Location

7570 W 21st Street
Bldg 1050 Suite B
Wichita, Kansas 67205

Hours

Monday – Friday
8am – 5pm

Laser Decay Removal

A dental laser allows us to remove decay from a tooth with little or no anesthetic.  When used in conjunction with nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) we can do almost any filling on a child’s tooth without a shot.

"What should I expect when using the laser to remove decay?"

You will hear a popping sound. We call it the “popcorn popper” for kids. It will create a gentle water and air spray. Typically, if you feel anything at all in the tooth, it would be a mild tingling cold sensation. Newly erupted teeth in teenagers seem to be the most sensitive due to their large pulp size and decay that narrows down to a small point can be sensitive due to the focused laser energy. If at any time the treatment is uncomfortable please let us know so that adjustments can be made in the laser output settings. In occasional circumstances a local anesthetic might be necessary.

"Can you use the laser to remove all of the decay?"

Theoretically, yes.  However sometimes it is more efficient to utilize the drill in some preparations.  The laser creates a small numbing effect in the tooth and some drilling can be accomplished without anesthetic.  Small pinpoint areas that would focus the laser energy are sometimes best finished with a small drill.  The laser can then sterilize the bottom of the cavity to complete the decay removal.

"I need to do silver fillings due to cost. Can I still have the laser used on my cavity?"

No. Unfortunately, the laser does not produce the type of tooth preparation to hold a silver filling. The laser is ideally suited to creating a surface for bonding to tooth colored fillings. If you prefer to have silver fillings, please let us know, so that we can do your treatment in a more traditional manner.

"Is there an additional fee to use the laser?"

Not directly.  Tooth colored filling fees are higher than silver filling fees.  Some insurance companies will only cover the silver filling fee on back teeth.  Sometimes nitrous oxide is not a covered service.  Because of insurance limitations you may have additional out-of-pocket expenses associated with laser fillings.  If you have any questions about fees please make sure we give you a detailed treatment estimate.

"Why isn’t this used for every patient?"

Unfortunately, some people’s teeth are so sensitive that any treatment needs to be performed with local anesthetic.
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