Narrator: This is Science Today. New laser technology which may do away with the dentist drill may be welcome news to patients. But the high powered laser equipment is pricy - meaning higher bills. Roy Eversole, a professor of oral and maxilofacial pathology at UCLA admits some dentists and patients may not want to shoulder the higher cost.
Eversole: But on the other hand, if it gets produced in mass quantities then prices will drop just like with any technology and then again, I guess some people would be willing to spend a little more if they don't need anesthetic and it's not as annoying from the standpoint of the sound and vibrations.
Narrator: Eversole says ever since the "painless" laser drills were approved last summer, the question has been: will they completely replace the dental drill?
Eversole: It can't do everything that the dental drill can do, particularly getting teeth ready to receive caps or crowns. But you know, this is a new technology and I think it will eventually evolve to a point where it probably will replace most of what's done by a drill.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.