Diode Lasers

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					92 The Dentist October 2010


Diode lasers
Mark Cronshaw explains the benefits and uses of the tools.

      asers in dentistry have
      been available in one form
      or another for a good few
years and the current renewed
interest in UK dental circles in laser
applications is a relatively recent
phenomenon. The clinical benefits
of applying lasers in treatment are
many, as along with reduced patient
discomfort and more rapid post
operative healing, they are easy to
use. Laser clinicians appreciate the
laser as a primary tool of choice
due to the excellent precise and
predictable tissue control that makes
so many procedures relatively easy,
quicker and cleaner. Subject to
adequate training and providing they
have bought the right one, current

 The biggest single advantage
  of the laser is the ability to
   manipulate soft tissues.

laser users are happy with the
technology. So what historically has
been the bar to the uptake of lasers
within the profession?
  I think the answer to this is due
to a number of reasons of which
the issues of cost and the hassle
of registration with the Care Quality
                                         lThe portable I-lase is completely hand operated.
Commission have been significant
factors. More manufacturers are
now building and selling lasers
to dentists, the cost is coming          result lasers are slowly beginning                  the laser is the ability to manipulate
down and a top quality diode laser       to appear in NHS/mixed economy                      soft tissues. Any kind of soft tissue
can now be purchased at a cost           surgeries as well as the exclusively                surgery becomes a joy as there is
affordable by any dentist. As a          private practices. As for the CQC,                  little if any bleeding which makes
                                         all dental practices fall under                     the operator’s life a good deal
                                         the impending new registration                      easier and the patients appreciate
                                         requirement regardless of whether                   the first class clinical outcomes. The
                                         or not they use a laser so this is no               soft tissue applications of lasers
                                         longer an issue.                                    are many including laser assisted
                                           The range of applications available               bacterial reduction in periodontal
                                         to the laser user does depend on                    pockets, along with gingivectomy,
               Mark Cronshaw             what laser they own as a diode laser                frenectomy, troughing, pulpotomy,
               is a private dentist in   cannot cut through hard tissues.                    exposure of implant heads,
               Cowes, Isle of Wight.     The biggest single advantage of                     excisional biopsy, low level laser
94 The Dentist October 2010


                                        Mark Cronshaw regularly lectures for Henry Schein Minerva, covering
                                        a wide range of topics on laser dentistry. Courses will be taking place
                                        across the UK on the following dates:

                                        Periodontal laser surgery course
                                        October 8             Leicester

                                        A practical introduction to lasers in dentistry: Two day intensive
                                        November 19–20         London

                                        Diode in dentistry foundation course
                                        December 10            London

                                       a whole host of advantages for         the Ez-lase. It is highly portable
lThe Ez-lase from Biolase.             the clinician, including the easy      and the ergonomics are great as
                                       to bend, quick to fit fibre tips.      it is a hand operated unit with no
                                       Most diodes need the fibre to be       cables or foot switches. It is being
therapy and bleaching. All of         stripped and cleaved prior to use      marketed at roughly half the price
these very valuable treatment          which takes valuable surgery time.     of its big brother the Ez-lase and I
modalities can be achieved with        The bendable tips for the Ez-lase      expect it will prove a very popular
a relatively cheap diode laser.        make it easier to gain access to       buy at the forthcoming BDTA
Also, in combination with a few        surgical sites. The handpiece is       meeting at Excel.
simple hand instruments, it is         slim and the touch panel controls         Dental lasers are now mature
possible to do flapless osseous        are easy to use so the initial         technologies which are being
crown lengthening. Any dentist         learning curve is very short, and      adopted worldwide as the new
worth his salt will want a laser       it is fast and simple to apply in a    gold standard in clinical care. At
when he sees what it can do for        busy surgery setting. This unit also   present, lasers have not been
him as clinical dentistry becomes      has a special healing attachment       widely adopted within the UK
a deal easier when you have                                                   which is surprising considering
the right tool for the job. For soft   I have seen swelling associated        the benefits to be had at a very
tissue applications the diode is a     with trauma markedly reduce in         modest cost. I expect over the
wonderful piece of kit.                        under a minute.                course of the coming decade most
   When choosing a diode                                                      UK clinicians will have adopted a
there are certain features             that can be used for low level laser   laser of one form or another.
definitely worth having. The           therapy (LLLT) and promoting              You will be able to see both the
best wavelength to go for is in        healing. The benefits of LLLT have     Ez-lase and the i-Lase on the
the 940-980nm range as this            to be seen to be believed: the         Henry Schein Minerva stand at
wavelength permits cutting in          near immediate relief of myogenic      Showcase, plus Henry Schein
relatively avascular tissues and       pain associated with TMD is like a     Minerva have asked me to be on
requires much less power to do         miracle to the patient. I have seen    hand to talk personally to anyone
the job. Less power equals less        swelling associated with trauma        interested in lasers in dentistry
energy being dumped into the           markedly reduce in under a             so please come along and say
tissues which in turn means less       minute. Surgical wounds exposed        ‘hello’. I will be happy to share with
trauma and quicker healing. I          to LLLT heal three to four times       you my experience and show you
work with the top of the range         faster than normal with much           some of my clinical cases. I hope
diode from Biolase, the Ez-lase        reduced pain and swelling.             to see you there.
and I rarely if ever use more than       Biolase have recently launched
1.5watts, as opposed to some           a new 940nm diode called i-Lase.
cheaper diodes which need              This is in the form of a highly         For more information visit www.
3-4watts to achieve the same           portable pen laser which takes and click on
cutting ability. The Ez-lase has       the same ready prepared tips as         education or