Liberty dentist using laser to fill patients’ cavities, avoiding drills and needles

LIBERTY, Mo. -- You no longer need to dread the drill at the dentist's office. A metro dentist ditched it for a quieter and less painful option.

"I'm kind of a nervous Nellie," Brooke Dorr said. "When I get shots and things, it makes me nervous. So when they said no shots and less pain, I was intrigued."

She's one of many patients who gets anxious about a trip to the dentist.

So when Dorr found out she had a cavity, she decided to take advantage of a new option. Dr. Jesse Jackson, the owner of Jackson Family Dental in Liberty, now uses a laser to fill many cavities.

"With a laser, you don't actually touch the tooth causing a smear layer, which decreases our bonding strength with the laser," Jackson said.

He uses the laser to cut out the decaying part of the tooth. Then the tooth is prepped just like it would be for a regular filling, and then it's filled back in.

The best part: There's no need to numb the area.

"We're sending a sensation through the tooth," Jackson said. "The laser is vibrating very quickly. So because it's vibrating your tooth very fast, the tooth doesn't feel what's happening to it. I also believe that it's far less invasive."

Jackson said because patients aren't numb, they can easily tell if their bite is comfortable. He said fewer patients have to return to his office for adjustments.

It's also faster. If a patient comes in for a cleaning and ends up needing a filling, Jackson said he can usually fit them in during the same visit. Thanks to the laser, patients don't need to wait for the area to get numb.

Patients like Dorr love the new option.

"It was painless," she said. "The only thing I felt was cold."

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