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Updated: Apr 26, 2020

“If you want to be more productive, you must become the master of your minutes.”

-Crystal Paine

This holds true in the current scenario, where time is money and excellence expected in the shortest length of time possible. Dentistry is a perfect example for this. With growing dental problems and lifestyle changes, dentists are kept on their toes, from the duration of an appointment to an excellent end result. Hence, to cater to the ever-growing demands of patients, it has become a necessity for dentists to upgrade to the latest technology.

Numerous new dental technologies are available now but the ones currently capturing headlines are Lasers. It makes a procedure painless and improves post-op healing, making it an instant HIT among dentists and patients. Of the many lasers available in today's market, the most popular is the Diode Laser.

Diode lasers in dentistry

How it works:

working of a diode laser

Diode LASER is a semiconductor device(similar to LED) made of aluminum, gallium, arsenide, and occasionally indium, which produces laser wavelengths, ranging from approximately 810 nm to 980 nm falling under the infrared region of the light spectrum. Diagnodent is an exception with a wavelength of 655nm(Red light, visible spectrum). All diode wavelengths are absorbed primarily by tissue pigment (melanin) and haemoglobin. The laser energy cuts indirectly by heating up the fiber optic tip(both disposable and autoclavable tips are available).

The Good:

  • Compact size.

  • Easy to use.

  • Excellent haemostasis.

  • Faster post-op healing

  • Wavelength with a wide spectrum of usage.

  • Minimal discomfort to patients.

  • Less expensive compared to hard tissue lasers.

  • Low power consumption.

The Bad:

  • Diode wavelength is poorly absorbed by hydroxyapatite and water in enamel. Hence use for hard tissues is limited.

  • Highly temperature-dependent. Any changes in temperature change the output of the laser.

  • The output beam has an unusual shape.

  • Purity and monochromaticity are poorer than other types of LASERS.

Diode lasers can be used for:

  • Caries detection.

  • Aesthetic gingival recontouring.

  • Crown lengthening.

  • Exposure of soft tissue impacted teeth.

  • Removal of inflamed and hypertrophic tissue.

  • Depigmentation of the gingiva.

  • Frenectomies

  • Photostimulation of aphthous and herpetic lesions.

  • Bleaching.

  • Pain-relief therapy (eg: treatment of MPDS)

Safety Measures

Diode lasers in dentistry safety measures
  • The Nominal Ocular Hazard Distance is 8.5 ft or 2.6 meters. So, laser safety eyewear is a must for both patient and dental personnel.

  • Don't point the laser directly into the patient’s eye.

  • Don't look directly at the laser.

  • Turn off the laser unit when not in use.

  • Laser DANGER sign must be placed in the operatory.

Keeping the benefits and patient comfort in mind, it’s a worthy investment in a dental clinic for an effective treatment outcome and deserves all the attention and appreciation that it’s been getting.

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