No shots or drills at the dentist office? Yes, please
SPONSORED CONTENT: A reader information feature brought to you by JP Dental and The Daily Sentinel
Story by Penny Stine/Sentinel Special Sections
What’s the worst part about going to the dentist? Is it the shots that numb half your jaw so you won’t feel the drill?
Maybe it’s the time wasted in the dentist chair waiting for the anesthesia to kick in so you can get on with the dental procedure. Perhaps it’s the drill itself, with that noise that haunts a person in her sleep after an afternoon session in the dentist chair, or the drool that you can’t feel dripping out of the corner of your mouth.
Whatever the reason, there are plenty of reasons not to enjoy a trip to the dentist, and most dentists can recite them as well as any of their patients. New technologies in dental equipment are changing and improving the dental experience. Convergent Dental, a privately owned dental equipment manufacturer, developed and introduced the Solea CO2 laser in 2014.
The laser, which was the first CO2 laser approved by the FDA for hard and soft tissue dentistry, operates at a unique wavelength with sophisticated, yet simple computer controls.
“For many cavities that require fillings, we can do it without novocaine or a drill,” said Dr. John Poovey, with J.P.
Dental and Implant Center, one of the early adopters and first on the Western Slope to have both the equipment and the dental professionals who have been trained how to use it.
The high frequency of the pulsation of the laser has a naturally anesthetic effect on pain receptors, causing them to shut down. The laser also allows dentists to cut dental enamel with greater speed and precision. All of that translates into no more needles to give shots of anesthesia to numb the mouth in anticipation of the drill. There’s also no more drill.
Because patients’ mouths don’t have to be numbed up prior to a procedure, which requires more time and a separate session for each quadrant of the mouth where there are cavities, multiple cavities can be treated quickly and efficiently. Patients don’t leave the office with numb, sore mouths.
While undergoing treatment with the laser, patients
don’t feel pain, but some feel cold.
The equipment can be adjusted to reduce the cold sensation and make it more comfortable for the patient.
J.P. Dental has had the laser for two months and has used it in a variety of applications, including fillings, extractions and periodontal issues. It’s been a big hit with adults and children, who no longer need to be sedated and don’t learn to fear the dental drill.
“We hope to change the patient experience from a young age so they have a positive experience at the dentist’s office,” Poovey said.
The Solea laser was recognized as a game changer for dentistry and oral health and won the Popular Science, ‘Best of What’s New’ award in 2014.
With the Solea laser, patients no longer need anesthesia, and the dentist no longer uses a drill for filling cavities.