by Dr Hess Kim, Avenue Dental, Kawana, QLD
I came across my first electrosurgery unit at my old practice. A previous dentist used it frequently but no-one else had any interest. I completed a restorative course that gave complete instructions on how to use an electrosurge. It’s excellent at controlling the gingiva around any deep restorations.
What’s good about it
If decay gets underneath gums and the gums are enveloping into the cavity, the electrosurge is a great way to cut the gums back to create a restorative space. It gives excellent bleeding control, as well. If you cut the gums with a scalpel, you end up with blood everywhere but the electrosurge cauterises as it cuts.
The subsequent healing is fantastic. I use it a lot for frenectomies and the healing compared to a scalpel is faster and less painful.
There are lasers on the market that have superseded electrosurges but it can be difficult to retrofit a surgery for laser use. An electrosurge is treated like a handpiece and can be used straight away.
This unit has completely changed my approach to deep restorations; I don’t fear them anymore.
If there are any dentists, especially new graduates, who are struggling with deep restorations, I encourage them to try electrosurgery. It’s been a revelation for me.
What’s not so good
Our unit has a lot of cables so set-up takes a little bit of time. It can also be a bit of a trip hazard. Plus there can be a smell when using the unit.