Back in 2008 when I started work promoting the benefits of lasers, many people said to me: ‘What’s a laser got to do with dentistry?’ – this revealed a lack of understanding and awareness at the time. But in the last six years there have been big advances and dentists have really started to understand and appreciate the benefits that laser treatment can offer patients. Nowadays when I introduce our latest laser to a dentist, I’m asked: ‘What’s the wavelength? How can it benefit my practice?’ The awareness and understanding of the benefits of lasers and laser treatments has really increased.
It was apparent to me that the main problems in those early days were product reliability and a lack of backup support for the customer. Lasers can be a significant financial commitment and customers needed proper help and advice. So as a team, we decided that we needed to focus our approach around a complete educational programme coupled with comprehensive service backup and support.
Welcome to the family
Today we strive to educate our customers in laser technology. We have a team of specially trained laser engineers and have developed a network of customer service and laser user groups, so now I can say to new customers, ‘Welcome to the Henry Schein Dental’s laser family!’ For anyone buying a laser from Henry Schein Dental, the initial purchase is just the start of a very long, fruitful relationship. We are always at hand to help dentists make the right choice, and one that meets their needs. We help to integrate lasers into everyday practice and our customers can expect extensive in-surgery training, guidance and clinical support from our team of laser experts. We also offer a full aftercare service, including marketing support and advice, and should there ever be any technical problems we provide a fast repair/support service to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.
Dental professionals often have the misconception that lasers are something only used in high-end dentistry, but this is certainly not the case. The versatility of lasers means they are now used in a multitude of different procedures, both simple and complex. Lasers are affordable and accessible as a general dental tool, with many more dentists now interested in improving their treatment options thanks to quicker healing times, which result in enhanced outcomes. In the face of the impending changes to NHS contracts it is likely there will be an emphasis on better oral health care, making hygiene and prevention a market that will continue to grow.
I am certain that a time will come when every practice will be using a diode laser for routine soft tissue management, periodontics, low-level therapy and pain management. The diode is a great problem solver, helping ease myofascial pain, easing muscle spasms and dealing with ulcers and cold sores, all of which makes this affordable, practical and transportable laser an everyday tool for every practice. In fact, many dentists I work with say that they couldn’t do without a laser now, such as Dr Cohan Rajan, a dentist from London said: ‘For many procedures I use my Waterlase everyday, sometimes for anxious patients who do not like the sound of the drill. It’s completely integrated into my workflow and I can’t imagine life without it.’
At Henry Schein Dental we have seen the biggest growth in the laser market over the last two years in periodontics. There is a growing problem of periodontal disease in the UK and laser treatment can make a real difference by gently cleaning out any infection. If the gum is receding from the tooth leaving a pocket, a diode laser is precise and gentle enough to remove granulation and infected tissue, helping to heal, and more importantly, encouraging the gum to reattach to the tooth. Neeraj Puri, a dentist from Edinburgh told me: ‘Periodontal treatment is another fabulous treatment modality that we are able to offer, thanks to lasers.’
The dental market is currently experiencing a growth in high-tech treatment, largely thanks to increased patient demand, particularly for cosmetic dentistry, treatments that had previously been postponed due to personal financial constraints. In an era when patients are already familiar with laser technology in areas such as eye surgery, the opportunity for dentists is all too apparent.
At Henry Schein Dental our aim is to help and motivate dentists in every way possible to integrate laser treatment into everyday practice. By helping them increase their skills and confidence we believe they can add more treatment options and, meet patient expectations.
Using lasers gives dentists the option to do more of the procedures they may have previously referred. And from a clinical aspect laser treatment is less invasive, less traumatic, and allows faster healing that ultimately benefits the patient.
To find out more about how lasers can benefit your practice call Henry Schein Dental on 08700 10 20 41 and talk to a laser specialists.