Tools of the trade: Picasso diode laser


picasso(1)by Dr Yvonne King, Cosmetic & Laser Dentistry Centre, Caulfield, VIC

Even though I have owned a diode laser for over 10 years, I still marvel at what a huge improvement it is in comparison to a scalpel. In the past, I had cases where people would not undertake gum recontouring because it was quite traumatic. Patients would put up with gum asymmetry or a gummy smile rather than go through the process. The diode laser has put an end to those situations.

Whats good about it

The beautiful thing about this laser is that gingival recontouring is done atraumatically, without bleeding and without needing stitches. There’s no post-operative swelling and there’s very minimal discomfort. The laser seals and cauterises as it cuts, creating a sterile wound that heals without any significant appearance issues. In the past there would have been sutures, discomfort and swelling, making the healing look very unsightly. Now after the procedure, the patient can immediately smile with confidence.

It’s a very straightforward machine to use with settings that range from 0.5W to 10W. It’s also great as an adjunct for treating periodontal disease by decontaminating and debriding periodontal pockets. The recovery is better and faster without any post-operative sensitivity.

In a lot of cases it can actually prevents the need for periodontal surgery. There’s usually soft tissue reattachment and there have been cases documented in literature where they have observed bone growth.

The Picasso is a wonderful tool; I couldn’t imagine practicing dentistry without it.

Whats not so good

You have to be a little bit careful with the fibre. It’s very soft and flexible and it can be broken. However, this is really nitpicking because it’s a very reliable and easy to use machine.

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