SIROLaser Advance: A Versatile Tool for Modern Dentistry
Atlanta, Georgia, private practitioner Alfred D. Wyatt, DMD, notes the vast differences among the available dental lasers, including wavelength, power, and types of settings—all of which impact their usefulness and versatility as a tool for the modern dentist.
Noting that there were fewer instructors such as himself when he purchased his first laser 14 years ago, Wyatt, who is a trainer in lasers for Sirona Dental Systems, believes proper training is the key to optimally using all items in the dentist’s armamentarium. “Sirona’s commitment to training sets it apart,” he attests, adding that the company goes well beyond the minimum amount of training required by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Speaking generally, he says some of the biggest advantages of lasers over traditional surgical methods are that there is less bleeding, less inflammation, and less need for anesthesia. He also points out that a laser can reduce bacteria in the area where it’s used properly. Perhaps the most unique benefit, he suggests, is that the radiant energy that laser light emits stimulates healing and reduces pain and inflammation on a cellular level. This phenomenon is called photobiomodulation.
Wyatt emphasizes that he considers each case individually before determining the approach to take, and he regards the laser “as a piece of my armamentarium based on what it does best. I don’t use the laser every time just because I have one.”
However, he continues, “There are many procedures you can do once you learn to incorporate the laser so it becomes an integral part of practicing dentistry. The objective is to learn enough about how to use it to get the most out of it.”
Wyatt currently uses SIROLaser Advance, a premium version of the SIROLaser Xtend 970 nm diode laser. “The reason I especially like the SIROLaser Advance is that the wavelength is optimal for the majority of dental applications,” he says, “and it offers greater absorption of water—the main component of oral tissues—than most diode lasers.”
This, he explains, makes it especially versatile in terms of tissue selection and “reduces a lot of collateral damage” because the water used to cool and protect the tissue while the laser is used does not inhibit the cutting action of the laser. “You could actually cut under water with this laser,” he adds.
The unit is, of course, well suited for the typically cited soft-tissue laser procedures, Wyatt says, such as crown lengthening, biopsies, cosmetic tissue modification, and removal of excess tissue in places where it can become a hindrance, eg, patients biting on tissue as wisdom teeth are erupting.
Wyatt identifies an additional way in which the SIROLaser Advance can help dentists. For those who place implants, they can save time by eliminating an entire step—that of using a scalpel to remove tissue that has grown over the implant prior to taking an impression. “Using the laser, you can remove tissue and immediately take the impression with no need for an additional appointment.”
Wyatt also mentions the usefulness of the SIROLaser Advance for indications practitioners may not be aware of, including treatment of mouth ulcers. “I know of no other way you can treat that lesion clinically other than with a laser,” he says. “It’s a minor procedure, and the condition typically resolves on its own in 7 to 10 days, but using the laser in the vast majority—about 90%—of cases can allow the patient to leave the office with nearly complete relief.”
He also uses SIROLaser Advance in noncontact mode to remove venous lake lesions—dark spots on lips that patients sometimes find unsightly.
Wyatt reiterates that it is the training provided by Sirona that can make all the difference in whether a dentist uses this tool not just safely and efficiently, but to maximum advantage. “It’s a company that provides hands-on training to its doctors when they purchase the device,” he says. “That’s a definite advantage to the user.”
Sirona Dental Systems, Inc.
4835 Sirona Drive