Mechanical drills have been part of oral care for decades, but twenty-first century technology may finally be catching up with the introduction of laser drills. They can actually create a temporary pain-killing effect.
Laser drills can be used to remove and replace old composite or plastic fillings, and some even remove tooth decay. While other lasers have been available in the past, they’ve generally been slower and less practical. Now new models are available that remove tooth decay by pulsing a light of a specific wavelength, a wavelength that is readily absorbed by the mineral content in the tooth. It’s very narrow – barely a millimeter – which not only allows for the precise removal of the decay, but preserves healthy tooth structure as well. Some models can extract gum tissue as well, without using injections.
One recent poll from a laser-drill manufacturer says that over 95% of patients were able to have fillings placed with no anesthesia, and 98% of those patients did not report feeling any pain. This includes patients who are usually very sensitive and phobic.
Are we looking at the future of dentistry? Let’s hope so!