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What are lasers used for in Orthodontics?

Tooth whitening bleaching with laser

Modern lasers can provide several benefits for patients undergoing orthodontic care. Many types of dental lasers are now available, and can be used for both gums and teeth depending on the type and settings. Laser therapies can be advantageous because they are non-invasive, efficient, and provide control from bleeding. They even help reduce post-operative pain. Let's explore some of the orthodontic applications of diode lasers.

Tooth Root Desensitization

Teeth naturally have fluid in small tubules of the tooth's dentin layer. When exposed to air, this fluid typically moves back and forth toward the tooth pulp or nerve, creating sensitivity. Use of a laser helps reduce the fluid in these tubules. The fluid present also becomes more viscous, reducing its movement within the tubules. These actions help reduce overall sensitivity of the tooth to stimuli such as temperature and air.

Canker Sores (Aphthous Ulcers)

Canker sores can be very painful, and often take a few weeks to fully resolve on their own. With a laser, your dentist or orthodontist can treat these sore areas. The laser energy destroys and inactivates any bacteria present, and helps seal any nerve endings exposed. In addition to reducing symptoms, the laser energy also enhances tissue repair via photobiomodulation (PBM), which decreases healing time.

Bacteria Reduction

Pathogens that hide within gum pockets around teeth can create disease. Laser treatment vaporizes these pathogens. This procedure is sometimes done by dentists prior to taking measurements of pockets, and to assist with deep cleanings.


Lasers can expedite the tooth whitening or bleaching process. Their energy is absorbed by particles in special whitening gel, increasing their activity to stimulate and accelerate whitening.


Utilizing a laser can be a great way to instantly and precisely remove suspicious tissue to be biopsied.


Lasers can be used to dissolve or remove excessive gum tissue. This is helpful to expose more of the natural tooth structure, reshape the gums to reduce the look of a "gummy smile," and remove uncomfortable, overgrown tissue.


Our mouths have several frenula, which are areas of connective tissue and muscle fibers that attach the cheek or lip to the gum tissue, and tongue to the floor of the mouth. Sometimes, these form very tight, thick, or low. This can cause gum recession, gaps between teeth, and restrict or prevent movement of the tongue. Lasers can be a comfortable, efficient way to release or remove a frenum.


As an adjunctive procedure, laser therapies have helped dentists and orthodontists enhance the design of a patient's smile and improve treatment efficiency. If you are interested in a smile evaluation, contact our office at Godley Family Orthodontics or book a complimentary consultation online.


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