Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Advantages of the LightWalker Laser from Fotona

 


Over the past weekend I was reading about the Mars Rover Perseverance and some of the experiments the NASA robotic rover will be performing.  I was surprised and more than bit excited to learn that the rover has two lasers on board and one of them is 1064 nanometers.  My excitement was because I happen to have a 1064 nanometer laser in my office!    However, mine is not part of a robotic NASA experiment, but is part of my LightWalker laser system.  My laser has an Er:YAG wavelength which we use for prepping teeth and a Nd:YAG which is the 1064 nanometer that we use for some of our soft tissue procedures.

The 1064 is great for all sorts of soft tissue procedures and surgeries, one of which is the subject of this post.

Recently we had a patient who, without the use of the laser, would have faced some difficult treatment options.  The patient has some health challenges that affect their ability to fight infection as well as to heal from injuries and disease.  They are also dealing with periodontal disease and the problems that come along with that difficult diagnosis.

Basically in this particular situation, the patient presented with generalized periodontal disease throughout the mouth as well as a couple of areas where the disease was more progressed.  This lead to the patient facing extraction of some anterior teeth and the resultant cosmetic challenges that would present.  

When the patient came to me, they had been told that there really weren't any better options.  However, upon examination, I discussed periodontal therapy that included using the Nd:YAG laser; especially in the compromised cosmetic area.  The patient was not willing to give up on their body's best option (natural teeth) and opted to try laser therapy. 

Our hygiene team performed careful periodontal scaling and thoroughly cleaned the root surfaces with both piezo electric and hand scaling.  Then I went in with the Nd:YAG laser and performed sulcular debridement.  This was done utilizing a 300 micron fiber and carefully ablating the diseased epithelium that lined the pockets.  We then changed laser settings and utilized the laser to create a stable fibrin clot in the affected areas.

There's a bit more to it than that, but if you are in dentistry, you get the idea.  Today the patient came in for a full recare and evaluation and we were pleased to see 3-4mm resolution of the severe pocket depths.  The patient was thrilled as we now feel that extraction is a "worst case scenario" and that instead, the patient can keep their own teeth.

These types of things are an example of incredible results that one can attain through the use of lasers.  I have been using lasers in my practice since the late 1990s and they have truly changed the way I provide certain treatments.

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