Integrating Dental Implants and Dental Lasers
At a world laser conference in November of 2002, an Italian doctor lectured to the participants on his use of the dental laser, exclusively, in placing dental implants. As this procedure was not being used anywhere within the United States, Dr. Steven D. Spitz of Smileboston Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry in Boston, a Prosthodontist and implant surgeon, realized the possibility of its use for dentists and for patients. He developed a technique, combining his use of the dental laser with his training and knowledge of dental implants. Following success with the treatment and with his patients, he created the Smileboston Implant Continuum, enabling him to teach others in the field of dental implants and/or laser dentistry, successfully combining the two procedures.
How it works
Without the laser, usual implant placement protocol includes using a surgical scalpel and cutting a flap in the gums to the bone, and using a drill to create a ‘hole’ for the implant. With the laser, the ‘hole’ is made without the blade, without the need for sutures, and therefore the healing time is minimized. Because of the kindness of the lasers to the tissue, there is minimal or no bleeding and the tissue begin to heal almost as quickly as the procedure is completed.
Why it is different
This type of procedure is different clinically due to the way the procedure is performed, no blade, decreased use of the drill if used at all, and minimal blood and numbing anesthetic. Thedifference in treatment and healing is tremendous, specifically for patients with a high fear that have not seen a dentist for years. They have lived with pain, are not able to eat solid foods, and in many cases cannot speak well. Their fear is substantial and individuals would rather live with the pain than see a dentist. Using the laser, discomfort is minimal and in many cases, anesthetic (and therefore the needle) is unnecessary. Patients feel in ‘control’ of their treatment. Since the laser anesthetizes the area, when surgery is complete the patient’s treatment is completed without typical swelling or discomfort.
Various types of lasers have been used for treatment throughout the years. However, theWaterlase™ laser is the first to be governmentally approved for gum tissue and bone, as well as teeth. In the past, the specific wavelength of the individual lasers could be used on one of the three types of treatments at a time; soft tissue, hard tissue or bone. Dr. Spitz is co-creator of a ‘guide’ for dentists to use in placing implants with the laser. The PerfectFit™ Laser Guide is currently patent pending.
Changing the face of dentistry
Lasers are changing most every aspect of the medical industry; eye surgery, skin enhancements, bone and muscle pain therapy, and more; lasers are becoming a household term. The dental application of lasers allows much needed treatment for all, as lasers are used for general dental procedures such as filling cavities.
Laurie E. Spitz, Director
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