AEROSOL REDUCTION MAY BE LASER DENTISTRY’S MOST PUBLICIZED ADVANTAGE RIGHT NOW, BUT SOLEA USER DR. JAIME BREMNES EXPLAINS WHY THE TECHNOLOGY’S OTHER CORE VIRTUES HAVE BECOME MORE MEANINGFUL IN THE WAKE OF COVID-19.
AS DENTAL PRACTICES prepare to play catch-up in unfamiliar new circumstances, Dr. Jaime Bremnes is less apprehensive than others. She has a firm handle on what’s going to make her patients and team members safe and comfortable, even though her practices are located in and around New York City, site of the nation’s most explosive Covid-19 outbreak. One key element is laser dentistry, which she has practiced for some time but which now takes on new significance.
“It’s nice not to have to worry as much about production right now,” says Dr. Bremnes—a member of the Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 in 2019—in early June, as she’s getting ready to reopen. “The Solea laser allowed us to run ahead of schedule prior to the pandemic, so even factoring in new safety protocols, we’ll have efficient patient flow. That really allows us to focus on what’s most important.”
“The Solea laser allowed us to run ahead of schedule prior to the pandemic, so even factoring in new safety protocols, we’ll have efficient patient flow. That really allows us to focus on what’s most important.”
First on that list, obviously, is safety, that of both patients and her team. “Less aerosol, less blood, shorter visits, no need to wait for anesthesia,” Dr. Bremnes says. “Those are obvious advantages from our perspective, but patients are very quick to understand too. They’re receptive to the whole idea of laser dentistry and pain-free procedures in normal circumstances, and even more so now.”
Clinically, she believes the Solea laser is simply better for patients: “Anything we can do to create a more aseptic environment is going to be advantageous when placing a restoration.” According to the manufacturer, Solea heats the tooth surface to 1,200 degrees Celsius, enough to kill any virus or bacteria with which the beam comes in contact. “Factor in the increased use of dental dams, suction and enhanced PPE, and I personally don’t feel trepidation about getting back to work.”
Is a laser-like the Solea a good investment, even if a dentist is purchasing it solely in response to the pandemic? In most cases, Dr. Bremnes says, she thinks it is. “Even if someone’s reason for buying one is 100 percent safety, I don’t believe they’d be let down. They’ll be floored once they actually start using it.”
That’s one thing that makes the days ahead seem brighter after an unprecedented shutdown, she says: “Until now, three weeks is the longest I’ve been away—for maternity leave.”