There is another option for patients who find shots of anesthetic and the whir of a dental drill discomforting. Over a number of years, the Erbium:YAG laser has proven to be effective in removing tooth decay. Decay removal and tooth preparation with a laser doesn’t require the use of anesthesia, and it works with better precision to spare more of the healthy tooth. Patients report feeling no more than a slight tingling sensation as the Erbium:YAG laser removes tooth decay. The laser also creates a better bonding surface so that tooth-colored fillings can be expected to last longer. While a traditional drill works faster, with an Erbium:YAG laser, there is no need to wait for the anesthetic to kick in.
P.S. Because an Erbium:YAG laser is not designed for removing old amalgam fillings and preparing teeth for crowns or bridges, a traditional drill must be used to do this work.