Archive for Thursday, December 12, 1996

T HAVE TO HURT

December 12, 1996

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Drill-less dentistry takes away pain and shortens time in the dentist's chair.

Drill-less dentistry has made its way to Lawrence -- which means, your cavity will be detected sooner, there won't be any painful shot of anesthesia and the filling will always be white.

Large silver fillings are repairs of the past.

Galen Van Blaricum has been using drill-less dentistry at his office, 3310 Mesa Way, for two months. Eighty percent of his patients undergo the method.

Kristen Blood, a student at Kansas University, was impressed with the new procedure Tuesday, following two fillings.

"I could feel the air, but it didn't hurt," Blood said. "And, I'd rather not have that numb-thing going on when I'm all done."

The procedure removes decay from the teeth with air and powder. In the process, a lot less of the tooth is removed.

Once the tooth is filled, the filling material is cured with a blue plasma arc curing light.

The steps can take minutes to complete, compared to an hour that would include waiting for anesthesia to numb the area.

"We can go from one side of the mouth to the other without having to numb the entire mouth first," Van Baricum said.

Blood said it took 10 minutes for two minor fillings.

Office manager Denise Gauna said patients tell her the drill-less dentistry is "wonderful."

"People who have heard about the procedure call to see if we have it," Gauna said.

Detection of early decay is the greatest breakthrough using the air and powder method, Van Baricum said.

"I'm convinced we used to seal in decay during the sealant process because grooves weren't completely cleaned out using the old procedure."

Children are big winners with drill-less dentistry.

"Their first experience in the dentist chair is much more pleasant and they're always happy to come back and see us," said dental assistant Kim Herries.

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