The Key to Practicing Holistic Dentistry
By Joseph Sarkissian, DDS
The cardinal rule of my dental practice is to “first, do no harm.” As a practicing biological dentist, that phrase speaks to the core value of my practice. In reality, all it means is that we put the patient first and do our best to evaluate them as a whole person, not just a set of teeth. We do this by creating highly individualized treatment plans that blend laser, cosmetic, homeopathic and family dentistry, applied following biological, or holistic principles.
My dedication to biologic principles of dentistry is what attracted me to BIOLASE dental lasers 22 years ago, and I haven’t looked back. Not only am I still using BIOLASE dental lasers more than two decades later, but they have become a central part of my practice. My go-to laser is the Waterlase iPlus. It is so versatile that I use it in almost every aspect of my dental practice.
In my day to day, the Waterlase iPlus is my go-to tool. It is extremely handy for immediate procedures and offers faster turnaround and healing. This makes it better for the patients and they are happy to heal faster, and happy that it hurts less or not at all. I use it for almost every procedure. I use it in conjunction with zirconia implants, where it allows me to perform procedures with a superior and faster result compared to all other modalities, orthodontic procedures, biopsies, to prepare cavities and remove deep decay to prevent root canals (a BIG plus from the patient’s perspective).
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Recently, I have been pushing for laser use when I do mentor sessions. Beyond their use in periodontics and other dental procedures, they offer a great return on investment and allow you to increase your image as a dentist. Lasers create more revenue by allowing you to perform more procedures with quicker turnaround time. Patients really appreciate the use of lasers as a noninvasive and futuristic tool. In my experience, they encourage faster healing and even allow you to perform a greater amount of same-day procedures.
The patient benefit of the conservative and gentle approach cannot be overstated. In gum disease specifically, lasers are superior in providing therapy along with my biological and noninvasive principles. Most patients rejoice when they hear that their gum therapy will not include the run-of-the-mill aggressive deep scalings.
For my younger patients, one of the benefits of the laser is that they typically need little to no anesthetic for treatments such as laser gum procedures or tooth cavities. Since the laser is gentle, they always have an opportunity to adapt to the sensation or warn me if they feel any discomfort. It is an excellent way to initiate kids to dental treatment because their first exposure to dentistry is positive and establishes trust between the patient and dentist. Since they don’t have the initial trauma and fear that standard dental treatments can cause, it is a lifelong positive impact.
If I could give one piece of advice to a new dentist, it would be to get a dental laser. Laser dentistry is an elite group in the dental field, and dental lasers will not only increase patient satisfaction, but the return of investment allows to thoroughly establish yourself as an expert in your area.
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About Dr. Joseph Sarkissian
Dr. Sarkissian owns and operates a state-of-the-art biologic dental practice in Glendale, California. Prior to opening his practice, Dr. Sarkissian practiced dentistry for eight years on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where he trained in homeopathy, completely abandoned the use of amalgam (mercury) fillings and expanded his knowledge in the biological aspects of therapy.