Solea® Laser Optimizes Dentist’s Efficiency, Improves Patient Care
Like many dental practitioners, Yooson Kim, DMD, values technology that provides optimal diagnosis and treatment for her patients. When Kim learned about Convergent Dental's Solea® all-tissue carbon dioxide (CO2) laser, she was determined to make laser dentistry available to her patients.
"My staff was initially leery about bringing in a laser, as we have a very busy practice and we didn't want to disrupt our fine-tuned workflow," says the Morgantown, Pennsylvania, dentist. "But I wanted to provide the best experience and technology possible for my patients, so we gave it a shot." Now, 2 years later she's added a second Solea to the bustling dental office.
The unit's intuitive software along with an ergonomic handpiece and easy-to-navigate touchscreen are simple to use, Kim affirms. These are some of the features that helped make the transition to laser usage more amenable to Kim's staff.
"This laser has helped make me a better dentist," she suggests. "It enables me to do procedures I might not have attempted before, like frenectomies, soft-tissue or hard-tissue crown lengthenings, and gingivectomies, as well as many cosmetic cases that involve the architecture of the soft tissues. I can do the procedures right in my office without having to have patients visit multiple specialists and prolong treatment time."
Being able to reliably perform procedures that are anesthesia-free, suture-free, and pain-free is a powerful practice growth driver, Kim says. "By removing the anesthesia part of your workflow, it gives you about half of your procedural time back into your work day," she surmises. She adds that patients "love" the painless, needle-free dental visits with the laser and that patients don't have to go back and forth to specialists or wait several months to heal as with traditional procedures. Moreover, she claims the use of the laser has resulted in treatment plan acceptance "skyrocketing" by being able to simplify procedures and shorten appointment time.
After having already tried several dental lasers and being unimpressed, Kim initially decided to try Convergent Dental's Solea, reasoning that since the manufacturer offered a 90-day money-back guarantee, it must be confident the product could deliver. Designed for the everyday practitioner, the Solea dental laser performs precise high-speed cutting of both hard and soft tissue, including gingiva, dentin, enamel, and bone. The isotopic CO2 laser, which emits 9.3 µm, employs computer-controlled mirrors and a variable-speed foot pedal to give the user maximum control.
"Anesthesia-free dentistry is a game changer," Kim exclaims. "It is never fun to have to deal with the psychology of fear when a patient walks in. Most of the time the fear has to do with needles and getting numb, plus the sound of drills alone can cause fear. Solea removes these problems."
The laser is particularly helpful when treating children, Kim notes. With traditional dentistry, "we would have to be over the child to make sure they didn't flinch or move when numbing them. Sometimes you'd have to hold the child down. You'd also have to comfort them. Now, we just explain there are some water sprays, a little air, some beeping sounds, and then it's quickly over."
Such dental anxiety is prevalent in adult populations, Kim states. One of her patients waited 4 years to have two cavities filled. She had avoided coming in because of her disdain for getting numb, but the pain finally had become too great. Kim was able to explain how the Solea eliminated the need for getting numb, and the patient was thrilled upon completion of the restorative treatment.
"By being able to eradicate these types of fears, we're making deeper connections and stronger relationships with patients," Kim says. "This is what it is truly about. Yes, we get work done faster and easier, but we also build trust and assurances with patients that they don't get elsewhere. The Solea has given us growth in many ways."