Online courses that do not allow for hands-on experience do not meet the standard of education necessary for clinicians to achieve basic proficiency in operating lasers. The nominal hazard zone NHZ is defined as the area where the level of direct, reflected, or scattered radiation poses a hazard to the skin and eyes during normal laser operation.
Simply put, it is the area around the patient where proper safety protocols must be followed. The NHZ differs for all lasers and is dependent upon laser wavelength, laser fiber size, and beam divergence. Information relative to a laser's specific NHZ can be found in the manufacturer's laser manual or "Information for Use" guide. The NHZ should be restricted to only the patient and necessary personnel. For most lasers, the entire dental operatory becomes the NHZ.
Within the NHZ, the following actions must be taken to comply with ANSI standards: 1 Appropriate laser safety eyewear must be worn by all; 2 proper signage must be posted on each NHZ entrance; 3 precautions must be taken to prevent fire hazards; and 4 laser plume must be managed. All people within the NHZ must wear appropriate laser safety eyewear specific to the laser in use. Laser safety eyewear is labeled with its optical density and the wavelengths it will protect against. Every entrance to the NHZ must also be marked with an appropriate sign. The sign also indicates the laser's classification, wavelength, and maximum power, as well as the required optical density for the laser safety eyewear figure 1.
The laser safety sign is typically provided by the laser manufacturer with purchase. Figure 1: A laser safety sign must be displayed at each entrance to the nominal hazard zone. Precautions must be taken to prevent potential fire hazards. Combustible materials, such as alcohol, should never come in contact with the working beam of the laser.
If general anesthesia is administered with the use of a laser, noncombustible gases for general anesthesia must be used.
Nitrous oxide can be used in conjunction with a laser as long as there is an appropriate scavenger system. Other safety considerations include the management of laser plumes. Laser plumes, also known as laser-generated air contaminants LGACs , are a biological hazard consisting of visible or invisible gas fumes created when tissue is ablated or vaporized. Proper management of the laser plume is imperative as laser plume has the ability to carry viruses, bacteria, and other organisms that can be hazardous to the laser operator and assisting personnel.
High-volume evacuation is required when the laser is in use, and surgical masks should be worn.
Laser in dentistry: An innovative tool in modern dental practice
As with the adoption of any new technology, it is incumbent upon each clinician to seek education for proper use, safety, and compliance with state and national guidelines. A great way to get started is to check with the local state board for guidelines about laser education specific to that state. Back Mastership Advanced Courses. Waterlase Learning Animations. Back Part 1 Part 2 Part 3. Back Dr. The effect of nm Laser Therapy on herpes simplex and aphtae. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. The effects of therapeutic lasers in periodontal inflammation.
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Coherencia, Monterrey, Mexico. A short-term evaluation of Nd:YAG laser as an adjunct to scaling and root planing in treatment of chronic periodontitis. J of Periodontology, Aug;81 8 Long—term effects of a single application of Nd:YAG laser in supplement to scaling and root planing in patients with periodontitis.
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Laser Journal, International edition. Oemus Publishing, Germany, Low Level Lasers in Dentistry. In: Robert A Convissar ed. Principles and Practice of Laser Dentistry. Pp Mosby Elsevier Inc. ISBN 9 Low level laser therapy for hand arthritis — fact or fiction?
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Laser in dentistry: An innovative tool in modern dental practice
The efficacy of low-level laser therapy for the treatment of myogenous temporomandibular joint disorder. Laser Med Sci. Masoud Shabani, Maziar Mir, H. Evaluation of a new developed laser pen as a home care device for pain reduction of recurrent aphthous stomatitis , a pilot study.
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Photobiomodulation on Dentistry.