Tools of the trade: Fontona Fidelis Er:YAG laser


by Dr Paul Rollason, Absolute Dental Care, Taringa, QLD


About six years ago, I decided to purchase a hard-tissue laser and I wanted to get the best available. I attended a laser course run by Professor Laurie Walsh at the University of Queensland and he advised the Fontona Fidelis Er:YAG laser as being one of the best units on the market. It’s really quick cutting and an easy machine to use.


What’s good about it

It causes less stress fractures and doesn’t heat the tooth. A drill will heat up a tooth by five or six degrees whereas a laser will cool it by five or six degrees. There can be anywhere between a 10 and 12 degrees difference between the two.

In 95 per cent of cases, patients don’t require anaesthetic. Prior to use, I warn them that they may feel a little discomfort and if it gets too much, the patient lets me know and I administer anaesthetic. Rarely do people stop me.

It’s not that they don’t feel anything, but the discomfort is so mild that it’s not worth the numb face afterwards. A majority of my patients will choose the laser even though it’s a little bit more expensive. I’ve even had patients say that if I ever break my laser, I’ll need to reschedule them.


What’s not so good

The unit is fairly bulky and they are expensive to purchase. It also takes a little practice to find the optimal distance to hold the laser. If it’s too close or too far away, the beam defocuses and won’t cut. If there’s a lot of water present then the laser will try to heat up the water rather than cut the tooth.


Where did you get it

High Tech Laser Australia.


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