Walking in the door at 48 Main Street in Essex Junction feels more like you’re entering a spa than a dentist’s office. Instead of metal instruments picking and scraping at plaque and the horrifying whirl of drills, patients are greeted with the smells of lavender and citrus aromatherapy, pleasing pastel walls and soft lighting.
Dr. Kameron Schaberg and his wife, Shana, bought the dental business in June that retiring Essex resident Richard Bellino, DDS operated for nearly two decades.
So how do the new owners avoid the pain and horrific noises we’re all used to enduring at a dentist’s office? Lasers.
That’s it. Laser technology helps Dr. Schaberg use picks and drills far less frequently and reduces the amount of damage to tissue and healthy teeth.
“We are as minimally invasive and pain free as we can possible be,” said Schaberg during an interview last Friday.
Shaberg met his wife while in undergraduate school at the University of Wisconsin where he earned his BA and began a career in cartography. After deciding that was a “dead-end career,” a friend in dental school encouraged him to take the Dental Admission Test (DAT).
“I did pretty well,” he said, and off Schaberg went to SUNY Buffalo for those three letters after his name — DDS.
For a few years after graduating in 2010, Schaberg worked for a hospital as well as an Indian Reservation in Wisconsin.
“I saw a lot of different things on the reservation,” he recalled. “One person came in, I looked in their mouth and asked if they brushed their teeth. They said ‘no.’”
The Schabergs moved to Essex Town because “it looked like a nice place to live,” and raise their two young children, Imogen, 3 and Roisin, 1.
Just over a month ago they rebranded the business Advanced Dentistry of Vermont and hired a new “technically awesome” staff. The office is open Monday to Wednesday. Thursday is an administration day, and the office is closed Friday.
“It’s pretty important for him to have time with us,” said Shana, referring to spending time with their children. “We’re lucky to have long weekends.”
Dr. Schaberg recently elaborated on people’s fear of the dentist and the laser technology.
Q: Why are people afraid of the dentist?
A: Because everything in the mouth hurts. I’m a horrible patient. I hate needles and being in the chair.
Q: Why do you try not to use drills?
A: A drill spins at about 30,000 rpm and that causes a lot of heat, fracturing and lots of collateral damage.
With a laser, if it is used properly, there is no collateral damage or post-op pain. I can get 1/10 mm away from the nerve and the patient doesn’t feel it.
Q: What can laser technologies do?
A: Whitening, pain therapy for TMJ, soft tissue surgery, removes canker sores, cavities and a lot more. It just won’t take out silver fillings; we still have to use a drill for that.
Q: Why don’t all dentists use lasers?
A: They are expensive. Only about 6 percent of general dentists have the WaterLase.
Q: Do you have any recommendations about dental health?
A: Go to your dentist every six months or whatever your dentist recommends so small problems don’t become larger problems.— Elsie Lynn