations are accompanied by other symptoms like fever, diarrhoea, rash or joint pain

Have You Tried Our Free e-Consultation Service?

If you are worried about a dental related issue, interested in finding a dentist in Malta, or have questions about any of the treatments we offer, please contact us using our new free e-Consultation service. One of our highly-qualified team will respond to your query as soon as possible. Our e-Consultation service is live 9 am – 6 pm Monday to Friday.

If you would like to schedule an in-person consultation at Savina Dental, please book your appointment using this form.

You can also read more about all our dental treatments at Savina Dental Clinic or check out our customer testimonials section.

Savina Clinic – Dental & Implantology Centres are friendly, state-of-the-art practices in Malta and Gozo dedicated to comprehensive quality dental care. Savina Dental is an innovative dental practice in Malta and prides itself on the high-quality customer service, low waiting room times, attention to detail and the advanced dental technology at their disposal.

Joseph Xuereb
Principal Dental Surgeon & Owner of Savina Dental Clinics, Dr Joseph Xuereb BChD (Hons), MFGDP(UK), MGDS RCS(Eng), FFGDP RCS(UK), FICD is a general dental practitioner with a special interest in Implant and Restorative Dentistry. Dr Joseph & the teams' full biographical information can be found here.