clinician spotlight

Making an Impact: Our Experience with Dental Lasers at Einstein’s Endodontic Residency Program

By Frederic Barnett, DMD

The postdoctoral program in Endodontics at Albert Einstein Medical Center first demoed the BIOLASE Waterlase iPlus in February 2021, when we launched a pilot program to train endodontic residents in the use of Waterlase dental lasers. The goal of the program was to offer residents hands-on experience with dental lasers and allow them to successfully implement their training when joining a future practice.

The BIOLASE training and hands-on session made it clear to our faculty and residents that laser-assisted irrigation was real and could enhance our clinical treatment.

We were trained on laser-assisted endodontic irrigation, as well as soft and hard tissue management. After our training, we also purchased the Waterlase Express unit and have been using both units non-stop.  

Waterlase Dentist - Dr. Fred Barnett

Since integrating the BIOLASE lasers, our residents absolutely prefer to incorporate the use of lasers into their routine endodontic treatment. They found that these all-tissue lasers are seamlessly incorporated into their routine treatment protocols. Also, when a gingivectomy or plasty procedure is necessary, the use of traditional instruments used to result in a bloody field that can be challenging to manage. However, with the Waterlase, this is now a bloodless procedure.

Over the last few months, we continue to witness increasing benefits as a result of incorporating BIOLASE lasers into our endodontic program. Our residents appear to be more motivated than ever to perform endodontic treatments.

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For example, with Waterlase, we have witnessed more debris coming out of the canals than we had previously seen using ultrasonic activation methods. We have also seen more root canal anatomy demonstrated on their post-op radiographs than previously observed. This result appears to be directly due to laser-enhanced irrigation. The residents have also become more comfortable performing single visit treatments as we have not observed any post-op flare-ups to date.

The Waterlase has also made complex cases much more manageable. The first laser-assisted gingivectomy procedure that we needed to perform was on a tooth with very deep subgingival caries. The gingiva would bleed on probing, so we put Waterlase to the test. We could not believe how bloodless this procedure was! If we had not seen it, we would not believe it was possible.

Partnering with BIOLASE to integrate laser-assisted endodontic training early on in our residents’ careers allows us to tighten the learning curve, which can positively impact a practice’s bottom line and ultimately provide a better patient experience overall.

As we continue to learn and adopt new techniques, we plan to incorporate Waterlase in our endodontic surgical procedures in the near future. My only regret is that we didn’t incorporate Waterlase in our endo program sooner!

Dr. Fred Barnett

About Frederic Barnett, DMD

Dr. Barnett received his DMD degree in 1978 and his Certificate in Endodontics in 1981, both from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Dental Medicine.  He received his Board Certification in Endodontics in 1988, has served as the Director of Postdoctoral Endodontics at the University of Pennsylvania, and is currently the Chairman of the Department of Dental Medicine and Chairman and Program Director of the IB Bender Postdoctoral Endodontic Program at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia. 

Dr. Barnett has written numerous scientific and clinical papers and has lectured nationally and internationally on the Treatment of Endodontic Infections, Revascularization, Dental Trauma, Root Resorption and Contemporary Endodontic Treatment.  Dr. Barnett is a Fellow of the International Association of Dental Traumatology, the International College of Dentists and the American College of Dentists. He received the Edward M. Osetek Educator Award in 2017 from the AAE and the 2018 Community Service Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal for providing endodontic services for the homeless in Philadelphia.

He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Dental Traumatology Journal, is a Director of the International Association of Dental Traumatology and a former Associate Editor of the Journal of Endodontics.  Dr. Barnett has been in private practice in Endodontics from 1981-2011.