The term LASER is an acronym for Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. In today’s era of fast developing technologies and innovative ideas there is a need to practice a precise and effective treatment modality in dentistry, in order to overcome the drawbacks of conventional treatment options. Lasers can be opted as a treatment modality in all fields of dentistry, since it results in faster recovery and is painless, therefore, leading to good patient acceptance. Lasers provide a plethora of therapeutic applications, ranging from excision and ablation of keratotic and nonkeraotic lesions, pain management and biostimulation.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation [TENS]
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation [TENS] is used as a non-pharmacological method for pain control. It temporarily activates afferent nerves, thereby modulating pain. During TENS therapy, pulsed electrical current is generated and delivered across the intact skin surface via electrodes to stimulate superficial nerves for localized pain relief. TENS is commonly used by health professionals for the management of acute and chronic pain. It is effectively used in orofacial region to alleviate chronic pain associated with muscles, articular disc derangements, trigeminal neuralgia, and post herpetic neuralgia. Application of TENS increases the salivary flow rate in healthy individuals as well as in xerostomic patients. TENS is believed to have physiological (rhythmic contractions of muscles increases blood supply), neurological (electric stimulation inhibits pain conduction), pharmacological (releases endorphins) and psychological (placebo) effects.
Unlike, ultrasound used for medical imaging, therapeutic ultrasound is used to deliver energy to deep tissue sites, via propagation of ultrasonic waves, to produce increases in tissue temperature. Therapeutic ultrasound decreases inflammation, increases vasodilatation and waste removal, accelerates lymph flow, and stimulates metabolism. Pain relief is theorized to be related to washout of pain mediators by increased blood flow, changes in nerve conduction, or alterations in cell membrane permeability that decreases inflammation. Ultrasound therapy is widely used as a therapeutic agent in relieving pain associated with Myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome (MPDS), Temporomandibular joint disorders and recurrent apthous stomatitis. Therapeutic” low intensity ultrasound is found effective in increasing pliability of oral mucosa and improving mouth opening in cases of Oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF).