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Smoothlase: Dental laser to reduce appearance of wrinkles

Most of us go to the dentist for a healthy smile.  But cosmetic dentistry has now gone one step further by using a laser to reduce wrinkles.

STRONGSVILLE -- It’s the same laser used for drilling cavities with no need for Novocain, only the tip is changed to heat the inside of the mouth and stimulate collagen production.

54-year-old Traci Hockaday says she’s not ready for the cost or downtime of a surgical facelift, so she’s opting for a quick and painless option called Smoothlase at her dentist’s office, Strongsville Dental Associates.

“I want to look my best, I don’t want to look different, I want to look refreshed maybe relaxed,” Traci said.

Dr. John Heffernan says he and practice owner, Dr. Chris Theodorou are the first to use this kind of technology in Ohio. Dr. Theodorou actually uses it to help patients with sleep apnea.

“This is taking control of your body’s own healing process and starting something called neocollagenesis which is creating new collagen,” Dr. Heffernan claims.

He uses the laser to warm up the outside tissue, but the main work is done inside the mouth along the cheek wall. The heat causes a plumping effect according to Traci who added it doesn’t hurt.

“It just feels like a sharp tapping, but not painful,” she says.

He ran the laser under her tongue saying that it may help lift sagging jowls. She also had her lips done, although with those she opted for some Novacain because of sensitivity. She chose Smoothlase because Dr. Heffernan is her dentist and she knows and trusts the staff.

“We’re specialists in the musculature around the face so why shouldn’t we be the experts in doing these procedures,” Dr. Heffernan says.

After several passes with the laser that take about thirty minutes, Traci’s procedure is done.

“I am thrilled, I can see the difference,” she says.

Dr. Heffernan adds it’s a subtle change over time but typically results only last a year. Maintenance visits are necessary afterward.

The big question is cost: A minimum of three visits are required spaced about a month apart. Each visit is $800 totaling $2,400. Maintenance visit after the initial three cost $500 and lips are an added $150.

But unlike surgery, Traci can leave the dentist’s office and go back to her daily activities with no down time. She can even eat spicy food with no irritation Dr. Heffernan claims.

The procedure doesn’t work for everyone. Those with skin texture issues may not see the results they want. Those with dry mouth may not be candidates. It’s important to consult with the dentist beforehand and learn more by clicking HERE.

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