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Dental Laser Misconceptions


Dental Laser Misconceptions: Debunking Common Myths

Dental lasers, like many other dental technologies, are the subject of a variety of different opinions surrounding their functionality and overall benefit to the dental practice. While it’s always sensible to do research on and consult with peers before making a purchase, many of the common thoughts about dental lasers are major misconceptions. To give you a better idea of the true benefits of an all-tissue dental laser we’re going to debunk three of the most common dental laser myths.

The cost of entry is too high for little ROI

Advanced dental equipment such as 3D imaging, CAD/CAM dentistry, and dental laser technologies come with a higher cost of entry compared to more traditional dental equipment. Often, dentists assume that the ROI generated from a dental laser is too low to justify the purchase. With Solea®, this misconception couldn’t be further from the truth.

The Solea dental laser is able to provide reliably anesthesia-free, blood-free, suture-free, and pain-free dental treatment. Practices that use Solea experience a dramatic reduction of procedure time, increasing overall productivity. For example, Solea enables multi-quadrant dentistry allowing dentists to accomplish treatments across different quadrants, which would typically require further appointments, in just one visit. Solea also allows dentists to perform more soft-tissue procedures that are often referred out, creating an entirely new revenue stream for your practice. Additionally, Solea’s reliably blood-free and suture-free capabilities for soft-tissue procedures create less post-operative discomfort for your patients compared to traditional treatments.

These benefits all add up to happier patients that are more willing to come back for repeat visits and the ability to schedule more patients during your regular work day leading to incredible ROI over time.

Dental lasers are too difficult to use and take too long to learn to be practical

Another all too common misunderstanding is that dental lasers require a heavy time investment in order to be effectively used, making them an impractical choice for dentists. While some lasers require a lot of time to understand, thanks to its single-setting technology Solea has greatly simplified the process helping dentists, regardless of their prior knowledge of laser dentistry, have a smooth and simple transition.

Solea was designed with a familiar handpiece, a rheostat foot pedal, and easy-to-navigate touch screen, providing dentists accustomed to traditional drills a frame of reference for getting started. Furthermore, Solea doesn’t require extensive long-term training for dentists to begin using the laser in their practice. Our comprehensive training programs are designed to ensure that dentists can integrate Solea quickly and seamlessly – so dentists can focus on the dentistry instead of the device.

One day of hands-on training is just about all you will need. A certified Solea dentist leads this peer-to-peer training class, and the trainee-trainer ratio is carefully controlled to make sure each trainee receives individualized attention, practice, and feedback. Following this, new Solea dentists will work closely with a Convergent Dental clinical client services team member to plan out and review their first few weeks of Solea procedures to reinforce training and to help with any challenges. You will also have access to where you can find a wealth of clinical case studies, peer discussion boards, and more to further optimize your experience with Solea.

Most patients have no preference towards traditional or laser dental treatment

It’s easy to assume that because the average dental patient isn’t well versed in dentistry that they have no preference towards traditional or laser dental treatment. While patients are likely not going to come to your practice knowing the difference between a Class II and a Class V restoration or other clinical terminology, they do have preferences regarding their dental treatment.

The concept of a laser for dental treatment that can reliably enable pain-free dentistry is an instant get for patients, and recent research has shown just how important advanced dental technology is to them. In “What Dental Patients Want” a 2016 study from Futuredontics the use of advanced dental technology ranked as the 4th most important factor for patients when choosing a dentist, ranking even higher than the dentist’s professional credentials and if the practice has convenient office hours. This is substantial because the last time Futuredontics conducted this study, just three years earlier, use of leading dental technology barely made it into the top ten factors for patients when looking for a dentist[1], showing just how much today’s patients prefer the high-quality treatment offered by technology such as dental lasers compared to the more traditional experience.

If you would like to find out more about Solea’s clinical and patient benefits and how it can integrate into your practice, you can reach out to Convergent Dental here.

Part 2: Debunking Dental Laser Myths—Speed, Analgesic Reliability, New Procedures, and More

Back in 2017, Convergent Dental proved some of the most common dental laser myths to be just that—myths. To read about lasers and their true ROI, low learning curve, and the truth about what patients really want, check out part 1: Dental Laser Misconceptions: Debunking Common Myths.

No matter the amount of dental laser education, there are still questions on whether lasers stand up to the high-speed drill and traditional dentistry. If you ask dentists who chose the Solea dental laser over the needle, drill, and scalpel, they’ll share success stories of improved clinical outcomes, increased efficiency, and overall greater clinical capabilities that allow them to perform new procedures and keep more higher-paying work in house. Dentists are also comparing how their new patient flow has increased after using the 9.3 µm CO2 laser.

If our first round of debunked laser myths and dentist testimonial video doesn’t convince you that lasers are the superior option, we’re going to make you a believer by tackling four additional misconceptions!

"Lasers are slow at cutting hard tissue"

The cavity experience for patients can be a nightmare due to the anxiety, needles, pain, numbness, and inconvenience associated with it. But for the dental practice, this type of restorative procedure can be very profitable—a dream come true—if dentists use the right tool that lets them work fast.

In a Class II composite resin restoration on tooth #5 DO case by Dr. Heath Brantley, Solea categorically debunks the myth that lasers are slow at cutting hard tissue.

The patient in this case was fearful, so it was imperative for Dr. Brantley to move fast. Using Solea to cut through enamel to expose the dentin, he prepped the tooth in just two minutes without anesthesia. As a result of the rapid prep, Dr. Brantley restored the tooth and completed the full treatment in 10 minutes versus 40 minutes if traditional instruments were used.  

"The analgesic effect isn’t reliable"

It’s easy to debunk a myth when the proof is obvious. The proof of a laser’s analgesic effect is ultimately shown when the dentist starts working. If the patient doesn’t feel pain or complain of discomfort, the analgesia is proven reliable and the myth is debunked.

In a case from Dr. David Fantarella, we see evidence that shows just how reliable the analgesic effect of Solea is when tested in a deep cavity Class I on tooth #29 case. According to Dr. Fantarella, the 9.3 µm CO2 laser changes how dentists treat tooth decay and transforms the cavity experience in general. Here, Dr. Fantarella was able to vaporize the tooth structure, prep the cavity, excavate the decay, and finalize the prep—all without anesthesia. And guess what? The patient didn’t feel a thing!

"Lasers are useless when you need to remove amalgam restorations"

Wrong! In a case by Dr. Joshua Weintraub, an amalgam removal on tooth #14 was performed successfully without anesthesia. Using the Solea laser, Dr. Weintraub troughed around the old restoration and outlined the prep. After the troughing was completed, he sectioned the amalgam and carefully removed it with a high-speed handpiece and bur. Solea helped simplify the procedure starting with its reliable analgesia at the beginning.

During the same appointment, Dr. Weintraub prepped the adjacent tooth #13 anesthesia-free, using Solea again to easily remove the decay. Both teeth were restored in less than 50 minutes.

"Lasers can only be used for a limited number of procedures, so they’re not worth the investment

Solea is an all-tissue laser that enables fast and precise cutting of tooth structure, soft tissue, and bone. Using it will allow you to increase efficiency, improve clinical outcomes, and perform traditionally challenging procedures instead of referring them to specialists. That sounds worth the investment to us!

In a case by Dr. Weintraub, two soft-tissue surgeries were performed: a gingivectomy and maxillary frenectomy. With Solea, Dr. Weintraub didn’t have to think twice about keeping the case in-house. He also wouldn’t have been able to achieve the amazing, final clinical outcome with traditional instruments or another laser.

Crown lengthenings are also often turned away by non-laser dentists. However, if you use Solea, you can undoubtedly accept these cases and perform them non-invasively. In this crown lengthening case, Dr. Timothy Anderson shows us how he successfully completed the procedure (compare a typical 60-minute surgery to treatment that takes less than 10 minutes with Solea) with clean cutting, minimal bleeding, and an “outstanding” final clinical outcome. Not to mention, the result exceeded his patient’s expectations, and she left ready to refer him to the next friend in need of a dentist.

Have we convinced you on the efficacy of dental lasers? If yes, great! They’re being used every day to change dentists’ and patients’ lives for the better. If not, we still want to try! Contact Convergent Dental and ask us about our Solea laser today – we’re ready to answer your questions and debunk anything we haven’t covered yet.


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