If you have a cavity, your dentist will need to work on your tooth to remove the decayed material in order to anchor a filling to healthy tooth tissue.
This can be done by use of a dental drill with a specialized bit, or it may be done by using a laser to remove the decayed material. But which is better?
Advantages of using a laser. One of the most hated parts of the dentist's drill is the shrill noise it makes as it works to remove decay. A laser, in contrast, is silent, and if a patient is extremely nervous about the procedure, this benefit alone may make it better in his or her experience.
Further, many proponents of the laser claim that it is more precise, allowing the dentist to remove only the decay with a minimal amount of damage to the healthy portions of the tooth.
Advantages of using a drill. As with any new technology, it may be difficult to find dentists who are properly equipped to use a laser. Further, lasers may be more expensive. What's more, there is little evidence that using a laser actually has any benefits to the overall health of the tooth.
For those patients who are extremely agitated by the sounds or vibrations of a traditional dental drill, a laser may prove to be a more soothing experience. However, given the possible difficulties involved in finding a dentist who is trained and equipped to use a laser, coupled with the fact that there are no discernable benefits to doing so, it may not be worth your time and trouble to insist on using a laser for your dental work.
The important part is to find a dentist who is good at what he or she does and who can perform the procedure quickly, safely, and professionally. Please contact us if you have any questions about cavities.