How laser dentistry has changed the way one family thinks about going to the dentist

March 8, 2013

Patient Perspective is an opportunity for patients to share their thoughts on the latest technology and materials.

Patient Perspective is an opportunity for patients to share their thoughts on the latest technology and materials.

About six months ago, Anna Ziebarth had a small cavity for the first time in years.

But instead of having to make an appointment and come back to the dentist for a traditional filling like she was used to, her dentist at Comprehensive Dentistry for Adults and Children in Costa Mesa, Calif., suggested fixing the problem right then and there, with a laser.

She was so impressed with the technology and how quick and easy the procedure was, she decided it was time to introduce her two daughters, Zoe, 11, and Lux, 8, to a new practice and a new dentist.

Until that point, the girls went to a pediatric dentist who did traditional fillings, and Zoe’s first experience was anything but pleasant. She had two cavities, and that meant two one-hour appointments that left her numb and wanting to avoid the dentist.

“She couldn’t eat or drink anything for two hours after the appointment,” Anna said. “The first one wasn’t so bad, she got through it, but having to take her for the second appointment, she was like kicking and screaming. I wish it all could have been done at once because getting her back there was not fun.”

When Anna found out both girls had cavities about a month after her laser experience, it just made sense to take them to Comprehensive Dentistry for Adults and Children, where Dr. Christina Do, the dentist on staff who sees children, could finish the filling in about 5 minutes-all with no shots and no pain.

“It didn’t hurt,” Zoe said. “At my other dentist they had to numb you and put all this junk in your mouth. But the laser didn’t hurt and it was quick and fast. I didn’t have to wait an hour to drink water and stuff.”

Before the appointment, Zoe was a little nervous about having another filling; she couldn’t help but remember what happened the last time. Dr. Do. helped put her and her sister at ease with an animated video, Toothtales, that showed the girls exactly what would happen during the appointment.

Dr. Do explained everything, taking away the fear of the unknown. Now, the thought of going to the dentist or having a cavity filled doesn’t make Zoe quite so anxious.

Anna’s younger daughter, Lux, never had a cavity before and didn’t know what to expect, just that her sister had dealt with a bad experience in the past. Even so, she’s confident a laser is better than a drill, and said she thought her experience with the laser was “amazing.”

As a mom, Anna loves the fact that she can take her girls to get the fillings they need without scary needles or the need to spend an hour in the chair. There’s no numbing and no pain, which just makes the experience so much more pleasant, no matter what your age.

“We’re huge fans of this technology,” Anna said. “It’s a nice luxury to have and I’m grateful my dentist offers it.”