Finally!!! A Laser for Tooth Decay Removal
Coming to a dentist near you soon, assuming they can afford it, is the laser drill to remove dental cavities. For eons, the dentist had to use the drill- a mechanical device to grind away at the cavity to remove. Even the sound of the dreaded drill sends many patients into a cardiac arrest,
Only 5% of the dentists in America have them. They are costly- $60,000. Training is needed. But, the advantage is that lasers cut away tooth decay with so little pain that anesthetic is rarely needed!
The new drill uses a light beam to cut away tooth decay by heating water molecules in the tooth. They expand and dislodge the decay in the tooth with very little pain. The laser produces a clean cut with no small cracks that a drill can produce. In a study, 68% of patients felt no pain with no anesthetic, 22% felt a little pain and 4% more pain that could be tolerated. Only 6% indicated the pain was too much and requested anesthetics.
Of course, there are many variables about where the cavity is located, how close it is to the root, its location. But the study showed that in most cases, patients felt very little. The laser also is more precise and cuts less of the tooth structure away than the drill does.