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Water Lasers Take Pain Out Of Dentist Visits

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PINEHURST, N.C. — Many people do not like going to the dentist because of the drills and the Novocain.

Water lasers may get rid of both.

Sheila Myrick had her cavity filled without Novocain and did not even flinch in the dentist chair. Her dentist used the new water laser, which combines water and laser energy to do the same job as a drill.

"It just melts away or paints away the tooth structure and the decay," said Myrick's dentist, Dr. Joe Mason.

Mason uses the water laser for cavities, crowns and root canals. He said nothing but water touches the teeth and gums, so patients are in no pain. Most procedures also do not require any anesthetic.

"It is there if you need it, but in most cases, you don't," said Mason.

Patient Tom Oleson said he felt some pressure.

"It's like a tap. I guess that's the best way to explain it," he said, adding that it's better than the drill. "I happen to be old enough to remember having my teeth filled without Novocain."

Myrick said she is usually afraid to go to the dentist.

"I'm always white-knuckled," she said.

Not this visit.

"It was very easy. Very painless," said Myrick.

Currently, there are about 12 water lasers in North Carolina.


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