Updated: Feb 23, 2021
We used our Solea laser to prepare an implant osteotomy. And it worked. And, yes, the implant integrated.
Our published case study in CDOCS.com magazine is HERE.
Let’s back up, though. At the learning center and in our practice, we’re fans of laser dentistry. You probably know this. We were really looking forward to this year’s Solea User Group meeting where we were planning to unveil our “MORE THAN” campaign with the climatic announcement (at least in our minds) of our successful laser implant osteotomy. Unfortunately, COVID-19 had other plans.
Regardless, here we are. Social distancing on our blog...and presenting to you our ode to laser dentistry. We believe that the Solea laser - and laser dentistry in general - is simply MORE THAN.
It’s more than the next dental tech toy. More than anesthesia free, needle free, numb-face free dentistry. It’s more than soft tissue AND hard tissue. More than anxiety reduction, faster healing times, a better surgical instrument. It’s more than clever marketing and a paradigm shift and even incremental progress. Laser dentistry is #MOREthanAFilling.
Laser dentistry is, in many cases, better dentistry, and we’d like to share with you a new laser dentistry frontier we’re exploring where “better” just might be true: implant laser dentistry.
We’ll start by saying that the full write-up of our laser osteotomy case is published in CDOCS.com magazine HERE. So if you want ALL the details, check it out there. In this post though, I’d simply like to challenge you because you may be wondering: WHY? Why would you use a laser to prepare an osteotomy when we have traditional drills that work so well?
Answer: because MAYBE it’s better
We were perhaps a little naive to think that we had this idea of a laser osteotomy first. Turns out el-Montasser et. al* was studying laser osteotomies and titanium screw integration back in 1999. Also to our delightful surprise, it turns out that there’s a good body of research on using lasers to cut bone - with a number of those studies looking at dental implants. But why?
Answer: because of some benefits unique to lasers
Surgical lasers are often praised for being highly precise surgical instruments that, while technically invasive, often result in faster healing times and less post-operative pain - essentially a MUCH improved patient experience. We know these benefits to be true for both hard and soft tissue with our Solea laser. Additionally, and as the benefits specifically relate to dental implants, the laser does not present the same physical limitations that implant drills do. The length of the laser beam does NOT relate to depth of the osteotomy like a drill does, therefore making harder to reach posterior implant sites more easily accessed. Additionally, for immediate implant sites, the challenge of an extraction site’s bony wall deflecting a traditional drill is virtually eliminated.
These are just some of the current, existing benefits to using a laser over a drill for implant osteotomies. BUT, these benefits do not account for future developments, which is what we’re most excited about...mainly because we see lasers playing a much bigger role in dentistry in the near future.
Imagine dental lasers in combination with sophisticated robotics and artificial intelligence. Those are the possibilities that excite us and that ultimately provide the answer to the initial question of “WHY?”