We are open - safety is our top priority!
If you’ve ever had an oral lesion, you know how painful they are and how much they can destroy your self-confidence. They also have a negative impact on your quality of life, making it difficult to eat, sleep, and speak. Traditionally, the treatment options were limited to creams, chemicals, prescription medications, home remedies, or topical ointments that took a long time to be effective. Fortunately, advances in laser dentistry have made it easy and painless to remove oral lesions. It eliminates the source of the lesion and expedites the healing process. Overall, a laser dentistry treatment for oral lesions is a comfortable experience. Read on for more information on this innovative oral lesions treatment.
Is There More Than One Type of Oral Lesion?
Several types of oral lesions occur in and around the oral cavity. Most are harmless, but a few merit prompt attention. The following are the most common types of oral lesions that dentists see:
Known to dentists as aphthous lesions, canker sores usually appear on the soft tissues inside the mouth, and they’re very common and harmless. They’re very painful, though. If you have had a canker sore for more than two weeks and it hasn’t healed, then you need to schedule a prompt appointment with your dentist.
Cold sores are usually caused by an outbreak of the herpes simplex virus, either type 1 or type 2. In the past, cold sores were referred to as fever blisters, but you needn’t have a fever to develop a cold sore. They present as fluid-filled blisters on the lips or in that general area and typically self-resolve within three weeks or less.
A hemangioma is a birthmark. It’s bright red and rubbery in appearance and can occur anywhere on the body, although it most typically appears on the back, neck, face, or scalp. On rare occasions, one will develop in the oral cavity. They’re benign, so they don’t need to be removed, although some individuals remove them for aesthetic purposes.
HPV, or the human papillomavirus, is a sexually transmitted disease that is increasingly common in the United States. It accounts for a small portion of all oral cancers in the nation. If you have an HPV lesion, you should have it removed promptly. There are more than 100 types of the human papillomavirus, and several of them affect the mouth and throat. Although they’re not considered cancerous, they cause normal cells to develop into abnormal cells, so an HPV lesion is considered to be precancerous. Symptoms of an HPV lesion include earaches, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, enlarged lymph nodes, sore throats, and more.
Are There Any Benefits to Laser Therapy for Oral Lesions?
There are several benefits to the laser dentistry treatment for an oral lesion, such as:
- Decreases trauma to the gums
- Reduces pain during the procedure
- Promotes healing and recovery
- Decreases the need for anesthetic
- Decreases the need for painkillers afterward, reducing the possibility of addiction
- Faster than traditional treatment methods
- More precise than other types of treatment methods
How Does a Dentist Diagnose the Types of Oral Lesions?
When you come to the office for your appointment, your dentist will thoroughly assess the soft tissues in your oral cavity. Specifically, we’ll check your cheeks, gums, lips, tongue, and palate for any lumps or bumps or any other type of abnormality. We’ll probably take clinical photographs, and we may need to take an x-ray to ensure that you have no structural issues. During the laser procedure, if we notice a suspicious area, we may need to take a biopsy and send it to the pathology lab for evaluation. We’ll do this during the procedure, though, so it won’t be painful.
What’s the Procedure for the Treatment Process?
When you come in for your laser treatment, your dentist will numb the treatment area with a local anesthetic and adjust the laser to the proper wavelength. This enables us to remove only the lesion without damaging the surrounding tissues. Most of our patients report feeling no pain during the procedure and a substantial reduction in pain afterward. Many times, a single treatment is effective.
Where Can I Find Case Studies?
Dentistry Today, which is a peer-reviewed trade publication, reported the case of a 32-year-old male who presented with burning pain that was interfering with his daily life and inhibiting him from eating, speaking, and sleeping. Subsequent evaluation revealed an outbreak of the herpes simplex virus. He was treated with the Biolase Epic X diode laser and stated that he felt a warm feeling but no pain. He was scheduled for a follow-up appointment the following day. However, when he appeared for his follow-up, the excision had healed to the point that additional treatment wasn’t required.
Where Can I Find Out More About Laser Dentistry for Oral Lesions?
If you have pain due to an oral lesion or you’d like more information about the above case study, then call Herrmann & Desio Family Dentistry at (703) 988-6938, and we’ll be glad to answer all your questions. We can schedule an appointment with one of our specially trained dentists, or you can schedule an appointment online at your convenience. We have several offices within the Falls Church area, so you will be sure to locate one that’s convenient. Don’t suffer from the pain and inconvenience of an oral lesion. Call us today to schedule an oral lesions treatment. We look forward to speaking with you.