"Patients love to get lased..."

March 21, 2012
Issue 3

I’ve been using lasers in my practice since 1998. Since they were  introduced in the mid-1990s strictly for use on soft tissue, diode lasers were, and continue to be, a tremendous boon to dentistry. I strongly believe operatories of the future will feature a diode laser next to the highspeed handpiece, built into every dental delivery system.

I’ve been using lasers in my practice since 1998. Since they were  introduced in the mid-1990s strictly for use on soft tissue, diode lasers were, and continue to be, a tremendous boon to dentistry. I strongly believe operatories of the future will feature a diode laser next to the highspeed handpiece, built into every dental delivery system.

I use my diode laser for a multitude of soft-tissue management procedures, including everything from crown lengthening, frenectomies, gingivectomies, creating surgical incisions for laying flaps, and more.

Why choose the Odyssey Navigator?
In 2000, I finally got my diode laser, and used several models clinically before I switched to Ivoclar Vivadent’s Odyssey® Navigator™. The reasons I was drawn to the Odyssey were because it was so user-friendly and available at a reasonable cost.

Initially, a typical diode cost $50,000. Today, we see them for as low as $3,000 to $5,000. With the barrier to entry that low, I believe that more than 60% of  all dental offices will have at least one diode in their office within the next five years.

But going back to the Odyssey-describing it as merely user-friendly doesn’t do it justice. There are touch controls for various procedures and power settings. Let’s say you want to do a crown lengthening procedure-you can scroll down, select that procedure and the diode’s computer sets up the power setting for that treatment choice.

What does your staff think?
They love it. It is small and portable, so it can easily go from room to room. Its typical unit-dose, 400 micron tips are about 6 mm in length and made of quartz sapphire. You change tips between patients, sending used tips into sharps as though you were using a scalpel blade, and easily replace with a new pre-packaged tip that has been prepared to deliver energy in an optimal way. This is different than a lot of other more flexible fibers on the market and provides a tremendous clinical advantage of control and precision.  Remember, all lasers are end-cutting. If you align the shaft of this diode’s rigid tip with the long axis of the tooth, you can use it as a guide to ensure lasing accuracy; flexible fibers are more difficult to control.

What about patient response?
There are so many advantages: You seal blood vessels, lymphatics and nerve endings as you lase-accomplishing hemostasis. The clinician’s visual field is enhanced as procedures are done in a dry field because there is little or no bleeding. There is a reduced need for local anesthesia, as well as decreased post-operative discomfort. There’s reduced stress for staff, patients and the clinician. It’s a win-win-win.