Half of Dentists Use Dental Lasers for Gum Disease

Post your comments about dental lasers to our blog. Read the dental laser survey press release.

Dental Lasers

In this poll, we asked dentists: Do you use lasers on soft tissue for treatment of gum disease?

Dental lasers appear to be quite popular these days! Respondents were split right down the middle, with 50% reporting they lasers are part of their periodontal management and 50% indicating they do not use lasers on soft tissue.

In this survey, the groups most likely to report using lasers were general dentists and rural dentists.

Read the dentists’ comments

General dentists versus specialists

General dentists were significantly more likely to use lasers to fight gum disease than were specialists. On the one hand, some specialists don't treat periodontal disease themselves. On the other hand, equipment vendors may be particularly likely to target the general dentist for laser sales.

Urban, suburban and rural dentists

Rural dentists were significantly more likely to use dental lasers in their practices than their colleagues in more populated areas. In fact, suburban dentists are twice as likely as rural dentists to choose not to use lasers on soft tissue.

Male dentists compared to female dentists

Gender differences were relatively minimal and are unlikely to be statistically significant.

For more insight into what our respondents are thinking, check out their comments!

Lasers are amazing, but they are not all created equal

  • "It is not uncommon for my hygienist to come running into my operatory with her eyes wide open saying: 'I can't believe the tissue health and low pocket readings on this patient! I don't understand why EVERYBODY isn't doing this!' And I don't either. We use the Millennium Periolase protocol and laser. It blinded me with science!!! And bona fide results (I'm an inherently deep skeptic)! But above all, all lasers are NOT created equal. And don't let any sales rep tell you that they will all do perio. Your laser choice depends on what you want to use it for….for diode trenching, gingvecties, etc. There are many less expensive options." (North Carolina dentist)
  • "I've had both good and bad experiences. It seems that careful case selection is very important. Lasers are not magic. They seem to be highly effective in mild to moderate cases; but more severe or complicated cases, especially where poor patient compliance is a factor, should be referred." (New Jersey dentist)

Lasers revolutionize perio treatment

  • "Lasers enable early, effective and efficient Interceptive Treatment for Periodontal Disease! They are priceless when used properly!" (New Jersey dentist)
  • "Lasers improve the standard of care we provide for our patients. We see tremendous results clinically for many perio treatments." (Wisconsin dentist)

Lasers cost a lot of money compared to other options

  • "The main reason I don't use lasers is the expense." (Florida dentist)
  • "The cost / benefit ratio seems unreasonable with lasers; my choice is the electro-surge." (California implantologist)
  • "I have found my 700.00 radiosurge unit can do a frenectomy and posterior troughing around preps, plus remove fibromas as well. It is hard to justify the high price tag for a laser. I have too many friends who have purchased big-ticket items that ended up not being utilized like the salesmen had promised." (Texas dentist)
  • "I don't feel I have adequate training to use the laser that I paid so much for in any regular way. It's not a comfortable part of any treatment I do at this time. It's not paying its own bills." (California dentist)

Where would I be without my dental laser?

  • "It is the best thing to come along in dentistry in the past 20 years." (California dentist)
  • "I've been using lasers since 1995. I could not do without it." (Maryland dentist)
  • "It has been a godsend for me in so many ways." (Michigan orthodontist)
  • "I have been using soft tissue lasers for perio tx since 1993 with excellent clinical results." (Tennessee dentist)

Lasers are great tools for certain jobs

  • "It's difficult to set up, but once it's working, it is a great tool when doing perio or crown and bridge procedures." (Canadian dentist)
  • "Lasers are excellent when combined with scaling and root planing." (Maryland dentist)
  • "Dental lasers are good for removing redundant or excess tissue and for hemostasis." (New York dentist)

On the waiting list for dental lasers

  • "I don't currently use one, but I am looking to buy a dental laser within the next several months." (Illinois dentist)
  • "I have no experience, but would love to know more about its possibilities. I have just opened my practice and my equipment is limited. In the near future, it is one of things I would love to have." (Oregon dentist)
  • "I have used lasers on soft tissue and they do work quite well. I just have not bought one yet." (Montana dentist)

Soft tissue vs. hard tissue

  • "They're lousy for hard tissue." (Arkansas dentist)
  • "I don't use lasers. They cut the tooth too slowly. Plus, they're very expensive." (California dentist)
  • "It can be very tedious compared to using a blade." (Louisiana periodontist)

Periolase, Waterlase, and Biolase

  • "I just started using the Periolase for periodontal disease. The preliminary results are phenomenal!" (Illinois dentist)
  • "I am on my fifth laser and been using them for the last 17 years. I love my new Waterlase MD." (Maryland periodontist)
  • "They're not as good at cauterizing as Biolase would have you believe." (Virginia dentist)
  • "I have had excellent results with the PerioLase MPV-7 (Nd:YAG) for periodontitis treatment." (Colorado periodontist)
  • "I recently started using the Perio-lase for the LANAP surgical procedures, and it has been going excellently so far." (Colorado dentist)
  • "I've had excellent results with the Waterlase MD." (New York dentist)

Laser surgery costs patients too much money

  • "Laser dentists are my biggest referrers, but they don't know it. When they get the laser and tell patients they need $6,000 of laser surgery, the patients come to me for second opinions. Real perio surgery (full mouth) costs about $3,800. But the patients usually need just scaling." (Tennessee periodontist)

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