Lasers Awaken: Harnessing the Force in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

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Arushi Lal, Devanarayanan Nampoothiri, Dharnappa Poojary


Introduction: In oral and maxillofacial surgery, various laser types are employed; the impact of these lasers on biological tissue varies according to the wavelength of light. Water is the primary absorber of CO2 and Er:YAG lasers, which makes it easier to remove both hard and soft tissues. Despite their deeper penetration, Nd:YAG lasers have the potential to cause more collateral damage because of coagulation.

Methods: Electronic searches turned up 357 articles, and searches for the term "lasers in oral and maxillofacial surgery" in the dental literature on Medline, PubMed Central (PMC), PubMed, and Google yielded results. References to a number of articles and review papers were included.

Results: Laser technology has revolutionized oral and maxillofacial surgery, offering various benefits in different applications. CO2 and Er:YAG lasers serve as precise scalpels for tumour excision and vaporize superficial tissue and precancerous lesions. Nd:YAG lasers are effective in tissue resection during haemorrhage cases. In dental implant procedures, lasers provide advantages such as improved haemorrhage control, reduced trauma, infection prevention, decreased inflammation, pain, and enhanced healing. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) offers pain relief, inflammation reduction, and healing stimulation for temporomandibular joint disorders. Diode or Er:YAG lasers effectively reduce the size of oral and maxillofacial haemangiomas and vascular malformations without compromising function or aesthetics. Laser technology is also utilized in cosmetic surgery for skin resurfacing, facial rejuvenation, tumour surgery, scar revision, and dermatologic procedures. Furthermore, photodynamic therapy (PDT) shows promise in treating head-and-neck tumours in specific regions. Overall, lasers have significantly contributed to advancing treatment options and outcomes in oral and maxillofacial surgery.

Conclusions: Lasers have expanded surgical possibilities, fostering the emergence of new procedures in OMFS. Advancements in laser technology will undoubtedly drive innovation and play a crucial role in the future of OMFS.

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