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Laser Technology for Dental Care.

In October, the FDA approved one new treatment and redefined an existing one for tooth decay. Millennium, a new technology that uses a high-speed spray of laser-powered water to cut teeth, significantly reduced discomfort for patients used to conventional electric drills. The Erbium laser, approved by the FDA in 1997 for treating tooth decay in adults, has now been cleared for use with dental patients of all ages.

The millennium system uses a patented technology known as the HydroKinetic method. The water used is cool and sterilized. In clinical trials, 98.5 percent of subjects who use the millennium system reported no discomfort.

European dentists have used the Erbium method for several years. In it, a laser light is delivered through fiberoptic cells. By focusing the beam directly at a tooth cavity, the dentist can pinpoint, target, and vaporize the exact area of decay within the tooth without hurting surrounding tissue.

Both technologies require little or no use of anesthesia.
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Author:Gramling, Jack
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Jan 1, 1999
Words:160
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