Have you ever dreaded going to the dentist? Well, the fact is that you’re not alone. There are many misconceptions and myths about dentistry that give rise to fear in the minds of the common man. Fortunately, new developments in the dentistry are helping dental professionals to make things easier for them. Currently, there is a lot of buzz around laser dentistry which is said to be the future of dentistry by experts across the globe. Laser dentistry is said to be the next revolutionary thing that will give rise to a new concept called ‘Pain-less Dentistry’. Having said that, the fact is that currently only few dentists are incorporating lasers in their dental practice. As per Strategies Unlimited, only 7% of all dentist use lasers in the United States, which clearly indicates that even in the most developed countries the adoption of dental lasers is very low.
So, what seems to be the problem, if laser dentistry is said to be an effective way to handle dental treatments?
The Price Factor – The biggest stumbling block for lasers in dentistry is that they are very expensive. Dental laser machines come at a high cost which means that dental professionals have to invest a good amount of money. Most dental practices are small and cannot afford the cost of dental lasers. The range of laser purchase may cost starting from $6,700 to $78,000 depending on various features like wavelengths and add-on components. Dental professionals also realize that no single laser can perform all applications and therefore it can only be used as a primary instrument in certain cases, and an adjunctive instrument in other cases.
Laser Dentistry Awareness – Most patients are scared of dentists because of various unknown fears that arise due to misconceptions, myths and negative experiences. While laser dentistry is available across the globe, there is very little awareness about it which further leads to apprehensions in the mind of the patient. The general public at large is not quite convinced about laser dentistry. Lasers are usually portrayed as high-tech tools that are used for cutting glass and metals and that image instills fear and gives rise to the concept that laser dentistry is equally painful and have multiple side-effects.
Education Factor – One of the main reasons why laser dentistry adoption is very slow is because most dentists are not trained in the use of lasers. Dental colleges in general do not emphasize too much on lasers and how to use it in a practical way. This means that dental professionals often have to spend considerable time retraining on laser dentistry which costs extra money. An average dental professional would want to focus on his or her clinical practice to build a professional career rather than retrain on laser dentistry and acquire certification.
In India, Indian Dental Association (IDA) in collaboration with World Federation for Laser Dentistry is organising a Basic Laser Certification Course at the upcoming World Dental Show 2015 which will help dental professionals to be informed about the latest advances in laser dentistry and how they can adopt laser in their dental practice to make it more effective and efficient.