University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital (UH Rainbow) is one of the first in the country to offer pediatric dentistry patients a virtually anesthesia-free alternative to the traditional drill for hard and soft tissue ablation.

Dentists at UH Rainbow are operating Convergent Dental’s Solea CO2 laser, which gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in August 2013. The laser’s unique 9.3 µm wavelength provides a natural anesthetic effect while cutting dental enamel with unprecedented speed and precision. Patients experience virtually soundless, painless and sensationless procedures that take a fraction of the time of a traditional dental appointment because practitioners do not need to inject anesthetic or clean up blood.

“This technology is revolutionary for pediatric dental treatment,” said Gerry Ferretti, DDS, Division Chief of Pediatric Dentistry at UH Rainbow and Professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “The laser is perfect for kids because it works quietly, quickly and without the lingering numbness of local anesthetic following a typical dental procedure. We think it will be especially helpful in treating children with special needs, who may have more anxiety about seeing a dentist.”

UH Rainbow owns two Solea units thanks to a generous gift from local philanthropists Tom and Anne Jenkins. One laser is housed at the hospital and the other is part of Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, UH Rainbow’s mobile dental clinic that provides dental care to underserved children in northern Ohio.

“Solea has proven to be an exemplary dental tool for pediatrics,” said Convergent Dental CEO Michael Cataldo. “We are proud to partner with UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital as we believe our CO2 dental laser is the key for making this generation the first that is not afraid of the dentist. Solea’s combination of speed, precision and virtually anesthesia-free capabilities lessens the intimidation factor of dental visits so people can receive the oral care they need to be healthy and happy.”

The Solea laser has been well-received, both by dentists and medical technology watchers. The dental laser received Dr.’s Dental Excellence Award as the “Best New Instrument/Device” and Popular Science magazine named it a “Best of What’s New” product for 2014, one of just 100 tech products recognized. The Solea laser was also a gold award winner in the 2014 Medical Design Excellence Awards.

“We are excited to be one of the first hospitals in the country to use this technology,” says Dr. Ferretti. “I believe this will truly change what it means to go to the dentist.”