Electrosurgery or Laser Surgery: Which is Best for Soft Tissue Treatments?

Ask any patient what an important part of their oral health might be, and most wouldn’t mention their gums. However, dental care professionals know that healthy gums lead to strong teeth, and that treating gum disease can improve a patient’s oral health as well as their overall bodily health.

Importance of Soft Tissue Care

Gums and other soft tissues around the mouth are crucial for keeping teeth in place and protected from bacteria, plaque, and other diseases. When these tissues deteriorate, it becomes more difficult to chew food and stabilize teeth. In addition, any bacteria that accumulates on the teeth and gums can travel to other areas of the body, with the potential to cause infections or illness. That’s why it’s so encouraged to treat any signs of gum disease before they get out of hand, and the quickest way to remove diseased tissue is through delicate surgery.

Two of the most popular methods of tissue removal are electrosurgery and laser surgery, each with their advantages and disadvantages, but we’ll start with electrosurgery first.

What is Electrosurgery?

Electrosurgery is the use of electrical currents run through metallic electrode instruments to heat them to a level where it easily cuts through tissue and cauterizes at the same time. It’s a popular treatment method for tissue removal in nearly any medical field, especially for more finite work in dermatology and dental offices.

What is Laser Surgery?

Laser surgery uses finite light beams to sear tissues away and cauterize blood vessels. It essentially accomplishes the same tissue removal goals as electrosurgery, but is typically slower and requires less anesthetic. Due to the slow pace, it produces less fumes and generally appeals as more comforting to patients.

The Importance of Smoke Evacuation Components

For either of these options, the surgical tool is just one component of the tissue removal process. The other important half is removing the toxic fumes that are produced during the process. Both electrosurgery and laser surgery produce a “burning flesh” scent, which can be more or less potent depending on the amount of tissue removal. Smoke evacuation systems can effectively filter these fumes from the air for safe disposal, keeping both the dental professional and patient comfortable.

Which is Best for Your Practice?

The truth of the matter is, either method can work for your practice! Both electrosurgery and laser surgery can accomplish the same goal of tissue removal, but with minor differences between them:


Advantages of Electrosurgery:

  • Faster to implement and complete.
  • Faster recovery time, hemostasis is immediate.
  • Less expensive in regards to equipment.
  • Electrodes are malleable and can be curved for challenging treatment sites.

Disadvantages of Electrosurgery:

  • Needs a variety of electrode tips to address different treatment sites.
  • Requires anesthesia.
  • Stronger fumes emitted than with a laser.

Laser Surgery

Advantages of Laser Surgery:

  • Slower to remove tissues.
  • Generally safer to implement, due to the slow speed.
  • Requires less anesthetic.
  • Safe for use with metal/gold crowns and restorations.

Disadvantages of Laser Surgery:

  • More expensive equipment needed.
  • Learning period needed to correctly.
  • Time-consuming for large tissue removal.

When to Combine Electrosurgery and Laser Surgery

While there may be a debate about which method is better, it’s not unusual to have both treatment methods on hand in a dental practice. If a patient has multiple metal or gold implements, it would be conducive to use both to work around these implements. A laser can slowly remove the tissues around the crown for minimal trauma, and an electrosurgical electrode can remove larger chunks with minimal bleeding.

Electrosurgery Equipment with MFI Medical

MFI Medical is proud to offer top-tier electrosurgical equipment from trusted brands like Bovie, ConMed, ValleyLab, Wallach and more. MFI carries all components of electrosurgery, including the electrode tips, generators, and smoke evacuation systems. In addition, MFI works closely with these brands to bring the best prices for customers.


Editor’s Note: Information, prices, and products are subject to change. Please visit product listings or contact MFI for most up to date information.

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