The Advantages of Adopting Laser Dentistry
Dental lasers are a cutting-edge technology that allow dental clinicians to efficiently perform a variety of routine clinical and surgical procedures in their office that would have otherwise been time-consuming or referred out. Recent developments in laser technology have also opened the door for improved clinical outcomes.
But despite the evolution of laser dentistry over the past 30 years, the dental community has its fair share of skeptics about its use. A recent Dental Town Poll suggests many dentists hesitate to adopt laser dentistry into their general practices.
According to the poll, 70% of respondents have no plans to purchase a hard-tissue laser but 76% of the total respondents also expect lasers to be a common standard instrument in general practices by 2030. So, what's holding them back and how can dentists take advantage of being an early adopter of laser dentistry?
First, let’s look at some perceived barriers to adopt laser dentistry.
Poll Says: 41% of dentists in the Dental Town poll report cost being the biggest barrier to owning a laser.
You've undoubtedly heard the adage "you get what you pay for." Dental lasers are no exception. While the initial cost of a laser is higher than a traditional drill, new advancements in laser dentistry are shown to increase practice productivity and the number of patients that can be seen in a day. On average, dentists with lasers perform four to five more procedures each day thanks to streamlined workflows and the ability to do more procedures in-office that were previously referred out.
Some laser units also include additional components and training sessions with their cost, so look for package deals (like this one) that give you the most for the price tag.
What Other Dentists Say: “My laser paid for itself in 11 months…our biggest learning curve was learning what to do with the extra time that we had, and because of the cleanliness of the soft tissue it opens up a whole new world of doing more procedures that you normally would have referred out. So now I’m doing a larger range of procedures than I would have before. Again, that’s a bottom-line increase.”
Poll Says: 53% report not seeing enough evidence of ROI on lasers to make a purchase worthwhile, while 30% said yes, if the doctor markets the treatment option.
Amidst the exciting technological changes, the patient experience in laser treatments has been largely overlooked. Keeping patients comfortable, pain free, and enabling better healing outcomes is one of the biggest benefits to increase patient influx. The increased productivity, along with increased patient retention and referrals, ultimately drives increased profit.
To calculate your ROI, take your monthly payment on the device divided by average days you expect to use it per month = cost per day.
What Other Dentists Say: “My patients get an incredible experience, whether it’s not needing anesthesia; saving a tooth instead of pulling it; keeping that patient in my office and not having to refer out… In my first year with [of using an all-tissue laser] I had a 300% new patient flow increase, with $0 spent on marketing."
NUMBER OF TREATMENTS
Poll Says: 20% report a limited number of treatments being a barrier to purchase.
Not all lasers are created equal, but laser technological developments in the past few years have proven their benefit in more treatments than before. Versatile all-tissue lasers like the Solea laser can be used for hard tissue periodontal treatment such as periodontal reattachment procedures and gingivectomies. It can also be used interchangeably for soft-tissue osseous crown lengthening, esthetic recontouring, frenectomies, desensitization, and more.
What Other Dentists Say: “About 95% of my operative dentistry is performed with Solea and close to 99% of those are done without anesthesia and without a drill. Its ability to vaporize decay was a huge upgrade from previous experiences... it is really an incredibly versatile instrument,”
WHY NOW IS THE TIME TO INVEST
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased patient involvement and interest in healthcare; and they are more active than ever in choosing the care they decide to access.
As dental treatment and technologies evolve, it's crucial for dental clinicians to stay on the cutting edge of new, elevated treatment options to ensure both the highest standard of care to the patient and success in their practice.
Early adopters of dental lasers have reaped significant benefits by jumping on the bandwagon from expanding their treatment capabilities, to meeting patient demand for a new and better kind of dental care.