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Using a soft tissue laser for bacterial reduction and soft tissue curretage

How many hygienists are certified to use a diode laser for periodontal applications in their office? I got certified in hopes that my state’s dental board would pass a law stating that we could do so but they voted against it. From my research it seems to really help perio patients regain attachment and in some cases even increase bone density where it had previously been lost. Is it easy to work into your current perio protocol? How is patient acceptance and do insurances usually cover it? What are your clinical findings after laser therapy?



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5 Answers

I was certified in 2011 to use the diode laser as well. I’ve been conflicted for years about the use of lasers with periodontal disease. I’ve seen presentations of before and after probings on patients who had the laser used in addition to S/RP. I also have gotten the same results in reduction of probing depths without using a laser. I do know that use of lasers in LANAP procedures regenerates bone etc. We cannot perform the LANAP only periodontist can. I’m not completely sold on the use of diode laser during S/RP or 4910. I also cannot “sell” what I do not totally believe in. Dental insurance coverage does not cover many procedures necessary for our patients. I am excited to see the LANAP working so well and lasers will only improve with time. Hope this answers some of your question.

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We use a soft tissue laser in our office for perio. All three hygienists are certified and it is legal in our state to use it. We tell all our patients that it is not covered by insurance, that way if it does pay its a bonus! We charge $30-$50 per quad depending on what we are doing. Pts are very receptive to it, but there are always a few that don’t want to pay the extra. We have had great success with it when used in conjunction with SRP.

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I have been using a diode laser on all perio therapy appointments for 16 years and would not work without one! The long term, manageable healing I get is something I never saw before the use of my laser. It is essential that you have a biologically acceptable end point with the root surface prior to using the laser..so that means ultrasonics! Hand scaling alone does not cut it because it’s about the biofilm and ultrasonics gets it. We charge an extra $75 per hour of therapy and the patients are willing to pay it.. I also do gingivitis therapy for NO insurance coverage with my laser, it’s all in the communication with the patients. I tell them that their insurance will not cover the treatment of their infection until they have permanent damage ( ie: attachment/bone loss ) but that we treat in the early stages so they do not lose bone. They are pretty receptive.

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Certified in 2010, all 5 of us in our office are trained and certified through advanced laser institute. We use laser for bacterial reduction and with SRP. Can also use t to treat cold sores. We have had great results. We use it in conjunction with SRP for an additional charge.

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In my state of Nebraska, Hygienist do not need to be certified to use the laser. I did take the certification course 5years ago and have been using the Diode laser in conjunction withSRP’s for beginning to moderate periodontal disease. Our office is a general office and my Dr has been doing LANAP for 8 years on moderate to advanced disease. With the LANAP we have had excellent success, 9+ pockets being reduced to an average of 3-4mm with no reduction in tissue attachment and no inflammation present. With SRP’s and the diode laser I have also been very happy with the results. We do spend lots of time on OHI. We have excellent patient acceptance and I’m not sure what insurance covers. Our OM does the consults and insurance dealings.

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