Modern Dentistry: Less Aerosols and Greater Patient Acceptance with Dental Laser Technology Post COVID
By Dr. Robert Wolf
When I purchased my practice in August 2019, it became obvious to me that an overhaul of the hygiene side of the practice was going to be required. I decided to purchase a Waterlase iPlus and 3 Epic Diode Lasers for my Hygienists. The immediate impact has been incredible for both patients and staff.
Patient’s awareness of bacteria, viruses and inflammatory disease has been heightened by COVID. Since welcoming back our patients, BIOLASE lasers have become an important aspect of our new branding. The aerosol-free Epic Hygiene and Epic X are the heart of the Hygiene program and patient favorites. I affectionately call my Waterlase my “Dental Swiss Army Knife”. It seems that every day, we find new and better ways to use it. Our patients are excited to hear that we are doing everything to reduce the bacteria and viruses in the aerosols.
"Dental lasers are an excellent tool in treating periodontal disease, and the recent study from The McGuire Goup published in the Journal of Periodontology demonstrates how REPAIR® Perio protocol is superior in procedure time and patient-reported outcomes than traditional periodontal treatment."
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I credit Lynn Atkinson, RDH, who trained our practice, and our Hygiene team for doing a great job of explaining and demonstrating their knowledge and benefits of laser-assisted hygiene, drastically increasing patient acceptance during COVID.
We are constantly working to bring our infection control and safety procedures to a higher level. We have gone above and beyond with our protocols to ensure patient safety. This means using high volume evacuation, Jade “Surgically Clean Air” air purifiers, and having all our team members properly protected. I have increased Waterlase usage to avoid unnecessary aerosol production since Waterlase produces 98% less aerosols than traditional handpieces. One of my favorites is the ability to take “Cordless” Final Crown and Bridge impressions by using the “Troughing” mode. It gives us a much better final crown margin and the temporaries fit extremely well.
I think the major area of growth for me personally will be in the treatment of peri-implantitis and peri-mucositis. I have placed thousands of implants. I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to implants. Every week, we see dozens of implants in our practice, many of which will fail if rescue therapy isn’t initiated immediately. I can see how this area will grow quickly and be of major benefit for my patients and practice.
The overall patient experience has greatly improved, and the patient perception is that we are “THE” dental office of choice in the area. Patients are impressed with every visit with our newly remodeled office and safety precautions. The most impressive aspect of all is the state-of-the-art equipment and laser technology we have installed and implemented. One patient remarked that our “…office is so high tech and comfortable it makes it seem like the other dental office we were going to was in the Stone Age…”.
About Dr. Robert Wolf
Dr. Robert O. Wolf is an accomplished dentist, entrepreneur, and inventor with over 35 years of experience in the dental industry. He received an undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa in 1976 and studied his MBA from the same institution one year later before going on to dental school. In May of 1981, he earned his Doctorate in Dental Science, also from the University of Iowa. He was granted a fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry in 1990 and by the American Society of Dental Aesthetics in 1993.
Dr. Wolf has become a nationally recognized practicing dentist with licenses in five states. He is widely published in various industry specific publications including Dental Economics and Dental Management, as well as co-authoring a dentistry book, Q-Litol: A Natural Solution for Healthy Gums. He has also appeared on television programs, such as QVC, the Home Shopping Network, commercials, and on various programs as a clinical expert on the subjects of tooth whitening and antioxidant gum care.
Currently, Dr. Wolf is the owner of Genesis Dental Group in Mission Viejo, CA and a global lecturer and educator on the subject of dental implants and restorative dentistry, where he trains dental professionals on treatment protocols and implant procedures. And if that wasn’t enough, he is currently the co-founder and developer of The SmileBox , a subscription-based advance in-home teeth whitening foam toothpaste. that is an easy, affordable professional-grade in-home whitening system.