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Shining Smiles: The Radiant Revolution of Low-Level Laser Therapy in Dentistry

December 13th, 2023

(Excerpts from Article “Low Level Laser Therapy in Dentistry” published in International Journal of Laser Dentistry · December 2013, authored by Meenu Goyal, Sameer Makkar, Shinam Pasricha)

Soon after the discovery of lasers in the 1960s it was realized that laser therapy had the potential to improve wound healing and reduce pain, inflammation and swelling. Today, dentists have a variety of wavelengths to choose from the growing industry of lasers. Also, the field has broadened to include light-emitting diodes and other light sources, and the range of wavelengths used now includes many in the red and near infrared. Each wavelength has a unique interaction with the target tissues of the oral cavity. Laser dentistry, formerly embraced only by the speciality of oral and maxillofacial surgery, now, is positively affecting every field of dentistry. From pediatric and operative dentistry to periodontics, prosthetics to cosmetics and implantology, lasers have made a tremendous impact on the delivery of dental care in the 21st century and will continue to do so as the technology continues to improve and evolve. As low level lasers are more biocompatible than hard lasers, they are evolving rapidly.

Dental Infections:
Lasers kill bacteria by mechanism known as lethal laser photosensitization (LLP). Laser radiation emitted from a low power laser device activates a dye like toluidine blue O, which in turn exerts a lethal effect on particular cells, such as bacteria

Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is being used by many dentists and pedodontists for analgesia of primary tooth restorations.

Dentin Hypersensitivity:
LLLT is efficacious when either the tooth crown or the root apex is irradiated.

It is effective for reducing pain and inflammation after endodontic treatments, but can also be used as a diagnostic tool for pulp hyperemia.

Endodontic Surgery:
Postoperative pain relief after apicectomies can be achieved by irradiating the operation site subsequent to suturing

Postextraction and Bone Healing Therapy:
It is useful to irradiate the area before and after an extraction. Before extraction it aids in faster onset of local analgesia and reduced bleeding while after extraction, it aids in control of the swelling and inflammation.

Oral Mucositis:
It is used as a preventive application to mucositis and as a treatment mechanism for healing erupted sores

LLLT can effectively decrease pain sensations during the implant placement, help speed the integration of the implant into the bone and improve the quality of the bone around the implant.

LLLT stimulates fibroblasts for faster regeneration of soft tissue, while providing analgesia and a modulation of the inflammatory chemicals that cause pain and discomfort. LLLT when used in conjunction with surgical lasers for treatment such as gingivectomies, periodontitis and periodontal surgery, have shown great promise in achieving improved clinical outcomes.

Orthodontic treatments are lengthy and often painful for many patients. LLLT stimulates osteoblasts which results in an increased velocity of tooth movement. It also decreases the inflammation and pain caused from the pressure on the teeth during orthodontic tooth movement.

TMJ and Orofacial:
Pain From simple and acute cases like facial pain after long appointments to chronic TMJ cases, laser therapy (Fig. 13) will help reduce pain and inflammation, and significantly resolve muscle trismus.

Look for the light in the new millennium, bringing a new wave of exciting dental procedures. Dental laser technology has been developed that can be used to generate both hard and soft tissue laser energy, depending upon the patient’s needs. As more dentists practice laser dentistry, new procedures are tested and perfected. Patients appreciate the reduced risk and recovery time of laser procedures and as more and more demand that this technology be used in their dental offices, dentists around the world are complying. They are looking forward to greater comfort and precision care provided by laser technology. Lasers are certainly the future for dentistry as it makes it very easy to remove the decay. It is very helpful when reaching areas that were hard to treat with traditional treatments. There is low risk of infections in and around the treatment area. Laser dentistry has been a benchmark in dentistry and is truly the future of this field. It has boosted a trauma-free treatment yet increasing the confidence of the dentist as well as the patient. A new level of procedures, protocols and strategies have been adopted that not only surpasses the traditional treatment methods but also furthers the healing process. Lasers are the future of dentistry mainly because it far exceeds the bar that has been set by traditional drilling and other procedures. Most of all, lasers have changed the way patients and dentists think and operate.

More than 30 years of research into LLLT has yielded thousands of journal articles, hundreds of them with specific dental implications. However, there is still considerable skepticism regarding LLLT’s legitimacy within the broad scientific community. Due to lack of complete knowledge of principles of photobiology, the field of LLLT is shunned by the core scientific community.

Golden Dental Wellness Harnesses Laser Power

September 9th, 2021

Laser energy is being harnessed to improve treatments in nearly every area of wellness and medicine, and dentistry is no exception. Dr. Linda Golden, owner of Golden Dental Wellness Center, in Manhasset, says laser therapy that triggers a process called photobiomodulation (PBM) improves healing and reduces discomfort after dental procedures, disinfects teeth and surgical areas, and promotes tissue repair.

“PBM is a biological cascade initiated by laser energy,” she says. “It leads to a cellular response that can decrease pain, accelerate the healing process and promote tissue regeneration. This is a therapy we’ve been striving to introduce and perfect for many years.”

Laser therapy using PBM is accomplishing the same goals in facial esthetics, sports medicine, chiropractic, orthopedics, gynecology, physical therapy and podiatry. In dentistry, it’s being used to treat conditions like sleep apnea; temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders; myofascial pain syndrome; and headaches and neck pain.

“It’s a wonderful adjunct to post-surgical healing following many dental procedures,” Golden says.

Less Pain, Faster Healing

Golden says her practice uses PBM primarily as a complementary treatment with soft-tissue procedures, but the laser is also used to disinfect teeth before they’re filled; to prepare teeth for fillings in a less traumatic way, to avoid microfractures; to calm soft tissue after the delivery of anesthesia; and to sterilize infected areas of the mouth, like canker sores. The treatment is noninvasive and clinically proven to reduce pain and improve healing.

The PBM technology at Golden Dental Wellness Center uses low-level light energy (visible red to near-infrared) to stimulate cells’ natural healing mechanism, thereby reducing inflammation. According to Biolase, which manufactures the technology, the light is absorbed into the mitochondria and cell membranes of the target cells, leading to increased molecular kinetic energy and providing the sterilization and cutting energy to treat teeth with decay. Additionally, it boosts cellular metabolism, increases lymphatic flow and stimulates micro-circulation. As a result, Golden says, PBM can also reduce or eliminate tooth sensitivity, a problem that affects many of her patients.

“The research has reported that the application of a therapeutic dose of light to impaired or dysfunctional tissue can lead to a cellular response, which is what leads to the reduced pain and inflammation, which is a key factor post dental procedures,” she says.

For appointments or more information, 444 Community Dr., Manhasset, NY.  call 516-627-8400

Safety First With DentAirVac

September 9th, 2021

You may have never thought about catching a cold while you’re in the dentist chair, but Dr. Golden knows that the breathing space around the patient, dentist and hygienist can be full of contaminants. People inevitably exhale germs, but drilling and other procedures send particulates into the air space, and if you’re having an amalgam removal, you could be exposed to mercury vapor. Odors from disinfectants and smoke plume from laser procedures need to be filtered away from the patient and the staff as well, and the DentAirVac is just the tool for the job.

The DentAirVac is a hands-free, mobile air cleaning device that can be adjusted to just the right position to allow Dr. Golden to work while clearing contaminants from the breathing space of all parties. It is quiet and easily moved where it is most convenient for everyone. The hygienist and patient won’t have trouble hearing Dr. Golden’s instructions, assuring a pleasant visit.

DentAirVac provides HEPA filters to capture particles down to 0.3 microns. A micron is one-millionth of a meter; for comparison’s sake, one human red blood cell is around 5 microns across. It also has a granulated activated carbon filter to capture odor and vapor from breath and disposable intake liners to control moisture levels. These filters provide patients with top level hygiene, especially during the coronavirus outbreak.

The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT) is a non-profit organization founded in 1984 to bring dentists, scientists and health professionals from around the world together to present research and discuss scientific information about non-invasive dental therapies. In addition, they educate medical and dental professionals, policymakers and the public about dental products that are nontoxic and how they react with patients’ immune systems and living tissues. Their mission is to protect public health and the environment, and IAOMT members have testified about dental procedures and equipment before the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and many other government bodies globally.

Holistic dentistry dovetails with the IAOMT because its core tenets are to always use the safest, nontoxic means to a healthy mouth, and that dental health and overall health are intertwined.  DentAirVac will be showing their newest line of oral aerosol vacuums at the Fall 2020 IAOMT Meeting in Nashville next month.

So don’t let quarantine worries keep you from coming in to see Dr. Golden. You can be sure she has your health and your smile in mind.

For more information about DentAirVac and safety during COVID-19, call 516-627-8400 or visit GoldenSmile.com.

Intravenous Vitamin C for Dental Treatments 

September 9th, 2021

Orange juice has long been used as a homeopathic cocktail to boost the immune system and fight illness, but what if we were to boost the body with 120 times the amount of vitamin C found in a glass of juice? Intravenous Vitamin C (IV-C) has been studied extensively and has been found to have a surprisingly wide range of positive effects on the immune system, especially of those individuals undergoing medical procedures.

First, what is IV-C therapy? In order to increase absorption rates far beyond what could be achieved with oral supplementation, your dentist can deliver a dose from 10g up to 60g of vitamin C directly into your veins before the procedure; during the procedure to residual decrease bodily fatigue; and also after the dental procedure to decrease recovery time. Post-procedure IV-C is done in the office and can be completed in less than an hour, making it easy to fit in around a busy schedule.

According to Linda Golden, DDS, of Golden Dental Wellness Center in Manhasset, Long Island, “IV-C before, during and after your procedure helps improve the immune system and have better end-of-treatment results. It also aids in the removal of mercury-based fillings, as well as during placement of implants, extractions and dental procedures in general. For our patients, we use an individualized treatment, dependent on the procedure being performed. This helps boost immunity, combat pain and speed healing time.” Golden is in the process of implementing this procedure in her New York office, and currently refers patients to a doctor who specializes in IV-C therapy when necessary. She has treated patients with vitamin C in both Costa Rica and Switzerland, and her next trip is in March.

IV-C has been clinically tested repeatedly and has yielded some astounding results, from being used as a tool to repair the immune system during cancer treatment to fighting pain during and following dental procedures[1][2].  For those patients with old mercury-based implants, an IV-C can help chelate (loosen the bonds) residual mercury from the bonding site as well as act as a heavy-metal detoxification agent during removal[3]. Golden Dental Wellness Center is proud to be a mercury free office and will never use mercury in fillings! According to one study, an IV-C can also provide rapid recovery for patients experiencing painful dry socket after a tooth extraction, or even prevent it if administered during extraction[4].

For patients worried about managing their pain or gum sensitivity and inflammation during a procedure, an IV-C might be the perfect solution. Studies have shown an IV-C can decrease chronic or acute inflammation almost completely; in fact, after two rounds of treatment, many patients had no inflammatory cells at all and healthier gums overall[5]. This improvement can decrease or eliminate bleeding during procedures, redness and swelling[6]! If you think you may benefit from a IV-C during your next visit, please call Golden Dental Wellness Center for a consultation.

Very few side effects have been found as a result of IV-Cs, but it is important to tell your dentist if you are diabetic, as the procedure has been found to generate false positives post-procedure as “The electrochemical strip [used in reading blood sugar] cannot distinguish between ascorbic acid and glucose at high levels.”[7]

Golden Dental Wellness Center is located at 444 Community Dr, Manhasset, Long Island, New York. For more information, call 516-627-8400 or visit GoldenSmile.com.

[1] ibid
[2] An Insight and Update on the Analgesic Properties of Vitamin C. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2018 Jul-Sep; 10(3): 119–125.
[3] Chelation: Harnessing and Enhancing Heavy Metal Detoxification—A Review. ScientificWorldJournal. 2013; 2013: 219840.
[4] Clinical management and control of alveolalgia ("dry socket") with vitamin C. Am J Dent. 2003 Jun;16(3):152-4.
[5] Evaluation of the Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Locally Delivered Vitamin C in the Treatment of Persistent Gingival Inflammation: Clinical and Histopathological Study. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, Volume 2016, Article ID 2978741, 8 pages, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/2978741
[6] ibid
[7] IVC Protocol Vitamin C Research: The Riordan IVC Protocol for Adjunctive Cancer Care Intravenous Ascorbate as a Chemotherapeutic and Biological Response Modifying Agent
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