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Soft Tissue Laser Dentistry for the Pediatric Population

This was held November 20, 2020 - November 21, 2020 in Boston, MA

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  • Athanasios Zavras, DDS, MS, DrMedSc
  • Martin Kaplan, DMD
  • Cathy Watson-Genna, BSc, IBCLC
  • Peter Vitruk, PhD

Course Description:

Laser technology now allows for a range of safe and effective procedures, to better serve our young patients. This course will provide fundamental knowledge that will enhance your understanding of the issues of pediatric laser dentistry. It will provide detailed instructions on how a laser can be used safely and effectively to perform gingivectomies, frenectomies, operculectomies, surgical exposures of impacted teeth and more. Special emphasis will be placed on infant tongue-tie and lip-tie releases since as many as 5-percent of newborns in the US have tongue-ties significant enough to cause breastfeeding difficulties.

A good surgical laser for cutting soft tissue must be able to vaporize soft tissue, while at the same time efficiently coagulating surgical margins. Not all laser wavelengths are suitable to comply with both requirements. This course focuses on the practical aspects of soft tissue laser surgery and on the fundamental processes involved in the laser-tissue interaction; it helps attendees learn how deep the laser beam cuts and how deep the coagulation and hemostasis extend into the surgical margins. Our hands-on participation lab is designed to train attendees on how to perform laser frenectomies safely and efficiently.

Clinical Curriculum:

  • Learn the scientific basis of how lasers work in dentistry along with the tissue-energy interface;
  • Explore different types of dental lasers and understand their indication and clinical utility, as well as advantages and disadvantages;
  • Learn the detailed physics of soft tissue ablation and coagulation with laser and hot tip diode (contact non-laser) devices;
  • Review the latest scientific literature on soft-tissue laser use in dentistry;
  • Understand issues of safety and efficacy as well as relevant regulations;
  • Learn how to document consent, diagnosis and the efficacy of the laser;
  • Explore current methods of clinical assessment, diagnosis and treatment of soft tissue problems;
  • Practice laser soft tissue surgeries, including frenectomy simulations on tissue samples (pig jaws), during the laser wet lab.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand infant sucking physiology and how tongue ties impair infant suck;
  • Use reliable diagnostic criteria to screen babies and children for this condition;
  • Understand orthodontic-myofunctional connection;
  • Understand how the soft tissues of the orofacial complex may lead to malocclusion, TMD, headaches, and other problems;
  • Discuss multiple cases that involve the use of lasers to perform gingivectomies, operculectomies, exposures of impacted teeth
  • Understand all the consequences and benefits of using lasers to remove oral tissues when needed.

Laser Curriculum:

Laser Surgery and Safety Basic Knowledge Certificate Curriculum for this Course has been developed by the American Laser Study Club (ALSC). The ALSC’s curriculum overcomes the known limitations of many laser dentistry courses and includes the detailed physics of soft tissue ablation and coagulation with laser and hot tip (non-laser) devices. Laser hands-on wet lab on tissue samples will include simulated incisions, excisions, ablation and coagulation modalities as well as laser safety instructions and demonstrations. Laser instructions will be assisted by guest speaker Peter Vitruk, PhD, MlnstP, CPhys, a laser physicist who founded the American Laser Study Club and LightScalpel LLC.


November 20, 2020
November 21, 2020


Boston University
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Boston University – Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
635 Albany Street
Boston, MA 02118 United States
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