by Dr Nassier Al-Obedy, Family Dental Care, Belmont, Vic This hard and soft tissue laser is capable of performing a wide range of procedures on teeth and gums. I have been using it for 18 months and have found it particularly useful in my crown and bridge, implant and general restorative work. Having the dual functions in one tool is a great advantage.
What’s So Good About It When treating sub-gingival caries and there is bleeding, it is convenient to use the same tool to expose the margin and prepare the cavity. The change of setting from soft to hard tissue is only a touch of a button. Such procedures used to require two separate appointments, so the Waterlase cuts down on treatment time. Unlike a scalpel, it causes little bleeding and work that would have been done across multiple visits may be completed in one appointment. Some patients that hate “the drill” have given positive feedback after being operated on with the Waterlase. It is also useful when working on patients with a disproportion between the soft tissue and the length of their teeth. Usually these people visit the clinic and ask for a gum lift.
What’s Not So Good It is expensive to purchase and you need training before using it. Laser dentistry is still in its early days and needs much more research before it can replace conventional dentistry. The classic tools, like a hand piece and a scalpel, still work extremely well .