It is not uncommon for most dentists and orthodontists to practice laser dentistry. The use of lasers in dentistry has increased over recent years because of its many advantages including precision and quicker recovery times for patients. There should be a lot of precaution used when a laser is in use, whether it be at a dentist office or not. One of the most important safety measures to take while using a laser in a dental procedure is to wear protective eyewear. Eye protection should be provided for the patient and should always be used by the laser operator.
Eyes are very sensitive to light which can easily damage the retina. Lasers emit a very strong light beam that can cause a lot of damage and unfortunately, if strong enough, blindness. The correct eyewear must be used to appropriately protect the eyes from the wavelengths the laser emits. Sunglasses would not provide enough protection because they are made to only block out UV rays. They are fashionable but not practical for protection against a dental laser.
The correct protective eyewear should be strong enough to block out or filter wavelengths from the laser. Laser protective eyewear should include both glasses and goggles. The combination of both filters out the harmful radiation that can cause damage to the eyes. If a patient of laser operator is only wearing glasses, they should have shields on the side to protect all areas of the eye. Light can be reflected or scattered from other surfaces, which is why the eye should be fully protected from all sides and angles.
There are different strengths of wavelengths that are used in a dental laser. The eyewear someone is wearing should be strong enough to block out the wavelengths’ strength of the laser being used. The dentist or orthodontist should purchase eyewear that is specifically made for the type of laser they are using at their practice. A quality inspection should be completed upon arrival of the eyewear to make sure there are no damages. The protective eyewear should also be inspected periodically because they can deteriorate over time and not offer proper protection.
As you can see, protection for the eyes is so important and imperative while a laser is in use. A lot of eye injuries occur because proper protection was not being worn during a procedure. The patient, dentist, and any assistants or people in the room should wear protective eyewear when a laser is in use.