New tool makes cavity fillings pain-free

June 23, 2010 5:06:38 PM PDT
Do you hate going to the dentist because of the shots or the drill?

A lot of people do.

What if next time you have dental work done, you could skip all of that? Now there's a way to have a cavity filled without the drill and shots. It's easy even for children.

Masih Ganjvar, 7, knew the "drill." he'd had cavities filled before. But this time, he didn't need a shot.

"I'm sometimes scared of shots," he said.

He didn't need anesthesia at all. In fact, his dentist was going to fill two cavities without using a drill to remove the decay. He used a laser just like Ganjvar had seen in Star Wars!

"It's a very, very, tiny, tiny laser, so I'm gonna use that kills all germs, remove everything and make your tooth very healthy, OK?" Dentist Ali Obeidi explained to Ganjvar.

And Ganjvar learned the laser "sword" removes decay in seconds without pain.

"With the laser, there is nothing to touch but light," Obeidi said. The laser light is invisible, and the sound isn't nearly as scary as the sound of a drill in your mouth.

But using a laser for a drill is relatively new; less than 1 in 10 dentists have one.

But listen to what else the dental laser can do: surgery without stitches, heal a cold sore and kill bacteria that can cause a cavity to recur.

Now when you sum this up, it almost sounds too good to be true -- no drill, no anesthesia, no pain. But the proof is the smile on Ganjvar's face as he leaves after two fillings.

"No, nothing hurted," Ganjvar said.

"It is a painless procedure," said his father, Mohammad Ganjvar. "It's very nice, and I'm happy now."

And they left to go eat lunch.


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