How to improve the patient experience with Solea

January 24, 2019

One dentist shares his experience with this all-tissue dental laser from Convergent Dental.

Dr. Michael Kelly has used lasers in his dental practice for years, but he found most worked well with soft tissue but not hard tissue. The systems he tried designed for both purposes were inefficient and just not what he was looking for. 

That all changed when he brought the Solea® laser from Convergent Dental into his practice nearly five years ago. It works great for both hard and soft tissue cases, and it has brought countless benefits to his patients and his practice.

“This is hands down the best piece of technology I’ve ever put in my office,” says Dr. Kelly, who practices at Aesthetic Dentistry of Scottsdale. “It touches every aspect of my practice and has improved every aspect from the patient experience to my bottom line and everything in between.”

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How his patients benefit

Dr. Kelly describes Solea as a “transformative technology that drastically changes the patient experience during hard tissue procedures.” He rarely has to give patients shots, which eases patients’ fears and makes their time in the chair more comfortable. They experience less bleeding and heal faster, and they don’t have to deal with the side effects that come with those dreaded shots.

“I’ve always prided myself on giving comfortable injections, but a comfortable injection is still an injection with side effects and discomfort,” Dr. Kelly says. “With Solea, about 98 percent of the time patients get out of the chair and say, ‘That was amazing. I didn’t feel anything.’ We don’t have a numb patient when we’re trying to check occlusion, and we don’t have to worry about a 4-year-old chewing on his lip because he’s numb.”

How Dr. Kelly benefits

Dr. Kelly says he uses his Solea every day on each restorative patient. He refers fewer cases out and is able to complete more dentistry each day because he’s taking blood and anesthesia out of the equation for most of what he does. Solea also makes it possible to work in multiple quadrants. So if a patient needs six fillings in different areas, he can do those in one visit instead of two visits or more.

“I have at least one hour a day that I didn’t have in my schedule before,” Dr. Kelly says. “I used to walk in the room, calm the patient down, give the shot, walk out of the room and come back 10 minutes later. With Solea, I explain what I’m doing, pick up the laser and go to work. It’s not unusual for me to finish the procedure before I would have even picked up the drill to start.”

Solea also has helped Dr. Kelly earn patient loyalty. He recently treated an older patient who was nervous about getting work done without a shot, mostly because that was all he’d ever known. After the procedure was complete, the patient shook his head and asked “Where has that been all my life?” He was amazed that he didn’t feel a thing while Dr. Kelly worked on four of his teeth and that he wasn’t leaving the practice with a numb face.

“The last thing he said to me was ‘Now I can never go to another dentist that doesn’t have this,’” Dr. Kelly says.

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The technology

The unique wavelength is what makes this laser so special, Dr. Kelly says. It’s the only laser he’s ever used that truly targets both hard and soft tissue. Another feature Dr. Kelly appreciates is the variable speed foot pedal. He’s able to control the laser’s output via the foot pedal; other systems require users to change a setting on the screen. The ability to use his foot instead makes the process faster, smoother and easier.

The laser is computer-controlled and can be easily updated with software releases that are part of the company’s warranty maintenance program. Solea is Wi-Fi- and cellular-enabled, so all updates are easily available via a software download.

Why choose Solea

While incorporating laser dentistry into your practice calls for a shift in mindset, Dr. Kelly says it’s one of the best things you can do for your patients and your bottom line.

“If you want to build your practice, Solea is a great tool,” he says. “It does something we can’t do otherwise. It changes the patient experience and leads to loyalty. It enables you to keep more dentistry in-house. It makes complex cases easy and makes the easy cases even easier, while also allowing you to work in multiple areas of the mouth. Using less anesthesia leads to less anxiety for the patient, which is the biggest factor. There’s no reason not to incorporate this into your practice.”
 

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