Within this category, hard/soft combination lasers may get some of the credit for the increased interest, suggested Dr. Craig Gimbel, of Hewitt, N.J., who uses both soft-tissue and hard/soft-tissue lasers in his practice. "Hard/soft-tissue lasers have interested many dentists recently, with soft tissue following slightly behind," he noted. "We now have many procedures that are possible with one laser making it more cost-effective."
That's precisely the way the DPR 2002 Technology Census splits the interest in lasers as well: 14.3 percent of dentists surveyed showed interest in purchasing a hard-tissue laser, while 11.4 percent said they were considering a soft-tissue laser. Currently, only about 6 percent of dentists own a soft-tissue laser, and less than 1 percent own a hard-tissue laser.
Gimbel likened the adoption of lasers to that of air abrasion. "It took time for air abrasion to catch on," he noted. "It was slow, but it caught on."
Unfortunately for air abrasion, Gimbel said he believes the market has peaked. "We're in somewhat of a transition period," said Gimbel. "I think those doctors who were thinking about air abrasion now may be looking at lasers."
As word gets out about the growing uses of lasers and the availability of laser continuing education courses increases, Gimbel said to look for the adoption of this technology to pick up the pace a bit. Still, he predicted, adoption will be "a slow process."
With prices for hard-tissue lasers as much as $50,000, it's easy to understand why. However, soft-tissue diode lasers can run anywhere from several thousand dollars to about $20,000.
Noted Dr. Steven Parker of Harrogate, England, a member of the Academy of Laser Dentistry, "If lasers were 2-cent purchases, every dentist would now own one. With reduced price tags, the future market for sales places the current saturation as being the tip of the iceberg.
"Manufacturers take note," insisted Parker, "lasers at a cost of $8,000 to $12,000 would sell."
If anyone bothered to read Slicks postings before he got pissed off and left the board for awhile you would figure out very quickly that a Waterlase was a very low priority because he likes to eat, drink and be merry. Unfortunately his wife is the only one in the family supporting him. Hence, he's opposed to spending the money. Forget the patients, a newer BMW makes more sense and twenty pound lobsters at the Salt Cellar.
No business decision at all, just yuppie priorities....