Dr. McDonough and his team were among the first orthodontists in the country to be certified on the use of a soft tissue laser. A laser can be used in a very precise method to re-contour gum tissue with no bleeding, no discomfort during the procedure (only a topical anesthetic is used – no needles) and minimal discomfort for 1-2 days after the procedure. Some of the most common uses of the laser are:
Ideal Bracket Placement
If your gums haven't receded properly, or if a tooth is erupting slower than expected, a laser can be used to remove excess tissue and reveal enough tooth surface to place a bracket.
Impactions refer to teeth that haven't erupted properly through the gums. By using laser treatment, we can assist a tooth's eruption without the need to wait months for the tooth to erupt on its own, or to refer for an expensive surgical procedure.
Aesthetic Gingival Recontouring
Following the removal of your braces, Dr. McDonough may recommend recontouring your gum line to maximize the aesthetics of your smile. Aesthetic gingival recontouring is a procedure to reshape the gum line to improve the aesthetics of your smile by exposing more of your teeth. Sometimes we use a laser to remove excess gum tissue around the upper teeth to make them look longer. If the gum line is uneven, aesthetic gingival recontouring can also sculpt the gum line to produce a more symmetrical, balanced smile.
The lingual frenulum connects the tongue to the base of the mouth. If it is too short, you may have ankyloglossia, also referred to as tongue-tied. Ankyloglossia can cause speech difficulty. Specifically, this condition can hinder your ability to make certain sounds, such as those made on the alveolar ridge (t, d, n & l) and those requiring careful placement of the tip of the tongue (s, z, and r). Dr. McDonough can treat this problem using the Diode laser.
The labial frenulum is between your upper front teeth. It is sometimes very large and responsible for a space between the teeth. A laser frenectomy in conjunction with orthodontic tooth movement can close the space.