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April 2010
Volume 31, Issue 3

Ivoclar Vivadent Advancing Laser Portability

It used to be lasers were employed mostly by oral surgeons, says Sebastiano Andreana, DDS, MS. “But now with general dentists, periodontists, and oral pathologists, there’s a much wider variety of users and indications for use.”

Having worked with lasers for 20 years, Andreana has witnessed the emerging trends in laser dentistry. “Lasers are now used quite a bit in esthetic dentistry in terms of gingival sculpting and in cosmetic dentistry for troughing and periodontal therapy. Also, lasers are being used more in diagnostics—for example, diagnosing oral cancer, or to aid in the prevention of decay. This is the area where laser dentistry will continue to expand.”

In addition, Andreana believes clinicians have become more aware of the anti-inflammatory and biostimulating effects of the laser technique itself. “There are applications to use lasers to reduce the discomfort of temporomandibular disorders. This is where interest is growing—in biostimulation and reduction of inflammation.”

One patient-care advantage with soft-tissue laser surgeries is the reduced level of discomfort. “Research has shown that tissue exposed to a laser within certain parameters exhibits a much heavier concentration of healing factors. Healing seems to happen more rapidly. With all these advantages—and potential applications—it’s no wonder patients are taking very well to laser dentistry.”

Andreana notes that companies have now become heavily involved in providing laser education. “These laser companies are engaged in the forefront to educate their users,” he says. “It used to be that after you purchased a laser, you were on your own unless you needed parts. But now companies are offering more intensive training and mentoring for their customers. There is a direct line of communication between the users and the company to assist with the new techniques, which I think is fantastic.”

The Odyssey® Diode Laser from Ivoclar Vivadent, Inc is an example of the latest laser technology for soft-tissue modification and preventive care. “Ivoclar developed a unit that was very small—the original Odyssey. Now they offer the Odyssey Navigator, which is a much smaller, portable unit that takes far less space. Also, the foot pedal is cordless. In my case, I have multiple pedals in the operatory, and cordless is a big help. I just press it, and I don’t have to bother with cables on the ground.” Other features of the Odyssey Navigator include a touch screen, an ergonomic handpiece, an inverted screen capability, and unit-dose fiber tips.

In conclusion, Andreana says, “More practitioners are using lasers, and there is a much wider range of applications for lasers in dentistry. There is a lot more valuable information—more publications, websites, and hands-on training. I see more and more colleagues who are not only interested in the application and daily use of these lasers, but are also interested in the science. For someone who has been in laser research for so many years, this is a very exciting time.”

Ivoclar Vivadent Inc
175 Pineview Drive, Amherst, NY 14228

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