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Lasers and Their Use in Dentistry

LASERs (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) are one application that has come out of the study of quantum mechanics. The birth and development of this field in the early 1900's can be attributed to such noted physicists at Max Planck, Niels Bohr, and Albert Einstein. Lasers are now part of our everyday lives.

In Dr. Mika's office, two lasers are currently being used for dental purposes. The first one that you would likely see is the Air Techniques Spectra Caries Detection Aid. It is a Class II device at the 405nm wavelength using six Blue-Violet LED lamps. The Spectra system uses fluorescence technology to aid in the early detection of pit and fissure as well as smooth surface caries that may go unnoticed in X-ray images. Carious regions appear red, while healthy enamel appears green. The extent of the decay will be indicated in two ways:

1. The color will be blue, red, orange or yellow

2. A numerical indicator between 0 and 5 will be shown

No other caries detection aid can do this.

The other laser being used in Dr. Mika's office is called The Beamer STL 980. This is a diode laser used for surgery and treatment of soft tissue only. It is a Class IV laser that operates at 980nm. Because this is in the near infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum, it is free from any ionizing radiation. The Beamer is both very effective and easy to use. The indications for use of this soft tissue laser are numerous and include the following: Gingivectomy, crown lengthening, apthous ulcer treatment, periodontal treatment, hemostasis, frenectomy, biopsy, tooth exposure, and gingival troughing for crowns.

Because most surgeries can be performed without bleeding, for Dr. Mika, the advantage of using a surgical laser is working within a clear, dry field. A number of advantages also exist for patients which include:
  • Less pain
  • Less bleeding
  • Less mechanical trauma to the site
  • Less need for sutures
  • Less postoperative swelling
  • Less possibility of infection

Dr. Mika has taken a 12-hour Lecture and Hands-On Course and passed a Clinical Simulation Exam at The Ohio State University, a Recognized Course Provider of the Academy of Laser Dentistry. He also passed a 75 question written exam administered by the Academy of Laser Dentistry. In doing so, Dr. Mika has achieved Academy of Laser Dentistry Standard Proficiency Certification. Although certification is not required in Ohio, Dr. Mika has decided to be proactive in achieving certification in order to provide the best possible care to his patients.

Joseph A. Mika, DDS, FAGD • (330) 702-6000
3700 Stutz Dr, Ste 3 • Canfield, OH 44406