March 30, 2005


I have found the dental drill I've been waiting for my whole life for, and that drill is called Waterlase.

I don't like dentists--haven't been in 7 years--and the primary reason is different than most people. Most people either don't like the sound of the drill, or don't like the novocaine shot. Me? I hate the actual feel of the drill on my teeth. I hate it so much that I cannot even file my nails because it reminds me of the dentist drill.

Then someone on an online bulletin board suggested I look into Waterlase. Waterlase is a laser that shoots, well, laser light and water as a drill instead of a regular drill. Waterlase treats the decayed section of the tooth and instead of digging around with the drill going through cavity and healthy tooth at the same time. For those of you who care about these kinds of things, Waterlase does not require any novocaine because the design eliminates heat and vibration (which are apparently what make teeth hurt with a regular drill).

Waterlase also eliminates the horrible sound and feel of the drill. It makes a pulsating sound that is actually pretty close to a muffled Waterpik (anyone remember those?), and of course it never touches your tooth at all.

I had two cavities filled today, and on the first one I didn't feel a thing! The only sensation was that of having water shot at your teeth and then sucked out by the suction thing (which I hate, but that's a different story). Cavity #2 was a little deeper, so I did have some sensation with that. The feeling was very much like one you get when you have a cavity and bite into an ice cream. Noticeable, but not excrutiating. I made an "Ahhhhh" sound and he offered to numb me with novocaine, but that he was almost done so I went without.

Unfortunately I then had to have a tooth prepped for a crown and get a temporary crown. I had this root canal done 7 years ago and got a temporary crown then. They told me all kinds of horror stories of what might happen if I didn't get a permanent crown, but I was all pissed off (it's a long story) so I never went to get one (I also lacked dental insurance at the time). So in short, I've been walking around with a temporary crown for 7 years. Because I'd already had the root canal, I didn't need novocaine. I did, however, need the drill because the Waterlase doesn't go into teeth (he said, not sure if that's entirely right) and I needed the tooth ground down a little to prepare for the real crown. So I did have to suck it up and deal with the regular drill. Fortunately he was right--there wasn't any pain, and I was able to endure the grinding as it went quickly.

Now I go back in 2 weeks to get my other two cavities filled and the real crown put back. Unfortunately one of the remaining cavities is underneath a metal filling and has to be drilled the old fashioned way since Waterlase can't penetrate metal. Oh well.

And we found out our insurance is much better than we'd anticipated. We're paying less that $20 for a regular cavity to be filled.

And yes, in case you're counting, I have 4 cavities and 1 crown. But before you tsk-tsk me you should know that Kevin has 4 cavities, 1 root canal, 1 cavity that may turn into a root canal, and 1 crown. So there.

Posted by Shelby at March 30, 2005 05:31 PM

HI Shelby, this waterlase system is very interesting,hope it will come also to Germany.

(IN etwa 8 Wochen bekommen wir ein Mädchen!!!)
Liebe Grüße

Posted by: ira at March 31, 2005 12:39 AM

How cool! I'll have to try that, as I have a horrible cavity that needs a root canal and also a horrible fear of dentists, drills and needles. But I can't help it, every time I read the word 'Waterlase' I keep hearing Abba's 'Waterloo' in my head. Ack.

Posted by: staz at April 1, 2005 08:14 PM
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