Lasers – light amplification by simulated emission of radiation – are familiar to most of us. Lasers are used in everything from medical treatments to pointers for business presentations.
No surprise, then, that lasers also have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for certain dental hygiene procedures, and the American Academy of Periodontology has issued a position statement on their use in treating periodontal disease.
So, are lasers emerging as the future of dental hygiene treatment? According to an article by Lisa Dowst-Mayo, RDH, lasers no longer are just cool, new pieces of equipment for dental hygienists, they’re becoming the standard for oral health care. During a four-year span after lasers were introduced in the practice (2008-2012), the number of hygienists using laser technology doubled, and advancements since then have made lasers even more productive in the dental field.
Dowst-Mayo says the use of lasers often creates more positive results for patients, such as reduced discomfort after scaling and root planning procedures, and improved tissue color and contour changes. Laser energy even can be used to assist and help whiten teeth by accelerating hydrogen particles to enhance results.
As with any oral care tool, hygienists must be thoroughly trained in the use of each laser application to ensure the safety of their patients and themselves. However, when all is said and done, lasers appear to be changing the way dental hygienists perform their work.
Only time will tell if lasers are the future of dental hygiene, but the technology definitely is gaining wider acceptance every day.
Getting Involved in the Dental Field
The dental profession consistently ranks as one of the top career paths in the U.S. But, if becoming a dentist isn’t in your future, maybe Dental Hygiene is. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the profession is experiencing faster-than-average job growth and U.S. News & World Report Money ranks it high for job flexibility.
If you’re ready to start your dental career, contact one of the nearby Fortis campuses to begin your dental program today.