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13 July 2014

Maria Solop: A Clinic Equipped with Laser Always Gains an Advantage

When the issue of dental lasers is considered many dentists say that it is certainly fine to have a laser in the clinic, but… it is too expensive and somehow complicated. We decided to discuss the challenges that clinics and doctors have to face when they decide to start working with dental laser with an implantologist at Unident Dental Clinics Network Maria Solop. She has a long experience in the field of laser dentistry, organized dozens of workshops and master classes in many regions of Russia and is well acquainted with laser dentistry training.

— Is it difficult to learn how to work with laser?

— It is not difficult, one just has to overcome the fear. I really see that many doctors are truly afraid.

— What are they afraid of?

— Of the unknown. It is natural for humans. It is easier to teach the young, because for a young professional without long experience it is not a principal matter what to start working with. He or she is afraid of everything, be it a dental drill, a laser or a knife. Experienced doctors are much more difficult to train. It is much easier for a dentist to take a well-familiar drill and make it all quickly then to bother with laser. The same with a surgeon — a quick movement of knife and there you are.

At workshops, my task is not just to show how to press certain buttons and select modes. It is easy, and one can read the manual to learn all that. I try to help to overcome the fear and see how useful this tool really is. When you start to show the process on patients, even experienced doctors say Wow! And everyone wants to try it themselves, to see it for themselves. Having tried the laser in practice, very few doctors remain indifferent to lasers. If a doctor believes himself that laser dentistry has many advantages, he can always convince his patient of its benefits.

— But there must be certain specialists who continue to be skeptical even after training.

— If we are talking about doctors from privately owned clinics, in most cases we train specialists who already have a laser or they are about to purchase a laser and need the last argument. These doctors are always highly motivated and interested in training. But when lasers were installed in a public clinic and doctors came to me for training, I saw a different situation. Old specialists from public clinics with many years of experience under their belt, were not particularly willing to go into details, while young professionals on the contrary were quite interested, left their contact details and asked whether they may come back for another training session. I think that it actually depends on age, as always is the case with training.

— How dangerous is it to start working with laser if you don’t have proper skills?

— It’s not dangerous at all. A person who is poorly familiar with laser will be physically unable to work with it. If a dental drill is improperly used, one may damage patient’s tissues, which is not the case with laser. It will just fail to turn on. And if your hand accidentally jerks while at work, the laser ray will not do any harm, because it only works in a small focal spot.

— Does it ever happen that a person is too afraid of working with laser and totally skips the idea? Or it just would not work out….

— No, we usually overcome that problem. Although at first I had some tough time as well. I certainly was not afraid, but the first month was quite difficult. I virtually screw myself up to take laser, because it was really much easier for me just to take the scalpel and work as I used to. But when you come to realize that laser gives you new opportunities, new advantages, it makes it much easier to overcome the habit. And quite soon I chose for myself what procedures I am going to perform only with laser.

— And what’s on your list?

— All procedures on soft tissues: frenuloplasty, cheiloplasty, oral vestibuloplasty, mucous band excision, excision of dental operculum in cases of difficult eruption of the thirds. I used to excise operculums with scalpel, with scissors and with radio knife. But laser is the most effective and painless way. Laser is ideal for orthopedists, for gingival retraction while taking impressions, increasing the height of the clinical crown. Gingival contouring is, in my opinion, a procedure to be performed using laser only: no bleeding, we get the gingival contour we need at once, you don’t have to wait till it heals to make impressions. In periodontology, laser is also indispensible. Working with operculums: it relieves inflammation, burns out all pathological tissue comfortably for patients and ensures good results. What else? Preparation for overdenture: resection of flabby ridge, grinding of bone tissue — it’s all very convenient. It’s also ideal for apicectomy: both for making an incision and for resection.

— It’s quite a long list.

— In dentistry one can do virtually everything with laser. Each doctor just chooses for himself what is good for him or for her. When you start practice after university and get to work with laser, you don’t have anything to compare against and you probably may do everything with laser. I used to work in classic surgery before laser and for me it is rather difficult to fully abandon scalpel. But I chose a lot of procedures, however. Dental therapists need laser more than anyone else. And in pediatric dentistry it is, in my view, the only available option, because, firstly, it enables us to perform procedures without anesthesia and, secondly, to preserve live milk teeth.

— Let’s talk about patients. How willing are your patients to be treated with laser?

— Patients are very smart today. They read about all in the web, and laser is now advocated in the Internet. If one performs a search on dental laser in any search engine, you would find no negative feedback. It really has no negative traits, no treatment complications.

— And doesn’t it confuse your patients that treatment is more expensive?

— On the average, laser treatment is by half more expensive. The price may be the decisive factor for many people. But if we deal with aesthetics, gingival line, for example, we manage to convince the patient practically always. The easiest task is to convince patients for surgery and pediatric dentistry.

— If you made a procedure using laser, many patients come back to you and say: Now do everything using laser only!

— In pediatric dentistry it’s almost always the case. There were a lot of cases when we managed to convince a child to be treated only because we used laser. Adults who had been treated with laser on several occasions usually are very willing to use it again, particularly if you explain that they would have less inflammation, less pain. Many patients are afraid of taking out stitches or they just fear stitches more than the surgery itself, and here we can do without them. Laser dentistry has a lot of very important advantages for patients, so in most cases people agree.

— Can a patient appreciate the difference between laser and traditional treatment himself?

— Certainly. I have a lot of periodontic patients who are treatment experienced and did not achieve good results. After laser treatment, they could objectively see that treatment gave results. I can see it, they can see it too and when in a while we need to repeat the treatment they are willing to come back to me for laser treatment.

— Are there patients who only come to you because you have laser in your clinic?

— At one of the first clinics where I worked we had a banner with an advertising of laser in the window. Without any other additional advertising it gave us a flow of patients who came for treatment with laser. There are few clinics with lasers in Moscow, which is why when there are a few clinics close by and there is a signboard “laser” on one of them, that clinic always has more patients. A clinic with laser always has an advantage.

— That is, in Moscow, for example, it would be difficult to imagine that there is a laser and it stands by?

— Believe my experience: laser will never collect dust in your clinic. Even if there is no advertising and patients know nothing about such option, the information provided by doctors at visit would be enough. Besides, there are specifically laser procedures. Whitening is the most popular procedure on a diode laser, and everyone agrees to that. If the doctor at a clinic is interested in laser treatment it will not stand by. Even in regions where I went to train doctors, everything goes fine, let alone Moscow.

— Does the quality of laser depend on the type of laser the clinic is equipped with?

— The quality of treatment depends on the doctor in the first place. Currently, hydrokinetic lasers are considered to be the most effective and safe. I’ve never worked with other lasers, so I can’t compare. But laser should certainly be convenient to work with. It is important and certainly has effect on treatment results. So I am absolutely charmed with Biolase lasers.

Laser Epic 10
— Have you already tried Epic?

— Certainly, we’ve already had a training on Epic equipment. It’s an ideal laser for a clinic that is starting to work with it. It is required in surgery, in therapy, in orthopedics, one may perform whitening with it. I think that Epic is an ideal diode laser. It is very user-friendly, functional, beautiful after all. You just have to show it to a child, chat with him about space technologies and voila, he is not afraid and ready for everything.

—What erbium lasers do you use?

— I am used to MD, it suits me in all. But when I train on iPlus, I certainly feel advantage of work with it. It has very convenient, quick interface. And although it does not matter much to me whether its interface is in English or in Russian, I can see that many doctors have difficulties with English equipment. With iPlus it’s not a problem. It is localized and very clear.

— How do you think, will lasers become an integral part of dentistry?

— My answer would be yes. Because there are more and more of them. And in our country they are installed more and more often. If lasers are already purchased by public clinics and are used in public healthcare, this will gain development. Lasers are very popular in medicine of today, not only in dentistry, but everywhere: vascular, major, plastic surgery. I think that lasers will gain share, will be a popular alternative, because it is a unique tool that we would not do in the future.

Read more
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30 May 2014
This year, the Swiss holding SGS portfolio has been broadened with a new range of implants with conical connection with suprastructures. Also innovations have been developed in prosthetics. At SGS we aim to continue intensive modernization and by the end of the year the company is going to implement a few projects to improve performance.

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