As an “implant care practitioner” I’m curious if you use a diode laser along with scaling and root planing and if so how you combine the two. Also, do you use the laser along with a periodontal maintenance appointment in localized areas?
Thank you, Irene Nydza, RDH
Thank you for your question. I would like to clarify the role of the implant care practitioner first. As an implant care practitioner, I have many years of education, training, and experience in the clinical maintenance of patients with all the different prosthetics for dental implants. Your question pertains to periodontal therapies and the use of the diode laser for natural teeth, as you mention scaling and root planing and periodontal maintenance. The implant care practitioner is dental team member educated in the specialized needs of the dental implant patient population.
I am a clinician in the state of New Jersey and, unfortunately, the use of the diode laser is not in our practice act. Luckily, I have a wonderful mentor, Marisa Roncati, BS, RDH, DDS, who has taught me much about the use of laser in relation to nonsurgical periodontal therapy and non-surgical dental implant therapy. Her textbook, Nonsurgical Periodontal Therapy, has been a wonderful resource for me and I strongly encourage you to invest in it! If you are looking to take a hands-on laser course, I recommend courses give by Jill Grassmick, RDH, AAS.
The diode laser can be used adjunctively in nonsurgical therapy for the treatment of implant diseases. However, the clinician must perform a comprehensive evaluation of the implant, bone, and peri-implant tissues and critically evaluate potential outcomes before starting treatment. Furthermore, I strongly advise the intraprofessional approach when treating patients with peri-implant diseases; it is best to consult with the surgeon and create a collaborative care plan for the patient before treating the implant in a nonsurgical manner.
I recommend integrating air-flow therapy with glycine powder for biofilm management in your clinical protocol.. I have had great success using this before ultrasonic or hand instrumentation.
If you are interested in learning more about the role of the implant care practitioner, please join our Facebook group, Dental Implants Uncovered Study Group. RDH Innovations is presenting a course, “Dental Implants Uncovered: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Implant Dentistry for the Dental Hygiene Practitioner,” at the Osteology Symposium on February 9, 2018, and laser therapy will be covered in this course. It would be wonderful if you could join us!