If you have ever found yourself avoiding the dental chair because you have a fear of needles, hate the numbing process or have had a negative experience in the past, one dental office in Redmond offers an option that might change all that. With new laser technology, Central Oregon Dental Esthetics offers a virtually pain-free dental experience, relieving stress and anxiety.
In January of 2020, Dr. Denise Hicks, DDS, was excited to embark on a new journey with her own dental clinic. Three months later, Central Oregon Dental Esthetics experienced an unplanned shutdown due to the pandemic. During this time, Hicks began researching laser technology.
“I had actually started researching a much smaller soft tissue laser before COVID-19,” states Hicks. “But, then I kind of went down a rabbit hole, researching more and more. What I learned was very exciting in the world of dentistry.”
Hicks explains that, like in all healthcare settings, the dental profession was concerned about aerosols and how COVID-19 was spread. “With the laser, there is less aerosol production,” Hicks explains. “And, what is produced by the laser, according to a lot of studies, is more sterile.” Thus, there was less chance of something becoming airborne and spreading the virus.
After extensive research, Hicks found she could not ignore the benefits of the Solea Laser technology. “It was a big investment, but one I felt was important to offer my patients the best care that I can,” remarks Hicks. “Once I found out about it, I couldn’t ‘not’ do this, knowing there was a better option out there.”
When Central Oregon Dental Esthetics reopened their doors later in 2020, they were the first dental clinic in Central Oregon to offer Solea Laser Dentistry. Although this laser technology is becoming more and more prevalent in larger cities, Hicks is still the only dental office in Central Oregon using the Solea Laser technology.
The Solea Laser is a CO2 all-tissue laser that allows Hicks to do the majority of fillings without having to use any sort of anesthetic. “The laser numbs the tooth as it works,” says Hicks. “This is a huge game changer for people who are needle phobic, just don’t want to be numb all day or for those people who have a true allergy to anesthetics.”
Most patients find the Solea Laser Dentistry option reduces the anxiety many people associate with dental procedures. “It’s a much more gentle, and basically pain-free way, to do fillings and even crowns,” Hicks states. A dental clinic for all ages, Hicks and her staff offer same day crowns, treatment for TMJ pain, botox to treat myofascial pain, botox and filler for lip enhancement, teeth whitening, clear aligners and laser treatment for snoring, among other services.
“There’s a setting we can use on the laser that treats the soft palate and helps to tighten the collagen located within the palatal tissue, which helps to treat snoring,” notes Hicks. “The laser also helps us be more efficient with certain procedures since we aren’t having to wait for numbing to take effect.”
Central Oregon Dental Esthetics is a small, intimate clinic. “We strive to keep it cozy, relaxed, more of a concierge dental clinic atmosphere where we cater to each patient instead of to numbers and quantity,” Hicks says. “Our goal is to get people in and out as quickly as possible and patient comfort is our top priority.”
“The laser really does open up more options for more people,” states Hicks. The laser treatment for fillings and other routine dental work is generally covered by insurance. Central Oregon Dental Esthetics does offer an in-house membership plan for those without dental insurance or who prefer to have additional coverage.