Paper or plastic? Cheese on that burger? Every day, we make choices. From a clinical standpoint, we make decisions that affect our patients’ health and their futures.
Dental technology is no different. Diode lasers are commonplace, but we still have to make decisions about their place in our practices. The first decision is easy: Should I incorporate a diode laser into my practice? YES.
The first decision is easy: Should I incorporate a diode laser into my practice? YES.
Diode lasers help provide better care to patients. Whether contouring gingival tissue, troughing to get a better crown impression, or as an adjunct to treating periodontal disease, diode lasers work. Some even whiten teeth and provide relief of TMJ and muscle pain. We have many choices about which diode laser to buy.
First, look at how you practice. We all are dentists, but we practice differently. We make different choices, and this translates into technology.
The CAO Company has been making lasers for years. They have two diode laser systems: the LTM and SHP models. The LTM is a basic workhorse. Turn it on, and it goes. It has easy-to-use features like a retractable fiber, a magnetic handpiece holder, and plenty of power (five watts.) The SHP laser does everything the LTM does, but it also whitens and treats TMJ and muscle pain. It does this through the concept of “lower level laser therapy” (LLLT) and biostimulation. The SHP also comes with an iPod® touch as the operation system. It fits into a holder that mounts onto your handpiece rack bar. Change settings and access videos and numerous presets, all with a touch. Specialized handpieces are interchangeable to deliver laser energy for pain therapy or whitening.
Both CAO lasers are built well, reliable, and backed by Henry Schein. Talk with your colleagues and get “real world” answers. Ask about cutting speed, hemostasis, and laser effects on tissue.
I cannot make the decision on which laser is for you (I would be glad to answer any questions you have), but do not be afraid to jump in. Utilize code 4212, gingivectomy or gingivoplasty, to allow access for restorative procedure per tooth. This is a great code that now actually pays us when we are faced with restoring subgingival decay. This code is payable as a separate procedure, and if your practice is like mine, you see a lot of subgingival decay or class Vs that need gingival tissue removal to place and finish a good restoration. Look this code up; it may not be in your usual list of office codes. Or utilize Charles Blair’s book, Coding with Confidence.
The best source of information is from colleagues who have been using lasers. Ask your Henry Schein rep for a referral or call me.
By the way, I am a “paper not plastic” guy, and I do like cheese on my burgers.
Dr. Koceja practices in Vancouver, WA and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 760-500-6189.