Pain-free dentistry in Vancouver
Nine-year-old Markus Uy and 12-year-old Nicole Kot were anxiously waiting to have cavities filled at Tam Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in Vancouver. It wasn’t their first time there but it was the first time they were going to have dental work without numbing.
They both recalled the last time they had cavities filled, involving needles and drilling.
“It was really painful,” Markus said.
“You can feel your tooth going like ‘zzzzz’ and it doesn’t feel really good,” added Nicole.
“Our purpose is to basically alleviate that,” said Isaac Tam, orthodontist and pediatric dentist.
He invited CTV News to his dental clinic to demonstrate a new tool he’s added to his practice. It’s a high tech carbon dioxide laser by Solea.
The laser can work on hard and soft tissue and eliminate the need for numbing.
“They feel a little cold sensation but it’s nothing close to a needle or a pinching sensation,” Tam said.
We watched as he filled cavities on Nicole and Markus. It looked like a miniature Star Wars lightsaber, emitting green bursts of light.
“Just as good as the drill– maybe even better,” Tam said.
Within 30 seconds the laser prepped Nicole’s cavity for the filling and within three and a half minutes she was done.
“It was really easy really quick and I didn’t even feel anything,” said Nicole.
It was the same for Markus.
“It felt like nothing, just a little cold,” he said.
And neither of the two experienced any lingering effects associated with numbing.
“It’s impressive,” said Margarita Poust, Nicole’s mom.
Markus’s dad was equally impressed.
“It’s just tough to get them in the door. Whereas now with this new equipment, you’re in and out within five minutes,” said Patrick Uy.
Tam’s team is the first in Vancouver to have the Solea laser and he has purchased one for his Delta clinic too. It wasn’t cheap. He says the cost for just one laser with all the bells and whistles was about $225,000 but he says it was worth it.
“Time before our procedure was probably like 10 to 15 minutes now we can do it in two to five minutes.”
The Solea laser is made by Convergent Dental Inc. and according to a company news release it’s the world’s first Carbon Dioxide computer-aided preparation dental laser system that uses pulsed energy and other patented technologies cleared by the FDA for hard and soft tissue ablations.
Tam says he’s used the laser on about a thousand patients and no one’s complained.
According to Solea, dentists using the laser have reported they can skip anesthesia in up to 96 per cent of cases.