If there is anything that dental patients dread, it is the sound of a drill eating into their teeth. The burning smell and sound of a dentist’s drill not only reminds a patient of tooth pain but makes them hate tooth treatment at large. Sadly though, this has become almost the norm in most hospitals and almost any dental problem is addressed through constant drilling and filling with foreign materials which are not good for our oral health. If you asked any professional dentist who cares about his/her patients he/she will tell you that drilling through a patient’s tooth is one of the least enjoyable things because even the smallest chips that are lost during the drilling can never ever be replaced. This is why the prospect of a drill-less dentistry really excited both dentists and patients. The idea of removing decayed teeth or prepare a surface of a tooth for a sealant without necessarily using a drill is more than welcome. The big question however is when will drill-less dentistry become a reality?
Trust me or not, drill-less dentistry is no-longer a prospect- it is something that is being offered by a number of dentists in America and some parts of Europe. Although we can call its use in these parts still experimental, the results have been excellent and the drill-less procedures have been received with open arms by both the patients and the dentists because of their efficiency. If you are still wondering what drill-less dentistry is then here is the best definition. This is the treatment of teeth cavities and removal of tartars, superficial stains and discolorations from the surface of teeth without necessarily using a drill. These are two main methods of drill-less dentistry used in America today. These are;
Through very strong laser beams, dentists are able to target small areas to remove and dislodge any decay building up inside the teeth. The laser beams heat the water molecules in the teeth and this helps dislodge any unwanted material from the teeth. The lasers are able to target such small areas that the pressure is not even felt. This makes them good for use even for children without necessarily using anaesthesia.
The beauty of using lasers as a means of cleaning and treating affected teeth is the fact that the laser beams don’t tamper with the healthy enamel part. Drilling on the other hand affects the healthy enamel while getting rid of the unwanted part and this is very depressing. Laser beams also kill any bacteria that stand in their way. They almost sterilize anything that they come into contact with which is really important.
Laser beams have their shortcomings though. First of all is the fact that they are very expensive. Right from buying the right equipment to the cost of the procedures, they are a very expensive drill-less alternative. Besides the cost, they are not appropriate for all forms of dental work. They for example cannot be used to roughen a surface up for placement of sealants. This limits their daily use therefore.
- Air abrasion
The other form of drill-less dentistry that is already being put into use is air abrasion which is also known as micro-abrasion. Here, the tooth is bombarded with very small and fine particles that remove the lodged decay from the tooth without affecting the enamel. The bombarding particles are then removed from the tooth surface through suction.
This is a painless and quick procedure that does not damage the tooth to any extent. Just like laser technology, this can be implemented without necessarily using anaesthesia and this makes it appropriate even for children. This reduces the anxiety and fear that is associated with visits to the dentist because everything will be quick and painless. Just like lasers though, this technology has limited use in dentistry. Dentists are however working around the clock to come up with more ways these technologies can be used to replace the old and ineffective drilling which clearly has no future in dentistry.
We at Vita Dental Care in Katy have not been left behind in the quest to implement a drill-less dentistry. We are already adopting the above mentioned technologies in our daily working and it is duly paying dividends. Patients who have sensitive teeth are now getting more comfortable with the treatment mechanisms available and are even enjoying treatment sessions. As dentists, we are more than reprieved that there are ways we can treat dental problems without necessarily having to drill your teeth and waste away the otherwise healthy enamel.
So now you know that the dream of drill-less dentistry is slowly being realized and soon, the drills will be deemed useless and will be tossed from hospitals. This might take some few more years but at least we can see light at the end of the tunnel.