Surgical Laser

photograph of the Waterlase MDWaterlase Dentistry uses a patented technology from BIOLASE, the world leader in dental lasers, combining laser energy and a spray of water (a process called HydroPhotonics) to perform a wide range of dental procedures on teeth, gum and bone more comfortably.

Patient Comfort

Waterlase Dentistry uses laser energy and a gentle spray of water to perform a wide range of dental procedures without the heat, vibration and pressure associated with the dental drill, making it possible to use less anesthetic. In many gum procedures, Waterlase Dentistry reduces bleeding, post-operative pain, swelling and the need for pain medication.

Some of the benefits of Waterlase Dentistry include:

  • Less invasive dentistry
  • Fewer injections and numb lips
  • Non-contact hard-tissue cutting eliminates heat and vibration of a drill
  • Soft-tissue procedures with minimal bleeding, swelling or post-op pain
  • Reduced patient fear and anxiety

Accuracy and Precision

Lasers have long been the standard of care in medicine for many surgical and cosmetic procedures such as LASIK, wrinkle and hair removal and many others. Waterlase was approved for hard tissue procedures in 1998 and since has been cleared for numerous additional dental procedures. Thousands of dentists around the world have performed numerous procedures with less need for injections, anesthesia and drills. Waterlase dentists are able to precisely remove decay in tooth enamel (the hardest substance in the body), as well as excess bone and gum tissue, while leaving surrounding areas unaffected. This conserves healthy tooth structure.

Less Bleeding and Swelling

Due to its conservative, gentle cutting action and coagulating capabilities, Waterlase Dentistry performs many gum procedures with little or no bleeding and less pain and swelling after your procedure.

Greater Convenience

Waterlase Dentistry is extremely versatile. It can be used for a wide range of hard and soft tissue procedures from decay removal and cavity preparation to root canals, smile design, surgical procedures on gum and bone, and many others.

Clinical Uses


  • Laser removal of diseased, infected, inflamed and necrosed soft tissue within the periodontal pocket to decrease bleeding, pocket depth and mobility
  • Removal of diseased, infected, inflamed and necrosed tissue from bony defects
  • Osteoplasty and Ostectomy (removal of bone to correct osseous defects and create physiologic osseous contours)
  • Crown lengthening
  • Excisional and incisional biopsies
  • Fibroma removal
  • Frenectomy
  • Exposure of unerupted teeth
  • Gingivectomy & Gingivoplasty (Gum tissue contouring to improve the appearance of the teeth, gums and smile)
  • Hemostasis
  • Incision and drainage of abscesses
  • Operculectomy
  • Treatment of canker sores, herpetic and aphthous ulcers of the oral Mucosa
  • Vestibuloplasty

Answers to frequently asked questions about the use of lasers in periodontal therapy

Adapted from AAP

Recently there has been a lot of information in the news about the use of lasers in dentistry. Below are some frequently asked questions about the use of lasers in periodontal therapy, based on an AAP-commissioned literature review on the topic.

Are there potential benefits to using lasers in periodontal therapy?

Limited research suggests that the use of lasers as an adjunct to scaling and root planing (SRP) may improve the effectiveness of this procedure. SRP is a non-surgical therapy used to treat periodontal diseases. In addition, when the lasers are used properly during periodontal therapy, there can be less bleeding, swelling and discomfort to the patient during surgery.

Will my insurance carrier cover the use of a laser in periodontal therapy?

Insurance carriers reimburse for the procedure being performed rather than the device used to perform it. Therefore, whether your periodontist uses lasers or more traditional tools for your treatment, your reimbursement will be the same for that specific procedure. Before having surgery, always consult with your insurance carrier to determine what procedures are covered in your plan.