Three Reasons You Haven’t Used that Laser

There is a palpable excitement during laser trainings. The enthusiasm shows with discussion of how they will incorporate this new service into the day to day practice.  Many leave with a solid plan for patient selection, verbiage for patient understanding and cost and billing strategies.  They also leave with a full understanding of how lasers work and the benefits of laser treatments.  So why do so many lasers go unused, collecting dust?  Here are three common roadblocks to using your new laser and how to get past them. 

1. It takes time

 As a dental hygienist, everything I do has been analyzed and honed for maximum efficiency.  When freshly trained on a new procedure or product, it takes time to bring it into my process of care.  When this procedure is new, it will take up more of the precious time, I have with the patient. There are many reasons we can run late and if that happens, usually that new procedure is the first to be skipped.  

To avoid sacrificing the laser portion of the appointment, set yourself up for success ahead of time.  Review the step-by-step instructions before your day begins and have them laminated to keep them close during the appointment.  Have the laser plugged in, on and loaded with a tip before seating the patient.  Introduce the laser to the patient as you are working to avoid a lengthly conversation about the technology, benefits and procedure.  The more you do this procedure from set up to break down, the flow will become more efficient.   

2. You’re not sure if it will work

One of the best parts of training my dental peers on laser use is the opportunity to show off cases with amazing results.  Many of these results exceed the expected outcomes based upon our education and clinical experience. It’s common to question if those results are really possible with your patients.  Are you able replicate them over and over, or are these inexplicable examples of luck?  

The only way to know if a product will change your practice is by using it.  However, there are a few ways to set yourself up for success.  In my courses, we review patient selection as the first step to getting those results.  If the case is hopeless or if the patient is not compliant with home care or the recommended recall, the expectations should not be the highest.  Also, the laser is not a magic wand.  In my experience, the best results come from a formula of care that includes the laser but doesn’t rely solely on it.  In my training and certification courses, we work together to find the protocol that best fits your office and patient needs.   

3.  It’s been too long since your training and you’re not confident you will use it properly

After completing training, every day that passes without using the laser, you become less confident in your skills and less likely to use it.  No one wants to use something when we don’t trust or question our abilities.  

The best solution to this issue is to start using the laser right away after training, even if you are practicing on each other.  It’s important to get to a point where holding the laser feels natural and you are able to coordinate the HVE at the same time.  Choose a patient in your schedule to use the laser on and do it!  Ultimately your confidence relies upon your ability to simply use the laser as often as you can.

Using a laser is exciting!  If you are ready to bring lasers into your office or you need a refresher, choose a training that customizes to your practice.  You should be left with not only an understanding of how the laser works but confidence in using it.  If you would like to talk more about how to bring that training to your practice, use this link to schedule a 15 minute chat