Solea® All-Tissue Laser: Better Patient Experience, New Patient Flow, and Improved Clinical Outcomes
Matthew Wimmer, DMD, owns a private practice in Centennial, Colorado, which he has operated for more than 7 years. Offering a wide range of dental services, including restorative dentistry/prosthodontics, cosmetic dentistry, and oral surgery/dental implants, Wimmer relies heavily on advanced technology, including laser dentistry to provide patients with a needle-free and drill-free experience.
"I am always looking for technology that makes procedures easier for me and more appealing to patients," Wimmer says. In addition to having a digital laboratory in his office, he utilizes CBCT, intraoral scanners, and, as of 14 months ago, the Solea® all-tissue laser from Convergent Dental.
The Solea laser allows Wimmer to perform any cavity preparation reliably anesthesia-free and perform soft-tissue surgeries without bleeding or sutures. This not only benefits patients, which in turns helps to drive new patient flow, but also enables smoother and more efficient appointments.
Just recently, Wimmer decided to add a second Solea to his practice. He views the laser as a practice builder, helping him increase production and drive new patient flow. "I've gone from an average of 17 new patients per month in the 12 months prior to using Solea, to more than 30 per month." He believes Solea has helped drive new patient flow, because patients are inclined to seek out dentists who can maximize comfort and convenience.
"Patients are ecstatic about not getting a shot and the fact that they are able to go back to work, or eat immediately, without experiencing a numb mouth," Wimmer says, noting that he is often able to complete procedures in fewer visits thanks to the elimination of anesthesia. He also notices that children "think the laser is really cool." He adds, "I used to not like seeing kids, but now my pediatric patients are a breeze and I have fun treating them."
"I do almost all of my fillings anesthesia-free with Solea. I'm able to remove old composites and caries with precision and preserve more natural tooth structure compared with conventional tools," Wimmer asserts, adding that he also performs anesthesia-free inlays and onlays. Since integrating Solea he performs more soft-tissue procedures, such as biopsies and frenectomies, because, he says, they are easy and fast when bleeding, sutures, and postoperative discomfort are removed from the equation. "I am also performing more osseous crown lengthenings, which I used to refer out to a specialist. Plus, I use Solea to uncover implants quickly and without bleeding. The laser allows me to sculpt a beautiful emergence profile and to take a same-day impression scan, which gives me better final results and means one less visit for the patient." He also routinely uses Solea to: section teeth, remove bone for extractions, and remove soft tissue and granulation tissue to prepare sites for bone grafting.
The science behind Solea's anesthesia-free capabilities is related to its 9.3-μm wavelength that nears the peak absorption of hydroxyapatite, which allows for vaporization of enamel, dentin, and decay for reliably anesthesia-free cavity preparations. For soft-tissue surgery, the laser feathers into cuts with greater speed and precision with no bleeding. Additionally, Solea enables users to select a specific spot size based on the intended tissue interaction and allows for easy transition between hard and soft tissue by simply varying pressure on the foot pedal. These features simplify usage of the laser and increase a clinician's control over procedures.
Convergent Dental provides customers excellent training, including a full-day, hands-on session, Wimmer says. "They are a great company to work with and always attentive to my needs," he affirms. The company also hosts a website, soleadoctors.com, where Solea users can post questions and share cases with other users.
"The Solea dental laser has been the most beneficial technology I have incorporated into my office to date," Wimmer concludes.