Laser Technology for Minimally-Invasive Oral Surgeries

Wilmington Oral Surgery utilizes cutting-edge technology to improve our patients’ experience during oral surgery. This technology also usually makes recovering from a mouth surgery faster and more comfortable.

One of the techniques we use to make several of our oral surgeries and treatments easier on our patients is a water laser. It sounds like sci-fi, but to an oral surgeon, it’s an amazing new tool that makes certain procedures easier than ever to perform and more comfortable for their patients. The Waterlase-MD laser combines laser technology, air and water, resulting in a “cold laser.” This provides benefits over traditional lasers and has numerous applications.

What is the Waterlase MD & How Does it Work?

While traditional drills and blades are fine, they inarguably cause discomfort, pain and swelling. It’s the nature of any invasive procedure – there’s going to be some negatives along with the positives of the intended result. However, this laser technology blows blades and drills out of the water – pun intended.

Here’s how it works and why it’s better than traditional surgical techniques for cutting/removing tissue in the mouth:

  1. Laser Energy: The core of the system lies in the erbium:YAG laser, emitting pulses of near-infrared light. This light interacts with water molecules within the tissue, causing them to vibrate and vaporize.
  2. Water Component: Continuously flowing water plays a crucial role. It:
      • Cools the tissue: Minimizes heat generation, reducing discomfort and potential damage to surrounding areas
      • Facilitates ablation: Helps break down and remove targeted tissue precisely
      • Controls debris: Flushes away vaporized tissue and bacteria, providing better visibility during procedures
  1. Air Assist: A stream of air enhances the process by:
      • Further cooling: Adding another layer of temperature control and comfort
      • Removing vapor: Improves visibility and precision
      • Reducing bleeding: Coagulates blood vessels instantly, minimizing bleeding during procedures

This technology for oral surgeries has advantages over drilling and cutting because:

  • Minimally Invasive: Waterlase MD offers a gentler approach compared to drills. The laser’s precise action removes less tissue, potentially minimizing the need for anesthesia and reducing post-operative discomfort.
  • Faster Healing: Minimized tissue trauma and reduced inflammation can promote faster healing times.
  • Broader Applications: The versatility of the Waterlase MD allows its use for a wide range of procedures.
  • Reduced Bleeding: The laser cauterizes tissue as it cuts, minimizing bleeding during procedures.


Applications of the Waterlase MD in Oral Surgery

This laser tech can be used on both oral surgeries for soft tissues (gums) as well as hard tissues (bone and tooth). Uses of the Waterlase-MD laser in our practice include:

  • Frenectomy– A child’s tongue-tie and/or a lip-tie can generally be corrected by a simple Waterlase procedure. There is very little discomfort and almost no bleeding. The risk of infection is low and healing is quick.
  • Removal of soft tissue lesions (biopsy)– The Waterlase allows for extremely precise biopsies. Small lesions can often be removed with a topical anesthetic only. Sutures are rarely required.
  • Crown lengthening– During this procedure, we reshape gum and bone to expose more natural tooth and improve your smile.
  • Gingival recontouring – We often use Waterlase to take away excess gum tissue that detracts from a natural smile.
  • Partial removal of tooth tissue– When the tip of a tooth root must be removed and sealed, such as when a root canal is not advised, laser surgery is an excellent solution.
  • Treatment of minor vascular lesions– With lasers, we successfully treat lesions that previously required disfiguring surgeries and produced poor results.
  • Exposure of impacted teeth –If it is close to the surface, an impacted tooth can be exposed quickly by Waterlase. The light removes a small area of gum over the impacted tooth. There is no bleeding; the tissue is cauterized as it is removed.
  • Treatment of chronic oral irritation / inflammation –Waterlase can remove debris and bacteria between your teeth and gums that can cause bleeding, gum recession and tooth loss.


Patient-Experience Benefits from Laser Oral Surgery

Dr. Puckett loves the Waterlase because it multitasks, and it allows him to perform oral surgeries with unmatched dexterity. Drills aren’t delicate, and when he’s performing something like crown lengthening, where he only wants to removes small areas of tissue at a time, the Waterlase makes it easy. And just as there are a bunch of cool benefits for oral surgeons who utilize this dental tech, there are even more benefits for patients.

  1. Waterlase uses light energy and a gentle spray of water. You experience none of the noise, heat, vibration or pressure of the drill.
  2. With many laser procedures, we can use less anesthetic than we normally would, or none at all.
  3. The laser vaporizes and coagulates tissue gently, allowing gum procedures with little or no bleeding, and less swelling.
  4. The laser sterilizes areas it touches, so there is less risk of infection.
  5. You are less likely to need an injection, so your chair time is shorter. Plus, we can perform procedures in one trip that previously required several visits to Wilmington Oral Surgery.


At Wilmington Oral Surgery, patient care is at the center of our treatment philosophy. The Waterlase MD allows us to perform common, simple mouth surgeries in a much less invasive way that at the same time is superior in precision to previous surgical methods. Experience a gentler, minimally-invasive, holistic oral surgery experience – schedule a consultation at our Cincinnati-area office.


Recent Posts

Schedule An Appointment

To schedule an appointment, please call us or submit the online appointment request form. We value you as a patient and look forward to serving your needs with compassionate excellence.

Office Hours


Tues, Wed, Thurs
8:00am – 4:30pm

8:00am – 2:00pm