By Joy Raskie RDH - August 23, 2021
What is Laser Soft-Tissue Curettage
A Dental Procedure For Dental Hygienists
The world of dentistry is always coming up with new treatments, technologies, and solutions for dental hygienists to implement into their typical day to day routine – and Laser Soft-Tissue Curettage is no different. As a critically important treatment that utilizes the power of lasers to treat periodontal disease, Laser Curettage is a must-know and a must-have solution for your patients. Now, while this article focuses on the dental hygienist, doctors can also implement this procedure into their perio protocols. Let’s learn more about this unique procedure.
What Is Laser Soft-Tissue Curettage?
Laser Curettage is a process by which a dental hygienist uses a special laser tool to effectively remove colonies of bacteria within the periodontal pocket. This specialized laser is able to reach into those typically hard to reach places, while also helping to jumpstart the healing process and ensure healthy gums and teeth.
Who Are The Ideal Patients?
There are a number of patients who could benefit from Laser Curettage. However, there are a select few for which this process is designed for. Take a look below:
1. Laser Curettage is ideal for patients suffering from periodontal diseases in moderate and advanced stages, i.e., trench mouth, gingivitis, adult and juvenile periodontitis, etc.
2. Laser Curettage can be used as an early intervention for periodontal disease to stop disease progression and to limit spreading.
3. Laser Curettage should be used for patients who experience gum bleeding or those with substantial inflammation, deeper gum pockets, persistent bad breath, or pus discharge.
What Are The Results?
Laser Curettage is becoming one of the most popular forms of periodontal treatments out there for dental hygienists today – and for good reason. With generally positive outcomes, Laser Curettage paves the way for:
1. A faster healing period that supports tissue regeneration.
2. An increased success rate for saving affected teeth and reducing damage to jawbone.
3. Preventing the recurrence of the condition.
4. A reduction in the depth of periodontal pockets, which makes it easier for patients to brush and floss.
How Is Laser Curettage Performed?
Using a Laser Curettage device, a dental hygienist would insert the tip of the device deep into the periodontal pocket closest to the diseased soft tissue. From there, the dental hygienist would perform a sweeping motion, angling the device away from the tooth. This motion helps to remove bacteria in the pocket as well as the diseased, necrotic tissue. Depending on the severity of the disease and its relative progression, the procedure can be performed on just one pocket, or throughout the entire mouth.
Additionally, Laser Curettage does not demand the use of anesthesia. However, many patients might prefer the use of anesthesia due to local sensitivity.
When Is Laser Curettage Performed?
Typically, this procedure would be performed during the non-surgical therapy appointment. In this case, the hygienist or dentist would clean the bacteria off the patient’s teeth first using ultrasonics and/or hand scalers, and then they would perform the Laser Curettage procedure on the gums inside any inflamed deep pockets.
Any Associated Risks?
The only associated risks for patients that come along with Laser Curettage typically revolve around light sensitivity. Additionally, there is a risk that a hygienist could potentially injure the gingival sulcus, or cause pitting/cracking of teeth if the laser is used incorrectly. These risks can be completely avoided if the clinician uses proper laser technique inside the pocket.
For that very reason, hygienists are highly encouraged to engage in hands-on laser training and receive their laser certification prior to performing the procedure.