Laser Dentistry has many advantages, not least the absence of pain writes Jake Harris
Laser Love like interest free credit or a barbecue summer, pain-free dentistry sounds too good to be true. The last thing I expected when I popped in to investigate Integrated Dentalcare’s optimistic cliam was to be put in the dreaded hotseat myself to test out this laser procedure, new to Scotland.
Being that special grade of wuss who winces at removing a plaster I had my reservations, but Dr Neeraj Puri tackled these by scoring a tiny circle on my palm to prove its benign magic. (For even bigger children he turns this into a smiley face).
Okay, so far so good, but we all know how sensitive our teeth and gums are, but Neeraj wasted no time in getting down to business with my small filling. No anaesthetic and subsequent awkward small talk while your mouth swiftly bloats to rubber dinghy proportions. In goes the water gob hoover, and out comes the laser, like a tiny red blowtorch, held steady for around 90 seconds. The fear factor of that whining drill is banished, replaced by a less dramatic rhythmic clicking like the sound of a gas hob lighter. And so the job was done with no blood, no rinsing, no numbness and very little evidence that I’d even been to the dentist.
Here comes the science bit: the dentistry combines laser energy and water to provide gentler, more precise treatment that conserves healthy tooth structure, minimising pain and discomfort.
The laser reacts with water molecules to create a serrated effect, while releasing endorphins which actually raise your pain barrier.
Water laser treatment eliminates the heat and vibration which causes the discomfort you get from drilling, but it also sterilises as it cuts, leaving less chance for bacterial contamination.
The laser’s pinpoint accuracy enables the dentist to leave as much healthy tooth structure in place as possible, allowing you to keep your own teeth longer. Because of the precision involved, procedures that once took several appointments to complete, such as multiple fillings, can now be finished in a single visit.