New Gemini™ Dual-Wavelength Laser: Fast, Gentle, Efficient
Mike Simmons, Global Brand Manager – Equipment, of Ultradent Products, Inc., says the company’s newly introduced Gemini™ 810 + 980 Soft Tissue Laser was designed in response to dentists’ complaints about soft-tissue diode lasers—mainly their speed, or lack thereof, compared to traditional cutting methods.
“What we were hearing was that dentists loved diode laser technology, which could cut, cauterize nerve endings, coagulate, decontaminate—ie, kill bacteria, and biostimulate all at the same time,” Simmons says. “However, they wished it would cut faster—especially on larger cases—and said that they would sometimes, for the sake of speed, gravitate back to traditional approaches such as electrosurgery or scalpel.”
In bringing the Gemini dual-wavelength laser to market, Ultradent’s objective, Simmons explains, was to provide the benefits of a diode laser, which is compact and cost effective, but that cuts faster and more smoothly than other currently available lasers. In the past, he says, there had been higher wattage diode lasers, which enabled fast cutting, but they were continuous-wave systems, “so there was a lot of heat generation and collateral damage.” Because they were used in continuous mode, “they were basically cooking tissue.” That, he says, prompted a trend in the 2000s for diode lasers to be increasingly lower in average power output—down to 2 to 3 watts—thus the slower cutting.
Gemini, Simmons asserts, overcomes the problems associated with both the high- and low-wattage lasers of the past. “Gemini is unique in that it can use 20 watts of peak power without causing excess thermal damage because the power is delivered in short pulses, and the time between pulses—ie, the thermal relaxation period during which the tissue is able to cool—is longer.”
Gemini’s dual wavelengths—810-nm for maximum melanin absorption and 980-nm for optimal water absorption—in fact offer three different modes, Simmons maintains. “The two different wavelengths can be fired individually at 10-watt peak power, or they can be stacked and fired at 20-watt peak power.” He stresses that Gemini uses the highest peak power of any diode because it only fires in a pulsed mode, not continuous, giving tissue the chance to cool between pulses.
Simmons is careful to explain that laser surgery is easier on patients, not because it lessens the need for anesthesia—although it sometimes does—but because it is generally gentler to use a laser than a scalpel or electrosurgery device. “We’re not using a mechanical force or electric current to ‘fry’ tissue; the laser energy is being absorbed into the soft-tissue molecules to vaporize those molecules,” he notes. “Further, coagulation provides a bloodless, dry field, which offers improved visibility at the surgical site and no suturing is required. Also, because we’re cauterizing nerve endings, we’re preventing the release of histamines into the surgical site, which reduces postoperative inflammation.”
Determining which power setting to use, he says, is made easy due to presets that adjust for the most effective power and pulse settings for 19 different procedures.
A “secondary benefit,” Simmons adds, is tip illumination. “The tip of the handpiece illuminates to provide better visibility at the surgical site. This is especially important in the back of the mouth where visibility is particularly challenging. We’re the only diode laser with this feature,” he states.
Simmons suggests that the Gemini laser learning curve depends largely on the clinician’s previous experience. Handling is similar to that used with electrosurgery devices, so clinicians who already use them are at an advantage. However, he notes, the procedures are the same as those learned in dental school. Ultradent recommends that clinicians go through a certification course whether or not it is required by the state. The company, he says, provides an eight-credit online laser certification course at no cost with each Gemini system.
In summary, Gemini provides the clinician an easy-to-use, efficient, dual-wavelength soft-tissue diode laser that provides fast, smooth cutting, and, Simmons confirms, is ideal for a variety of procedures.
Ultradent Products, Inc.
505 West Ultradent Drive (10200 South)
South Jordan, UT 84095