In the News
Below you will find an article about the Waterlase featured in the Herald Journal
Local dentist discusses new technology to ease pain during dental procedures- click here to view the online article
Cache Valley dentist Bradley Bills recalls a patient who put off dental work for two years, blaming it on her fear of the dentist chair.
Now she won’t anymore because her most recent experience was a good one.
That’s because of a new technology that’s slowly making its way into Cache Valley dentists’ offices, and, indeed, dentist chairs nationwide, that allows them to cut gum tissue and tooth without pain during the procedure or a shot of Novocaine beforehand.
“A lot of people equate going to the dentist with going to the IRS auditor — not fun,” Bills jokes. “But with this it takes away a lot of apprehension and fear and that’s very positive. People have been putting off dental work; now they’re ready to get it done as quickly as possible.”
The technology Bills uses is called WaterLase — named for the fact that water molecules are used to create the stream of energy that allows the laser to cut the tissue or tooth.
Other medical companies throughout the United States have developed similar technologies in the last few years and they are receiving rave reviews from patients.
The Cache Valley dentist says it’s a more efficient way to perform procedures like fillings and gum tissue surgery because he can “get more done in the same amount of time.”
The use of WaterLase is of no extra cost to the patient, Bills says, and it doesn't create “difficulty” for the patient after the procedure.
The Cache Valley dentist says WaterLase is bringing in more patients to his office at 550 E. 1400 North, Logan.
Bills explained that although lasers have been used for close to 40 years in dentistry, the heat of those lasers are “detrimental” to teeth and gums. So companies explored ways to create a different kind of laser.
“They developed a system where the laser beam actual energizes water molecules to a higher energy, very unstable state; water molecules don’t like that and decay very quickly to their stable state and give off a burst of energy,” Bills explained. “You multiply that by a billion times a second and that stream of energy is what actually cuts the tooth.”
The WaterLase settings can be charged depending on the procedure — a hot laser to cut gum tissue or a cold laser to cut tooth.
“The laser is able depolarize nerves inside the tooth, so the laser can ... create anesthetic; it puts the tooth to sleep,” Bills explained.
He said other dentists in Utah have been slow to embrace this kind of laser technology because of costs.
But for Bills, “I've always look for new, different, fun things to do in dentistry.”
He continued, “I've watched lasers for 15 years and finally decided it was time — not everybody will do this. I’m sure a lot of guys won’t because they’re set in their ways and don’t want to change; that’s understandable.”
Bills believes this kind of technology should be the future of dentistry.
“In other parts of the country there are a higher percentage of people that are getting into it,” he said. “People aren't going to want to go in and get a shot; they want this. This adds a new dimension to dentistry for us.”
Dentist Bradley Bills and dental assistant Courtney Smith perform dental work on Kurtis Jewkes on Thursday morning in Logan.
Dentist Bradley Bills makes adjustments to a WaterLase machine while performing dental work on Kurtis Jewkes on Thursday morning in Logan. (John Zsiray/Herald Journal)