New laser technology replaces needle for some dental operations

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DENVER -- Many people absolutely dread going to the dentist, but some say a dental laser is easing patient anxiety by eliminating the need for needles and drills.

Dr.  Matthew Wimmer uses the Solea dental laser made by Convergent Dental to treat problems like cavities at his practice in Centennial.

"It really has been a game changer in our practice," Wimmer said.

With the laser, he says there is no need for a needle, since there is no need for anesthesia 96 percent of the time. Plus, the laser is used instead of a drill to remove the unhealthy tooth structure and cavity. Then, the dentists just place the filling as usual.

"Dental lasers have been around for a long time; the Solea laser technology is relatively new. It’s the first FDA-approved carbon dioxide laser approved for use on hard and soft tissue," Wimmer said.

About 20 providers in Colorado have this particular laser, and dentists say they are a good option for nervous patients.

Cassie Sterling is one of those patients.

"Who likes to be under the drill?" she said.

She was pleasantly surprised by her experience with the laser.

"It was no needle, no numbing, none of that. No pain whatsoever," she said.

She said at times, it felt like cold water or ice on her tooth, but that was it. The whole process took less than 30 minutes and she didn’t leave feeling numb.

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