For pediatric patients — and others who would prefer to avoid the dental drill in the treatment of caries –a few options have gained popularity and FDA-approval in the past year.

  • Solea, by Convergent Dental, is the first CO2 laser system ever cleared by the FDA for hard and soft tissue ablation.

In a 2015 interview, Convergent Dental noted that Solea dentists report that they perform over 95% of their Solea procedures without anesthesia, and over 98% of those patients report no pain, with 100% preferring Solea to a drill.

Learn more at:

As mentioned in the reports, pros and cons exist to this treatment, and should not be overlooked.

Per the ADA update:

“Likely a result of its fluoride content, when applied to a carious lesion, SDF has also been shown to lower caries risk of the adjacent tooth surface.4  While the Times article focused on the use of SDF in young children, it has also been shown to be effective in management of root caries in the elderly.5, 6  It likely has additional applicability as an interim approach for managing problematic caries in individuals currently unable to tolerate more involved dental treatment.

SDF is not a complete solution to caries risk.  Single application has been reported to be insufficient for sustained benefit.7  Its downsides include a reportedly unpleasant metallic taste, potential to irritate gingival and mucosal surfaces, and the characteristic black staining of the tooth surfaces to which it is applied.3″

Read the reports in detail:

American Dental Association:


The New York Times: