Lasers are extremely focused light beams which alter or remove tissue in small amounts. There are two types of lasers in dentistry, hard tissue and soft tissue lasers. Dentists use lasers in various procedures involving inside of the mouth to remove overgrown tissue, to reshape gums, or to whiten the teeth. Hard tissue lasers are used in the shaping of teeth for composite bonding, removal of small amounts of tooth structure and the repair of certain worn down dental fillings.
Soft tissue lasers penetrate soft tissue, sealing blood vessels and nerve endings. Soft tissue lasers allow tissues to heal faster. They can also treat gum diseases or periodontal diseases. The appearance of a gummy smile can also be improved by the use of the laser. For this reason, cosmetic dental practices are incorporating the use of soft tissue lasers for gingival sculpting procedures.