Friday, August 18, 2006

Dental Lasers

Ok, I'll tell you right now, I'm not an expert on dental lasers, but I have seen where the technology is. My father is a physicist, so I should be able to tackle lasers. The dental lasers currently available are quite useful at soft tissue surgery, that is things like gingival contouring. They can be used to treat apthous ulcers and to remove minor lesions like fibromas. Other dental lasers can be used to do some hard tissue surgery (teeth). That is, they can do much of what the dental handpiece (drill) does now. However, they do not totally replace the handpiece and they cannot be used, right now anyways, to prepare crowns, or remove alloy fillings. They do not totally replace dental handpieces.

How they work is to heat up any water in the area that's zapped till basically it explodes in a little puff. It can be quite precise. Of course, with children you have to consider patient movement and other things. Here is one company that makes these: Biolase. I think as the cost comes down and the technology improves, you will see these basically replace the dental "drill". The units are expensive. Right now the cost of one of these is up to 50 times the cost of a regular dental handpiece.

To return to the home page for more info click here: Pediatric Dentistry


Anonymous said...

can this be use for big cavities for children

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

We actually just got one of these waterlase units just recently. You can use the newer ones on any hard or soft tissues. the "turbo" one is particularly useful for larger permanent teeth. I am still learning, but seems you still have to use the slow speed to get out soft decay and you really cannot use it effectively for crown preps or to remove amalgam. It's particulary good for routine cavity preps and composite removal. There is a learning curve and I am still on that curve. One of my partners is using it more and more for interproximal class II preps... I did a smaller filling just today in a 6 year old patient. You do need a cooperative patient.

So, if you are asking can it be used on large cavities--yes, but not likely crowns and you still have to use a lot of other things as well.

neetika.jasrotia said...

Hello sir,
I an doing research work on lasers and want to know various uses of lasers in pediatric dentistry.Can you send me soft copy of articles or references from where i can collect the data cncerning lasers.
I will be highly obliged if you can help me with this.
Thank you
Dr.Neetika Singh
MDS (Pedodontics)
New Delhi, India

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

I do not have lots of literature (nor the time to collect it) on this, especially in regards to Pediatric Dentistry. One source (other than literature searches of academic articles), is the companies selling them. Of course, they will give the best spin, but more importantly they may can direct you to those doctors actually using the things on real patients.

My experience is that they are good, but you can do pretty much the same things with existing technologies like high speed handpeices (in experienced hands). They can be inefficient in a busy practice, although the doctor in our practice that used it the most seems to have no significant problems. He uses it for small and medium sized preps and soft tissue uses.

Nataku said...

Hello, Dr. Brandon.

I'm a dental student and stumbled upon your blog while searching for something on the internet.

My interest is, you post free professional advice to people who take advantage of your availability online. Where do you find the time to do so? And out of curiosity, do you find such a practice by the public correct?

I also admire your professionalism in your responses. I have learned much from them on dealing with patients.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Nataku--Thank you, actually, I don't have a lot of time to do this. It has accumulated over time. I wish I could post more, but my practice demands much of my efforts. Please read my Disclaimer on the information I talk about. It's linked in the sidebar. I basically enjoy blogging and I enjoy Pediatric Dentistry. I was originally inspired by Thomas Mahon of and Hugh McLeod of --but I wouldn't do it if I didn't enjoy writing and interacting with other bloggers and people like you who are gracious enough to comment.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...


Oh, also I authored a post on the Blogworld site that addresses the business and financial aspect of your question:

Medblogging For The Busy Professional: How, Why?

Dental Handpiece said...


I just came to your post and reading above thing it is very impressive me and it is very nice blog.Thanks a lot for sharing this.

Anonymous said...

I put on separators. But they got broken. So my Dentist scratched my teeth to make space. The treatment is over now. I am facing trouble munching food. I feel a little gap between my teeth. The food particles go through the little gap and cause pain.
Now the Dentist says he has to fill the gap by some material. I doubt will it work? or Is there any other way to resolve this problem? pls let me know.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Anon, don't really know what you mean. See my post on dental separators.

Spark dental store said...

Hi,Dr. Dean Brandon:
Reading your blog is very is very impressive me and it is very nice blog.Thanks a lot for sharing this.Your professional knowledge and focus on the children's dental , make us admired.We will also focus on dental products, make our products and services is the best, I have been in the twiter add for good friend, hope to attention for ever.
Thank you