Tools of the Trade: Waterlase Dentistry

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by Dr Daniel D’Costa, Tindale Dental, Penrith, NSW

 

The Waterlase laser system uses technology known as hydrophotonics which simply means laser and water energy is absorbed by hard or soft tissue, resulting in tissue particles separating from each other.

I’ve been using it for about three years and have found it works really well when performing a gingivectomy or a crown lengthening procedure.

 

What’s good about it

It’s more comfortable for the patient because there is no need for local anaesthetic with certain procedures. That can really help phobic patients. It’s easy to use and there is less equipment to sterilise compared to traditional surgical instruments. It does the same job as scalpels and drills but with much less discomfort during the healing process.

I was also impressed that Biolase, the manufacturer, came to our practice and gave a demonstration on how to use the equipment.

 

What’s not so good

The handpiece is about the same size as a drill but it’s attached to a very large unit. It can’t be conveniently stored in a cupboard so it is generally left in a corner somewhere. When you are using it, it’s so large, you have to work around the unit.

While it’s excellent at cutting bone and tooth structure, it’s not near as fast as a high-speed drill. It’s true that it can cut teeth without the need of an anaesthetic for the patient but it can take some time getting used to it, especially if you are a new user. The equipment is also quite expensive.

 

Where did you get it

Biolase.

 

 

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