By John Flucke, DDS - November 15, 2021
Diode lasers offer a tremendous advantage in soft tissue crown lengthening than traditional modalities. Before lasers became affordable tools for soft tissue surgery, frequently the only other options were either electrosurgery or scalpel.
The electrosurgery unit was affordable and fast, but it provided much less predictability in results. Thermal damage from the unit was the main problem. Tissue that has been burned shrinks upon healing as the device creates an area of necrosis. This leads to uneven and asymmetrical results that are not in line with cosmetic principles.
Similar problems exist with the scalpel option. Tissue that is cut under strict sterile surgical conditions, even with the best of hands, can heal unevenly. This tendency to heal unevenly can necessitate the need for “touch up” surgery to create a more even healing and appearance.
When one cannot comfortably predict where the tissue will be when it has healed, true cosmetic results are impossible to achieve.
Into this realm steps the diode laser. Lasers can provide outstanding cosmetic results without postoperative pain or touch up surgeries.
Properly used at low power, a diode laser can create an aesthetic result that leaves the healed tissue in the exact same position in 3 weeks, that it was the day of the procedure. Using low power, a diode laser can “melt’ tissue during cosmetic recontouring. This eliminates thermal damage and tissue shrinkage due to overheating.
Prior to diode lasers, cosmetic crown lengthening or cosmetic recontouring required significant healing time to not only allow the tissue to recover, but also to factor in the possible need for touchup surgeries.
However, with a diode laser, the operator can use the laser, then prep and impress on the same day knowing that on the day of delivery the tissue will be in the exact same position it was on the day of the procedure. This saves an incredible amount of time. No patient wants to wait longer to receive their new smile, yet no doctor wants to prep if they cannot predict where the gingival margin will be in three weeks.
The diode laser provides fast and predictable results that benefit both the patient and the practitioner.