wired for // success
Incorporating Laser Treatments
into Routine Orthodontic Practice
by Alan A. Curtis, DDS, MS, Editorial Director, Orthotown Magazine
Like many of you, soft-tissue laser treatments were not a part of my orthodontic curriculum. Incorporation of soft-tissue management in my practice has been something that has
developed over time. The purpose of this article is to share with you a few cases that illustrate
typical uses of a diode laser in routine orthodontic care.
Maxillary diastemas are a frequent occurrence in the orthodontic office. While their etiology may vary, often the cause is a low maxillary frenum. A handyman would be foolish to
restore the wet drywall before repairing the leaky pipe behind the wall. Unfortunately, far too
often the diastema is closed but the cause of the gap (low frenum position) remains untreated.
During my initial exam, low fremun attachments are discussed and the associated laser frenum
treatment is planned for after the orthodontic treatment. I have chosen to include the cost of
the procedure as part of the comprehensive treatment plan. Parents are typically grateful and
understand the necessity of the procedure.
Upon finishing a case, gingival architecture is evaluated for aesthetics. Zenith position of
the central incisor and its relationship to the lateral incisors and cuspids are compared together
with probing depths to determine proper relationships. Pseudo-pocketing (depths greater than
3mm) indicates areas where contouring can be performed. Cuspids and central incisors should
have equal relative gingival margins. The zenith of the central incisor should be placed distal
to the long axis of the central incisor.
JUNE 2013 // orthotown.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Orthotown June 2013