Do you or anyone you know avoid the dentist at all costs? This dental anxiety and fear is so common it has even been given a name. Dentophobia: the fear of dentists. There are many reasons why this fear exists, but the good news is: there's hope! There is now a laser that can be used to welcome fearful patients back into the dental chair.
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The Waterlase is a revolutionary device created by BIOLASE® Technology, Inc. that is used instead of the dental drill. The laser uses hydrokinetic technology to cut teeth. The Waterlase produces a laser beam that energizes an exact stream of water that, when directed at a tooth, removes enamel, dentin, tooth decay and cavities.
This gentle laser does not just replace the shrill hum of the dentist's drill; it also has the added benefit of eliminating the needle! That's right; the Waterlase is so gentle anesthesia is often not required when performing dental treatment.
Laser dentistry does not completely eliminate the need for anesthesia; each case is treated on an individual basis. The type of treatment is factored in, as well as the patient's threshold for pain. The laser itself "causes a temporarily analgesic effect on the tooth." In other words, it's self-numbing!
The Waterlase was approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use on hard tissue (teeth) in 1998. A mere two years later, the device received approval for use on all oral tissue, including gum disease treatment! The heat from the laser actually stops bleeding gums and aids in blood clotting, thereby reducing pain and healing time.
What Can Waterlase Do?
The dentophobe has the complete package with the Waterlase.
- No drill/reduces pain = elevated ease
- No unnerving whine from the drill motor, instead a gentle pop-pop-popcorn sound as the laser takes the offending tissue to task
- No needles in many cases -- the treated water causes a slight numbness, rendering anesthesia defunct
- Last but not least, the Waterlase is considered a safer technique than the drill
How can it be safer, you ask? Well, the drill is a traumatic instrument. It heats up and causes tiny micro-fissures in the area surrounding the tooth decay. As your dentist drills away the dental cavity, the vibrations can cause irreparable harm to the healthy tooth around the cavity. Those tiny fractures can turn into root canals years down the line.
As anyone who has experienced a root canal can testify, they're just not pretty. Enter the illustrious --near magical -- Waterlase. In some cases, it works for root canals, too!
The Waterlase is the next evolutionary stage in the practice of dentistry. In 20 years, our children won't know to be afraid of the dentists' drill because it will be a relic of a long-forgotten era. After more than 125 years, it is past time to retire the electric dental drill. Hello Waterlase, goodbye dastardly drill!!