Health Watch: Fillings with no feelings

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More and more new technology is being used in the dentist's office. The procedures can make it easier on the patient and the dentist. Now there's a way to get a cavity filled witho

More and more new technology is being used in the dentist's office. The procedures can make it easier on the patient and the dentist. Now there's a way to get a cavity filled without needles and numbing.

Carli Trainor loves music and hates needles!

"Just the idea of needles scares me because it hurts," said Trainor.

That's why she was all smiles when her dentist pulled out a laser instead of novocaine and needles to fill a cavity.

Paul Rodeghero, DDS, at Clearwater Family Dental told Ivanhoe, "It's a game changer in some procedures for small fillings, medium size fillings, for children, for people that are dental-phobics and afraid of the needle."

Dentists using the refined CO2 laser say it cuts through teeth better than its predecessor. Look at the hole it's making in this cup.

"It's a pulsed laser meaning it goes, ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba. It's not one continuous, like a star wars laser," explained Dr. Rodeghero.

Those pulses, "Never re-stimulates the nerve to say 'hey this should hurt, I'm in trouble.' The nerve doesn't get upset. Most of the time it doesn't hurt," detailed Dr. Rodeghereo .

Dr. Rodeghero said even though the new Solea laser procedure can take longer, patients spend less time in the chair since they don't have to wait for their gums to get numb.

"You can do multiple procedures in the mouth in one appointment cause you don't have to numb up all over the place and you don't have tongue all numbed up," explained Dr. Rodeghero.

The equipment is pricey, but Dr. Rodeghero said he doesn't try to cover its cost by charging patients more.

"A filling is a filling is a filling, whichever way we do it," said Dr. Rodeghero.

Which Trainor calls, pitch perfect.

The Solea laser is effective on the soft and hard gum tissue. Dr. Rodeghero said five percent of patients who use the laser in his office still needs to be numbed up.

Contributors to this news report include: Emily Maza Gleason, Field Producer, Roque Correa, Editor, and Christopher Tilley, photographer.
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