Painless dental surgery

Seven's On Call with Dr. Jay Adlersberg
August 11, 2008 1:07:18 PM PDT
Until now, dental bone surgery has meant using a scalpel and stitches to fix problems in your mouth. Now there's a new tool that makes the surgery much less scary. It's all about replacing those sharp objects with sound waves.

A drill, scalpel and a needle -- three reasons Nancy Lemos was dreading dental surgery.

Periodontal disease caused bone and gum tissue to separate from her tooth.

"When I think of surgery, it's like anything else. I think of cutting. I think of bleeding," Lemos said.

But none of those would be part of Nancy's surgery because her cosmetic dentist used a new procedure called Piezosurgery.

"It was just so quick, it didn't seem possible," she said.

The new device uses sound waves to cut through bone -- 60,000 cycles per second. The high frequency vibrations work so fast, there's no bleeding or pain.

"Just as an opera singer will sing and crack glass, this is like the opera singer for surgery and it can crack your bone without any pain, without any discomfort, without any bleeding," said Joseph Kravitz, DDS, of the Center for Dental Health.

Using an egg, Kravitz showed the Piezosurgery's accuracy by removing the shell. "And it's not hard boiled either. It's a raw egg and just look how there's no yoke coming out," he said.

The sound waves are programmed to cut bone, without hurting soft tissue, nerves or vessels.

"This technology makes total logical sense and there's nothing that even comes close to it," Kravitz said.

Nancy is an accomplished PhD, but is still amazed her procedure only took five minutes.

"Why put yourself through anything else? This is easy," she said.

She went home pain free.

"I'm glad it's done," she added.

And she considers her trip to the dentist's office a success.