The Complete Guide to Laser Dentistry

May 6, 2024

Incorporating technological advancements is not what distinguishes a dental office as one of the top dentists in South Miami: their dedication to making dental care comfortable and effective for their patients is. In some cases, though, technological advances achieve precisely that.

That's the case for laser dentistry. Dentists have been using lasers for almost 30 years, but for many of our patients, this treatment sounds very new, and it’s filled with uncertainties. Because of that, here’s our small guide to laser dentistry, so you don’t let the fear of the unknown prevent you from experiencing all its benefits.

Laser Dentistry Procedures by Top Dentists South Miami

What Is Laser Dentistry?

Laser dentistry is a dental practice that utilizes lasers to treat various dental conditions. The acronym LASER stands for “light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation," and as it indicates, it consists of a narrow and focused beam of light.  

When this beam strikes a patient's gums or teeth, their surface absorbs it. The energy contained in the light destroys the tissue at that location, very similar to how dental frills work.  

However, unlike dental frills, lasers are extremely precise tools that provide a cleaner, more localized way to treat common oral health issues. Some of its many advantages include less pain, quicker treatments, and a lower risk of infection at the surgical site.

Moreover, lasers can be used in a variety of procedures, such as:

  • Eliminating cavities,
  • Reducing hypersensitivity,  
  • Treating gum disease,  
  • Whitening teeth,
  • And others.

Dentists set their lasers to specific wavelengths to target particular tissues. This allows for more control of the laser's effects and ensures that it only works on the specific tissues that your dentist wants to remove.

Different Laser Dentistry Treatments

More than one procedure, lasers are a tool that can be used to treat various dental issues. Moreover, research is constantly developing to discover new potential applications. For example, recently the effectiveness of laser for improving nerve damage recovery was discovered.  

However, here are some of the current applications of laser dentistry.

Laser Teeth Whitening

Laser teeth whitening is a bleaching procedure that uses a teeth-bleaching gel that’s placed on your teeth. When the laser is directed onto them, the gel absorbs its wavelength, activating its whitening properties and modifying the molecules on your teeth’s surface.

This reduces discoloration and makes your teeth appear whiter. The results are similar to other professional whitening methods, but laser whitening causes less sensitivity and can last up to three years.

Laser Gum Surgery

As the name indicates, laser gum surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a laser to remove bad bacteria and damaged gum tissue that causes gum disease.

Gum disease is a common illness caused by an infection of the tissues that hold teeth in place. It can stem from various factors, including genetics, smoking, some medications, and poor oral health.

The traditional surgery to treat gum disease involves cutting the patient’s gums to remove the affected area with anesthesia. It's a pretty invasive procedure that can cause discomfort or pain when healing.

On the other hand, laser gum surgery avoids the need for a scalpel and sutures. The laser is precise enough to only target bad tissue and reduces bacteria, resulting in a less invasive treatment that heals faster and hurts less.

Moreover, other gum-related issues that can be optimized with laser dentistry are:

  • Scaling or root planning treatment
  • Gum flap surgery
  • Gum contouring
  • Fixing a gummy smile

Laser Tooth Cleaning

Also known as deep cleaning, laser cleaning involves gently removing plaque and tartar buildup using a concentrated beam of light energy.  

Laser cleaning is simpler than professional cleaning methods like scaling and prophylaxis cleaning, but it offers a much more pleasant experience. Laser cleaning has minimal swelling, no bleeding, minimal pain, and a quick recovery.

Root Canals

Root canal therapy involves removing infected tissue from the innermost part of a tooth, the pulp. In severe cases of tooth decay and cavities, this area can become infected, leading to pain and tooth sensitivity.

To repair it, an opening is made to access the inside of the tooth, and the pulp must be completely removed. Then, the area is disinfected with antibiotics before being sealed.

The biggest challenge with traditional root canal treatments is ensuring the complete removal of bacteria. If some is left behind, the treatment's success is jeopardized, potentially leading to further long-term complications.

Due to its antimicrobial properties, laser dentistry can exterminate bacteria and microorganisms that chemicals used in traditional methods are unable to. Moreover, the lasers can sterilize the tooth's structures, including hard-to-reach areas such as the dentinal tubules.  

Other additional benefits include offering a more precise method of exposing the pulp of the teeth and preserving a healthier tooth structure. Lasers can also be used to reshape the canal's dentinal walls with less friction, resulting in significantly less pain and discomfort.

Risks of Laser Dentistry by Top Dentists South Miami

Laser Dentistry for Cavities

Using lasers for cavity removal can help optimize the process. Lasers remove spots of decayed tissue with precision, reducing the amount of healthy tooth removal. The treatment is less invasive, as it avoids drills and often doesn’t require anesthesia.

Moreover, lasers' antibacterial properties leave cavities cleaner. The only downside to laser dentistry for cavities is that it cannot be used for every case.

They shouldn’t be used depending on the cavity's location or the material of a tooth filling, like on ceramic restorations.

Oral Surgery

One of the most beneficial applications of lasers in dentistry lies in oral surgery. Unlike scalpels, lasers reduce the need for flaps and sutures, allow for more precise treatment, and sterilize the treated area, reducing recovery time.

Lasers may be used to perform and improve various oral surgeries, like:  

  • Crown enlargement
  • Gingivectomy, or gum disease treatment
  • Frenectomy, a procedure where a too short frenum is cut
  • Ulectomy, the removal of gum tissue from an unerupted tooth
  • Biopsies


A not-so-well-known laser application lies in orthodontics. Low-level laser offers many benefits, like accelerating metabolic changes and tooth movement, fostering bone regeneration, and improving bonding and debonding processes.  

There are also debates on whether or not laser therapy can reduce pain during orthodontic treatments, or not.

Other Laser Procedures

Dental lasers have proven very effective for cosmetic or health-maintenance procedures, including:  

  • Reshaping and repairing fillings
  • Removing tooth enamel
  • Preparing teeth for composite bonding, veneers, or other similar procedures
  • Increasing the effectiveness of whitening procedures,
  • Detecting cavities or areas with thinner enamel
  • Treating cold sores
  • Regenerating nerves and damaged blood vessels.
  • Reducing scar tissue
  • Removing obstructive sleep apnea.

Benefits of Laser Dentistry

As we’ve been over, laser dentistry offers many benefits over traditional treatments. However, here’s a small recap of them:

  • Less invasive treatments
  • Faster healing times
  • Less bleeding, pain, or damage to surrounding tissues
  • Little need for local anesthetics, which implies no need for needles.
  • No need for drills
  • Less anxiety related to dental procedures
  • Lower chances of infection

Disadvantages of Laser Dentistry

Nevertheless, there are certain downsides to laser dentistry, especially because using the laser tool is not always possible. Some of these are:  

  • Teeth that already have fillings in them  
  • Spaces in-between teeth  
  • When preparing teeth before a dental crown or bridge  

In these cases, traditional drills are the only option.

Risks of Laser Dentistry

Laser dentistry is considered safe, and for some, even safer than traditional manual methods because it provides more precise control and reduces the possibility of residual bacteria. The FDA has approved the use of medical lasers for dental surgery since 1997.  

However, there are some risks associated with laser dentistry, including:  

  • Damage to the surrounding gum tissue  
  • Injury to the pulp of your tooth  
  • Eye damage due to direct exposure to the laser beam  

Nevertheless, all of these risks can be avoided by taking proper safety precautions which can help you avoid all of these.  

Laser equipment must be tested on a regular basis. Many laser treatments require gum protection to be placed before starting. Additionally, everyone present in the dental office during a laser dentistry procedure must wear protective eyewear to shield their eyes from the tool's intense light.  

Laser Dentistry by Top Dentists South Miami

Find Top Dentists in South Miami That Do Laser Dentistry

At Coral Gables Dentistry, ensuring the comfort of our patients is one of our biggest objectives. This is why we never doubted before incorporating laser dentistry into our services, as it offers less invasive treatments with shorter recovery times. The improvement in dental technology has drastically improved over recent years, and we’re always ready to incorporate these amazing advancements.

When you come to see our team, you can only expect the best treatment, the best service, and the highest level of comfort from start to finish. The patient experience is just as important to us as the incredible results you’ll see and feel once we’re done with your treatment, whether restorative, cosmetic, or preventative.  

If you’re interested in learning how lasers can improve your treatment, give us a call! Our team can answer your questions or concerns and get you set up for improving your smile and overall oral health.


We value your time, so we always run on schedule, respecting your commitments, with no double bookings and minimal wait times. Experience dentistry like never before in our award-winning clinic.

request appointment

Follow us on instagram

contact us