Are lasers safe?
If lasers are used properly, they are very safe, precise and predictable. It is important that you take a laser certification course to ensure you are using the laser properly and know the safety features of your laser. All Zila lasers come with an 8 CE certification course. You should also designate a laser safety officer in your practice.
What are the advantages to adding a laser to my practice?
- Precise and predictable results
- No gingival recession
- Great for treating periodontal disease
- Minimal bleeding, which equals faster, easier restorations
- More predictable impressions
- Can work around metal
- Less anesthesia required
- Faster healing
- Saves time
- Minimal post-op discomfort
- Generates revenue
- Practice builder
- Great patient acceptance
How does a laser compare to an electrosurge?
A laser is gentler, more predictable, and often times will not require local anesthetic. Selective tissue absorption is also another advantage, meaning a diode laser only targets soft tissue. That’s why a laser is safe to use around hard tooth structure and implants. Lasers also ablate with a very shallow zone of necrosis, preventing gingival recession and providing predictable results. Cauterization of nerve endings/sealing lymphatics occurs simultaneously with ablation to decrease swelling and minimize post-op discomfort, while sterilization and disinfection reduces bacterial count. Lasers also biostimulate, promoting faster healing, pain relief, increased collagen growth, and anti-inflammatory effects.
How fast does a laser cut?
Laser energy is transmitted or absorbed into the tissue. Once the molecules in soft tissue reach 100-150 degrees C, ablation occurs. Lasers cut slower than electrocautery, but the benefits of laser technology far outweigh the slightly slower cut.
Is laser technology new to dentistry?
No, laser technology has been around for over two decades. Diode lasers started becoming popular in the late 1990′s.
Is anesthetic required for laser procedures?
Yes, but there are many procedures that only require a profound topical anesthetic.
Can a laser be used on a pregnant patient, or a patient with a pacemaker?
Yes, it is safe to use on both pregnant patients and patients with a pacemaker.
Are there any contraindications to using a laser?
No, there are no contraindications with laser usage.
What’s the difference between 810nm and 980nm wavelengths?
When using an 810 nm wavelength you have a higher absorption rate to hemoglobin and melanin in the skin whereas the 980 nm wavelength you have more absorption to water first. It is hard to tell the difference between the wavelengths clinically, as the absorption differences are very minor.
Can I use a diode laser around implants?
Yes, you can use a diode laser around implants. As long as the laser tip is kept in motion, no heat will transfer into the implant. Laser energy is not absorbed by the implant so there are no sparks, no heating of the implant, and therefore no risk of causing the implant to fail.
Do I need to use eye protection with a laser?
Yes, you need to wear safety eyewear specific to the wavelength of your laser. All Zila lasers come with three pairs of safety eyewear.
Is there a bad smell with laser use?
There is a little odor when using the laser, but significantly less than with electrocautery. We recommend using a high speed evacuation during the procedure to capture the vapors and eliminate any smell.
Is higher power better? Will higher power lasers cut faster?
You should always use the lowest power possible for each procedure to prevent collateral damage, speed up healing time, and decrease post-operative discomfort. Cutting on higher power settings will lead to a larger zone of necrosis, which leads to gingival recession, slower healing times, and more post-op discomfort. Using higher power allows you to cut faster, but you risk negating all the positive benefits of the laser.
How long does it take for tissue to heal after a laser procedure?
Healing time depends on the amount of tissue that is removed, but typically only takes 4-7 days.
How do I bill insurance for laser procedures?
You bill the insurance for the service/procedure, not the tool used to perform the service. For example, if you use the laser to do a gingivectomy, then you bill the insurance for a gingivectomy. There is no code for “laser gingivectomy.” A laser allows you to expand the scope of your practice. It will empower you to perform procedures you otherwise would refer out to a specialist, therefore keeping more revenue within your practice.
Are there laser insurance codes?
No, there are no laser insurance codes, just procedure codes for the services performed.