Laser dentistry has completely revolutionized the dental industry over the past years. It’s a way to provide pain-free, more accurate dental procedures on patients. Patients who are unaware of how laser dentistry works will want to know that their dentist knows how to use the tools and how to perform procedures with a laser. So what are the training requirements for dentists to use laser dentistry technology?
Academy of Laser Dentistry Guidelines
The Academy of Laser Dentistry provides education and standards for dental professionals who use lasers in their practice. They adopted their own guidelines in 1992 with input from dental academics, industry professionals, and dentists with their own practices. These guidelines help create standards of education for safe and effective use of lasers by dentists.
The Academy formally recognizes four levels of dental laser certification: Introductory, Standard Proficiency, Advanced Proficiency, and Educator Status. Each are defined as follows:
- Introductory – This level ensures the person understands how lasers work and how they’re used in dentistry. There are no tests.
- Standard Proficiency – Professionals who complete this level have to show basic knowledge of all laser wavelengths, how they’re used, as well as laboratory knowledge. This level is the standard of care for dentists. An exam must be passed to achieve standard proficiency.
- Advanced Proficiency – Professionals who finish this level have acquired advanced knowledge and clinical experience with laser dentistry. They complete a written exam, a clinical simulation exam, and present case studies at the annual Academy of Laser Dentistry conference. After completing these levels, professionals will knowledge of the laser and safety, setup procedures, infection control, and how to treat certain types of patient problems.
- Educator Status – This level allows dental professionals to teach the other levels of certification to other dental professionals.
The ALD mandates that dentists using lasers must only use devices that meet Food and Drug Administration requirements for such products. They should know what types of lasers work best for what procedures. Dental professionals must also have a knowledge of the laser and basic laser and biologic interactions including the safety recommendations outlined in the American National Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers and American National Standard for the Safe Use of Lasers in Health Care Facilities.
To achieve certification, dentists must know and demonstrate basic treatment objectives, such as ablation, coagulation, and excision. They must have demonstrated knowledge of how to attain specific treatment outcomes supported by research. They also must be able to recognize successful treatment outcomes, manage side effects, and have knowledge of how to report side effects.
Many dentists use laser technology these days. But as mentioned earlier, it’s important to know that your dentist has the proper training, knowledge, and experience before you undergo a procedure. Dr. Bundalo is one of the most experienced laser dentistry dentists in the Phoenix area. Give us a call today if you would like to schedule an appointment: 602-482-5100.