What is Laser Dentistry? A Modern Approach to Painless Oral Care

We’re all familiar with the unmistakable sound of a high-pitched whirring dental drill. Many of us tense up the moment that sound reaches our ears, associating it with discomfort and anxiety. 

About 36% of people in the United States experience dental fear or fear of going to the dentist — and it’s not only because of the dreaded drill. This fear can also stem from unpleasant or painful past experiences, fear of the unknown, a strong gag reflex, and other factors. 

But what if you could go to the dentist, and the only sound you heard was your dentist’s soothing and reassuring voice as she gently worked on your teeth? And what if there were no drills, pain, or needles involved? If this sounds like your ideal situation, laser dentistry might be what you’ve been looking for. 

Read on to find answers to your most common questions about dental lasers, including what is laser dentistry, what it’s used for, and how it may benefit you. 


Laser dentistry, also known as dental laser treatment, is a highly specialized field of dentistry that uses precision lasers to treat various dental issues quickly and with minimal discomfort and complications. Approved by the FDA in 1990, dental lasers have become increasingly popular among high-end cosmetic dentists who use this technology to reduce pain, ease anxiety, and shorten recovery times. 

Laser stands for light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation. Dentists use a specialized hand-held laser instrument that emits light energy in a narrow, concentrated beam during dental laser therapy. That, in turn, produces a reaction when it hits the target tissue in your mouth, allowing your dentist to remove or reshape the tissue as needed. 

The laser used in dentistry is typically one of two types: erbium or diode. The erbium laser is generally used for hard tissue procedures, such as removing tooth decay and preparing the teeth for laser teeth cleaning. On the other hand, the diode laser is primarily employed for soft tissue laser dentistry, which includes periodontal therapy and gum disease management. 


Dental lasers are becoming increasingly popular among cosmetic dentists thanks to their adaptability and faster healing times. These are some of the conditions that dentists can treat with laser dentistry.

Gum Disease

Gum or periodontal disease is a common dental condition affecting the tissues (gums) surrounding the teeth. It typically begins with the build-up of plaque, a sticky film of bacteria, on the teeth and gums that can harden under the gum line to form tartar. That can lead to inflammation and infection, causing the gums to pull away from the teeth and create pockets. Left untreated, gum disease can progress, damaging the bone structure that supports the teeth and potentially leading to tooth loss and bone decay. 

A laser dental cleaning can help remove plaque and tartar before they cause significant damage to the gum line. In more advanced cases, minimally invasive laser gum surgery can neutralize harmful mouth bacteria and remove dead or decayed gum tissue to treat periodontitis quickly and painlessly. 

Gum Reshaping

Some people have a “gummy smile” that can make their teeth appear too short and boxy or their gum lines too prominent. That is mainly considered a cosmetic issue, but it also has health implications, including an increased risk of bacterial accumulation, which can lead to inflammation, painful gums, bleeding, and bad breath. 

Gum reshaping (gum contouring) involves removing excess gum tissue to resculpt the gum line and expose more teeth, creating a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing smile. Traditional gum contouring consists of using a scalpel to manually remove gum tissue, and, in some cases, stitches may be needed to hold the gum tissue in place. 

Dental lasers, on the other hand,  precisely remove excess gum while leaving healthy tissue untouched. This technique is safer, less invasive, and more precise, providing better results and a faster recovery. Most patients report minimal to no pain during the laser gummy smile procedure. 

Tooth Decay & Cavities

Cavities and tooth decay are among the most prevalent chronic health conditions for children and adults. They both start with harmful bacteria in the mouth, producing acids that attack the tooth’s protective layer (enamel). Without proper treatment, the decay can progress and lead to the formation of small holes, or cavities, which can grow larger and cause more serious dental problems over time, including tooth loss. 

Luckily, laser dentistry for cavities offers an effective and precise way to locate and remove damage and decay. Lasers can detect cavities early on through a process called laser fluorescence or laser-induced fluorescence. 

During this procedure, a low-intensity laser beam is directed onto the tooth’s surface to look for pockets of bacteria. Healthy tooth structures and areas without cavities reflect the laser light differently than areas with cavities or early signs of tooth decay. If cavities are present, your dentist will target and selectively remove the decayed portion of the tooth while leaving the healthy structures intact. 

Old Veneer Removal

Lasers are a highly effective tool for removing old or worn-down porcelain veneers quickly and painlessly. The focused energy of lasers can soften and break down the adhesive used to attach the veneers to the natural teeth, allowing dentists to target the bonding material precisely without causing unnecessary damage to the underlying tooth structure. 


Dental lasers can significantly reduce tooth stains and discoloration, leaving your teeth up to 10 shades brighter in just a few sessions. During the procedure, a bleaching agent is applied to your teeth. Then, your dentist directs a specialized laser onto your teeth, which activates the solution’s whitening properties and dissolves stain molecules on your teeth. Unlike other teeth whitening procedures, laser teeth whitening is relatively painless, with minimal sensitivity during and after the procedure. Plus, the results can last for years. 

Tumor Removal

Laser dentistry can help detect and remove tumors and abnormal growths in the mouth, like benign fibroids and enlarged papillae. Lasers can also be used to instantly perform biopsies in suspicious areas of soft tissue growth. 


One of the key advantages of using lasers for cosmetic and general dental procedures is that they allow dentists to be incredibly meticulous. And because lasers are gentler on tissue than traditional dental procedures, they also eliminate most of the associated pain and discomfort. Other benefits include:

Faster Recovery

Recovery times following dental laser procedures tend to be minimal. That is because lasers allow dentists to target specific dental issues with minimal impact on surrounding healthy tissues and structures, reducing unnecessary inflammation and soreness. Another reason why these procedures tend to have faster healing times is because lasers help coagulate blood vessels during treatment, limiting bleeding and minimizing post-op swelling. 


Dental lasers have many applications, making them highly versatile in dentistry. They can be used for a variety of treatments, including:

  • Cosmetic procedures, including gum contouring, teeth whitening, veneer replacement, and crown lengthening
  • Removing and reshaping damaged or diseased gum and bone tissue
  • Repairing worn-down fillings
  • Tumor removal
  • Cavity detection
  • Sensitivity treatments
  • Frenectomy
  • Removal of soft-tissue folds
  • Root canal treatment 

Reduced Risk of Infections 

Dental treatments performed with lasers carry a lower risk of infection because lasers kill bacteria as they cut or disintegrate damaged tissue. Some studies have shown that lasers can eliminate up to 99.99% of bacteria during a procedure, dramatically reducing the risk of post-op infection.

Reduced Need for Anesthesia 

Dental lasers reduce the need for anesthesia by capitalizing on their ability to provide targeted and minimally invasive treatments. Using focused energy, lasers can meticulously remove decayed or damaged tissue without causing unnecessary trauma to surrounding areas. That often results in less pain and discomfort for patients, eliminating the need for local or even general anesthesia. 

Quieter Treatments

Laser dentistry is an excellent choice for those struggling with dental anxiety. With minimal noise compared to traditional tools like drills and scalers, laser treatments offer a quieter and more calming experience. 

Ideal for Sensitive Teeth

Dental lasers are a gentler and more comfortable alternative to traditional dental tools. Whether undergoing cavity treatment, gum reshaping, or other dental procedures, the delicate nature of laser dentistry makes it especially beneficial for those who struggle with severe tooth sensitivity. Plus, the precision of dental lasers significantly reduces recovery time, making it an ideal choice for patients seeking a faster return to their daily routines.


Taking care of your teeth and gums is not just about maintaining a beautiful and healthy smile; it can also significantly impact your overall health. At MR Dental Aesthetics, your first appointment will allow Dr. Rashti to assess your oral health and function before addressing cosmetic concerns.

Neglecting your oral wellness can lead to many problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. But did you know that poor oral health is also associated with a greater risk of certain chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease? That’s why it’s so important to regularly visit your dentist and practice proper oral hygiene.

At MR Dental Aesthetics, Dr. Rashti understands that dental fear and anxiety are common reasons why many adults put off visits to the dentist. She recognizes that many people have had negative experiences, making them hesitant to seek dental care. That’s why she offers the gentlest cosmetic dentistry to all her patients, ensuring they feel comfortable and at ease during their appointments.

Dr. Rashti uses the latest technologies and innovations in dentistry, including pain-free laser dentistry, to provide her patients with the best and most comfortable experience possible. Whether you need laser dentistry for fillings, full mouth reconstruction, gummy smile correction, porcelain veneers, or dental implants in Beverly Hills, MR Dental Aesthetics is committed to protecting and prioritizing your dental well-being while helping you reach your aesthetic goals.

What sets Dr. Rashti apart is her ability to truly care for her patients. She takes the time to listen to their concerns and works with them to determine a plan of action that meets their expectations. Her goal is to help each patient achieve the best possible smile, and she accomplishes this using a combination of superior technical ability and compassionate care. This personalized approach means you don’t have to worry about ever seeing another dentist. Dr. Rashti will be there for every appointment.

Don’t let dental fear or anxiety keep you from getting the smile you’ve always wanted. The team at MR Dental Aesthetics is here to provide you with the best possible experience in a relaxing, luxurious setting in Beverly Hills, CA. Call 310-623-3330 or click here to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rashti today and take the first step towards a healthier, brighter smile.

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