It may be hard to imagine, but lasers have been used in dental offices since the 1960s. What first began as an experimental technique soon gained traction as more and more dental professionals realized how beneficial lasers were for treating different dental problems. Over the last couple of decades, there has been a surge in research in studies involving dental lasers. Even more exciting is that laser dentistry is showing significant promise as the latest form of dental care—especially considering the opportunity dental professionals have to manage pain with photobiomodulation (PBM).
So, what is laser dentistry? Put simply, laser dentistry is an innovative method used to perform many dental procedures with precision and more gently to help minimize pain and recovery time for patients. This revolutionary piece of equipment has improved many soft-tissue and hard-tissue procedures that dental offices regularly perform. Even procedures that were previously often referred out can now be easily performed in-office with a dental laser.
Common Laser Dentistry Procedures
Currently, there are four types of lasers used in dental offices: Diode laser, CO2 laser, Erbium laser, and Nd:YAG laser. Typically, the type of laser a dental professional uses depends on the procedure as well as personal preference. For dental purposes, the laser cuts or vaporizes tissue, coagulates, cauterizes nerve endings, kills bacteria, and has a photobiomodulation effect.
Many soft-tissue procedures have become easier to perform with a dental laser resulting in gentler treatment of the patient. Not all dental lasers are purpose-made for soft-tissue procedures, so consider the type of laser your practice has before starting any procedure.
While the FDA has officially cleared 27 laser indications, we’ll cover the most common uses. For the full list of FDA-cleared laser indications, click here. With the Gemini and Gemini EVO laser, some of the more common soft-tissue procedures include:
- Gingival troughing for crown impression
How To Use the Gemini Laser: Troughing
Troughing Crown Prep | How To Use the Gemini™ Laser
How To Use the Gemini Laser: Troughing
Gemini Clinical – Gingivectomy & Frenectomy combined
How To Use the Gemini Laser: Class V Troughing
- Gingival incision and excision
- Soft tissue crown lengthening
How To Use the Gemini Laser: Lower Anterior Frenectomy
- Implant recovery
How To Use the Gemini Laser: Uncovering Implants
- Exposure of unerupted teeth
- Pulpotomy as an adjunct to root canal therapy
- Reduction of bacterial level (decontamination) and inflammation
- Soft tissue curettage or Sulcular Debridement
- Removal of diseased, infected, inflamed, and necrosed tissue within the periodontal pocket. Removal of highly inflamed edematous tissue affected by bacteria penetration of the pocket lining and junctional epithelium.
- Topical heating for the purpose of elevating tissue temperature for a temporary relief of minor muscle and joint pain and stiffness, minor arthritis pain, or muscle spasm, minor sprains and strains, and minor muscular back pain, the temporary increase in local blood circulation; the temporary relaxation of muscle.
*Examples of possible use cases for PBMT
Pain Therapy with Photobiomodulation:
Pros and Cons of Laser Dentistry
Cost and return on investment (ROI), what types of dental procedures you’re interested in doing, and laser preference all weigh in when it comes to the pros and cons of purchasing a dental laser. Even though laser treatment options are expanding tremendously, dental professionals can find that they’re still limited in what they can do with a dental laser—especially with hard-tissue procedures.
Historically, it has been a challenge for some dental offices to afford the upfront cost of a dental laser, and for some procedures, a laser can actually be a little slower than the traditional scalpel or electrosurge. For example, if you’re removing a fibroma, you could generally complete the procedure with a scalpel faster than you could with a laser.
The good news is that the upsides to purchasing dental lasers such as the Gemini and Gemini EVO far outweigh the downsides. Dental professionals around the world find major improvements when it comes to working with patients that have a fear of dental drills. With soft-tissue procedures, a laser coagulates and cauterizes as it cuts, producing less bleeding, discomfort, and respecting oral tissues. Patients still typically experience less post-operative pain and will heal faster than if a scalpel were used. Not to mention, most patients are fearful of a procedure that requires a scalpel.
And let’s not forget about the benefits a dental laser has for hygiene treatments. Faster prophylaxis procedures, enhanced patient comfort, and overall better results are reported when using a dental laser, providing progressive and trustworthy solutions.
Another major benefit to using a laser is that no matter what procedure you are working on, the laser will help disinfect the procedure area. This helps reduce the risk of postoperative bacterial infections.
When running any business, you need to evaluate the ROI you would receive with an equipment purchase. With a dental laser, you own a piece of equipment that can build patient relationships and trust, as well as bring in money to your practice.
The Gemini Laser Family
“As a prior user of the Gemini diode laser, I was excited to use the new Gemini EVO laser, and I am not disappointed. I have been extremely happy with the Gemini laser but the Gemini EVO far exceeds my expectations. The 100 watt peak power allows for an amazingly smooth ablation through soft tissue, far less tissue tags and charring. Having the capability to use PBM as well adds a much higher level of functionality.”
— Dr. Tony Hewlett, Past President Academy of Laser Dentistry
Laser dentistry has never been easier than with the Gemini laser family. Both the Gemini and Gemini EVO lasers come ready to use with pre-programmed procedure settings. The dual-wavelength technology combines the optimal hemoglobin and melanin absorption of an 810 nanometer wavelength with the optimal water absorption of a 980 nanometer wavelength, making your procedures more efficient than ever before. With the Gemini EVO diode laser, guided Touch Interface with voice confirmation helps you make the proper selection with ease.
Both the Gemini and Gemini EVO lasers have convenient tip illumination to improve visibility at the surgical site and, to give you even greater control, variable intensity options allow you to adjust illumination as needed. No matter the procedure, the Gemini laser family makes your dental laser experience faster, smoother, and more efficient.
Photobiomodulation (PBM) is taking great strides in the dental industry, and now PBM treatment options are available with both the Gemini and Gemini EVO diode lasers. Both options include pre-set pain relief procedures for ease of use. The Gemini EVO also features an easy-to-use PBM treatment calculator to help you determine the proper treatment time. All you need to do is select the appropriate tip for the treatment area, select the treatment time, and let the laser do the rest.
“For years I’ve hoped to find a laser that’s not only affordable but also remarkably effective at cutting soft tissue … With the Gemini 810 + 980 diode laser, I found what I was looking for. Ultradent can finally offer a diode laser that mixes super-pulsed technology with high peak power to deliver faster, smoother cutting at an affordable price point.”
— Dr. Dan Fischer, January 2016
It’s true that dental offices around the world benefit from better dental laser technology, but the real beneficiaries are dental patients. Ultradent has paved the way for photobiomodulation to play a more important role in modern laser dentistry. More dental offices can now acquire a dental laser, which gives dental patients access to the most current technology treatments. From cosmetic procedures like gingival contouring to pain management with PBM, lasers play an integral role in Ultradent’s mission to discover cures for caries and gum disease while improving a patient’s non-invasive treatment options.
Compared to just a couple of decades ago, periodontal health has improved with treatments such as Laser Bacterial Reduction and Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy. Without a dental laser such as the Gemini or Gemini EVO diode laser, the dentist simply cannot perform or offer these treatments to their patients. Simply put, having lasers more accessible to dental offices means even more patients receive better dental care.
It’s not just dental patients Ultradent is looking to help. We understand that there can be a learning curve with any new piece of equipment. That’s why the Gemini and Gemini EVO diode lasers were designed to be accurate, intuitive, and easy to use.
Additionally, Ultradent offers support and training for our customers, including product resources and a complimentary online training course for anyone who purchases a Gemini laser. With the Gemini laser family, dental professionals can refer fewer patients out to other facilities, thereby increasing their number of soft-tissue treatments performed, as well as their bottom line.