For many kids, going to the dentist is as scary as that imaginary monster under the bed. Dentists, knowing this, have been trying to ease children’s dentistry fears for years. Some dentists dole out free pencils and costume jewelry. Others paint fun zoo animal-filled scenes on walls and install televisions playing children’s movies. But, so far, no free gadget or innovation has had the potential to fully cure kids’ (and even parents’) fears of going to the dentist. Until now, says one California dentist whose practice includes patients from 12 months of age to age 100.
“I have had patients, my own daughter included, who don’t respond positively to any kind of anesthesia. For them, having dental work done is a horrible experience,” says Dr. James Jesse, a Colton, Calif. dentist and instructor at the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry in Loma Linda, Calif. “I now use a water energized laser on my patients, the most advanced dental tool available today. In most cases, the laser replaces the need for a shot of Novocain and the traditional dental drill. One of my patients, who don’t respond to anesthesia, actually started clapping after the procedure was completed. She said it didn’t hurt a bit — and that’s without any anesthesia.”
Benefits of the laser
While adults certainly enjoy the benefits of the laser, children may benefit the most from this technology since kids often fear to go to the dentist because of pain associated with previous visits. “A visit to the dentist can be stressful, especially for kids. But with the laser, Dr. Jesse is able to make the experience much more positive,” says Kristine Hunt, a mother from Lemon Grove, Calif., whose nine-year-old son recently had a cavity filled using the Waterlase. “No one really loves going to the dentist, but this tool makes it much easier. My son had a completely different dental experience with the Waterlase than I had when I was a child.”
Often the first thought a parent has about taking their child to the dentist is their own nervous recollections of a shrieking drill and the sting of a Novocain shot. The last thing they want to do is put their child through the same painful experience. But with the Waterlase MD, Jesse says patients have an option for pain-free dentistry. “I use the Waterlase on all of my patients, but it’s especially great for kids because they don’t have to get a shot and they don’t have to worry about biting numbed lips,” he says.
Waterlase dentists often educate their child patients by explaining to the kids how the cavity will be “sprayed away.” Jesse says he first describes the laser to his younger patients by telling them that it’s a laser, “like in the movies.” He then sprays his arm with the laser, so the kids can understand that it’s just water. Then, he sprays the child’s wrist to show them that it doesn’t hurt at all. “This demonstration makes kids really comfortable having their mouth worked on. They know that I’m just using water and that it didn’t hurt their arm so it won’t hurt in their mouth,” he says.
Children also respond well to the laser’s gentle pulsing sound, which is much different than the high-pitched screeching sound made by the conventional dental drill. The fact that the Waterlase doesn’t create the uncomfortable vibrations that patients feel with the drill also helps alleviate the nervousness often felt by children.
“This technology offers my patients the ability to be more comfortable in the dental chair having procedures performed. They experience less anxiety and the dental work even becomes a pleasant experience. There’s less trauma to the patient and less trauma to the tooth. And, they don’t have to worry about having their face numb from the anesthesia,” says Jesse.
Before the Waterlase, the most innovative recent advancement in dentistry was 50 years ago with the advent of the power drill.
“There is obviously a need to upgrade the dental care available to American patients,” says Grant. “The feedback we’re getting from dentists across the country in support of the Waterlase is phenomenal. This technology is changing their patients’ dental experience forever — and for parents, it makes their lives much easier, knowing their child isn’t going to experience pain and fear at the dentist.”
WaterLase Best Latest Dentist Product
The Waterlase MD is the latest product using lasers for the health benefit of patients. Along with surgical lasers, dermatological lasers, and vision correction lasers, patients seem responsive to this new crop of less-invasive medical treatments.
“Because the Waterlase doesn’t make much noise and doesn’t cause any pain, my patients say a visit to the dentist is now closer to a visit to the spa. They just lay in the chair and relax,” says Jesse.
Dr. Louis Malcmacher, of Bay Village, Ohio, an international lecturer on dental practice management, says “a laser is also a key tool in preventative dental care. Much of the dental work we see being performed on adults today is a result of work done when they were kids. It’s not that the dental work was bad, but the trauma caused by drills destroyed large portions of the healthy tooth. In my own practice, I find the laser is so precise, it actually helps protect the patient’s tooth from problems that lead to root canals, crowns and other extensive dental work down the line.”
With its laser precision, the Waterlase MD targets a direct, small area of the mouth. So, when a dentist cuts a patient’s hard tissue, such as bone or teeth, or soft tissue, such as gums, it causes minimal or no damage to surrounding tissue. This surrounding tissue damage has typically been the culprit behind a dentist having to numb a patient’s mouth before treatment, and the patient experiencing pain and sometimes long recoveries after procedures.
Additionally, the Waterlase reduces the possibility of microfractures, or tiny cracks, in the patient’s tooth, unlike the traditional drill dentists use today. Microfractures can result in future cavities and weakening of tooth structure as well as infections in patients’ teeth, months or even years after the cracks first occur.
The Waterlase MD employs the latest in modern technology, including a design that contains materials and technology used by Mercedes Benz and NASA. However, this high-tech talk only means one thing — better dentistry:
What a relief for parents to hear their children say, “Going to the dentist isn’t scary anymore. I didn’t like the drill or the shots. With the Waterlase, it doesn’t hurt.”
To find a Waterlase dentist, visit www.NoPainDentistry.com or www.biolase.com.