With advances in dental technology, treating cavities has become easier with laser decay removal treatment. Lasers are a desirable alternative to repairing and maintaining your teeth. A dental laser allows us to remove decay from a tooth with little to no anesthetic. When used in conjunction with nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas), we can repair almost any tooth without anesthetic.
First, you will hear a popping sound. We call it the “popcorn popper” for kids. Further, it creates gentle water and air spray. Typically, if you feel anything at all in the tooth, it would be a mild tingling cold sensation. However, newly erupted teeth in teenagers seem to be the most sensitive due to their large pulp size.
Additionally, 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 we can make adjustments in the laser output settings. In occasional circumstances, a local anesthetic might be necessary.
Theoretically, yes. However, it can be 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.
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 we can do your treatment in a more traditional manner.
Not directly. Tooth-colored filling fees are higher than silver filling fees. Further, some insurance companies will only cover the silver filling fee on back teeth. However, sometimes nitrous oxide is not a covered service by insurance. Because of insurance limitations, you may have additional out-of-pocket expenses associated with laser fillings. If you have any questions about fees, please request a detailed treatment estimate.
Unfortunately, some people’s teeth are so sensitive that any treatment needs to be performed with local anesthetic.