More and more new technology is being used in the dentist’s office. The procedures can make it easier on the patient and the dentist.
And now, there’s a way to get a cavity filled without needles and numbing.
Carli Trainor loves music and hates needles.
“Just the idea of needles scares me because it hurts,” Carli said.
That’s why she was all smiles when her dentist pulled out a laser instead of Novocain and needles to fill a cavity.
“It’s a game-changer in some procedures for small fillings, medium-size fillings, for children, for people that are dental-phobics and afraid of the needle,” Dr. Paul Rodeghero said.
Dentists using the refined carbon dioxide laser say it cuts through teeth better than its predecessor. Look at the hole it’s making in this cup.
“It’s a pulsed laser meaning it goes ba-ba-ba," Rodeghero said. "It’s not one continuous, like a 'Star Wars' laser.”
And because of those pulses, Rodeghero said "the nerve doesn’t get upset. Most of the time it doesn’t hurt.”
Rodeghero said even though the new Solea laser procedure can take longer, patients spend less time in the chair since they don’t have to wait for their gums to get numb.
“You can do multiple procedures in the mouth in one appointment because you don’t have to numb up all over the place and you don’t have tongue all numbed up," Rodeghero said.
The equipment is pricey, but Rodeghero says he doesn’t try to cover its cost by charging patients more.
“A filling is a filling is a filling, whichever way we do it,” he said.
Which Carli calls pitch perfect.
The Solea laser is effective on soft and hard gum tissue. Rodeghero said 5 percent of patients who use the laser in his office still need to be numbed up.
FILLINGS WITH NO FEELINGS
BACKGROUND: Taking care of your teeth helps prevent plaque which is a clear film of bacteria that sticks to your teeth. The bacteria break sugar down into acids that eat away tooth enamel, causing holes called cavities. Plaque also causes gingivitis which is gum disease that can make your gums red, swollen, and sore. Brush at least twice a day. Brushing properly breaks down plaque. Spend some time, at least 2 or 3 minutes, on the teeth along the sides and in the back and take your time while brushing. Be sure your toothbrush has soft bristles. Some toothbrushes come with bristles that change color when it's time to change them. Learn how to floss your teeth, which is a very important way to keep them healthy. Slip the dental floss between each tooth and along the gumline gently once a day. The floss gets rid of food that's hidden where your toothbrush can't get it, no matter how well you brush. Brush your tongue to help keep your breath fresh. It's also important to visit the dentist twice a year. Besides checking for signs of cavities or gum disease, the dentist will keep your teeth extra clean and can help you learn the best way to brush and floss.
NEEDLE VS. LASER: There are two kinds of numbing injections. A block injection will numb a specific area of the mouth, and an infiltration injection will numb a smaller portion. If you need local anesthesia for your dental treatment, the first step is to dry part of your mouth with air or cotton. Then the dentist will swab the area with a gel to numb the skin. When the dentist slowly injects the local anesthetic, the sting most patients feel is the sensation of the anesthetic moving into the tissue. A local anesthesia injection can last for a few hours. Luckily, there’s another option these days. Laser dentistry can fix cavities without all the painful stuff. Laser dentistry can treat anything from canker sores to gum disease. It’s often a great option for kids who really don’t want to get a numbing shot. Lasers zap cavities with an invisible light beam and are very conservative and precise, allowing a filling to be placed there. 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.
(Source: https://greensboro-dentist.com/need-know-getting-mouth-numb-dentist/ and http://www.dentaltouch.com/laser-dentistry-better-way-fix-cavities/)
NEW HIGH-TECH TREATMENTS: New research suggests that cell-stimulating medications can “trick” teeth into repairing themselves. If these “small molecule” drugs work as well as scientists think, they may be on the cusp of a new era in which dental tissue and even entire teeth can be regrown. Researchers are excited about Tideglusib, a low-cost experimental drug with an established safety record. They think it could be fast-tracked through clinical trials for use to stop tooth decay. “The dentin produced by stimulating stem cells with Tideglusib integrates itself completely within the tooth so there’s no risk of the filling coming out, which is a big problem with the current methods, which haven’t changed much in the past 100 years,” says Dr. Paul Sharpe, professor of stem biology at Kings College London and leader of the research. Scientists at the University at Buffalo in New York are exploring an even more radical way to regrow teeth. A team led by Dr. Praveen Arany, assistant professor of oral biology at the university, is testing the use of low-power laser light to stimulate tooth regeneration. Dental researchers are hopeful in the ability to regrow an entire missing tooth. Sharpe has done this in mice, but doing the same in humans raises ethical and legal concerns.