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How this all-tissue laser enables anesthesia-free, blood-free cutting.
Convergent Dental CEO Michael Cataldo has two simple philosophies at his company. First, to make a great product and second, to keep the promises he makes about the product. Because of that, no other laser company has the money-back guarantee that Convergent does for its Solea® dental laser.
“The return policy is important for dentists who have been burned by companies that oversold lasers in the past,” Cataldo says. “Every once in a while people will ask, ‘What about the dentists who returned your lasers?’ I tell them I am proud of those returns because not every dentist is comfortable working without anesthesia, or they just change their mind but they don’t get stuck with a $100,000 coat hook.”
Solea is the only CO2 9.3μm laser cleared by the FDA for hard, soft and osseous tissue treatments That unique 9.3μm wavelength is what enables Solea dentists to perform more than 80 different procedures from cavity preps of any size to soft tissue surgeries that would otherwise be referred out to specialists.
Cataldo attributes Solea’s success in part to its software and a user interface that can make any dentist a laser expert. Regular software updates delivered via Wi-Fi keep Solea dentists current with the latest features.
“Any dentist can pick this laser up and be anesthesia-free with 90 percent of their fillings within a month,” Cataldo says.
Cataldo knows that some dentists are reluctant to embrace the technology. Part of this reluctance stems from the general attitude among dental professionals that laser dentistry, as a whole, hasn’t delivered on its promises. However, Cataldo says he created a company culture to combat that reputation. At Convergent Dental, he says, the customer’s success comes first and money comes second.
“One of my sayings is, ‘Today’s customer satisfaction is the best leading indicator of tomorrow’s sales.’ We really mean customers first, especially in the laser industry,” Cataldo says.
He also believes in creating an environment in which employees feel the impact they have on the business. A clear definition of corporate and individual objectives combined with regular feedback helps everyone feel the effect they’re having and their importance on the team.
Cataldo says Convergent Dental designed Solea to improve the procedures that dentists do every day. Solea allows them to do the things they already do faster and with a much better patient experience. From there, they can easily work their way into new procedures like soft tissue surgeries that pay more because the laser makes them simple to do. Solea imitates equipment that dentists already use, with a handpiece like that of the drill and a variable-speed foot pedal to control the cutting speed.
“With one day of training, any dentist can treat virtually all of the fillings that they do without anesthesia or pain and perform dozens of soft tissue surgeries without anesthesia, bleeding, sutures, or discomfort,” Cataldo explains. “You pretty much do everything faster and with a dramatically better patient experience.”
Because of its ability to eliminate anesthesia and bleeding from so many procedures, Solea improves dentists’ production.
“When you can reliably, and the key word is ‘reliably,’ treat patients without anesthesia and pain, efficiency goes through the roof,” Cataldo says.
Bleeding also stops dentist productivity. Solea soft tissue surgeries are virtually blood- and suture-free, which, Cataldo says, allows dentists to keep working without stopping to pack cord or apply hemostatic solution.
Convergent Dental has nearly 700 Solea dental lasers in use in the field and is outselling every other laser company by two to one. Cataldo believes this is due to the fact that Solea delivers on what it promises, is easy to use and, of course, offers a significant return on investment.
“It’s a safe bet at this point. It just works,” Cataldo says. “At some point Solea will be the only treatment patients will sit for.”