Dental practitioners want to make dental treatment safer, gentler, and less invasive for their patients. And one cutting-edge technology, in particular, has many dentists setting aside the traditional drills-and-needles approach to treatment. WaterLase is a laser technology expressly designed for dental applications. It makes treatment more precise for dentists and more comfortable for patients.
What is WaterLase and how does it work?
The WaterLase dental laser was developed by a company called Biolase. As the name suggests, WaterLase combines a stream of water with the power of a laser. This creates a unique wavelength of energy that can vaporize or cut both soft and hard tissue, such as gums and teeth. It operates at 100 pulses per second and can cover more area faster and with more gentleness and precision than the tip of a drill.
How is dental treatment with a laser different from a drill?
The dental drill is one of the leading reasons why patients are anxious about visiting the dentist. The sound alone is enough to set them on edge. And when the drill comes in contact with the enamel it causes heat and dehydration which often results in pain or discomfort. Pressure from the drill can also cause micro-fractures on the enamel which can weaken a tooth over time. Dentists usually rely on an anesthetic to numb the effects of the drill. Unfortunately, this requires the use of a needle—another thing many patients fear.
With dental laser technology, there is no heat and no pressure to cause pain or trauma to the tooth. The water stream helps cool the area and keeps the tooth from becoming dehydrated. The experience is so much more comfortable and virtually pain-free. And because WaterLase cuts down on the need for anesthesia, dentists can get more dental work done in a single visit.
What treatments can the dentist perform with WaterLase?
There are a lot of areas of dentistry that benefit from WaterLase. Just like a drill, dentists can use the dental laser to remove infected and decayed tissue to prepare for a filling. And because of the precision and cauterizing effect, dentists can use the laser for soft tissue surgeries like deep cleanings, biopsy or lesion removal, and the treatment of gum disease. There is a decreased need for sutures because the laser promotes blood clotting and reduces the chance of bacterial infections because it sterilizes the area and promotes faster healing. And often the dentist can perform these laser dental treatments without the need for anesthesia.
What are the disadvantages of dental lasers?
While they are an amazing piece of technology, there are some drawbacks to dental lasers. The WaterLase cannot be used on teeth that already have certain types of fillings in place. They do not work to remove defective crowns or old silver fillings. They also can’t be used on large cavities that need to be prepared for bridges or crowns. The dentist may still need to use a traditional drill in these cases to shape a filling, shape a tooth, adjust the bite, and polish the restoration.
Technology changes our lives every day, even in dentistry. The WaterLase technology reduces the need for anesthesia, minimizes bleeding and swelling, and allows the dentist to cover more ground in just one appointment. Contact Dentique Dental Care to learn more about this innovation and book an appointment.