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Oral lesions such as canker sores and cold sores can send your self-confidence plummeting. Although they’ll eventually go away, it seems to take forever, and the only remedies are chemicals, home remedies, medications, or topical products that don’t seem to be effective. Thankfully, advances in the field of laser dentistry treatment have made it easy to get rid of these painful and unsightly lesions, and in just a few days, the lesion site can be completely healed. Laser dentistry for oral lesions heals the source of the lesion with relatively no discomfort and often without the need for painkillers. Read on to learn more about this innovative treatment for the different types of oral lesions.
Are There Several Different Types of Oral Lesions?
Several types of lesions can appear in the oral cavity, and most are common and benign. However, there are a few that need professional attention without delay. The following are some of the most commonly seen types of oral lesions:
The medical term for a canker sore is an aphthous ulcer, and although it’s harmless, it’s very painful and usually adversely affects your quality of life. However, if you have a canker sore that persists for longer than two weeks, you should make an appointment with your dentist.
Cold sores stem from the herpes simplex virus, either type 1 or type 2. Although they’ve traditionally been referred to as fever blisters, they aren’t caused by a fever. Since they’re a viral infection, antibiotics don’t usually work. They present as fluid-filled blisters on the lips or in the area of the lips and usually self-resolve within three weeks or less. Some individuals seem more prone to developing cold sores than others.
A hemangioma is a birthmark that’s bright red and rubbery in appearance and texture. It’s an accumulation of extra blood cells that generally appears on the back, neck, face, or scalp. In rare instances, it will occur in the oral cavity. A hemangioma isn’t cancerous, but some people are self-conscious about its appearance.
An HPV, or human papillomavirus, lesion occurs due to an outbreak of the human papillomavirus. HPV is an STD that’s rapidly growing in prevalence throughout the U.S. Oral lesions from the human papillomavirus can occur anywhere on the body, but oral cancer from lesions in the oral cavity is increasingly common. An HPV lesion is characterized by difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, earaches, enlarged lymph nodes, and sore throats. Although an HPV lesion isn’t usually cancerous, it causes normal cells to change to abnormal cells, so it should be removed immediately. Otherwise, you might want your dentist to screen for oral cancer.
Are There Specific Benefits to Laser Dentistry for Lesions?
Laser dentistry provides many benefits when used to remove lesions in or around the mouth. Benefits include the following things:
- Reduces trauma to the gum tissues
- Reduces the need for pain medication
- Promotes faster healing
- Recovery time is greatly reduced
- More precise than alternative methods
- Reduces the need for painkillers so eliminates potential for addiction
- Requires less anesthetic
How Will My Oral Lesions Be Diagnosed?
When you come to our office for your oral lesions treatment, your dentist will visually inspect the soft tissues in your oral cavity. This includes the cheeks, gums, lips, palate, and tongue. We’ll be looking for bumps, lumps, or any abnormalities, and we may need to take an x-ray or clinical photographs. Usually, your lesion will be very apparent, particularly if you have a canker sore or cold sore. However, if your Falls Church dentist notices any suspicious areas, we may need to take a biopsy, which we’ll send to the pathology lab for examination. The biopsy will be taken during your laser treatment, so it won’t be painful.
What Steps Are Involved in the Treatment Process?
Before commencing your laser dentistry treatment, your dentist will numb the local area with an anesthetic. We’ll adjust the laser to ensure that it’s set at the correct wavelength, and then we’ll remove the lesion. When the laser is set to the correct wavelength, it removes the oral lesion without damaging the surrounding tissues. Most individuals report an immediate cessation of pain, and many don’t need a second treatment.
Do Case Studies Exist for Laser Dentistry?
Dentistry Today, which is a peer-reviewed trade magazine, reported on a case involving a 32-year-old male who had an outbreak of HSV and a subsequent lesion. It was causing him pain and burning, and interfering with his daily activities, such as eating, sleeping, and speaking. He was treated with the Biolase® Epic X diode laser and reported feeling a warm sensation but no pain. He was scheduled for a follow-up treatment the next day. When he returned for the follow-up session, his lesion and the surrounding area had healed to the point that further treatment was unnecessary.
Where Can I Learn About Laser Dentistry for an Oral Lesions Treatment?
If you’re interested in scheduling an oral lesion treatment, call Dental Associates of Northern Virginia in Skyline at (703) 935-2878, and we’ll be happy to help you and answer all your questions. We have several locations throughout the Falls Church area, so we’re sure to have a location that’s convenient for you. Call us for an appointment, or you can book your appointment online at your convenience. Contact us today. We look forward to speaking with you.