Laser desensitization of dentin hypersensitivity

Tooth hypersensitivity is a frequent condition that causes discomfort and sometimes severe pain. It is caused by exposure of spots of dentinal tubules to the oral environment. Sensitive teeth are a rather common clinical problem for which several treatment options like conventional desensitizing agents (professional pastes, toothpastes, mouthwashes) aim to obliterate the exposed dentinal tubules.

Laser has been investigated as one of the possible therapies to minimize pain by either obliterating dentinal tubules or promoting dental analgesia.

The lasers are based in part on the principle that a tooth conveys sensations through pores on its surface and through microscopic straw-like tubules that lead to the nerves below the tooth. In desensitizing teeth to temperature or other irritants, the lasers will melt tiny particles that close off the tubules and insulate the nerves from exposure. The laser treatment lasting a few minutes on each tooth will have a permanent effect.

The laser has the ability to desensitize teeth that are sensitive to cold temperature. It is especially effective on teeth with exposed root surfaces. The laserís energy pulls fluid to the center of the tooth and possibly seals off the outer surfaces of the tooth. Laser desensitizing inhibits the pathway the fluid normally takes to the outermost surface.

This procedure is free of pain and takes approximately 90 seconds to 3 minutes. The tooth sometimes may feel slightly warm.