BIOLASE History

The Iconic Waterdrop

A History of Innovation that is Shaping The Future of Surgery

BIOLASE products – from the  WaterLase iPlus™ and  WaterLase MD™ all tissue laser systems, to the ezlase™ Total Diode Solution™ and iLase wireless diode laser systems, and DioLase 10™ High Intensity Laser Therapy system – come from a long history of technological and clinical innovation.  Founded in 1987 by a renowned endodontist, our first products included a semi-automated endodontic handpiece. Even then, BIOLASE envisioned using lasers with water to cut teeth painlessly, and had begun tackling this challenge. 

The Dream - No Drill, No Needle Dentistry

Back in the late '80s and the early '90s, general surgeons, ophthalmologists and other physicians had already learned that lasers allowed them to provide patients with a higher standard of care. Lasers were clearly the best tools for many procedures. Since then, lasers have become irreplaceable for many procedures in ophthalmology, gynecology, ENT, general surgery, dermatology, cosmetic surgery and other medical specialties, and are standard of care in tens of thousands of clinics and hospitals. Would you choose to have your vision corrected with a scalpel rather than with LASIK, or have unwanted hair removed with archaic electrolysis rather than more effective, quicker and easier laser treatments?

Dentists and scientists however still only dreamed of and experimented with cutting teeth with the first generation Ruby, Nd:YAG and CO2 lasers. Early results with these laser wavelengths were disastrous. While most of the research on the use of these early lasers for hard tissue in dentistry in the 60's and 70's was unsuccessful, BIOLASE was the exception.

Our dreaming, innovative thinking and testing continued. By 1988, the company had learned that it could use certain wavelengths, combined with water to cut teeth without damaging tooth or bone. That year, BIOLASE filed a patent for the use of laser with water in Europe. In January 1989 we filed for a US patent, which we received two years later.

After that, BIOLASE received many related patents for using laser and water with priority dates from 1988 and 1989, strengthening the company's patent portfolio. Since those first patents, BIOLASE has invested significantly in discovering how to cut teeth and soft tissue more effectively and safely with a laser. The toughest hurdle was finding the best wavelength to cut more efficiently and with the greatest clinical benefits. After years of testing, BIOLASE scientists discovered that a unique crystal made of erbium, chromium, yttrium, gallium and garnet (Er,Cr:YSGG), with a wavelength of 2,780 nanometers (nm) produced the most efficient laser.

This unique wavelength, combined with a highly sophisticated water spray utilizing advanced hydraulic engineering, created WaterLase©. Further testing demonstrated that WaterLase could cut a tooth quickly with little or no need for anesthesia and significantly less trauma to the tooth than a high speed drill.

Leading The Way!

From the start BIOLASE has led the way with numerous firsts in FDA clearances in laser dentistry. In October 1998, BIOLASE obtained clearance from the FDA to market our technology for hard tissue procedures. In February 1999, clearance was received for Class I-V caries removal, hard tissue roughening and etching. In May 1999, additional clearances were granted specifically for both adult and pediatric patients. To date, WaterLase™ has been cleared for most Classes of cavity preparations (I-V) for adults and children, and for a wide range of soft tissue procedures in addition to endodontic and osseous applications, such as boney crown lengthening.

waterlase_millenium.jpg WaterLase Millenium Laser System 1998

We realize that our continuing success depends not only on producing great, innovative products that elevate the quality of care for patients, but also on taking care of our customers and providing them with world class training and education, so we are dedicated to offering customers Total Technology Solutions™. Our dedication to customer service, education and training shows in many ways.

BIOLASE has the best technical and clinical researchers, field service engineers and sales representatives in the industry, to ensure that current and future customers receive the greatest possible clinical and financial benefits from their investment in a BIOLASE laser. We have educated and certified more clinicians in laser-assisted dentistry than any other organization.

BIOLASE has worked diligently and invested heavily to earn its position as the leader in this exciting and growing field of laser dentistry. We're dedicated to listening to customers, constantly improving our products and customer service and expanding the clinical and financial benefits we bring to our laser owners. Now, tens of thousands of patients search WaterLase.com for WaterLase Dentists every month. Patients who experience Waterlase Dentistry are recommending it to family and friends. And more and more clinicians are building their practices on laser BIOLASE laser technology.

For example, our Biological Dentistry™ approach to diagnosis, treatment and prevention, is the logical result of our investigations into why conventional treatment with the drill causes pain, necessitates the use of anesthetic, and causes unintended damage to surrounding healthy tissue – negative consequences that have long been accepted for lack of a better solution. A fresh look at the anatomy and physiology of teeth and oral soft tissues  showed us there could be a more biologically friendly way to treat them.

Tooth enamel naturally contains up to 5% water; dentin and bone up to 25%. Years of BIOLASE research led to discovery of a water-energizing 2,780 nm YSGG laser and a handpiece that delivers air and water in precise proportions – both BIOLASE patented – that combine to symbiotically excite water molecules from both the handpiece spray and inside the target tissue. The result is an effective biological micro-ablation of tooth structure. The atomized spray of water and air continually re-hydrates the tooth, preventing heat and pain. We named this technology Waterlase©.