For a long time, I simply refused to pay the tremendous price for a diode laser. I did see a use for it in my practice. But the relatively limited uses (soft tissue procedures) didn’t justify the huge cost. I remember when diode lasers were running $15,000. Some were higher than that.
I also remember chuckling when the sales guys would go on about how I could make money doing frenectomies. I don’t know about you, but I just don’t see that many frenectomies that need doing in my practice. And, I certainly would not start “seeing” them in order to pay for my latest equipment purchase. Of course, I could foresee using one for cosmetic gingival recontouring. I could see one for troughing around crown preps. I could use my trusty electrosurge for those purposes, however, even recognizing the shortcomings of the e-surge.
But, there was something I was increasingly needing to do, but the e-surge was absolutely contraindicated. And, that was removing hyperplastic or overhanging tissues around implant fixtures. Zapping those with an e-surge is a quick way to have an implant fail. So, I made do with a high-speed diamond. It was messy, but it worked. The more implant cases I was restoring, the more I yearned for a diode to easily clean up excess tissue around the fixtures when I placed impression copings. Patients don’t like it when you pinch that tissue! Ouch!
Lasers Are Expensive – Or Are They?
Ultimately, I didn’t see a diode the way the sales reps portrayed them… strictly as another revenue producer. Nothing inherently wrong with that, of course. But, I saw it as a tool that would make my life easier and enhance the quality and efficiency of my daily practice. But, again… not for $15,000. Not for $10,000. Even when some models came down to $5,000 I balked.
But, recently AMD Lasers busted the diode market wide open. They introduced the Picasso Lite at a competition-killing price of $2495! And, I was IN! At this price, it becomes a no-brainer. This 2.5-watt laser will do everything most GPs need. It comes with everything you need, including three sets of protective goggles.
AMD‘s stated goal is to have a diode laser, not just in every dental office, but in every operatory!
I got the multi-tip handpiece kit. This replaces the “strippable fiber” with a permanent sheathed optical fiber that has a handpiece attached. The handpiece then accepts a variety of disposable tips. I prefer not having to deal with the gangly strippable fibers that have to be replaced as they get used up ($200 each). The disposable tips run a bit under $5 each.
I do not charge the patient a separate fee for any adjunctive uses of the laser such as crown prep troughing or minor cosmetic recontouring. My fees are high enough to absorb the minor added costs. I just love the results I’m getting. It beats the snot out of using retraction cord! But, if I use it to remove a lesion like a fibroma or do one of those odd frenectomies, I do charge the appropriate fee for the procedure. Naturally, I’d also charge for major recontouring, such as you would do in a smile design case. And, I did actually use it for a frenectomy recently! 🙂 I will say it was worth getting just for using around implants.
Making a Great First Impression
I’ve got to say that it is VERY gratifying to do an impression like this of a full-arch case and nail every margin (troughed with the Picasso Lite beforehand).
What About Those New Tiny Lasers?
There are some other “portable” diodes on the market right now. In fact, they are what I would call “super-portable.” They are TINY, like the size of a fat pen that can fit in your shirt pocket. But, they are NOT cheap. In fact, for the price of ONE of them, you could buy THREE Picasso Lites, and put one in each operatory. No “portability” needed. Frankly, I’d be a bit concerned about LOSING one of the “pen-sized” lasers. They’re TOO small, in my opinion. The Picasso Lite is small enough (Width x length x height : 5.5 in. x 8.6 in. x 6.3 in.) to find a permanent location to park in your operatory AND be handy whenever you need it. You just reach for the slim handpiece.
In reality, the concept of “portable” when it comes to dental equipment is really not practical. If the instrument or device you need is not immediately at “arm’s reach,” you’re simply not going to ROUTINELY use it. I remember having my “portable” intraoral video camera that was on a wheeled cart. The reality was that I was not going to ask my assistant to get up and get it. If it wasn’t RIGHT THERE, I simply didn’t use it. With the very affordable price of the Picasso Lite, you can have one within arm’s reach in each of your operatories.
The AMD Picasso Lite laser (just click the link and buy one – or more!) fits right into the Dental Warrior’s arsenal of no-brainer practice enhancers! You won’t be disappointed! Tell them the Dental Warrior sent you. 🙂
Video Demo of Picasso Lite:
PS… If you want to see a bunch of great videos on using the Picasso Lite Diode laser by my friend, Dr. Glenn van As, click here.