Dentaltown November 2015 - (Page 48)

practice solutions Practice Solutions explores how specific products and services can be of use clinically or in practice management. The Changing Landscape of Hard-Tissue Lasers by Ron Kaminer, DDS Dr. Ron Kaminer is a 1990 graduate of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. He maintains two offices in New York which focus on laser, aesthetic and minimally invasive dentistry. He lectures worldwide on topics related to lasers and minimally invasive dentistry, and is founder of the masters of lasers training program in New York. Dr. Kaminer is also the medical director of AMD LASERS and is a clinical consultant for numerous dental manufacturers. He lives in Hewlett, New York, with his wife and three children. 48 My love for lasers It was 23 years ago when I stumbled upon the Biolase booth at an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry meeting. This was three years after I'd graduated from dental school. It's not hard to impress a recent graduate, but I was particularly intrigued by a laser that could cut hard tissue. My mentor, Dr. Chuck Liebow from the University of Buffalo, got my feet wet with a CO2 laser during my junior year in dental school, and I had been a laser guy ever since. But a hard-tissue laser? Now, that was a different animal. After two days at the meeting and plenty of deliberation, I purchased my first hard-tissue laser. Little did I know how that purchase would change my dental career. Since then, I've established the "masters of laser" training program in my native New York, and have gone on to educate thousands of dentists on how to use the hard-tissue laser. I have lectured around the world and written numerous articles on lasers. I love seeing doctors I've trained go on to teach and train others. I have witnessed expanded procedures with lasers over the years. This, and the increasing number of dentists who want to learn and incorporate lasers into their practices, reflects an incredible transition on the laser front. Er:YAG laser energy is preferentially absorbed by water and hydroxyapatite, making it a great hard-tissue cutter (e.g., enamel, dentin, bone, composite, etc.), but also good NOVEMBER 2015 // on soft tissue as well. Utilizing technology that incorporates water and air, Er:YAG lasers are often able to cut through tooth structure with reduced (and sometimes no) local anesthesia. Due to less heat buildup than traditional rotary instrumentation, properly used Er:YAG lasers are kinder to tooth structure and bone. Both hard- and soft-tissue surgical procedures exhibit better healing than with traditional modalities. In addition, the patient experience is typically outstanding as well. Slow adoption A number of factors were responsible for the slow adoption of the hard-tissue laser. The first factor, of course, is cost. Hard-tissue lasers were, and still are, quite expensive. Most hard-tissue lasers today cost anywhere from $70,000 to $100,000. Despite the number of procedures one can do with Er:YAG lasers, the cost is still prohibitive for most offices. Most dentists cannot justify that kind of expense. For the most part, hard-tissue lasers are large pieces of equipment. With space at a premium in most offices, the size of the laser can be a deterrent. Generally, a clinician can use the highspeed handpiece less often, and usually the patient experiences far less pain with a hard-tissue laser, even without anesthetic. Er:YAG lasers do allow us to do routine operative in many situations without the need for local anesthetic, as long as the dentist is trained properly. Continued on p. 50

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dentaltown November 2015

HOWARD SPEAKS: Avoid a Perfect Storm: Focus on Infection Control
PROFESSIONAL COURTESY: Suffering from Arithmophobia?
Continuing Education Update
Industry News
Check Out This Broken Implant
Disaster Case— Hail Mary
Internal Marketing Begets Referrals
When to Refer to a Periodontist
Parents in the Operatory: Friend or Foe?
What You Need to Know to Hire the Perfect Hygienist
Space Maintenance: The Right Appliance at the Right Time
Practice Solutions: AMD LASERS
Practice Solutions: Planmeca
Product Profi le:
Adhesives: 60 Years of Clinical and Chemical Improvement
Product Profi le: DEXIS
Misaligned Anterior Teeth Straightened with Direct Composite Bonding
Five Common Web Design Mistakes
You’re a Public-Health Dentist and You Didn’t Even Know It!
Retirement Planning Made Simple
Young Patient Redefi nes the Face of Dentures
New Products
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body: A Patient Info Sheet
Ad Index
You Should Know: Synergy Dental Partners
Practice Growth Fueled by Technology
The Clinical Algorithms of Rehabilitation
Dentally Incorrect

Dentaltown November 2015