The Dental Drill vs. the WaterLase Dental Laser

We used to connect to the internet with dial-up modems. Remember the pinging noise? Then we upped the speed and stayed connected with ethernet cables and broadband. Now, the world wide web is wireless and untethered – a seamless evolution of technology and innovation over time.  Did you know that asimilar trend has been happening in dentistry?  Like those old modems, dentists have been front-row observers to evolution in the technologies they use to take care of many common dental procedures – and more and more dentists are setting aside their drills and investing in new technology such as the WaterLase iPlus dental laser.

WaterLase iPlus is a BIOLASE product that utilizes a water-energized laser beam to cut oral tissue such as teeth and gums, and even bone!  While dental drills have long been the method of choice for many dental procedures, a dental laser like WaterLase can achieve the same procedures.  If you had to choose between one or the other, which would be the better option?


Dental Drill: Scraping and pain are quite synonymous, particularly in the case of dental drills. The name “drill” in itself implies invasiveness. To ensure patients are not squirming in pain and discomfort as the dentist uses the drill , they often administer an anesthetic solution into the tissue with a sharp needle.

WaterLase: The interaction of a laser beam and a water/air spray allows the system to cut, etch and shape target tissue with pinpoint precision while avoiding any direct contact. Although the treatment may not be completely painless, anesthesia is no longer necessary.


Dental Drill: The speed and accuracy dental procedure is executed, relies primarily in the hands of the dentist. Depending on the task at hand, some procedures such as root canals can last over any number of sessions. Drills require a steady hand and patience on the part of both the dentist and the patient.

WaterLase: The WaterLase dental laser operates at 100 pulses per second and covers a wider surface area than the tip of a dental drill. Also, because WaterLase Dentists can complete most procedures without an injection, they complete more work in a single visit.

Dental Fear

Dental Drill: The pain associated with drills is enough to keep many people from seeing their dentist. In order to negate the pain, anesthesia must be applied, which requires shots administered via needles – another invasive object patients fear.

WaterLase: BIOLASE had developed WaterLase technology with the goal of “no shot, no drill, no pain” dentistry. Although WaterLase is not widely known, the prospect of relatively painless dental work should make visiting the dentist a bit less daunting.

Drills are still quite effective at accomplishing its intended purpose of scraping and burrowing; however, in an age where technology is constantly evolving, alternatives are becoming more and more available. WaterLase is but one of the alternatives. Compared to a drill, which would you prefer?