Alexandra Heath-Foulds and Chris Minall demystify the five most common untruths surrounding dental diode lasers, and give us an insight to how the Gemini diode laser from Ultradent in particular can increase patient comfort, make you stand out in the market place, and increase practice productivity.
In a recent survey held by the BDIA, diode lasers were ranked in the top three new technologies dentists were interested in. Many dentists are asking; why should I use a laser? How does a dental laser work? And are dental lasers safe?
Myth one – lasers are dangerous
With the proper training, dental lasers are a safe appliance to maintain and use. As with all lasers, eye protection must be worn and the Gemini comes with three sets of goggles.
The tip of a diode has to touch the subject, and when it does, it will cut precisely where it is aimed. The Gemini is dual wavelength; giving a smoother cut with less tissue dragging and thermal damage.
Because less swelling occurs, quicker recovery times and in many cases less discomfort can be expected.
Myth two – lasers are too expensive
The idea that a laser costs more than traditional methods is quickly disproved when taking into consideration the reduced surgery time – multi-quadrant work can be performed in one session with a laser.
As lasers cause minimal bleeding and less patient discomfort, you can do more in one appointment than spreading over several. Lasers are popular with anxious patients and to harness this through effective marketing gives great business potential.
Myth three – there are too many complicated regulations around lasers
For the facts, we asked Simon Wharmby, laser safety adviser for the optical radiation safety consultancy, Lasersafe. He told us: ‘In recent years, the healthcare regulations in England and Wales have become much simpler, with no additional registrations required simply for using lasers. However, as with all businesses, practices are of course required to comply with safety regulations including suitable and sufficient risk assessments.’
Myth four: lasers are difficult to use
The Gemini offers convenience and ease of use with its 19 pre-set procedures. It also has a voice confirmation after each selection to reinforce your choice of setting.
The laser has pre-initiated tips, meaning you don’t have to cut the fibre yourself, which can be a tricky task. It is also portable and has a wireless foot pedal.
Myth five – lasers are slow
As effective haemostasis and healing is quicker with a laser, the slightly slower cutting speed compared to a that of a scalpel is not an issue. The Gemini cuts faster and smoother than any other diode on the market.