Solea Laser Improves Dentistry For Patients and Dentists

by PFFD | 07 January, 2024

Star Wars and Dentistry: Solea Strikes Back

Whenever I fire up the Solea laser, I feel like Princess Lea if she were blonde and a dentist. My enemy? Tooth decay. My solution? A high-tech laser that slices through decay and enamel without needing anesthetic.

I have been a dentist for 20 years and got along just fine without a laser… or so I thought. I think this is common in dentistry. There is a reason there are advances in technology in general: Because it’s better. It’s like me saying I shouldn’t get a smartphone because my flip phone works “just fine.” Or I shouldn’t place composite white fillings because mercury fillings work “just fine.” “We don’t need a hard tissue CO2 laser because a drill works ‘just fine.’” Just as my husband said I had to upgrade my 1992 Honda stick shift Civic that worked “just fine” (until I had kids), my colleagues said we needed a laser in this practice.

The Solea laser is fired up all day to help with common fillings and sometimes without novocaine. Because of the low energy pulse, the laser “freezes” the nerve as it cuts into the enamel. As long as you can handle water and air, you can get fillings done without anesthetic (even though our shots are very gentle).

The other bonuses are its capabilities to help children and adults sleep better, get fewer headaches, aid in digestion, and feel less muscle tightness overall. That’s some laser, huh? Let me tell you how. With the assistance of our hygienist, Andra, we give exercises to strengthen the tongue tone. Then, we use the laser to cut the fibers tethering the tongue to the lower jaw. It simply ablates the tissue with no heat or charring and almost heals it as it goes. Then, we cut the fascia overlaying the tongue muscle to free the tongue from its cage. As the tongue is released from the hold of the lower jaw, the relaxation through the neck and shoulders is noticeable almost immediately. The exercises are continued to stretch and strengthen and train the tongue to go to the proper home to improve breathing, chewing, and sleeping.

It is no secret that we like to treat sleep apnea and snoring in our practice. We help get patients tested and diagnosed via a home sleep test. A home sleep test will measure airflow, pulse, oxygen, and position to see if the airway closes at night or if the issue is “just snoring.” A Mandibular Advancement Device treats the airway by moving the lower jaw forward and opening the airway. The airway tissue is pulled tight, and the tongue is prevented from falling back and blocking or narrowing the airway. Sometimes, the airway tissue is so beat up andswollen that the CPAP or the Mandibular Advancement Device cannot overcome it. The Solea laser uses energy that shrinks the tissue and makes it tighter without even touching it and without heat. The laser is held over the soft palate briefly and pulses the tissue. It takes about 15 minutes, and there is no recovery time because of no pain. Two treatments about 21 days apart will do the job to help the oral appliance work even more effectively and help open the airway even during the day.

As you can see, Post Falls Family Dental and Dentistry isn’t living in the Stone Ages. The future is laser, and the future is now.