The dreaded shot. The dreaded drill. The dreaded puffy face. As if the cavity itself wasn’t bad enough, you have to go get the thing fixed. Ugh. Luckily, there’s another option these days. Laser dentistry can fix cavities without all the painful stuff. Just imagine getting rid of that toothache and not hearing the sound of a drill in your sleep for weeks afterwards.
It’s not just for cavities, either. Laser dentistry can treat anything from canker sores to gum disease. It’s often a great option for kids who really, really, really don’t want to get a numbing shot – and for the rest of us “big kids” who feel like crying when we see that needle too.
Lasers zap cavities with an invisible light beam and are very conservative and precise, allowing a filling to be placed there. Yes, it’s awesome. It’s also the most precise way to fix a cavity, which means that dentists don’t have to remove as much of the healthy tooth as they do when using a drill. Water-based laser systems like WaterLase keep the tooth hydrated throughout the procedure to reduce pain even further.
Instead of needles and drills, laser dentistry uses water, air and light to treat cavities. (Seriously!) That’s why the procedure is less painful and why our patients love it so much. If your kids “coincidentally” happen to have an appointment on the same day as a science test, laser treatment can have them ready to go back after lunch and ace – or, at least, take – that test.
Yeah! Lasers are safe and effective for treating cavities in both kids and adults.
Laser dentistry can also be used for soft tissue treatments, like with the exposure of wisdom teeth or swollen gums from braces. Another benefit of laser treatment on soft tissue is that sutures aren’t necessary.
Laser dentistry is awesome, but there are limitations to what it can treat. For example, it can’t be used on teeth with fillings already in place and can’t be used to fill cavities in tricky places. Depending on each patient’s pain tolerance, they might opt for an anesthetic to complement the laser treatment.
For as awesome as laser dentistry is, you might be wondering why it isn’t more common. One reason is that laser dentistry requires a significant investment of time and money from dentists. They have to purchase the lasers, of course, which are much more expensive than standards drills, but also must complete the training to use those lasers. That’s why technology can be an important factor in your search for a dentist. A dentist who has invested in laser dentistry has more tools to provide the particular procedure that’s best for you and your kids.
Not too many people get excited about getting a cavity fixed, but laser dentistry treatments can make the experience as painless as possible. No dreaded shot. No dreaded drill. No dreaded puffy face.
If you’re interested in laser dentistry or looking for a dentist, come talk to Dr. Blaine McLaughlin and the team at Dental Touch Associates in Cedar Rapids.