Now that I have covered the changes in filling materials, are there any changes in the way a tooth is prepared? The conventional way of fixing a tooth with decay is to first numb the tooth and then use a high and low speed drill to remove the affected tooth structure.
Now there has been a paradigm shift for the first time since the invention of the dental drill. This is a dental hard and soft tissue laser that is specific for tooth structure and water. It operates at a different wave length than all other dental lasers which only effect water.
What does this mean for you? It means that I can now remove the enamel, dentin and decayed dentin without giving you a shot to numb the tooth. This can be done in 95% of the cases. This is revolutionary. So you can come into the office, have a filling placed and then go on about your day without a numb lip and tongue. For children this is especially important. A child with a numb tongue and lip are likely to bite and chew on them because it has no feeling.
The laser inventors at UCSF, knew that it worked, but did not know how to bring it into the market place. A commercial laser company based out of Boston heard about this technology and knew they could bring it to market. So they set out to use their knowledge of making commercial lasers into the dental industry. Unlike all the other lasers in the market which use an expensive disposable fiber optic cable to transmit the laser energy, they use the same technology used in putting the date stamp on water bottles and laser light shows. After several prototypes they came out with a product that has many uses and easily upgradable as new and improved uses are developed. It is all software driven at this time. However, they continue to take the user suggestions to improve the hardware as needed. I have never seen a company so responsive and dedicated to us, the dentist. Not only in the hardware but the continuing training every 2 weeks we have a user webinar to discuss uses and problems that might have arisen.
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