By Ben Curtis, DDS
By Ben Curtis, DDS
In my years of practicing dentistry, I have seen many new technologies and treatment methods become common practice. One of the biggest changes over the course of my time in the field has been the introduction of dental lasers. At Children’s Dental Service of Irving, we use Waterlase dental lasers for various procedures that include both restorative and soft tissue treatments, allowing our practice to treat a wide range of oral health issues. On the restorative side, we use Waterlase dental lasers for treatments that include class 1 and 2 composite restorations, crown preps and pulpotomies. For soft tissue treatments, we use Waterlase lasers for frenectomies, pathology excision, and biopsies.
My practice has been utilizing lasers for nearly three years and has greatly benefited from the diverse therapies the Waterlase laser provides. In addition to attracting more patients, we are able to make our current patients much happier with minimally invasive treatments that take the fear out of their visit, and limit their time in the dental chair.
The biggest benefit of dental lasers is the minimally invasive technology that allows me to treat most of my pediatric patients without having to administer anesthesia, which is one of the scariest parts of the appointments for children and can also be dangerous. Because dental laser treatments cause minimal discomfort, my patients don’t need local anesthesia to numb the pain.
Another situation many pediatric dentists face is a concern post-procedure that children may bite their cheek or tongue without feeling it due to the local anesthesia. Along the same lines, many children I treat are uncomfortable with the numbness. With laser adoption, there is usually no need to administer anesthesia to patients. After receiving a dental laser treatment, children can return to their daily routine without waiting for the anesthesia to wear off and can eat and drink as normal immediately after their appointment. It is no wonder that parents love this option!
Dental lasers have improved many areas of the dental experience already, but I think that as they become more widely adopted they have a potential for a wider application of use. One improvement to the Waterlase dental laser that instantly helped me in my practice was the addition of the a Pulpotomy setting where I can simply click a button with a preset pulpotomy setting. This setting is particularly helpful for pulpotomy treatments on primary teeth.
Looking at patient responses to the Waterlase dental laser treatments we offer in our practice, I have witnessed many successful procedures. One of my favorite stories is when I was able to complete eight stainless steel crowns on a patient in one appointment that took less than 45-minutes, with no shots! The child was very cooperative, felt no pain during the treatments and did not have to miss school. The parents, in particular, were happy to find out I had completed all the crowns and didn’t have to miss work for another appointment!
BIOLASE’s Waterlase dental lasers have already made many difficult procedures a positive experience for my patients. I believe the future of dentistry is dental lasers, and as they become more commonplace, I think they will become the gold standard treatment. I am excited to see what the future of dental laser technology will hold with BIOLASE’s continued advancements of its products, for both patients and the industry as a whole.
Dr. Curtis is a diehard Texas A&M Aggie and proud alumni. He attended Baylor College of Dentistryfor dental school and for his pediatric dental residency. He is a strong advocate for children’s healthcare needs, with his efforts being both in Austin and in Washington, D.C. He earned the prestigious AAPD Harris Fellowship for his research to improve advocacy efforts for our nation’s children and continues to strive to provide a stronger voice for those children whose voices often go unheard. He is an ABPD Board Certified Pediatric Dentist and is on staff at Children’s Medical Center Dallas.
Dr. Curtis loves being able to help children have the best dental experience they can have, specifically tailored to their needs. You can find him spending time with his wife and two children Birdie Belle and Dodson!